Military ranks of Ukraine

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Armed Forces of Ukraine
Emblem of the Ukrainian Armed Forces.svg
Main branches
Emblem of the Ukrainian Ground Forces.svg Ground Forces
Emblem of the Ukrainian Air Force.svg Air Force
Emblem of the Ukrainian Navy.svg Navy
Emblem of Airmobile troops of Ukraine.svg Airmobile Forces
Other Corps
Емблема морської піхоти (2007).png Naval Infantry
Related Services
Emblem of the Ministry of Defence of Ukraine.svg Ministry of Defence
General Staff of the Ukrainian Armed Forces.svg General Staff
Геральдичний знак - емблема МВС України.svg Ministry of Internal Affairs
NSAU Logo1.svg National Space Agency
Intelligence
Security Service of Ukraine Emblem.svg Security Service
Емблема СЗРУ.png Foreign Intelligence Service
Emblem of the Defence Intelligence of Ukraine.svg Military Intelligence Service
History of the Ukrainian Military
History of Ukraine
History of Ukraine during WWII
History of Ukraine during WWI

The military ranks of Ukraine were created in March 1992 after adopting the law of Ukraine "About Universal Military Duty and Military Service". The rank structure corresponds the generic military rank structure of the Soviet Union. Ukrainian armed forces have two styles of ranks - army, which is used by ground forces as well as aerial forces, and naval - the Ukrainian Navy.

Ukraine, like the Russian Federation, eliminated the descriptor "of aviation" following the air force ranks. The rank of a serviceman of a guards unit, formation or ship may be followed by the word “guards.” The rank of a serviceman of the legal, medical or veterinary professions shall be followed by the words “of Justice,” “of the medical service,” or “of the veterinary service,” to their respective ranks. The rank of a citizen having reserve or retired status shall be followed by the words “reserve” or “retired,” respectively.[1]

Ukraine also added ranks the general of Army of Ukraine as well as admiral of Ukrainian Navy.

Current ranks[edit]

General and flag officer ranks[edit]

Flag of NATO.svg Army rank
(Ground Forces, Air Force)
Navy rank
Shoulder insignia Rank name Shoulder insignia
Rank name Sleeve insignia
OF-10 UA OF10-GenArmy 2009.jpg General of Army of Ukraine
Генерал армії України
(Heneral armii Ukrainy)
No equivalent
OF-9 UA OF9-ColGen 1991-GF.png UA OF9-ColGen 2009.jpg Colonel general
Генерал-полковник
(Heneral-polkovnyk)
Ukraine Admiral shoulderboard.svg Admiral
Адмірал
(Admiral)
OF-9 UN.png
OF-8 UA OF8-LtGen 1991-GF.png UA OF8-LtGen 2009.jpg General-lieutenant
Генерал-лейтенант
(Heneral-leitenant)
Ukraine Vice Admiral shoulderboard.svg Vice-admiral
Віце-адмірал
(Vitse-admiral)
OF-8 UN.png
OF-7 UA OF7-MajGen-1991-GF.png UA OF7-MajGen 2009.jpg General-major
Генерал-майор
(Heneral-maior)
Ukraine Counter Admiral shoulderboard.svg Counter-admiral
Контр-адмірал
(Kontr-admiral)
OF-7 UN.png

Officer ranks[edit]

