Mastering the Military Chain of Command

Part of the Basic Training For Dummies Cheat Sheet

In the military, you need to know who is in charge — in essence, the military chain of command. You should always go directly to your superior (and not your superior’s superior!). This handy guide lets you know who reports to whom.

Branch Chain of Command
Army Recruit, Drill Sergeant, Platoon Leader, Company Commander, Battalion Commander, Brigade Commander, Division Commander, Corps Commander, Army Chief of Staff, Secretary of the Army, Secretary of Defense, Commander-in-Chief (President)
Air Force Recruit, Training Instructor, Flight Chief, Squadron Commander, Group Commander, Wing Commander, AETC Commander, Air Force Chief of Staff, Secretary of the Air Force, Secretary of Defense, Commander-in-Chief (President)
Navy Recruit, Company Commander, Division Leading Chief Petty Officer, Division Officer, Military Training Assistant, Military Training Officer, Executive Officer, Commanding Officer, Chief of Naval Education and Training, Chief of Naval Operations, Secretary of the Navy, Secretary of Defense, Commander-in-Chief (President)
Marine Corps Recruit, Drill Instructor, Company Commander, Battalion Commander, Regimental Commander, Division Commander, Chief of Naval Education and Training, Commandant of the Marine Corps, Secretary of the Navy, Secretary of Defense, Commander-in-Chief (President)
Coast Guard Recruit, Company Commander, Lead Company Commander, Section Commander, Battalion Commander, Battalion Officer, Regimental Officer, Training Officer, Executive Officer, Commanding Officer, Coast Guard Commandant, Secretary of Homeland Security, Commander-in-Chief (President)
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