Air Force Officer Ranks

 Air Force Officers

O1 insignia Second Lieutenant (2nd Lt)(O1)

The rank of Second Lieutenant is shown through a single gold bar. Proper forms of address include “Second Lieutenant” or “Lieutenant.” Commissioned Airman may sometimes skip this rank.

O2 insignia First Lieutenant (1st Lt)(O2)

First Lieutenants have roughly the same responsibilities as a Second Lieutenant, but receive higher pay and are given more responsibility.

O3 insignia Captain (Capt)(O3)

Captains are typically assigned to and have authority over a company. In such a position, they are referred to as the company commander.

O4 insignia Major (Maj)(O4)

A junior Field Officer rank, Majors in the Air Force operate as main staff officers on brigade-sized forces.

O5 insignia Lieutenant Colonel (Lt Col)(O5)

The 21st rank in the U.S. Air Force, a Lieutenant Colonel is responsible for commanding a medical or support group, a squadron, or directing ops in the operations group.

O6 insignia Colonel (Col)(O6)

Colonels in the Air Force serve in a number of different roles. Some command elements of a wing while others serve as heads of staff in different Air Force staff agencies.

Air Force Generals

O7 insignia Brigadier General (Brig Gen)(O7)

Becoming a Brigadier General is an arduous process. It begins with a board of general officers creating a list of candidates, and ends with the President choosing those to be promoted from that pool. Brigadier General’s must retire after 30 years of service or after five years in their rank.

O8 insignia Major General (Maj Gen)(O8)

A two-star rank, Major General is the highest rank an Airman can achieve during peacetime. The promotion process is mostly similar to the process in becoming a Brigadier General.

O9 insignia Lieutenant General Lt Gen)(O9)

Lieutenant Generals are picked by the president form the existing pool of Air Force General Officers. Their rank is temporary and is removed when they end their term.

O10 insignia General (Gen)

The four-star position of General in the Air Force is used only during wartime. The maximum number of four-star Generals allowed in the Air Force at a given time is nine.

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