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Air Force Major

O-4 Field Officer, U.S. Air Force
(Next) O-5 Lt CoAir Force Lieutenant Colonel
Lieutenant Colonel

Air Force Ranks » Major RankMaj PayMaj Rank History

Rank badge of a Major O-4 Major - U.S. Air Force Ranks

Air Force Major
Air Force O-4 Major Air Force Military Ranks
Class Field Officer
Abbr. Maj
Title Major (last name)
Paygrade O-4 (DoD Paygrade)
OF-4 (NATO Code)
Basic Pay $5,803/mo

Major (Maj) is the lowest Field Officer rank in the United States Air Force. It is just above the rank of Captain and below Lieutenant Colonel. It is the most junior Field Officer rank. A Major's responsibilities include serving as the main staff officer of a brigade and task force Executive Officer.

The rank insignia for Major is a gold oak leaf.

Major is the 20th rank in the United States Air Force , ranking above Captain and directly below Lieutenant Colonel. A major is a Field Officer at DoD paygrade O-4, with a starting monthly pay of $5,803.

How do you become a Major?

A Major is most often promoted from Captain (Capt), although promotion from lower paygrades may occur with sufficient display of leadership and experience.

In some rare instances, new officers may be commissioned as majors. However, most majors are captains who were promoted
About 80% of all captains will be promoted to major. By law, majors must have ten years of service and a minimum of two years of service as a captain. However, very few majors are promoted that quickly. In general, most major-selects will be promoted after five to six years as a captain. The main reason for the longer time in between rank is because it takes time to build up a package for the promotion boards.

What is the proper way to address a Major?

The correct way to address a Major named Mr. Miller is "Major Miller", or written as Maj Miller. In formal situations, a Major should always be addressed by their full rank.

How much does a Major earn?

Basic pay for an entry-level Major with 2 or less years of experience is $5,803.20 per month.

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

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

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

Patch of a Major Equivalent Ranks to the Air Force's O-4 Major

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 Major 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.