Uniformed services pay grades of the United States

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Pay grades[1] are used by the seven uniformed services of the United States[2] (in order of precedence per US law: US Army, US Marine Corps, US Navy, US Air Force, US Coast Guard, US Public Health Service Commissioned Corps, and National Oceanic Atmospheric Administration Commissioned Officer Corps) to determine wages and benefits based on the corresponding military rank of a member of the services. While different titles or ranks may be used among the seven uniformed services, pay grades are uniform and equivalent between the services and can be used to quickly determine seniority among a group of members from different services.[3] They are also essential when determining a member's entitlements such as basic pay and allowances.[4]

Pay grades are divided into three groups:[1] enlisted (E), warrant officer (W), and officer (O). Enlisted pay grades begin at E-1 and end at E-9; warrant officer pay grades originate at W-1 and terminate at W-5; and officer pay grades start at O-1 and finish at O-11 (although O-11 has not been used since General of the Army Omar Bradley died in 1981;[5] currently O-10 is the highest authorized pay grade and pay grade O-11 appears nowhere in Title 10 of the US Code pertaining to authorized distribution of general/flag officers,[6] nor within various documents establishing rates of pay[7][1][8]). Not all of the uniformed services use all of the grades; for example, the Navy and Coast Guard (USCG) have authority to use, but do not use the grade W-1 (the USCG also chooses not to use W-5[9][10]), and the Air Force (USAF) discontinued appointing new warrant officers in 1959 (although the last USAF warrant officer did not retire until 1992).[11][12]

Although authorized to do so, currently, neither the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), nor the Public Health Service (USPHS), use any of the enlisted or warrant officer grades.[6][13][14][15][16] (However, in October 2004, the USPHS initiated "a program to establish a cadre of Warrant Officers to support the long-established Commissioned Corps of the PHS." As of 2/1/2014 the program was still in development.)[17] Additionally, while not formally established as one of the seven uniformed services, the Maritime Service (which provides officers serving in the Maritime Administration and as administrators and instructors at the U.S. Merchant Marine Academy (USMMA), and the six state-operated maritime academies)[18][19] is also authorized, but does not currently employ, enlisted[20] or warrant officer grades.[21][22]

Officers in pay grades O-1, O-2, and O-3 with more than four years of prior cumulative service (creditable toward both length of service and retirement) in an enlisted or warrant officer grade are paid "...the special rate of basic pay for pay grade O-1E, O-2E, or O-3E,"[23] respectively.[4] This benefit does not affect their rank and is used simply for reward and incentive purposes in recognition of their prior enlisted (or warrant officer) experience. A cumulative total of 1,440 days of creditable Federal active duty and/or reserve inactive duty for training days is required to qualify.[24][25]

Warrant Officer-1 pay grade is reserved for officers appointed using a "warrant"[26] rather than a "commission"[27][28] by the Secretary of Defense, using authority delegated from the President,[29] to an intermediate rank between enlisted non-commissioned officers and commissioned officers (starting at W-2).[30] By law, regulation, and traditional customs and courtesies across the military services, warrant officers serving in pay grade W-1 have the same privileges as commissioned officers (with certain exceptions grounded in the distinction required in the Constitution that all "officers of the United States" be commissioned,[31][32] which affects the command authority and specific standing of warrant officer-1's under the Uniform Code of Military Justice (UCMJ) and the Manual for Courts-Martial).[33][11][34][35][36]

While those officers appointed by the President directly as cadets or midshipmen at four of the Federal Service Academies (US Military Academy; US Naval Academy; US Air Force Academy; US Coast Guard Academy) are members of the Regular Component of their Service,[37] serving on active duty, they hold neither a commission nor a warrant of appointment, nor are they appointed to an enlisted grade or rank.[38] US statutes no longer include any pay grade for cadets or midshipmen;[1] as "inchoate officers,"[39][40] appointed using the Appointments Clause of the US Constitution[41] as "inferior officers," they are recognized as having only a precedence below the most junior warrant officer, and above the enlisted grades, and almost entirely lack any authority over any other servicemembers (including other cadets and midshipmen) except for specific internal Academy functions, or very narrowly drawn training purposes while serving with their Service for leadership and skills development.[35]

