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Navy Captain

O-6 Senior Officer, U.S. Navy
(Next) O-7 RDMLNavy Rear Admiral Lower Half
Rear Admiral Lower Half

Navy Ranks » Captain RankCAPT PayCAPT Rank HistoryPromotion Information

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

Navy Captain
Navy O-6 Captain Navy Military Ranks
Class Senior Officer
Abbr. CAPT
Title Captain
Paygrade O-6 (DoD Paygrade)
OF-6 (NATO Code)
Basic Pay $7,332/mo

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

  • Command of a Navy cruiser or larger ship
  • Command of a ballistic missile submarine, or a squadron of attack submarines
  • Command of a Naval Air Wing based on an Aircraft Carrier or amphibious assault vessel
  • Command of a variety of shore-based installations such as bases or Naval schools
  • Senior staff leadership positions in a variety of contexts
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 21st rank in the United States Navy , 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 $7,332.

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. Johnson is "Captain", or written as CAPT Johnson. 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 $7,332.00 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 Navy Captain may be eligible for multiple types of allowances and bonus pay including education allowance, hostile fire pay, food allowance, and more.

For full details on the Navy's Captain compensation and retirement plan, visit the 2022 Navy Captain Pay Chart. A full table of the Navy's current paygrades are available at the Navy Pay Chart.

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

Air Force Colonel - Equivalent to Captain
Air Force
Coast Guard Captain - Equivalent to Captain
Coast Guard
Marine Corps Colonel - Equivalent to Captain
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 Captain 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.