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US Army Ranks

The US Army is the primary land warfare component of the US Military. The ranks within the US Army determine each Soldier’s contribution to the overall mission. Each rank indicates a level of responsibility, authority, and influence.

The rank structure of the US Army is divided into three basic categories: Enlisted ranks, Warrant Officer ranks, and Officer ranks. Each of these ranks fulfill various jobs, responsibilities, and levels of leadership within the US Army. Rank is vital to how the US Army functions in it’s day-to-day mission, whether in peacetime or wartime. Each rank within the US Army also indicates how many Soldiers fall within each leader’s responsibility: anywhere from 3-5 Soldiers as a Sergeant, to tens of thousands of Soldiers as a Major General or higher.

Enlisted Ranks

The Enlisted ranks within the US Army are the primary workers and “doers” of the mission. Each Enlisted Soldier has a specific job within the US Army, and has the training, skills, and expertise to successfully accomplish that job.

No insignia

Private (e-1)

Private (e-2) Insignia

Private (e-2)

Private First Class (e-3) Insignia

Private First Class (e-3)

Specialist (e-4) Insignia

Specialist (e-4)

Corporal (e-4) Insignia

Corporal (e-4)

Sergeant (e-5) Insignia

Sergeant (e-5)

Staff Sergeant (e-6) Insignia

Staff Sergeant (e-6)

Sergeant First Class (e-7) Insignia

Sergeant First Class (e-7)

Master Sergeant (e-8) Insignia

Master Sergeant (e-8)

First Sergeant (e-8) Insignia

First Sergeant (e-8)

Sergeant Major (e-9) Insignia

Sergeant Major (e-9)

Command Sergeant Major (E-9) Insignia

Command Sergeant Major (E-9)

Sergeant Major of the Army (e-9s) Insignia

Sergeant Major of the Army (e-9s)


Warrant Officers are tactical and technical experts. Think of them as a semi-hybrid between a Senior Non-Commissioned Officer, and an Officer. They have advanced skills in certain systems or operational roles, like being helicopter pilots, for example.

Warrant Officer 1 (WO1) Insignia

Warrant Officer 1 (WO1)

Chief Warrant Officer 2 (CW2) Insignia

Chief Warrant Officer 2 (CW2)

Chief Warrant Officer 3 (CW3) Insignia

Chief Warrant Officer 3 (CW3)

Chief Warrant Officer 4 (cw4) Insignia

Chief Warrant Officer 4 (cw4)

Chief Warrant Officer 5 (cw5) Insignia

Chief Warrant Officer 5 (cw5)


Officers hold the highest rank in the US Army. They are the primary strategists, planners, leaders, and managers, and they assign tasks and missions to Enlisted Soldiers. They get their commission and authority directly from the President of the United States.

Second Lieutenant (0-1) Insignia

Second Lieutenant (0-1)

First Lieutenant (0-2) Insignia

First Lieutenant (0-2)

Captain (0-3) Insignia

Captain (0-3)

Major (0-4) Insignia

Major (0-4)



COLONEL (0-6) Insignia




Major GENERAL (0-8) Insignia

Major GENERAL (0-8)

Lieutenant General (0-9) Insignia

Lieutenant General (0-9)

General (0-10) Insignia

General (0-10)

General of the Army (Wartime Only) Insignia

General of the Army (Wartime Only)

See Also