How to Abbreviate Military Ranks

Service-Specific Abbreviations

In many countries, the department or ministry of defense uses service-specific abbreviations for military ranks.

Abbreviations used in civilian situations are punctuated and non-service-specific in form: Gen., Lt. Gen., Maj. Gen., Brig. Gen., and Col.

Service-specific abbreviations have the advantage of identifying an Army General (GEN) from a Marine General (Gen) at a glance. Use of service-specific abbreviations is correct in both civilian and military circumstances: anyone can use them anytime.

The United States Department of Defense (DoD) styles abbreviations for ranks and ratings as follows:

——-U.S. Army, DoD Service-Specific

——-U.S. Marine Corps DoD Service-Specific

——-U.S. Navy DoD Service-Specific

——-U.S. Air Force DoD Service-Specific

——-U.S. Coast Guard DoD Service-Specific

—— Civilian-style, U. S. Army, Marine Corps and Air Force

——-Civilian-style, U.S. Navy and Coast Guard

U.S. Army

General | GEN How to Abbreviate Military Ranks
Lieutenant general | LTG
Major general | MG
Brigadier general | BG
Colonel | COL

Lieutenant colonel | LTC
Major | MAJ
Captain | CPT
First lieutenant | 1LT
Second lieutenant | 2LT

Chief warrant officers W-5 to W-2 | CW5 | CW4 | CW3 | CW2
Warrant officer W-1 | WO1

Sergeant major of the Army | SMA
Command sergeant major | CSM
Sergeant major | SGM
First sergeant | 1SG
Master sergeant | MSG

Sergeant first class | SFC
Staff sergeant | SSG
Sergeant | SGT
Corporal | CPL
Specialist | SPC

Private, first class | PFC
Private E-2 | PV2
Private E-1 | PV1

Forms of Address: How a conversation begins can have a huge impact on how the conversation - even the entire relationship - develops.

U.S. Marine Corps

General | Gen   How to Abbreviate Military Ranks
Lieutenant general | LtGen
Major general | MajGen
Brigadier general | BGen
Colonel | Col

Lieutenant colonel | LtCol
Major | Maj
Captain | Capt
First lieutenant | 1stLt
Second lieutenant | 2ndLt

Chief warrant officers W-5 To 2 | CWO5 | CWO4 | CWO3 | CWO2
W-1 Warrant officer | WO

Sergeant major of the Marine Corps | SgtMajMC
Sergeant major | SgtMaj
Master gunnery sergeant | MGySgt
First sergeant | 1stSgt
Master sergeant | MSgt

Gunnery sergeant | GySgt
Staff sergeant | SSgt
Sergeant | Sgt
Corporal | Cpl
Lance corporal | LCpl

Private first class | PFC
Private | Pvt

U.S. Navy

Fleet admiral | FADM
Admiral | ADM
Vice admiral | VADM
Rear admiral, upper half | RADM or RADM U
Rear admiral, lower half | RDML or RADM L

Captain | CAPT
Commander | CDR
Lieutenant commander | LCDR
Lieutenant | LT
Lieutenant, junior grade | LTJG
Ensign | ENS

Chief warrant officers W-5 To 2 | CWO2 | CWO3 | CWO4 | CWO5
Warrant officer W-1 | WO1

Master chief petty officer of the Navy | MCPON
Fleet command master chief petty officer | FLTMC
Force command master chief petty officer | FORMC
Command master chief petty officer | CMDCM

Master chief petty officer | MCPO
Senior chief petty officer | SCPO
Chief petty officer | CPO
Petty officer first class | PO1
Petty officer second class | PO2

Petty officer third class | PO3
Seaman | SN
Seaman apprentice | SA
Seaman recruit | SR

Forms of Address: How a conversation begins can have a huge impact on how the conversation - even the entire relationship - develops.

U.S. Air Force

General | Gen   How to Abbreviate Military Ranks
Lieutenant general | Lt Gen
Major general | Maj Gen
Brigadier general | Brig Gen
Colonel | Col

Lieutenant colonel | Lt Col
Major | Maj
Captain | Capt
First lieutenant | 1st Lt
Second lieutenant | 2nd Lt

Chief master sergeant of the Air Force | CMSAF
Command chief master sergeant | CCMSgt
First sergeant, E-9 | 1stSgt
Chief master sergeant | CMSgt
First sergeant, E-8 | 1stSgt

Senior master sergeant | SMSgt
First sergeant, E-7 | 1stSgt
Master sergeant | MSgt
Technical sergeant | TSgt
Staff sergeant | SSgt

