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Navy Commander

O-5 Senior Officer, U.S. Navy
(Next) O-6 CAPTNavy Captain

Navy Ranks » Commander RankCDR PayCDR Rank HistoryPromotion Information

Rank badge of a Commander O-5 Commander - U.S. Navy Ranks

Navy Commander
Navy O-5 Commander Navy Military Ranks
Class Senior Officer
Abbr. CDR
Title Commander (last name)
Paygrade O-5 (DoD Paygrade)
OF-5 (NATO Code)
Basic Pay $6,726/mo

Commander is the first senior commissioned officer rank in the U.S. Navy, and is equivalent to the rank of Liutenant Colonel in the other Armed Services.

Commanders often serve as the captain of a small Navy vessel, such as a frigate, destroyer, or submarine. Commanders may also lead squadrons of aircraft, be placed in charge of a small shore mission, or serve on the staff of a senior officer aboard a large Naval vessel.

Commanders wear the navy-blue uniform of a full Line Officer and are the first rank permitted to wear gold-embellished cap brim, often called "scrambled eggs".

Commander is the 20th rank in the United States Navy , ranking above Lieutenant Commander and directly below Captain. A commander is a Senior Officer at DoD paygrade O-5, with a starting monthly pay of $6,726.

How do you become a Commander?

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

What is the proper way to address a Commander?

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

How much does a Commander earn?

Basic pay for an entry-level Commander with 2 or less years of experience is $6,725.70 per month.

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

In addition to a monthly basic pay salary, a Navy Commander may be eligible for multiple types of allowances and bonus pay including education allowance, housing allowance, clothing allowance, retirement benefits, and more.

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

Patch of a Commander Equivalent Ranks to the Navy's O-5 Commander

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

The Government civilian-employee equivalent of a Commander 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.