Origins of the Rank of Lance Corporal

The origions of the rank of lance corporal can be traced back to the age of knights and chivalry. During this time there existed soldiers known as "serviens" (a term which later evolved into "sergeant"), who were mounted, yet lacked the wealth to be considered for knighthood. If such a soldier lost his horse, he became known as a "lanz spessado", or "broken lance." He was busted down to the footsoldier ranks, but acted as a non-commissioned officer. Over time this rank became known alternately as lance sergeant and lance corporal.