command sergeants major

Enlisted Ranks: Army

There’s nothing I hate more than a story that didn’t even try to get its ranks right. Why is a major giving orders to a colonel? Why is a first sergeant working with a bunch of fuzzies? Why the hell did you just call the sergeant major ‘sir’? 

Military ranks are different across the branches, but if your story features the U.S. Army, here’s a breakdown of enlisted ranks and rank etiquette. (other branches coming soon!)

Ranks in the army follow a numerical pattern, so if you’re ever not quite sure what the name of the rank higher is, you can reference them by nomenclature.
E-series: E stands for enlisted. This refers to soldiers from private to sergeant major. 
O-series: O stands for officer. This refers to soldiers from second lieutenant to general. O-series post coming soon!
W-series: W stands for warrant officer. This refers to soldiers from warrant officer 1 to chief warrant officer 5. W-series post coming soon!

In ACUs, (army combat uniform) the rank is worn in the center of the chest via a velcro patch. In class-A uniforms, the rank is worn on the shoulder.

Each pay grade earns slightly more per month than the one before it. Officers make significantly more money per month than enlisted. Time in service also affects pay, meaning a sergeant who’s been in six years will make more than a staff sergeant who’s been in three years.

E-1: Private
Most people who enlist come in at E-1 unless they were in JROTC, have a college degree, or performed some other feat with their recruiters prior to enlisting i.e. volunteer work, good P.T. scores, etc. This is the lowest pay grade and has no rank. Soldiers who are E-1s do not wear a rank. 
also known as: PV1, fuzzy (because they wear no velcro rank, there’s a patch of bare fuzz in the middle of their uniform. You can buy a patch to cover it.)
Title: Private, PV1

E-2: Private
Yes, there are two ranks by the name of private. You reach E-2 automatically after six months of enlistment. If you enroll in the Delayed Entry Program or have an acceptable P.T. card with your recruiter, you can enlist as an E-2 instead of an E-1. At E-2, you more or less have no more power than an E-1. 
also known as : PV2
Title: Private, PV2

E-3: Private First Class
The final “private” class. You reach E-3 automatically after 12 months of enlistment, assuming you’ve been an E-2 for at least four months. If you were in JROTC for four years, you enter automatically at this rank. This rank still doesn’t have much power, but may be put in charge of other privates and may assist their team leader with tasks, and on occasion may be a team leader themselves.
also known as : PFC
Title: Private, PFC.

E-4: Specialist/Corporal
The last “junior enlisted” class. You reach specialist automatically after 24 months of enlistment, assuming you’ve been a PFC for at least six months. If you enlist with a completed four year college degree, you can start out as an E-4 instead of an E-1. Specialists tend to be team leaders and may be in charge of other specialists and privates. When no NCOs are present, the senior specialist is in charge. 

Corporal, while technically the same pay grade as specialist, is actually an essentially higher rank. It’s a special rank only bestowed on those who are in leadership positions and are awaiting the appropriate time in service/time in grade to be promoted to sergeant. Corporals are considered NCOs while specialists are considered junior enlisted.  Strictly speaking corporals and specialists are the same rank, but in most situations, corporals out rank specialists.
also known as: shamshields, (specialist only) SPC, CPL
Title: Specialist, Corporal


Man, all of that text is boring. Let’s break it up a bit with some rank etiquette, shall we?

• Lower enlisted (E-1 thru E-4) tend to call each other by their surname regardless of rank. Even an E-1 will probably be calling a specialist just by their name. The exception is Corporals, who are considered NCOs and are referred to by rank.

• E-5 and above are referred to as “NCOs,” or non-commissioned officers. 

• NCOs with similar ranks might call each other by their surnames and will call lower enlisted by their surnames. When discussing another NCO with a lower enlisted, they will use that NCO’s proper rank. So a sergeant speaking to a PFC will say “Sergeant Smith needs you,” not “Smith needs you.” Freshly promoted sergeants who still hang out with lower enlisted might not mind their friends calling them their surnames in private, but formally and professionally they’re expected to address their senior properly. 

