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"Question about a Specific Rank in the US Army, 1917" Topic

5 Posts

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Comments or corrections?

GreyONE20 Feb 2018 9:41 p.m. PST

I was reading about an officer sent to France, in a machine gun unit, in the US Army in 1917. His rank is listed as a "provincial lieutenant". I cannot find information on this rank. What does it mean?

He was later a Lieutenant-Colonel in WWII.

Cerdic20 Feb 2018 10:16 p.m. PST

Maybe a misspelling of provisional?

GreyONE20 Feb 2018 10:39 p.m. PST

That may be it. I thought it looked odd and any reference I could find pointed to the UK, not the USA. It was in a book and probably missed a spell check because it was spelled correctly but just the wrong word.

Thank you Cedric.

79thPA Supporting Member of TMP21 Feb 2018 5:30 a.m. PST

Perhaps a state national guard officer on federal service? The New York State National Guard had provisional units, and their officers attended a provisional officer school.

Ed Mohrmann Supporting Member of TMP21 Feb 2018 8:52 a.m. PST

One of the documents we have in the antique shop is
a commission for a 'provisional' officer. The person
in question was a senior NCO assigned to a newly formed
motor transport unit and, rather than being appointed
a Warrant Officer, was provisionally commissioned as a
2nd Lieutenant.

The year was 1917, early (mid-March, according to the

It looks as if the 'provincial' may indeed have been
a misunderstanding/misspelling.

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