USMC always stressed a Marine training to a level enabling them to competently serve at least one paygrade above their rank. It makes sense because leaders are up front and often the first to go, so juniors need to be able to step up. SSgt Squad Leaders would not likely gain much traction in USMC. Cpl's were often Squad Leaders as I recall. Even lower in combat through history, due to casualties.
Really, what a concept. I guess the Engineers have had it rite all along. (In the Combat Heavies anyway) Line PLTs had four squads, with three Squads by MTOE led by a SSG with two SGTs and the HQ SQD with a SGT in charge of the PLT level sets kits and outfits. We did however keep dropping in manpower from 12 Troops when I enlisted in the 80's down to 8 when I left in 2010.
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