Air Force Ranks (Enlisted and Officers, 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 was established on September 18th, 1947 following the conclusion of World War 2 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 and the Second World War. The modern Air Force has seen major combat actions since the Korean War 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 military 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 but can also be used as an honorary rank.
Considering a career in the United States Air Force? Then also consider United States Air Force aircraft currently in use for more information on available equipment.
Go back to the Military Ranks index page.
Airman First Class
Master Sergeant (w Diamond)
Senior Master Sergeant
Senior Master Sergeant (w Diamond)
Chief Master Sergeant
Chief Master Sergeant (w Diamond)
Command Chief Master Sergeant
Chief Master Sergeant of the Air Force
General Air Force Chief of Staff
General of the Air Force