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The US Navy Ranks, Listed in Order

By Cristiana , in Business , at March 11, 2023

Did you know that the Navy was officially created in 1798, but its earliest roots go back to 1775 when George Washington formed a group to help defeat the British?

Since then, the Navy has expanded and provided aid in all kinds of conflicts. They’ve kept America safe and they’ve even protected foreign nations that have asked for help. Every member of the Navy throughout history has been brave and worthy of our respect.

It’s worth taking the time to learn more about the US Navy ranks so you can appreciate their work further. Read on for the ultimate breakdown of Navy ranks in order.

Navy Enlisted Rank

The Navy officer ranks from lowest to highest are as follows:

  • Seaman recruit
  • Seaman apprentice
  • Seaman
  • Petty officer third class
  • Petty officer second class
  • Petty officer first class
  • Chief petty officer
  • Senior chief petty officer
  • Master chief petty officer

Once seaman recruits and apprentices pass their military training sessions, they can achieve the title of seaman and do important tasks like maintenance and watchstanding.

People who are third, second, and first-class petty officers take on similar officer duties, but their responsibility increases with their rank. Petty officers use their leadership abilities and technical skills to help train people in the division below them. Chief petty officers and above make sure everything runs smoothly.

Navy Warrant Officers (W1) and Chief Warrant Officers 2-5 (W2-5)

The Navy warrant officer ranks from lowest to highest are as follows:

  • Navy warrant officer
  • Chief warrant officer 2
  • Chief warrant officer 3
  • Chief warrant officer 4
  • Chief warrant officer 5

Warrant officers are seen as technical experts who can train and guide those in the Navy enlisted rank. If you know someone who’s enlisted in the navy, you should consider getting navy challenge coins.

Navy Officers

The Navy officer ranks from lowest to highest are as follows:

  • Ensign
  • Chief warrant officer 5
  • Lieutenant junior grade
  • Lieutenant
  • Lieutenant commanders
  • Commander
  • Captain

Navy officers work hard to maintain security at sea. Once you become an officer, you have more authority. Commanders have the skills to lead small missions while captains are in charge of the entire ship and big missions.


The Navy admiral ranks from lowest to highest are as follows:

  • Rear admiral lower half
  • Rear admiral
  • Vice admiral
  • Admiral
  • Fleet admiral

Lots of people imagine uniforms with stars when they think of Navy uniforms. Admirals have one to five stars depending on their rank. Admirals are in charge of leading large-scale missions that require a fleet of ships.

When it comes to combat naval operations, fleet admirals only exist during times of war. There have only ever been four fleet admirals throughout the history of the Navy.

These Are the US Navy Ranks in Order

Our seaborne forces do so much to keep us safe. Taking the time to learn about the US Navy ranks will deepen your respect for those who serve our country.

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