Rank and Responsibility

Table of Ranks & Responsibilities

Table of Ranks & Appointments

Staff Officers

Rank & Appt Abbreviations



►►Lieutenant General

►►Major General

►►Brigadier General

►►Brigadier (1928-1968)

►►Col.-Commandant (1922-1928)


►►Lieutenant Colonel




►►2nd Lieutenant

►►Officer Cadet

Warrant Officers

►►Chief Warrant Officer (1968-)

►►W.O. Class I (1915-1968)

►►Master Warrant Officer (1968-)

►►W.O. Class II (1915-1968)

►►Warrant Officer (1968-)

►►W.O. Class III (1939-1945)

Non-Commissioned Officers

►►Staff Sergeant (1900-1968)


►►Lance Sergeant (1900-1968)

►►Master Corporal (1968-2000+)


►►Lance Corporal  (1900-1968)

Non-Commissioned Mbrs (Men)




Master Gunner

Platoon Sergeant Major

Honorary Ranks


Colonel of the Regiment

Honorary Colonel

Colonel Commandant

Lance Sergeant

Lance Sergeant was an appointment in the Canadian Army up until Unification.

A soldier with the rank of corporal could be appointed lance-sergeant. He received the pay of a corporal, but wore the rank insignia of a sergeant and was permitted to belong to the Warrant Officers' and Sergeants' Mess. The appointment could also be removed by the Commanding Officer at any time without administrative action, which was not the case for a substantive sergeant.

In the period between the end of the Second World War and Unification, the Canadian Army allowed 6 percent of corporals to be appointed as lance sergeants. The intent was to allow commanding officers to test certain corporals for possible promotion by giving them responsibilities at the Senior NCO level. As substantive promotions were centrally controlled by Army HQ, employment as a lance sergeant was seen to be beneficial to career NCOs.

It was not uncommon in this period for NCOs to hold the appointment, and have to revert to corporal upon posting to another unit.

After Unification, the appointments of Lance Sergeant and Lance Corporal were terminated; the former Navy and Air Force personnel did not have such appointments in their unique rank structure and apparently were unhappy at the idea of relinquishing appointments at the discretion of a CO.

Rank insignia for lance sergeants was a standard 3-bar chevron. In the Royal Canadian Artillery, substantive sergeants were permitted to wear a gun badge over the chevron; lance sergeants were not permitted to do so.


In Anti-Tank Platoons of Second World War Infantry Battalions, three of the gun crews would be commanded by sergeants, the other three by lance sergeants.

Abbreviation and Alternate Form

The rank was abbreviated as L/Sgt or sometimes as LSgt. The alternate spelling of "Serjeant" was also used throughout the first half of the 20th Century, fading into disuse after 1945.


Thanks to Doug Townend and Mike Murfin for additional information provided via the site forum.

canadiansoldiers.com 1999-present