Corporal is a military rank in use in some form by many militaries and by some police forces or other uniformed organizations. Within NATO, each member nation's corresponding military rank of corporal is combined under the NATO-standard rank scale code OR-3 or OR-4. However, there are often differences in how each nation (or service in each nation) employs corporals. Some militaries don't have corporals, but may instead have a Junior Sergeant.

In some militaries, the rank of corporal nominally corresponds to commanding a section or squad of soldiers. However, in the United States Army, the rank of corporal is considered a "lateral promotion" from E-4 Specialist and usually only occurs when the soldier has been selected by a promotion board to become an E-5 Sergeant and is serving in an E-5 billet such as a fireteam leader in a rifle squad. The lateral promotion is used to make the soldier a non-commissioned officer without changing the soldier's pay. As the Table of Organization & Equipment (TO&E) rank of a fire team leader is sergeant and that of squad leader is staff sergeant. In the United States Marine Corps, corporal is the Table of Organization (TO) rank for a rifle fire team leader, machine gun team leader, light mortar squad leader, and assault weapon squad leader, as well as gunner on most larger crew served weapons (i.e. medium mortars, heavy machine guns, and anti-tank missiles), armored vehicles (e.g. tanks, light armored vehicles, and armored assault vehicles), and the two assistant gunners on a howitzer (the gunner is a sergeant).

In most countries that derive their military structure from the British military system, corporal is a more senior rank than that of private. However, in several other countries, such as Canada, Italy and Norway, corporal is a junior rank, indicating a more experienced soldier than a private, and also on a higher pay scale, but having no particular command appointment corresponding to the rank, similar to specialist in the U.S. Army.


The word is derived from the medieval Italian phrase capo corporale ("head of a body").[1] It may also be derived from an appointment as an officer's bodyguard, originally being an adjective pertaining to the word "body".


All three branches of the Armed Forces of the Argentine Republic use two or three ranks of corporal, or cabo. Corporals in the Argentine military are considered suboficiales subalternos (subaltern sub-officers/lower non-commissioned officers), superior only to all ranks of Volunteers (enlisted members of the Army and Air Force) and Seamen (enlisted members of the Navy).

In the Argentine Army, there are two ranks of corporal, junior and senior: Cabo ("corporal") and cabo primero ("first corporal").

While the Argentine Navy has three corporal ranks, from junior to senior: Cabo segundo (corporal second class), Cabo primero (corporal first class) and cabo principal (principal corporal), which is equal to the army rank of sargento (sergeant). The Air Force has the same number of corporal ranks as the navy, and keeps the same titles, with the exception of cabo (corporal) instead of the navy's cabo segundo (corporal second class).

The rank is also used by the Argentine National Gendarmerie and the Argentine Federal Police, which use the rank in the same manner as the Army, as well as the Argentine Naval Prefecture.


Corporal is the second lowest of the non-commissioned officer ranks in the Australian Army, falling between lance-corporal and sergeant. A corporal is usually appointed as a section commander, and is in charge of 7-14 soldiers of private rank. They are assisted by a second-in-command, usually a lance-corporal or senior private. A Corporal within Artillery is known as a bombardier. Corporal is also a rank of the Royal Australian Air Force, being equal to both the Australian Army and Royal Air Force rank of corporal.


The branches of the Belgian Armed Forces use three ranks of corporal: corporal (Dutch: korporaal, French: caporal), master corporal (Dutch: korporaal-chef, French: caporal-chef) and 1st master corporal (Dutch: 1ste korporaal-chef, French: 1e caporal-chef). Corporal is equivalent to NATO Rank Code OR-3, whereas master corporal and 1st master corporal are equivalent to OR-4. The rank immediately below corporal is 1st private and the rank directly above 1st master corporal is sergeant.

Units with a cavalry, artily or Logistic Corps (Transport unit) tradition replace Corporal by “Brigadier”.

The equivalent of these ranks in the Naval Component are quartermaster, chief quartermaster and 1st chief quartermaster.


Corporal (in Portuguese cabo) is the first NCO rank of the Army, Navy, Air Force and states military police forces. Soldiers who successfully complete the corporal course may be promoted to the rank of corporal should they excel in the course. A corporal in the Brazilian Army will lead the smallest fractions of units as machine gun squads, mortar and infantry squads.



Corporal is an Army and Air Force non-commissioned member rank of the Canadian Forces. Its Naval equivalent is leading seaman. It is senior to the rank of private and its naval equivalent able seaman, and junior to master corporal (caporal-chef) and its equivalent master seaman (matelot-chef). It is part of the cadre of junior non-commissioned officers, and one of the junior ranks. In French, the rank is caporal.

The rank insignia of a corporal is a two-bar chevron, point down, worn in gold thread on both upper sleeves of the service dress jacket; in rifle green (army) or dark blue (air force) thread on CADPAT slip-ons for operational dress; in old gold thread on blue slip-ons on other air force uniforms; and in gold metal and green enamel miniature pins on the collars of the army dress shirt and outerwear coats. On army ceremonial uniforms, it is usually rendered in gold braid (black for rifle regiments), on either both sleeves, or just the right, depending on unit custom.

Corporal is the first non-commissioned officer rank, and the lowest rank officially empowered to issue a lawful command. Corporals can lead troops if they have the formal qualifications to be promoted to master corporal but have not been promoted yet. However, the rank of corporal was severely downgraded after Unification, along with the attendant responsibilities. A corporal in the Canadian Army in 1967 had the same duties and responsibilities that a sergeant has today. In an infantry section, a corporal will sometimes command an assault team if a master corporal is leading the section or they are pending promotion to master corporal.

Another effect of Unification was to delete the appointments of lance-corporal and lance-sergeant (a corporal holding the acting rank of sergeant). The former is still common in other Commonwealth militaries.

Corporal is deemed to be the substantive rank of the members carrying the appointment of master corporal. On pay documents, corporal was formerly listed as "Cpl (A)" and master corporal as "Cpl (B)".

