Ranks & Insignia

There's No Limit To A Soldier's Success

Once you decide to join the Indiana Guard Reserve, your success depends only on your desire and commitment to become a better Soldier. Below are the various IGR ranks for Enlisted Soldiers as well as Warrant and Commissioned Officers. Promotion to higher grades depends on completion of a minimum time in your current grade, completion of required training, and most of all performance that demonstrates you are worthy and capable of higher levels of responsibility.

Private (PV2)


Lowest rank: a new recruit with no prior military service. Primary role is to carry out orders issued to them to the best of his/her ability. (PVT does not have an insignia.)

Private First Class (PFC)


PFCs are promoted to this level after six months and completion of Basic Military Training, or earlier by request of supervisor. Individual can begin at this level with experience or prior military training. Carries out orders issued to them to the best of his/her ability.

Corporal (CPL)


The base of the Non-Commissioned Officer (NCO) ranks, CPLs serve as team leader of the smallest IGR units. Like SGTs, they are responsible for individual training, personal appearance and cleanliness of Soldiers.

Sergeant (SGT)


Typically commands a squad (9 to 10 Soldiers)*. Considered to have the greatest impact on Soldiers because SGTs oversee them in their daily tasks. In short, SGTs set an example and the standard for Privates to look up to, and live up to.

Staff Sergeant (SSG)


Also commands a squad (9 to 10 Soldiers)*. Often has one or more SGTs under their leadership. Responsible for developing, maintaining and utilizing the full range of his Soldiers' potential.

Sergeant First Class (SFC)


Key assistant and advisor to the platoon leader. Generally has 10 to 15 years of IGR experience and puts it to use by making quick, accurate decisions in the best interests of the Soldiers and the country.

Master Sergeant (MSG)


Principal NCO at the battalion level, and often higher. Not charged with all the leadership responsibilities of a 1SG, but expected to dispatch leadership and other duties with the same professionalism.

First Sergeant (1SG)


Principal NCO and life-blood of the company: the provider, disciplinarian and wise counselor. Instructs other SGTs, advises the Commander and helps train all enlisted Soldiers. Assists Officers at the company level (62 to 190 Soldiers)*.

Sergeant Major (SGM)


SGMs serve as the chief administrative assistant for a headquarters company of the IGR, but the sphere of influence regarding leadership is generally limited to those directly under his charge. They are key enlisted members of staff elements at levels at Battalion or higher.

Command Sergeant Major (CSM)


CSMs are the senior enlisted advisors to the commanding officer. They carry out policies and standards, and advise the commander on the performance, training, appearance, and conduct of enlisted soldiers. The CSM's counsel is expected to be calm, settled and unequivocally accurate, but with an energy and enthusiasm that never wanes, even in the worst of times. A CSM is assignable to any level Battalion or higher.

* Because the Indiana Guard Reserve functions as a "cadre" unit, sizes given are representative of full-scale military units.  IGR unit sizes are typically smaller.

Adapted from "Ranks & Insignia", GoArmy.com, http://www.goarmy.com/about/ranks-and-insignia.html, accessed 13 DEC 2012.