The Abbreviation for Sergeant: What Is It and How Is It Used?

Do you want to know how to abbreviate the word sergeant? Here, we’ll take a look at the English definitions of both military and civilian sergeants. We’ll look at the possible areas where the abbreviation can be used instead of the full word. We’ll also break down its meaning, history, and synonyms. 

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What Is the Abbreviation?

  • Sgt


Noun

The word sergeant is commonly abbreviated as Sgt, capitalized, and used as a title before a person’s name. Staff Sergeant is abbreviated as SSgt and, in some cases, SSG.

Here are a few different types of sergeant ranks:

  • Color Sergeant | Color Sgt
  • Staff Sergeant | SSgt
  • First Sergeant | First Sgt
  • Sergeant Major | Sgt Major
  • Master sergeant | Master Sgt
  • Technical Sergeant
  • Recruiting Sergeant
  • Senior Master Sergeant
  • Gunnery Sergeant | gysgt
  • Command Sergeant Major
  • Sergeant First Class | sfc

An alternative spelling for sergeant is serjeant (Sjt).

What Does Sergeant Mean?

The word sergeant is typically used to refer to a non-commissioned officer (NCO) whose rank is above an officer and a corporal. Their position is below a lieutenant. In the U.K., they rank below an inspector. Higher ranks carry more responsibility, as well as a higher pay grade.

In the United States Army, sergeant refers to a junior officer equivalent to a leader of a fire team of four soldiers. Certain divisions in the Air Force have higher ranking sergeants (often called sergeant first class), but it’s typically a junior officer.

The highest ranking sergeants are sergeant majors and first sergeants. A sergeant major has the role of maintaining standards, training, and supervision of personnel. 

According to Cambridge Dictionary, sergeant is a noun meaning “a person in the military below the rank of a lieutenant (= an officer of the lowest rank).”

The Plural

Just add an s at the end of sergeant to make the word plural. The plural for sergeant major is sergeant majors in the British Army; however, in the U.S. Army, the plural would be sergeants major.

Similarly, the plural of sergeant-a-arms would be sergeants-at-arms.

Synonyms for Sergeant

  • Captain 
  • Deputy
  • Defective
  • Police
  • Police Officer
  • Arm
  • Badge
  • Centurion
  • Cop
  • Flatfoot
  • Noncom
  • Sherriff
  • Black and white
  • Mounty
  • Lieutenant Colonel
  • Brigadier General 

The History Of The Word

According to Wikipedia, the origin of the title sergeant dates back to the medieval times. A sergeant was a servant whose role was to protect the knighthood. A knight called upon sergeants-at-arms to fight when needed. A serjeant-at-arms, a specific type of military sergeant, worked for the English Monarch.

In Middle Latin, servientem meant “servant, vassal, soldier.” According to The Online Etymology Dictionary, the Old French word sergent (also serjant) meant “servant, valet; court official; soldier.” The word came into the English language in 1200. 

When used in civilian life, the word sergeant has a different meaning. For instance, English attorneys used the title serjeant-at-law. In the U.S., the word refers to non-commissioned officers in the police force. 

When to Use the Abbreviation

Sgt is capitalized when used as a formal title before a person’s name. It is used at the first mention of the name of an officer; then, in other references, only the last name is used.

  • Sgt. Patton played an important role in World War II. 
  • First Sgt. James McEvoy gave a detailed account of the attack. McEvoy said there was a need for a thorough investigation.

“One of the cars ended up 60-feet down the street near 1st Avenue, according to National City police Sgt. Damien Ballardo.”
—Fox 5

“Martin County Sheriff’s Office Sgt. Timothy Baltes and another driver, Tony Weisman, worked to pull Ramirez out of her burning car and called for help.”
—NBC 6

In other instances, where the title is not placed before the officer’s name, the abbreviation is not used:

“Harms had 20 years of policing under his belt, including 11 as a sergeant with the Contra Costa Sheriff’s Office, before joining the Dixon Police Department in 2012.”
—TheReporter.com

“The sergeant saw the knife and told Glass to drop it.”
—The Courier-Journal

“A police sergeant in New Hampshire was arrested in connection with a 7-year-old vehicle pursuit in the town where he works and lives, the attorney general’s office said Wednesday.”
—Boston.com

“Every month, a first sergeant has the honor of choosing a deserving Airman to be presented the Holloman’s First Sergeant Council’s Diamond Sharp Award for an outstanding act or continuous outstanding performance.”
—Air Education and Training Command

Additional Abbreviations for the U.S. Army

Pay GradeTitleAbbreviation
E-1PrivatePVT
E-2Private 2PV2
E-3Private First ClassPFC
E-4SpecialistSPC
E-4CorporalCPL
E-5SergeantSGT
E-6Staff SergeantSSG
E-7Sergeant First ClassSFC
E-8Master SergeantMSG
E-8First Sergeant1SG
E-9Sergeant MajorSGM
E-9Command Sergeant MajorCSM
E-9 SpecialSergeant Major of the ArmySMA
W-1Warrant OfficerWO1
W-2Chief Warrant Officer 2CW2
W-3Chief Warrant Officer 3CW3
W-4Chief Warrant Officer 4CW4
W-5Chief Warrant Officer 5CW5
O-1Second Lieutenant2LT
O-2First Lieutenant1LT
O-3CaptainCPT
O-4MajorMAJ
O-5Lieutenant ColonelLTC
O-6ColonelCOL
O-7Brigadier GeneralBG
O-8Major GeneralMG
O-9Lieutenant GeneralLTG
O-10GeneralGEN
SpecialGeneral of the ArmyGA

