Corporal is a military rank in use in some form by most militaries and by some police forces or other uniformed organizations. It is usually equivalent to NATO Rank Code OR-4.

The rank of corporal nominally corresponds to commanding a section or squad of soldiers. However, in the United States Army, a corporal is usually a fire team leader or second-in-command of a squad of soldiers. In the United States Marine Corps, corporal is the Table of Organization rank for a rifle fire team leader, machine gun team leader, light mortar squad leader, and assault weapon team leader, as well as gunner on most larger crew served weapons (i.e., medium mortars, heavy machine guns, anti-tank missiles, and howitzers) and armored vehicles (e.g., tanks, light armored vehicles, and armored assault vehicles).

In most countries which derive their military structure from the British military system, it is a more senior rank than that of private. However, in several other countries, such as Canada, Italy and Norway, corporal is a junior rank, indicating a more experienced soldier than a private, and also on a higher pay scale, but having no particular command appointment corresponding to the rank, similar to specialist in the U.S. Army.

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Famous quotes containing the word corporal:

    I am settled, and bend up
    Each corporal agent to this terrible feat.
    William Shakespeare (1564–1616)

    The sense of death is most in apprehension,
    And the poor beetle that we tread upon
    In corporal sufferance finds a pang as great
    As when a giant dies.
    William Shakespeare (1564–1616)