Army Ranks and Army Grades

Learning the ranks and grades of others in the Army can be very frustrating for a civilian. For your soldier, it is a necessity. He must know who to salute and how to address each person.

As an Army wife, it is up to you how you address someone. Some civilians are very traditional and always address by rank while others don’t address them any differently than they would anyone else. It is up to you. In my experience, if I have ever called someone by rank, they have quickly asked me to call them by their first name.

Below are a list of Army ranks and grades. (See what they look like here)

OFFICER General O-10
Lieutenant General O-9
Major General O-8
Brigadier General O-7
Colonel O-6
Lieutenant Colonel O-5
Major O-4
Captain O-3
1st Lieutenant O-2
2nd Lieutenant O-1
WARRANT OFFICER Chief Warrant Officer 5 W-5
Chief Warrant Officer 4 W-4
Chief Warrant Officer 3 W-3
Chief Warrant Officer 2 W-2
Chief Warrant Officer 1 W-1
ENLISTED Sergeant Major of the Army
Command Sergeant Major E-9
Sergeant Major E-9
First Sergeant E-8
Master Sergeant E-8
Sergeant First Class E-7
Staff Sergeant E-6
Sergeant E-5
Corporal E-4
Specialist E-4
Private First Class (PFC) E-3
Private E-2 or E-1

Just as a side note, you’ll often hear an E-4 referred to as a “Spec 4” and a private referred to as a “cherry”.

author avatar
Stacey Abler
Stacey's husband joined the Army in 2003 and was medically retired after four deployments. She enjoys sharing her experiences and expertise around Army life while continuing to support Army spouses and families in their military journey.

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