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Staff Sergeant is a rank of non-commissioned officer used in several countries.

The origin of the name is that they were part of the staff of a British army regiment and paid at that level rather than as a member of a battalion or company.


In the Australian Army, the rank of Staff Sergeant is slowly being phased out. It was usually held by the Company Quartermaster Sergeant or the holders of other administrative roles. Staff sergeants are always addressed as "Staff Sergeant" or "Staff", never as "Sergeant" as it degrades their rank. "Chief" is another nickname, usually for those who hold the quartermaster's role. A staff sergeant ranks above Sergeant and below Warrant Officer Class 2. But the rank of Staff Sergeant is still being used by the Australian Army Cadets


In the Israel Defense Forces, soldiers are promoted from Sergeant to Staff Sergeant (Samál rishón) after 28 months of service for combat soldiers, and 32 months of service for non-combat soldiers, if they performed their duties appropriately during this time. Soldiers who take a commander's course may become staff sergeants earlier (usually after 24 months of service, or one year from becoming a commander). The rank insignia is composed of three clear-blue stripes (as is the rank of sergeant) with an embroided fig leaf, a well-known Jewish biblical motif, in the center of the rank insignia. Staff sergeants get a symbolic pay raise.

IDF Ranks Samar

For further information you may refer to Israel Defense Forces ranks.


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A Staff Sergeant (SSG) in the Singapore Armed Forces ranks above First Sergeant (1SG) and below Master Sergeant (MSG). It is the second most senior Specialist rank. Staff sergeants are addressed as "Staff Sergeant" or "Staff", but never "Sergeant".

Staff sergeants may be appointed Company Sergeant Major if they are due for promotion to Master Sergeant. In this capacity, they are expected to be addressed as "Encik" (Malay for "Mister") by holders of lesser rank. Technically speaking, this is incorrect. The term "Encik" is a defunct form of address for Warrant Officers, who are now addressed as "sir". Sergeant Majors of all ranks (corporal to staff sergeant) were addressed as "Encik" only by way of courtesy title. In fact, it is customary for all staff sergeants and master sergeants to be addressed by junior enlisted men as "Encik" even if they do not hold sergeant major appointments.

The rank insignia consists of two chevrons pointing up and three chevrons pointing down, with the Singapore coat of arms in the middle.

Singapore Armed Forces specialist ranks
NATO rank code OR-5 OR-6
RankThird sergeantSecond sergeantFirst sergeantStaff sergeantMaster sergeant

Reference: Singapore Armed Forces Ranks

In the Singapore Police Force, staff sergeants rank between Sergeant and Senior Staff Sergeant.

United KingdomEdit

In the British Army, Staff Sergeant (SSgt or formerly S/Sgt) ranks above Sergeant and below Warrant Officer Class 2. The rank is given a NATO code of OR-7. The insignia is the monarch's crown above three downward pointing chevrons.

Staff sergeants can also hold other appointments, such as Company Quartermaster Sergeant, and are usually known by that appointment if held.

The equivalent rank in infantry regiments is Colour Sergeant, and holders are known by that title no matter what their appointment.

In the Household Cavalry the equivalent rank is Staff Corporal.

British staff sergeants are never referred to or addressed as "Sergeant", which would be reducing their rank, but are referred to and addressed as "Staff Sergeant" or "Staff" ("Staff Jones", for instance) or by their appointment or its abbreviation. Quartermaster sergeants are often addressed as "Q". In most cavalry regiments, staff sergeants are addressed as "Sergeant Major", which is assumed to derive from the original rank of Troop Sergeant Major.

Flight Sergeant and Chief Technician are the Royal Air Force equivalents. Chief Petty Officer is the equivalent in the Royal Navy and Colour Sergeant in the Royal Marines.

United StatesEdit

Staff Sergeant insignia
U.S. Army

Staff Sergeant insignia
U.S. Marine Corps

Staff Sergeant insignia
U.S. Air Force

Staff Sergeant (SSG) is E-6 rank in the U.S. Army, just above Sergeant and below Sergeant First Class, and is a non-commissioned officer. Staff Sergeants are generally placed in charge of squads, but can also act as platoon sergeants in the absence of a Sergeant First Class. In support units, Staff Sergeants ordinarily hold headquarters positions due to the number of slots available for SSG in these units. Staff Sergeants are typically assigned as a squad leader or Company Operations Noncommissioned Officer in Charge at the company level, but may also hold other positions depending on the type of unit. Staff Sergeants are referred to as "Sergeant" except for in certain training environments and schools. The NATO code is OR-6.

The rank of staff sergeant in the U.S. Army (along with Technical Sergeant (renamed Sergeant First Class in 1948) and Master Sergeant) was created by Congress after the First World War.[1]

Staff Sergeant (SSgt) is E-6 rank in the U.S. Marine Corps, just above Sergeant and below Gunnery Sergeant. A Marine staff sergeant is a staff non-commissioned officer rank. This grade is normally achieved after 10 to 13 years in service. The NATO code is OR-6. In the combat arms units, a staff sergeant usually is billeted as a platoon sergeant for 30+ Marines. He may also be tasked as a company gunnery sergeant, or a platoon commander if required. He is the senior tactical advisor to a platoon commander by virtue of time in service, previous deployments, and experience and is responsible for the proficiency, training and administrative issue of his Marines. He is always to be referred to by his complete rank (i.e. "Staff Sergeant Jones" or simply "Staff Sergeant," with the abbreviation "SSgt"). It is also an insult to address a U.S. Marine by his pay grade such as "E-6", as such reference places emphasis on the paygrade instead of the title of the leadership position he or she has earned.[citation needed]

The rank of Staff Sergeant in the USMC was created in 1923 to coincide with the U.S. Army's ranks.[2] Until the end of WW2, the insignia of Platoon Sergeant was three chevrons and a rocker, with Staff Sergeant having a horizontal stripe instead of a rocker below the chevrons. After the separate rank of Platoon Sergeant was eliminated, the Staff Sergeant rank switched over to the rocker insignia and staff sergeants held the platoon sergeant's billet.

Staff Sergeant (SSgt) is E-5 in the U.S. Air Force, just above Senior Airman and below Technical Sergeant. It is the Air Force's first non-commissioned officer rank as well as the first Air Force rank to which promotion is attained on a competitive basis. Senior airmen are considered for promotion if they attain that rank on or before February 1 of that testing year. This is so that they will have a minimum of 6 months time-in-grade before the first promotion date of that testing year, however in a normal career progression one achieves this grade after 5 to 7 years in service. Staff sergeants are expected to be technically proficient and function as first-line supervisors within a workcenter. After being selected for promotion senior airmen must attend Airman Leadership School, which teaches them basic leadership and how to write performance reports. The term of address is Staff Sergeant or Sergeant.

See alsoEdit


  1. A Short History of the NCO
  2. World War II era Marine Corps enlisted ranks

External linksEdit

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