Us Army Rank Names – Complete List

The United States Army is one of the most respected groups in the country, with each personnel a beat of hope and peace within the country. The Army Rank is not just about the salute and being a top boss, but instead, the hierarchy stands for levels of leadership, as a badge of responsibility, which grows with every advancement or mission.

The U.S Army are trained professionals, entrusted with the constitution and lives of the American citizens, to safeguard and protect their interests. It is the oldest branch of the U.S armed forces, dating way back to its establishment in 1775. The Army is divided into three categories;

● Enlisted Personnels: These are soldiers trained in specific skills and knowledge in relation to their unit mission to see its success. This Category is further divided into; Junior Enlisted, Non-commissioned Officers and Senior NCOs. 

● Warrant Officers: These are military personnel majoring in technical and tactical expertise, they serve as trusted counsels who help train, mentor and organize soldiers on missions.

● Commissioned Officers: This personnel hold the highest ranks in the military, they help plan missions, assign tasks and duties, and give orders at the highest level. This rank requires at least a Bachelor’s degree, and a master’s degree for further promotion. They are further divided into tiers: company grade, field grade, and general officers.

These categories divided members based on their mode of entry, pay grade, and also their responsibilities. Here is a complete list of the United States Army Ranks.

The Complete List of US Army Ranks


Category: Junior Enlisted Personnel 

Pay grade: E-1

Abbreviation: PVT

These are for new service members of the Army, as beginning privates, they participated in boot camps, basic compacts, and just learning about the Army in general. They don’t wear insignia. 

Private 2

Category: Junior Enlisted Personnel 

Pay grade: E-2

Abbreviation: PV2

After completing your orientation, most soldiers are then promoted to private second class to help them develop their skills and apply them in new roles.

Private First Class

Category: Junior Enlisted Personnel

Pay grade: E-3

Abbreviation: PFC

After about a year of training, soldiers are then promoted to private first class where they get to expand their skills by going on unit missions.


Category: Junior Enlisted Personnel

Pay grade: E-4

Abbreviation: SPC

They are one of the two E-4 ranks, with fewer responsibilities. They mostly handle technical duties rather than lead commands or management.


Category: Non-Commissioned Officer

Pay grade: E-4

Abbreviation: CPL

This Rank falls under Non-Commissioned Officers but shares the same Payroll with specialists. They handle leadership responsibilities 


Category: Non-Commissioned Officer

Pay grade: E-5

Abbreviation: SGM

A Sergeant is usually in charge of a small team made up of about 5 members. They see to these service members, mentor them, and make sure all duties are completed properly.

Staff Sergeant

Category: Non-Commissioned Officer

Pay grade: E-6

Abbreviation: SSG

This is more like a Sergeant with more responsibilities. A staff Sergeant usually has a bigger team of maybe 10 members and handles bigger properties and equipment.

Sergeant First Class

Category: Senior Non-Commissioned Officer

Pay grade: E-7

Abbreviation: SFC

They can also be called Platoon Sergeant. Achieving these feet might take up to 15 to 18 years of service, they are usually Platoon leader’s assistants and personal advisors.

Master Sergeant 

Category: Senior Non-Commissioned Officer

Pay grade: E-8

Abbreviation: MSG

A master Sergeant is more specialist in a particular skill or compact. They usually don’t have as many duties as the First Sergeant but are the principal Non-Commissioned Officers in higher-level units.

First Sergeant

Category: Senior Non-Commissioned Officer

Pay grade: E-8

Abbreviation: 1SG

This rank is charged with training, mentoring, and handling soldiers in their unit. They serve as advisers to the unit commander, by bringing strategies and formations to the unit.

Sergent Major

Category: Senior Non-Commissioned Officer

Pay grade: E-9

Abbreviation: SGM

A Sergeant Major is likely to act as the Chief Administrative Assistant or a key member at the battalion level. Either way, the Sergeant Major mostly plays an administrative role in the force.

Command Sergeant Major

Category: Senior Non-Commissioned Officer

Pay grade: E-9

Abbreviation: CSM

This is the commanding advisor to the Commanding Officer or a battalion unit or higher level. They lead and guide soldiers in the unit, upholding the policies of the US Army, through support and training.

Sergeant Major of the Army

Category: Senior Non-Commissioned Officer

Pay grade: E-9 Special

Abbreviation: SMA

The Sergeant Major is a special advisor to the Chief of Staff of the Army. The role is only assigned to one military personnel at a time.

Warrant Officer 1

Category: Warrant Officer

Pay grade: W-1

Abbreviation: WO1

They serve as the technical experts and trusted counsel in a unit, training and organizing soldiers tactically for a mission.

Chief Warrant Officer 2

Category: Warrant Officer

Pay grade: W-2

Abbreviation: CW2

This is an intermediate role that is somehow similar to the WO1 rather they serve at the battalion level. 

Chief Warrant Officer 3

Category: Warrant Officer

Pay grade: W-3

Abbreviation: CW3

This is a more mature role, given to Warrant Officers with better technical and tactical skills to offer services at a brigade level of up to 5,000 service soldiers 

Chief Warrant Officer 4

Category: Warrant Officer

Pay grade: W-4

Abbreviation: CW4

This rank serves from the brigade up to the echelon level, offering technical and tactical support through strong leadership.

Chief Warrant Officer 5

Category: Warrant Officer

Pay grade: W-5

Abbreviation: CW5

They provide leadership and mentoring, and technical and tactical support at a higher level which may even be the command level.

Second Lieutenant 

Category: Company Grade Commissioned Officer

Pay grade: 0-1

Abbreviation: 2LT

When promoted to this level, you first begin as a staff officer, before being given a more important leadership role like leading a Platoon of about 44 soldiers.

First Lieutenant

Category: Comap

Pay grade: 0-2

Abbreviation: 1LT

After 18 to 24 months of service as a Second Lieutenant, you are then promoted to a more leadership role of First Lieutenant in more specialized units.



Pay grade: 0-3

Abbreviation: CPT

Captains serve as battalion-level staff officers or instructors, commanding a company of 65-90 soldiers.



Pay grade: 0-4

Abbreviation: MAJ

Majors usually handle operational duties and serve as primary staff officers at higher-level commands like battalions or brigades.

Lieutenant Colonel


Pay grade: 0-5

Abbreviation: LTC

A Lieutenant Colonel commands battalions of 1,000 soldiers or more, and may sometimes serve as staff advisors in a brigade unit, task force unit, or higher.



Pay grade: 0-6

Abbreviation: COL

A Colonel can command a bridge of as many as 5,000 soldiers with other Non-Commissioned Officers in the unit. They can also serve as Chief of Divisional levels.

Brigadier General 


Pay grade: 0-7

Abbreviation: BG

They are deputy generals to the Commanding General. They help plan and organize missions and serve directly below Major Generals of large bridges and divisions.

Major General


Pay grade: 0-8

Abbreviation: MG

A major General has earned two stars as military personnel and now handles a division of us to 15,000 soldiers.

Lieutenant General

Category: General Commissioned Officers

Pay grade: 0-9

Abbreviation: LTG

This is a three-star General, commanding corp-sized units of about 45,000 soldiers. They may sometimes be assigned to special positions like staff officers.


Category: General Commissioned Officers

Pay grade: 0-10

Abbreviation: GEN

A general has earned four stars in the Army and is now the most senior level Commissioned Officer in the army. They must have gained more than 30 years of military experience and expertise and are entrusted with all operations within a geographical area.

General of the Army

Category: Special

Pay grade: Special

Abbreviation: GOA

This is the highest level military personnel can achieve, but it is only awarded during wartime, with the last rewarded during World War II.

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