Naval officer ranks

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Navies have military rank systems that often are quite different from those of armies or air forces. Sometimes, services that are considered parts of the navy – marine or amphibious corps – use the army-style ranks instead, while the ranks listed here are reserved for fleets.

NATO Rank Codes[edit]

To assist in the comparison of ranks in the armed forces of different countries, established NATO rank codes are used [1]. These are established codes for determining the seniority of officer and other ranks in NATO countries for a particular joint task group or command structure, although specific appointments designate a higher level of seniority over other equivalent rank codes in a given situation. Officer ranks go from OF-1 (applying to all subaltern officers below (army) captain) up to OF-10; OF(D) being a special category for trainee officers awaiting a commission. Other Ranks (those considered enlisted men in the United States forces) are classified from OR-1 to OR-9. Warrant Officers in the United States forces are a special case as single track career specialists between the enlisted and officer ranks in terms of seniority, and have no NATO rank code. The system should not be confused with the pay grades used in the US military. While countries outside the NATO command structure (including some NATO member countries such as France) do not strictly fall into this classification structure and there may be incidences of overlap (particularly in ranks between countries) the codes still provide a useful gauge in determining what ranks are broadly equivalent.

Flag officers[edit]

These are the highest ranks. Promotion to a rank above OF-10 is now rare and usually reserved for wartime. Fleet Admiral is an example of such a rank.

Note that there is doubt about rank equivalency in countries that have Fleet Admirals but no Commodores, such as the former German Empire and Russia - often it is considered that in these countries a Fleet Admiral equates to an OF-9 rank, an Admiral to OF-8, a Vice Admiral to OF-7, and a Counter/Rear Admiral to OF-6 (i.e. the ranks all move down one grade). The Royal New Zealand Navy ranks of Admiral and Vice-Admiral are generally only used in times of war.

Country OF-10 OF-9 OF-8 OF-7 OF-6
Albania   Admiral Nënadmiral Kundëradmiral  
Argentina   Almirante Vicealmirante Contraalmirante Comodoro de Marina
Australia Admiral of the fleet Admiral Vice admiral Rear admiral Commodore
Belgium   Admiraal (in Dutch)
amiral (in French)
Vice-admiraal (in Dutch)
vice-amiral (in French)
Divisieadmiraal (in Dutch)
amiral de division (in French)
Flottieljeadmiraal (in Dutch)
amiral de flottille (in French)
Brazil Almirante Almirante-de-esquadra Vice-almirante Contra-almirante  
Bulgaria Admiral na flota Admiral Viceadmiral Kontraadmiral Komodor
Canada   Admiral (in English)
Amiral (in French)
Vice-admiral (in English)
Vice-Amiral (in French)
Rear-admiral (in English)
Contre-Amiral (in French)
Commodore (in English)
Commodore (in French)
Chile Almirante Vicealmirante Contralmirante Comodoro
China   Shang jiang (上將) Zhong jiang (中將) Shao jiang (少將) Da xiao (大校)
Croatia Admiral flote Admiral Viceadmiral Kontraadmiral Komodor
Denmark   Admiral Viceadmiral Kontreadmiral Flottilleadmiral
Finland   Amiraali (in Finnish)
Amiral (in Swedish)
Vara-amiraali (in Finnish)
Viceamiral (in Swedish)
Kontra-amiraali (in Finnish)
Konteramiral (in Swedish)
Lippueamiraali (in Finnish)
Flottiljamiral (in Swedish)
(literally: Flotilla admiral)
France Amiral de France Amiral Vice-amiral d'escadre Vice-amiral Contre-amiral
Germany   Admiral Vizeadmiral Konteradmiral Flottillenadmiral
Germany 1935-1945 Großadmiral Generaladmiral Admiral Vizeadmiral Konteradmiral
Germany 1871-1918 Großadmiral   Admiral Vizeadmiral Konteradmiral
Greece Αρχιναύαρχος (Archinavarchos) Ναύαρχος (Navarchos) Αντιναύαρχος (Antinavarchos) Υποναύαρχος (Hyponavarchos) Αρχιπλοίαρχος (Archiploiarchos)
Indonesia Laksamana Besar
(literally: Grand Admiral)
Laksamana Laksamana Madya Laksamana Muda Laksamana Pertama
Israel Rav-aluf Aluf Tat-aluf
Italy ammiraglio ammiraglio di squadra
con
incarichi speciali
ammiraglio di squadra

