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Navy CommanderO-5 CDR (Previous)

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

How to get promoted to Captain Navy Promotion to O-6 Captain

A Captain is a Senior Officer in the United States Navy at DoD paygrade O-6. This page describes how the Navy determines who is eligible for the promotion list to Captain.

Like an officer's promotion to LCDR, achieving the rank of CDR is competitive, with only 70% of LCDRs progressing forward. The officer must submit an application, once eligible, to an approval board. They must qualitatively demonstrate a history of strong leadership in assignments both at sea and at shore-based commands. They must have significant operational experience within their profession and are eligible at 15-17 years of service. Since promotion boards meet annually, officers have a limited number of chances to promote -- if they fail to promote, they hit "high year tenure" and are forced to resign at 20 years of commissioned service, which is the ordinary retirement length of service. High year tenure for O-5 varies periodically, and is usually around 25 years.

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