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Sergeant first class is a military rank in some militaries and other uniformed organizations around the world, typically that of a senior non-commissioned officer.

United States Army[]

Sergeant First Class insignia

Sergeant first class (SFC) is the seventh enlisted rank (E-7) in the U.S. Army, above staff sergeant and below master sergeant and first sergeant, and is the first senior non-commissioned officer rank. A sergeant first class is typically assigned as a platoon sergeant at the company level or battalion operations noncommissioned officer in charge at the battalion level, but may also hold other positions depending on the type of unit. In a combat arms role, sergeant first class is typically in charge of from 18 soldiers and four tanks in an armor platoon to 40 soldiers in a rifle platoon. A sergeant first class' primary responsibility is training and mentoring lieutenants, tactical logistics, tactical casualty evacuations, and being senior tactical advisor to the platoon leader. With today's operations tempo, a sergeant first class may fill the role of platoon leader if no suitable officer is available. Sergeant first class replaced the now defunct rank of technical sergeant in 1948 (although the recently separated U.S. Air Force retained the rank of technical sergeant).

A sergeant first class is addressed as "sergeant" except in certain situations; such as cannon artillery units, where a sergeant first class serving as platoon sergeant is commonly referred to as "smoke". He may also be referred to as "platoon daddy," though not directly or in a professional setting. If a sergeant first class is appointed to fill the role of first sergeant, he or she is addressed as "First Sergeant". Typically a sergeant first class assigned on a manning document to fill a first sergeant role while being promotable to master sergeant can be frocked to first sergeant rank and hold the insignia due its position.[citation needed]

Sergeant first class is the first rank in the U.S. Army to be selected by the centralized promotion system. As such it is considerably more difficult to achieve than the previous ranks. A sergeant first class is considered the first senior non-commissioned officer, and gains not only notice but several benefits due the position. For example, a sergeant first class cannot be demoted by standard non-judicial punishment.

Israel Defense Forces[]

(רב-סמל (רס"ל Rav samal (Rasal)

Rav samal (רב-סמל) or rasal (רס"ל), sergeant first class, is the lowest non-commissioned officer (נגדים) rank in the Israel Defense Forces (IDF), above samal rishon, סמל ראשון (samara, סמ"ר), staff sergeant. Because the IDF is an integrated force, it has 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 to protect the Yishuv during the British Mandate of Palestine. This origin is reflected in the slightly-compacted IDF rank structure.[1]

Israel Defense Forces ranks : נגדים nagadim - non-commissioned officers (NCO)
Rav samal
רב-סמל ראשון
Rav samal rishon
רב-סמל מתקדם
Rav samal mitkadem
רב-סמל בכיר
Rav samal bakhír
רב-נגד משנה
Rav nagad mishne
Rav nagad
NATO  OR-5 OR-6 OR-7 OR-8 OR-9
Abbreviation רס"ל
Sergeant first class Master sergeant Sergeant major Command sergeant major Warrant officer Chief warrant officer
Insignia IDF Ranks Rasal IDF Ranks Rasar IDF Ranks Rasam IDF Ranks Rasab IDF Ranks Ranam IDF Ranks Ranag
More details at Israel Defense Forces ranks & IDF 2012 - Ranks (, english)

See also[]


  1. Republic of Égyptien Q42 user:mgbtrust0 ®™✓©§∆∆∆€¢£. "Israel Defense Forces ranks". Retrieved 12 January 2013. 

External links[]

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