see it clearly

Military Ranks and Insignia

Military ranks and insignia are determined not only by the branch of military service, but also by area of specialty, expertise and experience. Each branch of the U.S. armed forces offers ranks specific to that service. For example, in the Air Force, servicemen are referred to as airmen, in the U.S. Army, they are soldiers, in the U.S Marine Corp, they are marines and in the U.S. Navy, they are seamen.

Military Ranks and Insignia

Following is information on the military ranks and insignia of the Air Force (link to Air Force Military Ranks), Army, Marines, Navy and Coast Guard.

Air Force - Enlisted:

  • Airman Basic, no insignia
  • Airman, one bar
  • Airman First Class, two bars
  • Senior Airman or Sergeant, silver eagle
  • Staff Sergeant, silver eagle with gold chevron (1 bar)
  • Technical Sergeant, silver eagle with gold chevron (2 bars)
  • Master Sergeant, gold anchor
  • Senior Master Sergeant, gold anchor with one silver star
  • Chief Master Sergeant, gold anchor with two silver stars
  • Chief Master Sergeant of the Air Force, silver wreath around US

Air Force - Officer:

  • Second Lieutenant, gold bar
  • First Lieutenant, silver bar
  • Captain, two silver bars
  • Major, gold oak leaf
  • Lieutenant Colonel, silver oak leaf
  • Colonel, silver eagle
  • Brigadier General, one silver star
  • Major General, two silver stars
  • Lieutenant General, three silver stars
  • General, four silver stars
  • General of the Air Force (wartime rank), five sliver stars in a circle

Army - Enlisted:

  • Private, no insignia
  • Private 2, one gold stripe
  • Private First Class, two stripes, one above, one below
  • Specialist, gold eagle on green background
  • Corporal, two upper stripes
  • Sergeant, three upper stripes
  • Staff Sergeant, three upper stripes, one below
  • Sergeant First Class, three stripes above, two below
  • Master Sergeant, three stripes above, three below
  • First Sergeant, three stripes above and below with a diamond between
  • Sergeant Major, three stripes above and below with a star between
  • Command Sergeant Major, three stripes above and below with a star and wreath between
  • Sergeant Major of the Army, three stripes above and below with a US Seal between

Army - Warrant Officers:

  • Warrant Officer, black stripe
  • Chief Warrant Officer 2, two black stripes
  • Chief Warrant Officer 3, three black stripes
  • Chief Warrant Officer 4, four black stripes
  • Chief Warrant Officer 5, one black stripe lengthwise

Army - Officers:

  • Second Lieutenant, gold bar
  • First Lieutenant, silver bar
  • Captain, two silver bars
  • Major, gold oak leaf
  • Lieutenant Colonel, silver oak leaf
  • Colonel, silver eagle
  • Brigadier General, one silver star
  • Major General, two silver stars
  • Lieutenant General, three silver stars
  • General, four silver stars
  • General of the Army (Wartime), five sliver stars in a circle

Marines - Enlisted:

  • Private, no insignia
  • Private First Class, one upper gold stripe
  • Lance Corporal, one upper gold stripe on red background
  • Corporal, two upper red stripes
  • Sergeant, three upper red stripes
  • Staff Sergeant, three upper red stripes and one lower
  • Gunnery Sergeant, three upper red stripes and two lower
  • Master Sergeant, three upper red stripes and three lower
  • First Sergeant, three upper red stripes and three lower with a diamond between
  • Master Gunnery Sergeant, three upper red stripes and four lower with an exploding bomb in the center
  • Sergeant Major, three upper red stripes and four lower with a star in the center
  • Sergeant Major of the Marine Corp, three upper red stripes and four lower with an eagle, globe, anchor, and two stars in the center

Marines - Warrant Officers:

  • Warrant Officer 1, two red and one gold stripe
  • Chief Warrant Officer 2, three red and two gold stripes
  • Chief Warrant Officer 3, two red stripes
  • Chief Warrant Officer 4, three red stripes
  • Chief Warrant Officer 5, one lengthwise red stripe

Marines - Officers:

  • Second Lieutenant, gold bar
  • First Lieutenant, silver bar
  • Captain, two silver bars
  • Major, gold oak leaf
  • Lieutenant Colonel, silver oak leaf
  • Colonel, silver eagle
  • Brigadier General, one silver star
  • Major General, two silver stars
  • Lieutenant General, three silver stars
  • General, four silver stars

Navy and Coast Guard - Enlisted

  • Seaman Recruit, no insignia
  • Seaman Apprentice, two bars
  • Seaman, three bars
  • Petty Officer 3rd Class, eagle with red bar underneath
  • Petty Officer 2nd Class, eagle with two red bars
  • Petty Officer 1st Class, eagle with three red bars
  • Chief Petty Officer, eagle with three yellow bars and one yellow arc
  • Senior Chief Petty Officer, same as E-7 with a silver star above the eagle
  • Master Chief Petty Officer, same as E-7 with two silver stars above the eagle
  • Command Master Chief Petty Officer, same as E-7 with two gold stars above the eagle and a star under the eagle
  • Fleet Master Chief Petty Officer, same as E-7 with two gold stars above the eagle and a star under the eagle
  • Force Master Chief Petty Officer, same as E-7 with two gold stars above the eagle and a star under the eagle
  • Master Chief Petty Officer of the Navy, same as E-7 with three gold stars above the eagle
  • Master Chief Petty Officer of the Coast Guard, same as E-7 with three gold stars above the eagle and a shield under the eagle

Navy and Coast Guard Warrant Officers

  • Warrant Officer, one gold bar
  • Chief Warrant Officer 2, two gold bars
  • Chief Warrant Officer 3, two blue bars
  • Chief Warrant Officer 4, three blue bars
  • Chief Warrant Officer 5, one lengthwise blue bar

Navy and Coast Guard Officers:

  • Ensign, gold bar
  • Lieutenant, Junior Grade, silver bar
  • Lieutenant, two silver bars
  • Lieutenant Commander, gold oak leaf
  • Commander, silver oak leaf
  • Captain, silver eagle
  • Rear Admiral (lower half), silver star
  • Rear Admiral (upper half), two silver stars
  • Vice Admiral, three silver stars
  • Admiral Chief of Naval Operations / Commandant of the Coast Guard, four silver stars
  • Fleet Admiral, five silver stars in a circle

Military Ranks and Insignia

Far beyond the pecking order, military ranks and insignias are symbols for spirit, courage and dedication of the armed forces.