Military ranks and insignia of the Japan Self-Defense Forces

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Military of Japan
Flag of JSDF.svg
Service branches

Flag of JSDF.svg Japan Ground Self-Defense Force
Naval Ensign of Japan.svg Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force

Japan Air Self-Defense Force roundel.svg Japan Air Self-Defense Force
Manpower
Military age 18 to 27 years of age
Available for
military service
27,003,112 males, age 18–49 (2005 est.),
26,153,482 females, age 18–49 (2005 est.)
Fit for
military service
22,234,663 males, age 18–49 (2005 est.),
21,494,947 females, age 18–49 (2005 est.)
Reaching military
age annually
683,147 males (2005 est.),
650,157 females (2005 est.)
Active personnel 239,000 (ranked 24th)
Expenditures
Budget $44.3 billion (2005)
Percent of GDP 1% (2004)

After World War II, the Imperial Japanese Army and Imperial Japanese Navy were dissolved by the United States during the occupation of Japan. The symbols below represent the ranks of the Japanese Japan Ground Self-Defense Force, the Japan Air Self-Defense Force, and the Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force which have, since 1952, replaced the imperial military. The 1938–1945 Japanese military and naval ranks were phased out after World War II. The Self Defense Force breaks away from the Sino-centric tradition of non-branch-specified ranks, each SDF rank with respect to each service carries a distinct Japanese title, although equivalent titles in different branches are still similar, differing only in the use of the morphemes riku (ground) for the army ranks, kai (sea) for the naval ranks, and kuu (air) for the aviation ranks.

The pentagramic stars on some insignia represent cherry blossoms. Because Japanese soldiers take an oath to die to protect the lives and wealth of Japanese citizens, they have been compared to delicate cherry blossoms that break easily.

Ground Self-Defense Force[edit]

Ranks are listed with the lower rank at right.

Officer & Warrant Officer
(幹部・准尉)
Insignia OF-9
General
(統合・陸上幕僚長)
OF-8
Lieutenant
General

(将)
OF-7
Major
General

(将補)
OF-5
Colonel
(1佐)
OF-4
Lieutenant
Colonel
(2佐)
OF-3
Major
(3佐)
OF-2
Captain
(1尉)
OF-1
First
Lieutenant
(2尉)
OF-1
Second
Lieutenant
(3尉)
OR-9
Warrant
Officer

(准尉)
Type A
(甲階級章)
JGSDF General insignia (a).svg JGSDF Lieutenant General insignia (a).svg JGSDF Major General insignia (a).svg JGSDF Colonel insignia (a).svg JGSDF Lieutenant Colonel insignia (a).svg JGSDF Major insignia (a).svg JGSDF Captain insignia (a).svg JGSDF First Lieutenant insignia (a).svg JGSDF Second Lieutenant insignia (a).svg JGSDF Warrant Officer insignia (a).svg
Type B
(乙階級章)
JGSDF General insignia (b).svg JGSDF Lieutenant General insignia (b).svg JGSDF Major General insignia (b).svg JGSDF Colonel insignia (b).svg JGSDF Lieutenant Colonel insignia (b).svg JGSDF Major insignia (b).svg JGSDF Captain insignia (b).svg JGSDF First Lieutenant insignia (b).svg JGSDF Second Lieutenant insignia (b).svg JGSDF Warrant Officer insignia (b).svg
Miniature
(略章)
JGSDF General insignia (miniature).svg JGSDF Lieutenant General insignia (miniature).svg JGSDF Major General insignia (miniature).svg JGSDF Colonel insignia (miniature).svg JGSDF Lieutenant Colonel insignia (miniature).svg JGSDF Major insignia (miniature).svg JGSDF Captain insignia (miniature).svg JGSDF First Lieutenant insignia (miniature).svg JGSDF Second Lieutenant insignia (miniature).svg JGSDF Warrant Officer insignia (miniature).svg
Enlisted
(曹・士)
Insignia OR-8
Sergeant
Major

