SERGEANT FIRST CLASS, U.S. ARMY
The position title of platoon sergeant is considered key in the command structure of the Army. The platoon sergeant generally has several staff sergeants who work under his direct leadership.
The platoon sergeant is the key assistant and advisor to the platoon leader. In the absence of the platoon leader, the platoon sergeant commands the platoon. During the Vietnam era, the platoon sergeant was affectionately referred to as the Plat-Daddy, and although the term has since faded, the role remains that of the Father of the Platoon.
The sergeant first class may serve in a position subordinate to the platoon sergeant or may serve as the NCOIC of the section with all the attendant responsibilities and duties of the platoon sergeant.
Whether platoon sergeant or sergeant first class, this is the first level at which the term senior NCO properly applies. The platoon sergeant or sergeant first class generally has 15 to 18 years or more of military experience and is rightfully expected to bring that experience to bear in quick, accurate decisions that are in the best interest of the mission and the soldier.
The platoon sergeant is expected to embody all the traits of a leader. Watching a successful platoon sergeant operate on a daily basis is an unforgettable experience. There, he is training the platoon or section in their collective tasks; here, he is checking maintenance. There, he is planning, executing; perpetual motion; a blur; the personification of a military leader and "hot stuff."
Information Courtesy of U.S. Army