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Army Colonel

O-6 Field Officer, U.S. Army
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Brigadier General

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O-6 Colonel - U.S. Army Ranks

Army Colonel
Army O-6 Colonel Army Military Ranks
Class Field Officer
Abbr. COL
Title Colonel (last name)
Paygrade O-6 (DoD Paygrade)
OF-5 (NATO Code)
Basic Pay $7,332/mo

Colonel is the senior field-officer grade commissioned officer rank, directly above Lieutenant Colonel and below Brigadier General. Colonels typically command a brigade-sized unit consisting of 3,000 to 5,000 soldiers, with the assistance of several junior commissioned officers and a Command Sergeant Major as a primary non-commissioned officer advisor. Colonels may also be responsible for leading division-level special agencies.

Almost all Army Colonels receive special training at the Army War College in Pennsylvania, which graduates over 200 Army officers a year. Colonel is the final "stepping stone" rank before the General Officer ranks, and Colonels showing exceptional skill and leadership are often promoted to Brigadier General.

Colonel is the 24th rank in the United States Army , ranking above Lieutenant Colonel and directly below Brigadier General. A colonel is a Field Officer at DoD paygrade O-6, with a starting monthly pay of $7,332.

What is the proper way to address a Colonel?

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

How much does a Colonel earn?

Basic pay for an entry-level Colonel with 2 or less years of experience is $7,332.00 per month.

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

In addition to a monthly basic pay salary, a Army Colonel may be eligible for multiple types of allowances and bonus pay including hostile fire pay, personal money allowance, and more.

For full details on the Army's Colonel compensation and retirement plan, visit the 2023 Army Colonel Pay Chart. A full table of the Army's current paygrades are available at the Army Pay Chart.

Military Occupational Specialties for Army's O-6 Colonel

Preventive Medicine Officer

  • Active/Reserve:Both
  • Officer/Enlisted:Officer
  • Restrictions:None
Special Forces Officer

  • Active/Reserve:Active Duty
  • Officer/Enlisted:Officer
  • Restrictions:None

  • Active/Reserve:Both
  • Officer/Enlisted:Officer
  • Restrictions:None
Chemical, Biological, Radiological and Nuclear (CBRN) Officer

  • Active/Reserve:Both
  • Officer/Enlisted:Officer
  • Restrictions:None
Military Police Officer

  • Active/Reserve:Both
  • Officer/Enlisted:Officer
  • Restrictions:None

To learn more about Military Occupational Specialties, see our complete list of MOS job titles.

Equivalent Ranks to the Army's O-6 Colonel

Air Force Colonel - Equivalent to Colonel
Air Force
Coast Guard Captain - Equivalent to Colonel
Coast Guard
Marine Corps Colonel - Equivalent to Colonel
Marine Corps

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

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

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