The United States Air Force has twenty two grades of enlisted airmen and officers, with most airmen enlisting at the entry-level rank of Airman Basic (AB. The modern USAF was established on September 18th, following the conclusion of World War 2 but maintains a history as far back as Prior to The table below lists all the standard ranks in the U.S. Air Force and their respective pay grades, insignias, abbreviations, and classifications. Click any rank to  ‎Senior Airman · ‎Second Lieutenant · ‎General of the Air Force · ‎Master Sergeant.


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In the early 19th century, Army infantry us air force ranks wore gold eagles, while all other Army colonels wore silver eagles.

When the Us air force ranks later decided to adopt a single color of eagles for all colonels, that single color was silver, apparently because more silver eagles than gold eagles were already in use. Lieutenant colonels received silver oak leaves next, to match the silver eagles of full colonels.

Majors were then given gold oak leaves to distinguish them from lieutenant colonels.


Once us air force ranks precedent of silver outranking gold was set, it was followed when gold bars us air force ranks later created for second lieutenants, who had no grade-specific insignia until the early 20th century. McPeak redesigned the service dress uniform to give it a more distinctive look.

His redesign replaced the metal rank insignia for officers with silver braid on the sleeves, similar to the Navy 's officer rank insignia and that of the United States Coast Guard.

United States Air Force Ranks In Order

The uniform reforms also introduced for the first time in the USAF slip-on shoulder marks on the other uniforms, using the traditional rank insignia. The promotion process is mostly similar to the process in becoming a Brigadier General.

Their rank is temporary and is removed when they end their term. The Air Force values all its servicemembers, but places Pilots in especially high regard.

It was created using most of the existing Army Air Corps that had just made significant contributions to the war effort. This termination was due in us air force ranks to the manning reductions that occurred in the post— Cold War drawdowns of the early s.

The last of the us air force ranks Sergeants" would have either been promoted or discharged under High Year Tenure by December The change in senior NCO chevrons was the first since chevrons came into being in Until that time, Master Us air force ranks had been composed of six inverted chevrons six down with none pointing up, Senior Master Sergeant six down with one up and Chief Master Sergeant six down with two up.

U.S. Air Force rank insignia

The new layout changed the insignia to the current layout see chart above. The second change, changing the star color to white, was actually two changes in one.


It added a star to the Airman through Senior Airman rank insignias where there had been none since the blue star carried by these chevrons was the same color as the us air force ranks in the stripes giving the impression that the star was not there and changing the silver star on the NCO and senior NCO chevrons to white.

There are no warrant officers in the Air Force. Naval officers us air force ranks distinctively different rank devices depending upon the uniform they're wearing.


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