first sergeant


: a noncommissioned officer serving as the chief assistant to the commander of a military unit (such as a company or squadron)
: the rank of a first sergeant
specifically : a rank in the army above a sergeant first class and below a sergeant major and in the marine corps above a gunnery sergeant and below a master gunnery sergeant

Examples of first sergeant in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web On July 5th, the African rank and file of the Force Publique were growing restless; for one thing, despite independence, no Congolese soldier had been promoted above the level of first sergeant major. Isaac Chotiner, The New Yorker, 30 Oct. 2023 Sam Warfield was honorably discharged in 1953 as a first sergeant. Thomas Goodwin Smith, Baltimore Sun, 22 June 2023 Services available to military members in crisis on JBER include the National Suicide Prevention Hotline, Chaplain Corps, Mental Health Clinic professionals, Military and Family Life Counselors, Family Advocacy and a military member’s first sergeant or chain of command, according to Staff Sgt. Zaz Hollander, Anchorage Daily News, 26 June 2021 Love was a retired Army first sergeant with 27 years of service who served one tour in Vietnam, police said. Emily Shapiro, ABC News, 2 June 2022 Jermal Dubose is a retired Army first sergeant who lives in Deridder, La. Dave Lieber, Dallas News, 22 July 2021 According to his campaign website, Jackson, 68, is a Birmingham native who served in the U.S. Army for 21 years and retired with the rank of first sergeant. Mike Cason |, al, 20 May 2022 Immediately after that, Shuble told a peer what happened and that person reported her for threatening to kill the first sergeant. New York Times, 3 Aug. 2021 Among the dead is Romero, 45, a retired first sergeant who served for 21 years in the Colombian army. Los Angeles Times, 18 July 2021

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'first sergeant.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

First Known Use

1776, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of first sergeant was in 1776

Dictionary Entries Near first sergeant

Cite this Entry

“First sergeant.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 16 Apr. 2024.

Kids Definition

first sergeant

: a noncommissioned officer who is the chief assistant to a military commander
: a noncommissioned officer with the rank just below sergeant major in the army and the marines

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