Flag of NATO.svg Army rank
(Ground Forces, Air Force)
Navy rank
Shoulder insignia Rank name Shoulder insignia Rank name Sleeve insignia
Senior officers (Старший офіцерський склад)
OF-5 UA-Polkovnyk.gif UA OF5-Col 2009.jpg Colonel
Полковник
(Polkovnyk)
UA-CPT1-NAV.jpg Captain, 1st rank
Капітан 1-го рангу
(Kapitan 1-ho ranhu)
OF-5 UN.png
OF-4 UA-Pidpolkovnyk.gif UA OF4-LtCol 2009.jpg Lieutenant colonel (lieutenant colonel)
Підполковник
lieutenant colonel
UA-CPT2-NAV.jpg Captain, 2nd rank
Капітан 2-го рангу
(Kapitan 2-ho ranhu)
OF-4 UN.png
OF-3 UA-Major.gif UA OF3-Maj 2009.jpg Major
Майор
(Maior)
UA-CPT3-NAV.jpg Captain, 3rd rank
Капітан 3-го рангу
(Kapitan 3-ho ranhu)
OF-3 UN.png
Junior officers (Молодший офіцерський склад)
OF-2 UA-Kapitan.gif UA AF OF2-Cap 2009.jpg Captain
Капітан
(Kapitan)
UA-CLT-NAV.jpg Captain-lieutenant
Капітан-лейтенант
(Kapitan-leitenant)
OF-2 UN.png
OF-1 UA-Star.Leitenant.gif UA OF1a-FstLt 2009.jpg First lieutenant
Старший лейтенант
(Starshyi leitenant)
UA-SLT-NAV.jpg First lieutenant
Старший лейтенант
(Starshyi leitenant)
OF-2 UN lt.png
UA-Leitenant.gif UA OF1b-Lt 2009.jpg Lieutenant
Лейтенант
(Leitenant)
UA-LT-NAV.jpg Lieutenant
Лейтенант
(Leitenant)
OF-1 UN.png
UA-Molod.Leitenant.gif UA OF1c-SubLt 2009.jpg Second Lieutenant
Молодший лейтенант
(Molodshyi leitenant)
UA-JLT-NAV.jpg Lieutenant
Молодший лейтенант
(Molodshyi leitenant)
OF-1 UN lt.png

Enlisted ranks[edit]

Flag of NATO.svg Army rank
(Ground Forces, Air Force)
Navy rank
Shoulder insignia Rank name Shoulder insignia Rank name
Sergeants and starshinas (Сержантсько-старшинський склад)
OR-9 Star.praporsthik ukraine-army 07.png UA-CWO-GSB.jpg Senior praporshchik (sergeant major)
Старший прапорщик
(Starshyi praporshchyk)
Starshyi michman ukraine-navy 07.gif Senior midshipman
Старший мічман
(Starshyi michman)
Praporshchyk.png UA-WOF-GSB.jpg Praporshchik (master sergeant)
Прапорщик
(Praporshchyk)
Praporschik ukraine-army 06.gif midshipman
Мічман
(Michman)
OR-8 Starshuna.png UA-MSGT-GSB.jpg Starshina (first sergeant)
Старшина
(Starshyna)
Golov.korabel.starsh.ukraine-navy 05.gif Chief ship starshina
Головний корабельний старшина
(Holovnyy korabelnyi starshyna)
OR-7 Star. Serzhant.png UA-SSGT-GSB.jpg Senior sergeant (sergeant first class)
Старший сержант
(Starshyi serzhant)
Starshina Головний старшина st-UKR.png Chief starshina
Головний старшина
(Holovnyi starshyna)
OR-6 Serzhant.png UA-SGT-GSB.jpg Sergeant (staff sergeant)
Сержант
(Serzhant)
Starshina 1 ukraine-navy 04.gif Starshina, 1st class
Старшина 1-ої статті
(Starshyna 1-oi statti)
OR-4 Molod. Serzhant.png UA-JSGT-GSB.jpg Junior sergeant (sergeant)
Молодший сержант
(Molodshyi serzhant)
Starshina 2 st-UKR.gif Starshina, 2nd class
Старшина 2ої статті
(Starshyna 2-oi statti)
Privates (Рядовий склад)
OR-2 Star. Soldat.png UA-PFC-GSB.jpg Senior soldier
Старший солдат
(Starshyi soldat)
Starsh.matros ukraine-navy 02.gif Senior matrose
Старший матрос
(Starshyi matros)
OR-1 Soldat Ukrainian army.png UA-PVT-GSB.jpg Soldier
Солдат
(Soldat)
Matros ukraine-navy 01.gif Matros]
Матрос
(Matros)

History of Ukrainian military ranks[edit]

The first half of the twentieth century[edit]

Category Ranks of the Army of the UNR Rank of the UGA, 1918 Ranks of the UIA (УПА) Rank of the
Ukrainian Soviet Army, 1919
Equivalent rank
(USA)
Collar
insignia[2]
Army rank, 1920 Naval rank, 1918 Army rank, 1944 Naval rank, 1944
General officers

