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Military Rank

Military Rank

Military rank is more than just who salutes whom. Military rank is a badge of leadership. Responsibility for personnel, equipment, and mission grows with each increase in rank.

Do not confuse rank with pay grades, such as E-1, W-2 and O-5. Pay grades are administrative classifications used primarily to standardize compensation across the military services. The "E" in E-1 stands for "enlisted" while the "1" indicates the pay grade for that position. The other pay categories are "W" for warrant officers and "O" for commissioned officers. Some enlisted pay grades have two ranks.

The Army, for example, has the ranks of corporal and specialist at the pay grade of E-4. A corporal is expected to fill a leadership role and has a higher rank than a specialist even though both receive the same amount of pay. In the Marine Corps, master gunnery sergeants and sergeant majors are E-9s, but the sergeant major has the higher rank.

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.

Source: Defenselink.mil

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ENLISTED
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OFFICERS
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military rank

U.S. Air Force
E-1 Airman Basic
E-2 Airman
E-3 Airman First Class
E-4 Senior Airman
E-5 Staff Sergeant
E-6 Technical Sergeant
E-7 Master Sergeant
First Sergeant
E-8 Senior Master Sergeant
First Sergeant
E-9 Chief Master Sergeant
First Sergeant
Command Chief Master Sergeant
Chief Master Sergeant of the Air Force
O-1 Second Lieutenant
O-2 First Lieutenant
O-3 Captain
O-4 Major
O-5 Lieutenant Colonel
O-6 Colonel
O-7 Brigadier General
O-8 Major General
O-9 Lieutenant General
O-10 General

U.S. Army
E-1 Private E-1
E-2 Private E-2
E-3 Private First Class
E-4 Corporal
Specialist
E-5 Sergeant
E-6 Staff Sergeant
E-7 Sergeant First Class
E-8 Master Sergeant
First Sergeant
E-9 Sergeant Major
Command Sergeant Major
Sergeant Major of the Army
W-1 Warrant Officer
W-2 Chief Warrant Officer
W-3 Chief Warrant Officer
W-4 Chief Warrant Officer
W-5 Chief Warrant Officer
O-1 Second Lieutenant
O-2 First Lieutenant
O-3 Captain
O-4 Major
O-5 Lieutenant Colonel
O-6 Colonel
O-7 Brigadier General
O-8 Major General
O-9 Lieutenant General
O-10 General
General of the Army

Coast Guard
E-1 Seaman Recruit
E-2 Seaman Apprentice
E-3 Seaman
E-4 Petty Officer Third Class
E-5 Petty Officer Second Class
E-6 Petty Officer First Class
E-7 Chief Petty Officer
E-8 Senior Chief Petty Officer
E-9 Master Chief Petty Officer
Command Master Chief
Master Chief Petty Officer of the CG
W-2 Chief Warrant Officer
W-3 Chief Warrant Officer
W-4 Chief Warrant Officer
O-1 Ensign
O-2 Lieutenant Junior Grade
O-3 Lieutenant
O-4 Lieutenant Commander
O-5 Commander
O-6 Captain
O-7 Rear Admiral (Lower Half)
O-8 Rear Admiral (Upper Half)
O-9 Vice Admiral
O-10 Admiral

U.S. Marine Corps
E-1 Private
E-2 Private First Class
E-3 Lance Corporal
E-4 Corporal
E-5 Sergeant
E-6 Staff Sergeant
E-7 Gunnery Sergeant
E-8 Master Sergeant
First Sergeant
E-9 Master Gunnery Sergeant
Sergeant Major
Sergeant Major of the Marine Corps
W-1 Warrant Officer
W-2 Chief Warrant Officer
W-3 Chief Warrant Officer
W-4 Chief Warrant Officer
W-5 Chief Warrant Officer
O-1 Second Lieutenant
O-2 First Lieutenant
O-3 Captain
O-4 Major
O-5 Lieutenant Colonel
O-6 Colonel
O-7 Brigadier General
O-8 Major General
O-9 Lieutenant General
O-10 General

U.S. Navy
E-1 Seaman Recruit
E-2 Seaman Apprentice
E-3 Seaman
E-4 Petty Officer Third Class
E-5 Petty Officer Second Class
E-6 Petty Officer First Class
E-7 Chief Petty Officer
E-8 Senior Chief Petty Officer
E-9 Master Chief Petty Officer
- Force or Fleet Command Master Chief Petty Officer
W-2 Chief Warrant Officer
W-3 Chief Warrant Officer
W-4 Chief Warrant Officer
O-1 Ensign
O-2 Lieutenant Junior Grade
O-3 Lieutenant
O-4 Lieutenant Commander
O-5 Commander
O-6 Captain
O-7 Rear Admiral (Lower Half)
O-8 Rear Admiral (Upper Half)
O-9 Vice Admiral
O-10 Admiral
Fleet Admiral
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