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Navy Lieutenant Commander

O-4 Junior Officer, U.S. Navy
(Next) O-5 CDRNavy Commander

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How to get promoted to Lieutenant Commander History of the Navy Lieutenant Commander Rank

A Lieutenant Commander is a Junior Officer in the United States Navy at DoD paygrade O-4.

The title "Lieutenant" has been in use for at least 500 years in most European Navies. On many ships this referred to any officer rank above Ensign but below Captain. A Captain typically ranked his LTs as "First", "Second", "Third", and so on as his appointed successors should he become incapacitated while at sea. Many foreign Navies still use this designation.

In the US Navy, the rank beyond LT is Lieutenant Commander, and LTs are not usually first or second in line to take command after the Commanding Officer except on small ships. The "First LT" is the title held by the person in charge of Deck Division -- not always an officer! (Deck Division is responsible for the more rigorous painting and preservation of the entire ship.)

Want to learn more? Read about the Navy's Lieutenant Commander rank on

History of the Navy

The Navy traces its heritage back to the Revolutionary War, when Congress funded the construction of several warships to repel the British Empire. Nowadays, much of the Navy's mission is to defend international "freedom of the seas." The Navy considers itself to be more technology-centric than the Army, but more traditional than the Air Force. Surface ships patrol the seas, conducting diplomatic relations with all nations of the world, while also enforcing the law against pirates and drug smugglers. Aircraft Carriers are the most powerful individual assets in America's arsenal, with a single unit being able move and be a major player in an armed conflict. Submarines conduct clandestine intelligence-gathering operations. SEALs are internationally reknown for counter-terrorism and irregular warfare in every possible environment. All Sailors are both warfighters and technical specialists.