These are the Ranks depicted in the miniseries and the book and the servicemen who had them. This includes all the USMC ranks and ranks of a few servicemen from different branches who appeared in the series.


Here are the enlisted ranks


The most common rank depicted in the series. Most of the main characters started with this rank, including Robert Leckie and Eugene Sledge. The lowest rank. All enlisted Marines started with this rank, however, only a few of them were depicted with this rank in the series. A private rank has no insignia In the U.S. Marine Corps, Private (PVT) only refers to the lowest enlisted rank, just below Private First Class. A Marine Corps Private wears no uniform insignia. Most new, non-officer Marines begin their military career as a Private. Similar to the Army it will be held by either a Soldier or a Marine after an Article 15 or prisoners after conviction until they are dishonorably discharged. A "specialized" version of this rank is named Field Music and Stewards Assistant 3rd Class.

1st Marine DivisionEdit

Private First ClassEdit


The most common rank depicted in the series. Most of the main characters were depicted with this rank, including Robert Leckie and Eugene Sledge. Today it's comparable to a Lance Corporal. Specialized version include Field Music 1st Class and Steward's Assistant 2nd Class.

1st Marine DivisionEdit

1st Marines

5th MarinesEdit
7th MarinesEdit
  • Edward Garland
  • Billie Joe Crumpton

5th Marine DivisionEdit


Ranks cpl

A rarely seen rank in the series. Eugene Sledge and Merriel Shelton got their chevrons after their time in China. A Corporal is the lowest grade of non-commissioned officer in the U.S. Marine Corps, though promotion to Corporal traditionally confers a large jump in authority and responsibility compared to promotion from Private through PFC. Theoretically, Marine Corporals generally serve as "fire-team leaders," commanding a 4-man team or unit of similar size.. In support units, they direct the activities of junior Marines and provide technical supervision. Because of its emphasis on small-unit tactics, the Marine Corps usually places Corporals in billets where other services would normally have an E-5 or E-6 in authority. A Corporal is the Squad leader of Crew Served weapons such as Mortars and Machine Guns Other designation include Assistant Cook, Field Music Corporal and Steward's Assistant First Class.

1st Marine DivisionEdit


Ranks sgt

The first leading rank for Non-Commisioned Officers. Among the marines to have this rank would be John Basilone. The rank Sergeant is the oldest rank in the Marine Corps. Nowadays, once a Marine reaches Sergeant, their promotion no longer derives from a composite or cutting score; instead, they receive a Fitrep (Fitness Report). Sergeants serve as squad leaders in an infantry company while Platoon Sergeants supervise squad leaders and the platoon as a whole, and are second in command under the platoon commander. Tank Commanders are usually Sergeants.

1st Marine DivisionEdit

5th Marine Division

  • Edward Johnston
  • Rinaldo Martini
  • Clinton Watters
  • Jack Wheeler

Platoon SergeantEdit

Ranks PSgt

While 'Platoon Sergeant' is both a duty position and a rank, the platoon sergeant is the primary assistant and advisor to the platoon leader, with the responsibility of training and caring for soldiers. The platoon sergeant helps the commander to train the platoon leader and in that regard has an enormous effect on how that young officer perceives NCOs for the rest of his career. The platoon sergeant takes charge of the platoon in the absence of the platoon leader. As the lowest level senior NCO involved in the company METL, platoon sergeants teach collective and individual tasks to soldiers in their squads, crews or equivalent small units.

1st Marine DivisionEdit

  • John Basilone (Promoted to Gunnery Sergeant after transfer)
  • J.P Morgan
  • Mitchell Paige (Referred to in the companion book)
  • Elmo Haney (Uniform in Peleliu depicts a P.Sgt. rank)

Staff SergeantEdit

Ranks SSgt
A rank that is not depicted in the series. Not to be confused with the Platoon Sergeant rank, Staff Sergeants are more involved in technical duties such as communications, clerical duties, and administrative duties. The rank of Staff Sergeant in the USMC was created in 1923 to coincide with the U.S. Army's ranks. Until the end of WW2, the insignia of Platoon Sergeant was three chevrons and a rocker, with Staff Sergeant having a horizontal stripe instead of a rocker below the chevrons. After the separate rank of Platoon Sergeant was eliminated, the Staff Sergeant rank switched over to the rocker insignia and staff sergeants held the platoon sergeant's billet.

