Army ranks and insignia of India

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Indian Armed Forces
Triservices Crest
Triservices Crest.
Military Manpower
Active troops 1,325,000 (3rd)
Reserve forces 1,155,000 (7th)
Paramilitary forces
and CAPF
1,293,300 (4th)
Indian Army Flag of Indian Army.svg
Indian Air Force Ensign of the Indian Air Force.svg
Indian Navy Naval Ensign of India.svg
Indian Coast Guard Indian Coast Guard flag.png
Paramilitary forces of India
Central Armed Police Forces
Strategic Nuclear Command
Military history of India
Air Force ranks and insignia
Army ranks and insignia
Naval ranks and insignia

The following tables present the ranks of the Indian army. These ranks generally correspond with those of Western militaries, and in particular reflect those of the British and Commonwealth armies. Traditional names for ranks are still used, as well as western names.

Field marshal[edit]

Main article: Field Marshal (India)

India has a Field marshal rank, but it is mostly ceremonial. There are no Field Marshals in the army organizational structure at present and it has been conferred on only two officers in the past, the late Field Marshal Sam Manekshaw and the late Field Marshal K M Cariappa.[citation needed]

Field Marshals hold their rank for life, and are considered to be serving officers until their death. Unlike other officers, they do not draw a pension. A Field Marshal gets the full pay of a general equal to the Chief of the Army Staff. He wears full uniform on all official occasions and runs an office in Army headquarters. He also has a dedicated secretariat of his own.[citation needed]

Ranks and Insignia[edit]

Current ranks[edit]

NATO code
OF-10 OF-9 OF-8 OF-7 OF-6 OF-5 OF-4 OF-3 OF-2 OF-1
Ranks of the Indian Army- Officer ranks
Shoulder Field Marshal of the Indian Army.svg General of the Indian Army.svg Lieutenant General of the Indian Army.svg Major General of the Indian Army.svg Brigadier of the Indian Army.svg Colonel of the Indian Army.svg Lieutenant Colonel of the Indian Army.svg Major of the Indian Army.svg Captain of the Indian Army.svg Lieutenant of the Indian Army.svg
Rank Field
General2 Lieutenant
Brigadier Colonel Lieutenant
Major Captain Lieutenant
Ranks of the Indian Army - JCOs and Other Ranks
Junior Commissioned Officer Other ranks
Shoulder Subedar Major - Risaldar Major of the Indian Army.svg Subedar - Risaldar of the Indian Army.svg Naib Subedar - Naib Risaldar of the Indian Army.svg Arm Indian Army Havildar.gif Indian Army Naik.gif Indian Army Lance Naik.gif
Rank Subedar
Subedar2 Naib
Havildar Naik Lance Naik Sepoy4

Ranks no longer in use[edit]

The rank of Second Lieutenant is no longer in use; all new officers are commissioned as Lieutenants.

The Havildar appointments of Company Quartermaster Havildar, Company Havildar Major, Regimental Quartermaster Havildar and Regimental Havildar Major are no longer used in the Indian Army and those duties are now performed by JCOs. [1][2][3]

Ranks of the Indian Army no longer in use
Officers Non-commissioned officers
Shoulder 2nd Lieutenant Indian Army.gif Arm Regimental Havildar Major.gif Regimental Quartermaster Havildar.gif Company Havildar Major.gif Company Quartermaster Havildar.gif
Rank Second

Notable holders include Second Lieutenant Arun Khetarpal and Company Quartermaster Havildar Abdul Hamid.

Other Information[edit]

Commissioned officers[edit]

Commissioned officers are the leaders of the army and command units anywhere from company to army size. Dress insignia are in gold (outlined in red for those of two-star rank and higher) and in silver for field insignia.

Ranks Insignia Notes
Field marshal National emblem over a crossed baton and saber in a lotus blossom wreath. Only two appointments have ever been made.
General National emblem over a five-pointed star, all over a crossed baton and saber. Held only by the Chairman of the Chiefs of Staff Committee or Chief of Army Staff of the Indian Army
Lieutenant general National emblem over crossed baton and saber.
Major general Five-pointed star over crossed baton and saber.
Brigadier National emblem over three five-pointed stars in a triangular formation.
Colonel National emblem over two five-pointed stars
Lieutenant Colonel National emblem over five-pointed star.
Major National emblem.
Captain Three five-pointed stars.
Lieutenant Two five-pointed stars.
Second lieutenant One Five-pointed star. The rank of second lieutenant is no longer used and all new officers are commissioned as lieutenants.

Junior commissioned officers[edit]

Junior commissioned officers are commissioned as officers from the ranks and are broadly equivalent to senior non-commissioned officers in Western armies.

Ranks Insignia
Infantry and other arms Cavalry and armour
Subedar major Risaldar major Gold national emblem with stripe
Subedar Risaldar Two gold stars with stripe
Naib subedar Naib risaldar One gold star with stripe

Non-commissioned officers[edit]

Non-commissioned officers ("NCOs") are soldiers promoted to positions of responsibility, and are broadly similar to junior non-commissioned officers in Western armies.

Ranks Insignia
Infantry and other arms Cavalry and armour
Havildar Daffadar Three rank chevrons
Naik Lance daffadar Two rank chevrons
Lance naik Acting lance daffadar Single rank chevron
Sepoy (Sipahi) / Jawan Plain shoulder badge only

Retired Officers: Form of Address[edit]

On 21 July 2014, the Indian Army issued a circular for retired personnel informing them that the correct form of addressing a retired officer is "Brigadier ABC (Retd) and not Brig (Retd) ABC".[4] The reason for this was stated as being, "Rank never retires, it is an officer that retires."[4]

See also[edit]


  1. ^
  2. ^
  3. ^ "Rules of the Raj hindering havildars' promotion". The New Indian Express. 
  4. ^ a b

External links[edit]