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United States Navy - O-5 Commander

Yearly Base Pay

$76,720 - $130,342

Monthly Base Pay

$6,393.30 - $10,861.80

Hourly Base Pay *

$39.96 - $67.89

Navy Commander - Rank Details

Commander (CDR)

Classification Senior Officer
Abbreviation CDR
NATO Code OF-5
Service United States Navy
Address Commander (last name)
What are a Commander's Responsibilities?

A Commander is the fifth rank among officers in the USN.

A Senior Officer, a CDR may command a Frigate, Destroyer, Fast Attack Submarine, Smaller Amphibious Ship, Aviation Squadron, SEAL Team, or medium-sized shore installation. On sea-going vessels, a Commanding Officer may be referred to as "Skipper" or "Captain", which is a position but not a rank. Non-sea-going Commanding Officers may never be referred to as "Captain". Never refer to Commanding Officers as "Commander" unless that is their rank -- and if they are the vessel's Captain, even if it is their rank, never call them "Commander". This may be confusing to outsiders, but it is absolutely essential formality for sailors and officers!

In the Direct Commission Officer community, O-5s are specialized professionals with equivalent years of experience. For example, a brain surgeon with fifteen years of experience who joins the Navy may receive a commission and immediately receive the rank of CDR.

At shore-based commands, CDRs are placed in positions of varying political empowerment depending on their inherent "track" towards a flag position. O-5s who who are "on-track" are more likely to work at the Pentagon or Joint Staffs than at NROTC units, for example -- but nothing is guaranteed, and the topic is highly sensitive.

What is a Commander's Paygrade?

A Commander is considered a Senior Officer, with a paygrade of O-5. The civilian equivalents of this military rank are roughly GS-13, GS-14 under the federal government's General Schedule payscale.

On this page you can learn more about a Commander's payscale, the process of becoming a Commander, and the history of the rank in the United States Navy.

Seal of the Navy Navy Commander Pay Calculator

Starting pay for a Commander is $6,393.30 per month, with raises for experience resulting in a maximum base pay of $10,861.80 per month. You can use the simple calculator below to see basic and drill pay for a Commander, or visit our Navy pay calculator for a more detailed salary estimate.

Basic Pay:

Drill Pay:

n/a Learn more
For an O-5 Commander with
years of experience.

Use the slider below to calculate the basic pay and drill pay for an O-5 Commander at varying years in his or her military career.

2 or less years

Over 40 years

Equivalent Ranks to a Navy Commander

A Commander is a Senior Officer, with a military paygrade of O-5. The civilian equivalents of this military rank are roughly GS-13, GS-14 under the federal government's General Schedule payscale.

The table below lists the equivalent ranks of a Navy Commander, and their insignia, in the other four branches of the United States' Armed Services.

** This Document Provided By - The Civil Employee's Resource **