Senior airman | SrA
Airman first class | A1C
Airman | Amn
Airman basic | AB

U.S. Coast Guard

Admiral | ADM   How to Abbreviate Military Ranks
Vice admiral | VADM
Rear admiral, upper half | RADM / RADM U
Rear admiral, lower half | RDML / RADM L
Captain | CAPT

Commander | CDR
Lieutenant commander | LCDR
Lieutenant | LT
Lieutenant, junior grade | LTJG
Ensign | ENS

Chief warrant officers W-5 To 2  | CWO2CWO3CWO4CWO5
Warrant officer W-1 | WO1

Master chief petty officer of the Coast Guard | MCPO-CG
Command master chief | CMC
Master chief petty officer | MCPO
Senior chief petty officer | SCPO
Chief petty officer | CPO

Petty officer first class | PO1
Petty officer second class | PO2
Petty officer third class | PO3
Seaman | SN
Seaman apprentice | SA
Seaman recruit | SR

Forms of Address: How a conversation begins can have a huge impact on how the conversation - even the entire relationship - develops.

Civilian-style, U.S. Army, Marine Corps & Air Force

General | Gen. How to Abbreviate Military Ranks
Lieutenant general | Lt. Gen.
Major general | Maj. Gen.
Brigadier general | Brig. Gen.
Colonel | Col.

Lieutenant colonel | Lt. Col.
Major | Maj.
Captain | Capt.
First lieutenant | 1st Lt.
Second lieutenant | 2nd Lt.
Cadet | Cdt.

Warrant Officer, USA and USMC

Chief warrant officers W-5 | Chief Warrant Officer 5
Chief warrant officers W-4 | Chief Warrant Officer 4
Chief warrant officers W-3 | Chief Warrant Officer 3
Chief warrant officers W-2 | Chief Warrant Officer 2
Warrant officer W-1 | Warrant Officer

Army Enlisted Ranks

Sergeant major of the Army | Sgt. Maj. of the Army
Command sergeant major | Command Sgt. Maj.
Sergeant major | Sgt. Maj.
First sergeant | 1st Sgt.
Master sergeant | Master Sgt.

Platoon Sergeant | P. Sgt.
Sergeant first class | Sgt. 1st Class
Staff sergeant | Staff Sgt.
Sergeant | Sgt.
Corporal | Cpl.
Specialist | Spc.

Private, first class | Pfc.
Private E-2 | Pvt.
Private E-1 | Pvt.

Marine Corps Enlisted Ranks

Sergeant major of the Marine Corps | Sgt. Major of the Marine Corps
Sergeant major | Sgt. Major
Master gunnery sergeant | Master Gunnery Sgt.
First sergeant | 1st Sgt.
Master sergeant | Master Sgt.

Gunnery sergeant | Gunnery Sgt.
Staff sergeant | Staff Sgt.
Sergeant | Sgt.
Corporal | Cpl.
Lance corporal | Lance Cpl.

Private first class | Private 1st Class
Private | Pvt.

Air Force Enlisted Ranks

Chief master sergeant of the Air Force | Chief Master Sgt. of the Air Force
Chief master sergeant | Chief Master Sgt. | CM Sgt.
Command chief master sergeant | Command Chief Master Sgt. | CCM Sgt.
Senior master sergeant | Senior Master Sgt.
Master sergeant | Master Sgt.
Technical sergeant | Tech. Sgt.

Staff sergeant | Staff Sgt.
Senior airman | Senior Airman
Airman first class | Airman 1st Class
Airman | Airman
Airman basic | Airman

Civilian-style, U.S. Navy & Coast Guard

Admiral | Adm.   How to Abbreviate Military Ranks
Vice admiral | Vice Adm.
Rear admiral, upper half | Rear Adm.
Rear admiral, lower half | Rear Adm.
Captain | Capt.

Commander | Cmdr.
Lieutenant commander | Lt. Cmdr.
Lieutenant | Lt.
Lieutenant, junior grade | Lt. j.g.
Ensign | Ensign

Chief warrant officers W-5 To 2  | Chief Warrant Officer
Warrant officer W-1 | Warrant Officer

Master chief petty officer of the Navy | Master Chief Petty Officer of the Navy
Master chief petty officer of the Coast Guard | Master Chief Petty Officer of the Coast Guard
Command master chief | Command Master Chief
Master chief petty officer | Master Chief Petty Officer
Senior chief petty officer | Senior Chief Petty Officer
Chief petty officer | Chief Petty Officer

Petty officer first class | Petty Officer 1st Class
Petty officer second class | Petty Officer 2nd Class
Petty officer third class | Petty Officer 3rd Class
Seaman | Seaman
Seaman apprentice | Seaman Apprentice
Seaman recruit | Seaman Recruit

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