As in the rest of the United States military, Marine Corps ranks fall into one of three categories: commissioned officer, warrant officer, and enlisted, in decreasing order of authority (excluding the Air Force, which does not currently appoint warrant officers). To standardize compensation, each rank is assigned a pay grade.

US Marine Corps Rank Insignia: Commissioned Officers

Commissioned Officers are distinguished from other officers by their commission, which is the formal written authority, issued in the name of the President of the United States, that confers the rank and authority of a Marine Officer. Commissioned officers carry the "special trust and confidence" of the President of the United States. Commissioned officer ranks are further subdivided into general officers, field officers, and company-grade officers. The Commandant of the Marine Corps and the Assistant Commandant of the Marine Corps are, by statute, 4 star ranks.

General officers
General (Gen) Lieutenant General (LtGen) Major General (MajGen) Brigadier General (BGen)
O-10 O-9 O-8 O-7
US-O10 insignia.svg
US-O9 insignia.svg
US-O8 insignia.svg
US-O7 insignia.svg

Field officers Company-grade officers
Colonel (Col) Lieutenant Colonel (LtCol) Major (Maj) Captain (Capt) First Lieutenant (1stLt) Second Lieutenant (2ndLt)
O-6 O-5 O-4 O-3 O-2 O-1
US-O6 insignia.svg
US-O5 insignia.svg
US-O4 insignia.svg
US-O3 insignia.svg

US Marine Corps Rank Insignia: Warrant Officers

Warrant Officers provide leadership and training in specialized fields and skills. Unlike most other militaries, the United States military confers warrants and commissions on its Warrant Officers, though they are generally not responsible for leadership outside of their specialty. Warrant officers come primarily from the senior Non-Commissioned Officer ranks.

A Chief Warrant Officer, CWO2-CWO5, serving in the MOS 0306 "Infantry Weapons Officer" carries a special title, "Marine Gunner", which does not replace his rank. A Marine Gunner replaces the Chief Warrant Officer insignia on the left collar with a bursting bomb insignia. Other warrant officers are sometimes informally also referred to as "Gunner".

Warrant Officers
Chief Warrant Officer-5 (CWO5) Chief Warrant Officer-4 (CWO4) Chief Warrant Officer-3 (CWO3) Chief Warrant Officer-2 (CWO2) Warrant Officer (WO) Infantry Weapons Officer
"Marine Gunner"
W5 W4 W3 W2 W1 varies
USMC WO1.svg
USMC CWO Gunner (Dress).png

US Marine Corps Rank Insignia: Enlisted

Enlisted Marines with paygrades of E-4 and E-5 are considered non-commissioned officers (NCOs) while those at E-6 and higher are considered Staff Noncommissioned Officers (SNCOs). The E-8 and E-9 levels each have two ranks per pay grade, each with different responsibilities. Gunnery Sergeants (E-7) indicate on their annual evaluations (called "fitness reports") their preferred promotional track: Master Sergeant or First Sergeant. The First Sergeant and Sergeant Major ranks are command-oriented Senior Enlisted Advisors, with Marines of these ranks serving as the senior enlisted Marines in a unit, charged to assist the commanding officer in matters of discipline, administration, and the morale and welfare of the unit. Master Sergeants and Master Gunnery Sergeants provide technical leadership as occupational specialists in their specific MOS. First Sergeants typically serve as the senior enlisted Marine in a company, battery, or other unit at similar echelon, while Sergeants Major serve the same role in battalions, squadrons, or larger units.

The Sergeant Major of the Marine Corps is a billet and special rank, conferred on the senior enlisted Marine of the entire Marine Corps, personally selected by the Commandant of the Marine Corps. It and the Marine Gunner are the only billets which rate modified rank insignia in place of the traditional rank insignia.

Staff Non-Commissioned Officers (SNCOs)
Sergeant Major of the Marine Corps Sergeant Major (SgtMaj) Master Gunnery Sergeant (MGySgt) First Sergeant (1stSgt) Master Sergeant (MSgt) Gunnery Sergeant (GySgt) Staff Sergeant (SSgt)
E-9 E-8 E-7 E-6
Non-commissioned Officers (NCOs) Junior enlisted
Sergeant (Sgt) Corporal (Cpl) Lance Corporal (LCpl) Private First Class (PFC) Private (Pvt)
E-5 E-4 E-3 E-2 E-1
no insignia

Different styles of rank insignia are worn on different Marine uniforms:

L to R: Evening Dress uniform, Dress uniform, Service Alpha coat, Service shirt, and utility pin-on insignia for a Staff Sergeant

The gold stripes on red flash are worn on the Dress Blue coat, green stripes on red flash are worn on the Service "A" uniform coat; the rank insignia are worn on the upper sleeve of both coats. The khaki uniforms use green stripes on khaki flash, and again are worn on the upper sleeves of both long and short-sleeved service shirts. Utility uniform rank insignia are black metal pins and are worn on the collars. Musicians in the United States Marine Band wear insignia with the crossed rifles replaced by a lyre to denote their lack of a combat mission; full-service Marines who are attached to other bands continue to wear their normal rank insignia.

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