Australian Defence Force ranks

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The Australian Defence Force's (ADF) ranks of officers and enlisted personnel in each of its three service branches of the Royal Australian Navy (RAN), the Australian Army, and the Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) inherited their rank structures from their British counterparts. The insignia used to identify these ranks are also generally similar to those used in the British Armed Forces.

The following tables show the "equivalent rank and classifications" for the three services, as defined in the ADF Pay and Conditions Manual.[1] "Equivalent rank" means the corresponding rank set out under Regulation 8 of the Defence Force Regulations 1952.[2]

Commissioned officer ranks[edit]

NATO
Code
Aus/US
Code
Navy Army RAAF
Flag/General/Air Officers[1][3]
OF-10 O-11[a] Admiral of the Fleet Field Marshal Marshal of the RAAF
OF-9 O-10[b] Admiral General Air Chief Marshal
OF-8 O-9[c] Vice Admiral Lieutenant General Air Marshal
OF-7 O-8 Rear Admiral Major General Air Vice Marshal
OF-6 O-7[d] Air Commodore
Senior officers
OF-6 O-7[d] Commodore Brigadier
OF-5 O-6[d] Captain (RAN) Colonel Group Captain
OF-4 O-5[d] Commander Lieutenant Colonel Wing Commander
OF-3 O-4[d] Lieutenant Commander Major Squadron Leader
Junior officers
OF-2 O-3[d] Lieutenant Captain (Army) Flight Lieutenant
OF-1 O-2 Sub Lieutenant Lieutenant Flying Officer
OF-1 O-1 Acting Sub Lieutenant Second Lieutenant Pilot Officer
O-0 Midshipman Officer Cadet
Cadets
Officer Cadet/Staff Cadet(RMC) -

Warrant officer ranks[edit]

NATO
Code
Aus/US
Code
Navy Army RAAF
Warrant officers
OR-9 E-9 Warrant officer Warrant Officer Warrant officer
Warrant Officer Class 1
OR-8 E-8 Warrant Officer class 2
Note that the most senior warrant officer in each of the three services is appointed either Warrant Officer of the Navy (WO-N), Regimental Sergeant Major of the Army (RSM-A), or Warrant Officer of the Air Force (WOFF-AF), as appropriate. These are appointments, not ranks; these three people hold the rank of Warrant Officer in their respective services. However, they each wear special insignia, different from the rank insignia worn by other warrant officers. Although the RAN and the RAAF have the one warrant officer rank, the army has three. The soldier appointed Regimental Sergeant Major of the Army (RSM-A) holds the unique Army rank of warrant officer (introduced in 1991 and senior to WO1). The Army rank of WO2 is the same pay grade as the RAN and the RAAF's most senior NCOs, (i.e. chief petty officer and flight sergeant).[1] As Army WO2s hold a Warrant, while the RAN CPO and RAAF FSGT do not, WO2s are addressed as "Sir" or "Ma'am" by junior ranks, which extends to OCDTs and SCDTs.

Non-commissioned officer ranks[edit]

NATO
Code
Aus/US
Code
Navy Army RAAF
Senior non-commissioned officers
OR-8 E-8 Chief Petty Officer Flight Sergeant
OR-7 E-7 Staff sergeant[1][e]
OR-6 E-6 Petty officer Sergeant Sergeant
Junior non-commissioned officers
OR-5 E-5 Leading Seaman Corporal/Bombardier Corporal
OR-4 E-4 Lance Corporal/Bombardier

Other ranks[edit]

NATO
Code
Aus/US
Code
Navy Army RAAF
Enlisted
OR-3 E-3 Able seaman Private (Proficient) Leading Aircraftman/Leading Aircraftwoman
OR-2 E-2 Seaman Private Aircraftman/Aircraftwoman

Insignia[edit]

Commissioned officers[edit]

The rank insignia for commissioned officers for the navy, army and air force respectively.

Rank group General/flag officers Field/senior officers Junior officers Officer cadet
 Royal Australian Navy[5]
Australia-Navy-OF-10-collected.svg Australia-Navy-OF-9-collected.svg Australia-Navy-OF-8-collected.svg Australia-Navy-OF-7-collected.svg Australia-Navy-OF-6-collected.svg Australia-Navy-OF-5-collected.svg Australia-Navy-OF-4-collected.svg Australia-Navy-OF-3-collected.svg Australia-Navy-OF-2-collected.svg Australia-Navy-OF-1-collected.svg Australia-Navy-OF-1-collected.svg Royal Australian Navy OF (D).svgUK-Navy-OFD.svg
Admiral of the fleet Admiral Vice admiral Rear admiral Commodore Captain Commander Lieutenant commander Lieutenant Sub lieutenant Acting sub lieutenant Midshipman


