A second lieutenant is a junior commissioned officer in the United States Army, Marine Corp and Air Force. In the Army and Marine Corp, a second lieutenant is in command of a platoon of between 16 and 44 soldiers. In the Air Force, a second lieutenant supervises flights of varying sizes as the flight commander or assistant flight commander, or he works in an administrative position.Continue Reading
The rank of second lieutenant is an entry-level commissioned officer rank. The insignia for a second lieutenant is a golden bar. Because of this, in the Army and Marine Corps, second lieutenants are often unofficially called "butterbars" or "nuggets."
In the Army and Marine Corps, a second lieutenant is one rank above a chief warrant officer 5 and one rank below a first lieutenant. In the Air Force, a second lieutenant is just under a first lieutenant and just above a chief master sergeant of the Air Force in rank. In the Army and Marine Corps, soldiers may enter as a second lieutenant if they have completed an ROTC program or a four-year degree and officer candidate school. During war, an exemplary enlisted soldier may receive a "battlefield commission" to second lieutenant, although this is rare.Learn more about Military