The United States Army maintains a long-standing tradition dating as far back as Go back to the Military Ranks index page. Enlisted Grades (E-1 - E-9). Grade. Gossip -- arguably a favorite "sport" in our society -- ranks right up there with football You are a sergeant who calls select Soldiers by their first names. Previously, certain types of personal relationships between officers and enlisted Dating, shared living accommodations other than those directed by. Officers in nearly every country of the world are NCO Clubs and CPO Clubs versus enlisted clubs) are.
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Some titles are not genuine ranks, but either functions assumed by generals or honorific titles. In the United States Navy , a commodore currently is a senior captain commanding a squadron , air group, or air wing that is too small for a rear admiral to command, although that name has historically been used as a rank. The title not rank of commodore can also indicate an officer who is senior to a ship's captain since only the ship's commanding officer is addressed as captain while underway.
Marine captains are sometimes referred to as major to distinguish themselves while shipboard, although this reference is not employed in the U. Field or senior officers[ edit ] Main article: Field officer Field officers , also called "field-grade officers" or "senior officers", are officers who typically command units that can be expected to operate independently for short periods of time i.
Field officers also commonly fill staff positions of superior commands. The term "field -grade officer" is primarily used by armies and marines; air forces, navies and coast guards generally prefer the term "senior officer. In many Commonwealth countries the field rank of brigadier is used, although it fills the position held by brigadier general in other countries.
Naval and coast guard senior officer ranks include captain and commander. In some countries, the more senior rank of commodore is also included. In others lieutenant-commanders , as equivalents to army and marine majors, are considered senior officers. Commonwealth air force senior officer ranks include group captain , wing commander , and squadron leader , where such ranks are still used.
Company grade or junior officers[ edit ] Main article: Junior officer The ranks of junior officers are the three or four lowest ranks of officers. Units under their command are generally not expected to operate independently for any significant length of time. Company grade officers also fill staff roles in some units. In some militaries, however, a captain may act as the permanent commanding officer of an independent company-sized army unit, for example a signal or field engineer squadron , or a field artillery battery.
Typical army company officer ranks include captain and various grades of lieutenant. Typical naval and coast guard junior officer ranks include grades of lieutenant commander , lieutenant, lieutenant junior grade , sub-lieutenant and ensign.
Commonwealth excluding Canada air force junior officer ranks usually include flight lieutenant , flying officer , and pilot officer. Officers in pay grades O-1 through O-3 are considered company grade officers.
In the Army, Marine Corps, and Air Force, these pay grades correspond to the ranks of second lieutenant O-1 , first lieutenant O-2 , and captain O-3 , and in the Navy, ensign, lieutenant junior grade, and lieutenant. Officers in the next three pay grades O-4 through O-6 are considered field grade officers.
In the Army, Marine Corps, and Air Force, these pay grades correspond to the ranks of major O-4 , lieutenant colonel O-5 , and colonel O-6 , and in the Navy, lieutenant commander, commander, and captain.
The highest four pay grades are reserved for general officers in the Army, Marine Corps, and Air Force, and flag officers in the Navy. The ranks associated with each pay grade are as follows: In the US and several other western forces, officers in training are referred to as student officers, and carry the rank of cadet army and air force or midshipman navy, and in some countries, marines.
These officers may be serving at a military academy , or, as common in the United States, as members of a military training unit attached to a civilian college or university, such as an ROTC unit. This is due to a requirement that commissioned officers have at least a four-year collegiate undergraduate degree. The British Army refers to its trainee officers as officer cadets, who rank as private soldiers at the start of their training, with no authority over other ranks except when appointed to carry out a role as part of training.
Officer cadets are addressed to as "Mister" or "Miss" until the completion of the early stages of their training at the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst at which point cadets "pass out" and formally gain their commissions , thereafter other ranks non-officers will address them as "Sir" or "Ma'am".
While cadet has always been a rank of limited authority and prestige cadets and US Navy midshipmen have no authority over commissioned personnel, warrants, or officers, only subordinate cadets , midshipman has historically been a rank with limited leadership responsibility, particularly in the Royal Navy where cadets are commissioned at the start of their training, unlike their Army counterparts.
This tradition was continued by the US Navy after its original adoption of the rank, but now US Navy midshipmen are limited in the same manner as cadets in the other US services. Additionally, US Marine officers in training are also midshipmen, trained and educated alongside their naval counterparts, and wear distinctive insignia to indicate their branch of service.
US Coast Guard Academy students are referred to as cadets, while those attending the military branch's officer candidate school are officer candidates. In the US an alternative to spending four years as a cadet or midshipmen is for college graduates with a four-year degree to attend officer candidate school, an intensive twelve week training course designed to convert college graduates into military officers. Each service has at least one, and usually several, officer candidate school facilities.
Students at these programs are called officer candidates. Warrant officer Warrant officers as receiving authority by virtue of a warrant are a hybrid rank treated slightly differently in each country or service.
