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Lieutenant commander (LCDR or Lt. Cmdr.) is a Junior Officer rank in the United States Navy, the United States Coast Guard, the United States Public Health Service Commissioned Corps, and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Commissioned Officer Corps (NOAA Corps), with the pay grade of O-4 and NATO rank code OF-3. When introducing a lieutenant commander their full rank should always be used; however, in general conversation they are usually called "commander" even though they are not a "full" commander (which is one rank higher). Simply "lieutenant" is never used because it is one rank lower. The predecessors of the NOAA Corps, the United States Coast and Geodetic Survey Corps (1917–1965) and the Environmental Science Services Administration Corps (1965–1970), also used the lieutenant commander rank, and the rank is also used in the United States Maritime Service and the United States Naval Sea Cadet Corps. Lieutenant commanders rank above lieutenants and below commanders. The rank is equivalent to a major in the United States Army, United States Air Force, and United States Marine Corps.
Promotion to Lieutenant Commander in the U.S. Navy is governed by United States Department of Defense policies derived from the Defense Officer Personnel Management Act of 1980. DOPMA guidelines suggest 80% of Lieutenants should be promoted to Lieutenant Commander after serving a minimum of three years at their present rank and after attaining nine to eleven years of cumulative commissioned service.[ citation needed ]
While lieutenant commander is the U.S. Navy's first commissioned officer to be selected by a board, they are still considered to be junior officers due to their origin as "lieutenant, commanding". [ citation needed ]This can be seen by lieutenant commanders not wearing the headgear embellishment (colloquially known as "scrambled eggs") on their combination covers.
The United States Coast Guard used their own rank system until World War I. In 1916, discontent grew among Coast Guard captains:By law, they ranked below a lieutenant commander in the United States Navy despite similar roles and duties. Pursuant to the Appropriations Act of 1918, the Coast Guard adopted the Navy rank structure to prevent disagreements over seniority.
There are two insignia used by lieutenant commanders. On service khakis and all working uniforms, lieutenant commanders wear a gold oak leaf collar device, similar to the ones worn by majors in the USAF and Army, and identical to that worn by majors in the Marine Corps. In all dress uniforms, they wear sleeve braid or shoulder boards bearing a single gold quarter-inch stripe between two gold half-inch strips (nominal size). In the case of officers of the U.S. Navy, above or inboard of the stripes, they wear their specialty insignia, notably a star for officers of the line, crossed oak leaves for Civil Engineer Corps.
The United States has eight federal uniformed services that commission officers as defined by Title 10 and subsequently structured and organized by Title 10, Title 14, Title 32 and Title 42 of the U.S. Code.
Lieutenant commander is a commissioned officer rank in many navies. The rank is superior to a lieutenant and subordinate to a commander. The corresponding rank in most armies and air forces is major, and in the Royal Air Force and other Commonwealth air forces is squadron leader.
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Commissioned Officer Corps, known informally as the NOAA Corps, is one of eight federal uniformed services of the United States, and operates under the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), a scientific agency overseen by the Department of Commerce. The NOAA Corps is made up of scientifically and technically trained officers. It is one of only two U.S. uniformed services – the other being the United States Public Health Service Commissioned Corps – that consists only of commissioned officers, with no enlisted or warrant officer ranks. The NOAA Corps primary mission is to monitor oceanic conditions, support major waterways, and monitor atmospheric conditions.
Ensign (; Late Middle English, from Old French enseigne "mark, symbol, signal; flag, standard, pennant", from Latin insignia is a junior rank of a commissioned officer in the armed forces of some countries, normally in the infantry or navy. As the junior officer in an infantry regiment was traditionally the carrier of the ensign flag, the rank acquired the name. This rank has generally been replaced in army ranks by second lieutenant. Ensigns were generally the lowest ranking commissioned officer, except where the rank of subaltern existed. In contrast, the Arab rank of ensign, لواء, liwa', derives from the command of units with an ensign, not the carrier of such a unit's ensign, and is today the equivalent of a major general.
Officer Cadet is a rank held by military cadets during their training to become commissioned officers. In the United Kingdom, the rank is also used by members of University Royal Naval Units, University Officer Training Corps and University Air Squadron; however, these are not trainee officers with many not choosing a career in the armed forces.
A 5⁄16 inch star (9.7mm) is a miniature gold or silver five-pointed star that is authorized by the United States Armed Forces as a ribbon device to denote subsequent awards for specific decorations of the Department of the Navy, Coast Guard, Public Health Service, and National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. A gold star indicates a second or subsequent decoration, while a silver star is worn in lieu of five gold stars.
The diver insignia are qualification badges of the uniformed services of the United States which are awarded to servicemen qualified as divers. Originally, the diver insignia was a cloth patch decoration worn by United States Navy divers in the upper-portion of the enlisted service uniform's left sleeve during the first part of World War II, when the rating insignia was worn on the right sleeve. When enlisted rating insignia were shifted to the left sleeve in late World War II, the patch shifted to the upper right sleeve. The diving patch was created during World War II, and became a breast insignia in the late 1960s.
