Marine Corps Enlisted Rank
Non-commissioned officers (NCOs) in the Marine Corps are enlisted personnel who hold the pay grades of E-4 and E-5. Staff NCOs, on the other hand, comprise career Marines whose ranks range from E-6 to E-9. During their annual evaluations, gunnery sergeants (E-7) specify their desired career progression. First sergeants (E-8) and sergeants majors (E-9) serve as senior enlisted advisors to the commanding officer, assisting in matters related to discipline, administration, unit morale, and welfare.
First sergeants are the highest-ranking enlisted Marines within a company, battery, or a similar unit echelon, while sergeants major hold this role in battalions, squadrons, or larger organizations. Master sergeants (E-8) and master gunnery sergeants (E-9), who possess specialized expertise in their respective Military Occupational Specialties (MOS), provide technical leadership.
The Marine Corps sergeant major is personally selected by the commandant to serve as the senior enlisted Marine in the entire service. Notably, the Marine Corps sergeant major and Marine gunner are the only positions that use modified rank insignia, distinct from the standard rank insignia.
Marine Corps Warrant Officer Rank
Warrant officers within the military are specialists in specific occupational fields, responsible for offering guidance and training to Marines within their respective areas of expertise. To become a warrant officer, a sergeant (E-5) or a staff non-commissioned officer (ranging from E-6 to E-9) must receive authorization from the secretary of the Navy.
Once appointed, warrant officers typically hold the rank of Chief Warrant Officer 2. They primarily serve as technical advisors, lending their specialized knowledge to support various commands and organizations within their designated sector. In the case of a chief warrant officer specializing in infantry weapons, they are also referred to as a "Marine Gunner." It's important to note that this title does not replace their rank; rather, it is an additional designation. A Marine Gunner distinguishes themselves by replacing the chief warrant officer insignia on their left collar with a bursting bomb insignia.
Marine Corps Officer Rank
Individuals who have completed their college education and have been granted an appointment in the name of the U.S. president hold the title of commissioned officers. Their commission assigns them the responsibility of overseeing Marines in their mission to safeguard the U.S. Constitution. Within the ranks of commissioned officers, there are further distinctions, including generals, field-grade officers, and company-grade officers. Notably, the Marine Corps assistant commandant and the Marine Corps commandant both hold the prestigious four-star rank.