A Private is a
soldierof the lowest military rank(equivalent to NATO Rank Grades OR-1 to OR-3 depending on the force served in). The term dates from the Middle Ages, where privates were known as "private soldiers" (a term still used in the United Kingdom) who were either hired, conscripted, or feudalized into service by a nobleman forming an army. The usage of Private as a military rank dates from the 18th century, when the army of Napoleon Bonaparte first established the permanent rank of "Soldat". They are sometimes known as 'Recruits'.
Australian Army, a soldier of Private rank wears no insignia [http://users.chariot.net.au/~ullrich/23platoon/insignia/index.htm] . Like its British Army counterpart, the Australian Army rank of Private (PTE) has other titles, depending on the corps and specification of that service member.
The following alternative ranks are available for Privates in the Australian Army;
*Craftsman (CFN) -
Royal Australian Electrical and Mechanical Engineers
*Gunner (GNR) -
Royal Australian Artillery
Sapper(SPR) - Royal Australian Engineers
Musician(MUSN) - Australian Army Band Corps
*Signalman (SIG) -
Royal Australian Corps of Signals
*Trooper (TPR) -
Royal Australian Armoured Corps, Australian Army Aviationand the Australian Special Air Service Regiment
Digger is the term for
soldiers from Australia. The name originated during World War I.
Canadian Forcesthere are three levels of Private: Private (Recruit), Private (Basic), and Private (Trained). All persons holding the rank of Private are referred to as such and the qualifier shown in brackets is used on employment records only. A Private is considered an "apprentice" in their trade, and there are no pay raises between the various levels of private except for time in rank raise. The Canadian Army and Air Force have an identical rank structure.
*Private (Recruit) (Pte(R)) - Fresh recruit, untrained. Holds this rank through recruit training.
*Private (Basic) (Pte(B)) - After finishing recruit training, a member becomes a Private (Basic). This rank is held through trades training and beyond.
*Private (Trained) (Pte(T)) - A Private (Basic) becomes a Private (Trained) a year after completion of their
DP 1training depending on their Regiment, some Regiments may promote them right away. A Private (Trained) is the only Private to wear rank insignia, a single chevron.
An Army Private may also be known by other titles, depending on unit and/or branch:
Electrical and Mechanical Engineering Branch
Fusilier- Fusilier regiments (infantry)
Guardsman- Foot Guards regiments (infantry)
Royal Regiment of Canadian Artillery
Sapper- Canadian Military Engineers
Royal Canadian Armoured Corps
In terms of authority and responsibilities, the rank of
Corporalis often seen as more or less equivalent to a Private in the post-Unification armed forces, and the term "Corporal/Private" is often used. Corporals no longer require leadership training for promotion to that rank, and the grade now represents a Private with additional trades training and time in rank but no leadership responsibilities (though he may in practice be given minor leadership tasks).
The Canadian Navy's equivalents are:
Before Unification of the Armed Forces, a private wore no insignia regardless of level of training, but could be appointed
Lance Corporal, wearing one chevron. A Corporal at that time was the equivalent of today's Master Corporalin that he required leadership training for promotion and was considered sufficiently trained and experienced to command a section of infantry (or equivalent in other branches).
Schütze) Shoulder Board German Army] The German equivalent of Private (OR-1) is " Schütze", until 1918 it was " Gemeiner" ("common man"). The rank of "Schütze" has existed as a military rank since at least the 18th century and the term has been used since the Middle Ages.
As in the British Army, different names for this lowest rank are in use in the German Army, for example "Pionier" (engineer), "Kanonier" (gunner) or "Fallschirmjäger" (paratrooper), or "Funker" (wireless operator). "Soldat" (meaning simply "soldier") may also be used as a general term.
The Naval equivalent is known as "
Matrose", and the Luftwaffe (air force) equivalent is "Flieger".
According to the NATO rank code, the rank of "
Gefreiter" is equivalent to Private (OR-2), and " Obergefreiter" is equivalent to Private (OR-3).
Private (Pte) ("Saighdiúr Singil" in Irish), is the lowest enlisted rank in the
Irish Army. Soldiers enlist as recruits then undergo a basic course of instruction. There are three grades of Private in the Army. After basic training the soldier is upgraded (rather than promoted) from Recruit to Private 2 Star (Pte 2*) ("Saighdiúr Singil, 2 Réalta"). After more Corps Specific Training (usually lasting eight weeks) the Soldier is upgraded to Private 3 Star (Pte 3*) ("Saighdiúr Singil, 3 Réalta"). All are usually just addressed as "Private", although before being upgraded, Recruits may be addressed as "Recruit".While On the Potential Non-commissioned officers course (POTs) to be promoted to the rank of Corporal or in command of another group of Privates that private is then referred to as Orderly Sergent.
