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(junior grade) 
|Lieutenant||Lieutenant Commander||Commander||Captain||Rear Admiral|
|Rear Admiral ||Vice Admiral||Admiral||Fleet Admiral1||Admiral of the Navy2|
|NATO Code||OF-1||OF-1||OF-2||OF-3||OF-4||OF-5||OF-6||OF-7||OF-8||OF-9||OF-10||Special Grade|
In the U.S. Navy, pay grades for officers are:
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. Above the rank of admiral is the rank of fleet admiral. The rank was held by four officers during World War II and not been held by any officer since. It is reserved for wartime use. The rank of admiral of the navy was an earlier equivalent to fleet admiral. It was awarded to only one person, George Dewey in 1899. Efforts to resurrect the rank in the 20th century (as an O-12 grade outranking fleet admirals) failed, making it very unlikely that it will ever be used again.
Commissioned naval officers originate from the United States Naval Academy, the United States Merchant Marine 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:
See also commodore (United States)—today a title for selected URL captains (O-6) in major command of multiple subordinate operational units, and formerly a rank (O-7).
The Act of Congress of March 4, 1925, allowed officers in the Navy, marine corps, and coast guard to be promoted one grade upon retirement if they had been specially commended for performance of duty in actual combat. Combat citation promotions were colloquially known as "tombstone promotions" because they conferred all the perks and prestige of the higher rank including the loftier title on their tombstones but no additional retirement pay. The Act of Congress of February 23, 1942, enabled tombstone promotions to three- and four-star grades. Tombstone promotions were subsequently restricted to citations issued before January 1, 1947, and finally eliminated altogether effective November 1, 1959. The practice was terminated in an effort to encourage senior officer retirements prior to the effective date of the change to relieve an overstrength in the senior ranks.
Any officer who actually served in a grade while on active duty receives precedence on the retirement list over any tombstone officer holding the same retired grade. Tombstone officers rank among each other according to the dates of their highest active duty grade.
Navy officers serve either as a line officer or as a staff corps officer. Regular line 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.
|Type||Line officer||Medical Corps||Dental Corps||Nurse Corps||Medical Service|
|Supply Corps||Civil Engineer|
(Limited Duty Officer)
1An officer designator describes their general community or profession. The final (fourth) digit (X) denotes whether the officer has a regular (0), reserve (5), or full-time support (7) commission.
The chief warrant officer and staff corps devices are also worn on the left collar of uniforms.
|United States commissioned officer and officer candidate ranks|
|Pay grade / Branch of service||Officer|
|Air Force||Cadet / OT||2d Lt||1st Lt||Capt||Maj||Lt Col||Col||Brig Gen||Maj Gen||Lt Gen||Gen||GAF|||
|Army||CDT / OC||2LT||1LT||CPT||MAJ||LTC||COL||BG||MG||LTG||GEN||GA||GAS|
|Marine Corps||Midn / Cand||2ndLt||1stLt||Capt||Maj||LtCol||Col||BGen||MajGen||LtGen||Gen|||||
|Navy||MIDN / OC||ENS||LTJG||LT||LCDR||CDR||CAPT||RDML||RADM||VADM||ADM||FADM||AN|
|Coast Guard||CDT / OC||ENS||LTJG||LT||LCDR||CDR||CAPT||RDML||RADM||VADM||ADM|||||
|Public Health Service||||ENS||LTJG||LT||LCDR||CDR||CAPT||RADM||RADM||VADM||ADM|||||
|National Oceanic and|
Unofficial 1945 proposal for General of the Armies insignia; John J. Pershing's GAS insignia: ; George Dewey's AN insignia:
 Grade is inactive; requires Congressional approval for re-activation
 Grade is authorized by the U.S. Code for use but has not been created
 Grade has never been created or authorized
|United States warrant officer ranks|
|Public Health Service|||||||||||
|National Oceanic and|
 Grade is authorized for use by U.S. Code but has not been created
 Grade never created or authorized