Navy Lieutenant CommanderO-4 LCDR (Previous)
Lieutenant Commander

Navy Commander

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

Navy Ranks » Commander RankCDR PayCDR Rank HistoryPromotion Information

How to get promoted to Commander Navy Promotion to O-5 Commander

A Commander is a Senior Officer in the United States Navy at DoD paygrade O-5. This page describes how the Navy determines who is eligible for the promotion list to Commander.

Unlike an officer's first two career promotions, achieving the rank of LCDR is competitive, with roughly 80% of LTs progressing forward. For any given community, 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 9-11 years of service. If they fail to promote, LTs hit "high year tenure" at 12 years.

In the Navy, there are certain "billets" (or jobs) that specifically require an O-4, such as a Nuclear Submarine's Engineering Department Head. The officer is "spot promoted" as early as six years of commissioned service, and will become an O-3 again once no longer holding that billet, until promoted through a board.

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