Select Page

U.S. Army Officer Ranks

There are numerous Army Officer and General ranks that range from permanent to wartime only positions.

The rank in order from highest to lowest is as follows: General of the Army, General, Lieutenant, Major General, Brigadier General, Colonel, Lieutenant Colonel, Major, Captain, First Lieutenant, and Second Lieutenant.

U.S. Army General Ranks

Pay Grade Insignia Uniform Insignia Title Abbreviation
O-10 us army general of the army insignia General of the Armies
O-10 us general of the army five stars General of the Army GA
O-10 us army general officer o10 insignia us army officer uniform o10 General GEN
O-9 us army general officer o9 insignia us army officer uniform o9 Lieutenant LTG
O-8 us army general officer o8 insignia us army officer uniform o8 Major General MG
O-7 us army general officer o7 insignia us army officer uniform o7 Brigadier General BG
O-6 us army colonel o6 insignia us army officer uniform o6 Colonel COL

U.S. Army Officer Ranks

Pay Grade Insignia Uniform Insignia Title Abbreviation
O-5 us army lt colonel o5 insignia us army officer uniform o Lieutenant Colonel LTC
O-4 us army major o4 insignia us army officer uniform o4 Major MAJ
O-3 us army captain o3 insignia us army officer uniform o3 Captain CPT
O-2 us army First Lieutenant o2 insignia us army officer uniform o2 First Lieutenant 1LT
O-1 us army Second Lieutenant o1 insignia us army officer uniform o1 Second Lieutenant 2LT

General of the Army

A General of the Army is a five-star General. The title is temporary and only used during wartime. A General of the Army is appointed when the commanding officer must be of higher rank than armies of other nations.

General

Besides the General of the Army, a General is the highest rank in the U.S. Army. A General is a four-star General Officer. There can only be seven four-star Generals at one time.


To become a General you must be nominated for office by the President and confirmed by the Senate. Four-star general ranks are exclusively tied to the positions held by the General. For example, the Army Chief of Staff is a four-star General position.

Field Army: 80,000+ Soldiers

  • Commanding General: General
  • Deputy Commander: Lieutenant General

Lieutenant General

A Lieutenant General is a three-star General Officer. This position can only be held during times of war and it expires at the end of a General’s active tour of duty. During wartime a Lieutenant General acts as the commander of a Corps-sized unit of 20,000 to 40,000 soldiers.

Field Army: 80,000+ Soldiers

  • Commanding General: General
  • Deputy Commander: Lieutenant General

Corps: 20,000–40,000 Soldiers

  • Commanding General: Lieutenant General
  • Deputy Commander: Major General

Major General

Major Generals hold the highest peacetime rank as a two-star General Officer. An MG is the commander of a division with 10,000 to 15,000 soldiers. They act as the deputy commander under a Lieutenant General of a Corps sized unit including 20,000-40,000 soldiers. To become a Major General you must be appointed and are required to go through a lengthy nomination and review process. All MGs are required to retire after 5 years of commission or 35 years of total service.

Corps: 20,000–40,000 Soldiers

  • Commanding General: Lieutenant General
  • Deputy Commander: Major General

Division: 10,000 to 15,000 Soldiers

  • Commanding General: Major General
  • Deputy Commander: Brigadier General

Brigadier General

A Brigadier General is a one-star General Officer. Typically a BG servers as a Deputy Commander under a Major General. They assist with the operations and planning of a division sized unit.

The BG will serve as the commander for an infantry brigade of 4,000 to 6,000 soldiers when it is not attached to a division.

Division: 10,000 to 15,000 Soldiers

  • Commanding General: Major General
  • Deputy Commander: Brigadier General

Infantry Brigade: 4,000 to 6,000 Soldiers

  • Commanding General: Brigadier General
  • Deputy Commander: Colonel