Lieutenant colonel (United States)
In the United States Army, U.S. Marine Corps, U.S. Air Force and U.S. Space Force, lieutenant colonel is a field-grade officer rank, just above the rank of major and just below the rank of colonel. It is equivalent to the naval rank of commander in the other uniformed services.
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|Abbreviation||US Army: LTC|
USAF: Lt Col
|NATO rank code||OF-4|
|Next higher rank||Colonel|
|Next lower rank||Major|
The pay grade for the rank of lieutenant colonel is O-5. In the United States armed forces, the insignia for the rank are a silver oak leaf, with slight stylized differences between the version of the Army and the Air Force and that of the Navy and the Marine Corps.
Promotion to lieutenant colonel is governed by Department of Defense policies derived from the Defense Officer Personnel Management Act (DOPMA) of 1980, for officers in the Active Component, and its companion Reserve Officer Personnel Management Act (ROPMA), for officers in the Reserve Component (e.g., Reserve and National Guard). DOPMA guidelines suggest that 70 percent of majors be promoted to lieutenant colonel after serving at least three years at their present rank and after 15–17 years of cumulative commissioned service.