The USN uses Grades of 0-10 to 0-1 for its officers {0-10 being an Admiral} but these cannot be used in a comparison with other navies, only in comparison with other U.S. Armed Services. Note that a letter 'F' has been added to NATO Grades in the Table below to avoid confusion e.g. 0F-9 is a USN Admiral. 

OF-10 ranks in the United States can only be attained during war time; the last five-star officer died in 1981. This is also now generally the case in the UK, although provision is made to award them under special circumstances in peacetime (no promotions to these ranks have been made since they were generally suspended in 1997).

In the table below showing basic pay only, all money amounts are shown in GBP currency with an exchange rate of 1 GBP = 1.59 USD on the 18th April 2012. This list does not include the pay for Cadets or Midshipmen in either Service.

The figures are quite surprising and they  beg the question 'are we paying our sailors too much when compared with other navies, especially when comparing with the United States Navy?'

I think the answer is obvious, but comparison notwithstanding, our sailors of today are VERY WELL PAID!


OF-10 Admiral of the Fleet [AOF] Activated at the behest of the UK Government. Fleet Admiral (FADM) Not applicable  in R.N. unless in War Time Not applicable in R.N. unless in War Time
OF-9 Admiral (ADM)*
*If the CDS [Chief of  Defence Staff] is an Admiral then his pay range is 238,123.00 to 252,698.00
165,284.00 to 185,184.00 Admiral (ADM) Over 20 to Over 40 118,085.52 to 145,199.64
OF-8 Vice‑Admiral (VADM) 125,908.00 to 152,642.00 Vice Admiral (VADM) Over 20 to Over 40 103,278.72 to 128,112.96
OF-7 Rear‑Admiral (RADM) 108,201.00 to 119,214.00 Rear Admiral (Upper Half) (RADM) 2 or Less to Over 40   73,076.40 to 105,348.00
OF-6 Commodore (CDRE)   97,030.13 to 100,963.50 Rear Admiral (Lower Half) (RDML) 2 or Less to Over 40   60,719.28 to   90,720.12
OF-5 Captain (CAPT   81,310.00 to   89,408.00 Captain (CAPT) 2 or Less to Over 40   45,004.56 to   79,673.88
OF-4 Commander (CDR)   67,032.00 to   77,617.00 Commander (CDR) 2 or Less to Over 40   37,517.40 to   63,741.84
OF-3 Lieutenant‑Commander (LT CDR)   47,760.00 to   57,199.00 Lieutenant Commander (LCDR) 2 or Less to Over 40   32,371.20 to   54,049.44
OF-2 Lieutenant (LT)   37,916.00 to   45,090.00 Lieutenant (LT) 2 or Less to Over 40   28,461.24 to   46,304.16
OF-1 Sub‑Lieutenant (SLT)   29,587.00 to   32,703.00 Lieutenant, Junior Grade (LTJG) 2 or Less to Over 40   24,591.96 to   34,033.08
- Ensign (ENS) 2 or Less to Over 40   21,345.36 to   26,856.00

**http://www.official-documents.gov.uk/document/cm82/8297/8297.pdf then click on Chapter 3 Senior Officers pay, pensions etc. Note these have not risen since the 1st April 2010 when all civil servants pay was frozen for two years if earning were above the 21,000.00 threshold.

WO5 No Equivalent - Chief Warrant Officer Over 20 to Over 40 52,224.48 to 68,341.68
WO4 No Equivalent - Chief Warrant Officer 2 or Less to Over 40 29,372.28 to 54,711.36
WO3 No Equivalent - Chief Warrant Officer 2 or Less to Over 40 26,819.88 to 47,049.48
WO2 No Equivalent - Chief Warrant Officer 2 or Less to Over 40 23,733.84 to 39,615.96
WO1 No Equivalent - *Warranted Warrant Officer. 2 or Less to Over 40 20,833.32 to 24,878.88
*A warrant officer is an officer who can and does command, carry out military justice actions and sits on both selection and promotion boards. A US warrant officer is a single-track specialty officer.  The first promotion from the 'OR' Grades is to WO1 and a Warrant is issued and signed by the Secretary for the Navy from the Pentagon. On being promoted to WO2, a Commission is issued and signed by the President of the U.S.A., from the White House and the chief warrant officer takes the same oath as that taken by officers in the 'OF' Grades. A Chief Warrant Officer is the equivalent to the old R.N., SD Officer structure and before that, the Branch Officer. In the UK, Commissions are signed and issued from the Queen whereas the Warrants for Grades 'OR9 and 8' are issued from Whitehall and signed by the Minister of Defence.
OR9 Warrant Officer First Class [WO1] 38,600.00 to 46,753.00 Master Chief Petty Officer of the Navy



Master Chief Petty Officer


Over 10 to Over 40 35,485.56 to 55,095.72
OR8 Warrant Officer Second Class [WO2] 33,223.00 to 43,252 Senior Chief Petty Officer [SCPO] E8 Over 8 to Over 40 29,049.00 to 41,431.44
OR7 Chief Petty Officer [CPO] Chief Petty Officer [CPO] E7 2 or Less to Over 40 20,193.48 to 36,292.68
OR6 Petty Officer [PO] 32,756.00 to 36,929.00 Petty Officer First Class [PO1] E6 2 or Less to Over 40 17,466.96 to 27,052.68
OR5 No Equivalent - Petty Officer Second Class [PO2] E5 2 or Less to Over 40 16,002.00 to 22705.20
OR4 Leading Hand [LH] 27,592.00 to 33,182.00 Petty Officer Third Class [PO3] E4 2 or Less to Over 40 14,670.36 to 17808.36
OR3 No Equivalent - Seaman [SN] E3 2 or Less to Over 40 13,243.80 to 14,930.28
OR2 Able Seaman [AB] 17,515.00 to 28,940.00 Seaman Apprentice [SA] E2 2 or Less to Over 40 12,594.96 throughout
OR1 No Equivalent - Seaman Recruit [SR] E1 2 or Less Only 11,236.20 for the period

The next time you sailors drip about your poor pay, perks, allowances and conditions, please think about us old pensioners, and if you have a heart at all, you should be topping up my [our] coffers. Please email me and I will give you my bank details.  Many thanks in anticipation. Good luck and good sailing, oh, and by the way, I am only joking - you guys deserve it and I hope and trust that more will be coming your way in the future.

I wrote this page many moon's ago and during that time until July 2019 [approximately seven years] pay for those in the public services was severely limited, year on year, which included the armed forces. In July 2019, under a newly elected Tory Government headed up by Boris Johnson but planned and funded by the outgoing Prime Minister Mrs Theresa May, Service pay was advanced by an average of 2.9% which was grossly overdue but very welcomed when it came.