Military Rank and Insignia Charts

Updated: February 13, 2023
In this Article

    The military services use military rank to signify a service members level of leadership and the responsibilities inherent with that level of leadership. The insignia is a representation of rates, ranks or designations.

    Below are U.S. military rank and insignia charts for enlisted, officer and warrant officer ranks by service branch: Air Force, Army, Coast Guard, Navy, Marines and Space Force.

    The charts are ordered by service branch, pay grade and rank. The corresponding rates and ranks have different names across branches and more than one may fall under the same pay grade.

    U.S. Military Ranks & Pay Grade by Branch

    Pay ScaleArmyAir ForceMarinesNavy and Coast Guard
    Commissioned Officers
    **General of the ArmyGeneral of the Air ForceFleet Admiral
    O-10Army Chief of Staff
    Air Force Chief of Staff GeneralCommandant of the Marine Corps
    Chief of Naval Operations
    Commandant of the Coast Guard
    O-9Lieutenant GeneralLieutenant GeneralLieutenant GeneralVice Admiral
    O-8Major GeneralMajor GeneralMajor GeneralRear Admiral (Upper Half)
    O-7Brigadier GeneralBrigadier GeneralBrigadier GeneralRear Admiral (Commodore)
    O-5Lieutenant ColonelLieutenant ColonelLieutenant ColonelCommander
    O-4MajorMajorMajorLieutenant Commander
    O-21st Lieutenant1st Lieutenant1st LieutenantLieutenant, Junior Grade
    O-12nd Lieutenant2nd Lieutenant2nd LieutenantEnsign
    Warrant Officers
    W-5Master Warrant Officer 5Chief Warrant Officer 5Master Warrant Officer
    W-4Warrant Officer 4Chief Warrant Officer 4Warrant Officer 4
    W-3Warrant Officer 3Chief Warrant Officer 3Warrant Officer 3
    W-2Warrant Officer 2Chief Warrant Officer 2Warrant Officer 2
    W-1Warrant Officer 1Warrant OfficerWarrant Officer 1
    Non-Commissioned Officers
    SpecialSergeant Major of the ArmyChief Master Sergeant of the Air ForceSergeant Major of the Marine CorpsMaster Chief Petty Officer of the Navy
    E-9Command Sergeant Major
    Sergeant Major
    First Sergeant (Chief Master Sergeant)
    Chief Master Sergeant
    Sergeant Major
    Master Gunnery Sergeant
    Master Chief Petty Officer
    E-8First Sergeant
    Master Sergeant
    First Sergeant (Senior Master Sergeant)
    Senior Master Sergeant
    First Sergeant
    Master Sergeant
    Senior Chief Petty Officer
    E-7Sergeant First ClassFirst Sergeant (Master Sergeant)
    Master Sergeant
    Gunnery SergeantChief Petty Officer
    E-6Staff SergeantTechnical SergeantStaff SergeantPetty Officer First Class
    E-5SergeantStaff SergeantSergeantPetty Officer Second Class
    E-4CorporalCorporalPetty Officer Third Class
    Enlisted Personnel
    E-4SpecialistSenior Airman
    E-3Private First ClassAirman First ClassLance CorporalSeaman
    E-2PrivateAirmanPrivate First ClassSeaman Apprentice
    E-1Private (Recruit)Airman BasicPrivateSeaman Recruit


    About Military Ranks

    Enlisted Military Ranks

    Service members in pay grades E-1 through E-3 are in training status or serving in initial assignments. The training includes basic training or boot camp, where recruits are immersed in military culture and values and learn the core skills their branch of service requires.

    After basic training, junior enlisted members go to an advanced technical school for their job. In the Army and Marines, jobs fields are sorted by military occupational specialties or MOS. The Navy calls them rates and the Air Force and Space Force call them specialties.

    Noncommissioned Officer Ranks

    A non-commissioned officer (NCO) is an enlisted member who has risen through the ranks by promotion. NCOs are the link between enlisted personnel and commissioned officers, and are responsible for training troops to execute missions. Training for NCOs includes leadership, management, specific skills and combat.

    Warrant Officer Military Ranks

    Warrant officers hold warrants from their service secretary for specialization and expertise in certain fields, technologies or capabilities. The lowest ranking warrant officers serve under a warrant officer, but receive commissions from the president with promotion to chief warrant officer two. Commissioned warrant officers are specialists in a particular field, as opposed to commissioned officers, which are generalists. There are no warrant officers in the Air Force.

    Officer Military Ranks

    Officer ranks in the military consist of commissioned officers and warrant officers. The commissioned ranks are the highest in the military, holding presidential commissions with confirmation at their ranks by the U.S. Senate. Army, Air Force, Marine Corps and Space 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.

    Navy Military Ranks

    Navy officers wear distinctive rank devices depending upon the uniform they wear. The three basic uniforms and rank devices used are: khakis, with collar insignia pins; whites, with stripes on shoulder boards; and blues, with stripes sewn on the lower coat sleeves. The ranks are comprised of three main groups: enlisted, warrant officer and officer.

    Army Military Ranks

    The Army’s motto is “This We’ll Defend.”  The Army is continually looking for those willing to do their part in defending our nation. The ranks are comprised of three main groups: enlisted, warrant officer and officer ranks. Rank and precedence are determined by pay grade.

    Air Force Military Ranks

    The Air Force is the second youngest of the six military branches. According to the official website of the Air Force, they have five core missions: “Air superiority; global strike; rapid global mobility; intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance; and command and control.” Their rankings are two groupings: enlisted and officer.

    Space Force Military Ranks

    The Space Force was established Dec. 20, 2019 as the sixth branch of the armed forces to protect U.S. interests in space. It is organized under the U.S. Air Force but uses service-specific ranks. Air Force rank insignia was in use until the Space Force finalized its own on Sept. 20, 2021.

    Marine Corps Military Ranks

    The Marine Corps is one of the most competitive branches of the armed forces, requiring outstanding physical, mental and moral strength. The ranks are comprised of three main groups: Enlisted, warrant officer and officer ranks.

    Coast Guard Military Ranks

    The U.S. Coast Guard is unique in that it is part of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security in peacetime and the Navy in wartime. The Coast Guard and Navy rank insignia are the same except for color.

    Written by Tamila McDonald

    Tamila McDonald is a U.S. Army veteran with 20 years of service, including five years as a military financial advisor. After retiring from the Army, she spent eight years as an AFCPE-certified personal financial advisor for wounded warriors and their families. Now she writes about personal finance and benefits programs for