What Are the Military Ranks of the U.S. Marines in Descending Order?

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In descending order, the military ranks in the United States Marine Corps (USMC) are general, lieutenant general, major general, brigadier general, colonel, lieutenant colonel, major, captain, first lieutenant, second lieutenant, sergeant major of the Marine Corps, sergeant major, master gunnery sergeant, first sergeant, master sergeant, gunnery sergeant, staff sergeant, sergeant, corporal, lance corporal, private first class and private. Alongside these are the warrant officer ranks, which, in descending order, are: chief warrant officer 5, chief warrant officer 4, chief warrant officer 3, chief warrant officer 2 and warrant officer.

Warrant officers are specialists in particular fields and are generally appointed in non-commissioned advisory roles.

The other military ranks within the USMC are categorized into two groups: enlisted (E) and officer (O).

The officer group is the higher of the two, consisting of servicemen in leadership roles. The highest rank in this group is general (O-10) and the lowest is second lieutenant (O-1).

The enlisted group starts with the entry level rank of private (E-1) and proceeds to the rank of sergeant major of the Marine Corps (E-9). Holders of this latter rank are appointed by the commandant.

All but the rank of private have identifying insignia. For the private first class, this insignia is an inverted yellow V sign. For generals, the insignia is four silver stars.