Those officers appointed to attend the US Merchant Marine Academy (the fifth Federal Service Academy), by the Administrator of the Maritime Administration (within the Department of Transportation),[42][43] will also be appointed by the Secretary of the Navy directly as Midshipmen, US Navy Reserve, without enlistment.[44] Additionally, the Service Secretaries will appoint the cadets or midshipmen of the Senior Reserve Officers Training Corps (SROTC),[45][46] but unlike the cadets and midshipmen of each Federal Service Academy, SROTC are first enlisted into the reserve component of their respective service.[47][48][49][50][51][52] Cadets and midshipmen from both the USMMA and SROTC are appointed as "inchoate officers"[39][40] without a commission or warrant,[39] but unlike the other four Federal service academies, they are also appointed under Article II as "inferior officers" in their respective reserve component,[41] and only serve on active duty during authorized training events (typically the "Sea Year" for USMMA midshipmen,[20] or for SROTC during the summers between years of college).[4][53][48] They share the ill-defined precedence, and lack of statutory pay grade, of cadets and midshipmen of the Academies, and have even less apparent authority (since they are generally not in any official duty status) beyond their internal USMMA and ROTC requirements, although they -- like the cadets and midshipmen serving in the Regular Component at the Federal Service Academies -- have the innate potential to command troops in emergencies, and otherwise perform duties far beyond their academic environment, as required by competent authorities.[20][35][36][38][39][40][47]

For both types of cadets and midshipmen, Academy Cadets/Midshipmen and SROTC members/applicants, without a statutory pay grade, their Basic pay rate is: $1,087.80, effective 1 January 2018, which is: "... the monthly rate equal to 35 percent of the basic pay of a commissioned officer in the pay grade O–1 with less than two years of service..."[54][24][53]

For pay tables and information on specific pay grade wages and entitlements for members of the uniformed services, see United States military pay.

Equivalent grades in NATO armed forces[edit]

The enlisted grades correspond with the NATO rank codes,[55] with E-1 being equivalent to OR-1, E-2 equivalent to OR-2, and so on. The officer grades are all one higher than their NATO equivalent (except O-1) as the O-1 and O-2 grades are both equivalent to the NATO code of OF-1. Hence O-3 is equivalent to OF-2, O-4 is equivalent to OF-3, and so on. U.S. warrant officer grades (W-1 through W-5) are depicted in the NATO system as WO-1 through WO-5. The United States is the only nation that has officers in this category.[56]

Enlisted pay grades[1][edit]

Pay grade Rank by Branch of Service[7]
Army Marine Corps Navy Air Force Coast Guard
E-1 Private Private Seaman recruit Airman basic Seaman recruit
E-2 Private Private first class Seaman apprentice Airman Seaman apprentice
E-3 Private first class Lance corporal Seaman Airman first class Seaman
E-4 Corporal Petty officer third class Senior airman Petty officer third class
E-5 Sergeant Sergeant Petty officer second class Staff sergeant Petty officer second class
E-6 Staff sergeant Staff sergeant Petty officer first class Technical sergeant Petty officer first class
E-7 Sergeant first class Gunnery sergeant Chief petty officer Master sergeant Chief petty officer
E-8
  • Master sergeant
  • First sergeant
Senior chief petty officer Senior master sergeant Senior chief petty officer
E-9

Note: The Public Health Service Commissioned Corps and NOAA Commissioned Officer Corps consist entirely of commissioned officers and do not use any of the enlisted (or warrant officer) pay grades.

Schedule 8 - Pay Of The Uniformed Services Part I--Monthly Basic Pay (as of Jan. 1, 2018) [a][58][54][24]
Pay Grade Years Of Service (computed under 37 U.S.C. 205)
2 or fewer Over 2 Over 3 Over 4 Over 6 Over 8 Over 10 Over 12 Over 14 Over 16 Over 18
E-1*** $1,514.70
E-1** $1,638.30 $1,638.30 $1,638.30 $1,638.30 $1,638.30 $1,638.30 $1,638.30 $1,638.30 $1,638.30 $1,638.30 $1,638.30
E-2 $1,836.30 $1,836.30 $1,836.30 $1,836.30 $1,836.30 $1,836.30 $1,836.30 $1,836.30 $1,836.30 $1,836.30 $1,836.30
E-3 $1,931.10 $2,052.30 $2,176.80 $2,176.80 $2,176.80 $2,176.80 $2,176.80 $2,176.80 $2,176.80 $2,176.80 $2,176.80
E-4 $2,139.00 $2,248.50 $2,490.60 $2,596.50 $2,596.50 $2,596.50 $2,596.50 $2,596.50 $2,596.50 $2,596.50 $2,596.50
E-5 $2,332.80 $2,490.00 $2610.30 $2,733.30 $2,925.30 $3,125.70 $3,290.70 $3,310.50 $3,310.50 $3,310.50 $3,310.50
E-6 $2,546.40 $2,802.30 $2,925.90 $3,046.20 $3,171.60 $3,453.60 $3,563.70 $3,776.70 $3,841.50 $3,888.90 $3,944.10
E-7 $2,944.20 $3,213.30 $3,336.60 $3,499.20 $3,626.70 $3,845.10 $3,968.40 $4,186.80 $4,368.90 $4,493.10 $4,625.10
E-8 $4,235.40 $4,422.60 $4,538.70 $4,677.30 $4,828.20 $5,099.70
E-9* $5,173.80 $5,290.80 $5,439.00 $5,612.40 $5,788.20
Note *: For noncommissioned officers serving as Sergeant Major of the Army, Master Chief Petty Officer of the Navy or Coast Guard, Chief Master Sergeant of the Air Force, Sergeant Major of the Marine Corps, Senior Enlisted Advisor to the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, or Senior Enlisted Advisor to the Chief of the National Guard Bureau, basic pay for this grade is $8,361.00 per month, as of 1 January 2018, regardless of cumulative years of service under 37 U.S.C. 205.[54][59]
Note **: Applies to personnel who have served 4 months or more on active duty.
Note ***: Applies to personnel who have served less than 4 months on active duty.

