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The E-4 Mafia had a King!

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  • Member since
    July 2004
  • From: Sonora Desert
The E-4 Mafia had a King!
Posted by stikpusher on Saturday, January 9, 2021 1:06 PM

I came across some photos of Elvis in his army days and that thought immediately came to mind when I saw the sham shields on his sleeves... I'm sure all the former E-4s here can appreciate the idea... Wink

 

F is for FIRE, That burns down the whole town!

U is for URANIUM... BOMBS!

N is for NO SURVIVORS...

       - Plankton

LSM

 

  • Member since
    September 2012
Posted by GMorrison on Saturday, January 9, 2021 1:11 PM

Could you please explain?

 

Bill

 Modeling is an excuse to buy books.

 

  • Member since
    July 2004
  • From: Sonora Desert
Posted by stikpusher on Saturday, January 9, 2021 1:24 PM

Explanation:E-4, at one point or another is probably the most common enlisted pay grade in the armed forces. You’re not a private anymore, but not yet an NCO in most cases. There is a running joke that the “E-4 Mafia” exists and is who actually runs the Army. They are assigned to do the majority of daily tasks/work. Or pass it on to the private’s and PFCs in the squad/team/detail/section/etc. to do while they “sham”, aka goof off. Elvis, being ”The King” and a Specialist 4 at the same time in the photo is a natural fit for the title. Just a bit of veteran humor.

Google E-4 Mafia for some examples.

 

F is for FIRE, That burns down the whole town!

U is for URANIUM... BOMBS!

N is for NO SURVIVORS...

       - Plankton

LSM

 

  • Member since
    February 2003
  • From: East Bethel, MN
Posted by midnightprowler on Saturday, January 9, 2021 2:04 PM

Aka Spec4 or specialist  4th class or if you go to nco school  Corporal. 

Hi, I am Lee, I am a plastiholic.

Co. A, 682 Engineers, Ltchfield, MN, 1980-1986

1 Thessalonians 4:13-18 1 Corinthians 15:51-54

Ask me about Speedway Decals

  • Member since
    June 2003
Posted by Jammer on Saturday, January 9, 2021 3:35 PM

LOL, though it makes me wonder what Basic was like for Private Pressley.  Did he walk around with a target on his back or did the drills treat him like all the other troopys?  Meaning that he still walked around with a target on his back. :)

  • Member since
    July 2004
  • From: Sonora Desert
Posted by stikpusher on Saturday, January 9, 2021 4:55 PM

From what I have read, he requested to be treated like other draftees. He wanted to serve his term as a tanker and not in some special services PR spot. No matter what, because of who he was, I'm sure that he had something of a target in his back

 

F is for FIRE, That burns down the whole town!

U is for URANIUM... BOMBS!

N is for NO SURVIVORS...

       - Plankton

LSM

 

  • Member since
    May 2009
  • From: Poland
Posted by Pawel on Saturday, January 9, 2021 5:33 PM

Hello Stik!

When I first read your message I immediately thought: something like ex-PFC Wintergreen from Catch 22?

When I built my M48 many years ago, I painted the TC for it, looked at him and said: Dang, he looks just like Elvis!

1:35 Seminar M48A3 by Pawel

Have a nice day

PaweĊ‚

All comments and critique welcomed. Thanks for your honest opinions!

www.vietnam.net.pl

  • Member since
    April 2020
Posted by Eaglecash867 on Saturday, January 9, 2021 5:41 PM

stikpusher

From what I have read, he requested to be treated like other draftees. He wanted to serve his term as a tanker and not in some special services PR spot. No matter what, because of who he was, I'm sure that he had something of a target in his back

 

An old co-worker of mine can confirm that.  He served with Elvis in Germany in the late 50s.  Said that Elvis would get right there, hip-deep in mud with the other guys when a tank would get stuck...didn't want special treatment.

"You can have my illegal fireworks when you pry them from my cold, dead fingers...which are...over there somewhere."

  • Member since
    December 2002
  • From: Fort Knox
Posted by Rob Gronovius on Saturday, January 9, 2021 7:00 PM

GMorrison

Could you please explain?

Bill

The US Army did away with the Technical Sergeants (aka Tech Sgts) and created the Specialist ranks of Specialist 4 to Specialist 9, called Spec 4, Spec 5...Spec 9 in ints place.