The rank of corporal in artillery units follows the British convention and is styled bombardier — thus a master corporal is a master bombardier.

In rifle regiments, a distinction was historically drawn between a corporal and an acting corporal; The Queen's Own Rifles of Canada had a special insignia to distinguish between the two.


In the Army, Navy, Air Force and Police, there are three grades of Corporal: Corporal, Corporal 2nd. and Corporal 1st. The next level is Sergeant 2nd. grade.

People's Republic of China

PLA Corporal epaulet

Corporal (Chinese: 下士, literally junior NCO) is the lowest among the ranks of the non-commissioned officer of the People's Liberation Army. This rank was once replaced by the rank "level one non-commissioned officer" (Chinese:一级士官, 1998–2009), but was re-introduced in 2009.


In the Danish military, the rank of corporal (korporal in Danish) is the lowest rank of the NCO group. Professional (non-conscripted) soldiers, often those with the rank of "overkonstabel" (somewhat similar to "specialist" in the U.S. Army) may sometimes get selected for the rank of corporal, if they have unique experience or skills. This can't be given as a battlefield appointment and the aspiring corporal has to take a course in order to be promoted (6 weeks in the Army, 3 weeks in the Airforce and Navy). A corporal will often be given a task similar to that of other countries corporals; i.e. ad hoc assistance of squad-commanders. In the homeguard, a private can after completing a 10-day course get promoted to the rank of corporal and function as second in command of an infantry squad. The rank of corporal was phased out but was reintroduced into the Danish Army in October 2008.[2][3]


In the Estonian Defence Forces, the rank of corporal (kapral in Estonian) is not an NCO rank, but an enlisted one and is equivalent to NATO Rank Code OR-2.


Insignia of alikersantti

Alikersantti is an OR-4 rank and the lowest NCO rank of the Finnish Defence Forces. Alikersantti carries two-chevron rank insignia. In translations from English to Finnish, the corporal rank is often mistranslated as lance corporal, which is called korpraali in Finnish. In direct translation, the rank name basically means "junior sergeant" or "sub-sergeant". Typical duties of alikersantti are leading the squad or being second-in-command of the squad.


There are three ranks of corporal (caporal in French). In the French Army, these are not NCO ranks, but enlisted ones. The corporals are called "ranked" (gradés). NCO start at the rank of sergent (OR-5).

Caporal-chef de première classe
Insigia - first class staff corporal
  • "Corporal" (caporal) is a NATO OR-3 level rank. The insignia is two chevrons of wool (vs. the two gold chevrons of a sergeant).
  • "Master corporal" (caporal-chef) is OR-4. The insignia is two chevrons of wool plus a gold chevron.
  • "First class master corporal" (caporal-chef de première classe) is intermediate between OR-4 and OR-5. The insignia is one red chevron and two gold chevrons.

With the exception of Troupes de Marine, which uses caporaux whether the men are infantry, cavalry or artillery, regiments with a cavalry tradition use brigadier.


Dienstgrad Bundeswehr Heer 051 Oberstabsgefreiter
Dienstgrad Bundeswehr Heer 041 Stabsgefreiter


Historically, the German army rank of Unteroffizier[4] was the traditional German equivalent to the British Army corporal rank, and this grade has existed as a military rank since at least the 18th century. The German ranks of Gefreiter and Obergefreiter are sometimes considered to be equivalent to a corporal rank in the US and other armies. The deputy to an Unteroffizier usually held the rank of Obergefreiter or Gefreiter (but others in the gruppe—squad/section—could as well) and as such is comparable to a British Army or Royal Marine lance corporal.[4][5][6] Gefreiter and Obergefreiter ranks are based on experience and not on positions. The additional German rank of Obergefreiter was historically considered a senior lance corporal otherwise second corporal in the foot artillery which replaced the bombardier rank.

In modern-day Bundeswehr usage, the German rank of Unteroffizier is classified as OR-5 within the combined NATO-standard rank scale and is considered to be more a US sergeant rank than that of a corporal, with Oberstabsgefreiter and Stabsgefreiter now considered the equivalent ranks to the corporal (OR-4). The British Army does not use OR 5 and considers sergeants to be OR-6.

In the years between 1934 and 1945, there was also a corresponding paramilitary Schutzstaffel (SS) rank grade of Unterscharführer, it was considered equivalent to a Germany Army Unteroffizier rank.

SS Unterscharführer-MP

Shoulder strap


Gorget patches Unterscharführer of the Waffen-SS

UO Cam Slv

Military camouflage Unterscharführer of the Waffen-SS

India and Pakistan

These ranks are still used in the Indian Air Force and Pakistan Air Force. it is a rank given to an airman who is senior to leading aircraftsman but junior to a sergeant. A corporal is designated as a Non-Commissioned Officer in the Indian Air Force.


In the Indonesian Military, the rank "Corporal" is known as Kopral. In Indonesia, "Corporal" has three levels, which are: Second Corporal (Lance Corporal), First Corporal (Corporal), and Master Corporal. After this rank, the rank: Sergeant is promoted.

Kopda pdh ad

Second Corporal/Lance Corporal

Koptu pdh ad

First Corporal/Corporal

Kopka pdh ad

Master Corporal


Corporal (in Persian سرجوخه Sarjukhe) is one of the lower ranks of the Islamic Republic of Iran Army. A sarjukhe is usually responsible for four or five soldiers.


Irish Army corporal's subdued rank slider

Corporal (ceannaire in Irish) is the lowest rank of non-commissioned officer within the Irish Army and Air Corps. The Naval Service equivalent is leading seaman.


The main role of an infantry corporal is either to command a section as the section commander or to command the fire support group as the second in command of the section. All corporals are qualified instructors on drill, section weapons, and fieldcraft.

In the Artillery Corps, the corporal is normally assigned to a gun detachment as a layer, or a detachment commander. Artillery corporals can also find themselves in charge of the battery signals section.

