This Discussion started on the thread "Commisars *sigh*" I wanted to continue the discussion but it was no-longer germane to the thread so I am re-posting it here:
Personally, I'd at the very least rename Sargent as 'Officer' because NCOs are not trained as such from boot, officers are.
I actually sent this exact suggetion to the designers with the same reasoning. Officers are trained from the academy (Or birth in the case of nobility) to lead men into battle. Sergeants would be senior members of any of the standard specialties who have gained experience enough to "get things dome". They rarely have much tactical finesse but often have a great deal of leadership and intimidate abilities. Again, This would be a matter of spending the appropriate experience rather than any specific aptitude.
I actually prefer to leave the Sergeant as is for the following reasons:
-At the start of a campaign the players probably aren't going to be part of a command squad. Keep in mind they only have a logistics rating of 10 to begin. This is in line with them being enlisted men.
-In the table top game a squad of troops is lead by Sergeants/Veteran Sergeants. While I suspect your argument is based on how it is in the US military, this is not the theme of this RPG. Any confusion about what a Sergeant character does can be cleared up simply by reading the specialties description.
-The kind of officer you are describing would have more in common with loner characters like the Commissars and Stormtroopers and would require a reworking of the character concept.
Point 1: Unless they're tech priests, priests, Sentinels, Commisars, snipers, armored just about anything, or heavy support just about anything. Since all those report to the command squad, not the gopos they're attached to.
Point 2: So you're saying that the theme of this game is that Sergeants spring up out of the ground and promotions never ever happen in the rank and file?
Does not just fly in the face of logic, it flies in the face of fluff (After all, the 112th Rough Riders were being lead by a former sergeant turned colonel following the fighting against the tyranids on Coriana.
Point 3: not seeing the reason it would require that level of rework. Unless there's some reason from GW that it would, I know they've been a pain in the ass for approving things.
Conter-point 1: Priests and Commisars are attached to the Squad, though technically respond before Echlesiarchy and the Comissariat respectively. Snipers and heavy weapons specialists report to the Squad leader because they're part of the squad. If a Sentinel is attached to the squad or they have a Chimera transport, their operator too respond to the squad leader, because they're nominally part of the squad and he's in charge and if the squad is part of an armoured company, the "Sarge" is the tank's commander, so everyone inside the vehicle responds to him.
Counter-point 2: Promotions do happen to the rank and file, but the soldiers who get promoted are those that show aptitude in leadership and command. If you have no charisma whatsoever you'll never rise above corporal, no matter how good a killer you are. Regardless, Sergeants can "spring from the ground", springing from the ground meaning that during training they are singled out and promoted, either through exceptional aptitude, upbringing or nepotism. After all, a freshly minted regiment has a fully functional command structure before its baptism of fire.