Military ranks and insignia of the Japan Self-Defense Forces

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After the end of World War II in Asia following the surrender of Japan, the Imperial Japanese Army and Imperial Japanese Navy were dissolved by the Supreme Commander for the Allied Powers during the occupation of Japan. The symbols below represent the ranks of the Japan Self-Defense Forces, the 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.

Remarks[edit]

  • An inauguration of the Chief of Staff of Joint Staff Office (Japanese: 統合幕僚長) wears Emblem of the Chief of Staff of Joint Staff Office (Japanese: 統合幕僚長章) on the left chest.
  • The published NATO code is of reference level. There is no legal provision of NATO code in the SDF.
  • The classification og rank of general officers and flag officers listed is limited to Japan. In the SDF's general officer and flag officer, there is a rank classification that matches foreign armed forces such as United States Armed Forces, which is determined by the post.  

Ground self-defense force[edit]

Ranks are listed with the lower rank at right.

Officer
(幹部)
NATO Code OF-9 OF-8 OF-7 OF-5 OF-4 OF-3 OF-2 OF-1
Rank General
陸将
(統合幕僚長および陸上幕僚長)
rikushō serve as chief of staff[1]
Lieutenant
general

陸将
rikushō[2]
Major
general

陸将補
shōho[3]
Colonel
1等陸佐
issa
Lieutenant
colonel
2等陸佐
nisa
Major
3等陸佐
sansa
Captain
1等陸尉
ichi-i
First
lieutenant
2等陸尉
ni-i
Second
lieutenant
3等陸尉
san-i
Insignia 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
Insignia 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
Insignia Miniature Type
(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
Warrant Officer & Enlisted
(准尉および曹士)
NATO Code OR-9 OR-8 OR-7 OR-6 OR-5 OR-3 OR-2 OR-1 OR-D
Rank Warrant
Officer

准陸尉
jun-i
Sergeant
major

陸曹長
sōchō
Master
sergeant

1等陸曹
issō
Sergeant
first
class

2等陸曹
nisō
Sergeant
3等陸曹
sansō
Leading
private

陸士長
sichō
Private
first
class

1等陸士
issi
Private
2等陸士
nisi
Self defence
official cadet
自衛官候補生
jiēkan-kōhosē
Insignia Type A
(甲階級章)
JGSDF Warrant Officer insignia (a).svg 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 JGSDF self defence official cadet insignia (a).svg
Insignia Type B
(乙階級章)
JGSDF Warrant Officer insignia (b).svg 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 JGSDF self defence official cadet insignia (b).svg
Insignia Miniature Type
(略章)
JGSDF Warrant Officer insignia (miniature).svg 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 No insignia

Maritime self-defense force[edit]

Ranks are listed with the lower rank at right.

Officer
(幹部)
NATO Code OF-9 OF-8 OF-7 OF-5 OF-4 OF-3 OF-2 OF-1
Rank Admiral
海将
(統合幕僚長および海上幕僚長)
kaishō serve as chief of staff
Vice
admiral

海将
kaishō
Rear
admiral

海将補
Captain
1等海佐
Commander
2等海佐
Lieutenant
commander
3等海佐
Lieutenant
1等海尉
Lieutenant
Junior grade
2等海尉
Ensign
3等海尉
Insignia 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
Insignia 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
Insignia 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
Insignia Miniature Type
(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
Warrant Officer & Enlisted
(准尉および曹士)
NATO Code OR-9 OR-8 OR-7 OR-6 OR-5 OR-3 OR-2 OR-1 OR-D
Insignia Warrant
Officer

准海尉
Chief
petty
officer

海曹長
Petty
officer
first class

1等海曹
Petty
officer
second class

2等海曹
Petty
officer
third class

3等海曹
Leading
seaman

海士長
Seaman
1等海士
Seaman
apprentice

2等海士
Self defence
official cadet
自衛官候補生
Type A
(甲階級章)
JMSDF Warrant Officer insignia (a).svg 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 JMSDF self defence official cadet insignia (a)1.svg

JMSDF self defence official cadet insignia (a)2.svg
Type B
(乙階級章)
JMSDF Warrant Officer insignia (b).svg 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 JMSDF self defence official cadet insignia (b).svg
Type C
(丙階級章)
JMSDF Warrant Officer insignia (c).svg 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 No insignia
Miniature
(略章)
JMSDF Warrant Officer insignia (miniature).svg 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 No insignia

Air self-defense force[edit]

Ranks are listed with the lower rank at right.

Officer
(幹部)
NATO Code OF-9 OF-8 OF-7 OF-5 OF-4 OF-3 OF-2 OF-1
Rank OF-9
General
空将
(統合幕僚長および航空幕僚長)
kūshō serve as chief of staff[1]
OF-8
Lieutenant
general

空将
kūshō[2]
OF-7
Major
general

空将補[3]
OF-5
Colonel
1等空佐
OF-4
Lieutenant
colonel
2等空佐
OF-3
Major
3等空佐
OF-2
Captain
1等空尉
OF-1
First
lieutenant
2等空尉
OF-1
Second
lieutenant
3等空尉
Insignia 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
Insignia 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
Insignia Miniature Type
(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
Warrant Officer & Enlisted
(准尉および曹士)
NATO Code OR-9 OR-8 OR-7 OR-6 OR-5 OR-3 OR-2 OR-1 OR-D
Rank Warrant
Officer

准空尉
Senior
master
sergeant
空曹長
Master
sergeant
1等空曹
Technical
sergeant
2等空曹
Staff
sergeant
3等空曹
Airman
first class

空士長
Airman
second class

1等空士
Airman
third class

2等空士
Self defence
official cadet
自衛官候補生
Insignia Type A
(甲階級章)
JASDF Warrant Officer insignia (a).svg 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 JASDF self defence official cadet insignia (a)1.svg

JASDF self defence official cadet insignia (a)2.svg
Insignia Type B
(乙階級章)
JASDF Warrant Officer insignia (b).svg 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 JASDF self defence official cadet insignia (b).svg
Insignia Miniature Type
(略章)
JASDF Warrant Officer insignia (miniature).svg 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 No insignia

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Another designation army general.
  2. ^ a b Another designation divisional general.
  3. ^ a b Another designation brigade general.

External links[edit]