The army rank insignia consists of two winged chevrons (or "stripes"), the dress uniform being red chevrons with a yellow border.

Air Corps

Before 1994, the Air Corps was considered part of the army and wore army uniforms with distinct corps badges but the same rank insignia. With the introduction of a unique Air Corps blue uniform in 1994, the same rank markings in a white colour were worn, before the introduction of a new two-chevron badge with wing rank marking.


For further information, you may refer to Israel Defense Forces ranks.
IDF Rank: רב טוראי Rav turai (Rabat)

In the Israel Defense Forces, soldiers are promoted from private to corporal (rav-turai' 'רב טוראי or rabat' 'רב״ט) after 7–10 months of service (7 for combatants, 8 for combat support and 10 for non-combatants), if they performed their duties appropriately during this time. Soldiers who take a commander's course, are prisoner instructors or practical engineers become corporals earlier. Corporals get a symbolic pay raise of 3.60 NIS and those who are also non-commissioned officers (mashak) are able to command privates in their respective units.

A corporal may be promoted to sergeant about 11 or 12 months after becoming a corporal, or to the rank of second lieutenant if they complete an officer's course.


Rank insignia of caporale of the Army of Italy (1973)
Rank insignia of caporale paracadutista of the Army of Italy (1973)

A soldier can be promoted from private (soldato) to corporal rank (caporale) after 3 months of service.[7] The title was use as a senior office in the Italian Kingdom during World War II.


Corporal (in Spanish "cabo") is one of the lower ranks of the Mexican army.

New Zealand

The New Zealand Defence Force awards the corporal rank to soldiers or airmen after 6 or 7 years of service. There is substantial responsibility on the part of a corporal in the New Zealand Army and Royal New Zealand Air Force. They usually command a small team and work closely with their sergeants. A pay increase is also given.

Like their British, Canadian and Australian counterparts, they wear two chevrons to distinguish their rank.

Corporals have what is termed 'power of arrest', and is impressed on recruits in RNZAF basic training. Basically, this power means that any airman or private disobeying or ignoring an order from a corporal will be subject to military arrest by that individual. Needless to say, power of arrest is used by higher ranks to enforce their orders, corporal in the RNZAF being the lowest rank with this power.


In the Norwegian Armed Forces, promotion to the rank of korporal is an acknowledgement for good service by conscripted personnel. The rank does give some commanding authority, and corporals may be given increased informal responsibilities by senior officers and non-commissioned officers. The rank carries two chevrons and a slight pay increase.

All conscripted personnel in the military police are awarded the rank after the five month learning period is over.


Shoulder strap of a kapral in the Polish Army.

In the Polish Land Forces, the rank of kapral is the lowest rank in the NCO corps (OR-3 in NATO code). Most commonly the rank is held by a NCO commanding an infantry squad, tank or gun crew, or a similar unit. The equivalent rank in the Polish Navy is mat.

As with many other military ranks, direct comparison between various armies might be misleading. Before World War II, the Polish Army's kapral was more or less equivalent to the British rank of lance corporal, while the British rank of corporal was named plutonowy (lit. platooner). In modern times, the rank is still equivalent to a UK lance corporal or a private first class in the U.S. Army (OR-3), while the British and American rank of corporal (OR-4) is equivalent to the Polish rank of starszy kapral (lit. "senior corporal"), which was introduced in 1971.

Historically, the rank was first introduced in Poland in the 17th century, together with mercenary troops of Italian origin. In foreign troops on the royal payroll, a kapral commanded four ranks of musketeers or part of a company of pikemen. In the 20th century, between the world wars, the rank of corporal was held by both conscripted NCOs and professional soldiers alike. This was changed after World War II, when the Polish Army was under Soviet command and the rank of kapral was modified to resemble that of Soviet junior sergeant, reserved for conscripted NCOs. In the modern Polish Army, the rank is exclusively reserved for professional soldiers.

The insignia of kapral (worn on shoulder straps or badge above breast pocket) are two bars.


The Portuguese Navy has the rank of cabo da Armada (corporal of the Navy). All other branches of the Portuguese Armed Forces have several ranks of corporal (cabo in Portuguese). The Portuguese Army and the Portuguese Air Force have the ranks of segundo cabo (second corporal), primeiro cabo (first corporal) and cabo-adjunto (corporal adjudant). The National Republican Guard has the ranks of cabo (corporal), cabo-chefe (chief corporal) and cabo-mor (corporal-major).

The several ranks of corporal correspond to the several pay grades, above that of private, that can be reached inside the enlisted rank professional category of the Army, the Air Force and the National Republican Guard. In the Navy, the rank of cabo da Armada is the highest pay grade in the enlisted rank category.


The rank of corporal (Russian: капрал) existed in the Russian Army from 1647 to 1798, when it was replaced with that of non-commissioned officer (Russian: унтер-офицер, from German: unteroffizier, literally "sub-officer"). Soviet and modern Russian armies have the rank of junior sergeant (Russian: младший сержант) that is not equivalent to the rank of corporal, as junior sergeants are assigned as squad leaders.


Singapore Armed Forces

Singapore Armed Forces' Corporal Insignia

Corporal in the Singapore Armed Forces lies between lance corporal and corporal first class.[8] National Servicemen are usually promoted to this rank within the 2nd year of their service.

Prior to the mid-1990s, the SAF followed the British model where corporals were non-commissioned officers often holding the appointment of section leader. Today, a corporal is not a specialist (NCO-equivalent). Corporals are usually given higher responsibilities/ appointments as a section 2IC, or 2nd-in-command.[9]

The rank insignia of a SAF corporal is two chevrons pointing downwards with an arc on top.

Insignia No
Army-SGP-OR-2 Army-SGP-OR-3 Army-SGP-OR-4a Army-SGP-OR-4b
Rank Recruit Private Private
first class
Corporal Corporal
first class

Home Team

In the Singapore Police Force, Singapore Civil Defence Force, Singapore Prison Service, Immigration and Checkpoints Authority and Singapore Customs, a corporal is a rank below sergeant.