Mess dress uniform is the most formal or semi-formal type of uniforms used by military personnel, police personnel, and other uniformed services members for certain public ceremonies, receptions, celebrations or messes, and for certain private occasions. It frequently consists of a mess jacket, trousers, white dress shirt, often with standing collar and bow tie, along with orders and medals insignia. Design may depend on regiment or service branch, e.g. army, navy, air force, marines, etc. In Western dress codes, mess dress uniform is a permitted supplementary alternative equivalent to the civilian black tie for evening wear or black lounge suit for day wear - sometimes collectively called half dress - although military uniforms are the same for day and evening wear. As such, mess dress uniform is considered less formal than full dress uniform, but more formal than service dress uniform.
Identification badges of the Uniformed Services of the United States are insignia worn by service members conducting special duties, many of which can be awarded as permanent decorations if those duties are performed successfully. There are a few identification badges that are awarded to all services, others are specific to a uniform service. The Office of the President and Vice President and department/service headquarters badges are permanent decorations for those who successfully serve in those assignments. Some of the service level identification badges can be permanent decorations and others are only worn by a service member while performing specific duties, such as the Military Police Badge.
The peaked cap, service cap, barracks cover or combination cap is a form of headgear worn by the armed forces of many nations, as well as many uniformed civilian organisations such as law enforcement agencies and fire departments. It derives its name from its short visor, or peak, which was historically made of polished leather but increasingly is made of a cheaper synthetic substitute.
Admiral is a four-star commissioned officer rank in the United States Navy, the United States Coast Guard, and the United States Public Health Service Commissioned Corps with the pay grade of O-10. Admiral ranks above vice admiral and below fleet admiral in the Navy; the Coast Guard and the Public Health Service do not have an established grade above admiral. Admiral is equivalent to the rank of general in the other uniformed services. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Commissioned Officer Corps has never had an officer hold the grade of admiral. However, 37 U.S.C. § 201 of the U.S. Code established the grade for the NOAA Corps, in case a position is created that merits the four-star grade.
The Command at Sea insignia is a badge of the United States' seagoing services worn by officers on their uniforms to denote that they are the commander, or formerly a commander, of a warship. If the wearer is currently the commander of a warship, it is worn above the nametag, which is worn a quarter of an inch above the right chest pocket on a uniform shirt. Afterwards, the pin is moved to the left side of the shirt or jacket. For the commanders of land-based installations, a different but similar version known as the Command Ashore insignia instead.
In the United States Army, Marine Corps, Air Force and Space Force, colonel is the most senior field-grade military officer rank, immediately above the rank of lieutenant colonel and just below the rank of brigadier general. It is equivalent to the naval rank of captain in the other uniformed services. By law, an officer previously required at least 22 years of cumulative service and a minimum of three years as a lieutenant colonel before being promoted to colonel. With the signing of the National Defense Authorization Act of 2019, military services now have the authorization to directly commission new officers up to the rank of colonel. The pay grade for colonel is O-6.
The United States Maritime Service (USMS) was established in 1938 under the provisions of the Merchant Marine Act of 1936 as voluntary organization to train individuals to become officers and crewmembers on merchant ships that form the United States Merchant Marine per 46 U.S.C. § 51701. Heavily utilized during World War II, the USMS has since been largely dissolved and/or absorbed into other federal departments, but its commissioned officers continue to function as administrators and instructors at the United States Merchant Marine Academy and the several maritime academies.
In the United States uniformed services, captain is a commissioned-officer rank. In keeping with the traditions of the militaries of most nations, the rank varies between the services, being a senior rank in the naval services and a junior rank in the ground and air forces. Many fire departments and police departments in the United States also use the rank of captain as an officer in a specific unit.
United States Coast Guard officer rank insignia describes an officer's pay-grade. Rank is displayed on collar devices, shoulder boards, and on the sleeves of dress uniforms.
A rear admiral in the U.S. uniformed services is either of two different ranks of commissioned officers: one-star flag officers and two-star flag officers. By contrast, in most nations, the term "rear admiral" refers to an officer of two-star rank.
Lieutenant is a commissioned officer rank in many nations' navies and coast guards. It is typically the most senior of junior officer ranks. In most navies, the rank's insignia may consist of two medium gold braid stripes, the uppermost stripe featuring an executive curl in many Commonwealth of Nations; or three stripes of equal or unequal width.
In the United States Navy, United States Coast Guard, United States Public Health Service Commissioned Corps (USPHS), and National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Commissioned Officer Corps, captain is the senior-most commissioned officer rank below that of flag officer. The equivalent rank is colonel in the United States Army, Air Force, Space Force and Marine Corps.
A military tiara is a type of ceremonial headdress worn by female military officers during formal occasions. It is authorized for indoor wear by some senior, female officers of the United States' uniformed services while in mess dress. Beginning with the Marine Corps in 1973, individual service branches have gradually abolished use of the tiara. The United States Air Force does not wear tiaras and has never authorized wear of a military tiara.