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  • US Air Force Military Ranks, Lowest to Highest



    The United States Air Force utilizes some of the most sophisticated equipment on the planet, 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.


    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.


    NOTE: The Five Star rank is generally reserved for wartime only and can also be used as an honorary rank.


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