I am looking for a good English equivalent of an obscure military term. It was in use by the Royal Hungarian Army between 1920 and 1945. No other army ever had a similar concept, and it's obsolete now.
The original word is "karpaszományos" which translates as "person who wears a lace on the sleeve of his jacket". It used to mean a special class of enlisted soldiers who were distinguished by a "lace", a thin, embroidered line on their jacket sleeves.
The meaning of the lace was that the soldier passed high school, which was a fairly high academic achievement at the time. However, being a "karpaszományos" didn't mean rank. It merely indicated that he was more educated than the other rank and file men. They enjoyed some privileges during their military service, they could go to NCO courses, and at the end of their conscripted service they could sign up for officer school to become professionals. But in itself, without choosing one of the above options, a "karpaszományos" was little more than any ordinary grunt.
So the lace, in itself, it did not mean or indicate:
- any rank
- an officer or an NCO
- a cadet or military student
- a military achievement
- any duty, branch, subordination, etc.
The term "karpaszományos" was also used when addressing them, similarly how an officer would shout "Private!" to a soldier whose name he didn't know.
I've been struggling to translate this term to English. Recently a friend called my attention to the French term "soldat chevronné". It's a very different concept, it means a soldier decorated for military achievements. Along the same lines I came up with the term "chevronman".
I understand that the meaning will still need explanation, probably in a footnote. But linguistically it doesn't seem wrong. What do you think of "chevronman"?