• Lower enlisted ranks are often called “joes,” especially when an NCO is addressing another NCO about their squad or platoon. “Have your joes had chow yet?” = “Have the soldiers directly under your command eaten yet?” 

• It’s considered inappropriate for lower enlisted to hang out with NCOs and it’s discouraged, especially in the work place. 

Are you all rested up? Great! Let’s get back to the ranks. 

E-5: Sergeant

Finally: the NCO ranks! Unlike the previous ranks, you cannot automatically rank up to sergeant. You must attend special courses and be seen by a promotion board where you’ll be expected to recite the NCO creed and have knowledge appropriate for an non-commissioned officer. From this rank on, lower-ranked soldiers will refer to you as “sergeant” and you will likely be a squad leader or in another leadership position. 

• Lower enlisted do NOT refer to sergeants by their surname unless it is paired with their rank. “Sergeant Smith,” not just “Smith,” or your private will be doing a lot of push-ups. 

• No one calls them “Sarge.” Like… just don’t do it friends. 

• Some pronounce sergeant in such a way it sounds as though the g is dropped entirely. Ser-eant, or phonetically, “saarnt.” 

also known as: SGT

Title: Sergeant

E-6: Staff Sergeant

Sergeant Plus. You probably will have similar responsibilities to an E-5, meaning probably a squad leader unless you need to fill in for a platoon sergeant. Don’t misunderstand; in lower enlisted ranks, private and private first class aren’t that much of a difference. E-5 and E-6 are a definite difference though. It is acceptable to call an E-6 either “sergeant” or “sergeant (name)” instead of staff sergeant. 

also known as: SSG

Title: Sergeant

E-7: Sergeant First Class

At this point the ranks become known as “senior NCO.” E-7 and above cannot be demoted by normal means. It actually requires a court martial or congressional approval to demote an E-7. Like, it’s surprisingly hard to demote people after this point. I once knew an E-7 who got busted with a DUI and STILL didn’t lose his rank.

Anyway, it’s still appropriate to call an E-7 “sergeant” or “sergeant (name)” instead of sergeant first class. SFCs may be platoon sergeants or in some circumstances may hold a first sergeant position. While positioned as a first sergeant, they should be referred to as “first sergeant.” Unless you work at battalion level or higher, this is probably the highest NCO rank you’ll interact with regularly, and in some cases interacting with an E-7 can be as big a deal as interacting with an E-8. 

also known as: SFC

Title: Sergeant

E-8: First Sergeant/Master Sergeant

Another dual-rank. First sergeants are the NCO in charge of a company and are usually the highest ranking NCO soldiers will interact with regularly. They run the company alongside the company commander. All NCOs answer to them and most beginning of the day and end of the day formations will be initiated and ended with them. It is only appropriate to refer to a first sergeant as “first sergeant” or “first sergeant (name).” Do not just call them “sergeant.”

Master sergeants are E-8s who are not in a first sergeant position. Typically these people wind up working in offices in battalion or brigade. It’s only appropriate to refer to a master sergeant as “master sergeant” or “master sergeant (name).”

also known as: 1SG, FSG, (first sergeant only) MSG (master sergeant only)

Titles: First Sergeant, Master Sergeant.

E-9: Sergeant Major or Command Sergeant Major

We finally reach the end of the list: Sergeant Major, the highest ranking NCO. Sergeant Majors will be found at battalion level and higher. Command Sergeant Majors are those that hold a leadership position in a battalion, brigade, etc, like first sergeant vs master sergeant. It is appropriate to refer to E-9s as “sergeant major” or “sergeant major (name).” Typically, a command sergeant major will be referred to AS command sergeant major.

