Officer Candidate is a rank in some militaries of the world that is an appointed position while a person is in training to become an officer. More often than not, an Officer Candidate is a civilian who has applied to join the military directly as an officer. Officer Candidates are, therefore, not considered the same status as enlisted personnel.
In the United States armed forces, Officer Candidate is an actual rank of the United States Navy and is denoted by an officer’s uniform with no insignia except for a Line Office star device. Other branches of the U.S. military refer to the rank as either Officer Trainee or Officer Cadet.
United States Officer Candidates exist in a grey zone of seniority as they are technically rated above an E-9 and below an O-1 on the military pay scale. Officer Candidates, however, are typically trained by senior enlisted and, in the first few weeks of indoctrination, treated much the same as a new Recruit. The typical pay for a United States Officer Candidate is equal to an E-5 on the enlisted pay scale, or their current pay grade (if higher) if the Officer Candidate has prior enlisted service.