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Face to face

A Colour Sergeant of the Coldstream Guards (right) speaking to a Lance-Sergeant (left).

Colour Sergeant (CSgt or formerly C/Sgt) is a non-commissioned title in the Royal Marines and infantry regiments of the British Army, ranking above Sergeant and below Warrant Officer Class 2. It has a NATO ranking code of OR-7 and is officially the rank of Staff Sergeant as found in other corps of the British Army, Flight Sergeant or Chief Technician in the Royal Air Force, and Chief Petty Officer in the Royal Navy. The insignia is the monarch's crown above three upward pointing chevrons.

The rank was introduced into the British Army during the Napoleonic Wars to reward long-serving sergeants. By World War I it had given way to Company Sergeant Major and Company Quartermaster Sergeant, but it was later reintroduced.

Historically, Colour Sergeants of British line regiments protected Ensigns, the most junior officers who were responsible for carrying their battalions' Colours (flag or insignia) to rally troops in battles. For this reason the Colour Sergeant rank was considered a prestigious one given normally to courageous Sergeants who had attained accomplishments in battles. This tradition continues today as Colour Sergeants form part of a Colour Party in military parades.

Colour Sergeants are referred to and addressed as "Colour Sergeant" or "Colour" ("Colour Sergeant Bloggs" or "Colour Bloggs", for instance), never as "Sergeant". Unusually, NCOs with the rank of Colour Sergeant who hold the appointment of Company Quartermaster Sergeant are still addressed and referred to by their rank, not their appointment.

During ceremonial events it is from the Colour Sergeant that the Ensign collects the Colour of the Battalion or Regiment.

Canadian usageEdit

Colour Sergeant is also a rank in the foot guards regiments of the Canadian Forces, specifically the Governor General's Foot Guards and the Canadian Grenadier Guards. It is the equivalent to Warrant Officer; a Colour Sergeant wears the rank insignia of a Warrant Officer (a royal crown) on all uniforms except No. 1 Ceremonial Dress, on which a special rank badge is worn: three chevrons, point down, surmounted by an image of regimental colours.

They are addressed as their British counterparts are.

See alsoEdit

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