ammiraglio ispettore capo

ammiraglio di divisione

ammiraglio ispettore

contrammiraglio
Imperial Japanese Navy Kaigun Gensui Kaigun Taisho Kaigun Chujo Kaigun Shosho
Japan Maritime Self Defense Force Kaijō-Bakuryōchō海上幕僚長 Kaishō海将 Kaishō-ho海将補
Latvia   Admirālis Viceadmirālis Kontradmirālis Flotiles admirālis
Malaysia Laksamana Armada
(literally: Admiral of the fleet)
Laksamana Laksamana Madya Laksamana Muda Laksamana Pertama
Mexico Comandante Supremo de Las Fuerzas Armadas Almirante Secretario de Marina Almirante Vicealmirante Contralmirante
Netherlands Admiraal Luitenant-admiraal Vice-admiraal Schout-bij-nacht Commandeur
New Zealand Admiral of the fleet Admiral Vice admiral Rear admiral Commodore
Nigeria Admiral of the fleet Admiral Vice-admiral Rear-admiral Commodore
Norway   Admiral Viseadmiral Kontreadmiral Flaggkommandør
Philippines Pangkaragatang Admiral Admiral Vice admiral Rear admiral Commodore
Poland   Admirał

Admirał floty[1]

Wiceadmirał Kontradmirał  
Portugal Almirante da Armada Almirante Vice-almirante Contra-almirante Comodoro
Romania   Amiral Viceamiral Contraamiral Contraamiral de flotilă
Russia Адмирал флота
(Admiral flota)
Адмирал
(Admiral)
Вице-адмирал
(Vitse-admiral)
Контр-адмирал
(Kontr-admiral)
-
Singapore     Vice admiral Rear admiral
(two stars)
Rear admiral
(one star)
South Africa   Admiral
Admiraal (in Afrikaans)
Vice admiral
Vise-admiraal (in Afrikaans)
Rear admiral
Skout-admiraal (in Afrikaans)
Rear admiral (junior grade)
Skout-admiraal (JR) (in Afrikaans)
Soviet Union Адмирал флота Советского Союза
(Admiral flota Sovietskogo Soyuza)

Адмирал флота
(Admiral flota)

Адмирал
(Admiral)
Вице-адмирал
(Vitse-admiral)
Контр-адмирал
(Kontr-admiral)
-
Spain Capitán general Almirante general Almirante Vicealmirante Contraalmirante
Sweden - Amiral Viceamiral Konteramiral Flottiljamiral[2]
(literally: Flotilla admiral)
Thailand Chom Phon Ruea
(Admiral of the fleet)
Phon Ruea Ek
(Admiral)
Phon Ruea Tho
(Vice admiral)
Phon Ruea Tri
(Rear admiral)
Nawa Ek Phiset
(Special captain)
Turkey Büyük amiral Deniz kuvvetleri komutanı

Oramiral

Koramiral Tümamiral Tuğamiral
United Kingdom Admiral of the fleet Admiral Vice-admiral Rear-admiral Commodore
(not actually a flag officer)
United States Fleet Admiral Admiral Vice admiral Rear admiral
(upper half)
Rear admiral
(lower half)
Ukraine   Admiral Vice-admiral Kontr-admiral  
Country OF-10 OF-9 OF-8 OF-7 OF-6

Other officers[edit]

In most navies, Captain is the common address to commanding officers of a naval ship, regardless of their actual rank. As a rank, naval ranks of captain are almost always senior to army captains. Exceptions are the Polish Navy and the Republic of Singapore Navy, where "captain" refers to the same rank in the navy as in the army. In many navies, the concepts of army captain and ship's lieutenant are merged into the rank of "captain-lieutenant". Examples of this are Germany, Russia, Portugal, Denmark and Norway.

Common rank titles used are:

Many naval rank systems ultimately derive from either British, French or Spanish naval usage.

Generally speaking, naval ranks systems derived from French and Spanish usage use the names of different classes of ship (corvette, frigate, ship-of-the-line) in their rank titles. This is also the case in some other navies, e.g. two German naval ranks, those of "Corvette Captain" and "Frigate Captain".

Naval rank systems derived from British usage use the rank "captain" exclusively for the highest rank of ship's captain (i.e. of the largest class of ship) and use the rank "lieutenant" exclusively for the highest rank of ship's lieutenant (i.e. of the largest class of ship). In such navies, the captains and lieutenants of smaller ships are therefore unlikely to have the naval rank of "captain" or "lieutenant" respectively; and furthermore a naval "captain" is therefore equivalent to an army colonel, and a naval "lieutenant" to an army captain.

