U.S. Navy Officer Ranks and Enlisted Rates

Enlisted Rates

Petty Officer First Class badge The use of the word "rank" for Navy enlisted personnel is incorrect. The term is "rate." The rating badge is a combination of rate (pay grade, as indicated by the chevrons) and rating (occupational specialty, as indicated by the symbol just above the chevrons).

The insignia here represents a Petty Officer First Class (the rate) who is a Boatswain's Mate (the rating). A rating badge is worn on the left upper sleeve of all uniforms in grades E-4 through E-6. Chief Petty Officers (E-7 through E-9) wear collar devices on their white and khaki uniforms, and rating badges on their Service Dress Blues.

An explanation of the the enlisted rates is hyperlinked from the chevrons in the image to the left, and an explanation of the various Navy occupational specialties is hyperlinked from the rating symbol, in this case the crossed anchors..


Officer Ranks

Ensign bar Navy officers wear their rank devices in different places on their uniforms, depending upon the uniform. The three basic uniforms and the type of rank devices are: khakis (a working uniform) -- pins on the collar; whites -- stripes on shoulder boards; and, blues -- stripes sewn on the lower sleeve. Shoulder boards are also worn on bridge coats and reefers. A chart of the officer ranks is hyperlinked from the ensign's bar at the left.

Specialty Insignia

Officers in the Navy are either Line officers or Staff Corps. Among these are also Limited Duty Officers and Commissioned Warrant Officers. Staff Corps and Commission Warrant Officers wear Insignia in place of the Line officer's star. These insignia are hyperlinked from the following selections:

Updated: 12 August 2009