Navy Rear Admiral Lower HalfO-7 RDML (Previous)
Rear Admiral Lower Half

Navy Rear Admiral

O-8 Flag Officer, U.S. Navy
(Next) O-9 VADMNavy Vice Admiral
Vice Admiral

Navy Ranks » Rear Admiral RankRADM PayRADM Rank HistoryPromotion Information

Rank badge of a Rear Admiral O-8 Rear Admiral - U.S. Navy Ranks

Navy Rear Admiral
Navy O-8 Rear Admiral Navy Military Ranks
Class Flag Officer
Abbr. RADM
Title Admiral (last name)
Paygrade O-8 (DoD Paygrade)
OF-8 (NATO Code)
Basic Pay $12,804/mo

Rear Admiral, sometimes referred to as Rear Admiral Upper Half, is a two-star flag officer rank in the U.S. Navy equivalent to the rank of Major General General in the other Armed Forces. Rear Admiral is the highest naval rank maintained during peacetime, as all higher ranks are temporary and linked to a specific position. A Rear Admiral generally commands a fleet of Navy ships, submarines, and air wings. As a flag officer, a Real Admiral may fly the Rear Admiral's pennant over any ship or base on which he is serving; the flag has two white stars on a navy-blue background.

Promotion to Rear Admiral is an extremely selective process, as the Navy can have only 160 active-duty flag officers at any given time. Eligible candidates, chosen from among the senior commissioned officers, are screened and recommended for promotion by a sitting board of currently active flag officers.

This list must be approved by the Secretary of the Navy, the Joint Chiefs of Staff, and the Secretary of Defense before the final choice is made from the list of eligible candidates by the President of the United States.

After nomination by the President, candidates must be approved by the U.S. Senate by majority vote before being approved for promotion upon assumption of their new duties. By tradition, all active flag officers welcome and congratulate newly confirmed flag officers with a personal letter following their promotion.

Two-star flag officers generally serve for a tour of three to four years, and a variety of mandates apply to admirals' retirement from the Navy.

  • Two-star officers must retire after five years in-grade or 35 years of total service unless promoted
  • All flag officers must retire one month after their 64th birthday
  • Flag officers can have their retirement deferred to their 66th birthday by the Secretary of Defense, and to their 68th birthday by the President
All flag officers receive their grade permanently, which allows them to retain their paygrade and title after their tour has ended and after retirement. Most rear admirals retire well before their mandatory retirement date to allow other officers the chance to fill their position.

Rear Admiral is the 23rd rank in the United States Navy , ranking above Rear Admiral Lower Half and directly below Vice Admiral. A rear admiral is a Flag Officer at DoD paygrade O-8, with a starting monthly pay of $12,804.

How do you become a Rear Admiral?

A Rear Admiral is most often promoted from Rear Admiral Lower Half (RDML), although promotion from lower paygrades may occur with sufficient display of leadership and experience. Click here to learn more about promotion to Rear Admiral.

What is the proper way to address a Rear Admiral?

The correct way to address a Rear Admiral named Mr. Gutierrez is "Admiral Gutierrez", or written as RADM Gutierrez. In formal situations, a Rear Admiral should always be addressed by their full rank.

How much does a Rear Admiral earn?

Basic pay for an entry-level Rear Admiral with 2 or less years of experience is $12,803.70 per month.

A Rear Admiral receives an automatic raise to their basic pay every one to two years. Basic pay is only a small percentage of a Rear Admiral's final compensation package.

In addition to a monthly basic pay salary, a Navy Rear Admiral may be eligible for multiple types of allowances and bonus pay including food allowance, retirement benefits, hazard pay, and more.

For full details on the Navy's Rear Admiral compensation and retirement plan, visit the 2024 Navy Rear Admiral Pay Chart. A full table of the Navy's current paygrades are available at the Navy Pay Chart.

Patch of a Rear Admiral Equivalent Ranks to the Navy's O-8 Rear Admiral

Air Force Major General - Equivalent to Rear Admiral
Air Force
Major General
Coast Guard Rear Admiral - Equivalent to Rear Admiral
Coast Guard
Rear Admiral
Marine Corps Major General - Equivalent to Rear Admiral
Marine Corps
Major General

To learn more about the Navy's rank structure, see our complete list of Navy ranks.

The Government civilian-employee equivalent of a Rear Admiral 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.