U.S. Military Rank Insignia

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 advancement.

Do not confuse rank with paygrades, such as E-1, W-2 and O-5. Paygrades 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 paygrade for that position. The other pay categories are "W" for warrant officers and "O" for commissioned officers. Some enlisted paygrades have two ranks.

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

Enlisted Insignia

Enlisted Paygrade
Army Seal

Army

Marine Corps Seal

Marine Corps

Navy Seal

Navy

Air Force Seal

Air Force

Space Force Seal

Space Force

Coast Guard Seal

Coast Guard

Service members in paygrades 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 Marine Corps, 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.

E-1
Army

Private

Marine Corps

Private

Navy

Seaman Recruit (SR)

Air Force

Airman Basic

Space Force

Specialist 1 (Spc1)

Coast Guard

Seaman Recruit (SR)

Leadership responsibility significantly increases in the midlevel enlisted ranks. This responsibility is given formal recognition by use of the terms noncommissioned officer and petty officer. An Army sergeant, an Air Force staff sergeant and a Marine corporal are considered NCO ranks. The Navy NCO equivalent, petty officer, is achieved at the rank of petty officer third class.

At the E-8 level, the Army, Marine Corps and Air Force have two positions at the same paygrade. Whether one is, for example, a senior master sergeant or a first sergeant in the Air Force depends on the person's job.

The same is true for the positions at the E-9 level. Marine Corps master gunnery sergeants and sergeants major receive the same pay but have different responsibilities. All told, E-8s and E-9s have 15 to 30 years on the job, and are commanders' senior advisers for enlisted matters.

A third E-9 element is the senior enlisted person of each service. The sergeant major of the Army, the sergeant major of the Marine Corps, the master chief petty officer of the Navy and the chief master sergeant of the Air Force are the spokespersons of the enlisted force at the highest levels of their services.

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

Navy / Coast Guard: * 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.

Coast Guard The 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.

Pay Grade
Army Seal

Army

Marines Seal

Marine

Navy Seal

Navy

Air Force Seal

Air Force

Coast Guard Seal

Coast Guard

Leadership responsibility significantly increases in the mid-level enlisted ranks. This responsibility is given formal recognition by use of the terms noncommissioned officer and petty officer. An Army sergeant, an Air Force staff sergeant, and a Marine corporal are considered NCO ranks. The Navy NCO equivalent, petty officer, is achieved at the rank of petty officer third class.

E-5

Sergeant (SGT)

SGT_Army

Sergeant (Sgt)

SGT_marines

Petty Officer Second Class (PO2) **

PO2

Staff Sergeant (SSgt)

Air Force SSgt

Petty Officer Second Class (PO2) **

PO2
E-6

Staff Sergeant (SSG)

Army SSG

Staff Sergeant (SSgt)

Marines SSgt

Petty Officer First Class (PO1) **

PO1

Technical Sergeant (TSgt)

Air Force TSgt

Petty Officer First Class (PO1) **

PO1
E-7

Sergeant First Class (SFC)

SFC

Gunnery Sergeant (GySgt)

GySgt

Chief Petty Officer (CPO) **

CPO

Master Sergeant (MSgt)

MSgt

First Sergeant

1st Sgt

Chief Petty Officer (CPO) **

CPO

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: * 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.

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.

Pay Grade
Army Seal

Army

Marines Seal

Marine

Navy Seal

Navy

Air Force Seal

Air Force

Coast Guard Seal

Coast Guard

At the E-8 level, the Army, Marines and Air Force have two positions at the same pay grade. Whether one is, for example, a senior master sergeant or a first sergeant in the Air Force depends on the person's job.

The same is true for the positions at the E-9 level. Marine Corps master gunnery sergeants and sergeants major receive the same pay but have different responsibilities. All told, E-8s and E-9s have 15 to 30 years on the job, and are commanders' senior advisers for enlisted matters.

A third E-9 element is the senior enlisted person of each service. The sergeant major of the Army, the sergeant major of the Marine Corps, the master chief petty officer of the Navy and the chief master sergeant of the Air Force are the spokespersons of the enlisted force at the highest levels of their services.

E-8

Master Sergeant (MSG)

Army MSG

First Sergeant (1SG)

Army 1st SG

Master Sergeant (MSgt)

Marines MSgt

First Sergeant

Marines 1st Sgt

Senior Chief Petty Officer (SCPO) **

SCPO

Senior Master Sergeant (SMSgt)

Air Force SMSgt

First Sergeant

Air Force 1st Sgt

Senior Chief Petty Officer (SCPO) **

SCPO
E-9

Sergeant Major (SGM)

Army SGM

Command Sergeant Major (CSM)

Army CSM

Master Gunnery Sergeant (MGySgt)

Marines MGySgt

Sergeant Major (SgtMaj)

Marines SgtMaj

Master Chief Petty Officer (MCPO)** ***

MCPO

Fleet/Command Master Chief Petty Officer ** ***

Fleet MCPO

Chief Master Sergeant (CMSgt)

CMSgt

First Sergeant

1st Sgt Air Force

Command Chief Master Sergeant

Command CMSgt

Master Chief Petty Officer (MCPO) ** ***

MCPO

Fleet/Command Master Chief Petty Officer ** ***

Fleet MCPO
E-9 of

Sergeant Major of the Army (SMA)

SMA

Sergeant Major of the Marine Corps (SgtMajMC)

SgtMajMC

Master Chief Petty Officer of the Navy (MCPON)

MCPON

Chief Master Sergeant of the Air Force (CMSAF)

CMSAF

Master Chief Petty Officer of the Navy (MCPOCG)

MCPON

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: * 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.

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.

Officer Insignia

Officer Paygrade
Army Seal

Army

Marine Corps Seal

Marine Corps

Navy Seal

Navy

Air Force Seal

Air Force

Space Force Seal

Space Force

Coast Guard Seal

Coast Guard

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.

W-1
Air Force
N/A
Space Force
N/A
Coast Guard
N/A
W-5
Air Force
N/A
Space Force
N/A
Coast Guard
N/A

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 paygrades of O-1 to O-3, field grade officers in paygrades O-4 to O-6 and general officers in paygrades O-7 and higher. The equivalent officer groupings in the Navy are called junior grade, mid-grade and flag.

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.

O-6
Marine Corps
Air Force

Colonel Col

O-6
Space Force

Colonel Col

O-6
Coast Guard
O-10
Marine Corps
Air Force
Space Force
Coast Guard