In the United States Navy, officers have various ranks. Equivalency between services is by pay grade. United States Navy commissioned officer ranks have two distinct sets of rank insignia: On dress uniform a series of stripes similar to Commonwealth naval ranks are worn; on service khaki, working uniforms (Navy Working Uniform [NWU], and coveralls), and special uniform situations (combat utilities, flight suits, and USMC uniforms when worn by Navy officers assigned or attached to USMC units), the rank insignia are similar to the equivalent rank in the US Army or US Air Force.
|US DoD Pay Grade||O-1||O-2||O-3||O-4||O-5||O-6||O-7||O-8||O-9||O-10||Special||Special|
|NATO Code||OF-1||OF-1||OF-2||OF-3||OF-4||OF-5||OF-6||OF-7||OF-8||OF-9||OF-10||Special Grade|
|Lieutenant||Lieutenant Commander||Commander||Captain||Rear Admiral (lower half)||Rear Admiral||Vice Admiral||Admiral||Fleet Admiral[a]||Admiral of the Navy[b]|
|US DoD Pay Grade||W-2||W-3||W-4||W-5|
|Title||Chief Warrant Officer Two||Chief Warrant Officer Three||Chief Warrant Officer Four||Chief Warrant Officer Five|
In the U.S. Navy, pay grades for officers are:
Note 1: The Navy does not currently use pay grade WO-1, warrant officer. A warrant officer (WO-1) is an officer, but not a commissioned officer. Warrant officers (W-1) are "appointed" to their grade with a "warrant" in lieu of a commission while chief warrant officers in the Navy are "commissioned" as warrant officers. The Army and Marine Corps currently appoint warrant officers to this pay grade.
In the event that officers demonstrate superior performance and prove themselves capable of performing at the next higher pay grade, they are given an increase in pay grade. The official term for this process is a promotion.
Commissioned naval officers originate from the United States Naval Academy, the United States Merchant Marine Academy, other Service Academies (United States Military Academy or United States Air Force Academy), Naval Reserve Officer Training Corps (NROTC), Officer Candidate School (OCS), the since-disestablished Aviation Officer Candidate School (AOCS), and a host of other commissioning programs such as the "Seaman to Admiral-21" program and the limited duty officer/chief warrant officer (LDO/CWO) selection program. There are also a small number of direct commissioned officers, primarily staff corps officers in the medical, dental, nurse, chaplain and judge advocate general career fields.
Commissioned officers can generally be divided into line officers and staff corps:
Note 2: See also Commodore (United States) — today an honorific title (but not a pay grade) for selected URL captains (O-6) in major command of multiple subordinate operational units, and formerly a rank (O-7).
Note 3: The term "line officer of the naval service" includes line officers of both the Navy and the Marine Corps. All U.S. Marine Corps officers are considered "of the line," including Marine Corps limited duty officers, chief warrant officers, and warrant officers, regardless of grade or specialty.
The Act of Congress of March 4, 1925, provided for Navy, Marine Corps, and Coast Guard officers to be promoted one grade upon retirement, if they had been specially commended for performance of duty in actual combat. Combat citation promotions were sometimes called "tombstone promotions" by disgruntled officers who did not qualify for them, but the term was not used by the recipients. These promotions conferred all the perks and prestige of the higher rank, including the loftier title, but no additional retirement pay. The Act of Congress of February 23, 1942, enabled promotions to three- and four-star grades. Tombstone promotions were subsequently restricted to citations issued before January 1, 1947, and finally eliminated altogether effective November 1, 1959. The practice was terminated as part of an effort to encourage senior officer retirements prior to the effective date of the change to relieve an over-strength in the senior ranks.
Any officer who served honorably in a grade while on active duty receives precedence on the retirement list over any "tombstone officer" holding the same retired grade. Tombstone officers ranked among each other according to their dates of rank in their highest active duty grade.
Navy officers serve either as a line officer or as a staff corps officer. Unrestricted Line (URL) and Restricted Line (RL) officers wear an embroidered gold star above their rank of the naval service dress uniform while staff corps officers, and chief warrant officers wear unique specialty devices.
|Type||Line officer||Medical Corps||Dental Corps||Nurse Corps||Medical Service Corps||Judge Advocate General's Corps|
|Supply Corps||Civil Engineer Corps||Law Community|
(Limited Duty Officer)
1 An officer designator describes their general community or profession. The final (fourth) digit (X) denotes whether the officer has a regular (0), reserve (5), or full-time support (7) commission.
The chief warrant officer and staff corps devices are also worn on the left collar of uniforms.
"This law in 1946 provided that each of the 8 Five-Star officers at the end of WWII was permanently appointed as O-11, and whether retired or not would continue to draw full pay and allowances for the rest of their life, as if on active duty. The same benefit was provided for the serving Commandants of the Marine Corps and Coast Guard (both O-10, 4-star General and Admiral, respectively), who were in office on 14 August 1945. No provisions were made for these officers' successors to have the same benefits; only one more O-11 was appointed, General Omar Bradley was appointed in 1950 as General of the Army, and his benefits followed the model of PL 333. The grade of O-11 itself was temporary in that while Congress provided for appointments to serve in it, once the last appointed officer (Bradley d. 1982) died, there have been no further appointments to O-11.
Section 10(b) of Pub. L. 86–155 provided that repeal of this section and section 309 of this title shall become effective on Nov. 1, 1959.
Navy Full-Time Support (FTS) – This program allows Reservists to perform full-time Active Duty service in positions that support the training and administration of the Navy Reserve Force. Members receive the same pay, allowances and benefits as Active Duty members. One advantage of FTS over regular Active Duty is that members typically serve for longer periods at any assigned locations, up to and including a full career on active duty (albeit as a reservist serving on active duty for the specific purpose of providing support and expertise to integrate the active and reserve components.