Difference Between
versus

Lieutenant vs. Sergeant: Know the Difference

Shumaila Saeed
By Shumaila Saeed || Updated on December 25, 2023
A lieutenant is a commissioned officer in the armed forces, above the rank of sergeant, who often serves as second-in-command.
Lieutenant vs. Sergeant

Key Differences

A lieutenant is a junior officer in the military, often holding a position of authority and responsibility over a platoon or unit. Sergeants, on the other hand, are non-commissioned officers (NCOs) who typically command smaller units like squads and provide technical expertise. While lieutenants are typically fresh from officer training and may lack field experience, sergeants are often seasoned veterans with extensive practical knowledge.
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed
Nov 08, 2023
Lieutenants play a critical role in planning and decision-making, drawing on their education and training. Sergeants, with their hands-on experience, are critical in the implementation of these plans, ensuring that orders are executed effectively on the ground. A lieutenant’s responsibilities are more administrative and strategic, while a sergeant's duties are more tactical and operational.
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed
Nov 08, 2023
In terms of hierarchy, lieutenants outrank sergeants. This ranking difference means lieutenants have broader authority in military operations and personnel management. Sergeants act as the backbone of the military, providing leadership at a more personal level to enlisted soldiers. They often mentor and develop young officers like lieutenants, providing them with guidance gleaned from practical experience.
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed
Nov 08, 2023
The rank of lieutenant requires a higher level of education, usually a bachelor’s degree and completion of officer training. Sergeants rise through the enlisted ranks, gaining their position through merit, demonstrated leadership abilities, and often, time in service. Lieutenants typically focus on learning leadership skills, whereas sergeants have honed these skills over their careers.
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed
Nov 08, 2023
Lieutenants and sergeants work closely together despite their differences. Lieutenants may depend on the sergeants for their knowledge of the troops and their technical expertise. Meanwhile, sergeants rely on lieutenants for direction and the larger tactical picture. Both ranks are essential for the successful operation of the military’s command structure.
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed
Nov 08, 2023
ADVERTISEMENT

Comparison Chart

Rank

Commissioned officer
Non-commissioned officer
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed
Nov 08, 2023

Position

Often serves as second-in-command or platoon leader
Typically leads smaller units like squads
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed
Nov 08, 2023

Responsibility

Administrative, strategic planning
Tactical operations, direct leadership
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed
Nov 08, 2023

Education

Requires a degree and officer training
Promoted through the enlisted ranks based on experience and merit
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed
Nov 08, 2023

Experience

May be relatively new to the military with less field experience
Usually possesses extensive field experience and practical knowledge
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed
Nov 08, 2023
ADVERTISEMENT

Lieutenant and Sergeant Definitions

Lieutenant

An officer in charge of a police or fire department unit.
The police lieutenant was in charge of the homicide division.
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed
Nov 08, 2023

Sergeant

A rank used in some form by most militaries and police forces.
The new sergeant was respected for his fair but firm approach.
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed
Nov 08, 2023

Lieutenant

A deputy or substitute acting for a superior.
She served as the lieutenant to the ambassador during the negotiations.
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed
Nov 08, 2023

Sergeant

A non-commissioned officer in the armed forces.
The sergeant led his troops through basic training drills.
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed
Nov 08, 2023

Lieutenant

A junior commissioned officer in the military.
The lieutenant issued orders for the platoon to advance.
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed
Nov 08, 2023
ADVERTISEMENT

Sergeant

A police officer ranking below a captain.
Sergeant Miller took the lead on the new criminal case.
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed
Nov 08, 2023

Lieutenant

A naval officer junior to a lieutenant commander.
The lieutenant oversaw the daily operations on the ship's deck.
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed
Nov 08, 2023

Sergeant

A senior rank in non-commissioned officers, typically above corporal.
As a sergeant, she was responsible for the welfare of her soldiers.
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed
Nov 08, 2023

Lieutenant

A commissioned rank in the US Navy or Coast Guard that is above lieutenant junior grade and below lieutenant commander.
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed
Oct 19, 2023

Sergeant

A noncommissioned rank in the US Army or Marine Corps that is above corporal and below staff sergeant.
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed
Oct 19, 2023