Warrant officers may either be effectively senior non-commissioned officers or an entirely separate grade between commissioned and non-commissioned officers, usually held by specialist personnel. In the United States, warrant officers are appointed by warrant then commissioned by the President of the United States at the rank of chief warrant officer.
Warrant officers range from WO1-CW5. A warrant officer is not a chief warrant officer until they reach W2. Enlisted personnel[ edit ] Enlisted personnel are personnel below commissioned rank and make up the vast majority of military personnel. They are known by different names in different countries, such as other ranks ORs in the United Kingdom and some Commonwealth countries, and non-commissioned members NCMs in Canada.
Non-commissioned officer Non-commissioned officers NCOs are enlisted personnel, under the command of an officer, granted delegated authority to supervise other military members or assigned significant administrative responsibilities. They are responsible for the care and direct control of junior military members, often functioning in the smaller field units as executive officers. Even the most senior NCO officially ranks beneath the most junior commissioned officer or warrant officer.
However, most senior NCOs have more experience, possibly including combat, than junior officers. In many armies, because junior officers have a great amount of responsibility and authority but little operational experience, they are paired with senior NCO advisers. In some organizations, senior NCOs may have formal responsibility and informal respect beyond that of junior officers, but less than that of warrant officers.
Many warrant officers come from the ranks of mid-career NCOs. In some countries warrant ranks replace senior enlisted ranks. NCO ranks typically include a varying number of grades of sergeant and corporal air force, army and marines , or chief petty officer and petty officer navy and coast guard.
In many navies the term rate is used to designate specialty, while rank denotes paygrade. Credentialed civilian professionals such as scientists , pharmacists , physicians , nurses , clergy , and attorneys are directly commissioned upon entry into the military or another federal uniformed service.
However, these officers generally do not exercise command authority outside of their specific branches e. Army Medical Corps ; U. Navy Judge Advocate General's Corps.
In the past World War II , industrial management expert civilians were also direct-commissioned to stand up materiel production for the Armed Forces. Discontinued[ edit ] Although significantly represented in the retired senior commissioned officer ranks of the US Navy, a much smaller cohort of current active duty and active Reserve officers all of the latter being Captains or Flag Officers as of were commissioned via the Navy's since discontinued Aviation Officer Candidate School AOCS program for college graduates.
Designated as Aviation Officer Candidates AOCs , individuals in the AOCS program were primarily non-prior military service college graduates, augmented by a smaller cohort of college-degreed Active Duty, Reserve or former enlisted personnel.
AOCs were active duty personnel in pay grade E-5 unless having held a higher Active Duty or Reserve enlisted grade for the duration of their week program.
Upon graduation, they were commissioned as Ensigns in the then- US Naval Reserve on Active Duty, with the option to augment their commissions to the Regular Navy after 4 to 6 years of commissioned service. AVROC was composed of college students who would attend officer training in two segments similar to Marine Corps PLC, but would do so between their junior and senior year and again following graduation, receiving their commission upon completion of the second segment.
After their initial operational tour, they would be assigned to a college or university full-time for no more than two years in order to complete their bachelor's degree. Another discontinued commissioning program is the Air Force's Aviation Cadet program.
In its final iteration, cadets were received the pay of enlisted pay grade E-5 and were required to complete all pre-commissioning training and flight training before receiving their wings as pilots or navigators and their commissions as 2nd Lieutenants on active duty in the US Air Force Reserve on the same day.
Aviation cadets were later offered the opportunity to apply for a commission in the Regular Air Force and attend a college or university to complete a 4-year degree.
Commonwealth of Nations[ edit ] A platoon from the Australian 29th Battalion being addressed by their officer commanding in August In countries whose ranking systems are based upon the models of the British Armed Forces BAF , officers from the rank of Second Lieutenant army , Sub-Lieutenant navy or Pilot Officer air force to the rank of General , Admiral or Air Chief Marshal respectively, are holders of a commission granted to them by the appropriate awarding authority.
In United Kingdom UK and other Commonwealth realms , the awarding authority is the monarch or a Governor General representing the monarch as head of state. The head of state often is granted the power to award commissions, or has commissions awarded in his or her name. In Commonwealth nations, commissioned officers are given commissioning scrolls also known as commissioning scripts signed by the Sovereign or the Governor General acting on the monarch's behalf.
Upon receipt, this is an official legal document that binds the mentioned officer to the commitment stated on the scroll. Non-commissioned members rise from the lowest ranks in most nations. Education standards for non-commissioned members are typically lower than for officers with the exception of specialised military and highly-technical trades; such as aircraft, weapons or electronics engineers. Enlisted members only receive leadership training after they are promoted to positions of responsibility, or as a prerequisite for such.
In the past and in some countries today but to a lesser extent , non-commissioned members were almost exclusively conscripts , whereas officers were volunteers. Warrant officer In some branches of many armed forces, there exists a third grade of officer known as a warrant officer.
In the armed forces of the United States, warrant officers are initially appointed by the Secretary of the service and then commissioned by the President of the United States upon promotion to chief warrant officer.