Commander (United States)

Commander (United States)

Commander (United States)

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In the United States, commander is a military rank that is also sometimes used as a military title, depending on the branch of service. It is also used as a rank or title in some organizations outside of the military, particularly in police and law enforcement.

Commander as a rank

Naval rank

In the United States Navy, the United States Coast Guard, the United States Public Health Service Commissioned Corps, and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Commissioned Corps, commander (CDR) is a senior officer rank, with the pay grade of O-5. Commander ranks above lieutenant commander and below captain. Commander is equivalent to the rank of lieutenant colonel in the other uniformed services. Notably, it is the first rank at which the holder wears an embellished cap, whereas officers of the other services are entitled to embellishment at O-4 rank.

A commander in the U.S. Navy may command a frigate, destroyer, submarine, aviation squadron or small shore activity, or may serve on a staff (typically as executive officer) or as executive officer of a larger vessel. An officer in the rank of commander who commands a vessel may also be referred to as "captain" as a courtesy title, or informally referred to as "skipper".

Historically, the rank of "commander" was originally called "Master Commandant" in the U.S. Navy. This rank corresponded in function to "Master and Commander" in the Royal Navy. It was later changed in...
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