Master Sergeant

Inner Sphere Military Ranks
Field Officer
General Officer
For specific ranks see Military Ranks

A Master Sergeant is typically a high-ranking noncommissioned officer in a military force. Only those soldiers who are very experienced or very good reach this rank. Oftentimes a soldier will consider reaching this rank the pinnacle of their career.


In the SLDF, a Master Sergeant was the highest-ranking noncommissioned officer. Their duties and responsibilities were similar to those of a Sergeant Major. Soldiers had to spend at least four years in the SLDF to get to this rank. Master Sergeants usually commanded a company's best platoon. A 'Mech lance could be commanded by an experienced Master Sergeant.[1]

In the Second SLDF, the duties of a Master Sergeant remained the same. The Naval equivalent rank was Master Chief Petty Officer,[2] and was the rank held by the senior NCO aboard a JumpShip or WarShip.

The insignia used by Master Sergeants in the SLDF used the same shape, but the first SLDF insignia was green while the second SLDF insignia was black.[3][4]

SLDF Rank insignia
Rank Insignia (First SLDF)[5] Insignia (Second SLDF)[6]
Master Sergeant SLDF-MasterSergeant-1stSL.png SLDF-MasterSergeant-2ndSL.png

Lyran Commonwealth and Lyran Alliance[edit]

This rank isn't used in the LAAF. A Staff Sergeant Major is the senior NCO in a battalion. Most of their responsibilities are administrative instead of combat-related.[7]

LAAF Military Rank Insignia
Rank Insignia
Staff Sergeant Major StaffSergeantMajorLAAF.png

Draconis Combine Mustered Soldiery[edit]

When Shiro Kurita founded the Draconis Combine, he established the rank system of the DCMS. After the BattleMech was invented, MechWarriors who didn't own their own 'Mechs were instructed to wear the Master Sergeant insignia, but they were addressed as "MechWarrior" instead of "Master Sergeant".[8]

After Theodore Kurita implemented his reforms of the DCMS, the rank of Master Sergeant was replaced by the Japanese term Shujin. Shujin wear a stylized kanji number "5" in lavender on a colored background appropriate to the wearer's branch.[9]

Prior to 3040, aerospace pilots were given this rank, but after Theodore's reforms they were identified as Busosenshi.[10]

DCMS Officer Ranks by branch of service
DCMS Ranks DCA Ranks
Rank MechWarrior Aerospace fighter Infantry Armor Artillery Rank Naval crew
Draconis Combine Admiralty
(Master Sergeant)
Shujin-mech.png Shujin-asf.png Shujin-infantry.png Shujin-armor.png Shujin-artillery.png Shujin
(Master Sergeant)
Shujin-naval.png Shujin-tech.png

Armed Forces of the Federated Suns[edit]

This rank isn't used by the AFFS. The nearest equivalent rank is Sergeant Major.

Capellan Confederation Armed Forces[edit]

Originally known as Assistant Force Leader, in the CCAF this rank was later retitled Yi-Si-Ben-Bing or Master Sergeant after the Xin Sheng reforms. Master sergeants serve as the senior enlisted representative of a battalion and will be attached to its command staff in an administrative role. During combat, they may temporarily command a 'Mech lance or permanently command a lance of conventional tanks or artillery. In noncombat units, the master sergeant will be in charge of a major department. Within an armor or infantry regiment, one master sergeant will be recognized as "first among equals" and serve in the regimental command unit as a command master sergeant.[11][12]

CCAF Military Ranks
CCAF Rank Warrior House rank Insignia
(Master Sergeant)
N/A Yisibenbing.png

Free Worlds League[edit]

The FWLM identifies the senior NCO of a battalion as a Master Sergeant. Master Sergeants (and their naval counterparts, Senior Chief Petty Officers) wear three gold chevrons on a purple background as their rank insignia.[13]

FWLM Military Rank Insignia
Rank Insignia
Master Sergeant MasterSergeantFWL.png

The Clans[edit]

The Clans do not use this rank.

ComStar/Word of Blake[edit]

Due to their past as a quasi-religious organization, members of the Com Guards and Word of Blake Militia don't use this rank. A senior Acolyte or junior Adept would fulfill the duties of a Master Sergeant.

Free Rasalhague Republic[edit]

The KungsArmé doesn't use this rank.

Magistracy of Canopus[edit]

The Magistracy Armed Forces don't use this rank, instead NCOs at this level are known as Star Corporals. Each Star Corporal normally commands a platoon of infantry in battle, but she may also command larger units in the absence of a senior officer. Star Corporals form the core of the MAF's enlisted ranks.[14][15] Their rank symbol is a star set on the silver-edged diamond of a Volunteer.

Magistracy Armed Forces Insignia
Rank Insignia
Star Corporal MagistracyOfCanopus-StarCorporal.png

Taurian Defense Force[edit]

In the Taurian Defense Force, a Lance Sergeant in the conventional forces has the same duties as a Force Sergeant while also serving as the assistant company commander. A MechWarrior in training officially holds this rank, but has no additional command authority, while in the aerospace arm lance sergeants command air lances. Among the support branch, the rank is awarded to workhorse management positions.[16][17][18] The Lance Sergeant wears a stylized bull's head in silver to show their rank.

Taurian Defense Force Insignia
Rank Insignia
Lance Sergeant TaurianConcordat-LanceSergeant.png

Marian Hegemony[edit]

The Hegemony Armed Forces don't use this rank.

Outworlds Alliance[edit]

The Alliance Military Corps doesn't use this rank.

Aurigan Coalition Military[edit]

In the Aurigan Coalition Military, Lance Sergeant serves as assistant to a Cornet, and in armor units, the lance sergeant acts as assistant company commander to a subaltern.[19]

In the ACM, Battalion Chief-Sergeant is the senior NCO in a battalion.[19]


  • Ranks, when not preceding a name, are not capitalized.[20]
Ex: The major stood and rendered a salute to General DeChavilier.
  • Non-English ranks, with the exception of those used by the Federated Suns or Lyrans, are italicized.[20]


  1. The Star League, p. 112
  2. Field Manual: ComStar, p. 80
  3. The Star League, p. 112
  4. Field Manual: ComStar, p. 80
  5. The Star League, p. 113
  6. Field Manual: ComStar
  7. Field Manual: Lyran Alliance, p. 30
  8. House Kurita (The Draconis Combine), p. 126
  9. Field Manual: Draconis Combine, p. 18: "Rank Insignia"
  10. A Time of War Companion, p. 30: "Draconis Combine Rank Table"
  11. House Liao (The Capellan Confederation), p. 70
  12. Handbook: House Liao, p. 110
  13. Field Manual: Free Worlds League, p. 22
  14. Field Manual: Periphery, p. 24
  15. Handbook: Major Periphery States, p. 86
  16. The Periphery, p. 74
  17. Field Manual: Periphery, p. 54
  18. Handbook: Major Periphery States, p. 112
  19. 19.0 19.1 House Arano (The Aurigan Coalition), p. 26
  20. 20.0 20.1 Per Line Developer Ray Arrastia, 02Aug2022 (screencap)