The rank (authority wise) fell between Private First Class (PFC/E3) and Corporal (CPL/E4). Specialists were not noncommissioned officers, but their technical expertise required higher level of pay than say, a cook.

Sometime in the 1980s, the Army did away with Spec 5 thru 9 and made them the corresponding sergeant rank. Spec 4 became just "Specialist", but is still often called Spec 4.

The Spec 4 Mafia is the shammer's club, Elvis was their king.

  • Member since
    July 2004
  • From: Sonora Desert
Posted by stikpusher on Saturday, January 9, 2021 8:54 PM

I was on active duty when the army converted Specialist 5 and above to hard stripes. One day all the cooks in the mess hall were Spec. 5's, 6's, and 7's. The next day they were hard stripe NCO Sergeants, Staff Sergeants, and Sergeant 1st Class... talk about new sudden authority... lol. Technically a Corporal outranked a Specialist 7 until that day. 

 

F is for FIRE, That burns down the whole town!

U is for URANIUM... BOMBS!

N is for NO SURVIVORS...

       - Plankton

LSM

 

  • Member since
    December 2002
  • From: Fort Knox
Posted by Rob Gronovius on Saturday, January 9, 2021 10:08 PM

The man who taught me how to drive an M48A5 was a Spec/5 named Kenny. That's all he wanted to be called. Vietnam veteran, super nice guy, didn't want a leadership role; he just wanted to drive a tank. Back when you could do 20 years as a tank driver.

  • Member since
    September 2012
Posted by GMorrison on Sunday, January 10, 2021 12:02 AM

My F-I-L enlisted with nothing, no high school degree.

But he was a smart guy and he was sent to AAF mechanic school.

Ended up a Staff Seargent with five marks on the sleeve. Discharged 09/45.

Doubt he "shammed" much.

Thank you for the info.

 

Bill

 

 Modeling is an excuse to buy books.

 

  • Member since
    December 2002
  • From: Fort Knox
Posted by Rob Gronovius on Sunday, January 10, 2021 12:24 AM

GMorrison

My F-I-L enlisted with nothing, no high school degree.

But he was a smart guy and he was sent to AAF mechanic school.

Ended up a Staff Seargent with five marks on the sleeve. Discharged 09/45.

Doubt he "shammed" much.

Thank you for the info.

 

Bill

You obviously don't get the joke; perhaps you would have if you had served in the Army.

Here is a link so you can learn about the sense of humor those who have served acquired: https://www.wearethemighty.com/humor/lance-corporal-underground-rules/

  • Member since
    July 2004
  • From: Sonora Desert
Posted by stikpusher on Sunday, January 10, 2021 12:49 AM

 

F is for FIRE, That burns down the whole town!

U is for URANIUM... BOMBS!

N is for NO SURVIVORS...

       - Plankton

LSM

 

  • Member since
    August 2013
  • From: Michigan
Posted by Straycat1911 on Sunday, January 10, 2021 1:55 AM

stikpusher

 

Many moons ago when I was in the Air Force serving at a SAC bomber base, there was a story about a B-52 gunner who came out to the alert pad to visit his buddies as he was retiring that week as a Chief Master Sergeant E-9. 
As usual when you're having a good time, the alert klaxon sounded and everyone cleared the room except the Chief. He sat there just drinking his coffee.

The door opens and the Director of Operations comes in, an O-6. Full Colonel. 
He does a double take and in full command voice, "CHIEF!!! WHY ARENT YOU OUT AT YOUR AIRPLANE?!?!?!?"

Chief thinks a minute, takes another sip of coffee, shrugs and replies "I didn't feel like going, sir."

Colonel walks out without another word. 

  • Member since
    August 2013
  • From: Michigan
Posted by Straycat1911 on Sunday, January 10, 2021 1:59 AM

Rob Gronovius

 

 
GMorrison

My F-I-L enlisted with nothing, no high school degree.

But he was a smart guy and he was sent to AAF mechanic school.

Ended up a Staff Seargent with five marks on the sleeve. Discharged 09/45.

Doubt he "shammed" much.

Thank you for the info.

 

Bill

 

 

You obviously don't get the joke; perhaps you would have if you had served in the Army.

