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Comparison of United Kingdom and United States military ranks

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

UK and US officer ranks compared

NATO code OF-10 OF-9 OF-8 OF-7 OF-6 OF-5 OF-4 OF-3 OF-2 OF-1 OF(D) Student officer
 British Army[1]
Field marshal
General
Lieutenant-general
Major-general
Brigadier
Colonel
Lieutenant-colonel
Major
Captain
Lieutenant
Second lieutenant
Officer cadet
Field marshal General Lieutenant-general Major-general Brigadier Colonel Lieutenant colonel Major Captain Lieutenant Second lieutenant Officer cadet


 United States Army[2]
General of the Army
General
Lieutenant general
Major general
Brigadier general
Colonel
Lieutenant colonel
Major
Captain
First lieutenant
Second lieutenant
Various
General of the Army General Lieutenant general Major general Brigadier general Colonel Lieutenant colonel Major Captain First lieutenant Second lieutenant Cadet / Officer candidate


NATO code OF-10 OF-9 OF-8 OF-7 OF-6 OF-5 OF-4 OF-3 OF-2 OF-1 OF(D) Student officer
 Royal Navy[3]
British Royal Navy OF-10-collected.svg
British Royal Navy OF-9-collected.svg
British Royal Navy OF-8-collected.svg
British Royal Navy OF-7-collected.svg
British Royal Navy OF-6-collected.svg
UK-Navy-OF-5-collected.svg
UK-Navy-OF-4-collected.svg
UK-Navy-OF-3-collected.svg
UK-Navy-OF-2-collected.svg
UK-Navy-OF-1b-collected.svg
British Royal Navy OF-1a.svg
UK-Navy-OFD.svg
UK-Navy-OFStudent.svg
Admiral of the Fleet Admiral Vice admiral Rear admiral Commodore Captain Commander Lieutenant commander Lieutenant Sub lieutenant Midshipman Officer Cadet


 United States Navy[4]
US Navy O11 insignia.svg
US Navy O10 insignia.svg
US Navy O9 insignia.svg
US Navy O8 insignia.svg
US Navy O7 insignia.svg
US Navy O6 insignia.svg
US Navy O5 insignia.svg
U.S. Navy O-4 insignia.svg
US Navy O3 insignia.svg
US Navy O2 insignia.svg
US Navy O1 insignia.svg
US Navy OC shoulderboard.svg
Fleet admiral Admiral Vice admiral Rear admiral Rear admiral
(lower half)
Captain Commander Lieutenant commander Lieutenant Lieutenant
(junior grade)
Ensign Midshipman / officer candidate
(Various insignia)


NATO code OF-10 OF-9 OF-8 OF-7 OF-6 OF-5 OF-4 OF-3 OF-2 OF-1 OF(D) Student officer
 Corps of Royal Marines[5]
Field marshal
General
Lieutenant-general
Major-general
Brigadier
Colonel
Lieutenant-colonel
Major
Captain
Lieutenant
Second lieutenant
Officer cadet
Captain General
Royal Marines
General Lieutenant-general Major-general Brigadier Colonel Lieutenant colonel Major Captain Lieutenant Second lieutenant Officer cadet


 United States Marine Corps[6]
US Marine 10 shoulderboard vertical.svg
US Marine O9 shoulderboard vertical.svg
US Marine O8 shoulderboard vertical.svg
US Marine O7 shoulderboard vertical.svg
US Marine O6 shoulderboard vertical.svg
US Marine O5 shoulderboard vertical.svg
US Marine O4 shoulderboard vertical.svg
US Marine O3 shoulderboard vertical.svg
US Marine O2 shoulderboard vertical.svg
US Marine O1 shoulderboard vertical.svg
US Navy OC shoulderboard.svg
General Lieutenant general Major general Brigadier general Colonel Lieutenant colonel Major Captain First lieutenant Second lieutenant Midshipman / officer candidate
(Various insignia)


NATO code OF-10 OF-9 OF-8 OF-7 OF-6 OF-5 OF-4 OF-3 OF-2 OF-1 OF(D) Student officer
 Royal Air Force[7]
United Kingdom-Air force-OF-10-collected.svg
United Kingdom-Air force-OF-9-collected.svg
United Kingdom-Air force-OF-8-collected.svg
United Kingdom-Air force-OF-7-collected.svg
United Kingdom-Air force-OF-6-collected.svg
British RAF OF-5.svg
British RAF OF-4.svg
British RAF OF-3.svg
British RAF OF-2.svg
British RAF OF-1b.svg
British RAF OF-1a.svg
UK-RAF-OFD.svg
Marshal of the RAF Air chief marshal Air marshal Air vice-marshal Air commodore Group captain Wing commander Squadron leader Flight lieutenant Flying officer Pilot officer
/acting pilot officer
Officer cadet


