Coast Guard Officer Ranks

Coast Guard Officers


Ensign 01 insignia
Ensign (ENS)(O1)

Ensigns are generally inducted after Naval Officer training and obtaining a four-year degree. Their rank is equivalent to Second Lieutenant in other branches.


Lieutenant, Junior Grade (LTJG, O2) insignia
Lieutenant Junior Grade (LTJG)(O2)

Lieutenant Junior Grades are generally promoted one year and six months after becoming an Ensign. They serve as billeted division officers.


Lieutenant (LT, O3) insignia
Lieutenant (LT)(O3)

Equivalent to captains in other branches, Lieutenants are responsible for sailors and petty officers in different divisions.


Lieutenant Commander (LCDR, O4) insignia
Lieutenant Commander (LCDR)(O4)

Usually operating as mid-ranking officers in executive and command divisions, Lieutenant Commanders are properly addressed by using the full rank.


Commander insignia
Commander (CDR)(O5)

Commander is the first Coast Guard rank to command ships or squadrons of aircraft. They may also join the staff of a senior officer aboard a large vessel.


Captain (CAPT, O6) insignia
Captain (CAPT)(O6)

Captains are given a high level of authority in a variety of stations. They generally enjoy a high degree of autonomy and must stand out over the course of several years to be promoted further.

Coast Guard Admirals


Rear Admiral Lower Half insignia
Rear Admiral Lower Half (DRML)(O7)

Reader Admiral Lower Halves generally command small flotillas of ships. They are promoted from Coast Guard officers through an intense and rigorous process.


Rear Admiral Upper Half insignia
Rear Admiral (RADM)(O8)

The highest Coast Guard rank possible during peacetime, Rear Admirals command fleets of ships and air wings. Rear Admirals may fly a special pennant over any ship or base on which they are serving.


Admiral insignia
Vice Admiral (VADM)(O9)

Only 25% of all flag officers in the Coast Guard may be three-star flag officers, Vice Admirals, during wartime. The rank is temporary.


Admiral insignia

Admiral (ADM)(O10)

The highest rank in the Coast Guard, it is used for to fill specific needs and is temporary. Admirals report directly to the president and are promoted by presidential selection.

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