In corps units the rank designation changes. In the Artillery the rank is known as Gunner (Gnr), but usually only after the completion of a Gunners Course, and in the Cavalry it is known as Trooper (Tpr). Communications and Information Services Privates are known as Signalman or Signalwoman. Medics are sometimes referred to as Medic, although this can apply to Privates and
The equivalent ranks to Privates within the North and South Korean armies are E-byong and Il-byong. The symbol for this rank is 1 line( _ ) or 2 lines( = ). Private second class is known by 1 line, while Private first class is 2 lines.
Mexico and Argentina
The equivalent rank to private in the Mexican and Argentinian army is the "soldado raso" meaning rankless soldier.
In the Royal Netherlands Army, the
Landmacht, the equivalent ranks are 'Soldaat' (soldier), similar to the original French, with different classes:
'Soldaat der derde klasse' (Soldier/Private 3rd Class), for soldiers in Algemene Militaire Opleiding or AMO (General Military Training), without insignia.
'Soldaat der tweede klasse'(Soldier/Private 2nd Class), the basic infantry rank, an insignia single striped red band, obtained after AMO but before completion of Initiële Functie Opleiding or IFO (Initial Job Training).
'Soldaat der eerste klasse'(Soldier/Private 1st Class), comparable to
Private First Class, with an insignia with 2 neighbouring striped red bands, obtained automatically a year after completion of IFO.
Depending on where the 'Soldaat' serves, he may be deemed a 'kanonnier' (gunner in the artillery), 'huzaar' (hussar in the cavalry) or 'fuselier' (Rifleman in the rifles) as well as 'commando', 'jager' or 'rijder'.
There is less differentiation than in other countries between different armed forces. A 'Soldaat' can be promoted to 'Korporal' (Corporal) .
Republic of Singapore
Once Recruits complete their
Basic Military Training (BMT), they attain the rank of Private (PTE). Privates do not wear ranks on their sleeves.
British Army, a Private (Pte) equates to both OR-1 and OR-2 on the NATO scale, although there is no difference in rank. Privates wear no insignia. Many regiments and corpsuse other distinctive (and descriptive) names instead of Private:
Airtrooper(Atpr) - Army Air Corps
Bugler- Buglers in The Riflesand formerly also in other Rifle regiments
* Craftsman (Cfn) -
Royal Electrical and Mechanical Engineers(women as well as men use this rank)
Drummer(Dmr) - Drummers in infantry regiments
Fusilier(Fus) - Fusilierregiments
* Gunner (Gnr) -
Guardsman(Gdm) - Foot Guards
* Highlander - The Highlanders
Kingsman- Duke of Lancaster's Regiment
Musician(Mus) - Military bands (formerly called Bandsman)
Piper(Ppr) - Bagpipers in Scottish and Irish regiments
* Ranger - Royal Irish Regiment and
Royal Irish Rangers
* Rifleman (Rfm) - Rifle regiments
Sapper(Spr) - Royal Engineers
Signaller(Sig) - Royal Corps of Signals(formerly called Signalman)
* Trooper (Tpr) -
Household Cavalry, Royal Armoured Corps, Special Air Serviceand Honourable Artillery Company
Trumpeter(Tptr) - Trumpeters in the Household Cavalry (and formerly in all cavalry regiments)
Royal Marines, the equivalent rank is Marine or Bandsman, as appropriate.
In the U.S. Army, Private (PVT) is used for the two lowest enlisted ranks, just below
Private First Class. The lowest rank (officially known as Private E-1 (PV1) and sometimes referred to as recruit but also held by some prisoners after conviction until they are dishonorably discharged) wears no uniform insignia, while the second, Private E-2 (PV2), wears a single chevron. Advancement to the higher rank is currently automatic after six months time in service, but may get shortened to four months if given a waiver (a pay raise may take effect after four months of service, even without advancement to Private E-2 if local commanders decide the private's performance has warranted it).
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.
Pakistan Armythe lowest enlisted rank is Sipahi, literally meaning Soldierin Urdu. A Sipahi does not wear any rank insignia on his uniform. Sipahis are sometimes also referred to as Jawan, literally meaning "young" in Urdu.
* [http://www.gruntsmilitary.com/rank3.shtml U.S. Army Enlisted Rank Insignia - Criteria, Background, and Images]
Comparative military ranks
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