• I know from personal experience: Denotes the Top rank of Master: Master Sergeant, Master Gunnery Sergeant. Its like calling a Chief Petty Officer 'Chief' even though there is Chief, senior chief and master chief. Just like Chief Warrant Officers 1 through 4.
  • UpperCut's response is 4-0. Dead On. To clarify a bit further, if I may.In the US Army,the rank of First Sergeant is above the rank of Sergeant First Class,below the rank of Sergeant Major,and shares the paygrade of E-8 with Master Sergeant,the rank is abbreviated as 1SG.( With me so far? Great.)1SGs are classified either to the Command Track ( First Sergeant/Command Sergeant Major) or the Staff Track (Master Sgt/Sgt Major) when they apply to a promotion board.1SGs are commonly referred to as 'Tops' due to their seniority and their position at the 'Top' of the company's enlisted ranks. Now here is a zinger.They are also often referred to as " Second Hat " in recognition that even though a company has several LTEES (Lieutenants), it is more often the 1SG that the CO ( Company Commander) will turn to when entrusting important responsibilities. Mr. Moderator,please feel free to edit this however you wish) Yours In Fellowship PJM MGySgt USMC RT PH(3) BS(V) NDSM HAVE GUN WILL TRAVEL WIRE PALADIN SAN FRANCISCO.
  • "Top Sargeant" or "Top" started in Marine and Army units that did not have "1st Sargeants". Units that didn't qualify for '1st Sargents" were usually independent Platoons and Detachments (generally the equivalent of 2 platoons). The highest ranking NCO assumed the duties of a "1st SGT." but could not be addressed as such, so, the soldiers would call him the "Top Sargeant" or "Top" as a form respect since they couldn't call him '1st Sgt.'.

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