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Russian Empire Rank insignia until 1917
Rank insignia of the Imperial Russian Army until 1917, here Senior lieutenant.
Rank insignia of the Imperial Russian Navy (IRB) until 1917, here Senior lieutenant Navy/ Sub-lieutenant (OF1).
Rank insignia Imperial Russian Army
Introduction 17th century
Rank group Ober-ofizer
Army 1855–1917 пору́чик (Poruchik)
Navy 1909–1917 старший лейтенант (Starshy leytenant)

Poruchik (Croatian: poručnik, Czech: poručík, Polish: porucznik, Russian: пору́чик, Serbian: поручник, Slovak: poručík) is an officer rank in the lieutenant's rank group in Slavophone armed forces. The correspondent naval rank is Starshy leytenant.

Russian imperial armed forces[edit]

The Imperial Russian Army introduced this rank first in middle of the 17th century, by the Strelets so-called New Order Regiments, reflected in the Table of Ranks. A Poruchik was normally assigned to assistant commanding officer of a company, later platoon. In 1798 this particular rank designation was replaced by Lieutenant beginning with the Russian Guards, followed by other military units, and legalised by the Table of Ranks.

According to the modern day´s NATO rank system Poruchik might be comparable to OF-1b[1] ranks Second lieutenant / Pilot officer, Ensign, Leutnant / Leutnant zur See.


The rank designation Poruchik might be derived from Russian: a) поpученец; b) поручение; c) пору́чить with the meaning: a) person tasked by a special mission/ person who looks after; b) to receive an order, by order of s.b.; c) to task s.b., tasked to look after. Normally the Poruchik received military taskers/ orders in written form and was responsible to meet the particular goals and objectives anticipated.

In popular culture[edit]

Today, the term "Poruchik" invokes a strong association with a particular literary and cinematic character—Poruchik Rzhevsky. Poruchik Rzhevsky is a character from the 1940 Soviet play "Long-Long Ago" and a popular 1962 Soviet movie Hussar Ballad. As was common with popular Russian films, numerous Russian jokes in the nature of pseudo-historical anecdotes appeared in popular culture, starring Poruchik Rzhevsky or just "the Poruchik" as he was referred to in these jokes. The "poruchik" jokes primarily juxtapose the manners of the high society (to which a Poruchik would have access) with crudeness of a military man, who does not belong with the elite. Poruchik jokes make up a large portion of Soviet and Russian jokes relating to the army and crude romance situations. Many of the Poruchik jokes are vulgar in nature. Since the rank of Poruchik has been out of use in the Russian army for over a century, Poruchik Rzhevsky Jokes are the most common modern association of the otherwise rarely-used term for contemporary Russian speakers. The term "poruchik" has therefore acquired a somewhat comical and vulgar overtone in the modern Russian culture.

"Poruchik Galitsin" (Russian: Пору́чик Голицын) is another popular association of the term for modern day Russian speakers. It comes from the Russian song of unclear provenance, which became widely popular in USSR in the 1980s. The subject of the song is desperation and nostalgia of a White Army officer, who must leave homeland in the wake of the 1917 Revolution and the defeat in the Civil War. The song invokes strong nostalgic associations with the term Poruchik.

The term also appears in the title of Sergei Prokofiev's orchestral suite Lieutenant Kijé (Poruchik Kizhe).

Rank designation in some countries[edit]

In the countries mentioned below spelling of Podporuchik, Poruchik, and Nadporuchik, up to rank classification, is almost similar. A possible sequence of ranks (ascending) might be as follows:

  • Podporuchik (junior poruc Poruchik hik; junior lieutenant; 3rd lieutenant)
  • Poruchik (lieutenant; 2nd lieutenant)
  • Nadporuchik (senior poruchik; senior lieutenant; 1st lieutenant)
  • Kapitan OF-2
Table of Poruchik OF1-ranks and rank insignia
Country Language  NATO rank OF-1b (junior)  NATO rank OF-1a (senior)
Rank Designation Rank Designation
 Croatia Croatian: hr Army-HRV-OF-01b.svg Poručnik Army-HRV-OF-01a.svg Natporučnik
 Macedonia Macedonian: mk Potporucnik-arm.png Подпоручник
Porucnik-arm.png Поручник
 Poland Polish: pl Pporucznik m.png Army-POL-OF-01b.svg Rank insignia of podporucznik of the Air Force of Poland.svg Cap insignia
  • Podporucznik (Army)
  • Podporucznik (Air Force)
Porucznik m.pngArmy-POL-OF-01a.svg Rank insignia of porucznik of the Air Force of Poland.svg Cap insignia
  • Porucznik (Army)
  • Porucznik (Air Force)
(until 1917)
Russian: ru Imperial Russian Army JunPor 1917 v.png Подпоручик
Imperial Russian Army Por 1917 v.png Поручик
 Serbia Serbian: sr 1 kov - potporučnik.png 1 vpvo - potporučnik.png Rf 1 - potporučnik.gif
  • Потпоручник (Army)
  • Потпоручник (Air defence)
  • Потпоручник (River flotilla)
2 kov - poručnik.png 2 vpvo - poručnik.png Rf 2 -poručnik korvete.gif
  • Поручник (Army)
  • Поручник (Air defence)
  • Поручник (River flotillia)
 Slovakia Slovak: sk Army-SVK-OF-01b.svg Poručík Army-SVK-OF-01a.svg Nadporučík
 Slovenia Slovene: sl 12-Slovenian Army-2LT.svg Poročník 13-Slovenian Army-1LT.svg Nadporočnik
 Czech Republic Czech: cs CzArmy 2011 OF1b-Poruchik shoulder.svg Poručík
(additional until 2011 Podporuchik OF1c)
CzArmy 2011 OF1a-Nadporuchik shoulder.svg Nadporučík
equivalent  Germany DH211-Leutnant.png LD B 41 Leutnant.svg Leutnant DH221-Oberleutnant.png LD B 42 Oberleutnant.svg Oberleutnant
equivalent  USA Army-USA-OF-01b.svg Second lieutenant Army-USA-OF-01a.svg First lieutenant

In the armed forces of Macedonia, Poland and Serbia is the Podporucznik equivalent to the OF1b-renks Leutnant/ Second lieutenant/ Flight officer, and/or Ensign.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ The abbreviation "OF" stands for de: "Offizier / en: officer / fr: officier / ru: офицер"
Preceded by
Lesser Coat of Arms of Russian Empire.svgГерб Российского государства.png
пору́чик (Poruchik)
(First lieutenant)
Succeeded by