Gunnery SergeantEdit

Ranks GySgt

A Gunnery Sergeant in the infantry is typically in charge of coordinating logistics for a company-sized group of Marines (approximately 180 personnel.) Junior Gunnery Sergeants usually serve as platoon sergeant for weapons platoons. A U.S. Army Sergeant First Class(or Technical Sergeant during WW2) shares the same pay grade as a Gunnery Sergeant, but not the same responsibilities. A Marine Corps Gunnery Sergeant's job is to be the operations chief of a company of Marines. A Staff Sergeant in the U.S. Army typically holds this position for a company of Soldiers.

The rank of gunnery sergeant in the Marine Corps was established by the Navy personnel act of March 3, 1899 (30 Stat. L., 1009).

1st Marine DivisionEdit

5th Marine DivisionEdit

Technical SergeantEdit

Ranks TSgt
Similar to the Staff Sergeant, this rank deals with highly specialized duties making the "Gunny" rank strictly for combat infantry. Many of the duties of a Tech Sgt. include Supply Sergeant, Steward First Class and Cook First Class. From 1941 until 1946, the rank was equivalent to grade 2, ranking with Gunnery Sergeant and other technical ranks with which it shared its insignia. From 1947 until 1958, the rank was reclassified as E-6 and became the sole rank in this grade. The rank was renamed Gunnery Sergeant and elevated to E-7 after the reorganization of grades in 1959.

Master Technical SergeantEdit

Ranks MTSgt
Not to be confused with Master Gunnery Sergeant but both have the same Pay Grade. "Master Tech" is the rank used by Marines who are in Technical duties such as Communications and at the same time this ranks is also used by Quartermaster Sergeant, Paymaster Sergeant, Master Steward and the Master Cook.

First SergeantEdit

Ranks 1stSgt
In the United States Marine Corps, First Sergeant is one level below Sergeant Major and Master Gunnery Sergeant and is the next rank above Gunnery Sergeant. It is equal in grade to Master Sergeant, although the two ranks have different responsibilities. First Sergeant have a command responsibility while Master Sergeants have technical responsibilities. Unlike the First Sergeant and Master Sergeant programs in the U.S. Army, no lateral movement is possible between the two ranks in the Marine Corps. In the Marine Corps, when a Gunnery Sergeant gets promoted to First Sergeant, his MOS automatically is redesignated as "8999". In their annual performance evaluations, called "fitness reports", eligible Gunnery Sergeants indicate whether they wish to be considered for promotion to Master Sergeant or First Sergeant. A First Sergeant is then eligible to be promoted to a Sergeant Major while a Master Sergeant would be on the promotional track for Master Gunnery Sergeant. The abbreviation for the rank of First Sergeant in the Marine Corps is "1stSgt".

The grade of First Sergeant initially appeared in the Marine Corps in 1833 when Congress created the grade of Orderly Sergeant; 30 billets of Orderly Sergeant were established. In 1872 the Marine Corps replaced the title of Orderly Sergeant with the title of First Sergeant. The rank of First Sergeant was another casualty of the rank realignment of 1947. It was reestablished in 1955 as the second most senior grade, just behind Sergeant Major.

Sergeant MajorEdit

Ranks SgtMaj
In the United States Marine Corps, Sergeant Major is the highest enlisted rank, just above First Sergeant, and equal in grade to Master Gunnery Sergeant and Master Sergeant, although they have different responsibilities. Sergeant Major is both a rank and a military billet. Marine Corps Sergeants Major serve as the senior enlisted Marine in the Corps' units of battalion, squadron or higher echelon, as the unit commander's senior enlisted advisor and to handle matters of discipline and morale among the enlisted Marines. Master Sergeants provide technical leadership as occupational specialists. General command leadership at this paygrade is provided by the separate rank of first sergeant. Master Gunnery Sergeants provide technical military leadership.


