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Army Second Lieutenant

O-1 Commissioned Officer, U.S. Army
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Rank badge of a Second Lieutenant O-1 Second Lieutenant - U.S. Army Ranks

Army Second Lieutenant
Army O-1 Second Lieutenant Army Military Ranks
Class Commissioned Officer
Abbr. 2LT
Title Lieutenant (last name)
Paygrade O-1 (DoD Paygrade)
OF-1 (NATO Code)
Basic Pay $3,826/mo

A Second Lieutenant is the entry-level commissioned officer rank in the United States Army. A Second Lieutenant is generally placed in command of a platoon consisting of 16 to 44 soldiers, including two or more rifle squads lead by a senior non-commissioned officer. Second Lieutenants are often unofficially referred to as "butterbars" or "nuggets", in reference to their golden bar insignia.

Soldiers who have completed an ROTC program or a four-year college degree combined with Officer Candidate School may enter the Army with a commission as Second Lieutenant. In times of war, exemplary enlisted soldiers may receive a "battlefield commission" to Second Lieutenant to reward leadership and bravery on the field.

Second Lieutenant is the 19th rank in the United States Army , ranking above Chief Warrant Officer 5 and directly below First Lieutenant. A second lieutenant is a Commissioned Officer at DoD paygrade O-1, with a starting monthly pay of $3,826.

How do you become a Second Lieutenant?

A Second Lieutenant is most often promoted from Chief Warrant Officer 5 (CW5), although promotion from lower paygrades may occur with sufficient display of leadership and experience. Click here to learn more about promotion to Second Lieutenant.

What is the proper way to address a Second Lieutenant?

The correct way to address a Second Lieutenant named Mr. Johnson is "Lieutenant Johnson", or written as 2LT Johnson. In formal situations, a Second Lieutenant should always be addressed by their full rank.

How much does a Second Lieutenant earn?

Basic pay for an entry-level Second Lieutenant with 2 or less years of experience is $3,826.20 per month.

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

In addition to a monthly basic pay salary, a Army Second Lieutenant may be eligible for multiple types of allowances and bonus pay including retirement benefits, education allowance, hazard pay, and more.

For full details on the Army's Second Lieutenant compensation and retirement plan, visit the 2024 Army Second Lieutenant 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-1 Second Lieutenant

Armor Officer

  • Active/Reserve:Active Duty
  • Officer/Enlisted:Officer
  • Restrictions:None
Peripheral Vascular Surgeon

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

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

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

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

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

Patch of a Second Lieutenant Equivalent Ranks to the Army's O-1 Second Lieutenant

Coast Guard Ensign - Equivalent to Second Lieutenant
Coast Guard
Marine Corps Second Lieutenant - Equivalent to Second Lieutenant
Marine Corps
Second Lieutenant
Navy Ensign - Equivalent to Second Lieutenant

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

The Government civilian-employee equivalent of a Second Lieutenant 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.