Navy EnsignO-1 Junior Officer, U.S. Navy
O-1 Ensign - Junior Officer - U.S. Navy Ranks
Ensign is the entry-level commissioned officer's rank in the U.S. Navy, and is equivilent to the rank of Second Lieutenant in the other armed services. Ensigns generally serve on naval vessels as division officers, responsible for leading a crew of seamen and petty officers in a specific division like engineering or administration. As junior officers, Ensigns also engage in on-the-job training and receive mentoring and training from superior officers and experienced petty officers.
Sailors may receive a commission as Ensign after successfully completing Naval Officer Training, and sailors joining with a four-year college degree may be eligible to enter the Navy directly at the rank of Ensign. Various programs within the Navy exist to help recruit and train Officer Candidates from the enlisted ranks.
Newly-commissioned Ensigns may be stationed directly on a ship after training, or they may continue with one or more years of specialty training depending on the current need for officers and their chosen career path.
Ensign is the 16th rank in the United States Navy , ranking above Chief Warrant Officer 5 and directly below Lieutenant Junior Grade. An ensign is a Junior Officer at DoD paygrade O-1, with a starting monthly pay of $3,477.
How do you become a Ensign?
An Ensign is most often promoted from Chief Warrant Officer 5 (CW5), although promotion from lower paygrades may occur with sufficient display of leadership and experience.
CWO-4s are selected for promotion via CWO/LDO selection boards. Selection is competitive, and CWOs are eligible roughly 12 years after warranting.
What is the proper way to address a Ensign?
The correct way to address a Ensign named Mr. Espinoza is "Ensign Espinoza or Mr./Ms. Espinoza", or written as ENS Espinoza. In addition to their rank, all Navy junior officers have a rating (job) such as Electronics Technician. This job is included in their full rank title. In formal situations, a Ensign should always be addressed by their full rank.
How much does a Ensign earn?
Basic pay for an entry-level Ensign with 2 or less years of experience is $3,477.30 per month.
A Ensign receives an automatic raise to their basic pay every one to two years. Basic pay is only a small percentage of a Ensign's final compensation package.
In addition to a monthly basic pay salary, a Navy Ensign may be eligible for multiple types of allowances and bonus pay including clothing allowance, personal money allowance, education allowance, food allowance, and more.
Equivalent Ranks to the Navy's O-1 Ensign
To learn more about the Navy's rank structure, see our complete list of Navy ranks.
The Government civilian-employee equivalent of a Ensign 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.