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These charts represents the United States Coast Guard enlisted rank insignia. Ranks are used to describe an enlisted sailor's pay-grade. Ranks are not to be confused with "ratings",[1] which describe the Coast Guard's enlisted occupations. (The rating symbol of crossed anchors depicted in the graphics below are for a boatswain's mate.)

E-1 to E-3

Junior enlisted personnel are broken up into three definable groups with colored insignia stripes designating with which group they belong. A specialty mark may be worn above the rank insignia, which denotes training in a particular field: either as an apprentice (one that is in search of a rating to join), or as a designated striker (one that has found a rating but is not yet a petty officer). The Coast Guardsman is addressed by his group designation, if known (e.g. Fireman Jones, Airman Apprentice Smith); by the generic appellation "seaman"; or by her striker designation (SNBM Watson, FNMK Johnson).

Sleeve insignia Rank title U.S. DoD Pay grade Abbreviation NATO code
Seaman recruit E-1 SR OR-1
Seaman apprentice E-2 SA OR-2
Fireman apprentice E-2 FA OR-2
Airman apprentice E-2 AA OR-2
Seaman E-3 SN OR-3
Fireman E-3 FN OR-3
Airman E-3 AM OR-3

E-4 to E-6

E-4 to E-6 are considered to be non-commissioned officers (NCOs), and are specifically called petty officers in the Coast Guard. Their sleeve insignia is a perched eagle with spread wings (also referred to as a "crow") atop a rating mark (a rating mark, is a symbol denoting their job category, with red chevron(s) denoting their relative rank below. The Coast Guard does not follow the Navy's practice of awarding gold chevrons for twelve years of good conduct, rather all petty officer rank chevrons and service hash marks are red, whereas gold is reserved for chief petty officers. However, the rank insignia worn on collars have yellow chevrons.

Onboard cutters, the first class petty officers become members of the First Class Mess which serves as a recognition of their status at the top of the junior enlisted ranks. This manifests itself on small cutters as a few reserved tables in the galley, but may be a separate seating area or space on board a large cutter. The food is the same as that in the galley from which the other junior ranks eat. It also is a precursor to the Chief's mess. All ranks from petty officer third class and above (Including warrant and commissioned officers) also have the ability to perform an arrest while on duty.

Sleeve insignia Collar device Rank title U.S. DoD Pay grade Abbreviation NATO code
Petty officer third class E-4 PO3 OR-4
Petty officer second class E-5 PO2 OR-5
Petty officer first class E-6 PO1 OR-6

E-7 to E-9

E-7 to E-9 are still considered NCOs, but are considered a separate community within the Coast Guard, much like the U.S. Navy. They have separate berthing and dining facilities (where feasible). They serve as the day to day leaders and managers of the enlisted workforce, and routinely serve in command cadre positions. Their dress blue insignia consists of a perched eagle with spread wings atop a rating mark, with three gold chevrons and one "rocker" above; inverted five-point stars above the crow denote the rank of senior chief (one star) or master chief (two stars). However, all other uniforms use the fouled anchor device to denote rank. It consists of a fouled anchor with the Coast Guard Shield (in silver) superimposed, with stars above the anchor to indicate higher paygrades, similar to the dress blue insignia.

The proper form of address to a chief petty officer is simply "Chief". In the U.S. Coast Guard, the Chief is specifically tasked in writing with the duty of training junior officers (ensign, lieutenant (j.g.), lieutenant, and lieutenant commander). This is one of the major differences between Chiefs in the Coast Guard and their counterparts in the Army, Marine Corps, and Air Force.

Sleeve insignia Collar device Rank title U.S. DoD Pay grade Abbreviation NATO code
Chief petty officer E-7 CPO OR-7
Senior chief petty officer E-8 SCPO OR-8
Master chief petty officer E-9 MCPO OR-9

Command master chief

Upon obtaining the rank of master chief petty officer, the service member may choose to further their career by becoming a command master chief (CMC). These personnel are considered to be the senior-most enlisted servicemember within their command, and are the special assistant to the commanding officer in all matters pertaining to the health, welfare, job satisfaction, morale, utilization, advancement, and training of the command's enlisted personnel. In total, the USCG has 27 CMCs and 7 gold badge CMCs. As of April 2020, these 7 are:

Sleeve insignia Collar device Rank title U.S. DoD Pay grade Abbreviation NATO code
Command master chief petty officer E-9 CMC OR-9
Gold badge master chief petty officer E-9 CMC OR-9

Master Chief Petty Officer of the Coast Guard

The Master Chief Petty Officer of the Coast Guard (MCPOCG) is the senior enlisted person in the Coast Guard. The MCPOCG serves as the senior enlisted leader of the Coast Guard, and as an advisor to the Commandant of the Coast Guard in matters dealing with enlisted personnel and their families. The MCPOCG is also an advisor to the many boards dealing with enlisted personnel issues; may be called upon to testify on enlisted personnel issues before Congress; and maintains a liaison with enlisted spouse organizations.

Sleeve insignia Collar device Rank title US DoD Pay grade Abbreviation NATO code
Master Chief Petty Officer of the Coast Guard Special grade MCPOCG OR-9

See also


  1. ^ "Enlisted Rank Insignia". United States Coast Guard Uniform Distribution Center. Retrieved 5 December 2013.
  2. ^ "Command Master Chiefs".