One with special training. See also Educational Specialist (Ed.S.)
For its use in the most general context see expert.
When used in a military context, Specialist is one section of the fourth enlisted rank in U.S. Army, just above Private First Class and below Sergeant. It shares this placement with Corporal, which is a rank for non-commissioned officers (NCO).
Originally, there were six separate grades of Specialist, officially known as Specialist 4 through Specialist 9 in ascending order of rank; each such grade parallelled the corresponding grade of non-commissioned officer (E-4 through E-9) in terms of pay, but without the NCO authority conferred on the latter. Only the lowest Specialist grade survives today, as the higher grades were phased out, beginning with Specialist 8 and 9 in 1965. Specialist 8 and 9 had existed on paper only; there were never any actual promotions to these ranks.
Prior to 1942, an Army Specialist was known as a "Private Specialist" or simply "Specialist". Specialists of this time period wore chevorns of a Private First Class but drew PFC pay in addition to specialist pay in relationship to the specialist level possessed. While no special insignia was authozied for these Private Specialists, typically a solider would wear PFC chevrons beneath which would be worn additional chevrons to denote specialty level.
|Air Force:||AB||Amn||A1C||SRA||SSgt||TSgt||MSgt||SMSgt||CMSgt -|
|Army:||PV1||PV2||PFC||SPC -||SGT||SSG||SFC||MSG -||SGM -|
|Marine Corps:||Pvt||PFC||LCpl||Cpl||Sgt||SSgt||GySgt||MSgt -||MGySgt -|