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Coast Guard Captain

O-6 Senior Officer, U.S. Coast Guard
(Next) O-7 DRMLCoast Guard Rear Admiral Lower Half
Rear Admiral Lower Half

Coast Guard Ranks » Captain RankCAPT PayCAPT Rank HistoryPromotion Information

Rank badge of a Captain O-6 Captain - U.S. Coast Guard Ranks

Coast Guard Captain
Coast Guard O-6 Captain Coast Guard Military Ranks
Class Senior Officer
Abbr. CAPT
Title Captain (last name)
Paygrade O-6 (DoD Paygrade)
OF-5 (NATO Code)
Basic Pay $8,068/mo

Captain is a senior commissioned officer's rank in the United States Coast Guard and is equivalent to the rank of Major in the other Armed Services. Coast Guard captains can hold a variety of high-level leadership positions including:

  • Command of a Coast Guard maritime security cutter, high endurance cutter, or other large ship
  • Command of a Coast Guard air station
  • Command of a variety of shore-based installations, such as Coast Guard bases or schools
  • \
  • Chief of Staff for a Coast Guard flag officer
Captains have a great deal of autonomy in commanding their vessels, and those who prove their leadership and dedication over several years of service may be rewarded by receiving command of a larger and more important vessel or installation.

Captain is the 22nd rank in the United States Coast Guard , ranking above Commander and directly below Rear Admiral Lower Half. A captain is a Senior Officer at DoD paygrade O-6, with a starting monthly pay of $8,068.

How do you become a Captain?

A Captain is most often promoted from Commander (CDR), although promotion from lower paygrades may occur with sufficient display of leadership and experience. Click here to learn more about promotion to Captain.

What is the proper way to address a Captain?

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

How much does a Captain earn?

Basic pay for an entry-level Captain with 2 or less years of experience is $8,067.90 per month.

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

In addition to a monthly basic pay salary, a Coast Guard Captain may be eligible for multiple types of allowances and bonus pay including housing allowance, food allowance, clothing allowance, hazard pay, and more.

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

Patch of a Captain Equivalent Ranks to the Coast Guard's O-6 Captain

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

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

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

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