Posted on Nov 28, 2016
SPC Human Resources Specalist
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During the time my grandfather served in the Army, there were many Specialist ranks all the way up to E-9. My question is, what was the purpose of having an E-9 SPC (SP9) back when these ranks were in service. I could use a good history lesson!

Thank you,
SPC O'Hara
Posted in these groups: Specialist_5_(sp5)__e-5 SP5Specialist_6_(sp6)__e-6 SP6Ad11ad86 SPC
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Responses: 96
SFC (Other / Not listed)
58
58
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Back then, the two rank systems were used to distinguish who was a leader (an NCO), and who was a technician (specialists). The higher specialist ranks were given to soldiers who had a great deal of administrative responsibility, but did not necessarily lead any troops. For example, someone who was a quartermaster (supply sergeant) who worked at the Pentagon and worked on massive acquisition projects might hold one of the higher specialist grades. He was paid the same as the NCO of the same grade because of the level of responsibility and expertise he had, but he was not in charge of troops and most of his authority was administrative only.
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SFC Christopher Taggart
SFC Christopher Taggart
>1 y
I could be wrong, but I joined in 1985 and the Specialist rank went up to E-6, then
merged into hard stripes at E-7. I was in the field at Graf when we heard E-5s and E-6s could now where the hard stripes of NCOs.
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SP5 John DeCourcy
SP5 John DeCourcy
>1 y
I was a Spec 5. MOS 96. Maybe 2L at the end. Was trained at Ft. Bliss. Biggs field. DLISC 52 wk. course in VN language. Assigned to 2 Corps. Was flown all over the Corps area. Only saw 1 Spec 6 that i co-ordinated with in the interrogation of a prisoner. That soldier was made a warrant later.
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SPC Dennis Sneed
SPC Dennis Sneed
1 y
Thanks, I needed that
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SSG John Ferrell
SSG John Ferrell
10 mo
I was a SP6 for 7 years 1969-1976 Tactical radio repairman 31E20. No marching, leading troops, standing formations, no guard duty - quite the life
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SGT Jerrold Pesz
25
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Just for information:

In 1968 when the Army added the rank of Command Sergeant Major, the specialist ranks at E-8 and E-9 were abolished without anyone ever being promoted to those levels. In 1978 the specialist rank at E-7 was discontinued and in 1985, the specialist ranks at E-5 and E-6 were discontinued.
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SP5 Mark Kuzinski
SP5 Mark Kuzinski
>1 y
LTC Stephen C. - As a SP5 and a construction surveyor I was in charge of my survey crew and that was the length of my authority. Also, nice to see that the cooks kept you on the straight and narrow.
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SPC Robert Keesee
SPC Robert Keesee
>1 y
I have 4 sets of Spc9 & SPC 8 Ranks Insignia
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SGT Jerrold Pesz
SGT Jerrold Pesz
10 mo
SPC Robert Keesee - I am sure those insignia exist but the army says that no one ever held those ranks.
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SFC Ncoic
SFC (Join to see)
6 mo
I read there were no E-9 Spc but 5 known E-8 SPC all Chaplin Assistants .
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SGM Studying Computer Security
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24
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Edited >1 y ago
SPC (Join to see) I was the Chief Fire Direction Computer for a mortar platoon, and was a SP5. I had one subordinate, a SP4 Fire Direction Computer. Mortar squad leaders were all SGTs, perhaps because they had an appropriate number of subordinates, 4 in their case. (Appropriate in that an Infantry Team Leader would also be a SGT and have 4 team members.) By that standard, if you had an entire squad of 10 subordinates, you would be a SSG, and if you had a platoon's worth, you would be an SFC. But if you had less, you could be a SP6 or SP7.

I don't know if this is the ACTUAL reason, but it is what it appeared to be in the early to mid 70's. The only SP7s I saw were senior cooks.

I think then, the Army was trying to increase pay for those who had valued skills, but insufficient subordinates to justify higher rank. I think the Army needs to continue to look into this, and stop the drain of highly qualified talent to the contracting world.
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MAJ Ronnie Reams
MAJ Ronnie Reams
2 y
SGM (Join to see) - OCS at Benning, candidates were promoted/moved to SP5 11F20 (Inf opns/Intell Spec). If did not complete, were reverted to previous rank/MOS. If completed, Discharged and Commissioned.
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SP5 Edwin Overstreet
SP5 Edwin Overstreet
2 y
I served 66-69, separated as SP 5 . Never saw above SP 6 but was always of the belief that enlisted hospital medical personnel could be SP7 and above . Other fields with specialist rank designation would have WO commission after SP 6 . Anything to that ?
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SSG Disabled Veteran
SSG (Join to see)
2 y
SP5 Edwin Overstreet - It depended on the MOS, mine went to hard stripes at E-6. It didn't make any sense and depended on officers who were vacancies
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CW5 Jack Cardwell
CW5 Jack Cardwell
>1 y
As a young SGT E-5 somewhere around 1977-78 with around 3 years time in service I had Spec 5s in my squad that had over 10 years time in service! Guess i was lucky i made hard stripe !
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