Lieutenant

A first lieutenant.
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed
Oct 19, 2023

Sergeant

Any of several ranks of noncommissioned officers in the US Army, Air Force, or Marine Corps
Master gunnery sergeant.
Staff sergeant.
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed
Oct 19, 2023

Lieutenant

A second lieutenant.
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed
Oct 19, 2023

Sergeant

One who holds any of these ranks or a similar rank in another military organization.
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed
Oct 19, 2023

Lieutenant

One who holds any of these ranks or a similar rank in another military organization.
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed
Oct 19, 2023

Sergeant

The rank of police officer next below a captain, lieutenant, or inspector.
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed
Oct 19, 2023

Lieutenant

(lĕf-tĕnənt) A commissioned officer in the British and Canadian navies ranking just below a lieutenant commander.
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed
Oct 19, 2023

Sergeant

A police officer holding this rank.
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed
Oct 19, 2023

Lieutenant

An officer in a police or fire department ranking below a captain.
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed
Oct 19, 2023

Sergeant

A sergeant at arms.
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed
Oct 19, 2023

Lieutenant

One who acts in place of or represents a superior; an assistant or deputy
The organized crime figure and his lieutenants.
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed
Oct 19, 2023

Sergeant

(military) UK army rank with NATO code OR-6, senior to corporal and junior to warrant officer ranks.
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed
Oct 19, 2023

Lieutenant

(military) The lowest Junior Commissioned Officer rank(s) in many military forces, often Army and Marines.
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed
Oct 19, 2023

Sergeant

The highest rank of noncommissioned officer in some non-naval military forces and police.
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed
Oct 19, 2023

Lieutenant

In the US Army, Air Force and Marines, holding the rank above Second Lieutenant and below Captain. Both ranks may be referred to as "Lieutenant" or as the complete forms of the ranks.
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed
Oct 19, 2023

Sergeant

A lawyer of the highest rank, equivalent to the doctor of civil law.
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed
Oct 19, 2023

Lieutenant

A naval officer whose rank is above that of Ensign in the United States Navy and below that of a Lieutenant Commander. There are two ranks of lieutenant: Lieutenant Junior Grade and Lieutenant.
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed
Oct 19, 2023

Sergeant

A title sometimes given to the servants of the sovereign.
Sergeant surgeon, i.e. a servant, or attendant, surgeon
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed
Oct 19, 2023

Lieutenant

A Commissioned Officer in the United States Coast Guard, Public Health Service, or National Atmospheric and Oceanic Administration whose rank is above that of Ensign and below Lieutenant Commander. There are two ranks of lieutenant: Lieutenant Junior Grade and lieutenant.
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed
Oct 19, 2023

Sergeant

A fish, the cobia.
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed
Oct 19, 2023

Lieutenant

A Commissioned Officer in the British Army and Royal Marines, holding the rank above Second Lieutenant and below Captain. Both ranks may be referred to as "Lieutenant," however "Second Lieutenant" is to specify that the officer is not yet a full Lieutenant.
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed
Oct 19, 2023

Sergeant

Any of various nymphalid butterflies of the genus Athyma; distinguished from the false sergeants.
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed
Oct 19, 2023

Lieutenant

A naval officer whose rank is above that of Sub-Lieutenant in the British Navy and below that of a Lieutenant Commander.
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed
Oct 19, 2023

Sergeant

A bailiff.
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed
Oct 19, 2023

Lieutenant

A naval Commissioned Officer who holds the rank above Sub-Lieutenant and below Lieutenant Commander.
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed
Oct 19, 2023

Sergeant

A servant in monastic offices.
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed
Oct 19, 2023

Lieutenant

A person who manages or executes the plans and directives of another, more senior person - i.e. a manager to his director.
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed
Oct 19, 2023

Sergeant

Formerly, in England, an officer nearly answering to the more modern bailiff of the hundred; also, an officer whose duty was to attend on the king, and on the lord high steward in court, to arrest traitors and other offenders. He is now called sergeant-at-arms, and two of these officers, by allowance of the sovereign, attend on the houses of Parliament (one for each house) to execute their commands, and another attends the Court Chancery.
The sergeant of the town of Rome them sought.
The magistrates sent the serjeant, saying, Let those men go.
This fell sergeant, Death,Is strict in his arrest.
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed
Oct 19, 2023

