United States Navy officer rank insignia | Wikipedia audio article

United States Navy officer rank insignia | Wikipedia audio article


In the United States Navy, officers have various
ranks. Equivalency between services is by pay grade. United States Navy commissioned officer ranks
have two distinct sets of rank insignia: On dress uniform a series of stripes similar
to Commonwealth naval ranks are worn; on service khaki, working uniforms (Navy Working Uniform
[NWU], and coveralls), and special uniform situations (combat utilities, flight suits,
and USMC uniforms when worn by Navy officers assigned or attached to USMC units), the rank
insignia are similar to the equivalent rank in the US Army or US Air Force.==Commissioned officer ranks====
Warrant officer ranks====
Rank categories==In the U.S. Navy, pay grades for officers
are: W-1 for warrant officer one. Warrant officers appointed to this grade may
be done via warrant or via commission. W-2 to W-5 for chief warrant officers. Chief warrant officers (CWO2 to CWO5) are
appointed via commission. O-1 to O-10. Officers appointed to these grades are done
via commission.O-1 through O-4 are junior officers: ensign, lieutenant (junior grade),
lieutenant, and lieutenant commander. O-5 and O-6 are senior officers: commander
and captain. O-7 through O-10 are flag officers: rear admiral
(lower half) (one star), rear admiral (two star), vice admiral (three star), and admiral
(four star). O-11 was the temporary flag officer rank of
fleet admiral (five star). It was awarded to four officers during World
War II, and has not been authorized since. However, the rank of fleet admiral of the
United States Navy still remains listed on official rank insignia precedence charts and,
if needed, this rank could be reestablished at the discretion of Congress and the President. All five-star officers are, technically, unable
to retire from active duty. The last living fleet admiral of the United
States Navy, Chester W. Nimitz, died in 1966.==Rank and promotion system==
In the event that officers demonstrate superior performance and prove themselves capable of
performing at the next higher pay grade, they are given an increase in pay grade. The official term for this process is a promotion. Commissioned naval officers originate from
the United States Naval Academy, the United States Merchant Marine Academy, other Service
Academies (United States Military Academy or United States Air Force Academy), Naval
Reserve Officer Training Corps (NROTC), Officer Candidate School (OCS), the since-disestablished
Aviation Officer Candidate School (AOCS), and a host of other commissioning programs
such as the “Seaman to Admiral-21” program and the limited duty officer/chief warrant
officer (LDO/CWO) selection program. There are also a small number of direct commissioned
officers, primarily staff corps officers in the medical, dental, nurse, chaplain and judge
advocate general career fields. Commissioned officers can generally be divided
into line officers and staff corps: Line officers (or officers of the line) derive
their name from the 18th-century tactic of employing warships in a line of battle to
take advantage of cannon on each side of the ship. These vessels were dubbed ships of the line
and those who commanded them were likewise called “line officers.” Today, all United States Navy unrestricted
line and restricted line officers denote their status with a star located above their rank
insignia on the sleeves of their dress blue uniforms and shoulder boards of their white
uniforms; metal rank insignia devices on both collar-points of khaki shirts/blouses; and
cloth equivalents on both collar-points of blue NWUs. Officers of the staff corps replace the star
(or the left collar-point on applicable shirts/blouses) with different insignias to indicate their
field of specialty. Line officers can be categorized into unrestricted
and restricted communities. Unrestricted line officers (URL) the most
visible and well-known of line officers, due to their role as the Navy’s war-fighting command
element. They receive training in weapons systems,
tactics, strategy, command and control, and are considered unrestricted because they are
authorized to command combatant ships, combat aviation squadrons/air groups/air wings, and
special operations units at sea, or combat aviation squadrons/air groups/air wings or
special operations units deployed ashore. Restricted line officers (RL) concentrate
on non-combat related fields, which include marine engineering, aeronautical engineering,
ship maintenance, aircraft maintenance, meteorology and oceanography, naval intelligence, information
technology, manpower/human resources, public affairs, and a host of other career fields. They are not qualified to command combat units,
but can command organizations in their respective specialized career fields. In certain shipboard environments, many unrestricted
line officers fill what might be considered restricted line duties, such as the officers
in a ship’s or submarine’s engineering department. Because they maintain their general surface
warfare or submarine warfare specialist duties instead of completely specializing in one
career area, they maintain their unrestricted line command career path. Staff corps officers are specialists in fields
that are themselves professional careers and not exclusive to the military, for example
health care, law, civil engineering and religion. There are eight staff corps: Medical Corps,
Dental Corps, Nurse Corps, Medical Service Corps, Chaplain Corps, Navy Supply Corps,
Judge Advocate General’s Corps, and Civil Engineer Corps. They primarily exist to augment the line communities
and are able to be assigned to both line and staff commands. One exception to this is the case of Civil
Engineer Corps officers, who serve as the both Public Works Officers and Resident Officers
in Charge of Construction (ROICC) at naval shore installations, and as officers for Construction
Battalion (Seabee) units. This latter role requires them to serve in
a command capacity for ground combatants when the Seabees are deployed to combat areas.Note
2: See also Commodore (United States) — today an honorific title (but not a pay grade) for
selected URL captains (O-6) in major command of multiple subordinate operational units,
and formerly a rank (O-7).Note 3: The term “line officer of the naval service” includes
line officers of both the Navy and the Marine Corps. All U.S. Marine Corps officers are considered
“of the line,” including Marine Corps limited duty officers, chief warrant officers, and
warrant officers, regardless of grade or specialty.===”Tombstone promotions”===
The Act of Congress of March 4, 1925, provided for Navy, Marine Corps, and Coast Guard officers
to be promoted one grade upon retirement, if they had been specially commended for performance
of duty in actual combat, known as “tombstone promotions”. Officers who received such tombstone promotions,
or also known as “tombstone officer”, carried the loftier title but did not draw the additional
retirement pay of their higher rank. The Act of Congress of February 23, 1942,
enabled promotions to three- and four-star grades. Promotions were subsequently restricted to
citations issued before January 1, 1947, and finally eliminated altogether effective November
1, 1959.Any officer who served honorably in a grade while on active duty receives precedence
on the retirement list over any “tombstone officers” of the same grade, while “tombstone
officers” of the same grade rank among each other according to their dates of rank in
their highest active duty grade.==Officer specialty devices==
Navy officers serve either as a line officer or as a staff corps officer. Unrestricted Line (URL) and Restricted Line
(RL) officers wear an embroidered gold star above their rank of the naval service dress
uniform while staff corps officers, and chief warrant officers wear unique specialty devices. The chief warrant officer and staff corps
devices are also worn on the left collar of uniforms.==See also==Badges of the United States Navy
List of United States naval officer designators List of United States Navy staff corps
Naval officer ranks — comparison to other countries and explanation of NATO rank codes
Navy Enlisted Classification Scrambled egg (uniform) shows differences
in hats Staff (military)
Uniforms of the United States Navy U.S. Navy midshipman rank insignia can be
found in the Midshipman article. U.S. Navy warrant officer rank insignia can
be found in the Warrant officer (United States) article. United States Navy enlisted rate insignia==Notes==Footnotes

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