In the U.S., the plural form of sergeant major is “sergeants major.” Outside the U.S., “sergeant majors” can be correct. 

also known as: SGM, CSM

Title: Sergeant Major

Now, for the most important announcement:

Soldiers NEVER, and I mean NEVER, refer to an NCO as “sir” or “ma’am.” Forget what the movies tell you; if your first sergeant is chewing you out, you do not say “ma’am, yes ma’am!” You’ll earn yourself some push-ups and some cleaning duty and probably a counseling. Do you see how under every rank I’ve provided a “title” section? That’s how your soldiers address that rank. Period. The only people who get called “sir” and “ma’am” are civilians and officers. Cannot tell you how many movies I’ve rolled my eyes into my skull because some snot-nosed private is calling their squad leader “sir.” Please cease this immediately. Thank you.

That’s all for scriptsoldier’s rank breakdown of enlisted ranks! Stay tuned for our breakdown of officers, warrant officers, and how your rank affects your standing in your unit!


Robert Orel Dean (born March 2, 1929) Tuscon AZ. #RobertDean retired from the U.S. Army as a Command Sergeant Major and served at #NATO Command. after a 28-year career. He has appeared on radio programs, TV documentaries and at conferences discussing the subject of #UFOs and a government cover up of #alien visitations to Earth. Dean claims to have viewed a classified government document called “#TheAssessment” that allegedly discussed threats posed by alien activity on Earth. Dean had “#CosmicTopSecret” clearance while in the military. That is the highest level of above Top Secret for #NATO. Source New York Times.
In this video Robert Dean discusses the fact that some of the Aliens look just like us. Or in my opinion, we look like them. They can infiltrate government, military and regular civilian life because you cannot distinguish them from earthlings.
#4biddenknowledge Truth is… They never left. #Annunaki

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Brothers fulfill the promise of one fallen.

(Article by Major George Chigi and Captain Kapualani Ampong-Duke. Photos courtesy of 3-1 AD Public Affairs Office, 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 1st Armored Division, 7 JUN 2014.)

Soldiers dressed in full Army Dress Blues filled the front seats of Mountain View High School graduation ceremony on June 7, 2014; a unique sight, even for a city located just outside a military installation. As Lluvia Loeza’s name was called, the Soldiers rose to their feet and rendered a salute.

Lluvia’s brother, Staff Sgt. Roberto Loeza, Jr., was an Infantry Rifle Squad Leader and Headquarters Platoon Sergeant in Charlie Company, 1st Battalion, 41st Infantry Regiment, 3rd Infantry Brigade Combat Team, 1st Armored Division out of Fort Bliss, Texas. He deployed with the unit to Afghanistan in support of Operation Enduring Freedom in 2011. Before leaving, he made a promise to his youngest sister, Lluvia, that he would be at her graduation to watch her walk the stage. 

Roberto died of injuries sustained by indirect fire on May 25, 2012 while serving in Logar Province, Afghanistan. 

Roberto’s brother, Esteban, wanted to surprise their sister. He sent out a message through Facebook to Roberto’s old unit asking for volunteers to stand in his place. The call was answered immediately. 

Though the majority of the unit is deployed once again to Afghanistan, the Battalion’s rear detachment known as Task Force Stalwart West led by the Battalion Executive Officer, Maj. George Chigi, along with Maj. Christopher Penwarden and Sgt. 1st Class Bernie Brooks, organized a group of Soldiers to attend Lluvia’s graduation. 

More than 30 Soldiers from 1-4 Infantry Battalion attended the graduation. Also in attendance were several Soldiers from the Fort Bliss area that knew Roberto well, including Penwarden and Sgt. 1st Class Jason Yeazel. 

Lluvia was completely surprised by the Straight and Stalwart Battalion Soldiers who gathered in their Army Service Uniforms. Making the event even more special for her, Major Chigi received permission from the school district’s superintendent to present Lluvia with her high school diploma. 

