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U.S. Army Officer Military Ranks

In order to become an officer in the U.S. Army, an individual can pursue one of four different paths. One path is through the Reserve Officer Training Corps (ROTC), which is available at many colleges throughout the United States. Another path is through Direct Commission, which provides professionals in certain areas, such as law, medicine and religion, the opportunity to become an Army Commissioned Officer following a brief Officer training program. Yet another path to becoming an Army Officer is by attending Officer Candidate School (OCS). Finally, graduates from West Point, which is the Army’s United States Military Academy, become U.S. Army Officers.

If you want to pursue a career as an Army Officer, you must earn your degree from an accredited college. To find schools that support your drive to earn a degree, click on the "Find A School" button below:

Grade
Insignia
Title
Description
O-1
Army Second Lieutenant (2LT)
Second Lieutenant (2LT)
This is the initial rank of most Army Officers. A 2LT will lead a platoon, which consists of the platoon SGT and two or more squads of 16 to 44 troops. "Lieutenant" is the typical way to address a 2LT.
O-2
Army First Lieutenant (1LT)
First Lieutenant (1LT)
A 1LT has 18 to 24 months of service and leads plattoons of a more specialized nature, including indirect fire computation centers. This rank commonly serves as the Executive Officer of a company, which consists of 110 to 140 troops. A 1LT is addressed as "Lieutenant."
O-3
Army Captain (CPT)
Captain (CPT)
A Captain is typically required to command a company of 62 to 190 Soldiers with a an NCO assistant. This rank will also bring opportunities to instruct skills at service schools and The United States Army combat training centers. A Captain may also become a Staff Officer at the battalion level.
O-4
Army Major (MAJ)
Major (MAJ)
The rank of Major in the Army requires an individual to serve as the Staff Officer for brigade and task force command regarding personnel, logistical and operational missions.
O-5
Army Lieutenant Colonel (LTC)
Lieutenant Colonel (LTC)
A Lieutenant Colonel is commonly a Battalion Commander, which consists of approximately 300 to 1,000 troops. A Command Sergeant Major is usually the ranking NCO. A LTC may also be selected for brigade and task force Executive Officer.
O-6
Army Colonel
Colonel (COL)
With the rank of Colonel comes the responsiblity of commanding a brigade, which is made up of 3,000 to 5,000 troops. A Command Sergeant Major is usually the ranking NCO. A Colonel may also serve as the chief of divisional-level staff agencies.
O-7
Army Brigadier General (BG)
Brigadier General (BG)
A Brigadier General will serves as the Deputy Commander to the commanding general for Army divisions and will assist in overseeing the staff's planning and coordination of a mission. A Brigadier General is commonly addressed as "General."
O-8
Army Major General (MG)
Major General (MG)
A Major General is usually who you will find in command over a division, which consists of 10,000 to 15,000 troops. A Major General is commonly addressed as "General."
O-9
Army Lieutenant General (LTG)
Lieutenant General (LTG)
A Lieutenant General is commonly in command of a corps, which is made up of 20,000 to 45,000 troops. A Lieutenant General is commonly addressed as "General."
O-10
Army General (GEN)
General (GEN)
A General is the senior level of Commissioned Officer who usually has over 30 years of experience and service. A General commands all operations that fall within his or her geographical area. The Chief of Staff of the Army is a four-star General.
Special
General of the Army
General of the Army
The rank of General of the Army is reserved for wartime situations when the United States works in conjunction with allied nations. The purpose of this rank is to designate a Commanding Officer, who must be of equal or higher rank than those commanding armies from other nations. The last officers to hold this rank served during and immediately following WWII.
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