Developed from the acronym סמ״ל, which designated סֶגֶן מִחוּץ לַמִּנְיָן, a loan translation of the English term non-commissioned officer. The initials were set in the nominal template commonly used for profession holders. While the derived word is common in the relevant context, both the acronym and its full term fell out of use (see usage notes below).
The term is used today as a word in its own right. The original acronym, as well as the full term which it represented (see etymology above), fell out of use. Also, the original intended meaning is never used today. In the Israeli Defense Forces, the currently used term for non-commissioned officer is מש"ק (=מְפַקֵּד שֶׁאֵינוֹ קָצִין).