The most controversial and problematic thing in reenacting ever! However, this page is not about what rank you can have; this is about what the ranks mean, why they exists, who has them and why. I was lucky enough to be told about a video that explained the Warrant Officers ranks, when I look it was so well put together and informative that I had to share it with you all here. Enjoy.
Hopefully you've now watched that and have taken on the duties of not only your rank, but of those ranks immediatley above and below you.
I have been asked many times over the years why 1st Lts have silver bars, yet the lower grade of a 2nd Lt has gold... well everyone knows gold is better, so why does the junior rank get gold?
Now the first video touch upon the specialist or technical grades, however this next video explain how and wh they came about. The introduction starts in the modern US army so just bare with it, it is the correct video.
Taking the 501st, 502nd & 506th Pathfinders as an example of how many different ranks you get in large bunch of men. (its the only list I can think of right now for Normandy) The list is as follows:-
PVT - 70 PFC - 43
T/5 - 11 CPL - 8
SGT - 6 T/4 - 1
S/Sgt - 1 WO - 1
I have ignored the officer ranks on purpose as this was 9 sticks, each with two disintive specialised groups lead by seperate officer/teams. However the enlisted ranks are a good indictation of a random selection of men and what ratio of ranks you'd expect to see. (rounded down)
1 in every other man is a PVT!
1 in every 4 is a PFC
1 in every 13 is T/5
1 in every 17 is CPL
1 in every 23 is SGT
others are 1 in every 141+ men T/4, S/Sgt & WO - Although keeping to that sort of scale isn't really practical. It gives us something to work with and too. This however doesn't take into the structure of regular rifle squads, the leadership variations in the Pathfinder units so compared to all others. As this doesn't count the officer that would have been leading this men, when usually it would have been squad leaders at the S/Sgt rank.