According to the official Army Wife Handbook, "The chain of command is a straight line that runs from the president of the United States, who serves as the commander-in-chief of the armed forces. down to the newest, lowest-ranking officer. Every member of the Army is responsible for his or her actions to the person above. Each soldier, no matter how senior, receives orders and guidance from above, and is rated on his or her performance. In addition, every soldier is responsible for providing leadership and loyalty down the chain of command."

The table above shows the sequence of enlisted, officer and warrant officer ranks along with their insignia, abbreviations and pay grades.