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Navy Vice Admiral

O-9 Flag Officer, U.S. Navy
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Navy Ranks » Vice Admiral RankVADM PayVADM Rank HistoryPromotion Information

O-9 Vice Admiral - U.S. Navy Ranks

Navy Vice Admiral
Navy O-9 Vice Admiral Navy Military Ranks
Class Flag Officer
Abbr. VADM
Title Admiral (last name)
Paygrade O-9 (DoD Paygrade)
OF-9 (NATO Code)
Basic Pay $18,096/mo

Vice Admiral is a three-star flag officer in the U.S. Navy, equivalent to the rank of Lieutenant General in the other Armed Services. The rank of Vice Admiral is temporary and generally used only in times of war.

Officers are promoted to Vice Admiral in order to fill a certain office, and may only remain in-grade for a certain amount of time. Of the 160 flag officer slots allocated to the Navy, no more then 25% may hold a rank with three stars or more.

A Vice Admiral commands a regional Navy fleet during an operation or war and answers directly to the Fleet Admiral and the President of the United States.

As a three-star flag officer, a Vice Admiral may fly the Vice Admiral's pennant over any ship or station on which he is serving; the flag has three white stars on a navy blue background.

Promotion to Vice Admiral is initiated with nomination of a candidate by the President of the United States from the ranks of active Rear Admirals, lower half or upper half. Nomination is based on recommendations provided by the Secretary of the Navy and the Joint Chiefs of Staff.

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.

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

  • Three-star officers must retire after 38 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
  • Once a three-star admiral's tour has ended, he has 60 days to be reappointed or promoted before they must retire.
Most vice admirals retire well before their mandatory retirement date to allow other officers the chance to fill their position. Generally, they are allowed to retire in-grade to retain their title and paygrade through retirement.

Vice Admiral is the 24th rank in the United States Navy , ranking above Rear Admiral and directly below Admiral. A vice admiral is a Flag Officer at DoD paygrade O-9, with a starting monthly pay of $18,096.

What is the proper way to address a Vice Admiral?

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

How much does a Vice Admiral earn?

Basic pay for an entry-level Vice Admiral with Over 20 years of experience is $18,096.00 per month.

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

In addition to a monthly basic pay salary, a Navy Vice Admiral may be eligible for multiple types of allowances and bonus pay including hostile fire pay, food allowance, education allowance, and more.

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

Equivalent Ranks to the Navy's O-9 Vice Admiral

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

The Government civilian-employee equivalent of a Vice 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.