Country OF-5 OF-4 OF-3 OF-2 OF-1
Albania Kapitan i Rangut të Parë Kapitan i Rangut të Dytë Kapitan i Rangut te Tretë Kapitan Lejtnant Lejtnant Nënlejtnant  
Argentina Capitán de navío Capitán de fragata Capitán de corbeta Teniente de navío Teniente de fragata Teniente de corbeta Guardiamarina
Australia Captain Commander Lieutenant Commander Lieutenant Sub Lieutenant Acting Sub Lieutenant Midshipman
Austro-Hungarian Empire Linienschiffskapitän Fregattenkapitän Korvettenkapitän Linienschiffsleutnant Fregattenleutnant Korvettenleutnant
Belgium Kapitein-ter-zee
Capitaine de vaisseau
Fregatkapitein
Capitaine de frégate
Korvetkapitein
Capitaine de corvette

Luitenant-ter-zee 1ste klasse
Lieutenant de vaisseau 1ère classe

Luitenant-ter-zee
Lieutenant de vaisseau
Vaandrig-ter-zee
Enseigne de vaisseau
Vaandrig-ter-zee 2de klasse
Enseigne de vaisseau de 2ème classe
 
Brazil Capitão-de-Mar-e-Guerra Capitão-de-Fragata Capitão-de-Corveta Capitão-Tenente Primeiro-Tenente Segundo-Tenente Guarda-Marinha
Bulgaria Kapitan parvi rang Kapitan vtori rang Kapitan treti rang Kapitan-leytenant Starshi leytenant Leytenant Mladshi leytenant
Canada Captain
Capitaine de Vaisseau
Commander
Capitaine de Frégate
Lieutenant-Commander
Capitaine de Corvette
Lieutenant
Lieutenant de Vaisseau
Sub-Lieutenant
Enseigne de Vaisseau de 1ère Classe
Acting Sub-Lieutenant
Enseigne de Vaisseau de 2ème Classe
Naval Cadet
Aspirant de marine
Chile Capitan de Navio Capitan de Fragata Capitan de Corbeta Teniente Primero Teniente Segundo Subteniente Guardiamarina
China Shang Xiao (上校) Zhong Xiao (中校) Shao Xiao (少校) Shang Wei (上尉) Zhong Wei (中尉) Shao Wei (少尉) Xue Yuan (學員)
Croatia Kapetan bojnog broda Kapetan fregate Kapetan korvete Poručnik bojnog broda Poručnik fregate Poručnik korvete  
Denmark Kommandør Kommandør-kaptajn Orlogskaptajn Kaptajnløjtnant Premierløjtnant Løjtnant  
Finland Kommodori
Kommodor
Komentaja
Kommendör
Komentajakapteeni
Kommendörkapten
Kapteeniluutnantti
Kaptenlöjtnant

Yliluutnantti
Premiärlöjtnant

Luutnantti
Löjtnant
Aliluutnantti
Underlöjtnant
 
France Capitaine de Vaisseau Capitaine de Frégate Capitaine de Corvette Lieutenant de Vaisseau Enseigne de Vaisseau de 1ère Classe Enseigne de Vaisseau de 2ème Classe Aspirant
Germany Kapitän zur See Fregattenkapitän Korvettenkapitän Stabskapitänleutnant

Kapitänleutnant

Oberleutnant zur See Leutnant zur See  
German Empire Kapitän zur See Fregattenkapitän Korvettenkapitän Kapitänleutnant Oberleutnant zur See Leutnant zur See  
Greece Πλοίαρχος (Ploiarchos) Αντιπλοίαρχος (Antiploiarchos) Πλωτάρχης (Plotarchis) Υποπλοίαρχος (Hypoploiarchos) Ανθυποπλοίαρχος (Anthypoploiarchos) Σημαιοφόρος (Simeoforos)  
Indonesia Kolonel Letnan Kolonel Mayor Kapten Letnan Satu Letnan Dua
Israel Aluf mishne Sgan aluf Rav seren Seren Segen Segen mishne  
Italy Capitano di Vascello Capitano di Fregata Capitano di Corvetta Primo Tenente di Vascello,