Lieutenant

The second-in-command (2IC) of a group.
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed
Oct 19, 2023

Sergeant

In a company, battery, or troop, a noncommissioned officer next in rank above a corporal, whose duty is to instruct recruits in discipline, to form the ranks, etc.
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed
Oct 19, 2023

Lieutenant

A military grade that is junior to the grade the adjective modifies: lieutenant colonel, lieutenant general, lieutenant commander.
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed
Oct 19, 2023

Sergeant

A lawyer of the highest rank, answering to the doctor of the civil law; - called also serjeant at law.
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed
Oct 19, 2023

Lieutenant

An officer who supplies the place of a superior in his absence; a representative of, or substitute for, another in the performance of any duty.
The lawful magistrate, who is the vicegerent or lieutenant of God.
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed
Oct 19, 2023

Sergeant

A title sometimes given to the servants of the sovereign; as, sergeant surgeon, that is, a servant, or attendant, surgeon.
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed
Oct 19, 2023

Lieutenant

A commissioned officer in the army, next below a captain.
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed
Oct 19, 2023

Sergeant

The cobia.
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed
Oct 19, 2023

Lieutenant

A commissioned military officer
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed
Oct 19, 2023

Sergeant

Any of several noncommissioned officer ranks in the army or air force or marines ranking above a corporal
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed
Oct 19, 2023

Lieutenant

An officer in a police force
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed
Oct 19, 2023

Sergeant

A lawman with the rank of sergeant
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed
Oct 19, 2023

Lieutenant

An assistant with power to act when his superior is absent
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed
Oct 19, 2023

Sergeant

An English barrister of the highest rank
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed
Oct 19, 2023

Lieutenant

An officer holding a commissioned rank in the United States Navy or the United States Coast Guard; below lieutenant commander and above lieutenant junior grade
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed
Oct 19, 2023

Sergeant

An officer who enforces military discipline.
The regiment’s sergeant was strict about maintaining discipline.
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed
Nov 08, 2023

Lieutenant

An assistant with power to act when his superior is absent.
The lieutenant took command of the company while the captain was on leave.
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed
Nov 08, 2023

Repeatedly Asked Queries

What does a lieutenant do?

A lieutenant typically commands a platoon and is responsible for strategic planning and decision-making.
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed
Nov 08, 2023

What’s required to become a sergeant?

A sergeant is usually promoted from within the enlisted ranks based on experience and leadership ability.
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed
Nov 08, 2023

Is a lieutenant a high rank?

A lieutenant is a junior officer rank but higher than any non-commissioned officer or enlisted rank.
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed
Nov 08, 2023

Can a sergeant become a lieutenant?

Yes, through programs like Officer Candidate School (OCS), an enlisted person can become a lieutenant.
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed
Nov 08, 2023

What are the duties of a sergeant?

A sergeant oversees a squad, manages tactical operations, and provides direct leadership to soldiers.
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed
Nov 08, 2023

How much authority does a sergeant have?

A sergeant has significant authority over their unit but less than a commissioned officer like a lieutenant.
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed
Nov 08, 2023

Do lieutenants directly engage in combat?

Lieutenants can and do engage in combat, though they are primarily responsible for leadership.
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed
Nov 08, 2023

Is the role of a lieutenant more administrative?

Yes, lieutenants often have more administrative duties compared to sergeants.
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed
Nov 08, 2023

How does one become a lieutenant?

Becoming a lieutenant requires completing a degree and officer training program.
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed
Nov 08, 2023

Can sergeants give orders to lieutenants?

No, sergeants cannot give orders to lieutenants as they are of a lower rank.
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed
Nov 08, 2023

How does experience differ between a lieutenant and a sergeant?

Sergeants often have more field experience than lieutenants.
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed
Nov 08, 2023

Are sergeants involved in strategic planning?

Sergeants are mainly focused on tactical execution, but they may contribute to strategic planning.
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed
Nov 08, 2023

How do you address a sergeant?