Warrant Officer pay grades[1][edit]

Pay grade Rank by Branch of Service[7]
Army Marine Corps Navy Air Force Coast Guard Public Health
Service
Commissioned
Corps
NOAA
Commissioned
Officer
Corps
W-1 Warrant Officer 1 Warrant Officer 1 not used discontinued not used none none
W-2 Chief Warrant Officer 2 Chief Warrant Officer 2 Chief Warrant Officer 2 discontinued Chief Warrant Officer 2 none none
W-3 Chief Warrant Officer 3 Chief Warrant Officer 3 Chief Warrant Officer 3 discontinued Chief Warrant Officer 3 none none
W-4 Chief Warrant Officer 4 Chief Warrant Officer 4 Chief Warrant Officer 4 discontinued Chief Warrant Officer 4 none none
W-5 Chief Warrant Officer 5 Chief Warrant Officer 5 Chief Warrant Officer 5 discontinued not used none none
Schedule 8 - Pay Of The Uniformed Services Part I--Monthly Basic Pay (as of Jan. 1, 2018) [b][54][24]
Pay Grade[1] Years Of Service (computed under 37 U.S.C. 205)
2 or fewer Over 2 Over 3 Over 4 Over 6 Over 8 Over 10 Over 12 Over 14 Over 16 Over 18
W-1 $3,037.50 $3,364.50 $3,452.40 $3,638.10 $3,857.70 $4,181.70 $4,332.60 $4,543.80 $4,751.70 $4,915.50 $5,065.80
W-2 $3,460.50 $3,787.80 $3,888.60 $3,957.60 $4,182.30 $4,530.90 $4,703.70 $4,873.80 $5,082.00 $5,244.60 $5,391.90
W-3 $3,910.80 $4,073.70 $4,240.80 $4,296.00 $4,470.60 $4,815.30 $5,174.10 $5,343.30 $5,538.90 $5,739.90 $6,102.30
W-4 $4,282.50 $4,606.50 $4,738.50 $4,868.70 $5,092.80 $5,314.50 $5,539.20 $5,876.40 $6,172.50 $6,454.20 $6,684.90
W-5

Officer pay grades[1][edit]

Pay grade Rank by Branch of Service[7]
Army Marine Corps Navy Air Force Coast Guard Public Health Service
Commissioned Corps
NOAA
Commissioned Officer Corps
O-1

O-1E+

Second Lieutenant Second Lieutenant Ensign Second Lieutenant Ensign Ensign Ensign
O-2

O-2E+

First Lieutenant First Lieutenant Lieutenant (junior grade) First Lieutenant Lieutenant (junior grade) Lieutenant (junior grade) Lieutenant (junior grade)
O-3

