The military ranks of the Swiss Army have changed little over the centuries, except for the introduction, in 2001, of a new set of warrant officers. The rank insignia for all personnel are worn on shoulder boards with the appropriate background colour (see below). Recruits of all services do not wear any rank insignia. Once recruit school is finished, privates wear one. Designations are given in German, French, Romansh and Italian (in this order), with an English translation which is used during overseas missions. In the chart below, NATO codes are used for comparison purposes only: Switzerland is not a member of NATO, and the rank structure in the senior officer region can be seen to diverge significantly from other armies'.
Private first class (PFC) – Obergefreiter (Obgfr); appointé-chef (app chef); primappuntà; appuntato capo (app capo): the rank was introduced after a long debate on 1 January 2004. They are specialists, who take over tasks of responsibility or hold the position of a group commander. If the Obergefreiter has a commanding role, they count among the NCOs, otherwise they are enlisted personnel. A soldier may be promoted to Obergefreiter after attending the NCO course at the Swiss Army's Recruit School, during which time they are also called Anwärter. Upon very good conduct, a Gefreiter may also be promoted to Obergefreiter at a "repetition course". This promotion is not linked to extended duty (service time).
Sergeant first class (SFC) – Oberwachtmeister (Obwm); sergent chef (sgt chef); caposergent (csgt); sergente capo (sgt capo).
Sergeant major (SGM/Sgt Maj) – Feldweibel (Fw); sergent-major (sgtm); primsergent (psgt); sergente maggiore (sgtm): the lowest rank of "Higher non-commissioned officers". The Feldweibel oversees unit-level military service and operations.
Quartermaster sergeant (QMS) – Fourier (Four); fourrier (four); furier (fur); furiere (fur): the WO who administers a company's finances and subsistence.
Chief sergeant major (CSM) – Hauptfeldweibel (Hptfw); sergent-major chef (sgtm chef); capoprimsergent (cpsgt); sergente maggiore capo (sgtm capo).