With more than 372 years of service, the Army National Guard's Noncommissioned Officer Corps has distinguished itself as the world's finest trained and most accomplished group of citizen-soldiers in the world. History has shown what this courageous and highly motivated corps of NCOs is capable of in our nation's battles. From Lexington and Concord to Buena Vista; Gettysburg and Vicksburg to San Juan Hill and the Argonne Forest; the jungles of New Guinea and beaches of Normandy to Heartbreak Ridge and Long Binh, to the current Global War on Terrorism, Army National Guard NCOs have been on the frontline defending freedom and democracy.
Base of the Noncommissioned Officer (NCO) ranks, a CPL serves as team leader of the smallest Army units. Like SGTs, they are responsible for individual training, personal appearance and cleanliness of Soldiers.
Typically commands a squad of nine to 10 Soldiers. Because SGTs oversee their Soldiers in their daily tasks, they are considered to have the greatest impact on the Soldier - SGTs set the example and the standard for Privates. Recommendation/Promotion requirements for Primary Zone: Board appearance is 34 months time in service/six months time in grade. Promotion is 36 months time in service/eight months time in grade. Requirements for Secondary Zone: board appearance is 16 months time in service/four months time in grade. Promotion is 18 months time in service/six months time in grade.
Staff Sergeant (SSG)
Also commands a squad of nine to 10 Soldiers. Often have one or more SGTs under their leadership. Responsible for developing, maintaining and utilizing the full range of his Soldiers' potential.
Recommendation/Promotion requirements for Primary Zone: Board appearance is 82 months time in service/eight months time in grade. Promotion is 84 months time in service/10 months time in grade. Requirements for Secondary Zone: board appearance is 46 months time in service/five months time in grade. Promotion is 48 months time in service/seven months time in grade.
Sergeant First Class (SFC)
Key assistant and adviser to the platoon leader. Generally has 15 years to 18 years of Army experience and puts it to use by making quick, accurate decisions in the best interests of the Soldiers and the country. Six year minimum time in service for promotion.
Primary Zone consideration averages 35+ months. Secondary Zone varies based on the needs of the Army, but usually requires a minimum of 23 months time in grade.
Master Sergeant (MSG)
Principal NCO at the battalion level and often higher. Not charged with all the leadership responsibilities of a 1SG, but expected to dispatch leadership and other duties with the same professionalism. Eight year minimum time in service for promotion.
Primary Zone consideration averages 41+ months. Secondary Zone varies based on the needs of the Army, but usually requires a minimum of 30 months time in grade.
First Sergeant (1SG)
Principal NCO and life blood of the company. Provider, disciplinarian and wise counselor. Instructs other SGTs, advises the Commander and helps train all enlisted Soldiers. Assists Officers at the company level - 62 to 190 Soldiers.
Sergeant Major (SGM)
SGM experience and abilities are equal to that of the CSM, but the sphere of influence regarding leadership is generally limited to those directly under his charge. Assists Officers at the battalion level - 300 to 1,000 Soldiers. Minimum 10 years time in service for promotion.
Primary Zone consideration historically is 34+ months time in grade. Soldiers competing for SFC, MSG or SGM cannot be within one year of their Retention Control Point. Secondary Zone consideration varies based on the needs of the Army and usually requires a minimum of 24 months time in grade.
Command Sergeant Major (CSM)
Functioning without supervision, a CSM's counsel is expected to be calm, settled and accurate with unflagging enthusiasm. Supplies recommendations to the Commander and staff, and carries out policies and standards on the performance, training, appearance and conduct of enlisted personnel. Assists Officers at the brigade level - 3,000 to 5,000 Soldiers.