The health-related quality of life of Royal Norwegian Navy officers was compared with that of the general population and the association between health-related quality of life and the rank of the officers was estimated in a cross-sectional survey of 1,316 male officers, 25 to 62 years of age, in September 2002. Standardized scores for the SF-36 Health Survey were used for the comparison with the general population, and the mean raw scores for the eight SF-36 subscales were used for the association within the Navy study population. The health-related quality of life of the Navy officers was similar to that of the general population of Norway when adjusted for age, gender, having a job, and educational level. Higher military rank among male Navy officers was associated with better health-related quality of life when adjusted for age but not when adjusted for other sociodemographic variables and lifestyle factors. Physical activity seemed to be the most important positive lifestyle factor.