Understanding military ranks in the US can be tricky, let alone their pay grades. These military ranks are portrayed on a service member’s uniform through symbols like stripes, bars, stars, and chevrons. A service member’s military-leveldetermines their responsibilities and salary.
But which rank is the highest, and how much are they paid?
Different Military Ranks
To understand military ranks, keep in mind that each service has a unique way of calling the E and O levels, their abbreviations and how they refer to symbols or emblems.
Also, military services generally stick to a similar paygrade structure. The Coast Guard and Navy structure their registered ranks in a rating system.
Highest Paying US Military Ranks
The basic salaries for service persons start relatively low, but they gradually increase depending on how long one has been in service. Promotions are another way to increase the basic salary.
The highest military rank is a “five-star general” or a 0-10. Five stars indicate it for all military services. The scheduled base pay for this rank is $16,608.30 per month. This amount is not eligible for an increase regardless of continued service.
However, since World War II, no service member has been promoted to this level, although it is still a part of the service rank system. Only nine Americans have held this rank, and the last know five-star general was Omar Bradley, who passed away in 1981.
Other High-Paying Ranks
Service members promoted to this rank include Navy Captains and “full-bird” colonels. These individuals earn a base salary of $7,139.10 per month.
These include brigadier generals and rear admirals who are chosen on specific variables, including job availability. A member selected for this rank enjoys a monthly payment of $9,414,30.
Rear admirals and major generals are former admirals and generals who earned two stars for exemplary performance. Members of this rank start with a basic salary of $11,329.50. This salary can be increased up to $15,935.40 after more than thirty years of service.
Service members in this rank include lieutenant generals and vice admirals. These members have been in service for long enough to receive maximum allowed compensation by the US code. The monthly basic pay is about $16,012.50.
While lower-ranking officers may find their base monthly pay relatively low, they are entitled to various allowances and benefits. A service member’s salary classified as an allowance is not taxable by the government.
The highest paying rank remains to be the 0-10 rank.