No other institution follows hierarchy like armed forces do. In this Buzzle article, we will put forth the details of the US Navy rank structure, in order starting from the highest, which will give you a rough idea about the hierarchical system followed in this branch of the US Armed Forces.
The United States Navy, the naval warfare service of the US Armed Forces, boasts of being the largest naval force in the world. It has 286 active naval ships, 3200 aircraft, 328,516 active personnel, and 101,689 reserve personnel to its credit. Approximately 15 percent of the total active personnel are Commissioned Officers, 80 percent are Enlisted Rates (enlisted personnel), while the remaining 5 percent belong to the group of Midshipmen of the US Naval Academy and the Naval Reserve Officer Training Corps.
United States Navy
That the US Navy is larger than the next 13 largest naval forces of the world combined, speaks volumes about its strength. With as many as 11 aircraft carriers in service (and 1 in construction as of now), it also boasts of the largest carrier fleet in the world. Even though the US Marine Corps and the US Coast Guards are not directly associated with the US Navy, both work in close coordination it. Since its inception on October 13, 1775, the Navy has played a crucial role at various war fronts, including the Vietnam War, Korean War, and the Persian War. Not to forget, it has also been deployed to tackle pirates in various oceans of the world. As of today, US Naval vessels have been stationed in various regions of the world, including the Middle East and east Asia, which has made the United States more powerful than ever.
US Navy Ranks in Order
The rank of an ‘Admiral’ is the highest rank in the United States Navy. While there does exist the rank of a ‘Fleet Admiral’, which is higher than that of the Admiral, it is exclusively reserved for war time. The Admiral ranks above the ‘Vice Admiral’, who in turn, ranks above the ‘Rear Admiral’ and so on. Given below is the list of ranks, starting from the highest, which will help you understand their rank structure.
|Fleet Admiral||FADM||O-10 (Special)|
|Admiral Chief of Naval Operations/
Commandant of the Coast Guard
|Rear Admiral (upper half)||RADM||O-8|
|Rear Admiral (lower half)||RDML||O-7|
|Lieutenant, Junior Grade||LTJG||O-2|
|Commissioned Warrant Officers|
|Chief Warrant Officer 5||CWO5||W-5|
|Chief Warrant Officer 4||CWO4||W-4|
|Chief Warrant Officer 3||CWO3||W-3|
|Chief Warrant Officer 2||CWO2||W-2|
|Master Chief Petty Officer of the Navy||MCPON||E-9 (Special)|
|Master Chief Petty Officer of the Coast Guard||MPCOCG||E-9 (Special)|
|Force Master Chief Petty Officer||FORCM||E-9|
|Fleet Master Chief Petty Officer||FLTCM||E-9|
|Command Master Chief Petty Officer||MCPOC||E-9|
|Master Chief Petty Officer||MCPO||E-9|
|Senior Chief Petty Officer||SCPO||E-8|
|Chief Petty Officer||CPO||E-7|
|Petty Officer 1st Class||PO1||E-6|
|Petty Officer 2nd Class||PO2||E-5|
|Petty Officer 3rd Class||PO3||E-4|
While the Admiral is the highest Commissioned Officer Rank of the US Navy (with four stars and a pay grade of O-10), the Ensign is the lowest (with pay grade O-1.) There exist five Commissioned Warrant Officers between the Commissioned Officers and enlisted personnel. The color of their service uniform is one attribute on the basis of which you can differentiate between officers (Service Khaki or Service White) and enlisted personnel (Navy Service Uniform).