(曹長)
OR-7
Master
Sergeant

(1曹)
OR-6
Sergeant
First
Class

(2曹)
OR-5
Sergeant
(3曹)
OR-3
Leading
Private

(士長)
OR-2
Private
First
Class

(1士)
OR-1
Private
(2士)
Type A
(甲階級章)
JGSDF Sergeant Major insignia (a).svg JGSDF Master Sergeant insignia (a).svg JGSDF Sergeant First Class insignia (a).svg JGSDF Sergeant insignia (a).svg JGSDF Leading Private insignia (a).svg JGSDF Private First Class insignia (a).svg JGSDF Private insignia (a).svg
Type B
(乙階級章)
JGSDF Sergeant Major insignia (b).svg JGSDF Master Sergeant insignia (b).svg JGSDF Sergeant First Class insignia (b).svg JGSDF Sergeant insignia (b).svg JGSDF Leading Private insignia (b).svg JGSDF Private First Class insignia (b).svg JGSDF Private insignia (b).svg
Miniature
(略章)
JGSDF Sergeant Major insignia (miniature).svg JGSDF Master Sergeant insignia (miniature).svg JGSDF Sergeant First Class insignia (miniature).svg JGSDF Sergeant insignia (miniature).svg JGSDF Leading Private insignia (miniature).svg JGSDF Private First Class insignia (miniature).svg JGSDF Private insignia (miniature).svg

Maritime Self-Defense Force[edit]

Ranks are listed with the lower rank at right.

Officer & Warrant Officer
(幹部・准尉)
Insignia Admiral
(統合・海上
幕僚長)
Vice
Admiral
(将)
Rear
Admiral
(将補)
Captain
(1佐)
Commander
(2佐)
Lieutenant
Commander
(3佐)
Lieutenant
(1尉)
Lieutenant
Junior Grade
(2尉)
Ensign
(3尉)
Warrant
Officer
(准尉)
Type A
(甲階級章)
JMSDF Admiral insignia (a).svg JMSDF Vice Admiral insignia (a).svg JMSDF Rear Admiral insignia (a).svg JMSDF Captain insignia (a).svg JMSDF Commander insignia (a).svg JMSDF Lieutenant Commander insignia (a).svg JMSDF Lieutenant insignia (a).svg JMSDF Lieutenant Junior Grade insignia (a).svg JMSDF Ensign insignia (a).svg JMSDF Warrant Officer insignia (a).svg
Type B
(乙階級章)
JMSDF Admiral insignia (b).svg JMSDF Vice Admiral insignia (b).svg JMSDF Rear Admiral insignia (b).svg JMSDF Captain insignia (b).svg JMSDF Commander insignia (b).svg JMSDF Lieutenant Commander insignia (b).svg JMSDF Lieutenant insignia (b).svg JMSDF Lieutenant Junior Grade insignia (b).svg JMSDF Ensign insignia (b).svg JMSDF Warrant Officer insignia (b).svg
Type C
(丙階級章)
JMSDF Admiral insignia (c).svg JMSDF Vice Admiral insignia (c).svg JMSDF Rear Admiral insignia (c).svg JMSDF Captain insignia (c).svg JMSDF Commander insignia (c).svg JMSDF Lieutenant Commander insignia (c).svg JMSDF Lieutenant insignia (c).svg JMSDF Lieutenant Junior Grade insignia (c).svg JMSDF Ensign insignia (c).svg JMSDF Warrant Officer insignia (c).svg
Miniature
(略章)
JMSDF Admiral insignia (miniature).svg JMSDF Vice Admiral insignia (miniature).svg JMSDF Rear Admiral insignia (miniature).svg JMSDF Captain insignia (miniature).svg JMSDF Commander insignia (miniature).svg JMSDF Lieutenant Commander insignia (miniature).svg JMSDF Lieutenant insignia (miniature).svg JMSDF Lieutenant Junior Grade insignia (miniature).svg JMSDF Ensign insignia (miniature).svg JMSDF Warrant Officer insignia (miniature).svg
Enlisted
(曹・士)
Insignia Chief
Petty
Officer
(曹長)
Petty
Officer
1st Class
(1曹)
Petty
Officer
2nd Class
(2曹)
Petty
Officer
3rd Class
(3曹)
Leading
Seaman

