View Full Version : Ex British Army?

08-12-2003, 01:10 PM
I have a question for any of you who may have been soldiers... or have any knowledge of the rank structure of the British Army.

I have recently been watching a mystery show on BBC America, called "Red Cap". The show is about the RMP's Special Investigation Branch... I am sure some of you have seen it or heard of it.

Well, my question is about one of the characters, Sarn't Major Kenny Burns. Although his expressed rank is Sergeant Major, his soldiers always call him "Sir", further, on last night's episode, it read WO2 Burns on his office door.

Is a Sergeant Major considered to be a warrant officer?

In out armed forces, a Warrant Officer is something completely separate from someone with the lordly rank of Sergeant Major.

Thanks for helping this old, beat-up, broken-down Marine

08-12-2003, 02:58 PM
I think I have seen one episode of this - so can't help. I hope someone will be able to soon :)

Mrs Dazzle
08-13-2003, 06:05 AM
:D Hi Bill - good to "see" you;)

Can't help with any answers, sorry, but given your career, could you explain to me the differences in your police force? I get so confused with Sheriff, State Troupers, Officers, etc etc.

Any simple explanation would be so useful, then I know who I'm looking at next time I'm over:)


08-13-2003, 07:58 AM
Hiya Bill,

This may help Army ranks (http://www.2417.co.uk/reference/army_ranks.asp)

Sergeant Major is considered to be a warrant officer.

Regimental Sergeant Manager is the Highest NCO rank.

08-13-2003, 08:18 AM
Originally posted by Mrs Dazzle
:D Hi Bill - good to "see" you;)

...could you explain to me the differences in your police force? I get so confused with Sheriff, State Troupers, Officers, etc etc.

OK, Let's start with the definition of Sheriff: A Sheriff in the US is the chief officer of the court in the county, to whom is entrusted the execution of the laws, the serving of judicial writs and processes, and the preservation of the peace.

In a county where there is no policie department, the Sheriff and his/her deputies are responsible not only for the work of the courts (serving writs, court security, detention etc...), they are also responsible for general law enforcement dutires. This is the case in most counties in florida.

In larger cities, towns, and counties, you are likely to find police department existing alongside of Sheriff's offices. In my home county of Prince William, in Virginia (population approx. 250,000), we only had a Sheriff's Office until 1970, when the rising population demanded that we create a police department. The police department is responsible for general law enforcement duties such as traffic, response to criminal activity, investigations, etc...

Police officers and Sheriff's deputies, have similar powers and are usually only empowered in the cities/towns/counties where they are employed.

State Police or State Troopers provide law enforcement services on a statewide basis. In Virginia, the State police have duties that vary fromplace to place. For example, in the densely populated norther part of the state, the State Police are mostly responsible for highway patrol. They are the sometimes-less-than-pleasant lads (and lassies) that enforce the speed laws.

In other, more rural areas, the state police provide the full spectrum of law enforcement duties, since populations are widespread, and the tax base can't support a large local police force.

In either case, State police are empowered to enforce all state and local laws (except in Wisconsin... I'll explain that at a later date).

OK, we have talked state and local... now let's talk federal. Federal law enforcement agencies usualy have a fairly narrow scope of duties... For instance the US Customs Service is responsible for the things that are imported into the US... they are federal officers and agents, with the power to detain or arrest, but their jurisdiction is fairly limited to things that concern import/export. You won't find customs agent pulling over a speeding driver on the interstate.

Some federal agencies, like THE FBI have a much broader scope.

More later... I have to get some work done!

08-13-2003, 01:33 PM
Many thanks, Bonzo!

So... after RSM there is a rank called Sergeant Major, but he is really a Warrant Officer 2, right?

OK, I get it, but why are there two different badges of rank for WO2?, and is a WO1 also referred to as Sergeant Major? Is Sergeant Major just a generic term for Warrant Officers of all classes?

08-13-2003, 03:23 PM

I'm not a military person but this may help from the UK Army Cadets page

Army promotion path (http://www.armycadets.com/html/career.html)



08-14-2003, 07:05 AM
Many thanks, Bonzo!

Sue's Mum
08-17-2003, 04:14 AM
That was very interesting. I've learned something for both sides of the Atlantic. :p

Mrs Dazzle
08-17-2003, 06:14 AM
:D Bill - thanks so much for all that info, it's beginning to make sense to me now. There always seem to so many different uniforms:rolleyes:

Thanks for taking the time to fill me in with this. Look forward to the next installment, when you have the time.


08-18-2003, 06:54 AM
I told you that I would tell you about the State Police in Wisconsin, Annie, and the difference in the way things are run in that state.

In the city of Milwaukee, WIsconsin's largest city, the State Police are actually forbidden from enforcing the law.

This is a result of a VERY powerful Chief of Police, that sort of "ran" the town many many years ago.

(This according to my Missus, who was raised in that city)

Mrs Dazzle
08-18-2003, 04:38 PM
Bill - this is so interesting:D This Chief of Police sounds as though he should be in the movies;) So how does law and order work around there.... or is everyone just plain scared of this chappy that there's never any crime?

Thanks so much

08-19-2003, 07:41 AM

Crime in Milwaukee is of the same sort that you would find in any other large or middle sized American city. Having said that, I must tell you that the Police Depaartment is under much greater restraint than it was in the "old days"... which is probably a good thing. Low crime rates are good, but when the cops frequently ignore the law and become a law unto themselves, you can be in for a really bad time.

Reform was a long time coming, but it did eventually, and the city's police department is now much like most others... except that you had better not have registration tags on your car from Illinois!

Mrs Dazzle
08-20-2003, 10:03 AM
OK, Bill - so I've decided not to go there, just in case;) I've got one of those faces that looks guilty, even when I've done nothing wrong:p

Loving my lessons, thanks again Bill:D

08-21-2003, 06:45 AM
No worries, Annie!

Milwaukee is actually a very nice city... the only problem is that it is situated so far north, and on the shores of one of the Great Lakes, that it is terribly cold and is prone to incredible amounts of snow in the winter. A nice place to visit, sure, but only in the summer.