Military Factory

US Air Force Military Ranks, Lowest to Highest

Authored By Staff Writer | Last Updated: 1/26/2016

The United States Air Force utilizes some of the most sophisticated equipment on earth, from stealth bombers to 5th Generation Fighters.





The modern USAF formally began operations on September 18th, 1947 following the conclusion of World War 2 (September 2nd, 1945) but maintains a history as far back as 1907. Prior to 1947, the USAF operated as the "United States Army Air Forces" (USAAF) and the service contributed to both World War 1 (1914-1918) and World War 2 (1939-1945). The modern United States Air Force has seen major combat actions since the Korean War (1950-1953) and fields a variety of aircraft to cover all manner of mission types.


NOTES: The Five Star rank is generally reserved for wartime only and can also be used as an honorary rank. Formally, USAF rank abbreviations are not displayed with an ending period. Additionally, the USAF does not maintain a First Sergeant rank common to other branches of American service. Instead, the rank is denoted by the special addition of a diamond within the insignia and observed as a duty / job title. Similarly, the diamond is replaced by a star for the Chief Master Sergeant and Command Chief Master Sergeant ranks.

Grade
Insignia
Abbr
Title
Pay Scale
E-1
NONE
AB
Airman Basic
2016 Pay Scale
E-2
Amn
Airman
2016 Pay Scale
E-3
A1C
Airman First Class
2016 Pay Scale
E-4
SrA
Senior Airman
2016 Pay Scale
E-5
SSgt
Staff Sergeant
2016 Pay Scale
E-6
TSgt
Technical Sergeant
2016 Pay Scale
E-7
MSgt
Master Sergeant
2016 Pay Scale
E-7
MSgt
Master Sergeant
(w/ Diamond)
2016 Pay Scale
E-8
SMSgt
Senior Master Sergeant
2016 Pay Scale
E-8
SMSgt
Senior Master Sergeant
(w/ Diamond)
2016 Pay Scale
E-9
CMSgt
Chief Master Sergeant
2016 Pay Scale
E-9
CMSgt
Chief Master Sergeant
(w/ Diamond)
2016 Pay Scale
E-9
CCM
Command Chief Master Sergeant
2016 Pay Scale
E-9
Special
CMSAF
Chief Master Sergeant of the Air Force
2016 Pay Scale
O-1
2d Lt
Second Lieutenant
2016 Pay Scale
O-2
1st Lt
First Lieutenant
2016 Pay Scale
O-3
Capt
Captain
2016 Pay Scale
O-4
Maj
Major
2016 Pay Scale
O-5
Lt Col
Lieutenant Colonel
2016 Pay Scale
O-6
Col
Colonel
2016 Pay Scale
O-7
Brig Gen
Brigadier General
2016 Pay Scale
O-8
Maj Gen
Major General
2016 Pay Scale
O-9
Lt Gen
Lieutenant General
2016 Pay Scale
O-10
Gen
General Air Force Chief of Staff
2016 Pay Scale
Special
GAF
General of the Air Force
2016 Pay Scale
US Air Force Seal
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