Marine Corps Ranks

A Marine’s rank determines their status and power. Don’t confuse this with a Marine’s “grade”, which is more of a pay grade. Every branch of the military pays the same base rates for various ranks, but they do have different names for the ranks.

In the Marine Corps, the lowest enlisted rank is called “Private”. That’s the rank of all newly enlisted Marines entering boot camp. The “grade”, however, is called E1. In the army, an E1 is also called a private. In the navy, an E1 is called a seaman recruit, and so on. Some privates will move on to pay grade E2 upon graduating boot camp. The highest pay grades is E9.

There are three categories of rank. They are: enlisted personnel, Warrant Officers, and Commissioned Officers. All Commissioned Officers outrank all Warrant Officers and all Warrant Officers outrank all enlisted Marines. This means that a E9 Warrant Officer would be outranked by an E1 Commissioned Officer.

You can tell what a Marine’s rank is by the stripes and bars on their uniform. These stripes and bars are referred to as their “insignia”.

Marine Corps Ranks Structure

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2 Responses to Marine Corps Ranks

  1. miguel says:

    so a O-1 is a higher rank than a E10

  2. Dave Christopherson says:

    this is worded incorrectly. “This means that a E9 Warrant Officer would be outranked by an E1 Commissioned Officer.”
    Warrant Officers rank from CWO2 through CWO5, Commissioned is from 0-1 to 0-10 and enlisted from E-1 to E-9.

    While it is true that an O-1 (Ensign or second LT) technically outranks a Chief Warrant Officer of any grade, in all reality -the Chief Warrant Officer due being a former enlisted man with years of acrued service and exerience is held in a much higher regard than a 0-1 – unless the 0-1 is also former enlisted. Chief Warrant Officers are also commissioned officers. Chief Warrant Officers are technical specialists and are placed in very demanding billets (jobs) where often the succcesses of the command rests directly upon him. Commanding Officers hold CWO’s in extremely high regard as they do also for the Limited Duty Officer (LDO).

    The Navy and Marines have commissioning programs for CWO/LDO.

    Selected by Merit alone on sustained superior performance and the Commanding Officers endorsement, selection for CWO comes from the Chief Petty Officer community (E-7 tyo E-9) and the LDO (Limited Duty Officer) from E-6 and above.
    Both of these programs are highly competetive with only a very small percentage of applicants selected for commissioning, normally lower than 10% of hundreds of applicants will succeed in being selected for a commission.

    LCDR David Christopherson, USN, 6330, Ret.
    Aviaiton Maintenance Limited Duty Officer

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