The rank insignia for a corporal (中士) is two chevrons pointing downwards.

Uniformed youth organisations

For the National Cadet Corps (NCC), the rank of Corporal is below the rank of Third Sergeant[10], and above the rank of Lance Corporal. For the National Police Cadet Corps (NPCC) and the National Civil Defence Cadet Corps (NCDCC), the rank of Corporal is below the rank of Sergeant, and above the rank of Lance Corporal. [11][12]

For NCC, the rank insignia is same as that of an SAF CPL, except that the letters 'NCC' are below the insignia, so as to differentiate NCC cadets from SAF personnel. As for NPCC and NCDCC, the rank insignia is two pointed-down chevrons with the letters 'NPCC' and 'NCDCC' below the insignia, so as to differentiate NPCC and NCDCC cadets from Singapore Police Force and Singapore Civil Defence Force personnel, respectively.

The rank of Corporal is generally awarded to cadets in Secondary Two, or Secondary Three. Corporals, after being appointed, are given training to command a squad.


In the Spanish Armed Forces, cabo (corporal) is the rank between soldado de primera (first class private) and cabo primero (first corporal). It actually equates to a NATO OR-3, with cabo primero equating to an OR-4 and cabo mayor to an OR-5.


Spanish Army Cabo insignia.


Spanish Navy Cabo insignia.


Spanish Navy Marines Cabo insignia.


Spanish Air Force Cabo insignia.


Civil Guard Cabo insignia.


Air force

In the Swedish Army, Navy and Air Force, the rank of korpral is a rank for soldiers with a specialization, and often in charge of a group six to ten men.

Taiwan (Republic of China)

Air Force

Corporal (Chinese: 下士, literally junior NCO) is the lowest among the ranks of the non-commissioned officer of the Taiwan Army, Marines, Air Force and Military Police. The rank wears an insignia with a broad chevron along with a narrow one, representing the NCO character and the juniority of the rank, respectively.


Onbaşı insignia

In Turkey, the rank of Onbaşı (Corporal) is above the rank of the private. Onbaşı literally translated to "Head of 10"


Air force

Since 2015, the Corporal (Ukrainian: Капрал, translit. Kapral), a OR4-rank, was introduced in the National Police of Ukraine, that is a special rank of junior quarterdeck. It corresponds to former junior sergeant of militia.

See also

United Kingdom

OR4 RAF Corporal
RAF corporal insignia.
RAF corporal as it appears on dress uniform.

The rank of corporal, which falls between lance-corporal and sergeant is used by the British Army, Royal Marines, and Royal Air Force. A corporal is often regarded as a slightly more senior rank in the UK services than in other countries: although British corporals are classified as OR-4 under the NATO system, they usually fill posts held by an OR-5 equivalent in other countries, such as section leader.

The badge of rank is a two-bar chevron (also known as "stripes", "tapes", or "hooks"). A corporal's role varies between regiments; but, in the standard infantry role, a corporal commands a section, with a lance-corporal as second-in-command (2ic). When the section is split into fire teams, they command one each. In the Royal Armoured Corps, a corporal commands an individual tank. Their duties therefore largely correspond to those of staff sergeants in the United States Army and corporals are often described as the "backbone" of the British Army.

In the Household Cavalry, all non-commissioned ranks are designated as different grades of corporal up to regimental corporal major (who is a warrant officer class 1). There is no effective actual rank of corporal, however, and the ranks progress directly from lance-corporal to lance-corporal of horse (who is effectively equivalent to a corporal; technically, a lance-corporal of horse holds the rank of corporal but is automatically give the appointment of lance-corporal of horse). Similarly, in the Foot Guards and in the Honourable Artillery Company, every Corporal is appointed as a lance-sergeant meaning they wear three chevrons rather than the regular two, with a lance-corporal wearing two chevrons instead of one: this is sometimes said to have originated with Queen Victoria who did not like "her own guardsmen" having only one chevron.

Royal Artillery corporals are called bombardiers; although, until 1920, the Royal Artillery had corporals and bombardier was a lower rank. The rank of second corporal existed in the Royal Engineers and Royal Army Ordnance Corps until 1920.

A common nickname for a corporal is a "full screw", with lance-corporals being known as "lance-jacks".

Corporal is the lowest NCO rank in the Royal Air Force (aside from the RAF Regiment who have lance-corporals), coming between junior technician or Senior aircraftman technician and sergeant in the technical trades, or senior aircraftman and sergeant in the non technical trades. Between 1950 and 1964, corporals in technical trades were known as "corporal technicians" and wore their chevrons point up.

In the Royal Navy, the equivalent to corporal is leading hand or leading rate. Although classified as NATO OR-4, British corporals frequently fill OR-5 equivalent posts.

The Army Cadet Force, Combined Cadet Force, Air Training Corps, Royal Marines sections of the Sea Cadet Corps and the Combined Cadet Force all have the rank of corporal, reflecting the structure of their parent service; therefore it is the second NCO rank of the ACF, CCF (including the RAF Section, which has the rank of lance corporal) and marine cadets, and the first NCO rank in the ATC.

United States

United States Army

U.S. Army corporal's sleeve insignia
U.S. Army corporal's shoulder insignia
U.S. Army corporal's cap and chest insignia

In the U.S. Army, corporal is preceded by the first three forms of private and the rank of specialist.[13] A corporal rank (hard stripe) shares the same pay grade (E-4) as a specialist. Unlike a specialist, however, a corporal is a non-commissioned officer and may direct the activities of other soldiers.[14]

United States Marine Corps


Corporal is the fourth enlisted rank in the U.S. Marine Corps,[15] ranking immediately above lance corporal and immediately below sergeant. The Marine Corps, unlike the Army, has no other rank at the pay grade of E-4. Corporal is the lowest grade of non-commissioned officer in the U.S. Marine Corps, though promotion to corporal traditionally confers a significant jump in authority and responsibility compared to promotion from private through lance corporal. Marine infantry corporals generally serve as "fire-team leaders", leading a four-man team or weapons crew of similar size (e.g., assault weapons squad, medium machine gun team, or LWCMS mortar squad).

