Warrant Officers 

Pay Grade Rank Insignia Description
E1 Private E1 No Insignia PRIVATE (PVT/PV2)
Lowest rank: a trainee who’s starting Basic Combat Training (BCT). Primary role is to carry out orders issued to them to the best of his/her ability. (Private does not have an insignia)
E2 Private E2 PRIVATE (PVT/PV2)
Lowest rank: a trainee who’s starting Basic Combat Training (BCT). Primary role is to carry out orders issued to them to the best of his/her ability. (PVT does not have an insignia)
E3 Private First Class PRIVATE FIRST CLASS (PFC)
PV2s are promoted to this level after one year—or earlier by request of supervisor. Individual can begin BCT at this level with experience or prior military training. Carries out orders issued to them to the best of his/her ability.
E4 Specialist SPECIALIST (SPC)
Can manage other enlisted Soldiers of lower rank. Has served a minimum of two years and attended a specific training class to earn this promotion. People enlisting with a four year college degree can enter BCT as a Specialist.
E4 Corporal CORPORAL (CPL)
The base of the Non-Commissioned Officer (NCO) ranks, CPLs serve as team leader of the smallest Army units. Like SGTs, they are responsible for individual training, personal appearance and cleanliness of Soldiers.
E5 Sergeant SERGEANT (SGT)
Typically commands a squad (9 to 10 Soldiers). Considered to have the greatest impact on Soldiers because SGTs oversee them in their daily tasks. In short, SGTs set an example and the standard for Privates to look up to, and live up to.
E6 Staff Sergeant STAFF SERGEANT (SSG)
Also commands a squad (9 to 10 Soldiers). Often has one or more SGTs under their leadership. Responsible for developing, maintaining and utilizing the full range of his Soldiers' potential.
E7 Sergeant First Class SERGEANT FIRST CLASS (SFC)
Key assistant and advisor to the platoon leader. Generally has 15 to 18 years of Army experience and puts it to use by making quick, accurate decisions in the best interests of the Soldiers and the country.
E8 Master Sergeant MASTER SERGEANT (MSG)
Principal NCO at the battalion level, and often higher. Not charged with all the leadership responsibilities of a 1SG, but expected to dispatch leadership and other duties with the same professionalism.
E8 First Sergeant FIRST SERGEANT (1SG)
Principal NCO and life-blood of the company: the provider, disciplinarian and wise counselor. Instructs other SGTs, advises the Commander and helps train all enlisted Soldiers. Assists Officers at the company level (62 to 190 Soldiers).
E9 Sergeant Major SERGEANT MAJOR (SGM)
SGMs experience and abilities are equal to that of the CSM, but the sphere of influence regarding leadership is generally limited to those directly under his charge. Assists Officers at the battalion level (300 to 1,000 Soldiers).
E9 Command Sergeant Major COMMAND SERGEANT MAJOR (CSM)
Functioning without supervision, a CSM’s counsel is expected to be calm, settled and accurate—with unflagging enthusiasm. Supplies recommendations to the commander and staff, and carries out policies and standards on the performance, training, appearance and conduct of enlisted personnel. Assists Officers at the brigade level (3,000 to 5,000 Soldiers).
E9 Sergeant Major of the Army SERGEANT MAJOR OF THE ARMY
There’s only one Sergeant Major of the Army. This rank is the epitome of what it means to be a Sergeant and oversees all Non-Commissioned Officers. Serves as the senior enlisted advisor and consultant to the Chief of Staff of the Army (a four-star General).

All ranks of Corporal or Sergeant and higher are considered non-commissioned officers (NCOs).

The rank of Specialist is a soldier of pay grade E-4 who has not yet attained non-commissioned officer status. It is common that a soldier may never be a Corporal and will move directly from Specialist to Sergeant, attaining NCO status immediately.

In each command of company sized units and smaller, there is assigned a senior enlisted who is the monitor and advocate of the Enlisted Personnel to the commanding officer. This position is known as the First Sergeant, though the person carrying that title does not have to be the rank of First Sergeant (it is the highest ranking enlisted person in the company). In a battalion or larger unit, the senior enlisted man is a Command Sergeant-Major. The rank of Sergeant-Major is usually carried by one person in a battalion or larger unit, known as the Operations Sergeant-Major.

In terms of command, the rank of a person determines what job and command he/she has within a unit. For most personnel in the Infantry, a Bradley Infantry Fighting Vehicle (M2A2) is commanded by a Staff Sergeant, the gun is manned by a Specialist or Sergeant and the driver is Specialist or below. For the Armor, the Abrams Main Battle Tank (M1A2) is commanded by a Staff Sergeant, the gunner is a Sergeant, the loader is a Specialist and the driver is a Specialist or below.