Tenente di Vascello

Sottotenente di Vascello Guardiamarina Aspirante Guardiamarina
Japan (Imperial Japanese Navy) Daisa (大佐) Chūsa (中佐) Shōsa (少佐) Taii (大尉) Chūi (中尉) Shōi (少尉) Shōi-Kouhosei (少尉候補生)
Japan Maritime Self Defense Force Ittou-kaisa 一等海佐 Nitou-kaisa 二等海佐 Santou-kaisa 三等海佐 Ittou-kaii 一等海尉 Nitou-kaii 二等海尉 Santou-kaii 三等海尉
Latvia Jūras kapteinis Komandkapteinis Komandleitnants Kapteiņleitnants Virsleitnants Leitnants  
Lithuania Jūrų kapitonas Komandoras Komandoras leitenantas Kapitonas leitenantas Vyresnysis leitenantas Leitenantas  
Malaysia Kapten Komander Leftenan Komander Leftenan Leftenan Madya Leftenan Muda Pegawai Kadet Kanan
Mexico Capitán de Navío Capitán de Fragata Capitán de Corbeta Teniente de Navío Teniente de Fragata Teniente de Corbeta Guardiamarina o 1er Maestre
Netherlands Kapitein ter zee Kapitein-Luitenant ter zee Luitenant ter zee der 1e klasse Luitenant ter zee der 2e klasse oudste categorie Luitenant ter zee der 2e klasse Luitenant ter zee der 3e klasse Adelborst
New Zealand Captain Commander Lieutenant Commander Lieutenant Sub Lieutenant Ensign Midshipman
Nigeria Captain Commander Lieutenant-Commander Lieutenant Sub-Lieutenant Acting Sub-Lieutenant Midshipman
Norway Kommandør Kommandørkaptein Orlogskaptein Kapteinløytnant Løytnant Fenrik Kadett
Philippines Admiral Kapitan Kumander Lieutenant Commander Tenyente, senior grade Tenyente, junior grade Ensign
Poland Komandor Komandor porucznik Komandor podporucznik Kapitan marynarki Porucznik marynarki Podporucznik marynarki  
Portugal Capitão-de-Mar-e-Guerra Capitão-de-Fragata Capitão-Tenente Primeiro-Tenente Segundo-Tenente Guarda-Marinha/Subtenente Aspirante
Romania Comandor Căpitan-comandor Locotenent-comandor Căpitan Locotenent Aspirant
Russia Kapitan pervogo ranga Kapitan vtorogo ranga Kapitan tret'yego ranga Kapitan-leytenant Starshiy leytenant Leytenant  Mladshiy leytenant
Singapore Colonel Lieutenant Colonel Major Captain Lieutenant Second Lieutenant Midshipman
South Africa Captain
Kaptein
Commander
Kommandeur
Lieutenant Commander
Luitenant-Kommandeur
Lieutenant
Luitenant
Sub-Lieutenant
Onderluitenant
Ensign
Vaandrig
Midshipman
Soviet Union Kapitan pervogo ranga Kapitan vtorogo ranga Kapitan tret'yego ranga Kapitan-leytenant Starshiy leytenant Leytenant  Mladshiy leytenant
Spain Capitán de navío Capitán de fragata Capitán de corbeta Teniente de navío Alférez de navío Alférez de fragata Guardiamarina
Sweden Kommendör 1. graden[3]

Kommendör

Kommendörkapten Örlogskapten Kapten Löjtnant Fänrik  
Thailand Nawa Ek (Captain) Nawa Tho (Commander) Nawa Tri (Lieutenant Commander) Ruea Ek (Lieutenant) Ruea Tho (Lieutenant Junior Grade) Ruea Tri (Sub-Lieutenant)  
Turkey Albay Yarbay Binbaşı Yüzbaşı Üsteğmen Teğmen Asteğmen
United Kingdom Commodore

Captain
Commander Lieutenant-Commander Lieutenant Sub-Lieutenant Acting Sub-Lieutenant Midshipman
United States Captain Commander Lieutenant Commander Lieutenant Lieutenant, junior grade Ensign Midshipman (USNA, ROTC, etc.)
Ukraine Kapitan I Ranhu Kapitan II Ranhu Kapitan III Ranhu Kapitan-Leitenant Starshyi Leitenant Leitenant Molodshyi Leitenant
Country OF-5 OF-4 OF-3 OF-2 OF-1

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Polish Admirał Floty was added in 2002, but, along with Admirał, both are OF-9. Contrary to its English counterpart Fleet Admiral, Admirał Floty is a lower rank.
  2. ^ Introduced on 1 July 2000, when promotions to the rank of Kommendör 1. graden ceased.
  3. ^ Promotion to the rank of Kommendör 1. graden ceased on 1 July 2000, when the new junior flag rank of Flottiljamiral was introduced.