Military Rank and Insignia
28 Nov, 2012

Officer Ranks

Officer ranks in the United States military consist of commissioned officers and warrant officers. The commissioned ranks are the highest in the military. These officers hold presidential commissions and are confirmed at their ranks by the Senate. Army, Air Force and Marine Corps officers are called company grade officers in the pay grades of O-1 to O-3, field grade officers in pay grades O-4 to O-6 and general officers in pay grades O-7 and higher. The equivalent officer groupings in the Navy are called junior grade, mid-grade and flag.

Warrant officers hold warrants from their service secretary and are specialists and experts in certain military technologies or capabilities. The lowest ranking warrant officers serve under a warrant, but they receive commissions from the president upon promotion to chief warrant officer 2. These commissioned warrant officers are direct representatives of the president of the United States. They derive their authority from the same source as commissioned officers but remain specialists, in contrast to commissioned officers, who are generalists. There are no warrant officers in the Air Force.

Naval officers wear distinctively different rank devices depending upon the uniform they're wearing. The three basic uniforms and rank devices used are: khakis, collar insignia pins; whites, stripes on shoulder boards; and blues, stripes sewn on the lower coat sleeves.

 

Army

Navy

Coast Guard

Marines

Air Force

 

General of the Army
(Reserved for wartime only)

Fleet Admiral
(Reserved for wartime only)

 

General of the Air Force
(Reserved for wartime only)

O10

General
GEN
Army Chief of Staff

Admiral
ADM
Chief of Naval Operations
and
Commandant of the
Coast Guard

General
Gen.
Commandant of the
Marine Corps

General
Gen.
Air Force Chief of Staff

O9

Lieutenant
General
LTG

Vice Admiral
VADM

Lieutenant
General
Lt. Gen.

Lieutenant
General
Lt. Gen.

O8

Major General
MG

Rear Admiral
Upper Half

RADM

Major General
Maj. Gen.

Major General
Maj. Gen.

O7

Brigadier General
BG

Rear Admiral
Lower Half

RDML

Brigadier General
Brig. Gen.

Brigadier General
Brig. Gen.

O6

Colonel
COL

Captain
CAPT

Colonel
Col.

Colonel
Col.

O5

Lieutenant Colonel
LTC

Commander
CDR

Lieutenant Colonel
Lt. Col.

Lieutenant Colonel
Lt. Col.

O4

Major
MAJ

Lieutenant Commander
LCDR

Major
Maj.

Major
Maj.

O3

Captain
CPT

Lieutenant
LT

Captain
Capt.

Captain
Capt.

O2

First Lieutenant
1LT

Lieutenant Junior Grade
LTJG

First Lieutenant
1st Lt.

First Lieutenant
1st Lt.

O1

Second Lieutenant
2LT

Ensign
ENS

Second Lieutenant
2LT

Second Lieutenant
2LT

         

W5

Chief Warrant Officer
CW5

USN Chief Warrant
Officer
CWO5

Chief Warrant Officer 5
CWO5

 

W4

Chief Warrant Officer 4
CW4

USN Chief Warrant
Officer 4 — CWO4

USCG

Chief Warrant Officer 4
CWO4

NO WARRANT

W3

Chief Warrant Officer 3
CW3

USN Chief Warrant
Officer 3 — CWO3

USCG

Chief Warrant Officer 3
CWO3

NO WARRANT

W2

Chief Warrant Officer 2
CW2

USN Chief Warrant
Officer 2 — CWO2

USCG

Chief Warrant Officer 2
CWO2

NO WARRANT

W1

Warrant Officer 1
WO1

USN Warrant
Officer 1 — WO1

Warrant Officer 1
WO

NO WARRANT

 

Enlisted Ranks

Service members in pay grades E-1 through E-3 are usually either in some kind of training status or on their initial assignment. The training includes the basic training phase where recruits are immersed in military culture and values and are taught the core skills required by their service component.

Basic training is followed by a specialized or advanced training phase that provides recruits with a specific area of expertise or concentration. In the Army and Marines, this area is called a military occupational specialty; in the Navy it is known as a rate; and in the Air Force it is simply called an Air Force specialty.

ARMY

* For rank and precedence within the Army, specialist ranks immediately below corporal. Among the services, however, rank and precedence are determined by pay grade.

NAVY/COAST GUARD

The U.S. Coast Guard is a part of the Department of Homeland Security in peacetime and the Navy in times of war. Coast Guard rank insignia are the same as the Navy except for color and the seaman recruit rank, which has one stripe.

* A specialty mark in the center of a rating badge indicates the wearer's particular rating.

** Gold stripes indicate 12 or more years of good conduct.

*** 1. Master chief petty officer of the Navy and fleet and force master chief petty officers. 2. Command master chief petty officers wear silver stars. 3. Master chief petty officers wear silver stars and silver specialty rating marks.

 

 

Army

Navy

Coast Guard

Marines

Air Force

E9

Sergeant Major
of the Army

(SMA)

Master Chief Petty Officer of the Navy (MCPON) and
Coast Guard (MCPOCG)

**
***

Sergeant Major
of the Marine Corps

(SgtMajMC)

Chief Master Sergeant
of the Air Force

(CMSAF)

E9

Sergeant Major 
(SGM)

Command Sergeant Major
(CSM)

Master Chief Petty Officer
(MCPO)

Fleet Command Chief Petty Officer

**
***

Master Gunnery Sergeant
(MGySgt)

Sergeant Major
(SgtMaj)

Chief Master Sergeant
(CMSgt)

First Sergeant

Command Chief Master Sergeant
(CCM)

E8

Master Sergeant
(MSG)

First Sergeant
(1SG)

Senior Chief Petty Officer
(SCPO) **

Master Sergeant
(MSgt)

First Master Sergeant
(SM Sgt)

Senior Master Sergeant
(SMSgt)

First Sergeant

E7

Sergeant First Class
(SFC)

Chief Petty Officer
(CPO) **

Gunnery Sergeant
(GySgt)

Master Sergeant
(MSgt)

First Sergeant

E6

Staff Sergeant
(SSG)

Petty Officer First Class
(PO1) **

Staff Sergeant
(SSgt)

Technical Sergeant
(TSgt)

E5

Sergeant
(SGT)

Petty Officer Second Class
(PO2) **

Sergeant
(Sgt)

Staff Sergeant
(SSgt)

E4

Corporal
(CPL)

Specialist
(SPC)

Petty Officer Third Class
(PO3) **

Corporal
(Cpl)

Senior Airman
(SrA)

E3

Private First Class
(PFC)

Seaman
(SN)

Lance Corporal
(LCpl)

Airman First Class
(A1C)

E2

Private E-2
(PV2)

Seaman Apprentice
(SA)

Private First Class
(PFC)

Airman
(Amn)

E1

Private

Seaman Recruit
(SR)

Private

Airman Basic

 

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