Technical sergeant is the name of one current and two former enlisted ranks in the United States Armed Forces. Outside the United States, it is used only by the Philippine Army, Philippine Air Force and the Philippine Marine Corps.
United States Air Force
Technical sergeant, "tech sgt" or "TSgt" in informal parlance, is the sixth enlisted rank (pay grade E-6) in the U.S. Air Force, just above staff sergeant and below master sergeant. A technical sergeant is a noncommissioned officer and abbreviated as TSgt (with no period in official USAF and other military correspondence). Official terms of address are "technical sergeant" or "sergeant", although many use "tech sergeant" in informal situations.
Within air force enlisted ranks, promotion to technical sergeant has historically been the second-most difficult rank to achieve (only the rank of senior master sergeant, capped by federal law, has lower promotion rates) and is the most difficult promotion that most career air force members achieve. A staff sergeant must have served at least 23 months in grade to be considered for promotion to technical sergeant. It normally takes 10–12 total years of service to attain this pay grade. Technical sergeants mentor junior enlisted personnel while preparing themselves for promotion to master sergeant, the entry rank of the senior non-commissioned grades.
High year of tenure was reduced from 22 to 20 years in the 1990s, back to 22 years for a short time after 2001, and back to 20 years in 2013. It was raised back to 22 years in 2018.
Historical promotion rates:
|Year||Promotion rate||Avg time in service|
United States Marine Corps
Technical sergeant was a rank in the United States Marine Corps until 1958. From 1941 until 1946, the rank was equivalent to grade 2, ranking with gunnery sergeant and other technical ranks with which it shared its insignia. From 1947 until 1958, the rank was reclassified as E-6 and became the sole rank in this grade. The rank was renamed gunnery sergeant and elevated to E-7 after the reorganization of grades in 1959.
United States Army
The rank of technical sergeant existed from after World War I until 1948 when the rank was renamed sergeant first class. In 1920 the army combined several battalion/squadron level "staff" NCO ranks, including battalion quartermaster sergeant, battalion supply sergeant, ordnance sergeant, hospital sergeant, three grades of master sergeant (junior grade), and six additional senior-level technical and specialist ranks into the new technical sergeant rank. In 1944 when rifle squad leaders became staff sergeants, platoon sergeants were promoted to technical sergeants. In 1948 the army renamed technical sergeant as sergeant first class.
- Air Force Instruction 36-2618, The Enlisted Force Structure, Air Force E-Publishing
- High year of tenure changes take effect in 2013, Air Force Personnel Center
- Air Force to release technical sergeant promotion list, Air Force News Service, 6 June 2010
- Officials announce E-6 selection stats Archived 2013-03-09 at the Wayback Machine, Air Force Personnel, Services, and Manpower Public Affairs, 16 June 2011
- Officials release TSgt promotion stats, 19 June 2012
- Air Force selects 5,654 for technical sergeant Archived 2013-06-29 at Archive.today, Air Force Personnel Center Public Affairs, 25 June 2013
- AF selects 6,684 for promotion to technical sergeant Archived 2015-09-23 at the Wayback Machine, Air Force Personnel Center Public Affairs, 26 June 2014
- , Air Force Times, 9 June 2015
- , Air Force Personnel Center Public Affairs, 21 July 2016
- , Air Force Personnel Center Public Affairs, 20 July 2017
- Perrenot,P. United States Army Grade Insignia Since 1776 (2009)