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Air Force Airman Basic

E-1 Enlisted Airman, U.S. Air Force
(Next) E-2 AmnAir Force Airman

Air Force Ranks » Airman Basic RankAB PayAB Rank History

Rank badge of a Airman Basic E-1 Airman Basic - U.S. Air Force Ranks

Air Force Airman Basic
Air Force E-1 Airman Basic Air Force Military Ranks
Class Enlisted Airman
Abbr. AB
Title Airman (last name)
Paygrade E-1 (DoD Paygrade)
OR-1 (NATO Code)
Basic Pay $2,017/mo

Airman Basic (AB) is the lowest enlisted rank of the US Air Force; it is just below Airman (E-2). The responsibilities of an Airman Basic include learning about and displaying knowledge of Air Force customs and standards, as well as learning the military and technical skills required in the Air Force.

One identifying marker of an airman basic's uniform is that they have no rank insignia. They are nicknamed “slick-sleeves,” because, while all other ranks have rank insignias on their sleeves, the airman basic's sleeves are plain.

Airman Basic is the 1st rank in the United States Air Force . An airman basic is an Enlisted Airman at DoD paygrade E-1, with a starting monthly pay of $2,017.

How do you become a Airman Basic?

Airman basics are typically promoted to airman after just six months in grade. Assuming the airman basic has maintained standards and not committed any striking offenses, the promotion is guaranteed.

What is the proper way to address a Airman Basic?

The correct way to address a Airman Basic named Mr. Jones is "Airman Jones", or written as AB Jones. In formal situations, a Airman Basic should always be addressed by their full rank.

How much does a Airman Basic earn?

Basic pay for an entry-level Airman Basic with 2 or less years of experience is $2,017.20 per month.

A Airman Basic receives an automatic raise to their basic pay every one to two years. Basic pay is only a small percentage of a Airman Basic's final compensation package.

In addition to a monthly basic pay salary, a Air Force Airman Basic may be eligible for multiple types of allowances and bonus pay including education allowance, hostile fire pay, and more.

For full details on the Air Force's Airman Basic compensation and retirement plan, visit the 2024 Air Force Airman Basic Pay Chart. A full table of the Air Force's current paygrades are available at the Air Force Pay Chart.

Patch of a Airman Basic Equivalent Ranks to the Air Force's E-1 Airman Basic

Coast Guard Seaman Recruit - Equivalent to Airman Basic
Coast Guard
Seaman Recruit
Marine Corps Private - Equivalent to Airman Basic
Marine Corps

To learn more about the Air Force's rank structure, see our complete list of Air Force ranks.

The Government civilian-employee equivalent of a Airman Basic is paid under the General Schedule payscale. For more details, see this Air Force rank to GS grade conversion table .

To see a list of military medals and decorations that can be earned by servicemembers in the Air Force and other branches of the military, see our list of military decorations and medals.