What are the ranks in the Navy Seals?

Two navy seals navigating through swamp
Two Navy SEALs navigating through swamp during the training (Photo: XY)

The ranks in the Navy SEALs do not different than those in other military units around the world. The regular ranks used in the U.S. Navy are also applied in the U.S. Navy SEAL ranks.

The ranks in the Navy SEALs have the same ranks as the other Navy units, but the different names. In the U.S. Navy, ranks are comprised of three groups: Enlisted (E-1 through E-9), Warrant Officer (CWO-1 through CWO-5), and Commissioned Officers (CO-1 through CO-5), and Admiral ranks (CO-6 through CO-10; FADM.)

Most Navy SEALs (about 2,000) are enlisted men who hold the rank of E-4 to E-9 (Petty Officer 3rd Class to Master Chief Petty Officer). They are led by roughly 500 SEAL Officers who hold the rank of O-1 to O-10 (Ensign to Admiral Chief of Naval Operations).

There are also a few SEAL Warrant Officers (perhaps 30 or so) who rank as officers above the senior-most Enlisted but lower than a Commissioned Officer.

Like every military organization, there is a command structure, which requires having different ranks. The same is true of Army Special Forces, U.S. Army Rangers, Delta Force, MARSOC, etc. There are no military organizations where everyone is the same rank.

The ranks in the Navy SEALs
The ranks in the Navy SEALs do not differentiate from the regular Navy ranks(Photo: Pinterest)

If you instead meant “Do Navy SEALs have unique ranks?” then the answer is no. The SEALs are part of the Navy and use regular Navy ranks.

Enlisted, from Lowest to Highest

E-4Insignia of a Navy Petty Officer Third ClassPetty Officer Third ClassPO3Noncommissioned Officer
E-5Insignia of a Navy Petty Officer Second ClassPetty Officer Second ClassPO2Noncommissioned Officer
E-6Insignia of a Navy Petty Officer First ClassPetty Officer First ClassPO1Noncommissioned Officer
E-7Insignia of a Navy Chief Petty OfficerChief Petty OfficerCPOSenior Noncommissioned Officer
E-8Insignia of a Navy Senior Chief Petty OfficerSenior Chief Petty OfficerSCPOSenior Noncommissioned Officer
E-9Insignia of a Navy Master Chief Petty OfficerMaster Chief Petty OfficerMCPOSenior Noncommissioned Officer

Officers, from Lowest to Highest

O-1Insignia of a Navy EnsignEnsignENSJunior Officer
O-2Insignia of a Navy Lieutenant Junior GradeLieutenant Junior GradeLTJGJunior Officer
O-3Insignia of a Navy LieutenantLieutenantLTJunior Officer
O-4Insignia of a Navy Lieutenant CommanderLieutenant CommanderLCDRJunior Officer
O-5Insignia of a Navy CommanderCommanderCDRSenior Officer
O-6Insignia of a Navy CaptainCaptainCAPTSenior Officer
O-7Insignia of a Navy Rear Admiral Lower HalfRear Admiral Lower HalfRDMLFlag Officer
O-8Insignia of a Navy Rear AdmiralRear AdmiralRADMFlag Officer
O-9Insignia of a Navy Vice AdmiralVice AdmiralVADMFlag Officer
O-10Insignia of a Navy AdmiralAdmiralADMFlag Officer

The letter and number represent the rank title and paygrade of the Navy SEAL. It’s important to note rank is different from the paygrade and signifies the level of job duties and leadership responsibilities. Every SEAL can further advance their careers by continuing education and through command and specialty opportunities.

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