Basic Army Knowledge

The links below will take you to some of the basic information that cadets need to know.

Army Cadet Creed

Army Values

Rank Structure

Soldier’s Creed

Warrior Ethos

U.S. Constitution

Drill and Ceremony

Wear of Uniform

Armed Forces Vehicle Identification

 

 

Army Cadet Creed

I am an Army cadet.

Soon I will take an oath to become an Army officer.

Committed to defending the values which makes this nation great.

Honor is my touchstone.

I understand mission first and people always.

I am the past, the spirit of those warriors who have made the final sacrifice.

I am the present, the scholar and apprentice soldier enhancing my skills in the science of warfare and the art of leadership.

But above all I am the future, the future warrior leader of the United States Army.

May God give me the compassion and judgment to lead and the gallantry in battle to win.

I will do my duty.

 

Army Values

Many people know what the words Loyalty, Duty, Respect, Selfless Service, Honor, Integrity, and Personal Courage mean. But how often do you see someone actually live up to them? Soldiers learn these values in detail during Basic Combat Training (BCT), from then on they live them every day in everything they do — whether they’re on the job or off. In short, the Seven Core Army Values listed below are what being a Soldier is all about.

Loyalty

Bear true faith and allegiance to the U.S. Constitution, the Army, your unit and other Soldiers. Bearing true faith and allegiance is a matter of believing in and devoting yourself to something or someone. A loyal Soldier is one who supports the leadership and stands up for fellow Soldiers. By wearing the uniform of the U.S. Army you are expressing your loyalty. And by doing your share, you show your loyalty to your unit.

Duty

Fulfill your obligations. Doing your duty means more than carrying out your assigned tasks. Duty means being able to accomplish tasks as part of a team. The work of the U.S. Army is a complex combination of missions, tasks and responsibilities — all in constant motion. Our work entails building one assignment onto another. You fulfill your obligations as a part of your unit every time you resist the temptation to take “shortcuts” that might undermine the integrity of the final product.

Respect

Treat people as they should be treated. In the Soldier’s Code, we pledge to “treat others with dignity and respect while expecting others to do the same.” Respect is what allows us to appreciate the best in other people. Respect is trusting that all people have done their jobs and fulfilled their duty. And self-respect is a vital ingredient with the Army value of respect, which results from knowing you have put forth your best effort. The Army is one team and each of us has something to contribute.

Selfless Service

Put the welfare of the nation, the Army and your subordinates before your own. Selfless service is larger than just one person. In serving your country, you are doing your duty loyally without thought of recognition or gain. The basic building block of selfless service is the commitment of each team member to go a little further, endure a little longer, and look a little closer to see how he or she can add to the effort.

Honor

Live up to Army values. The nation’s highest military award is The Medal of Honor. This award goes to Soldiers who make honor a matter of daily living — Soldiers who develop the habit of being honorable, and solidify that habit with every value choice they make. Honor is a matter of carrying out, acting, and living the values of respect, duty, loyalty, selfless service, integrity and personal courage in everything you do.

Integrity

Do what’s right, legally and morally. Integrity is a quality you develop by adhering to moral principles. It requires that you do and say nothing that deceives others. As your integrity grows, so does the trust others place in you. The more choices you make based on integrity, the more this highly prized value will affect your relationships with family and friends, and, finally, the fundamental acceptance of yourself.

Personal Courage

Face fear, danger or adversity (physical or moral). Personal courage has long been associated with our Army. With physical courage, it is a matter of enduring physical duress and at times risking personal safety. Facing moral fear or adversity may be a long, slow process of continuing forward on the right path, especially if taking those actions is not popular with others. You can build your personal courage by daily standing up for and acting upon the things that you know are honorable.

 

 

Army Rank Structure

Officer

SECOND LIEUTENANT (2LT)
Typically the entry-level rank for most Commissioned Officers. Leads platoon-size elements consisting of the platoon SGT and two or more squads (16 to 44 Soldiers).

FIRST LIEUTENANT (1LT)
A seasoned lieutenant with 18 to 24 months service. Leads more specialized weapons platoons and indirect fire computation centers. As a senior Lieutenant, they are often selected to be the Executive Officer of a company-sized unit (110 to 140 personnel).

CAPTAIN (CPT)
Commands and controls company-sized units (62 to 190 Soldiers), together with a principal NCO assistant. Instructs skills at service schools and combat training centers and is often a Staff Officer at the battalion level.

MAJOR (MAJ)
Serves as primary Staff Officer for brigade and task force command regarding personnel, logistical and operational missions.

LIEUTENANT COLONEL (LTC)
Typically commands battalion-sized units (300 to 1,000 Soldiers), with a CSM as principal NCO assistant. May also be selected for brigade and task force Executive Officer.