Генеральна старшина
general starshina
-
No equivalent
No equivalent
No equivalent
No equivalent
Admiral of the Fleet
Адмірал флоту
(Admiral flotu)
Commander of the front
Комфронта
(Komfronta)
RA A-AF F9 1935.svg
General of the army
and
fleet admiral
14 УНР 30-03-1920 Генерал-пoлкoвник.svg
Colonel general
Генерал-полковник
(Heneral-polkovnyk)
Admiral
Адмірал
(admiral)
14 UKR Адмiрал 15-07-1918.svg14 UKR Адмiрал 15-07-1918 (Рукав).svg
Centurion general
Генерал-сотник
(Heneral-sotnyk)
15 УГА Ґенеральний сотник.svg
Colonel general
Генерал-полковник
(Heneral-polkovnyk)
Admiral
Адмірал
(admiral)
Army commander
Командарм
(Komandarm)
RA A-AF F8 1935.svg
General
and
admiral
13 УНР 30-03-1920 Генерал-пoручник.svg
Lieutenant general
Генерал-поручник
(Heneral-poruchyk)
Vice-admiral
Віце-адмірал
(Vitse-admiral)
13 UKR Вiце-адмiрал 15-07-1918.svg13 UKR Вiце-адмiрал 15-07-1918 (Рукав).svg
Lieutenant general
Генерал-поручник
(Heneral-poruchyk)
14 УГА Ґенеральний поручник.svg
General major
Генерал-майор
(Heneral-mayor)
Vice-admiral
Віце-адмірал
(Vitse-admiral)
Corps commander
Комкор
(Komkor)
RA A-AF F7 1935.svg
Lieutenant general
and
vice admiral
12 УНР 30-03-1920 Генерал-хорунжий.svg
Ensign general
Генерал-хорунжий
(Heneral-Khorunzhiy)
Counter-admiral
Контр-адмірал
(Kontr-admiral)
12 UKR Контр-адмiрал 15-07-1918.svg12 UKR Контр-адмiрал 15-07-1918 (Рукав).svg
Platoon general
Генерал-чотар
(Heneral-chotar)
13 УГА Ґенеральний четар.svg
Counter-admiral
Контр-адмірал
(Kontr-admiral)
Division commander
Комдив
(Komdiv)
RA A-AF F6 1935.svg
Major general
and
rear admiral (upper half)
Ensign general
Генерал-хорунжий
(Heneral-Khorunzhiy)
Brigade commander
Комбриг
(Kombrig)
RA A-AF F6 1935.svg
Brigadier general
and
rear admiral (lower half)
Mace officers
Булавна старшина
Bulawa Starshina
11 УНР 30-03-1920 Полковник.svg
Colonel
Полковник
(Polkovnyk)
Captain, 1st rank
Капітан 1-го рангу
(Kapitan 1-ho ranhu)
11 UKR Капiтан 1 ранги 15-07-1918.svg11 UKR Капiтан 1 ранги 15-07-1918 (Рукав).svg
Colonel
Полковник
(Polkovnyk)
12 УГА Полковник.svg
Colonel
Полковник
(Polkovnyk)
Captain-lieutenant
Капітан-лейтенант
(Kapitan-leytenant)
Regiment commander
or
Polkovnik
Комполка or Полковник
(Kompolka or Polkovnik)
RA A-AF F2 1935.svg
Colonel
and
Captain
10 УНР 30-03-1920 Пiдполковник.svg
Sub-colonel
Підполковник
(Pidpolkovnyk)
Captain, 2nd rank
Капітан 2-го рангу
(Kapitan 2-ho ranhu)
10 UKR Капiтан 2 ранги 15-07-1918.svg10 UKR Капiтан 2 ранги 15-07-1918 (Рукав).svg
Sub-colonel
Підполковник
(Pidpolkovnyk)
11 УГА Пiдполковник.svg
Sub-colonel
Підполковник
(Pidpolkovnyk)
Battalion commander
Комбат
(Kombat)
RA A-AF F1a-K5 1935.svg
Lieutenant colonel
and
commander
Ataman
Отаман
(Otaman)
10 УГА Отаман.svg
Major
Майор
(Mayor)
Battalion commander assistant
Помкомбат
(Pomkombat)
Major
and
Lieutenant commander
Junior officers

