Military History/Rank Promotions


QUESTION: During WWII when enlisted men received a promotion in rank from PFC to SGT would that information be included in a general order, morning report or some other document?

ANSWER: There is one pay grade between PFC (E-3) and SGT (E-5), which was Corporal (E-4) during World War II.

Typically, a promotion is a separate order. The morning report would contain the person's rank, so it could be used to verify a promotion (by checking different morning reports and seeing when the higher rank was noted).

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QUESTION: Is the separate order issued by the Headquarters of his unit and would it be included in their records? I'm looking for information on a veteran who was a cook (MOS 060) assigned to the 30th Evacuation Hospital attached to Eighth Army in the Pacific Theater of Operations. Where would I find the "separate orders"? Would they be at NPRC or NARA? I know that none of his OMPF survived the 1973 fire.

Yes, the order would be issued by his unit headquarters. I was going to suggest you try to get his 201 file from the National Archives Military Personnel Record Center in St. Louis. All promotion orders would be in there.

I guess you're saying you checked and his 201 file was lost in the infamous fire. If you didn't, it would be worth going on the website to try to find out:

The orders from his unit should be in the National Archives in College Park, Maryland. You can get started on that by going

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Marc Leepson


I can answer most questions dealing with all aspects of U.S. military history. My expertise is the Vietnam War. I also have written extensively about the U.S. Civil War, World War II, World War I, The Philippine War, and the American Revolution. My books include a concise biography of the Marquis de Lafayette, the history of the American Flag, and the post-Jefferson history of Monticello, and therefore know a great deal about those specific subjects. I specialize in writing about matters of strategy--not tactics. And I also am interested in personalities. I have very little knowledge about ordnance or the value of old military memorabilia. Nor do I know a lot about uniforms and insignia--except about the Vietnam War. To repeat: I have no expertise in assessing the value of ordnance or uniforms or any type of military equipment. And my knowledge about military uniforms is only limited to those of the Vietnam War era. If you have questions on these topics, I recommend contacting an antiques dealer in your area who specializes in military uniforms, ordnance, etc.


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