Staff Sgt. William Berry, a member of Charlie Company and a friend and comrade of Roberto, stated that, “Staff Sgt. Roberto Loeza, Jr. was a loving and caring father and family man. His Soldiers held him in very high regard and respected his leadership and presence.”

Lluvia was just as impressive as her older brother; her discipline and drive earned her the distinction of the 4th highest grade point average in her high school. Lluvia’s brother is sure to have been proud to know that Lluvia’s efforts earned her more than $100,000 in college scholarships.

The entire Loeza family was overwhelmed with emotion. They were happy to see so much support from the Straight and Stalwart Battalion for their son and Lluvia. The families of the other graduating students were awestruck by 1-41 Infantry Battalion as it rendered honors to Lluvia, the family, and Roberto.

“It was a very emotional and uplifting event for us and the family. All in all, we fulfilled a fallen Soldier’s promise and we did it with pride and honor and represented the 1-41 Infantry Battalion with nothing but the utmost respect and pleasure doing it for the family,” said Brooks, the Charlie Company First Sergeant.

As the 1-41 Infantry Battalion soldiers gathered to say goodbye to the Loeza family, Berry presented Lluvia with a Straight and Stalwart Battalion coin. These coins are traditionally only given by the Battalion Commander and Command Sergeant Major to Soldiers for extreme excellence in the performance of their duties. Lluvia was also presented with a Bulldog Brigade coin.

The Demacian Infantry and Special Forces

[[ Inspiration and information pulled from askthefourth here, asktheexemplarofdemacia here, and various notes and reblogs from unifyingleaguelore, as well as my own headcannons. This model is based on the American military (since that’s what I know best), with some bastardizations of course.

On the chart, blue represents non-com officers and enlisted soldiers, yellow represents officers. Arrows represent the chain of command, but not necessarily pay grades and ranking order since officers are generally higher rank then enlisted soldiers. ]]

Grandeur and military might are Demacia’s defining factors, and are well known throughout the continent. The Demacian army is one the largest in Valoran along with their sister branch the Demacian Navy, containing many divisions and a highly regimented chain of command. They are responsible for defending all of Demacia, including it’s borders, trade routes, and settlements. All divisions are under direct order of the King and the four Grand Generals. They, along with the lesser generals, form the Demacian Council of War.

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“I didn’t fit in too well in training. I came back from drinking one night and I was three minutes after curfew. My senior drill sergeant told me that he was going to punish me because a few medics had noticed I was late. So I asked him: ‘Do you decide what kind of leader you are based on who’s watching?’ He didn’t like that. He screamed at me and made me do a bunch of pushups, and me being a drunk-ass, I was calling him a ‘pussy’ and ‘motherfucker’ the entire time. So he reported me to the company commander, who reported me to the battalion commander, and I end up at this formal hearing where they make me listen to all this awful shit about myself. And then they asked me if I had anything to say. I’m pretty sure that I was supposed to keep quiet, but I had typed out this whole speech about how my senior drill sergeant didn’t embody Army values. So I read my speech, and when I finished, everyone was pretty mad. A command sergeant major started screaming in my face. He looked like Clint Eastwood if Clint Eastwood was only five feet tall. After he was done yelling, he ripped my insignia off my uniform, escorted me from the room, and with a mix of disgust and pride, said: ‘You’ve some got balls.’”

anonymous asked:

Now I've learned that lower enlisted usually don't even know who their top COs are - thank you! One question still bugs me, though - would there be an exception to this norm if the higher-up in question was extremely popular with the media and pretty much have iconic status, even if they are a Big Deal like a major general? As in, would lower enlisted recognize them if they just strolled through the base?

I have significant trouble recognizing people by face so I depended heavily on rank/name whenever I talked to someone, meaning I literally never recognized someone by face alone. So I had to ask hubby/our other army friend for help with this. 