(士長)
Seaman
(1士)
Seaman
Apprentice

(2士)
Type A
(甲階級章)
JMSDF Chief Petty Officer insignia (a).svg JMSDF Petty Officer 1st Class insignia (a).svg JMSDF Petty Officer 2nd Class insignia (a).svg JMSDF Petty Officer 3rd Class insignia (a).svg JMSDF Leading Seaman insignia (a).svg JMSDF Seaman insignia (a).svg JMSDF Seaman Apprentice insignia (a).svg
Type B
(乙階級章)
JMSDF Chief Petty Officer insignia (b).svg JMSDF Petty Officer 1st Class insignia (b).svg JMSDF Petty Officer 2nd Class insignia (b).svg JMSDF Petty Officer 3rd Class insignia (b).svg JMSDF Leading Seaman insignia (b).svg JMSDF Seaman insignia (b).svg JMSDF Seaman Apprentice insignia (b).svg
Type C
(丙階級章)
JMSDF Chief Petty Officer insignia (c).svg JMSDF Petty Officer 1st Class insignia (c).svg JMSDF Petty Officer 2nd Class insignia (c).svg JMSDF Petty Officer 3rd Class insignia (c).svg JMSDF Leading Seaman insignia (c).svg JMSDF Seaman insignia (c).svg JMSDF Seaman Apprentice insignia (c).svg
Miniature
(略章)
JMSDF Chief Petty Officer insignia (miniature).svg JMSDF Petty Officer 1st Class insignia (miniature).svg JMSDF Petty Officer 2nd Class insignia (miniature).svg JMSDF Petty Officer 3rd Class insignia (miniature).svg JMSDF Leading Seaman insignia (miniature).svg JMSDF Seaman insignia (miniature).svg JMSDF Seaman Apprentice insignia (miniature).svg

Air Self-Defense Force[edit]

Ranks are listed with the lower rank at right.

Officer & Warrant Officer
(幹部・准尉)
Insignia General
(統合・航空
幕僚長)
Lieutenant
General
(将)
Major
General
(将補)
Colonel
(1佐)
Lieutenant
Colonel
(2佐)
Major
(3佐)
Captain
(1尉)
First
Lieutenant
(2尉)
Second
Lieutenant
(3尉)
Warrant
Officer

(准尉)
Type A
(甲階級章)
JASDF General insignia (a).svg JASDF Lieutenant General insignia (a).svg JASDF Major General insignia (a).svg JASDF Colonel insignia (a).svg JASDF Lieutenant Colonel insignia (a).svg JASDF Major insignia (a).svg JASDF Captain insignia (a).svg JASDF First Lieutenant insignia (a).svg JASDF Second Lieutenant insignia (a).svg JASDF Warrant Officer insignia (a).svg
Type B
(乙階級章)
JASDF General insignia (b).svg JASDF Lieutenant General insignia (b).svg JASDF Major General insignia (b).svg JASDF Colonel insignia (b).svg JASDF Lieutenant Colonel insignia (b).svg JASDF Major insignia (b).svg JASDF Captain insignia (b).svg JASDF First Lieutenant insignia (b).svg JASDF Second Lieutenant insignia (b).svg JASDF Warrant Officer insignia (b).svg
Miniature
(略章)
JASDF General insignia (miniature).svg JASDF Lieutenant General insignia (miniature).svg JASDF Major General insignia (miniature).svg JASDF Colonel insignia (miniature).svg JASDF Lieutenant Colonel insignia (miniature).svg JASDF Major insignia (miniature).svg JASDF Captain insignia (miniature).svg JASDF First Lieutenant insignia (miniature).svg JASDF Second Lieutenant insignia (miniature).svg JASDF Warrant Officer insignia (miniature).svg
Enlisted
(曹・士)
Insignia Senior
Master
Sergeant
(曹長)
Master
Sergeant
(1曹)
Technical
Sergeant
(2曹)
Staff
Sergeant
(3曹)
Airman
1st Class
(士長)
Airman
(1士)
Airman
Basic
(2士)
Type A
(甲階級章)
JASDF Senior Master Sergeant insignia (a).svg JASDF Master Sergeant insignia (a).svg JASDF Technical Sergeant insignia (a).svg JASDF Staff Sergeant insignia (a).svg JASDF Airman 1st Class insignia (a).svg JASDF Airman 2nd Class insignia (a).svg JASDF Airman 3rd Class insignia (a).svg
Type B
(乙階級章)
JASDF Senior Master Sergeant insignia (b).svg JASDF Master Sergeant insignia (b).svg JASDF Technical Sergeant insignia (b).svg JASDF Staff Sergeant insignia (b).svg JASDF Airman 1st Class insignia (b).svg JASDF Airman 2nd Class insignia (b).svg JASDF Airman 3rd Class insignia (b).svg
Miniature
(略章)
JASDF Senior Master Sergeant insignia (miniature).svg JASDF Master Sergeant insignia (miniature).svg JASDF Technical Sergeant insignia (miniature).svg JASDF Staff Sergeant insignia (miniature).svg JASDF Airman 1st Class insignia (miniature).svg JASDF Airman 2nd Class insignia (miniature).svg JASDF Airman 3rd Class insignia (miniature).svg

See also[edit]

External links[edit]