In practice, however, the billet of fire team leader is generally held by a lance corporal, while corporals serve in the squad leader billet that would normally be held by a sergeant (E-5) in infantry units. In support units, corporals generally serve in "journeyman" level roles in which they direct the activities of junior Marines and provide technical supervision, on a very limited scope, under the direct supervision of a sergeant or SNCO.

Due to its emphasis on small-unit tactics, its infantry-centric ethos, and its tradition of empowering junior NCOs to exercise first-level leadership, the U.S. Marine Corps' Tables of Organization (TOs) usually places corporals (as well as sergeants and staff sergeants) in billets where other services would normally have higher ranking NCOs in authority. For example, the USMC Table of Organization "billet" rank for rifle fire team leader, rifle squad leader, and rifle platoon sergeant is corporal (E-4), sergeant (E-5), and staff sergeant (E-6), respectively. However, the same positions (Table of Organization and Equipment "slots") in US Army infantry units are one grade higher and, except in fire teams (both services with four men in each team), the equivalent Army units are smaller (viz., USMC rifle squad and rifle platoon - 13 men and 43 men, respectively, vice US Army rifle squad and rifle platoon - 9 men and 34 men, respectively). Specifically, for the Army rifle units, the rank of the fire team, squad leader, and platoon sergeant are: sergeant (E-5), staff sergeant (E-6), and sergeant first class (E-7), respectively.[16] Similarly, the term "strategic corporal" refers to the special responsibilities conferred upon a Marine corporal over against the normal responsibilities, and usual authority, of service members in the grade of E-4 in the other branches of the U.S. Armed Forces.[17]

Until the mid-to-late 1980s, corporals were the lowest USMC rank eligible for selection as a drill instructor for USMC recruit training.

The history of the rank of corporal in the USMC roughly parallels that of the U.S. Army until 1942. From 1775 until WWII, the Marine Corps used essentially the same rank and organizational structure as its common British and colonial forebears with the Army, as well as the later Continental and U.S. armies. In 1942, as the Army modified its triangular division infantry organization to best fight in the European/North African/Middle Eastern Theatre the Marine Corps began modifying the triangular division plan to best employ its amphibious warfare doctrine in the Pacific Theatre. This meant that for the Corps, squad leaders would remain as sergeants and that the rifle squad would be sub-divided into three four-man fire teams each led by a corporal.


In the Vietnam People's Army, corporal (Hạ sĩ) is the lowest rank in non-commissioned officer. Corporal is below sergeant and above private 2nd class.

Corporal in navies

In some navies, a "ship's corporal" is a position used in place of a leading seaman.

See also


  1. ^ "Define 'corporal'". 2011. Archived from the original on 24 May 2011. Retrieved 27 May 2011.
  2. ^ "Training to corporal" (in Danish). Royal Danish Army. 1 September 2008. Archived from the original on 7 June 2011. Retrieved 28 May 2011.
  3. ^ "Korporalen ready to fight" (in Danish). Royal Danish Army. Archived from the original on 17 July 2011. Retrieved 28 May 2011.
  4. ^ a b Duden; Origin and meaning of "Korporal", in German. [1] Archived 13 February 2013 at the Wayback Machine
  5. ^ Duden; Definition of Gefreiter, in German. [2] Archived 20 April 2013 at the Wayback Machine
  6. ^ "Gefreiter" - Allgemeine Encyclopädie der Wissenschaften und Künste, Erste Section, A-G, (Universal Encyclopaedia of the Sciences and Arts, First Section, A-G), Author: Johann Samuel Ersch and Johann Gottfried Gruber, Publisher: F. A. Brockhaus, Leipzig, 1852, Page 471-472, in German. [3]
  7. ^ "The Career" (in Italian). Italian Army. 2011. Archived from the original on 6 June 2011. Retrieved 28 May 2011.
  8. ^ "SAF Military Ranks - Enlistees". Archived from the original on 27 September 2016. Retrieved 7 November 2012.
  9. ^ "The Singapore Army - Home". 29 December 2004. Archived from the original on 2 February 2017. Retrieved 14 March 2017.
  10. ^ "NCC Ranks and Badges". Anglo Chinese School (Independent). Archived from the original on 20 November 2018. Retrieved 20 November 2018.
  11. ^ "National Police Cadet Corps". Archived from the original on 20 November 2018. Retrieved 20 November 2018.
  12. ^ "National Civil Defence Cadet Corps (NCDCC) / National Civil Defence Cadet Corps (NCDCC)". Archived from the original on 20 November 2018. Retrieved 20 November 2018.
  13. ^ "U.S. Army Ranks". U.S. Army. 2011. Archived from the original on 29 May 2011. Retrieved 28 May 2011.
  14. ^ Torbush, Alicia (12 March 2009). "Corporal: Stepping into the world of NCOs". U.S. Army. Archived from the original on 10 October 2012. Retrieved 28 May 2011.
  15. ^ "Enlisted Rank Insignia". U.S. Department of Defense. 2011. Archived from the original on 28 May 2011. Retrieved 28 May 2011.
  16. ^ USMC Table of Organization, TO 1013G: Rifle Company, Infantry Battalion, Infantry Regiment and US Army Table of Organization and Equipment, TOE 07015C000: Rifle Company, Infantry Battalion (Light), Light Infantry Division
  17. ^ Charles C. Krulak (January 1999). "The Strategic Corporal: Leadership in the Three Block War". Marines Magazine. Archived from the original on 21 October 2016. Retrieved 24 October 2016.