Sergeants are addressed as "Sergeant [Last Name]."
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed
Nov 08, 2023

Do lieutenants outrank sergeants in all military branches?

Yes, in all branches of the U.S. military, lieutenants outrank sergeants.
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed
Nov 08, 2023

Are lieutenants involved in direct troop training?

Lieutenants may be involved, but sergeants typically handle the day-to-day training of troops.
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed
Nov 08, 2023

What skills are vital for a sergeant?

Tactical expertise, direct leadership, and personnel development are essential for sergeants.
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed
Nov 08, 2023

Is the rank of sergeant universal across police and military?

The rank of sergeant exists in both, but the specific roles and responsibilities may differ.
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed
Nov 08, 2023

How are lieutenants addressed?

Lieutenants are addressed as "Lieutenant [Last Name]."
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed
Nov 08, 2023

What leadership skills are important for a lieutenant?

Critical thinking, strategic planning, and personnel management are key for lieutenants.
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed
Nov 08, 2023

What's the equivalent of a lieutenant in the navy?

A lieutenant junior grade (LTJG) or a full lieutenant (LT) depending on the context.
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed
Nov 08, 2023

Share this page

Link for your blog / website
HTML
Link to share via messenger
About Author
Shumaila Saeed
Written by
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed, an expert content creator with 6 years of experience, specializes in distilling complex topics into easily digestible comparisons, shining a light on the nuances that both inform and educate readers with clarity and accuracy.

