What Are the Different U.S. Army Ranks in Order From the Highest to the Lowest?
The U.S. Army rank hierarchy consists of 29 grades of soldiers in three main categories, including officers, warrant officers and enlisted soldiers. The highest officer rank in the Army is general, and the lowest-enlisted rank is private.
Officer ranks in the U.S. Army consist of commissioned officers and warrant officers. There are 11 commissioned officer ranks ranging from the top-level general of the Army to the entry-level officer's rank of second lieutenant. The rank of general of the Army, also known as a five-star general, is only achieved during wartime. The last general of the Army served during WWII. Other officer ranks include general, brigadier general, colonel, major and captain.
Warrant officers are appointed by the secretary of the Army and are recognized as experts in their field. Warrant officers have the same leadership responsibilities and authority as commissioned officers but within their own field of expertise. There are five warrant officer ranks ranging from chief warrant officer five to warrant officer.
Enlisted soldiers include regular soldiers and noncommissioned officers. The U.S. Army has a total of 13 enlisted ranks, ranging from sergeant major of the Army, who is the spokesman and advocate of all enlisted soldiers, to the trainee rank of private. Other enlisted ranks include master sergeant, staff sergeant, specialist and corporal.