Do You Know the U.S. Military Ranking System?

John Miller

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About This Quiz

The U.S. military is a hodgepodge of acronyms and structured hierarchy. From privates to admirals, do you understand the American military ranking system?

What's the lowest rank in the Air Force?

The airman basic is the lowest rank in the Air Force. But regardless of rank, all Air Force personnel are known as "airmen."

In the Army, which of the following is the highest rank?

Privates are the cellar-dwellers of the ranking system. Majors are much higher up the ladder, and they are primary staff officers for task force and brigade operations and much more.

Which sort of Army officer might have stars on his or her uniform?

Generals are famous for their stars. The more accomplished the general, the greater the number of stars on the uniform.

Which Navy ranking has the top pay grade?

The master chief petty officer of the Navy is the head enlisted honcho of the Navy. He has a pay grade of E-9.

Among enlisted Marines, what's the next step above a private?

Privates are the low end of the ranking system in the Marines. Once they move up, they become private first-class.

What's the LOWEST officer ranking in the Navy?

Seaman isn't a type of officer. But ensign is, and it's the lowest officer ranking in the Navy.

In the Army, which of the following is the highest rank?

In the Army, colonels are bigwigs that make a lot of important decisions. They're in charge of units that range from 3,000 to 5,000 soldiers.

In which branch of the military would you find a rank called "admiral"?

The Navy, of course, is famous for its various admiral rankings. Admirals are like the generals of the sea.

True or false, in the Navy, is a commander ranking higher than a Captain?

Commanders are vital officers in the Navy. But they are one step lower than the captains.

In the Navy, which of the following has the highest ranking?

The master chief petty officer ranks above the chief and cenior petty officers. The master chief petty officer is the ninth and highest enlisted pay grade in the Navy.

Who is the top-ranking officer of the entire Army?

In America, the general of the Army is the top-ranking officer. That ranking comes with five stars, the most anyone can earn in Army service.

In the Coast Guard, how many different types of rear admirals are there?

In the Coast Guard, there are two different types of rear admirals. They are separated by pay grade.

Who is the top-ranking enlisted person in the Air Force?

The chief master sergeant of the Air Force is the top enlisted member of this branch. The CMSAF has a pay grade of OR-9.

Which Army officer would be in charge of platoons?

2nd lieutenant officers will often command small platoons. They may be in charge of up to around 45 soldiers.

Who is the top officer in the Navy?

The admiral of the navy is the No. 1 officer in the entire branch. Only one man has ever earned this title -- George Dewey, following his victory at Manila Bay near the end of the 19th century.

In the Army, how many stars does a brigadier general have?

In the Army, brigadier generals have one star on their uniforms. Top-ranking generals have five stars.

Which Navy rank has a pay grade of E-7?

The chief petty officer has a pay grade of E-7, making him one of the better-paid enlisted men in the Navy. The pay grade scale tops out at E-9.

Which of the following is NOT a real rank in the Navy?

The senior lieutenant does not exist in the Navy. There are three types of lieutenant, including lieutenant junior-grade, lieutenant and lieutenant commander.

Which Army officer is most likely to be in charge of a company-sized unit of around 190 soldiers?

A captain ranking sits between a major and a 1st lieutenant. The captain may be in command of around 190 soldiers.

In the Army, how many soldiers might a lieutenant general command?

Lieutenant generals are three-star generals -- that means they are near the top of the food chain. They may command up to 45,000 men.

What is a CWO?

A CWO is a chief warrant officer. The CWOs are very experienced military personnel who have a high degree of technical expertise and vast leadership skills.

In which service branch would you find a ranking called gunnery sergeant?

Gunnery sergeant is a ranking in the Marines. They are often called "gunny" and they are in charge of small units of soldiers.

In the Marines, which ranking has the highest pay grade?

In the Marines, the sergeant major of the Marine Corps has the highest enlisted pay grade. He serves a four-year term.

You'd find a ranking of commander in the _____.

The commander ranking is found in both the Navy and the Coast Guard. Commander is one step below captain and one above lieutenant commander.

How many men might a major general in the Army command?

Major generals have a tremendous responsibility for battle plans. They are often in charge of around 10,000 to 15,000 soldiers.

In the Marines, what's the top level of a chief warrant officer?

In the Marines, it is quite the accomplishment to become a CWO5, the top ranking for a warrant officer. It means that person has incredible technical expertise that he or she passes on to other soldiers.

In the Marines, what's the highest ranking for a junior enlisted person?

There are three ranks for junior enlisted men, including private, private first-class, and then the top rank, which is lance corporal.

Of the following Army ranks, which is the LOWEST?

Major is a pretty high ranking, but of these three, it's the lowest. The brigadier general, of course, is the highest.

In the Army, the ranking of general of the Army is only used when?

The general of the Army ranking is only activated in extreme circumstances, such as wartime. The ranking hasn't been used since the years following World War II.

Which of these generals has more power?

The General of the Army is the second-highest possible ranking in the Army. But to be the top dog, you have to be the General of the Armies -- that is, the plural version of Army.

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