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Navy Ranks

U.S. Navy ranks detail the experience, combat readiness and education of U.S. Naval personnel. The mission of the U.S. Navy is to maintain, train and equip combat-ready naval forces capable of winning wars, deterring aggression and maintaining freedom of the seas.

Navy Ranks

This list of Navy ranks and Coast Guard ranks starts with enlisted personnel, followed by warrant officers, and commissioned officers. The title is given first, then the abbreviation for that rank, and last is the pay grade.


  • Seaman Recruit, SR, E-1
  • Seaman Apprentice, SA, E-2
  • Seaman, SN, E-3
  • Petty Officer 3rd Class, PO3, E-4
  • Petty Officer 2nd Class, PO2, E-5
  • Petty Officer 1st Class, PO1, E-6
  • Chief Petty Officer, CPO, E-7
  • Senior Chief Petty Officer, SCPO, E-8
  • Master Chief Petty Officer, MCPO, E-9
  • Command Master Chief Petty Officer, MCPOC, E-9
  • Fleet Master Chief Petty Officer, FLTCM, E-9
  • Force Master Chief Petty Officer, FORCM, E-9
  • Master Chief Petty Officer of the Navy, MCPON, E-9 special
  • Master Chief Petty Officer of the Coast Guard, MPCOCG, E-9 special

Warrant Officer:

  • Warrant Officer, WO1, W-1
  • Chief Warrant Officer 2, CWO2, W-2
  • Chief Warrant Officer 3, CWO3, W-3
  • Chief Warrant Officer 4, CWO4, W-4
  • Chief Warrant Officer 5, CWO5, W-5


  • Ensign, ENS, O-1
  • Lieutenant, Junior Grade, LTJG, O-2
  • Lieutenant, LT, O-3
  • Lieutenant Commander, LCDR, O-4
  • Commander, CDR, O-5
  • Captain, CAPT, O-6
  • Rear Admiral (lower half), RDML, O-7
  • Rear Admiral (upper half), RADM, O-8
  • Vice Admiral, VADM, O-9
  • Admiral Chief of Naval Operations / Commandant of the Coast Guard, ADM, O-10
  • Fleet Admiral, FADM, (wartime), O-10 special

Benefits of the Navy

Once you understand what the Navy ranks are, you may also be interested in what the benefits are of joining the Navy and moving up in the ranks. The pay received as an officer depends on rank and for enlisted personnel it is based on rate. Promotions are based on the length of time you have been at your current rate or rank along with your job performance. For example, to go from E-1 to E-2, there is a minimum requirement of nine months on the job. In addition earned pay increases there are also yearly cost-of-living raises.

You may qualify for allowances, such as housing and food allowances which are paid in addition to base pay. Also, health care benefits add more value to compensation as does the availability of inexpensive life insurance. Paid leave, or vacation, can be up to 30 days a year and can be accumulated up to 60 days for future use. The Navy also has educational assistance programs that will help you further your education.

How to Become a Naval Officer

Being a naval officer requires a bachelor's degree. The three main ways to become an officer in the Navy is through the Navy Reserve Officers' Training Corps (NROTC), Officer Candidate School, or the United States Naval Academy (USNA). Let's look at these three programs.

Navy Reserve Officers' Training Corps

NROTC is offered at over 60 colleges and universities in the United States. There is a two-year and a four-year program offered. Participants receive a monthly cash allowance during their junior and senior years. There are also scholarships available to help with college expenses.

Officer Candidate School

This is for someone who has already received a degree and consists of 12 weeks of training at Pensacola, Florida. When coursework is completed, you will be commissioned as an ensign in the Navy Reserve and serve on active duty.

United States Naval Academy

The Naval Academy is located in Annapolis, Maryland. To apply for USNA, you have to be a United States citizen, have good SAT scores and not be past your 23rd birthday on the 1st of July in the year you would enter the academy. Naval applicants have to be single, have good moral standards, not be pregnant, or have any children. Another requirement is a nomination from an official source, like a US senator, representative, or the vice president. Also needed is an official interview with a Blue and Gold Officer.

The Importance of U.S. Navy

Founded in 1775, the U.S. Navy has served in every major conflict of aggression as well as in the protection of U.S. coastal waters. For more information on the U.S. Navy or how to join, visit their website