Rank (also known in the U.S. Navy and Coast Guard as rate) is the hierarchical concept of authority and seniority in the U.S. military and serves as a baseline for salary rates. It is divided into three categories: (1) enlisted personnel, (2) warrant officers, and (3) commissioned officers. Within each category, more groupings can be made to further indicate function and position. Moving up in rank is known as promotion, while moving down is being demoted, but as a general rule, the level of one’s rank in each category indicates the amount of time a person has served in the military. A symbol, known as insignia, indicates the particular rank of an individual. Enlisted personnel typically wear their insignia as patches on their shoulders or ...

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