Officer Ranks

Navy officers wear their rank devices in different places on their uniforms, depending upon the uniform. The three basic uniforms and the type of rank devices are: khakis (a working uniform) -- pins on the collar; whites -- stripes on shoulder boards; and, blues -- stripes sewn on the lower sleeve. Shoulder boards are also worn on bridge coats and reefers. The collar devices are also worn on the right side of the garrison cap (a miniature officer's crest is worn on the left) and slightly larger devices are worn on the epaulets of the raincoat and working jacket.

Additionally, line officers wear a star above the stripes of the shoulder boards or sleeves but staff and warrant officers wear specialty insignia.

Pay Grade Rank Abbreviation Collar Shoulder Sleeve
O-1 Ensign ENS
O-2 Lieutenant
Junior Grade
O-3 Lieutenant LT
O-4 Lieutenant
O-5 Commander CDR
O-6 Captain CAPT
O-7 Rear Admiral
(lower half)
O-8 Rear Admiral
(upper half)
O-9 Vice Admiral VADM
O-10 Admiral ADM
O-11 Fleet Admiral* FADM

* The rank of Fleet Admiral has been reserved for war time use only. The last Fleet Admirals were in World War II. Fleet Admirals during that war were Chester W. Nimitz, William D. Leahy, Ernest J. King, and William F. Halsey.

Pay Grade Rank Abbreviation Collar Shoulder Sleeve
W-1* Warrant Officer WO1
W-2 Chief
Warrant Officer
W-3 Chief
Warrant Officer
W-4 Chief
Warrant Officer
W-5* Chief
Warrant Officer

* The grade of Warrant Officer (W-1) is no longer in use. W-5 was established in the Navy in 2002.

Reviewed: 12 August 2009