Lower-enlisted soldiers generally care about two things:

1. Getting the job done
2. Going home

And sometimes we don’t actually care about 1 because “getting the job done” might be a meaningless time-consuming task we were given because our leadership don’t want us to be idle. Given this, our lowest priority is encountering high-ranking people because they will inevitably in some way waste our time.

Having said that, major generals are a pretty rare sight on most installations and media influence is pretty far reaching, so it’s definitely possible for soldiers to recognize a high ranking person they otherwise wouldn’t. Some might even be impressed. 

Regardless of their interest (or lack thereof) in such a person, a soldier still probably wouldn’t interact with the person on a regular basis, even if they did see them walking down the street. We’d most likely render the salute and greeting of the day and leave it at that if we can get away with it. Odds are they wouldn’t walk up to or address such a person because 

1. A major general is probably traveling with an escort or some entourage or something and you don’t need to put yourself into that situation
2. They might approach you

Flag officers and other people in influence apparently love stopping lower-ranking soldiers and asking them personal questions and keeping them from getting where they’re going. I especially remember in AIT for some reason higher ups thought it was a good idea to actually cut into our classrooms and just walk in and talk and eat up our class time. Like…on one hand whoop whoop eat up my class time but on the other bro I am in an army classroom to learn how to do my army job and you’re here to talk about sports or whatever…? They think it’s cool to mingle with troops for some reason, even if you’re standing at attention on a hot sidewalk in the desert with your NCO blowing up your phone and you’re surrounded by higher ranking people who are either

1. all smiling creepily and laughing every time anyone says something. 
2. staring intently at you hoping you put on a good show and don’t fuck it up because they WILL remember your name, face, and unit and they WILL report you if you do a fuck up in front of The General (fuck ups include not knowing who The General is, uniform not being perfect, or giving unsatisfactory answers to The General’s probing questions). 

And seriously I’m not kidding I’ve had some command sergeant major I’d never met like stand in front of me for twenty minutes and ask in-depth about my estrangement from my abusive mother and give me familial advice about a person they’ve never met to a person they will never see again. At one point I told him I had to go attend to a task and he had me delegate to a private (you’re a specialist, aren’t you? Just tell one of these privates to do it!) so he could keep talking to me.

NCOs will care a lot more about such people because if their troops don’t perform adequately in front of such a person, they will be looked at as bad leaders. And by “perform” I do mean perform: uniform being extra crispy, (sometimes we were specifically told to wear “our newest boots;” some people took this literally and actually bought new boots) saying “hooah” a lot, asking “thought provoking questions” (sometimes provided to us by NCOs) and honestly it’s a dog and pony show. We aren’t impressed, but if our NCOs get kudos it makes our lives easier.

If this is a very well liked person who isn’t just “iconic” but soldiers actually like, that might change things a bit. Especially those of us who work with higher-ranking people regularly; (it was common for me to work with an O-3 or 4 for example) even I would stop and greet and talk with an officer I was familiar with and liked. Otherwise I feel like my unit only ever felt inconvenienced by higher ups butting in; we didn’t view them as a treat or a cryptid: they were an annoyance, and we would quite prefer to never see anyone above O-6 if we could help it. 


If you felt engaged or enlightened by the above post, would you please consider checking out my Patreon? Your small contribution can make a huge difference for me. Thank you for your support!


Demolishing barriers: female first sergeant takes command of combat engineer company.

First Sgt. Raquel Steckman salutes her platoon sergeants with the 374th Engineer Company (Sapper), headquartered in Concord, Calif., during formation. Steckman is the first female in the Army appointed to a combat engineer unit as a first sergeant. 

(U.S. Army photos and article by Sgt. 1st Class Michel Sauret, 8 FEB 2015.)

CONCORD, Calif. – She took charge of the formation for her first time since joining the unit.

There was no fanfare. There were no pink balloons or colorful streamers announcing her arrival.

“Receive the report,” 1st Sgt. Raquel Steckman ordered the company.

