Sergeant First Class (SFC) is the seventh enlisted rank in the MACOs and UESPA, just above Staff Sergeant and below Master Sergeant, and is first grade at which a non-commissioned officer is considered a senior non-commissioned officer.
In a platoon, the position of platoon sergeant is normally held by a Sergeant First Class. The platoon sergeant is the primary assistant and advisor to the platoon leader, a First Lieutenant or Second Lieutenant. When necessary, the platoon sergeant acts as the platoon leader in his or her absence. Unless the platoon leader has extensive prior experience as an enlisted member before being commissioned as a lieutenant, it is likely that the platoon sergeant will have a greater wealth of military experience due to the disparity in military service length between a new lieutenant and a Sergeant First Class; service experience, however, is not a prerequisite for commissioning and command. On occasion, when a Sergeant First Class is not available for assignment, either organically within the platoon or from another unit, a responsible Staff Sergeant will likely be appointed to fill the platoon sergeant position instead.
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