External links

British Army other ranks rank insignia

The term used to refer to all ranks below officers is "other ranks" (abbreviated "ORs"). It includes warrant officers, non-commissioned officers ("NCOs") and ordinary soldiers with the rank of private or regimental equivalent. Officers may, in speaking, distinguish themselves from those "in the ranks".


Caning is a form of corporal punishment consisting of a number of hits (known as "strokes" or "cuts") with a single cane usually made of rattan, generally applied to the offender's bare or clothed buttocks (see spanking) or hand(s) (on the palm). Caning on the knuckles or shoulders is much less common. Caning can also be applied to the soles of the feet (foot whipping or bastinado). The size and flexibility of the cane and the mode of application, as well as the number of the strokes, vary greatly — from a couple of light strokes with a small cane across the seat of a junior schoolboy's trousers, to 24 very hard, wounding cuts on the bare buttocks with a large, heavy, soaked rattan as a judicial punishment in some Southeast Asian countries.

The thin cane generally used for corporal punishment is not to be confused with a walking stick, sometimes also called a cane (especially in American English), but which is thicker and much more rigid, and more likely to be made of stronger wood than of cane.

Comparative air force enlisted ranks of the Commonwealth

Rank comparison chart of air forces of Commonwealth of Nations states.

Comparative army enlisted ranks of Africa

Rank comparison chart of enlisted rank for armies/ land forces of African states.

Comparative army enlisted ranks of the Commonwealth

Rank comparison chart of armies/ land forces of Commonwealth of Nations states.

Corporal punishment

Corporal punishment or physical punishment is a punishment intended to cause physical pain on a person. It is most often practised on minors, especially in home and school settings. Common methods include spanking or paddling. It has also historically been used on adults, particularly on prisoners and enslaved people. Other common methods include flagellation and caning.

Official punishment for crime by inflicting pain or injury, including flogging, branding and even mutilation, was practised in most civilizations since ancient times. However, with the growth of humanitarian ideals since the Enlightenment, such punishments were increasingly viewed as inhumane. By the late 20th century, corporal punishment had been eliminated from the legal systems of most developed countries.The legality in the 21st century of corporal punishment in various settings differs by jurisdiction. Internationally, the late 20th century and early 21st century saw the application of human rights law to the question of corporal punishment in a number of contexts:

Corporal punishment in the home, punishment of children or teenagers by parents or other adult guardians, is legal in most of the world. 58 countries, most of them in Europe and Latin America, have banned the practice as of 2018.

School corporal punishment, of students by teachers or school administrators, has been banned in many countries, including Canada, Kenya, South Africa, New Zealand and all of Europe. It remains legal, if increasingly less common, in some states of the United States.

Judicial corporal punishment, as part of a criminal sentence ordered by a court of law, has long disappeared from European countries. However, as of November 2017, it remains lawful in parts of Africa, Asia, the Anglophone Caribbean and indigenous communities of Ecuador and Colombia. Closely related is prison corporal punishment or disciplinary corporal punishment, ordered by prison authorities or carried out directly by staff. Corporal punishment is also allowed in some military settings in a few jurisdictions.Other uses of corporal punishment have existed, for instance, as once practised on apprentices by their masters. In many Western countries, medical and human-rights organizations oppose corporal punishment of children. Campaigns against corporal punishment have aimed to bring about legal reform to ban the use of corporal punishment against minors in homes and schools.

Corporal punishment in the home

Physical or corporal punishment by a parent or other legal guardian is any act causing deliberate physical pain or discomfort to a minor child in response to some undesired behavior. It typically takes the form of spanking or slapping the child with an open hand or striking with an implement such as a belt, slipper, cane, hairbrush or paddle, and can also include shaking, pinching, forced ingestion of substances, or forcing children to stay in uncomfortable positions.

Social acceptance of corporal punishment is high in countries where it remains lawful, particularly among more traditional groups. In many cultures, parents have historically been regarded as having the right, if not the duty, to physically punish misbehaving children in order to teach appropriate behavior. Researchers, on the other hand, point out that corporal punishment typically has the opposite effect, leading to more aggressive behavior in children and less long-term obedience. Other adverse effects, such as depression, anxiety, anti-social behavior and increased risk of physical abuse, have also been linked to the use of corporal punishment by parents. Evidence shows that spanking and other physical punishments, while nominally for the purpose of child discipline, are inconsistently applied, often being used when parents are angry or under stress. Severe forms of corporal punishment, including kicking, biting, scalding and burning, can also constitute unlawful child abuse.

International human-rights and treaty bodies such as the Committee on the Rights of the Child, the Council of Europe and the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights have advocated an end to all forms of corporal punishment, arguing that it violates children's dignity and right to bodily integrity. Many existing laws against battery, assault, and/or child abuse make exceptions for "reasonable" physical punishment by parents, a defence rooted in common law and specifically English law. During the late 20th and into the 21st century, some countries began removing legal defences for adult guardians' use of corporal punishment, followed by outright bans on the practice. Most of these bans are part of civil law and therefore do not impose criminal penalties unless a charge of assault and/or battery is justified. Since Sweden outlawed all corporal punishment of children in 1979, an increasing number of countries have enacted similar bans, particularly following international adoption of the Convention on the Rights of the Child. However, domestic corporal punishment of children remains legal in most of the world.

Lance corporal

Lance corporal is a military rank, used by many armed forces worldwide, and also by some police forces and other uniformed organisations. It is below the rank of corporal, and is typically the lowest non-commissioned officer, usually equivalent to the NATO Rank Grade OR3.

List of M*A*S*H characters

This is a list of characters from the M*A*S*H franchise, covering the various fictional characters appearing in the novel MASH: A Novel About Three Army Doctors and its sequels, the 1970 film adaptation of the novel, and the television series M*A*S*H, AfterMASH, W*A*L*T*E*R, and Trapper John, M.D..

M*A*S*H is a popular media franchise revolving around the staff of the 4077th Mobile Army Surgical Hospital as they attempt to maintain sanity during the harshness of the Korean War.