Each platoon sergeant did, taking accountability of Soldiers among their ranks.

They reported back to Steckman: the first woman in the Army appointed to a combat engineer company as a first sergeant. But for her, being a woman is irrelevant. When the topic is brought up, she laughs it off entirely.

“I just don’t think it’s a big deal. Why do you have to point out that I’m a freaking female? I’m trying to do a job here. It just blows my mind,” said Steckman, now with the 374th Engineer Company (Sapper), an Army Reserve unit located in Concord, California.

Being a female first sergeant, after all, is not such a monumental occasion. There have been plenty of them before Steckman around the Army, and plenty others who served as commanders and command sergeants major. Ranger school has recently opened to females, and more than 40 women have graduated the elite sapper training since 1999.

“Gender or race have no impact on how well (Soldiers) will perform a task,” said Steckman.

So … End of story. Stop the press.

Except her appointment marks another barrier breached in the integration process of women in combat units. There are more than 20,500 combat engineers across the Army, and currently none of them are women. The position is expected to open to females once a congressional notification from the Secretary of Defense makes it official. It will become one of 14 combat-specific military occupational specialties (MOS) that have been exclusive to males until now.

Steckman became eligible for this position because she joined the Army as a bridge crew member. Soldiers in her MOS train alongside combat engineers frequently, even as early as basic combat training. Combat engineers (12B) and bridge crew members (12C) both feed into the same leadership role: combat engineer senior sergeant (12Z). Only five women in the Army currently hold that position. All five are in the Army Reserve today.

Being an Army Reserve unit doesn’t make these combat engineers any less “manly.” They talk about 12-mile ruck marches, bivouacking and 5-mile runs like it’s their everyday life. During formation, platoons compete against each other.

They each appoint a Soldier to disassemble and reassemble an M240 machine gun to see who can do it fastest. Their Army jobs revolve around explosives, blowing stuff up.

However, both Steckman and her company commander have said that being an Army Reserve unit in the Bay Area, just an hour north of San Francisco, made this appointment an easy transition. That’s why for Steckman, this “female thing” isn’t such a big deal for her Soldiers.

“Their whole life isn’t focused on (their Army job). They leave. They go home and they do other jobs. So their spectrum is much broader … The reason why it’s different in the Reserve is because those guys go to civilian jobs, where they interact with females all the time,” said Steckman.

Steckman doesn’t ask herself what her role is as a “female” first sergeant. Her focus is on the job, not the gender.

“I’m constantly asking: What does a first sergeant do? … They always say beans and bullets, so (my) responsibility is to make sure the Soldiers are taken care of as far as training, vehicles and their well being,” she said.

Steckman has wanted to serve in the military for as long as she remembers.

“My dad’s favorite picture of me is where I’m wearing a purple one-piece swimsuit and my curly long hair sticking out from underneath my grandfather’s sailor’s hat, saluting. It’s his favorite picture. Carries it around with him still,” said Steckman, who grew up in Eben Junction in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan.

She wanted to join the Marine Corps at 17, but her parents wouldn’t sign the paperwork. Instead, she joined the Army Reserve in 1998. She became one of the first female bridge crew members, which had opened up to women a few years prior. She fell in love with the job, learning to operate boats as a private.

“We went out on the water, and they said, ‘Sure let’s see how you do on the boat.’ And they say you either get it or you don’t. You either can operate or you can’t. And I loved it … I freaking loved it,” she said.

From there, she grew in the ranks, eventually joining the Active Guard Reserve program and served as the operations sergeant at the company and battalion levels. Her office is decorated with awards, plaques and coins she collected from each unit or school she attended.

One multi-role bridge (MRB) company presented her with a red-haired Barbie dressed in a GI Joe uniform holding a plastic rifle. The Barbie is mounted to a wooden base with a plaque thanking her for her dedication and service. Her most prized award is a paddle from the 652nd Engineer Company (MRB), from Hammond, Wisconsin, where she spent 12 years.

