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Difference Between a Sergeant and a Corporal

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There are many differences between a Sergeant and a Corporal. Their rank on their collar is a dead give away, followed by their level of experience. In most situations a Sergeant will have a few years more experience than most Corporals, A Sergeant will also have more opportunities in the Marine Corps, like the opportunity to go to drill instructor school among other things. In boot camp we were always taught that Sergeants were the “backbone of the marine corps” because they’re such an integral part of the chain of command but corporals bridge the gap between junior marines and sergeants which I think is equally as important.

The first thing I look at when I’m walking past a marine is the rank on their collar. It’s what helps us know who is senior ranking to us so we know when to give the proper greeting of the day or when to salute. A Corporal has two stripes up crossed rifles in the center, as oppose to a Sergeant which has three stripes up crossed rifles in the center, A small but important difference when giving the greeting of the day. Another large difference between a Corporal and a Sergeant is the career opportunities that are available. A Corporal will more than likely be nearing the end of his or her first enlistment which gives them the opportunity to re-enlist (active or inactive) and if they so choose they can also lateral move to a different MOS, But whatever they choose to do they will be leading marines.

A Sergeant has more opportunities than a corporal would, They have the opportunity to broaden their career by seeking a “B-billet” such as drill instructor, combat instructor, or instructor of new officers. Another option is to become a recruiter and search for the next generation of marines. These options are unavailable to Corporals and below but for Sergeants these options are very important to their careers and the careers of the marines they could be instructing or recruiting. Another key difference between Sergeants and Corporals is the extra time and experience that Sergeants have over Corporals. In most cases if I were to go up to a Corporal and ask him a question that he did not know the answer to, he would more than likely go to a Sergeant to find out for me. By following the chain of command we can find a solution at the lowest level allowing us to work more efficiently Sergeants have more experience and leadership skills than Corporals, that’s why they have earned the rank of Sergeant.

The difference between Corporal and Sergeant is very clear. Sergeants of the Marine Corps have an extra stripe up giving us a visual sign that they are a sergeant and not a corporal. Sergeants also have more opportunities to explore and more time, experience, and knowledge to pass down than most corporals, but both corporals and sergeants are very important and different parts of the chain of command.

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