O-3E+

Captain Captain Lieutenant Captain Lieutenant Lieutenant Lieutenant
O-4 Major Major Lieutenant Commander Major Lieutenant Commander Lieutenant Commander Lieutenant Commander
O-5 Lieutenant Colonel Lieutenant Colonel Commander Lieutenant Colonel Commander Commander Commander
O-6 Colonel Colonel Captain Colonel Captain Captain Captain
O-7 Brigadier General Brigadier General Rear Admiral (lower half) Brigadier General Rear Admiral (lower half) Rear Admiral (lower half) Rear Admiral (lower half)
O-8 Major General Major General Rear Admiral Major General Rear Admiral Rear Admiral Rear Admiral
O-9 Lieutenant General Lieutenant General Vice Admiral Lieutenant General Vice Admiral Vice Admiral Vice Admiral
O-10 General General Admiral General Admiral Admiral Admiral (no appointments)++
O-11 General of the Army+++ none Fleet Admiral of the United States Navy+++ General of the Air Force+++ none none none
Note +: The pay grade designations O-1E, O-2E, and O-3E pertain to certain officers who have over four years of creditable prior service as an enlisted member or warrant officer.[23][24][25]
Note ++: The rank of Admiral (O-10) has been established for the NOAA Commissioned Officer Corps, but the United States Congress has not authorized its use, and no NOAA Corps officer has ranked higher than Vice Admiral (O-9).
Note +++: The O-11 ranks of General of the Army, General of the Air Force, and Fleet Admiral of the United States Navy are considered special ranks that can be conferred in wartime only. While it is still possible for an officer to be appointed to these ranks, they do not appear on the current military pay grade scale, nor has any officer been appointed to these ranks since 1950, when General of the Army Omar Bradley was appointed.[61] With his death in 1981, the rank ceased with him.[5]
Schedule 8 - Pay Of The Uniformed Services Part I--Monthly Basic Pay (as of Jan. 1, 2015) ^ [c][54][24]
Pay Grade Years Of Service (computed under 37 U.S.C. 205)
2 or fewer Over 2 Over 3 Over 4 Over 6 Over 8 Over 10 Over 12 Over 14 Over 16 Over 18
O-1^^^ $2,934.30 $3,054.30 $3,692.10 $3,692.10 $3,692.10 $3,692.10 $3,692.10 $3,692.10 $3,692.10 $3,692.10 $3,692.10
O-2^^^ $3,380.70 $3,850.20 $4,434.30 $4,584.00 $4,678.50 $4,678.50 $4,678.50 $4,678.50 $4,678.50 $4,678.50 $4,678.50
O-3^^^ $4,046.70 $4,587.00 $4,787.10 $5,219.40 $5,469.60 $5,744.10 $5,921.10 $6,213.00 $6,365.40 $6,365.40 $6,365.40
O-4 $4,449.90 $5,151.30 $5,495.10 $5,571.60 $5,890.50 $6,232.80 $6,659.10 $6,990.60 $7,221.00 $7,353.60 $7,430.10
O-5 $5,157.60 $5,810.10 $6,212.10 $6,288.00 $6,539.10 $6,689.10 $7,019.10 $7,261.50 $7,574.70 $8,053.80 $8,281.20
O-6 $6,186.60 $6,796.80 $7,242.90 $7,242.90 $7,270.50 $7,582.20 $7,623.30 $7,623.30 $8,056.50 $8,822.40 $9,272.10
O-7 $8,264.40 $8,648.40 $8,826.00 $8,967.30 $9,222.90 $9,475.80 $9,767.70 $10,059.00 $10,351.20 $11,269.20 $12,043.80
O-8 $9,946.20 $10,272.00 $10,488.30 $10,548.60 $10,818.60 $11,269.20 $11,373.90 $11,802.00 $11,924.70 $12,293.40 $12,827.10
O-9
O-10^^
Note ^: Basic pay for an O-7 to O-10 is limited by Level II of the Executive Schedule in effect during Calendar Year 2018 which is: $15,800.10. This includes officers serving as Chairman or Vice Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff (JCS), Chief of Staff of the Army, Chief of Naval Operations, Chief of Staff of the Air Force, Commandant of the Marine Corps, Commandant of the Coast Guard, Chief of the National Guard Bureau, or commander of a unified or specified combatant command (as defined in 10 U.S.C. 161(c)). Basic pay for O-6 and below is limited by Level V of the Executive Schedule in effect during Calendar Year 2018 which is: $12,816.60.[24][54]
Note ^^: For officers serving as Chairman or Vice Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Chief of Staff of the Army, Chief of Naval Operations, Chief of Staff of the Air Force, Commandant of the Marine Corps, Commandant of the Coast Guard, Chief of the National Guard Bureau, or commander of a unified or specified combatant command (as defined in 10 U.S.C. 161(c)), basic pay for this grade is calculated to be $21,147.30 per month, regardless of cumulative years of service computed under 37 U.S.C. 205. Nevertheless, actual basic pay for these officers is limited to the rate of basic pay for level II of the Executive Schedule in effect during calendar year 2014, which is $15,800.10 per month.[24][54]
Note ^^^: Does not apply to commissioned officers who have been credited with over 4 years of cumulative creditable Federal active and inactive duty service as an enlisted member or warrant officer.[1][23][24][25]

See also[edit]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ Effective on the first day of the first applicable pay period beginning on or after January 1, 2018[57]
  2. ^ Effective on the first day of the first applicable pay period beginning on or after January 1, 2018[60]
  3. ^ Effective on the first day of the first applicable pay period beginning on or after January 1, 2015[60]

References[edit]

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Sources[edit]

 This article incorporates public domain material from websites or documents of the United States Government.

External links[edit]