When she graduated from her senior combat engineer course in North Dakota, she received two coins: one for making the commandant list, and the other for being the first female to graduate the course.

“I was actually pissed off they gave me a coin for being a female,” she said.

There’s no malice or resentment in her voice when she said this. She’s not an “angry” woman, or a “bossy” woman. She doesn’t see herself as having something to prove. She’s just a Soldier in uniform.

“I just. I don’t know. I’ve always wanted to fly under the radar and just be. I never wanted to be the center of attention,” she said.

Interestingly, Steckman isn’t the first woman to join the 374th Engineer Company. There are four other females in the unit already, all holding non-combat positions: Two are medics, one a mechanic and one a nuclear, biological and chemical specialist.

When asked, they don’t make a big hoopla over having a female first sergeant.

“I’m really excited that everybody else is excited that we don’t have penises,” said Staff Sgt. Katherine Goodwin sarcastically when asked about this “moment in history.”

She’s one of the female medics at the unit, and she references the human anatomy often in some of her responses. Even as a woman, she’s used to being one of the “guys.” She gives medical care to male and female Soldiers as part of her job.

However, when given time to reflect, she sees the value in the Army changes happening around her.

“I was thinking about this. It’s not about us. It’s about all the women who had to deal with not being accepted and having to fight for their rights to do their jobs. We’re just here. We’re doing what we could have done all along. But somebody 20 years ago had to bust their ass. There’s been nurses and medics getting killed that are female that weren’t given the same opportunities that are now being given to us,” she said.
She doesn’t have to look far to see this reality.

Her fellow medic, Staff Sgt. Melissa Ruggieri, is now 38 years old. She said that 10 or 15 years ago, she was in the best shape of her life, but she was never afforded the opportunities some of the women are granted today.

She spent six years in active duty. She remembers a moment when she was about to pick up a combat litter during a training event, and a male Soldier cut her off. He grabbed the litter before she could. As though she were too fragile, and she might break from carrying her own share of the weight.

For much of their Army lives, they’ve seen female Soldiers treated as liabilities instead of assets. But now, things are changing.

“I wanted to be able to test myself, and see how far I could go (but wasn’t allowed). I’m so happy for the females that are coming in that are able to test themselves to the limit. To go for it. Unfettered. It’s gotta be amazing,” said Ruggieri.

Being a Soldier doesn’t mean they have to stop being feminine.

Steckman’s face lights up when talking about her two children. Her motherly affection becomes evident in her eyes. She’s been married five years to a man whom she considers a mentor. He is also a first sergeant, but with the Wisconsin National Guard.

Sometimes, when he opens the door for her, she playfully steps back so he can go through it first.

“I’m opening it for you,” he would object. “Ever heard of chivalry?”

“I don’t know what that is. I’m a Soldier,” she would rebut, jokingly. “But he’s always treating me like a lady.”

Olicity fic bang: something inside this heart has died (you’re in ruins), 1/15

Word Count: 56,603
Chapter: 1/15
Rating: Teen
Pairing: Olicity (obviously), Digg/Lyla, hints of Roy/Thea
Warnings: PTSD, mentions of mental health, mentions of character death

Summary: Army!AU — After a life-changing, soul-crushing event that happened five years ago, Dr. Felicity Smoak exiles herself to an Army hospital in Germany. She spends her days stitching soldiers back together, but who’s going to heal her? Enter Command Sergeant Major Oliver Jonas, an American soldier who gets injured during an IED attack with a beautiful smile and more than a few secrets of his own.

Author’s Note: First of all, major thanks to the @olicityficbang group for coordinating this huge project. Second of all, I have such immense gratitude for Julie for cheerleading throughout the grueling writing process and @screamlikeacanary and @geniewithwifi for being such amazing betas. And a gigantic hug specifically for @screamlikeacanary for the beautiful art and being really supportive of the story.

