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US Army Ranks and Pay Scale

US Army Ranks and Pay Scale

There is no greater pride than serving in the armed forces. Here, we'll have a look at the ranks and pay scale of, arguably, the best army in the world.
CareerStint Staff
The defense budget of the United States is more than that of Russia, China, India, UK, Australia, France, Germany, South Korea, and Japan, put together.
US Army ranks are divided into Enlisted Officers, Warrant officers, and Commissioned Officers. The pay scale all across the army is divided into grades. The purpose of these pay grades is to standardize and administer the compensation across the army. It is a kind of formula that us used for standardization. For example, if you take the grade 'E1", the 'E' stands for 'enlisted', and the number '1' is the relative pay grade for that position.

Military ranks and pay scales should not to be mixed up. Take for example a corporal and a specialist. They both have the same pay scale or grade (E4). But then, in terms of responsibility and leadership, a corporal is of a higher rank than a specialist.

(Salaries are monthly and true at the time of writing the article. NA = Not Applicable.)
Command Break-up
SERGEANT
Rank SGT
Commands Squad
Comprises 8 - 10 soldiers
Salary Range $2,181 - $3,094


LIEUTENANT
Rank 1LT
Commands Platoon
Comprises 2 - 4 squads
Salary Range $3,347 - $5,364


CAPTAIN
Rank CPT
Commands Company
Comprises 3 - 5 platoons
Salary Range $3,873 - $6,726


LIEUTENANT COLONEL
Rank LTC
Commands Battalion
Comprises 4 - 5 companies
Salary Range $5,106 - $8,675


COLONEL
Rank COL
Commands Brigade
Comprises 2 - 5 battalions
Salary Range $6,125 - $10,844


MAJOR GENERAL
Rank MG
Commands Division
Comprises 3 brigades
Salary Range $9,946 - $14,338


LIEUTENANT GENERAL
Rank LTG
Commands Corps
Comprises 2(+) divisions
Salary Range $14,259 - $17,436
Enlisted Officers
Enlisted officers are the major chunk of the armed forces, and are mostly made up of the technical staff and combat force.

Grade Rank Code 0-2 Years 10 Years 20 Years 30 Years 40 Years
E1 Private PVT 1,531.50 1,531.50 1,531.50 1,531.50 1,531.50
E2 Private 2 PV2 1,716.90 1,716.90 1,716.90 1,716.90 1,716.90
E3 Private First Class PFC 1,805.40 2,034.90 2,034.90 2,034.90 2,034.90
E4 Specialist SPC 1,999.50 2,427.30 2,427.30 2,427.30 2,427.30
E4 Corporal SPC 1,999.50 2,427.30 2,427.30 2,427.30 2,427.30
E5 Sergeant SGT 2,181.00 3,094.80 3,094.80 3,094.80 3,094.80
E6 Staff Sergeant SSG 2,380.80 3,530.40 3,687.30 3,687.30 3,687.30
E7 Sergeant First Class SFC 2,752.50 3,914.40 4,532.40 4,946.70 4,946.70
E8 Master Sergeant MSG NA 4242.90 5,115.30 5,647.20 5,647.20
E8 First Sergeant 1SG NA 4242.90 5,115.30 5,647.20 5,647.20
E9 Sergeant Major SGM NA 4,946.40 5,895.60 6,810.90 7,509.60
E9 Command Sergeant Major CSM NA 4,946.40 5,895.60 6,810.90 7,509.60
E9 Sergeant Major of the Army SMA NA 4,946.40 5,895.60 6,810.90 7,509.60
Warrant Officers
Warrant officers are specialists in certain strategies, and they hold warrant from their service secretary.
Grade Rank Code 0 - 2 Years 10 Years 20 Years 30 Years 40 Years
W1 Warrant Officer WO1 2,839.80 4,247.70 4,906.80 4,906.80 4,906.80
W2 Chief Warrant Officer 2 CW2 3,234.90 4,556.40 5,313.60 5,399.70 5,399.70
W3 Chief Warrant Officer 3 CW3 3,655.80 4,995.00 6,069.90 6,413.10 6,413.10
W4 Chief Warrant Officer 4 CW4 4,003.50 5,493.90 6,768.00 7,457.10 7,457.10
W5 Chief Warrant Officer 5 CW5 NA NA 7,479.60 8,448.90 9,315.00
Commissioned Officers
Commissioned officers are of the highest order in the army. They are appointed by the Senate and also hold presidential commissions.
Grade Rank Code 0 - 2 Years 10 Years 20 Years 30 Years 40 Years
O1 Second Lieutenant 2LT 2,905.20 4,340.10 4,538.70 4,538.70 4,538.70
O2 First Lieutenant 1LT 3,347.10 5,220.90 5,364.30 5,364.30 5,364.30
O3 Captain CPT 3,873.90 6,151.50 6,726.00 6,726.00 6,726.00
O4 Major MAJ 4,405.80 6,921.30 7,356.60 7,356.60 7,356.60
O5 Lieutenant Colonel LTC 5,106.60 7,189.50 8,675.70 8,675.70 8,675.70
O6 Colonel COL 6,125.40 7,547.70 9,878.40 10,844.10 10,844.10
O7 Brigadier General BG 8,264.40 10,059.00 12,043.80 12,347.70 12,347.70
O8 Major General MG 9,946.20 11,802.00 13,647.30 13,989.00 14,338.50
O9 Lieutenant General LTG NA NA 14,259.90 15,816.00 17,436.90
O10 General GEN NA NA 16,150.50 17,925.30 19,762.50
SPECIAL General of the Army GA NA NA NA NA NA

Though money is something which cannot be ignored, what lies beneath is the respect and pride for one's country, and the pledge which each and every soldier takes for the security of the country and its people.