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Marine Corps Captain

O-3 Commissioned Officer, U.S. Marine Corps
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Marine Corps Ranks » Captain RankCapt PayCapt Rank History

Rank badge of a Captain O-3 Captain - U.S. Marine Corps Ranks

Marine Corps Captain
Marine Corps O-3 Captain Marine Corps Military Ranks
Class Commissioned Officer
Abbr. Capt
Title Captain (last name) While on a sea-going vessel: Major (last name)
Paygrade O-3 (DoD Paygrade)
OF-3 (NATO Code)
Basic Pay $5,102/mo

A Captain is a commissioned Marine Corps officer at company level, and will generally serve as a Company Commander in control of 62 to 190 soldiers.

As a Company Commander, Captains will be placed in charge of the tactical and everyday operations of their troops, assisted by several junior commissioned officers and one or more senior non-commissioned officers. Captains may also have teaching roles at combat schools or special training sessions as well as serve as staff officers at battallion level command posts.

Experienced Marine lieutenants with excellent leadership and command skills may qualify for a promotion to Captain after several years of service.

Captain is the 20th rank in the United States Marine Corps , ranking above First Lieutenant and directly below Major. A captain is a Commissioned Officer at DoD paygrade O-3, with a starting monthly pay of $5,102.

How do you become a Captain?

A Captain is most often promoted from First Lieutenant (1stLt), although promotion from lower paygrades may occur with sufficient display of leadership and experience.

1stLts are all but guaranteed to promote to Captain roughly two years after their Commissioning date. Exceptions include Officers who have received Non-Judicial Punishment for a serious offense such as a DUI. Prior-Enlisted Officers are ranked O3-E, and earn higher pay than their counterparts.

What is the proper way to address a Captain?

The correct way to address a Captain named Mr. Gutierrez is "Captain Gutierrez While on a sea-going vessel: Major Gutierrez", or written as Capt Gutierrez. 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 $5,102.10 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 Marine Corps Captain may be eligible for multiple types of allowances and bonus pay including hostile fire pay, education allowance, retirement benefits, and more.

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

Patch of a Captain Equivalent Ranks to the Marine Corps' O-3 Captain

Air Force Captain - Equivalent to Captain
Air Force
Coast Guard Lieutenant - Equivalent to Captain
Coast Guard

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

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

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