Additional Abbreviations for the U.S. Air Force

Pay GradeTitleAbbreviation
E-1Airman BasicAB
E-2AirmanAmn
E-3Airman First ClassA1C
E-4Senior Airman or SergeantSrA
E-5Staff SergeantSSgt
E-6Technical SergeantTSgt
E-7Master SergeantMSgt
E-8Senior Master SergeantSMSgt
E-8Senior Master SergeantSMSgt
E-9Chief Master SergeantCMSgt
E-9Command Chief Master SergeantCCM
E-9 SpecialChief Master Sergeant of the Air ForceCMSAF
O-1Second Lieutenant2d Lt
O-2First Lieutenant1st Lt
O-3CaptainCapt
O-4MajorMaj
O-5Lieutenant ColonelLt Col
O-6ColonelCol
O-7Brigadier GeneralBrig Gen
O-8Major GeneralMaj Gen
O-9Lieutenant GeneralLt Gen
O-10General Air Force Chief of StaffGen
SpecialGeneral of the Air ForceGOAF

Additional Abbreviations for the U.S. Navy / Coast Guard

Pay GradeTitleAbbreviation
E-1Seaman RecruitSR
E-2Seaman ApprenticeSA
E-3SeamanSN
E-4Petty Officer 3rd ClassPO3
E-5Petty Officer 2nd ClassPO2
E-6Petty Officer 1st ClassPO1
E-7Chief Petty OfficerCPO
E-8Senior Chief Petty OfficerSCPO
E-9Master Chief Petty OfficerMCPO
E-9Command Master Chief Petty OfficerMCPOC
E-9Fleet Master Chief Petty OfficerFLTCM
E-9Force Master Chief Petty OfficerFORCM
E-9 SpecialMaster Chief Petty Officer of the Coast GuardMPCOCG
E-9 SpecialMaster Chief Petty Officer of the NavyMCPON
W-1Warrant OfficerWO1
W-2Chief Warrant Officer 2CWO2
W-3Chief Warrant Officer 3CWO3
W-4Chief Warrant Officer 4CWO4
W-5Chief Warrant Officer 5CWO5
O-1EnsignENS
O-2Lieutenant, Junior GradeLTJG
O-3LieutenantLT
O-4Lieutenant CommanderLCDR
O-5CommanderCDR
O-6CaptainCAPT
O-7Rear Admiral (lower half)RDML
O-8Rear Admiral (upper half)RADM
O-9Vice AdmiralVADM
O-10Admiral Chief of Naval Operations /Commandant of the Coast GuardADM
O-10 SpecialFleet AdmiralFADM

Additional Abbreviations for the U.S. Marine Corps

Pay GradeTitleAbbreviation
E-1PrivatePvt
E-2Private First ClassPFC
E-3Lance CorporalLCpl
E-4CorporalCpl
E-5SergeantSgt
E-6Staff SergeantSSgt
E-7Gunnery SergeantGySgt
E-8Master SergeantMSgt
E-8First Sergeant1stSgt
E-9Master Gunnery SergeantMGySgt
E-9Sergeant MajorSgtMaj
E-9 SpecialSergeant Major of the Marine CorpsSgtMajMarCor
W-1Warrant Officer 1WO1
W-2Chief Warrant Officer 2CW2
W-3Chief Warrant Officer 3CW3
W-4Chief Warrant Officer 4CW4
W-5Chief Warrant Officer 5CW5
O-1Second Lieutenant2ndLt
O-2First Lieutenant1stLt
O-3CaptainCapt
O-4MajorMaj
O-5Lieutenant ColonelLtCol
O-6ColonelCol
O-7Brigadier GeneralBGen
O-8Major GeneralMajGen
O-9Lieutenant GeneralLtGen
O-10GeneralGen

Sources:

  1. https://dictionary.cambridge.org/us/dictionary/english/sgt
  2. https://www.thesaurus.com/browse/sergeant
  3. https://www.sandiegouniontribune.com/news/public-safety/story/2019-09-12/postal-worker-struck-pinned-between-vehicles-in-national-city
  4. https://www.courier-journal.com/story/news/crime/2019/09/11/lmpd-louisville-man-knife-chases-sergeant-others-inside-norton-hospital/2285790001/
  5. https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sergeant_major
  6. https://fox5sandiego.com/2017/08/15/6-parked-cars-smashed-in-separate-alleged-dui-crashes/
  7. https://www.nbcmiami.com/news/local/police-sergeant-good-samaritan-save-woman-from-burning-car-after-crash/2178261/
  8. https://www.thereporter.com/2020/01/08/dixon-police-sergeant-calls-it-a-career/
  9. https://www.courier-journal.com/story/news/crime/2019/09/11/lmpd-louisville-man-knife-chases-sergeant-others-inside-norton-hospital/2285790001/
  10. https://www.boston.com/news/local-news/2020/01/16/new-hampshire-police-sergeant-charged-with-felony-in-7-year-old-vehicle-pursuit
  11. https://www.aetc.af.mil/News/Article/2058083/unit-deployment-manager-is-49th-wing-diamond-sharp-award-winner/