 Australian Army[5]
Australian Army OF-10.svg Australian Army OF-9.svg Australian Army OF-8.svg Australian Army OF-7.svg Australian Army OF-6.svg Australian Army OF-5.svg Australian Army OF-4.svg Australian Army OF-3.svg Australian Army OF-2.svg Australian Army OF-1b.svg Australian Army OF-1a.svg Australian Army OF (D) (OCDT).svg Australian Army OF (D) (SCDT).svg
Field marshal General Lieutenant general Major general Brigadier Colonel Lieutenant colonel Major Captain Lieutenant Second lieutenant Officer cadet Staff cadet


 Royal Australian Air Force[5]
Australia RAAF OF-10.svg Australia RAAF OF-9.svg Australia RAAF OF-8.svg Australia RAAF OF-7.svg Australia RAAF OF-6.svg Australia RAAF OF-5.svg Australia RAAF OF-4.svg Australia RAAF OF-3.svg Australia RAAF OF-2.svg Australia RAAF OF-1b.svg Australia RAAF OF-1a.svg Australia RAAF OF (D).svg
Marshal of the RAAF Air chief marshal Air marshal Air vice-marshal Air commodore Group captain Wing commander Squadron leader Flight lieutenant Flying officer Pilot officer Officer cadet


Rank group General/flag officers Field/senior officers Junior officers Officer cadet

Enlisted[edit]

The rank insignia for enlisted personnel for the navy, army and air force respectively.

Rank group Senior NCOs Junior NCOs Enlisted
 Royal Australian Navy[5]
Warrant Officer of the Navy Warrant Officer Chief Petty Officer Petty Officer Leading Seaman Able Seaman Seaman
Warrant Officer of the Navy Warrant officer Chief petty officer Petty officer Leading seaman Able seaman Seaman


 Australian Army[5]
Regimental sergeant major of the army Warrant officer class 1 Warrant officer class 2 Sergeant Corporal Lance corporal No insignia
Regimental sergeant major of the army Warrant officer class 1 Warrant officer class 2 Sergeant Corporal Lance corporal Private
(or equivalent)


 Royal Australian Air Force[5]
Warrant Officer of the Air Force Warrant Officer Flight Sergeant Sergeant Corporal Leading Aircraftman Aircraftman
Warrant Officer of the Air Force Warrant officer Flight sergeant Sergeant Corporal Leading aircraftman Aircraftman
Rank group Senior NCOs Junior NCOs Enlisted

History of Royal Australian Navy enlisted ranks[edit]

The historical changes to rank insignia for enlisted personnel of the navy.[6]

Rank group Senior NCOs Junior NCOs Enlisted
 Royal Navy
(1827-1853)
UK Petty officer 2nd class 1853.svg British Royal Navy OR-4.svg No insignia
Petty Officer 1st class Petty Officer 2nd class Able Seaman Ordinary Seaman
 Royal Navy
(1853-1890)
UK Chief petty officer 1857.svg UK Petty officer 1st class 1853.svg UK Petty officer 2nd class 1853.svg British Royal Navy OR-4.svg No insignia
Chief Petty Officer Petty Officer 1st class Petty Officer 2nd class Leading Seaman Able Seaman Ordinary Seaman
 Royal Navy
(1890-1901)
Arm badge replace by lapel badges UK Petty officer 1st class 1853.svg UK Petty officer 2nd class 1853.svg British Royal Navy OR-4.svg No insignia
Chief Petty Officer Petty Officer 1st class Petty Officer 2nd class Leading Seaman Able Seaman Ordinary Seaman
Rank group Senior NCOs Junior NCOs Enlisted
 Royal Australian Navy
(1901-1907)
Arm badge replace by lapel badges UK Petty officer 1st class 1901.svg UK Petty officer 2nd class 1901.svg British Royal Navy OR-4.svg No insignia
Chief Petty Officer Petty Officer 1st class Petty Officer 2nd class Leading Seaman Able Seaman Ordinary Seaman
 Royal Australian Navy
(1907-1925)
Arm badge replace by lapel badges UK Petty officer 1st class 1901.svg
British Royal Navy OR-4.svg No insignia
Chief Petty Officer Petty Officer Leading Seaman Able Seaman Ordinary Seaman
 Royal Australian Navy
(1925-1953)
Three cuff buttons UK Petty officer 1st class 1901.svg
British Royal Navy OR-4.svg No insignia
Chief Petty Officer Petty Officer Leading Seaman Able Seaman Ordinary Seaman
Rank group Senior NCOs Junior NCOs Enlisted
 Royal Australian Navy
(1953-1966)
British Royal Navy OR-7.svg British Royal Navy OR-6.svg
British Royal Navy OR-4.svg No insignia
Chief Petty Officer Petty Officer Leading Seaman Able Seaman Ordinary Seaman
 Royal Australian Navy
(1966-1971)
Royal Australian Navy OR-8.svg Royal Australian Navy OR-6.svg
Royal Australian Navy OR-5.svg No insignia
Chief Petty Officer Petty Officer Leading Seaman Able Seaman Ordinary Seaman
 Royal Australian Navy
(1971-1974)
Royal Australian Navy OR-9a.svg Royal Australian Navy OR-8.svg Royal Australian Navy OR-6.svg
Royal Australian Navy OR-5.svg No insignia
Warrant Officer Chief Petty Officer Petty Officer Leading Seaman Able Seaman Ordinary Seaman
Rank group Senior NCOs Junior NCOs Enlisted
 Royal Australian Navy
(1974-1991)
Royal Australian Navy OR-9a.svg Royal Australian Navy OR-8.svg Royal Australian Navy OR-6.svg
Royal Australian Navy OR-5.svg No insignia
Warrant Officer Chief Petty Officer Petty Officer Leading Seaman Able Seaman Seaman
 Royal Australian Navy
(1991-1993)
Royal Australian Navy OR-9a.svg Royal Australian Navy OR-8.svg Royal Australian Navy OR-6.svg
Royal Australian Navy OR-5.svg Royal Australian Navy OR-3.svg Royal Australian Navy OR-2.svg
Warrant Officer Chief Petty Officer Petty Officer Leading Seaman Able Seaman Seaman
 Royal Australian Navy
(1993-Present)
Royal Australian Navy OR-9b.svg Royal Australian Navy OR-9a.svg Royal Australian Navy OR-8.svg Royal Australian Navy OR-6.svg
Royal Australian Navy OR-5.svg Royal Australian Navy OR-3.svg Royal Australian Navy OR-2.svg
Warrant Officer of the Navy Warrant Officer Chief Petty Officer Petty Officer Leading Seaman Able Seaman Seaman
Rank group Senior NCOs Junior NCOs Enlisted