 United States Air Force[8]
US Air Force O11 shoulderboard.svg
US Air Force O10 shoulderboard.svg
US Air Force O9 shoulderboard.svg
US Air Force O8 shoulderboard.svg
US Air Force O7 shoulderboard.svg
US Air Force O6 shoulderboard.svg
US Air Force O5 shoulderboard.svg
US Air Force O4 shoulderboard.svg
US Air Force O3 shoulderboard.svg
US Air Force O2 shoulderboard.svg
US Air Force O1 shoulderboard.svg
(Various insignia)
General of the Air Force General Lieutenant general Major general Brigadier general Colonel Lieutenant colonel Major Captain First lieutenant Second lieutenant Cadet / Officer trainee


 United States Space Force[4]
US Space-force O10 (interim).svg
US Space-force O9 (interim).svg
US Space-force O8 (interim).svg
US Space-force O7 (interim).svg
US Space-force O6 (interim).svg
US Space-force O5 (interim).svg
US Space-force O4 (interim).svg
US Space-force O3 (interim).svg
US Space-force O2 (interim).svg
US Space-force O1 (interim).svg
(Various insignia)
General Lieutenant general Major general Brigadier general Colonel Lieutenant colonel Major Captain First lieutenant Second lieutenant Cadet / Officer trainee


NATO code OF-10 OF-9 OF-8 OF-7 OF-6 OF-5 OF-4 OF-3 OF-2 OF-1 OF(D) Student officer

Not listed are U.S. warrant officers. A warrant officer is an officer who can and does command, carry out military justice actions and sits on both selection and promotion boards. A US warrant officer is a single-track specialty officer, initially appointed by their respective service secretary; he/she receives a commission upon promotion to chief warrant officer two (CW2).[9]

In the UK the separation between "other" ranks and "officer" ranks can, on occasion, become permeable. Within the British armed services, both Sir Fitzroy Maclean and Enoch Powell are examples of, rare, rapid career progression with the British army, both rising from the rank of private to brigadier during World War II. In the US military such advancement is not uncommon, all five services maintaining programs that select promising enlisted men and women for the commissioned ranks.

Notes to tables above

  • The Royal Marines rank alongside their army equivalents. However, when on the books of any HM Ship or Naval Establishment, Royal Marines are subject to the Naval Discipline Act 1957. In those circumstances, many officer ranks in the Royal Marines formerly enjoyed greater status. Second lieutenants were equivalent to sub lieutenants and ranks from lieutenant to major were considered equivalent to one rank higher (OF-2 to OF-4). Lieutenant colonels were considered equivalent to RN captains with less than six years in the rank, and colonels were equivalent to captains with more than six years seniority. Higher ranks followed the equivalence on the table above. This state of affairs ended on 1 July 1999, when Royal Marine officer ranks were fully aligned with those of the army.
  • RAF-style ranks are also used by the Royal Australian Air Force, Royal New Zealand Air Force, Nigerian Air Force, Indian Air Force, Pakistan Air Force, Bangladesh Air Force, Hellenic Air Force, Egyptian Air Force, Trinidad and Tobago Air Guard, Royal Air Force of Oman and Sri Lanka Air Force. The Ghana Air Force and Air Force of Zimbabwe (previously Royal Rhodesian Air Force) also use the same basic system, but replace pilot officer and flying officer with air sub lieutenant and air lieutenant. The Royal Thai Air Force uses the RAF ranks also. The Royal Canadian Air Force and Royal Malaysian Air Force also previously used the system.
  • The U.S. military usually uses O-1 to O-10 to denote officers, and not the NATO codes of OF-1 to OF-10 in which all subaltern officers are classed as OF-1 (O-1 and O-2 in US). O-11 is sometimes used for the U.S. OF-10 ranks, but this is not official.
  • OF-10 ranks in the United States can only be attained during wartime; the last five-star officer died in 1981. This is also now generally the case in the UK, although provision is made to award them under special circumstances in peacetime (No promotion to these ranks has been made since they were generally suspended in 1997, with the exception of the honorary promotion of Lord Boyce to Admiral of the Fleet in the Queen's 2014 birthday honours.) Captain-General Royal Marines is a ceremonial rank, usually held by a member of the royal family (such as Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex). There is no field marshal rank in the Royal Marines, although Royal Marine officers may reach full general rank.
  • Due to their modern-day size, the ranks of general and lieutenant-general are not used within 3 Commando Brigade or the main Royal Marines. The position of commandant general is held by a major-general. Royal Marines officers may hold the rank of lieutenant-general, serving in Ministry of Defence or joint forces positions. Royal Marine officers may reach the full rank of general, for example General Gordon Messenger.
  • At various times (1775-1981) the O-7 rank in the USN has been called Commodore and briefly once, Commodore Admiral. Then changed to Rear Admiral lower half due to Captains and Commanders that commanded more than 1 ship or squadrons given the title, but not rank, of Commodore.
  • The rank of Ensign is not used in the Royal Marines. Royal Marines officers join as second lieutenants; after two years of service, provided that Phase 2 training has been successfully completed, they are promoted to the rank of lieutenant (if under 21 at the time of joining) or captain (if 21 or older at the time of joining).
  • The rank of Ensign is no longer used in the Royal Navy. All officers now join BRNC Dartmouth as midshipmen once more, unless they have previously served in the ranks ((senior) upper yardsmen) but use the non-substantive rank of officer cadet (OCdt) during the pre-initial sea phase.
  • The name for Officers in training for the US Navy vary depending on the particular officer commissioning program. Naval Academy, Merchant Marine Academy and NROTC are midshipmen (MIDN); United States Coast Guard Academy are cadets; U.S. Navy seaman-to-admiral 21 (STA-21) and Officer Candidate School are officer candidates (OC).

