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Promotions in your military career are key to increasing your responsibilities and your pay. If you want to stay in the military, then eventually, youll need to promote from rank to rank. The Army, the Air Force, and the Marine Corps, all have similar officer titles, which include captain and major. The promotion from captain to major is a considerable promotion in all three branches.

Captains and majors are officers in their respective military branches. Officers in any branch are required to have a college degree, as well as additional training. Much of the training is spent instructing service members in leadership and in other tactical skills they may need for their jobs. Most officers graduate from their training as a second lieutenant or an O1, which is the lowest rank for an officer.

A captain is pay grade O-3 and major is O-4. A captain is also a company level or junior officer, whereas a major is a field officer or senior officer, so the promotion from captain to major is a big deal.

A captains role depends on your branch. In the Army and Marines, a captain is generally a company commander in charge of from 62 to 190 individuals. Captains are in charge of everyday operations and usually have help from more junior officers, as well as from one or more senior, non-commissioned officers. Captains may also teach at combat schools or at other special training sessions, or they may serve as a staff officer, officers who assist, at larger level command posts.

A captains role in the Air Force is different from that of a captain in the Army or Marine Corp, because the make up of the Air Force is different. Air Force captains are still in charge of others, but often, they serve as a flight commander or they fulfill another officer role in the squadron. A squadron is the basic unit of the Air Force, and is usually made up of around 300 people. Captains are generally prepared to take on more advanced roles, as they get ready to promote.

A major in the Army and Marines is usually in charge of between 300 to 1,200 troops. They are generally executive or operations officers, but they may also lead service support or special operations units. Most Army majors attend the Armys Command and General Staff School for a 10-month training course. An Air Force major generally serves as the main staff officer of a wing, which is between 300 and 1,000 individuals.

All service members receive annual evaluations. Promotions happen, based on your years in service, as well as on your performance in these evaluations. Before promoting to major, you must have 10 years of service, and at least two years serving as a captain. Most captains, though, promote to major, after five to six years as a captain. A promotions board looks at the performance records of qualified candidates for major, and then selects the appropriate number of people to promote, based on the needs of each branch.

Generally, 80 percent of qualified captains promote to major. In 2017, though, the Air Force announced that all qualified captains would promote to major, for at least the next three to four years. This move was made to provide stability in the Air Force.

In addition to the prestige of a promotion from captain to major, there are also increases in your pay and your housing allowance. A captain with at least 10 years of experience, makes a base pay of $6,271 a month. A major with at least 10 years of experience, makes $7,052 a month. That goes up to $7,403 a month, with more than 12 years in service. Your housing allowance also increases, from $1,093 to $1,363 a month, if you dont have dependents, and from $1,297 to $1,568, if you have dependents.

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Tamara Runzel has been writing parenting, family and relationship articles since 2008. Runzel started in television news, followed by education before deciding to be a stay at home mom. She is now a mom of three and home schools her two oldest children. Runzel holds a Bachelor of Arts in communication from University of the Pacific.

Runzel, Tamara. Captain to Major Promotion.

Runzel, Tamara. (2018, June 27). Captain to Major Promotion.

Runzel, Tamara. Captain to Major Promotion last modified June 27, 2018.

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