Молодша старшина
Junior Starshina
09 УНР 30-03-1920 Сотник.svg
Centurion
Сотник
(Sotnyk)
Senior lieutenant
Старший лейтенант
(Starshiy leytenant)
09 UKR Старший лейтенант 15-07-1918.svg09 UKR Старший лейтенант 15-07-1918 (Рукав).svg
Centurion
Сотник
(Sotnyk)
09 УГА Сотник.svg
Centurion
Сотник
(Sotnyk)
Senior lieutenant
Старший лейтенант
(Starshiy leytenant)
Company commander
Комроты
(Komroty)
RA A-AF F1-2-K4 1935.svg
Captain
and
lieutenant
08 УНР 30-03-1920 Пoручник.svg
Lieutenant
Поручник
(Poruchyk)
Lieutenant
Поручник
(Poruchyk)
08 УГА Поручник.svg
Lieutenant
Поручник
(Poruchyk)
Lieutenant
Лейтенант
(Leytenant)
Company commander assistant
Помкомроты
(Pomkomroty)
First lieutenant
and
lieutenant (junior grade)
07 УНР 30-03-1920 Хoрунжий.svg
Ensign
Хорунжий
(Khorunzhiy)
Lieutenant
Лейтенант
(Leytenant)
08 UKR Лейтенант 15-07-1918.svg08 UKR Лейтенант 15-07-1918 (Рукав).svg
Chotar
Чотар
(Chotar)
07 УГА Четар.svg
Ensign
Хорунжий
(Khorunzhiy)
Junior lieutenant
Молодший лейтенант
(Molodshiy leytenant)
Platoon commander
Комвзвода
(Komvzvoda)
RA A-AF F1c-K3 1935.svg
Second lieutenant
and
ensign
Ensign
Хорунжий
(Khorunzhiy)
06 УГА Хорунжий.svg
Sub-officers

Підстаршина
sub-starshina
06 УНР 30-03-1920 Підxoрунжий.svg
Sub-ensign
Підхорунжий
(Pidkhorunzhiy)
Midshipman
Мічман
(Michman)
07 UKR Мiчман 15-07-1918.svg07 UKR Мiчман 15-07-1918 (Рукав).svg
Sub-ensign
Підхорунжий
(Pidkhorunzhiy)
Sub-ensign
Підхорунжий
(Pidkhorunzhiy)
Sub-ensign
Підхорунжий
(Pidkhorunzhiy)
Starshina
Старшина
(Starshina)
RA A-AF R7-K2 1935.svg
Sergeant major
05 УНР 30-03-1920 Бунчужний.svg
Brigadier
Бунчужний
(Bunchuzhnyi)
Mace senior dean
Булавний старший десятник
(Bulavniy starshiy desiatnyk)
05 УГА Булавний старший десятник.svg
Bunchuzhniy
Бунчужний
(Bunchuzhniy)
First sergeant
04 УНР 30-03-1920 Чoтoвий.svg
Platoon leader
Чотовий
(Chotovyi)
Senior dean
Старший десятник
(Starshiy desiatnyk)
04 УГА Старший десятник.svg
Platoon leader
Чотовий
(Chotovyi)
Senior dean
Старший десятник
(Starshiy desiatnyk)
Assistant of platoon commander
Помкомвзвода
(Pomkomvzvoda)
RA A-AF R6-K2 1935.svg
Sergeant first class
03 УНР 30-03-1920 Рoйoвий.svg
Squad leader
Ройовий
(Royovyi)
Dean
Десятник
(Desiatnyk)
03 УГА Десятник.svg
Squad leader
Ройовий
(Royovyi)
Dean
Десятник
(Desiatnyk)
Squad commander
Комот
(Komot)
RA A-AF R4-K1 1935.svg
Sergeant
Herald
Вістун
(Vistun)
Cossacks, sailors, privates
Козаки/Моряки/Рядовики
02 УНР 30-03-1920 Гурткoвий.svg
Team leader
Гуртковий
(Hurtkovyi)
Ship garde-marine
Корабельний ґардемарин
(Korabelniy gardemaryn)
06 UKR Гардемарiн 15-07-1918.svg06 UKR Гардемарiн 15-07-1918 (Рукав).svg
Senior rifleman
or
senior strelet
Старший стрілець
(Starshiy strilets)
01 УГА Старший стрілець.svg
Senior Cossack
Старший козак
(Starshiy kozak)
Matrose-Herald
Матрос-вістун
(Matros-vistun)
Redarmyman
Красноармеец
(Krasnoarmeyets)
Private first class
01 УНР 30-03-1920 Козак.svg
Cossack
Козак
(Kozak)
Rifleman or strelet
Стрілець
(Strilets)
Cossack
Козак
(Kozak)
Matrose
Матрос
(Matros)
Private

Modern Ukraine[edit]

The independent Ukraine inherited the ranks of the Soviet Union. But there were some changes. The rank of "Єфрейтор" (efreitor) was changed to the "senior soldier" and the rank of private was changed to the "soldier". Also, marshall ranks and the category of praporshchyks/midshipmen were abolished.

