Warrant Officers 

Pay Grade Insignia Abbreviation NATO Code Rank
O-1 2nd Lt OF-1 Second Lieutenant
O-2 1st Lt OF-2 First Lieutenant
O-3 Capt OF-3 Captain
O-4 Maj OF-4 Major
O-5 Lt Col OF-5 Lieutenant Colonel
O-6 Col OF-6 Colonel
O-7 Brig Gen OF-7 Brigadier General
O-8 Maj Gen OF-8 Major General
O-9 Lt Gen OF-9 Lieutenant General
O-10 Gen OF-10 General
special Gen-USAF OF-11 General of the Air Force

The ranks are divided into three sections: company grade, field grade, and general officers. Company grade are those officers of grades O-1 to O-3. Field grade officers are those of grades O-4 to O-6. General officers are those of O-7 and above.

Currently, promotion from 2d Lt to 1st Lt is virtually guaranteed after two years of service. The promotion from 1st Lt to Captain is likewise virtually guaranteed after successfully completing another two years of service.

Promotion to Captain and above is through a board process. An officer's record is reviewed by a selection board at the Air Force Personnel Center at Randolph Air Force Base in San Antonio, Texas. This process occurs at approximately three years for promotion to Captain, and between the nine- and eleven-year mark where a certain percentage will be selected for Major. This process will repeat at the 13-16 year mark for promotion to Lieutenant Colonel and then around the twenty-year mark for promotion to Colonel.

Although the value of gold is higher than that of silver, the color silver outranks gold in United States officer insignia. This is because silver was originally the only color used, and when it was decided that additional colors were to be added, silver was chosen to outrank gold because there were more colonels with silver eagles than colonels with gold eagles.