 

Here is a link so you can learn about the sense of humor those who have served acquired: https://www.wearethemighty.com/humor/lance-corporal-underground-rules/

 

Those rules are gold, especially the one about Blue Falcons.

  • Member since
    April 2003
  • From: USA
Posted by keavdog on Sunday, January 10, 2021 2:58 AM

My dad retired from the Air Force after 20+ years enlisted as a Senior Master Seargeant and his opinion was that they ran the base hands down.

Thanks,

John

  • Member since
    January 2020
  • From: Maryland
Posted by wpwar11 on Sunday, January 10, 2021 9:59 AM

Thanks for the E4 explanation.  Thank you very much.  Now excuse me it's time for a peanut butter, bacon, and banana sandwich.

  • Member since
    September 2012
Posted by GMorrison on Sunday, January 10, 2021 11:59 AM

Rob Gronovius

 

 
GMorrison

My F-I-L enlisted with nothing, no high school degree.

But he was a smart guy and he was sent to AAF mechanic school.

Ended up a Staff Seargent with five marks on the sleeve. Discharged 09/45.

Doubt he "shammed" much.

Thank you for the info.

 

Bill

 

 

You obviously don't get the joke; perhaps you would have if you had served in the Army.

 

Here is a link so you can learn about the sense of humor those who have served acquired: https://www.wearethemighty.com/humor/lance-corporal-underground-rules/

 

I'm trying. Sort of a Beetle Bailey thing.

 Modeling is an excuse to buy books.

 

  • Member since
    December 2002
  • From: Fort Knox
Posted by Rob Gronovius on Sunday, January 10, 2021 12:12 PM

Straycat1911

Those rules are gold, especially the one about Blue Falcons.

Being labeled as a Blue Falcon is one of the worst things to happen to you.

Honestly, the rank of Specialist (E4) is either a terminal rank or a temporary rank. Our Army is an up or out organization; either you get promoted to the next rank or you get put out. Many soldiers do most of their entire 6 year enlistment as a Specialist before their enlistment expires.

The ranks of E1 thru E4 are based on time in service; stay in the number of months or years and you get the rank pinned on. But making Sergeant/E5 requires promotion points and vacancies (the Army needs you) in your specialty.

The average soldier enlists as an E1 and is an E2 by the time he gets through basic training. He may or may not be promoted to PFC/E3 during his AIT, but will definitely get promoted as soon as he gets to his first duty station.

Company commanders get a certain number of time in grade waivers each month or quarter (I forget which) that they can use to promote junior enlisted (E1-E4). So unless a new soldier is seen as a dirtbag, you use the waiver on your new privates and privates first class to promote them as soon as possible.

So many PFCs become Specialists within their first year of service. Then spend the rest of their time never working towards making sergeant.

But there are "high speed/low drag" Specialists that as soon as they make E4, they are already on track and working hard to make Sergeant/E5 in the minimum time, which I think was 3-4 years time in service back in the day.

So you'll see Specialists with 4, 5 and 6 years in service and Sergeants with 3-4 years in. That's the picture in the link with the cobra surround by the mongoose pack (mongeese? lol).

  • Member since
    July 2004
  • From: Sonora Desert
Posted by stikpusher on Sunday, January 10, 2021 2:57 PM

And all of the above depends upon the timeframe. The large 80’s peacetime Army was not the same as the small 90’s peacetime Army. Or the large or small wartime army that we’ve had since 9/11. Six year enlistments are now eight years, at one point every enlisted soldier with over two years service was promoted to sergeant due to shortage of sergeants in 2005. Things change depending upon the situation of the time. 

But the E-4 Mafia still lives! Wink

 

F is for FIRE, That burns down the whole town!

U is for URANIUM... BOMBS!

N is for NO SURVIVORS...

       - Plankton

LSM

 

  • Member since
    December 2002
  • From: Fort Knox
Posted by Rob Gronovius on Sunday, January 10, 2021 8:30 PM

Yeah, but even during the Global War on Terrorism, there were soldiers who never should have been promoted beyond E4 as well as some lieutenants that should have been passed over to captain.

  • Member since
    July 2004
  • From: Sonora Desert
Posted by stikpusher on Sunday, January 10, 2021 9:05 PM

Rob Gronovius

Yeah, but even during the Global War on Terrorism, there were soldiers who never should have been promoted beyond E4 as well as some lieutenants that should have been passed over to captain.

