Definitions for u.s. uniformed services pay grades

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  1. U.S. uniformed services pay grades

    Pay grades are used by the uniformed services of the United States to determine wages and benefits based on the corresponding military rank of a member of the services. While different titles or ranks may be used among the seven uniformed services, pay grades are uniform and equivalent between the services and can be used to quickly determine seniority among a group of members from different services. They are also essential when determining a member's entitlements such as basic pay and allowances. Pay grades are divided into three groups: enlisted, warrant officer, and officer. Enlisted pay grades begin at E-1 and finish at E-9; warrant officer pay grades begin at W-1 and finish at W-5; and officer pay grades begin at O-1 and finish at O-10. Not all of the uniformed services use all of the grades; for example, the Navy does not use the grade W-1, the Air Force discontinued use of the warrant grades in the 1960s, and both the Public Health Service and National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration do not use any of the enlisted or warrant grades in their entirety. Members in pay grades O-1, O-2, and O-3 with more than four years of prior cumulative service in an enlisted or warrant officer grade are paid increased wages using the special pay grades of O-1E, O-2E, and O-3E, respectively. This benefit does not affect their rank and is used simply for reward and incentive purposes in recognition of their prior enlisted experience.

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