We'll Show You the Insignia, You Tell Us the Rank

By: Robin Tyler
Image: Wiki Commons

About This Quiz

There are many different armed forces in the United States where officer's ranks are distinguished by their insignias.

These include the United States Army, Navy, Air Force, Marine Corps and Coast Guard, to name just a few. Insignias have been used for more than 200 years to help identify officers and have proven especially effective in the heat of battle where communication can often be limited, most notably in early warfare.

Although many insignias used in the United States are similar across the various branches of the military, they ultimately serve an important purpose in terms of chain of command and, of course, identification. But there are some positions that are currently unfilled and have not been filled since 1946. These are supreme commander positions, only needed when the United States is officially at war. Let's hope you will be able to identify them.

Also, did you know that certain positions in the Navy, although they have the same name as that of their Army counterpart, are actually higher ranks? Well, if you didn't, you will find that out in our tough military insignia quiz.

In this quiz, we will give you an insignia and you must tell us which officer it belongs to.

Good luck!

This is the next rank up from Private E2. This rank is given to any solider who starts Basic Combat Training with prior military experience.

This is the highest post in the United States Navy when the country is not at war. The first Admiral was appointed by the U.S. President in 1866.

The supreme commander of the U.S. Army when the country is at war. This is only a war-time position held by the likes of General Douglas MacArthur.

Seaman is the third lowest rank an enlisted person will receive in both the U.S. Navy and Coast Guard.

Captains in the U.S. Army lead large company-sized units of anything between 60 to 200 soldiers at a time.

This is the lowest of the officer ranks in the United States Navy.

A Midshipman is a low-ranking officer in the U.S. Navy and Coast Guard.

A Lieutenant General commands corps of between 20,000 to 40,000 soldiers.

A master level expert commissioned officer who performs a variety of roles at brigade, corps and division level as per their field of specialty. They also mentor Warrant Officers of a lower rank.

Soldiers with a four-year college degree are given the rank of Specialist when undertaking Basic Combat Training. They are able to manage enlisted men of lower ranks, for example, privates. After 47 months in service and 11 months within the specialist rank, these soldiers can be promoted to Sergeant.

This rank, found both in the U.S. Navy and Coast Guard is the equivalent of a Second Lieutenant in the U.S. Army. An Ensign will lead a group in a specialist position on a warship, such as a gunnery unit, for example.

This commissioned officer carries a three star insiginia and ranks above a Rear Admiral and below an Admiral. A Vice Admiral is the same rank as a Lieutenant General in the army.

This is the lowest of the officer ranks in the United States Army. They fill a number of roles, including as advisors, trainers, combat leaders and as experts in technical fields. They are appointed by the Secretary of the Army.

A team leader in small army units, a Corporal is the base rank for non commissioned officers.

A rank for non-commissioned officers, the Chief Petty Officer rank was first used in the U.S. Navy in 1893 and followed later in the Coast Guard service. Over and above criteria like years of service, to attain the rank of Chief Petty Officer, a peer review is also undertaken.

This is the lowest rank in the United States Army and is assigned to all soldiers when they enter the force. A soldier may be promoted to Private First Class after wearing this rank for a period of four months and with a year’s service behind them.

After the Seaman recruit rank (which carries no insignia), this is the lowest rank in the U.S. Navy.

A Lieutenant Junior Grade is the first ranking above Ensign but below full Lieutenant. It is used by both the U.S. Navy and Coast Guard. This was the rank achieved by astronaut Neil Armstrong.

For commissioned officers, this is the most senior rank one can attain before Admiral positions. Captains in the Navy are often in control of vessels.

The Rear Admiral (Lower Half) is a rank above captain but below Admiral in the United States Navy and Coast Guard. It is the equivalent of an Army Brigadier General.

An intermediate level expert commissioned officer who performs a variety of roles through battalion level as per their field of specialty.

A Major controls a U.S. Army brigade and is responsible for personnel, logistics and operations.

This is the entry level rank for commissioned officers. Leads between 16 to 44 people.

A senior level expert commissioned officer who performs a variety of roles at brigade, corps and division level as per their field of specialty. They also mentor Warrant Officers of a lower rank.

Leads a squad of up to 16 soldiers and has one or two sergeants under their command.

The Rear Admiral (Upper Half) is a rank above Read Admiral (Lower Half) but below Vice Admiral. It is the equivalent of an Army Major General.

The most senior level commissioned officer, a General usually has more than 30 years of Army experience.

A team/section leader who commands a group of soldiers, oversees their daily tasks and leads them in combat.

First Lieutenants typically have 18 to 24 months of service and often lead platoons operating specialized weapons.

A Colonel in the U.S. Army leads brigades of between 1,500 to 3,2000 men.

The most senior position in junior officer ranks, a Lieutenant in the Navy is actually a higher rank than the Army position of the same name. In fact, a Navy Lieutenant is the equivalent rank of a Captain in the U.S. Army.

An advanced level expert commissioned officer who performs a variety of roles through brigade level as per their field of specialty.

A Lieutenant Colonel in the U.S. Army leads battalions of between 300 to 1,000 men.

A Brigadier General serves as a deputy commander for Army divisions under the control of a General. Helps to oversee staff and mission planning.

A Major General commands divisions of between 10,000 to 16,000 soldiers.

This position is given to the commander of the entire U.S. Navy and only during wartime. The last time it was filled was in 1946.

This is the lowest of the officer ranks in the United States Marines.

This is the U.S. Navy and Coast Guard equivalent of an Army major. The Lieutenant Commander ranks higher than a Lieutenant but lower than a Commander.

A military veteran with 15 years experience, a Sergeant First Class is usually an adviser to a platoon leader.

This position is given to the commander of the entire U.S. Air Force and only during wartime.

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