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Army Captain

O-3 Commissioned Officer, U.S. Army
(Next) O-4 MAJArmy Major

Army Ranks » Captain RankCPT PayCPT Rank HistoryPromotion Information

How to get promoted to Captain Army Promotion to O-3 Captain

A Captain is a Commissioned Officer in the United States Army at DoD paygrade O-3. This page describes how the Army determines who is eligible for the promotion list to Captain.

Promotion to the rank of Captain is the first of the officer ranks to be competitive amongst the officer corps. Unlike the lieutenant ranks, promotion is not guaranteed.

While serving as lieutenants, officers are graded on their performance by their commanders (captains and lieutenant colonels at higher levels). These grades are recorded in what are known as Officer Evaluation Reports (OER's).

Once a lieutenant has served a minimum of four years time in service and two-and-a-half years time in grade, they are eligible for promotion to Captain.

As with the way in which senior NCO's are promoted, the Army automatically generates a slate based on the fulfillment of the requirements for Captain, which incident time in service, time in grade, and completion of a captain preparation school known as the Captain's Career Course.

The slate includes all lieutenants who have completed these requirements. From there, a board selects officers to be promoted to captain based on their career performance so far, which determination is based largely upon each individual candidates OER's.

Want to learn more? Read about the Army's Captain rank on