 

Exactly! 

 

F is for FIRE, That burns down the whole town!

U is for URANIUM... BOMBS!

N is for NO SURVIVORS...

       - Plankton

LSM

 

  • Member since
    January 2013
Posted by seastallion53 on Sunday, January 10, 2021 11:43 PM
In the NAVY e4 is an NCO, 3rd class petty officer.
  • Member since
    December 2002
  • From: Fort Knox
Posted by Rob Gronovius on Monday, January 11, 2021 10:07 AM

seastallion53
In the NAVY e4 is an NCO, 3rd class petty officer.

The US Army has two ranks in the grade of E4; the Corporal which is an NCO, and Specialist which is basically a higher ranking private soldier. Corporal is often a lateral transfer promotion from Specialist for one serving in a leadership role normally filled by a Sergeant/E5.

  • Member since
    September 2012
Posted by GMorrison on Monday, January 11, 2021 10:38 AM

Rob Gronovius

 

 
seastallion53
In the NAVY e4 is an NCO, 3rd class petty officer.

 

 

The US Army has two ranks in the grade of E4; the Corporal which is an NCO, and Specialist which is basically a higher ranking private soldier. Corporal is often a lateral transfer promotion from Specialist for one serving in a leadership role normally filled by a Sergeant/E5.

 

That sir is a very clear explanation.

 

Bill

 Modeling is an excuse to buy books.

 

  • Member since
    July 2004
  • From: Sonora Desert
Posted by stikpusher on Monday, January 11, 2021 12:09 PM

Rob Gronovius

 

 
seastallion53
In the NAVY e4 is an NCO, 3rd class petty officer.

 

 

The US Army has two ranks in the grade of E4; the Corporal which is an NCO, and Specialist which is basically a higher ranking private soldier. Corporal is often a lateral transfer promotion from Specialist for one serving in a leadership role normally filled by a Sergeant/E5.

 

Occasionally, you’ll also get “acting jack” Sergeant E-5s. An E-4 NCO holding a slot not meant for a Corporal. The position is slotted for a Sergeant, but the soldier filling the slot is an E-4. They will wear the Sergeant stripes on their uniform, have the authority and responsibilities of a Sergeant, but only be drawing the E-4’s pay. They are not officially promoted by the DA. If there is a situation where an “acting jack“ and a corporal are at odds, the “acting jack” is superior in rank. I’ve seen it done mostly with company armorers and supply sergeants.

 

F is for FIRE, That burns down the whole town!

U is for URANIUM... BOMBS!

N is for NO SURVIVORS...

       - Plankton

LSM

 

  • Member since
    February 2014
  • From: Michigan
Posted by silentbob33 on Tuesday, January 12, 2021 5:40 PM
I wore my sham shield with pride...especially when command saw fit to put me in the place of an E-5. I was promotable but hadn't made points yet. But they put in the role. All the duties and responsibilities of an NCO without the pay or authority. They refused to make a corporal. Worst unit I was in. Ended up hurting my back after deployment and was med-boarded out.

On my bench: Academy 1/35 UH-60L Black Hawk

  • Member since
    August 2014
  • From: Willamette Valley, Oregon
Posted by goldhammer on Tuesday, January 12, 2021 7:48 PM

I was one of the high speed, low drag guys in the USAF.  Back in '76 I was an E4, had my 7 levels done and in hand, along with a line number for promotion to E5 (Staff Sgt. then).  Was Red X certified on the Phantom,  a rarity for an E4 back then.

Ran the graveyard shift, a Staff Sgt slot.  The guy that ran swing shift happened to be the guy who wrote my performance reviews.  He had orders back to Europe, that he dearly wanted, and they got cancelled when I hung him out to dry over a red X problem on a Phantom. I wasn't going to hang myself with two different names clearing a grounded aircraft.

I was reupping for 6 years, planning on staying for the twenty.  Had new base and housing locked in along with the bonus (36K, in 1976 $).

He got his revenge in my performance review, and it went all the way to the Wing King, who declined to get involved.

I was out and they did away with my 2 years inactive reserve time as well.  At least I got the honorable out of it

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