Fewer officers are seen in the series, at least in main roles.

2nd LieutenantEdit


Second Lieutenant is typically the entry-level rank for most commissioned officers.

In the U.S. Army and the U.S. Marine Corps, a second lieutenant typically commands a platoon-size element (16 to 44 soldiers or Marines). In the Army, the rank bore no insignia other than a brown sleeve braid on blouses and an officer's cap device and hat cord until December 1917, when a gold bar similar to the silver bar of a first lieutenant was introduced. The Navy's equivalent rank is the Ensign

1st Marine DivisionEdit

US Navy

  • Vernon "Mike" Micheel

1st LieutenantEdit


A second lieutenant is usually promoted to first lieutenant (grade O-2) after 18 months in the Army or 24 months in the Air Force and Marine Corps. The difference between the two ranks is slight, primarily being experience and higher pay. It is not uncommon to see officers moved to positions requiring more experience after promotion to first lieutenant.

4th Marines

  • Austin Shofner

5th Marines

  • Duke Ellington
  • "Stumpy" Stanley


534px-US-O3 insignia.svg

An Army and Marine captain generally commands company-sized units. Captains also instruct at service schools and combat training centers and are often staff officers at the battalion level. Marine captains also serve as Officer Selection Officers, commanding recruiting stations for commissioned officers.

1st Marine DivisionEdit


Major Insignia

A major in the U.S. Army typically serves as a battalion executive officer (XO) or as the battalion operations officer (S3). A major is a staff officer on higher staffs and headquarters. In addition, majors command augmented companies in Combat Service and Service Support units.

Lieutenant ColonelEdit

Lieutenant Colonel Insignia

A Lieutenant Colonel typically commands a battalion-sized unit (300 to 1,200 soldiers), with a Major as second-in-command. A lieutenant colonel may also serve as a regiment or Executive Officer, or principal staff officer, S-1 (administration and personnel), S-2 (intelligence), S-3 (operations), S-4 (logistics), S-5 (civil/military affairs), or S-6 (computers and communications). Lieutenant colonels may also be junior staff at a variety of higher echelons.

1st Marine DivisionEdit

  • Lewis Puller (promoted to Colonel prior to Peleliu)
  • Austin Shofner(as CO of 3/5 in Peleliu)


200px-US-O6 insignia svg

Colonels usually command regiments in the Army and the Marine Corps and Groups in Aviation. They also serve as staff officers in higher echelons. Only Chesty Puller has been seen with this rank in the miniseries

1st Marine DivisionEdit

  • Clifton B. Cates
  • Lewis Puller (promoted several times after the timeline of the series)

Brigadier GeneralEdit

110px-US-O7 insignia svg

A Brigadier General typically serves as Deputy Commander to the Commanding General of a division or division-sized units and assists in overseeing the planning and coordination of a mission.

Major GeneralEdit

150px-US-O8 insignia svg

A Major general is equivalent to the rank of rear admiral in the other uniformed services. They typically command division sized units.

1st Marine Division

  • Alexander A. Vandegrift
  • William H. Rupertus

Lieutenant GeneralEdit

200px-US-O9 insignia svg

The three-star grade goes hand-in-hand with the position of office to which it is linked. Officers may only achieve three-star grade if they are appointed to positions that require the officer to hold such a rank.


  • Simon Bolivar Buckner Jr.(Mentioned in the book)


  • Alexander A. Vandegrift(seen in episode 8 as the Commandant of the USMC)


Pharmacist's Mate Third ClassEdit

1st Marine DivisionEdit

  • Lewis (Killed by friendly fire)

Pharmacist's Mate First ClassEdit

1st Marine DivisionEdit

See AlsoEdit

1st Marine Division

5th Marine Division