What Is a Gunny in the Marines?

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Throughout the armed forces there are a number of ranks, from basic recruits up to four star generals, admirals and commanders. Many army ranks have a corresponding shortened term that can be used in certain situations.

Gunnery Sergeant

The simplified term Gunny, when used in the Marines, refers to a gunnery sergeant. The role is described as being the backbone of the Marine corps staff ranks.

Equivalent Ranks

The U.S. Marine corps consists of nine pay levels, of which the ninth is the highest. gunnery sergeants fall into pay level seven, placing them equal in rank to sergeant first class, and chief petty officer.


The duties of gunnery sergeants include the training of recruits, acting as a voice for individual Marines with higher ranking officers and taking a hand in the maintenance of weapons and equipment.

Becoming Gunnery Sergeant

To reach the rank of gunnery sergeant, an applicant needs a recommendation from a superior officer, at least 6 years active service and to pass the entry exams for the role.