History of Australian Army enlisted ranks[edit]

Rank group Senior NCOs Junior NCOs Enlisted
 Australian Army
(-2019)
Regimental sergeant major of the army Warrant officer class 1 Warrant officer class 2 Staff sergeant Sergeant Corporal Lance corporal No insignia
Regimental sergeant major of the army Warrant officer class 1 Warrant officer class 2 Staff sergeant Sergeant Corporal Lance corporal Private
(or equivalent)
 Australian Army
(2019-Present)
Regimental sergeant major of the army Warrant officer class 1 Warrant officer class 2 Sergeant Corporal Lance corporal No insignia
Regimental sergeant major of the army Warrant officer class 1 Warrant officer class 2 Sergeant Corporal Lance corporal Private
(or equivalent)

See also[edit]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ O-11 ranks - admiral of the fleet, field marshal and marshal of the RAAF - may only be used in wartime and for honorary appointments.
  2. ^ O-10 ranks - The Chief of the Defence Force is the sole O-10 ranked appointment.
  3. ^ O-9 ranks - The Vice Chief of the Defence Force, Chief of Joint Operations, Chief of the Capability Development Executive and Chiefs of the Navy, Army and Air Force comprise the six O-9 ranked appointments.
  4. ^ Chaplains:
    • O-3 ranks - Chaplains are commissioned officers without rank, however they are accorded the rank of Captain (O-3) for reasons of protocol, ceremonial occasions and for saluting purposes.
    • O-4/5 ranks - The more senior division 2 and 3 chaplains are accorded the rank of Major (O-4) and Lieutenant Colonel (O-5), respectively.
    • O-6 ranks - The three Principal Chaplains representing the three major Christian denominations: Catholic, Anglican, and Protestant, are equivalent to a Colonel (O-6).
    • O-7 ranks - The heads of the various churches and religions officially associated to the ADF's Religious Advisory Committee, such as the Anglican and Catholic Bishops of the Military, are equivalent to a Brigadier (O-7).
  5. ^ Without prejudice to existing holders of the rank, the Army has ceased to promote soldiers to the rank of staff sergeant.[4]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d "ADF Pay and Conditions Manual (PACMAN)". People Strategies and Policy (AL13 ed.). Department of Defence, Australian Government. November 2009. p. 1.
  2. ^ Defence Force Regulations 1952.
  3. ^ Badges of Rank and Special Insignia. Commonwealth of Australia - Department of Defence. September 2003. pp. 2–3.
  4. ^ "Australian Army Rank Structure, Other Ranks". army.gov.au. Australian Army. 25 October 2019. Archived from the original on 27 February 2020. Retrieved 25 January 2020.
  5. ^ a b c d e f "Badges of rank" (PDF). defence.gov.au. Department of Defence (Australia). Retrieved 31 May 2021.
  6. ^ "A History of Australian Navy Health Sailor Uniforms and Ranks (Part 3)". Retrieved 23 February 2021.

External links[edit]