What Are the USMC Ranks in Order From Lowest to Highest?


Quick Answer

U.S. Marine Corps enlisted ranks range from private, private first class and lance corporal to the noncommissioned officer ranks of corporal and sergeant, ending with sergeant major of the Marine Corps. The top warrant officer rank is chief warrant officer five. Commissioned officers rank from second lieutenant to general.

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Full Answer

Sergeant ranks, ascending from staff, gunnery, master, first and master gunnery to sergeant major and sergeant major of the Marine Corps, are staff noncommissioned officer positions held by career Marines. They carry responsibility, on behalf of a commanding officer, for the work and well-being of a group of Marines. A first sergeant serves as the senior enlisted Marine in a company or battery, and a sergeant major serves as the senior enlisted Marine in a battalion or squadron. The sergeant major of the Marine Corps, appointed by the commandant, is the senior enlisted Marine.

The secretary of the Navy appoints warrant officers from among staff noncommissioned officers. From warrant officer to chief warrant officer five, these individuals advise Marine units in their area of specialization.

The president of the United States appoints the commissioned officers, who hold command leadership positions. Commissioned officer rankings ascend as follows: second lieutenant, first lieutenant, captain, major, lieutenant colonel, colonel, brigadier general, major general, lieutenant general and general, which is a four-star rank held by the commandant and assistant commandant of the Marine Corps.

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