U.S. Army Enlisted Ranks

The rank insignia for the U.S. Army in World War II were modified on January 8th, 1942 with the addition of the ranks of Technician 3rd Class (T/3), Technician 4th Class (T/4) and Technician 5th Class (T/5). On September 4th, 1942 a "T" was added to the standard chevron designs for these new grades.

A T/5 was properly addressed as a "corporal," while T/4 and T/3s were referred to as "sergeants." Although they wore chevrons similar to corporals and sergeants, technicians had no command authority or duties, and could not issue orders to regular sergeants, corporals or privates. The technician grades were deleted in 1948, and the enlisted ranks were further restructured in 1955.

(no insignia) Private First Class Technician 5th Class
Private (E-7) Private First Class (E-6) Tech 5 (E-5)
Corporal Technician 4th Class Sergeant
Corporal (E-5) Tech 4 (E-4) Sergeant (E-4)
Technician 3rd Class Staff Sergeant Technical Sergeant
Tech 3 (E-3) Staff Sergeant (E-3) Technical Sergeant (E-2)
Master Sergeant First Sergeant
Master Sergeant (E-1) First Sergeant (E-1)

Enlisted pay grades (E-7 through E-1) were different in World War II than what is currently used by the U.S. Army. Starting in 1920 pay grades began with the rank of Master Sergeant (E-1) and ended with Private First Class (E-6). In 1951 the pay grades were reversed and changed to the system that is used in today's modern Army.

The U.S. Army Ranger Tables of Organization & Equipment (TOE) did not allow for the rank of Private, therefore the lowest rank that a Ranger could have was that of Private First Class.

Colors for all enlisted ranks were defined as khaki on dark blue, or olive drab on dark blue. Not listed here are unauthorized Army Air Force insignia for Privates and Technical Sergeants.


Corporal Upham's rank insignia indicates that he was a Technician 5th Class, while Medic Wade's rank in the film's credits indicates that he was a Technician 4th Class.

It is important to note that current U.S. Army enlisted rank insignia and World War II era rank insignia are different. In particular, the rank designated by three arcs and two chevrons was a Technical Sergeant in WW2, but currently is a Sergeant First Class. These are not mistakes, but reflect the changing nature of the Army's enlisted rank structure.