Sons of Anarchy introduced the audience to the motorcycle club of the same name, which has different designations or ranks – and here are all of them. Created by Kurt Sutter, Sons of Anarchy premiered on FX in 2008 and was very well-received from the beginning, which allowed it to live on for six more seasons, coming to an end in 2014. Sons of Anarchy was praised for its tone, the performances of the main cast (mostly that of Katey Sagal as Gemma Teller-Morrow), and its exploration of themes like racism and corruption, both within the club and with other organizations.
Sons of Anarchy follows Jackson “Jax” Teller (Charlie Hunnam), VP of the motorcycle club Sons of Anarchy in the fictional town of Charming, in California. The events of the series are kickstarted when Jax finds a manifesto written by his late father, John Teller, one of the founding members of the club, in which he shares his vision and plans for the club, which lead Jax to question the club’s path and history, his relationships, family, and himself. The MC went through many changes over the course of the series, with Jax eventually becoming President of the club, and with that came other changes in the ranks of the club, which continued until the end of the show.
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At the beginning of Sons of Anarchy, Clay Morrow (Ron Perlman) was the President of the club and Jax his VP, but once Jax took over the chair, he appointed Bobby Munson (Mark Boone Junior) as his VP, but he resigned as he didn’t agree with Jax’s leadership, and so Filip “Chibs” Telford (Tommy Flanagan) took his place. Although President and VP are the main ranks in SAMCRO (Sons of Anarchy Motorcycle Club Redwood Original), there are many others that help maintain some order within the club, and they are all denoted by patches the members wear on their vests, though not all of them are noticeable and some designations weren’t properly developed in the series. Here are all 15 SAMCRO ranks and who wore those patches in Sons of Anarchy.
The First 9 was the rank given to the original nine members of the club, including its founders John Teller and Piermont “Piney” Winston (William Lucking), Opie’s father. These two characters formed the club in 1967 after they returned from the Vietnam War, and they were soon joined by other men, most of them war veterans as well. The rest of the First 9 were Lenny “The Pimp” Janowitz, Keith McGee (later President of the club’s Belfast charter), Wally Grazer, Thomas “Uncle Tom” Whitney, Chico Villanueva, Otto “Lil” Killer Moran (not to be confused with Sutter’s character Otto “Big Otto” Delaney), and Clay Morrow. By the end of Sons of Anarchy, the only member of the First 9 that was still alive was Lenny, who was serving a life sentence at Stockton State Prison for killing three ATF agents.
The President of the club is the leader of the charter, and in the case of the President of SAMCRO, he also holds authority over the charters in the US. John Teller was the President of SAMCRO until his death in 1993, after which Clay Morrow took over. Clay was voted out of the club in season 5 after he revealed everything he did behind their backs and, most importantly, after Jax learned that he was involved in John Teller’s death. Jax took over as President after that, and when he was about to go to prison in season 6, he appointed Bobby as interim President, and following Jax’s death in the series finale, Chibs became the President of SAMCRO.
Sitting to the left of the President at the table is the Vice-President, the second-in-command of a charter and thus the one decision-making falls upon in the absence of the President. The first VP of SAMCRO was Piney, who had to step down due to health issues, and years later Jax took the place of VP. Once Jax became President, Bobby was appointed as VP but resigned shortly after, and so Chibs became VP. In the Sons of Anarchy finale, before Jax put his suicide plan into motion, he left his place as President to Chibs, who chose Alex “Tig” Trager (Kim Coates) as his VP.
Sgt. at Arms
The seat to the right of the President is reserved for the Sergeant-at-Arms, the President’s right hand and the last line of defense between a threat and the President. The first Sgt-at-Arms of SAMCRO was Lenny, and by the time the events of Sons of Anarchy began, the one holding this rank was Tig Trager. However, Tig resigned after learning Clay had beaten Gemma. Chibs was then appointed as Sgt-at-arms when Bobby was VP, and now under Chibs’ leadership, SAMCRO’s Sgt-at-arms is none other than Happy Lowman (David Labrava), perhaps the most dangerous member of the club, so it’s a fitting position.
Secretary, Treasurer, and Road Captain
Next in SAMCRO’s ranks are three positions that weren’t developed in the series, but some well-known characters held those designations at some point in the series. First is the role of Secretary, who serves as official records keeper, a position held by Bobby at the beginning of the series. Then is the rank of Treasurer, and those in this position are in charge of keeping the books in the club, and Bobby also served as Treasurer at some point. Next is Road Captain, who is responsible for all club runs, and this rank was held by Allesandro Montez (Jacob Vargas), who was recruited by Bobby after being a member of the Reno charter of the club.
Enforcer, Tail Gunner, and Ass Kicker
The next batch of ranks with a minor role in Sons of Anarchy are Enforcer, Tail Gunner, and Ass Kicker. Those wearing the patch of Enforcer served as bodyguards to the President; Tail Gunners were responsible for riding safety in club runs, thus riding at the back; and Ass Kicker doesn’t have a proper description, but it might be self-explanatory.
A prospect is a hopeful for club membership, and as such doesn’t have a member patch yet. However, they do get to ride with the club and are given different tasks, that go from covering them during dangerous tasks to cleaning up the club’s HQ. The most notable and well-remembered prospect was Kip “Half-Sack” Epps (Johnny Lewis), who was stabbed to death while defending Tara (Maggie Siff) and baby Abel. Other SAMCRO prospects throughout Sons of Anarchy were Shepard (who quit the club), Eric Miles (who was killed and framed by Juice), Filthy Phil Russell and V-Lin (killed by the True IRA), and Ratboy.
Live to Ride, Unholy Ones, Nomads
Live to Ride is part of the Harley Davidson slogan (“Live to Ride, Ride to Live”), though their exact role within the club is unknown. The Unholy Ones are those willing to fight to death for the club (which applies to most members), and Nomads are those members who are not part of a proper charter, so they are free to roam as they please. Before becoming a proper SAMCRO member, Happy was a Nomad, and there was a charter named “NOMADS”, led by Quinn, who later joined SAMCRO.
Men of Mayhem
Men of Mayhem is the rank and patch given to those SAMCRO members who have killed in the group’s name, meaning most members wore that patch on their vests. In Sons of Anarchy season 4, Juice Ortiz (Theo Rossi) was given a “Men of Mayhem” patch following the death of Eric and his handling of the Russians and Mayans, which prompted Clay to give him the patch. This rank is not to be confused with “Mister Mayhem”, a term used by the club to refer to killing someone, though it is a reference to the Men of Mayhem.
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