Navy LieutenantO-3 Junior Officer, U.S. Navy
O-3 Lieutenant - Junior Officer - U.S. Navy Ranks
Lieutenant is the third commissioned officer rank in the United States Navy, and is comparable to the rank of Captain in the other branches of the Armed Service. Lieutenants serve as Division Officers aboard Navy ships, and command groups of sailors and petty officers in various divisions including the deck department, engineering, and others.
Navy lieutenants are eligible to receive the position of First Lieutenant, a special billet that provides exceptional officers with enhanced leadership and responsibilities. A First Lieutenant often serves as second in command aboard small naval ships, including frigates and destroyers, or as the senior Division Officer on a larger vessel.
Lieutenant is the 18th rank in the United States Navy , ranking above Lieutenant Junior Grade and directly below Lieutenant Commander. A lieutenant is a Junior Officer at DoD paygrade O-3, with a starting monthly pay of $4,144.
How do you become a Lieutenant?
A Lieutenant is most often promoted from Lieutenant Junior Grade (LTJG), although promotion from lower paygrades may occur with sufficient display of leadership and experience.
Ensigns are all but guaranteed to promote to LTJG exactly two years after their commissioning date. Exceptions include officers who have received Non-Judicial Punishment for a serious offense such as a DUI.
Separately, CWO-5s who become Limited Duty Officers automatically promote to O-2. Prior-enlisted officers are ranked O2-E, with higher pay than their counterparts.
What is the proper way to address a Lieutenant?
The correct way to address a Lieutenant named Mr. Miller is "Lieutenant Miller or Mr./Ms. Miller", or written as LT Miller. In formal situations, a Lieutenant should always be addressed by their full rank.
How much does a Lieutenant earn?
Basic pay for an entry-level Lieutenant with 2 or less years of experience is $4,143.90 per month.
A Lieutenant receives an automatic raise to their basic pay every one to two years. Basic pay is only a small percentage of a Lieutenant's final compensation package.
In addition to a monthly basic pay salary, a Navy Lieutenant may be eligible for multiple types of allowances and bonus pay including food allowance, personal money allowance, retirement benefits, hazard pay, and more.
Equivalent Ranks to the Navy's O-3 Lieutenant
To learn more about the Navy's rank structure, see our complete list of Navy ranks.
The Government civilian-employee equivalent of a Lieutenant 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.