Popular Comparisons

Trending Comparisons

LTE vs. CDMALTE vs. CDMA
Shumaila SaeedShumaila Saeed
February 4, 2024
LTE (Long Term Evolution) is a 4G wireless communication standard with high-speed data transfer, while CDMA (Code Division Multiple Access) is an older 2G/3G technology for mobile networks.
Japanese Eyes vs. Chinese EyesJapanese Eyes vs. Chinese Eyes
Shumaila SaeedShumaila Saeed
December 25, 2023
Japanese Eyes and Chinese Eyes refer to linguistic structures in Japanese and Chinese respectively, each reflecting unique aspects of grammar and syntax.
Celsius vs. KelvinCelsius vs. Kelvin
Shumaila SaeedShumaila Saeed
January 1, 2024
Celsius is a temperature scale with 0°C as water's freezing point and 100°C its boiling point, while Kelvin is an absolute scale starting at absolute zero (0 K).
Moms vs. Mom'sMoms vs. Mom’s
Shumaila SaeedShumaila Saeed
February 22, 2024
"Moms" is the plural form of "mom," referring to multiple mothers, while "Mom's" is the possessive form of "mom," indicating something belongs to or is related to a mother.
Goth vs. AltGoth vs. Alt
Shumaila SaeedShumaila Saeed
February 5, 2024
Goth is a dark, often Victorian-influenced subculture and style, while Alt (alternative) is a broader term encompassing non-mainstream styles and attitudes.
Nike Air Force 1 LE vs. Nike Air Force 1 '07Nike Air Force 1 LE vs. Nike Air Force 1 ’07
Hifza NasirHifza Nasir
April 16, 2024
Nike Air Force 1 LE often represents limited edition releases with unique designs, while Nike Air Force 1 '07 is a modern version of the classic, maintaining the iconic style with updated materials.
Gorilla Glass vs. Panda GlassGorilla Glass vs. Panda Glass
Shumaila SaeedShumaila Saeed
January 5, 2024
Gorilla Glass is a highly durable, scratch-resistant glass used in electronic devices, while Panda Glass is a similar protective glass known for its high transparency and toughness.
Smart TV vs. Android TVSmart TV vs. Android TV
Shumaila SaeedShumaila Saeed
December 25, 2023
A Smart TV is an internet-connected television with a variety of apps, while an Android TV is specifically a Smart TV powered by Google's Android TV operating system.
Tap Root vs. Fibrous RootTap Root vs. Fibrous Root
Shumaila SaeedShumaila Saeed
February 28, 2024
Tap root is a single, thick primary root growing vertically downward, while fibrous root is a network of many thin roots spreading out near the surface.
Slavic Facial Features vs. Germanic Facial FeaturesSlavic Facial Features vs. Germanic Facial Features
Shumaila SaeedShumaila Saeed
January 31, 2024
Slavic facial features often include high cheekbones and rounder faces, while Germanic facial features typically have sharper angles and stronger jawlines.
Benzyl Chloride vs. Benzoyl ChlorideBenzyl Chloride vs. Benzoyl Chloride
Shumaila SaeedShumaila Saeed
January 3, 2024
Benzyl Chloride is a chlorinated aromatic hydrocarbon used in organic synthesis, while Benzoyl Chloride is an acyl chloride used as a reagent in chemistry.
2 Pole Motors vs. 4 Pole Motors2 Pole Motors vs. 4 Pole Motors
Shumaila SaeedShumaila Saeed
December 25, 2023
2 Pole Motors have one pair of magnetic poles and run at higher speeds, while 4 Pole Motors have two pairs of poles and operate at lower speeds, offering higher torque.
Manual Filing vs. E-FilingManual Filing vs. E-Filing
Shumaila SaeedShumaila Saeed
January 21, 2024
Manual Filing involves physically submitting documents, often in paper form. E-Filing is the process of submitting documents electronically, often through dedicated platforms or email.
Login vs. LogonLogin vs. Logon
Shumaila SaeedShumaila Saeed
December 25, 2023
"Login" and "Logon" are often used interchangeably to describe the process of gaining access to a computer system, but "login" can also refer to the credentials used for access.
Gorilla Glass 3 vs. Gorilla Glass 5Gorilla Glass 3 vs. Gorilla Glass 5
Shumaila SaeedShumaila Saeed
January 1, 2024
Gorilla Glass 3 offers improved scratch resistance and durability compared to its predecessors, while Gorilla Glass 5 focuses on enhanced drop protection and toughness.
CeraVe vs. LubridermCeraVe vs. Lubriderm
Shumaila SaeedShumaila Saeed
February 8, 2024
CeraVe and Lubriderm are both skincare brands; CeraVe focuses on ceramide-rich formulas, while Lubriderm is known for its basic, gentle moisturizers.
Formal Assessment vs. Informal AssessmentFormal Assessment vs. Informal Assessment
Shumaila SaeedShumaila Saeed
December 25, 2023
Formal assessments are structured and standardized, while informal assessments are flexible and observational.
FHSS vs. DSSSFHSS vs. DSSS
Shumaila SaeedShumaila Saeed
February 25, 2024
FHSS (Frequency-Hopping Spread Spectrum) uses rapid frequency changes within a band. DSSS (Direct Sequence Spread Spectrum) spreads signals over a wider frequency using a code.
Stepsister vs. Half-SisterStepsister vs. Half-Sister
Shumaila SaeedShumaila Saeed
December 25, 2023
A stepsister is related by marriage through a parent’s spouse, while a half-sister shares one biological parent.
City vs. CountryCity vs. Country
Shumaila SaeedShumaila Saeed
December 25, 2023
The city is a large, densely populated urban area, while the country refers to rural areas, often associated with nature and agriculture.
Supervision vs. InspectionSupervision vs. Inspection
Shumaila SaeedShumaila Saeed
January 9, 2024
Supervision is the ongoing process of overseeing and guiding activities or people, while inspection is the act of examining something closely to assess its condition or quality.
Happen vs. OccurHappen vs. Occur
Shumaila SaeedShumaila Saeed
December 25, 2023
"Happen" refers to events or actions taking place, often with an unplanned or casual connotation, while "occur" implies events or phenomena that take place, often with a more formal or scientific tone.
Lubuntu vs. XubuntuLubuntu vs. Xubuntu
Shumaila SaeedShumaila Saeed
December 25, 2023
Lubuntu is a lightweight Ubuntu variant using LXQt, while Xubuntu is a Ubuntu variant using the XFCE desktop, both offering different user experiences and performance.
Pycharm Community vs. Pycharm ProPycharm Community vs. Pycharm Pro
Shumaila SaeedShumaila Saeed
February 4, 2024
PyCharm Community is a free, open-source IDE for Python development, while PyCharm Pro is a paid version with additional advanced features like web development support and database tools.

Featured Comparisons

New Comparisons