COLONEL (COL)
Typically commands brigade-sized units (3,000 to 5,000 Soldiers), with a CSM as principal NCO assistant. Also found as the chief of divisional-level staff agencies.

BRIGADIER GENERAL (BG)
Serves as Deputy Commander to the commanding general for Army divisions. Assists in overseeing the staff’s planning and coordination of a mission.

MAJOR GENERAL (MG)
Typically commands division-sized units (10,000 to 15,000 Soldiers).

LIEUTENANT GENERAL (LTG)
Typically commands corps-sized units (20,000 to 45,000 Soldiers).

GENERAL (GEN)
The senior level of Commissioned Officer typically has over 30 years of experience and service. Commands all operations that fall within their geographical area. The Chief of Staff of the Army is a four-star General.

GENERAL OF THE ARMY (GOA)
This is used in time of War where the Commanding Officer must be equal or of higher rank than those commanding armies from other nations. The last officers to hold this rank served during and immediately following WWII.

Warrant Officer

WARRANT OFFICER 1 (WO1)
An officer appointed by the Secretary of the Army. WO1s are basic level, technically and tactically focused officers who perform the primary duties of technical leader, trainer, operator, manager, maintainer, sustainer, and advisor. WO1s primarily support levels of operations from team or detachment through battalion, requiring interaction with all soldier cohorts and primary staff.

CHIEF WARRANT OFFICER 2 (CW2)
An officer, commissioned by the President of the United States. CW2s are intermediate level technical and tactical experts who perform the primary duties of technical leader, trainer, operator, manager, maintainer, sustainer, and advisor. CW2s primarily support levels of operations from team or detachment through battalion, requiring interaction with all soldier cohorts and primary staff.

CHIEF WARRANT OFFICER 3 (CW3)
An officer, commissioned by the President of the United States. CW3s are advanced-level technical and tactical experts who perform the primary duties of technical leader, trainer, operator, manager, maintainer, sustainer, integrator, and advisor. CW3s primarily support levels of operations from team or detachment through brigade, requiring interaction with all soldier cohorts and primary staff.

CHIEF WARRANT OFFICER 4 (CW4)
An officer, commissioned by the President of the United States. CW4s are senior-level technical and tactical experts who perform the primary duties of technical leader, manager, maintainer, sustainer, integrator and advisor. They primarily support battalion, brigade, division, corps, and echelons above corps operations.

CHIEF WARRANT OFFICER 5 (CW5)

An officer, commissioned by the President of the United States. CW5s are master-level technical and tactical experts who perform the primary duties of technical leader, manager, integrator, advisor, or any other particular duty prescribed by branch. CW5s primarily support brigade, division, corps, echelons above corps, and major command operations. CW5s have special WO leadership and representation responsibilities within their respective commands.

Enlisted Soldier

PRIVATE (PVT/PV2)

Lowest rank: a trainee who’s starting Basic Combat Training (BCT). 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)

PV2s are promoted to this level after one year, or earlier by request of supervisor. Individual can begin BCT at this level with experience or prior military training. Carries out orders issued to them to the best of his/her ability.

SPECIALIST (SPC)

Can manage other enlisted Soldiers of lower rank. Has served a minimum of two years and attended a specific training class to earn this promotion. People enlisting with a four year college degree can enter BCT as a Specialist.

CORPORAL (CPL)

The base of the Non-Commissioned Officer (NCO) ranks, CPLs serve as team leader of the smallest Army 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 15 to 18 years of Army 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 unit of the Army, 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.

SERGEANT MAJOR OF THE ARMY

There’s only one Sergeant Major of the Army. This rank is the epitome of what it means to be a Sergeant and oversees all Non-Commissioned Officers. Serves as the senior enlisted advisor and consultant to the Chief of Staff of the Army (a four-star General).

 

 

Soldier's Creed

I am an American Soldier.
I am a warrior and a member of a team.
I serve the people of the United States, and live the Army Values.
I will always place the mission first.
I will never accept defeat.
I will never quit.
I will never leave a fallen comrade.
I am disciplined, physically and mentally tough, trained and proficient in my warrior tasks and drills.
I always maintain my arms, my equipment and myself.
I am an expert and I am a professional.
I stand ready to deploy, engage, and destroy, the enemies of the United States of America in close combat.
I am a guardian of freedom and the American way of life.
I am an American Soldier.

 

 

Warrior Ethos

I will always place the mission first.

I will never accept defeat.

I will never quit.

I will never leave a fallen comrade.

Contact Us

armyrotc@isu.edu

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Mailing Address
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