Thanks to narrator Basil Sands for his permission to republish this information that he originally posted on Facebook.
When you do books that include military abbreviations, look them up, especially if they refer to a person’s rank. When a rank is abbreviated such as SSG or GYSGT the reader is almost always supposed to pronounce out the entire rank, NOT READ OUT EACH INDIVIDUAL LETTER!
One does not read SSG Grumpybum as Ess Ess Gee Grumpybum, rather as Staff Sergeant Grumpybum.
Here is a list of enlisted rank abbreviations and pay grade for the Army and Marines. This PDF shows charts of all ranks for all branches of the US military.
PVT/Pvt – Private / Private (Army / Marines) E-1
PV2 – Private (Army) E-2
Pfc – Private First Class (Marines) E-2
PFC – Private First Class (Army) E-3
LCpl – Lance Corporal (Marines) E-3
CPL/Cpl – Corporal (Army / Marines) E-4
SPC – Specialist (Army) E-4
SGT /Sgt – Sergeant (Army & Marines) E-5
SSG / SSgt – Staff Sergeant (Army / Marines) E-6
SFC – Sergeant First Class (Army) E-7
GySgt – Gunnery Sergeant (Marines) E-7
MSG/MSgt – Master Sergeant (Army/Marines) E-8
1SG/1stSgt – First Sergeant (Army/Marines) E-8
MGySgt – Master Gunnery Sergeant (Marines) E-9
SGM/SgtMaj – Sergeant Major (Army/ Marines) E-9
CSM – Command Sergeant Major (Army) E-9*
(Exception**, sometimes a CSM can be referred to as a CSM, but in person is usually referred to as Sergeant Major or as a typical soldier would say it “Sarn’t Major”)
Other resources on this topic:
- You may want to check the related article about pronouncing military and gun terms.
- The Welcome Center lists several options for assistance with pronunciation research.