Junior Commissioned Officer
) is a term describing a group of military ranks found in the Indian Army
, Pakistan Army
, Bangladesh Army
and Nepal Army
. Those soldiers holding JCO rank receive a commission from the President,
During British rule
, these officers were known as Viceroy's Commissioned Officers
(VCOs) except in Nepal
, which was never a British colony. Under the British, there was a clear colonial context, the VCOs being the highest rank that most Indians could achieve while most full commissioned officers were British – a distinction which disappeared with Indian independence.
Senior non-commissioned officers
are promoted to JCO rank on the basis of merit and seniority, restricted by the number of vacancies. Junior Commissioned Officers are treated as a separate class, and hold many additional privileges. In the army, they have a separate mess
(the JCOs' mess) / (the CPOs mess) / (the WOs mess), get family quarters, and are authorized to travel in first class on the railways
. With good pay and privileges, it is an ambition of most enlisted men to attain such rank.
JCOs often serve as platoon leaders in an infantry company, with a major as company commander and a captain as second-in-command.
Due to their long years of service, officers accord JCOs great respect and influence, especially in cases involving the enlisted ranks, their welfare and morale. Another custom religiously followed is that a JCO is never addressed using just his name or rank. The word Saheb
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