Army Second LieutenantO-1 Commissioned Officer, U.S. Army
O-1 Second Lieutenant - Commissioned Officer - U.S. Army Ranks
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 $2,972.
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. Williams is "Lieutenant Williams", or written as 2LT Williams. 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 $2,972.40 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 personal money allowance, clothing allowance, retirement benefits, and more.
For full details on the Army's Second Lieutenant compensation and retirement plan, visit the 2016 Army Second Lieutenant Pay Chart. A full table of the Army's current paygrades are available at the Army Pay Chart.
Equivalent Ranks to the Army's O-1 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 .