United States Air Force » Rank Structure & Insignia

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List of Military Ranks United States Air Force Ranks (Ordered By Seniority)

E-1Air Force Airman BasicAirman BasicABEnlisted Airman
E-2Air Force AirmanAirmanAmnEnlisted Airman
E-3Air Force Airman First ClassAirman First ClassA1CEnlisted Airman
E-4Air Force Senior AirmanSenior AirmanSrAEnlisted Airman
E-5Air Force Staff SergeantStaff SergeantSSgtNoncommissioned Officer
E-6Air Force Technical SergeantTechnical SergeantTSgtNoncommissioned Officer
E-7Air Force Master SergeantMaster SergeantMSgtNoncommissioned Officer
E-8Air Force Senior Master SergeantSenior Master SergeantSMSgtNoncommissioned Officer
E-9Air Force Chief Master SergeantChief Master SergeantCMSgtNoncommissioned Officer
E-9Air Force Command Chief Master SergeantCommand Chief Master SergeantCCMNoncommissioned Officer
E-9Air Force Chief Master Sergeant Of The Air ForceChief Master Sergeant Of The Air ForceCMSAFNoncommissioned Officer (Special)
O-1Air Force Second LieutenantSecond Lieutenant2d LtCommissioned Officer
O-2Air Force First LieutenantFirst Lieutenant1st LCommissioned Officer
O-3Air Force CaptainCaptainCaptCommissioned Officer
O-4Air Force MajorMajorMajField Officer
O-5Air Force Lieutenant ColonelLieutenant ColonelLt CoField Officer
O-6Air Force ColonelColonelColField Officer
O-7Air Force Brigadier GeneralBrigadier GeneralBrig General Officer
O-8Air Force Major GeneralMajor GeneralMaj GGeneral Officer
O-9Air Force Lieutenant GeneralLieutenant GeneralLt GeGeneral Officer
O-10Air Force GeneralGeneralGenGeneral Officer
O-10Air Force General of the Air ForceGeneral of the Air ForceGAFGeneral Officer

United States Air Force Ranks In Order

This table of the United States Air Force ranks from lowest to highest shows the Air Force's rank structure from lowest to highest including rank insignia, abbreviation, and rank classification.

The United States Air Force has twenty two grades of enlisted airmen and officers, with most airmen enlisting at the entry-level rank of Airman Basic (AB, paygrade E-1). The highest rank achievable in the Air Force is General of the Air Force.

Click any rank for detailed rank information including duties and responsibilities, promotion information, salary, and more.

Structure of the Air Force

While the Air Force has many different types of aircraft, less than 25% of Air Force personnel are involved with Aviation. The rest ensure our military has the most advanced capabilities with Space Systems and Cyber Warfare. Unlike other branches, personnel may spend their entire careers in Business Acquisition. In other branches, only mid-rank and high-rank Officers with advanced degrees may work in this field. The Air Force values all its servicemembers, but places Pilots in especially high regard.

History of the Air Force

The Air Force was founded in 1947, just after WWII. It was created using most of the existing Army Air Corps that had just made significant contributions to the war effort. The Air Force is the most technological of the branches, as well as the "most business-like" (least strict). There is a general concensus in the military that quality of life for servicemembers in the Air Force is highest. Just as the Army fights land wars and the Navy fights sea wars, the Air Force was originally envisioned to fight air wars. While wars in the past 70 years couldn't be fought with aircraft alone, the age of Drones and Artificial Intelligence may cause a paradigm shift where air-only wars are possible.

Military Discounts & Benefits for Airmen:

In addition to basic pay and allowances, active-duty airmen, veterans, and even their families are eligible for hundreds of discounts and additional benefits offered by organizations and private companies like JetBlue , United Airlines , Verizon , and hundreds more.

Learn more about Military Discounts