M*A*S*H is an American media franchise consisting of a series of novels, a film, several television series, plays, and other properties, owned by 20th Century Fox and based on the semi-autobiographic fiction of Richard Hooker.

The franchise depicts a group of fictional characters who served at the fictional "4077th Mobile Army Surgical Hospital (M*A*S*H)" during the Korean War, loosely based on the historic 8055th MASH unit. Hawkeye Pierce is featured as the main character, played by Donald Sutherland in the film and by Alan Alda on television. Later spin-offs involve characters who appeared in the series, but were set after the end of the war. Almost all versions of the series fit into the genre of black comedy or dramedy; the lead characters were doctors or nurses, and the practice of medicine was at the center of events. However, to relieve the pressures of duty in a field hospital close to the front and the attendant horrors of war, the staff engage in humorous hijinks, frivolity and petty rivalries off duty.

The franchise effectively ended with the conclusion of Trapper John, M.D. on September 4, 1986. A large fanbase for the series exists, and 20th Century Fox has had notable success selling the film and seasons of the TV series on DVD.

MGM-5 Corporal

The MGM-5 Corporal missile was a nuclear-armed tactical surface-to-surface missile. It was the first guided weapon authorized by the United States to carry a nuclear warhead. A guided tactical ballistic missile, the Corporal could deliver either a nuclear fission or high-explosive warhead up to a range of 75 nautical miles (139 km).

Developed by the United States Army in partnership with Firestone Tire and Rubber Company, Gilfillan Brothers Inc., Douglas Aircraft Company and Caltech's pioneering Jet Propulsion Laboratory, the Corporal was designed as a tactical nuclear missile for use in the event of Cold War hostilities in Western Europe. The first U.S. Army Corporal battalion was deployed in Europe in 1955. Six U.S. battalions were deployed and remained in the field until 1964, when the system was replaced by the solid-fueled MGM-29 Sergeant missile system. The Corporal was the third in a series of JPL rockets for the US Army whose names correspond to the progression in Army enlisted ranks, starting with Recruit and Private before ultimately leading to Sergeant.


A platoon is a military unit typically composed of two or more squads/sections/patrols. Platoon organization varies depending on the country and the branch, but typically, per the official tables of organization as published in U.S. military documents; a full-strength U.S. infantry rifle platoon consists of 39 Soldiers or 43 Marines (U.S. Army [USA] or U.S. Marine Corps [USMC], respectively). There are other types of infantry platoons (e.g., antiarmor, heavy machinegun, light armored reconnaissance, mortar, reconnaissance, scout, scout sniper, and weapons), depending upon service and type of infantry company/battalion to which the platoon is assigned, and these platoons may range from as few as 18 (USMC scout sniper platoon) to 69 (USMC mortar platoon). Non-infantry platoons may range from as small as a nine-man communications platoon (USA headquarters and headquarters company [HHC], airborne, air Assault, and light infantry battalions) to a 102-man maintenance platoon (USA HHC mechanized infantry/combined arms battalion). A platoon leader or commander is the officer in command of a platoon. This person is usually a junior officer—a second or first lieutenant or an equivalent rank. The officer is usually assisted by a platoon sergeant. A platoon is typically the smallest military unit led by a commissioned officer.

Rifle platoons normally consist of a small platoon headquarters and three or four sections (Commonwealth) or squads (US). In some armies, platoon is used throughout the branches of the army. In a few armies, such as the French Army, a platoon is specifically a cavalry unit, and the infantry use "section" as the equivalent unit. A unit consisting of several platoons is called a company/battery/troop.

RAF other ranks

The term used in the Royal Air Force (RAF) to refer to all ranks below commissioned officer level is other ranks (ORs). It includes warrant officers (WOs), non-commissioned officers (NCOs) and airmen.

School corporal punishment

School corporal punishment refers to inflicting deliberate physical or emotional pain or discomfort in response to undesired behavior by students in schools. It often involves striking the student either across the buttocks or palms of their hands or on the hands, with a tool such as a rattan cane, wooden paddle, slipper, leather strap or wooden yardstick. Less commonly, it could also include spanking or smacking the student with the open hand, especially at the primary school and junior secondary school levels .

In the English-speaking world, the use by schools of corporal punishment has historically been justified by the common-law doctrine in loco parentis, whereby teachers are considered authority figures granted the same rights as parents to punish children in their care if they do not adhere to the set rules.

Advocates of school corporal punishment argue that it provides an immediate response to indiscipline and that the student is quickly back in the classroom learning, unlike suspension from school. Opponents, including a number of medical and psychological societies, along with human-rights groups, argue that physical punishment is ineffective in the long term, interferes with learning, leads to antisocial behavior as well as various forms of mental distress, disproportionately affects students of color, and is a form of violence that breaches the rights of children.Poland was the first nation to outlaw corporal punishment in schools in 1783. School corporal punishment is no longer legal in any European country. As of 2016, an estimated 128 countries have prohibited corporal punishment in schools, including all of Europe, and most of South America and East Asia. Approximately 69 countries still allow for corporal punishment in schools, including parts of the United States, some Australian states, and a number of countries in Africa and Asia.


Sergeant (abbreviated to Sgt and capitalised when used as a named person's title) is a rank in many uniformed organisations, principally military and policing forces. The alternate spelling, "serjeant", is used in The Rifles and other units that draw their heritage from the British Light Infantry. Its origin is the Latin "serviens", "one who serves", through the French term "sergent".

The term "sergeant" refers to a non-commissioned officer placed above the rank of a corporal and a police officer immediately below a lieutenant or, in the UK, below an inspector.

In most armies the rank of sergeant corresponds to command of a squad (or section). In Commonwealth armies, it is a more senior rank, corresponding roughly to a platoon second-in-command. In the United States Army, sergeant is a more junior rank corresponding to a four-soldier fireteam leader.

