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Navy Admiral

O-10 Flag Officer, U.S. Navy
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Navy Ranks » Admiral RankADM PayADM Rank History

O-10 Admiral - U.S. Navy Ranks

Navy Admiral
Navy O-10 Admiral Navy Military Ranks
Class Flag Officer
Abbr. ADM
Title Admiral (last name)
Paygrade O-10 (DoD Paygrade)
OF-10 (NATO Code)
Basic Pay $18,492/mo

Admiral is a four-star flag officer in the U.S. Navy, equivalent to the rank of General in the other Armed Services. The rank of Admiral is temporary and generally used only in times of war. Because the five-star Fleet General rank is only used very rarely, Admiral is generally considered the highest rank attainable by officers in the Navy.

Officers are promoted to Admiral in order to fill a certain office, and may only remain in-grade for a certain amount of time. Of the 160 flag officer slots allocated to the Navy, there can be only 6 four-star Admirals. Two of these slots are reserved for the Chief of Naval Operations and the Vice Chief of Naval Operations so only four active-duty admirals serve in the field at any given time.

An Admiral commands a regional Navy fleet, such as the Pacific or Atlantic fleets, during an operation or war and answers directly to the Fleet Admiral, if there is one, and the President of the United States.

As a four-star flag officer, an Admiral may fly the Admiral's pennant over any ship or station on which he is serving; the flag is four white stars on a navy blue background.

Promotion to Admiral is initiated with nomination of a candidate by the President of the United States from the ranks of active Rear Admirals, lower half or upper half. Nomination is based on recommendations provided by the Secretary of the Navy and the Joint Chiefs of Staff.

After nomination by the President, candidates must be approved by the U.S. Senate by majority vote before being approved for promotion upon assumption of their new duties.

Four-star flag officers generally serve for a tour of three years, and a variety of mandates apply to their retirement from the Navy.

  • Four-star officers must retire after 40 years of total service unless reappointed
  • All flag officers must retire one month after their 64th birthday
  • Flag officers can have their retirement deferred to their 66th birthday by the Secretary of Defense, and to their 68th birthday by the President
  • Once a four-star admiral's tour has ended, he has 60 days to be reappointed or promoted before they must retire.
Most admirals retire well before their mandatory retirement date to allow other officers the chance to fill their position. Typically, they are allowed to retire in-grade to retain their title and paygrade through retirement.

Admiral is the 25th rank in the United States Navy , ranking above Vice Admiral and directly below Fleet Admiral. An admiral is a Flag Officer at DoD paygrade O-10, with a starting monthly pay of $18,492.

What is the proper way to address a Admiral?

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

How much does a Admiral earn?

Basic pay for an entry-level Admiral with Over 20 years of experience is $18,491.70 per month.

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

In addition to a monthly basic pay salary, a Navy Admiral may be eligible for multiple types of allowances and bonus pay including hostile fire pay, clothing allowance, housing allowance, hazard pay, and more.

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

Equivalent Ranks to the Navy's O-10 Admiral

Air Force General - Equivalent to Admiral
Air Force
Coast Guard Admiral - Equivalent to Admiral
Coast Guard
Marine Corps General - Equivalent to Admiral
Marine Corps

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

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

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