US "Enlisted" and UK "Other ranks" compared

UK and US ranks are categorised in the NATO rank code system OR-1 to OR-9. Ranks with the same code are not necessarily equivalent however. Within the US military, however, "E-1" to "E-9" is the more common usage.

NATO code OR-9 OR-8 OR-7 OR-6 OR-5 OR-4 OR-3 OR-2 OR-1
 British Army[1]
British Army OR-9c.svg
British Army OR-9b.svg
British Army OR-9a.svg
British Army OR-8b.svg
British Army OR-8a.svg
British Army OR-7.svg
British Army OR-6.svg

British Army OR-4.svg
British Army OR-3.svg
No insignia
Warrant officer class 1 Warrant officer class 2 Staff/Colour sergeant Sergeant Corporal Lance corporal Private
(or equivalent)


 United States Army[2]
Army-USA-OR-09-SEAC (Army greens).svg
Army-USA-OR-09a (Army greens).svg
Army-USA-OR-09b (Army greens).svg
Army-USA-OR-09c (Army greens).svg
Army-USA-OR-08a (Army greens).svg
Army-USA-OR-08b (Army greens).svg
Army-USA-OR-07 (Army greens).svg
Army-USA-OR-06 (Army greens).svg
Army-USA-OR-05 (Army greens).svg
Army-USA-OR-04a (Army greens).svg
Army-USA-OR-04b (Army greens).svg
Army-USA-OR-03 (Army greens).svg
Army-USA-OR-02 (Army greens).svg
No insignia
Senior Enlisted Advisor to the Chairman Sergeant Major of the Army Command sergeant major Sergeant major First sergeant Master sergeant Sergeant first class Staff sergeant Sergeant Corporal Specialist Private first class Private Private


Uniformed services pay grade E-9 E-8 E-7 E-6 E-5 E-4 E-3 E-2 E-1
NATO code OR-9 OR-8 OR-7 OR-6 OR-5 OR-4 OR-3 OR-2 OR-1
 Royal Navy[3]
British Royal Navy OR-9.svg
British Royal Navy OR-8.svg
British Royal Navy OR-7.svg
British Royal Navy OR-6.svg

British Royal Navy OR-4.svg
British Royal Navy OR-2.svg
Warrant officer class 1 Warrant officer class 2 Chief petty officer Petty officer Leading rate Able rate


 United States Navy[4]
Insignia pending
MCPON
FMCPO
FMCPO
E-9
E-8
E-8
E-7
E-6
E-5
E-4
E-3
E-2
No insignia
Senior Enlisted Advisor to the Chairman Master Chief Petty Officer of the Navy Fleet/force master chief petty officer Command master chief petty officer Master chief petty officer Command senior chief petty officer Senior chief petty officer Chief petty officer Petty officer first class Petty officer second class Petty officer third class Seaman Seaman apprentice Seaman recruit
NATO code OR-9 OR-8 OR-7 OR-6 OR-5 OR-4 OR-3 OR-2 OR-1
 Corps of Royal Marines[5]
British Corps Regimental Sergeant Major.svg
British Royal Marines OR-9.svg
British Royal Marines OR-8.svg
British Royal Marines OR-7.svg
British Royal Marines OR-6.svg