More senior non-commissioned ranks are often variations on sergeant, for example staff sergeant, first sergeant and sergeant major.

Many countries use sergeant rank, whether in English or using a cognate with the same origin in another language. The equivalent rank in Arab armies is "raqeeb", meaning "overseer" or "watcher".


Spanking is a common form of corporal punishment, involving the act of striking the buttocks of another person to cause physical pain, generally with an open hand. More severe forms of spanking, such as switching, paddling, belting, caning, whipping, and birching, involve the use of an object instead of a hand.

Parents commonly spank children or adolescents in response to undesired behavior. Boys are more frequently spanked than girls, both at home and in school. Some countries have outlawed the spanking of children in every setting, including homes, schools, and penal institutions, but most allow it when done by a parent or guardian.


The undead are beings in mythology, legend, or fiction that are deceased but behave as if they were alive. A common example of an undead being is a corpse reanimated by supernatural forces, by the application of either the deceased's own life force or that of another being (such as a demons).

The undead may be incorporeal like ghosts, or corporeal like vampires and zombies. The undead are featured in the belief systems of most cultures, and appear in many works of fantasy and horror fiction. The term is also occasionally used for putative non-supernatural cases of re-animation, from early experiments like Robert E. Cornish's to future sciences such as chemical brain preservation and cryonics.

Bram Stoker considered using the title, The Un-Dead, for his novel Dracula (1897), and use of the term in the novel is mostly responsible for the modern sense of the word. The word does appear in English before Stoker but with the more literal sense of "alive" or "not dead", for which citations can be found in the Oxford English Dictionary. In one passage, Nosferatu is given as an "Eastern European" synonym for "un-dead".Stoker's use of the term "undead" refers only to vampires; the extension to other types of supernatural beings arose later. Most commonly, it is now taken to refer to supernatural beings which had at one point been alive and continue to display some aspects of life after death, but the usage is highly variable.

United States Army enlisted rank insignia of World War I

The United States Army's enlisted rank insignia that was used during World War I differs from the current system. The color scheme used for the insignia's chevron was olive drab for field use uniforms or one of several colors (depending on the corps) on dress uniforms. The chevron system used by enlisted men during World War I came into being in 1895, and was changed to a different system in 1919. Specification 760, which was dated May 31, 1905 contained 45 different enlisted insignia that varied designs and titles by different corps of the army. General Order Number 169, which was enacted on August 14, 1907, created an even larger variety of enlisted rank insignia. Pay grades were not yet in use by the U.S. Army. The pay system identified the job assignment of the soldier. By the end of World War I, the system contained 128 different insignia designs.

Works of mercy

Works of mercy (sometimes known as acts of mercy) are practices which Christians perform.

The practice is popular in the Catholic Church as an act of both penance and charity. In addition, the Methodist church teaches that the works of mercy are a means of grace which lead to holiness and aid in sanctification.The works of mercy have been traditionally divided into two categories, each with seven elements:

"Corporal works of mercy" which concern the material needs of others.

"Spiritual works of mercy" which concern the spiritual needs of others.Pope John Paul II issued a papal encyclical "Dives in misericordia" on 30 November 1980 declaring that "Jesus Christ taught that man not only receives and experiences the mercy of God, but that he is also called 'to practice mercy' towards others." Another notable devotion associated with the works of mercy is the Divine Mercy, which derives from apparitions of Jesus Christ to Saint Faustina Kowalska.

Navies Armies Air forces
Commissioned officers
Admiral of
the fleet
Field marshal or
General of the Army
Marshal of
the air force
Admiral General Air chief marshal
Vice admiral Lieutenant general Air marshal
Rear admiral Major general Air vice-marshal
Commodore Brigadier or
brigadier general
Air commodore
Captain Colonel Group captain
Commander Lieutenant colonel Wing commander
Major or
Squadron leader
Lieutenant Captain Flight lieutenant
junior grade
Lieutenant or
first lieutenant
Flying officer
Ensign or
Second lieutenant Pilot officer
Officer cadet Officer cadet Flight cadet
Enlisted grades
Warrant officer or
chief petty officer
Warrant officer or
sergeant major
Warrant officer
Petty officer Sergeant Sergeant
Leading seaman Corporal or
Seaman Private or
gunner or
Aircraftman or
United States enlisted ranks
Pay grade
Branch of service
E-1 E-2 E-3 E-4 E-5 E-6 E-7 E-8 E-9
Private 2
Private First Class
Specialist Corporal
Staff Sergeant
Sergeant First Class
Master Sergeant First Sergeant
Sergeant Major Command Sergeant Major Sergeant Major of the Army
Private First Class
Lance Corporal
Staff Sergeant
Gunnery Sergeant
Master Sergeant First sergeant
Master Gunnery Sergeant Sergeant Major Sergeant Major of the Marine Corps
Seaman recruit
Seaman apprentice
Petty Officer Third Class
Petty Officer Second Class
Petty Officer First Class
Chief Petty Officer
Senior Chief Petty Officer Command Senior Chief Petty Officer
Master Chief Petty Officer Command Master Chief Petty Officer Fleet Master Chief Petty Officer / Force Master Chief Petty Officer Master Chief Petty Officer of the Navy
Airman basic
Airman First Class
Senior Airman
Staff Sergeant
Technical sergeant
Master Sergeant Master Sergeant
MSgt1st Sgt
Senior Master Sergeant Senior Master Sergeant
SMSgt1st Sgt
Chief Master Sergeant Chief Master Sergeant Command Chief Master Sergeant Chief Master Sergeant of the Air Force
Seaman Recruit
Seaman Apprentice
Petty Officer Third Class
Petty Officer Second Class
Petty Officer First Class
Chief Petty Officer
Senior Chief Petty Officer
Master Chief Petty Officer Command Master Chief Petty Officer Area Command Master Chief Petty Officer, CMC Reserve Master Chief Petty Officer of the Coast Guard

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