New experimental insignia of 2009[edit]

The first graduates of the Training Centre for Sergeants of the Armed Forces of Ukraine in Kharkiv at once became the first professional sergeants, who clothed shoulder straps with a fundamentally new insignia.[3]

The new insignia of the ground forces and the Air Force of Ukraine
(from general of the army to senior soldier)
The new insignia of the Ukrainian Naval Force
(from admiral to junior lieutenant)
New Military ranks of Ukraine.jpg
New Naval ranks of Ukraine.jpg

This innovation was aimed at the NATO standards. Until 2009, Ukrainian soldiers used a military rank insignia of the Soviet model. Before the innovation, for example, a Ukrainian major general could be confused with an ordinary major, as they both had only one star on the Soviet straps. The new straps of major general have two stars, like in the most NATO countries.[4] Also, the new system of military insignia makes possible to introduce new ranks, such as brigade general and new types of sergeant. New straps of generals have crossed maces (bulawas), which are kleinods (regalia) of Hetman, colonel and Otaman of the Host.

These experimental insignia never came into wide use and were abandoned shortly afterwards. Up until 2015 the Armed Forces kept using the Soviet-style insignia and rank system, albelt in the case of the Ground Forces and the Air Force the old insignia stayed with the officer corps while 2009 proposal for NCO insignia gained wider acceptance and thus replaced the Soviet insignia.

Sergeant major (the post of chief sergeant)[edit]

Chief sergeant of a branch of the armed forces is a projected post in Ukraine. The chief sergeant is a person who know almost all issues what relate to non-commissioned officers. Therefore, the chief sergeant of a branch of the armed forces may be adviser to the head of the appropriate level - for example, the commander of land forces of Ukraine. Now, the Ministry of Defence is working to change the statute and, possibly, the new post will be introduced in three or four years.[5] In airmobile units there are also posts of chief sergeant of the division and chief sergeant of the brigade.

2015 reforms[edit]

Late July 2015 the President Petro Poroshenko stated that Ukraine needed to introduce new military ranks that meet Ukrainian military traditions "and corresponds to the structure of NATO military ranks".[6] Still, the proposed system just replicates the Soviet hierarchy of military ranks and has no relation to the NATO system whatsoever - the only innovation being of a purely decorative character, namely, the appearance and composition of the shoulder strap insignia.

This reform will, at long last, bring the rank insignia of the Ukrainian armed forces in line with the rank systems of its NATO partners and the rest of the world, while also, if successful, bring it also to the traditions of Cossacks in Ukraine and the Ukrainian independence armies, the Ukrainian People's Army of the Russian Civil War and the Ukrainian War of Independence and the Second World War-era Ukrainian Insurgent Army.[7]

Project of the new insignia of the ground forces and the Air Force of Ukraine
(Old ranks system)
Project of the new insignia of the ground forces and the Air Force of Ukraine
(Expanded ranks system)
Military ranks of Ukraine 2015.jpg
Military ranks of Ukraine 2 2015.jpg

While option 1 uses the old system but with new other ranks insignia, option 2 uses a US-style insignia for enlisted ranks and NCOs plus the Brigadier general rank. In both cases, all officers use pips while the General of the Army of Ukraine has the crossed Bulawa as insignia. Early proposals had the General of the Army shoulder insignia to use the state coat of arms.

A future rank and rating insignia system is expected to be designed for the Ukrainian Navy in the coming weeks.

Since the chief sergeant position is now official, it is expected that new insignia for Air Force and Navy equivalents will be done later.

Uniforms using the revised system debuted on August 24, 2016 as Ukraine marked the silver jubilee of nationhood,[8] while matching those of its future NATO partner countries should it officially join the organization it pays tribute to the many Ukrainians who made countless sacrifices for the country through the centuries.

See also[edit]

References[edit]