The update schedule for this story will be every other day. So look for chapter 2 on Dec. 22.

Hope you enjoy!

Read on: AO3 |

Chapter 1

I couldn’t remember the last time I wasn’t awash in the scent of burning flesh.

By then it was just the norm. And sometimes it was even comforting. Sometimes it meant I knew where I was. I knew the source. I knew what to do. After all, I’ve always been a clutch player.

But most times it just fills me with dread.

Keep reading

something inside this heart has died (you’re in ruins) 
Rated T -  56,452

After a life-changing, soul-crushing event that happened five years ago, Dr. Felicity Smoak exiles herself to an Army hospital in Germany. She spends her days stitching soldiers back together, but who’s going to heal her? Enter Command Sergeant Major Oliver Jonas, an American soldier who gets injured during an IED attack with a beautiful smile and more than a few secrets of his own.

please call me (only if you’re coming home)
Rated T -  5,905

It’s Felicity’s first stateside Thanksgiving in five years, and she’s spending it with her fiance’s family. What’s Thanksgiving without some drama sprinkled in?

it’s your favorite son
Rated T -  6,204

At Oliver’s Distinguished Service Cross ceremony, he reflects on his time in the Army and the incident that gets him the second highest award an American soldier can receive. For him, though, the best reward is having met Felicity.

so tell me when it’s time (to say i love you)
Rated T - 3,051

The night Oliver moves in with Felicity, he muses about how far he’s come as a human being and how much his life has changed for the better.

songs of yesterday now live (in the underground)
Rated T - 3,821

In all reality, she shouldn’t have been able to visit Cooper’s grave. If he’d had his way, his remains would have been scattered to the winds off the top of the Atlanta observatory where they had their first date.


President Obama awarded the Medal of Honor to U.S. Army Captain Florent Groberg today at the White House. Share the story of why Captain Groberg is an American hero.

“Captain Groberg was leading a dismounted movement consisting of several senior leaders to include two brigade commanders, two battalion commanders, two command sergeants major, and an Afghanistan National Army brigade commander.

"As they approached the provincial governor’s compound, Captain Groberg observed an individual walking close to the formation. While the individual made an abrupt turn towards the formation, he noticed an abnormal bulge underneath the individual’s clothing. Selflessly placing himself in front of one of the brigade commanders, Captain Groberg rushed forward using his body to push the suspect away from the formation. Simultaneously, he ordered another member of the security detail to assist with removing the suspect. At this time, Captain Groberg confirmed the bulge was a suicide vest. And with complete disregard for this life, Captain Groberg, again, with the assistance of the other member of the security detail, physically pushed the suicide bomber away from the formation.

"Upon falling, the suicide bomber detonated his explosive vest outside of the perimeter of the formation, killing four members of the formation and wounding numerous others. The blast from the first suicide bomb caused the suicide vest of a previously unnoticed second suicide bomber to detonate prematurely with minimal impact on the formation.

"Captain Groberg’s immediate actions to push the first suicide bomber away from the formation significantly minimized the impact of the coordinated suicide bombers’ attack on the formation, saving the lives of his comrades and several senior leaders.”

Emily Perez, was the first female African American Cadet Command Sergeant Major in the history of the U.S. Military Academy at West Point. She was deployed to Iraq in December as a Medical Service Corps officer and killed when a makeshift bomb exploded near her Humvee during combat operations in Al Kifl, near Najaf. Aged 23, she was the first female graduate of West Point to die in the Iraq War.

US Army Command Sergeant Major Martin R. Barreras. 13 MAY 2014.

Died in the San Antonio Military Medical Center at Joint Base San Antonio, Texas, of wounds inflicted by small arms fire on 6 May in Herat Province, Afghanistan, when enemy forces attacked his unit. Barreras was assigned to the 2nd Battalion, 5th Infantry, 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 1st Armored Division out of Fort Bliss, Texas.