Battlefield Commission

A battlefield commission is given to enlisted soldiers who are promoted to the rank of Commissioned officer for outstanding leadership on the field of battle.

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United States

Normally, enlisted men or non-commissioned officers cannot attain the rank of commissioned officer through regular promotion. Starting in 1917, during World War I, the United States Army started giving battlefield commissions to soldiers to replace the "Brevet Officer" system (the promotion of an enlisted man to a commissioned officer without an increase in pay). The Marine Corps started giving battlefield commissions in place of the Brevet Medal, which was second only to the Medal of Honor. From World War I to the Vietnam conflict, over 31,200 soldiers, marines, and airmen have been awarded battlefield commissions.

The most significant difference between battlefield commissions and regular commissions is that with the latter, one must attend the officer candidate school of their respective service. Battlefield commission eliminates this step.

In the present military, an enlisted Soldier, Marine, Airman or Sailor is more likely to receive the Medal of Honor than a battlefield commission.

See also

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