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Marine Corps Major

O-4 Field Officer, U.S. Marine Corps
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Lieutenant Colonel

Marine Corps Ranks » Major RankMaj PayMaj Rank History

Rank badge of a Major O-4 Major - U.S. Marine Corps Ranks

Marine Corps Major
Marine Corps O-4 Major Marine Corps Military Ranks
Class Field Officer
Abbr. Maj
Title Major (last name)
Paygrade O-4 (DoD Paygrade)
OF-4 (NATO Code)
Basic Pay $5,803/mo

Major is the lowest Field Officer rank in the United States Air Force. It is just above Captain and below Lieutenant Colonel. Major is the most junior field rank. A Major's responsibilities include serving as the main staff officer of a brigade and task force Executive Officer. Their duties also include acting as a senior staff officer at the squadron and wing levels; in flight squadrons, majors are typically assistant directors or flight commanders. When working in mission support or maintenance groups majors are usually squadron commanders. In the medical corps, a major is the head of a clinic or a flight commander.

The rank insignia for Major is a gold oak leaf.

Major is the 21st rank in the United States Marine Corps , ranking above Captain and directly below Lieutenant Colonel. A major is a Field Officer at DoD paygrade O-4, with a starting monthly pay of $5,803.

How do you become a Major?

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

Unlike an Officer's first two career promotions, achieving the rank of Major is competitive, with roughly 80% of Captains progressing forward. For any given community, the Officer must submit an application, once eligible, to an approval board. They must qualitatively demonstrate a history of strong leadership. They must have significant operational experience within their profession and are eligible at 9-11 years of service. If they fail to promote, Captains hit "high year tenure" at 12 years.

What is the proper way to address a Major?

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

How much does a Major earn?

Basic pay for an entry-level Major with 2 or less years of experience is $5,803.20 per month.

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

In addition to a monthly basic pay salary, a Marine Corps Major may be eligible for multiple types of allowances and bonus pay including personal money allowance, food allowance, housing allowance, and more.

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

Patch of a Major Equivalent Ranks to the Marine Corps' O-4 Major

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

The Government civilian-employee equivalent of a Major 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.