Master Sergeant

Master Sergeant

A master sergeant is the military rank for a senior non-commissioned officer in some armed forces.


Israel Defense Forces

רב-סמל ראשון
Rav samal rishon
insignia IDF

The רב-סמל ראשון Rav samal rishon (Rasar), Master Sergeant is a non-commissioned officers (נגדים) rank in the Israel Defense Forces (IDF). Because the IDF is an integrated force, they have a unique rank structure. IDF ranks are the same in all services (army, navy, air force, etc.). The ranks are derived from those of the paramilitary Haganah developed in the British Mandate of Palestine period to protect the Yishuv. This origin is reflected in the slightly-compacted IDF rank structure.[1]

Israel Defense Forces ranks[2] : Non-Commissioned Officers (NCO)
Rav samal
רב-סמל ראשון
Rav samal rishon
רב-סמל מתקדם
Rav samal mitkadem
רב-סמל בכיר
Rav samal bakhír
Rav nagad
Abbreviation רס"ל
Sergeant First Class Master Sergeant Sergeant Major Warrant Officer Chief Warrant Officer
Insignia IDF Ranks Rasal.svg IDF Ranks Rasar.svg IDF Ranks Rasam.svg IDF Ranks Rasab.svg IDF Ranks Ranag.svg
More details at Israel Defense Forces ranks & IDF 2011 - Ranks (, english)

United States

E-8 insignia
Master Sergeant insignia
U.S. Army

E-8 insignia
Master Sergeant insignia
U.S. Marine Corps

Master Sergeant insignia
Master Sergeant insignia
U.S. Air Force

First Sergeant insignia
E-7 First Sergeant insignia
U.S. Air Force

Obsolete Master Sergeant insignia
Master Sergeant insignia
U.S. Air Force

A Master Sergeant is:

  • the eighth enlisted rank in the U.S. Army, just above sergeant first class, below sergeant major, Command Sergeant Major, Sergeant Major of the Army and equal in grade but not authority to first sergeant. It is abbreviated as "MSG" and indicated by three chevrons above three rockers. A Master Sergeant is typically assigned as a brigade-level section noncommissioned officer in charge and serves as the subject matter expert in his or her field, but may also hold other positions depending on the type of unit.
  • the eighth enlisted rank in the U.S. Marine Corps, just above gunnery sergeant, below master gunnery sergeant, sergeant major, and Sergeant Major of the Marine Corps. It is equal in grade to first sergeant. It is abbreviated as "MSgt." In the U.S. Marine Corps, master sergeants provide technical leadership as occupational specialists at the E-8 level. General command leadership at this paygrade is provided by the separate rank of first sergeant.
  • the seventh enlisted rank in the U.S. Air Force, just above technical sergeant and below senior master sergeant. It is abbreviated as "MSgt." Advancement to master sergeant is one of the most significant promotions within the enlisted Air Force. At the rank of master sergeant, the Airman enters the senior non-commissioned tier and his or her duties begin to focus on leadership and management rather than technical performance. Per Air Force Instruction 36-2618, MSgts typically serve as flight chiefs (analogous to platoon sergeants in the U.S. Army) and section chiefs (leaders of duty sections within a squadron). It is also the lowest rank in the Air Force that one can hold in order to attain the special duty position of first sergeant. These Air Force first sergeants occupy the grades of E-7 through E-9 and are referred to officially as "first sergeant" regardless of their pay grade, and unofficially as "first shirt" or simply "the shirt." In 1991 the Air Force changed its NCO insignia so that a maximum of five stripes, or rockers, were placed on the bottom of the chevrons. The master sergeant rank insignia was changed by removing the bottom (6th) rocker, and relocating it above as a single chevron, on top of the five lower stripes.

In the U.S. Army, the rank of master sergeant is usually held by staff members serving as NCOICs as well as commonly held by the motor pool NCOIC as the advisor to the motor pool chief, who is usually a warrant officer. When holding the position of first sergeant, while uncommon, the master sergeant is referred to as "first sergeant", however; when not in the position of first sergeant, master sergeants are addressed as, "sergeant." This is the standard address for all grades E-5 through E-8. Use of the term "top" or "master sergeant" is not a requirement, but is considered courteous and remains to be at the discretion of the one addressing the master sergeant. Only in the Marine Corps, are master sergeants required to be addressed as "master sergeant."

In the Marine Corps, master sergeants may be referred to by the nickname of "top." This usage is an informal one, however, and would not be used in an official or formal setting. Use of this nickname by Marines of subordinate rank is at the rank holder's discretion.

As with the first sergeant, a master sergeant is usually given the courtesy of having a room called to "at ease" upon entrance, regardless of duty position.

All master sergeants are senior non-commissioned officers.


In the Singapore Armed Forces, a Master Sergeant is a high level Specialist, ranking above Staff Sergeant and below Third Warrant Officer.[3] In the Singapore Army, Master Sergeants are usually instructors, staff specialists, or Sergeants Majors of Battalion or Company-sized units.

Singapore Armed Forces Specialist ranks
Rank Third Sergeant Second Sergeant First Sergeant Staff Sergeant Master Sergeant
Abbreviation 3SG 2SG 1SG SSG MSG
More details at Specialist

See also


  1. ^ "Israel Defense Forces ranks". Retrieved 18 October 2011. 
  2. ^ "IDF Ranks". IDF 2011. Retrieved 19 October 2011. 
  3. ^

External links

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Look at other dictionaries:

  • master sergeant — ☆ master sergeant n. U.S. Mil. a noncommissioned officer of high rank; in the Army, the rank just above sergeant first class; in the Air Force, the rank just above technical sergeant; in the Marine Corps, the rank just above gunnery sergeant …   English World dictionary

  • master sergeant — noun Date: 1920 a noncommissioned officer ranking in the army above a sergeant first class and below a staff sergeant major, in the air force above a technical sergeant and below a senior master sergeant, and in the marine corps above a gunnery… …   New Collegiate Dictionary

  • master sergeant — noun a senior noncommissioned officer in the Army or Marines • Hypernyms: ↑sergeant * * * ˌmaster ˈsergeant 7 [master sergeant] noun a member of the US armed forces, of middle rank …   Useful english dictionary

  • Master Sergeant — StFw Abzeichen (Feldanzug) Der Dienstgrad Stabsfeldwebel (Abk.: StFw, in Listen SF) bezeichnet einen Soldaten im zweithöchsten Feldwebeldienstgrad bei der Bundeswehr. Der entsprechende Dienstgrad der Deutschen Marine ist der Stabsbootsmann.… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • master sergeant — noun a) A non commissioned officer in the United States Army, ranking above sergeant first class and below sergeant major; equal in grade and pay to a first sergeant. b) A non commissioned officer in the United States Marine Corps, ranking above… …   Wiktionary

  • master sergeant — mas′ter ser′geant n. 1) mil a noncommissioned officer in the army ranking above a sergeant first class 2) mil a noncommissioned officer in the air force ranking above a technical sergeant 3) mil a noncommissioned officer in the marines ranking… …   From formal English to slang

  • master sergeant — 1. Army, Air Force, Marine Corps. a noncommissioned officer ranking next to the highest noncommissioned officer. 2. U.S. Air Force. a noncommissioned officer of one of the three top enlisted grades. [1930 35] * * * …   Universalium

  • master sergeant — high ranking noncommissioned military officer …   English contemporary dictionary

  • master sergeant — noun a high rank of non commissioned officer in the US armed forces …   English new terms dictionary

  • master sergeant — /ˈmastə sadʒənt/ (say mahstuh sahjuhnt) noun a senior non commissioned officer rank in some armed forces …   Australian English dictionary