British Royal Marines OR-4.svg
British Royal Marines OR-3.svg
No insignia
Warrant officer class 1 Warrant officer class 2 Colour sergeant Sergeant Corporal Lance corporal Marine


 United States Marine Corps[6]
USMC-E9-SEAC.svg
USMC-E9-SGMMC.svg
USMC-E9-SGM.svg
USMC-E9-MGyS.svg
USMC-E8-1SG.svg
USMC-E8-MSG.svg
USMC-E7.svg
USMC-E6.svg
USMC-E5.svg
USMC-E4.svg
USMC-E3.svg
USMC-E2.svg
No insignia
Senior Enlisted Advisor to the Chairman Sergeant Major of the Marine Corps Sergeant major Master gunnery sergeant First sergeant Master sergeant Gunnery sergeant Staff sergeant Sergeant Corporal Lance corporal Private first class Private
NATO code OR-9 OR-8 OR-7 OR-6 OR-5 OR-4 OR-3 OR-2 OR-1
 Royal Air Force[7]
British Chief of the Air Staff's Warrant Officer.svg
British RAF OR-9.svg
British RAF OR-7b.svg
British RAF OR-7a.svg
British RAF OR-6.svg

British RAF OR-4.svg
British RAF OR-3.svg
British RAF OR-2c.svg
British RAF OR-2b.svg
British RAF OR-2a.svg
No insignia
Warrant officer Flight sergeant Chief technician Sergeant Corporal Lance corporal
(RAF Regiment only)
Air specialist (class 1) technician Air specialist (class 1) Air specialist (class 2) Air recruit
 Royal Air Force[7]
(Aircrew)
British RAF (Aircrew) OR-9.svg
British RAF (Aircrew) OR-7.svg
British RAF (Aircrew) OR-6.svg

Master aircrew Flight sergeant aircrew Sergeant aircrew


 United States Air Force[8]
USAF SEAC.svg
E9d USAF CMSAF.svg
USAF Senior Enlisted Advisor for the National Guard Bureau.svg
E9c USAF CCMS.svg
E9b USAF 1STSGT3.svg
E9a USAF CMSGT.svg
E8b USAF 1STSGT2.svg
E8a USAF SMSGT.svg
E7b USAF 1STSGT1.svg
E7a USAF MSGT.svg
E6 USAF TSGT.svg
E5 USAF SSGT.svg
E4 USAF SAM.svg
E3 USAF AM1.svg
E2 USAF AM.svg
No insignia
Senior Enlisted Advisor to the Chairman Chief Master Sergeant of the Air Force Senior Enlisted Advisor to the Chief of the National Guard Bureau Command Chief Master Sergeant First sergeant Chief master sergeant First sergeant Senior master sergeant First sergeant Master sergeant Technical sergeant Staff sergeant Senior airman Airman first class Airman Airman basic


 United States Space Force[10]
Insignia pending
USSF CMSSF Flat.svg
USSF CMSgt Flat.svg
USSF SMSgt Flat.svg
USSF MSgt Flat.svg
USSF TSgt Flat.svg
USSF Sgt Flat.svg
USSF Specialist 4.svg
USSF Specialist 3 Flat.svg
USSF Specialist 2 Flat.svg
USSF Specialist 1 Flat.svg
Senior Enlisted Advisor to the Chairman Chief Master Sergeant of the Space Force Chief master sergeant Senior master sergeant Master sergeant Technical sergeant Sergeant Specialist 4 Specialist 3 Specialist 2 Specialist 1
NATO code OR-9 OR-8 OR-7 OR-6 OR-5 OR-4 OR-3 OR-2 OR-1
Uniformed services pay grade E-9 E-8 E-7 E-6 E-5 E-4 E-3 E-2 E-1

Notes on comparison:

  • In the US Army OR-1 to OR-4 (specialist) are junior enlisted, OR-4 (corporal) to OR-6 are junior non-commissioned officers (NCOs), and OR-7 to OR-9 are senior non-commissioned officers (SNCOs).
  • In the USAF OR-1 to OR-4 are junior enlisted, OR-5 to OR-6 are NCOs, and OR-7 to OR-9 are SNCOs.
  • In the USMC, OR-1 to OR-3 are junior enlisted, OR-4 to OR-5 are NCOs, and OR-6 to OR-9 are staff non-commissioned officers.
  • In the US Navy and Coast Guard, OR-1 to OR-3 or "nonrated (wo)men" are junior enlisted, OR-4 to OR-6 or petty officers are NCOs, and OR-7 to OR-9 or chief petty officers are SNCOs.
  • In the British Army OR-1 to OR-2 are junior enlisted, OR-3 to OR-4 are junior NCO's, and OR-5 to OR-9 are SNCO's
  • Generally speaking, the RN assumes a rank up despite the NATO code remaining the same. For example, a LH is more practically comparable to a PO2 or PO1 in the USN.
  • While in the British Army a lance corporal is the next rank up from a private, unlike in the US Army they are considered junior NCO's, and hold a similar command appointment to a US Army sergeant. Because of this it is not unheard of for lance corporals to be given US Army sergeant rank insignia when serving with US forces.
  • While there are different pay-grades for privates (and other enlisted ranks) in the British Army, these are tied to job-role (MOS) rather than time in service. As such there is no promotion from a class 4 private to a class 3 private, nor are there differing badges of rank.

Addendum: In the US Army (but not the USMC) the term "trooper/(troop)" may be used informally for lower enlisted in cavalry, scout, airborne, air assault, Ranger, and Special Forces units, along with the occasional use for any soldier, particularly dismounted infantry. The specific definition of "troop" is a company-sized unit of cavalry, organizationally equivalent to "battery" in artillery units.[11]

Notes to tables above

See also

References

  1. ^ a b "Rank structure". army.mod.uk. British Army. Retrieved 27 May 2021.
  2. ^ a b "U.S. Army Ranks". army.mil. United States Army. Retrieved 27 May 2021.
  3. ^ a b "Shaping your career". royalnavy.mod.uk. Royal Navy. Retrieved 24 September 2021.
  4. ^ a b c "U.S. Military Rank Insignia". defense.gov. Department of Defense. Retrieved 13 January 2022.
  5. ^ a b "RM Officers & Other Ranks Badges of Rank". Royal Navy website. Archived from the original on 7 October 2008. Retrieved 5 October 2008.
  6. ^ a b "Ranks". marines.mil. U.S. Marine Corps. Retrieved 13 June 2021.
  7. ^ a b c "RAF Ranks". raf.mod.uk/. Royal Air Force. Retrieved 21 September 2021.
  8. ^ a b "Air Force Instruction 36-2903" (PDF). Department of the Air Force. 25 June 2021. p. 108. Retrieved 14 August 2021.
  9. ^ Army Regulation (AR) 135-100 Archived 2004-10-18 at the Wayback Machine, US Department of the Army Pamphlet (DA Pam) 600-11 and US Army Field Manual (FM) 22-100 (para A-3) Archived 2004-12-06 at the Wayback Machine
  10. ^ Hadley, Greg (20 September 2021). "Space Force Reveals Insignia for Enlisted Ranks". airforcemag.com. Air Force Magazine. Retrieved 21 September 2021.
  11. ^ Source: U. S. Army.[vague]
  12. ^ THE EXECUTIVE WARRANT OFFICER
  13. ^ "Archived copy" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 4 October 2013. Retrieved 1 June 2013.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  14. ^ "Command Warrant Officers" (PDF). whatdotheyknow.comv. whatdotheyknow. 18 August 2020. Retrieved 22 February 2021. I can confirm that there will no longer be Command Warrant Officer posts, other than the Warrant Officer of the Royal Navy, the Fleet Commander’s Warrant Officer and the Second Sea Lord’s Warrant Officer.v
  15. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 15 December 2013. Retrieved 17 July 2013.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  16. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 8 April 2016. Retrieved 17 January 2016.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  17. ^ @WO1MickTurnbull (2 February 2021). "Good afternoon the WO2 rank was kept in Service for the Royal Marines and Submariner engineers. However as part of Royal Navy Transformation the WO2 Rank has now been introduced across the Service. The first recipients were notified on 18 Jan 21 and others have now been selected" (Tweet) – via Twitter.
  18. ^ SOLDIER FEB 2015
  19. ^ "WO1 Glenn Haughton OBE has been appointed as the first Senior Enlisted Advisor to the Chiefs of Staff Committee (SEAC)". GOV.UK. Ministry of Defence. 1 November 2018. Retrieved 5 November 2018.
  20. ^ NFF – Naval Families Federation

External links

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