Saturday, January 22, 2011

Understanding Rank & Military Hierachy

I notice a lot of spouses I have come across have problems discussing rank because they feel someone is always trying to come off as being better than the other solely because of their service members rank. So, I thought this would be interesting.

Different Ranks

Regardless of the branch of service, you'll always see 2 different types of rank, but each type looks different depending on the branch of service.

1. Officer rank
2. Enlisted rank

The following shows some commonalities that exist with all branches:

E - stands for enlisted. Generally people come in as an E-1, however, based on other discriminating factors (certain academic requirements) troops can get advanced pay grade status up to E-4 when they enlist.((I never knew this, did you?))

W - stands for warrant officer. Warrant officers are trained specialists and are not required to have college degrees (although many of them do) and they outrank all enlisted personnel. Did you know that after warrant officers are promoted to chief warrant officer 2 that they receive a commission from the President? The Air Force has no warrant officers.

O - stands for commissioned officer. Commissioned officers are the highest rank in the military. They hold presidential commissions and their ranks are confirmed by the Senate. ((I didn't know that either!! lol))

There are 2 types of officers:

Line: Line Officers are those in combat and support specialties.
Nonline: Nonline officers are noncombat specialists, such as chaplains, lawyers, doctors and nurses. Nonline officers cannot command combat troops.

Rank does have its place

While military spouses carry no rank (no matter how much some like to think they do), common courtesies, such as the following, should prevail:

- Do not call an older spouse or a more senior spouse by their first name until you are given permission to. (This goes for service members as well.)

- As your servicemember rises in rank, you're also expected to rise to the occasion and help mentor those who are coming up behind you. Whether you choose to accept this charge or not is up to you, as a spouses, you can't be told to do anything.

- After you've been around for awhile, you may look around and find that you have accumulated some young friends who are looking to you as a role model. If they are struggling, they may be looking to you to provide some insights and guidance on how to navigate the military lifestyle.

Privileges of rank

Some privileges of rank are better compensation, bigger houses, and even special parking spots on post/base.

*So that's my break down on the basics of understanding rank for those who don't. I even learned a few things. =)

from: A Family's Guide to the Military, for dummies

(Yes, I love the "for dummies" books...they break things down easy and also have humor in them... I get them at my local library.)