As the lowest rank of these armed forces, Privates wear no rank insignia. However, the US Army has a second rank of Private E-2 (PVT2) which wears one stripe.
Most new entrants to these armed forces join as a Private, unless they enter as an Officer, or have experience or qualifications which earns them an automatic promotion to the rank above. In the US Marine Corps, experience in the JROTC qualifies a new entry for Private First Class.
Privates are sometimes referred to as "squaddies" or "slick sleeves" (referring to the absence of rank patches on their uniforms).
In the British Army, many regiments have their own names for Privates:
- Airtrooper (Atpr) - Army Air Corps
- Bugler - Buglers in The Rifles and formerly also in other Rifle regiments
- Craftsman (Cfn) - Royal Electrical and Mechanical Engineers (women as well as men use this rank)
- Drummer (Dmr) - Drummers in infantry regiments
- Fusilier (Fus) - Fusilier regiments
- Gunner (Gnr) - Royal Artillery
- Guardsman (Gdm) - Foot Guards
- Highlander - The Highlanders
- Kingsman - Duke of Lancaster's Regiment
- Marine or Bandsman, as appropriate equivalent rank- Royal Marines
- Musician (Mus) - Military bands (formerly called Bandsman)
- Piper (Ppr) - Bagpipers in Scottish and Irish regiments
- Ranger (Rgr)- Royal Irish Regiment and Royal Irish Rangers
- Rifleman (Rfm) - Rifle regiments
- Sapper (Spr) - Royal Engineers
- Signaller (Sig) - Royal Corps of Signals (formerly called Signalman)
- Trooper (Tpr) - Household Cavalry, Royal Armoured Corps, Special Air Service and Honourable Artillery Company
- Trumpeter (Tptr) - Trumpeters in the Household Cavalry (and formerly in all cavalry regiments)
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