Ensign is a military rank, the equivalent of which is used by the service organizations of many civilizations. As a traditional naval grade, ensign is the most junior line officer rank below the lieutenant grades, usually immediately under Lieutenant or Lieutenant Junior Grade.
The rank of ensign is usually the first commissioned rank assigned to new officers (such as recent graduates of Starfleet Academy). This naval rank is equivalent to the rank of second lieutenant which is found in the United States Army, Air Force, and Marine Corps.
An ensign's primary duty is professional growth, both as a leader and as an occupational specialist. Ensigns are mentored by more senior officers as well as their (nominally) subordinate Chief Petty Officers as part of their development as Starfleet leaders. As ensigns prove themselves more capable, they are considered for promotion into the lieutenant tier.