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IGLOOGREENHOUSE
07-11-2010, 01:57 AM
So a character in my book is an ex-army guy, from Iraq. I've heard things be said before like he's the 1st Lieutenant Colonel of the 116th Infantry Division, but I have no idea what that means.
Does anybody know an accurate rank for a soldier in Iraq right now? Could you give an example?
Much obliged...

alleycat
07-11-2010, 02:04 AM
Well, a soldier in Iraq could be any rank from private to general (you can Google for a list of army ranks).

Ft. Campbell is near my hometown. A lot of folks from Ft. Campbell (and most other army bases) have been to Iraq. So, you could make him a former member of the 101st Airborne Division.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/101st_Airborne_Division

Noah Body
07-11-2010, 02:07 AM
Is your soldier going to be an officer or enlisted?

Officer Ranks (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States_Army_officer_rank_insignia)

Warrant Officer Ranks (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Warrant_Officer_(United_States))

Enlisted Ranks (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States_Army_enlisted_rank_insignia)

alleycat
07-11-2010, 02:09 AM
Also, you might do a simple Google search for the organization of the army. That will tell you better than I can in a short post about the "armies", divisions, battalions, regiments, etc. that make up the army.

Linda Adams
07-11-2010, 04:43 AM
I've heard things be said before like he's the 1st Lieutenant Colonel of the 116th Infantry Division, but I have no idea what that means.

There's no such rank is 1st Lieutenant Colonel. There's a First Lieutenant and a Lieutenant Colonel.

Lieutenant Colonel: It's a kind of a mid-level command position, two steps below a general. To be that rank, he'd probably have to have pretty close to twenty years in the military, or may even be over that. There's sort of a ceiling at that point--if they're past twenty and still that rank, they usually aren't going to any further.

To get to that rank, he would have commanded a company as a captain, and probably would be commanding a battalion or some other similar organization. I'm not as familiar with divisions (I was under a group, which is a different structure), but I'm betting they're commanded by full bird colonels (the next rank up for lieutenant colonel).

By the way, do your homework on the units. There's no 116th Infantry Division--there used to be a 116th Infantry Regiment, but it apparently underwent a name change (and it's not army--it's National Guard). Just go to the DOD site and start there with the briefings. They give you the names of the major divisions and regiments in Iraq, and then you can research one.

GeorgeK
07-11-2010, 04:51 AM
There's no 116th Infantry Division--there used to be a 116th Infantry Regiment, but it apparently underwent a name change (and it's not army--it's National Guard)..

Didn't W send the national guard to Iraq?

Chase
07-11-2010, 05:13 AM
Mostly good helps above. Finally someone straightened out the non-existent "first-lieutenant colonel."

This is no help at all:

Although the army has sergeant majors, Walter "Radar" O'Reilly at 4077 MASH was briefly elevated to the very bogus experimental rank of corporal captain.

Linda Adams
07-11-2010, 04:36 PM
Didn't W send the national guard to Iraq?

True--but Army and National Guard are not the same thing, and I thought the OP's phrasing suggested he didn't know that. I was in the Army, the Reserve, and the National Guard. While they both have soldiers and share the same rank structure and do work together, they are different organizations. If you were try to do administrative functions of any kind, you are limited to the service you are in. If you have a problem that crosses two services, it's a nightmare to correct because they only deal with their people and not the other service's people.

Sam M
07-11-2010, 04:38 PM
A captain or major would be a good choice. Experienced, has commanded a number of soldiers, and knows how to keep his cool in a combat environment.