Ranks and insignia of NATO

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Ranks and insignia of NATO affiliated nations are combined military ranks and insignia used by the member countries (and other affiliated nations) of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization.

The rank scale is used for specifying posts within NATO.

Rank codes[edit]

NATO maintains a "standard rank scale" which is also known as a "standardized reference system" in an attempt to match every member country's military ranks to corresponding ranks used by the other members.[1] The NATO rank reference code categories were established in a 1978 document entitled STANAG 2116 (formally titled NATO Codes for Grades of Military Personnel).

NATO rank codes are not the same as military ranks (US Army examples: Private, Corporal, Warrant Officer 1, Chief Warrant Officer 5, Captain, Major, Colonel, etc.) and military pay grades (US military examples: E-1, W-1, CW-5, O-1, O-1e, O-10, etc.). They are rank codes that allow for interoperability among NATO member nations.

Officer rank codes[edit]

OF-1 – OF-10 (lowest rank code to highest) are used for commissioned officers:[1]

Other rank codes[edit]

OR1–OR9 (lowest rank code to highest) are used for other ranks:[1]

Comparison to US system[edit]

The numbers in the system broadly correspond to the U.S. uniformed services pay grades, with OR-x replacing E-x. The main difference is in the commissioned officer ranks, where the US system recognises two ranks at OF-1 level (O-1 and O-2), meaning that all O-x numbers after O-1 are one point higher on the US scale than they are on the NATO scale (e.g. a major is OF-3 on the NATO scale and O-4 on the US scale).

Officer ranks
Rank group General / flag officers Senior officers Junior officers Officer cadet
NATO code OF-10 OF-9 OF-8 OF-7 OF-6 OF-5 OF-4 OF-3 OF-2 OF-1 OF(D) Student officer
Uniformed services pay grade Special grade O-10 O-9 O-8 O-7 O-6 O-5 O-4 O-3 O-2 O-1 Officer candidate/Cadet
Other ranks
Rank group Non-commissioned officers Enlisted
NATO code OR-9 OR-8 OR-7 OR-6 OR-5 OR-4 OR-3 OR-2 OR-1
Uniformed services pay grade Special E-9 E-8 E-7 E-6 E-5 E-4 E-3 E-2 E-1

Ranks and insignia of member armed forces[edit]


Air Force


See also[edit]



  1. ^ a b c NATO 2021, p. 1-1.


  • NATO (2021). STANAG 2116 NATO (7th ed.). Brussels, Belgium: NATO Standardization Agency.
  • "NATO CODES FOR GRADES OF MILITARY PERSONNEL. STANAG 2116. (Edition No. 4) NAVY/ARMY/AIR" (PDF). Royal Navy. Retrieved 2017-11-08.
  • "STANAG 2116 (Edition 5)". Latvian National Armed Forces. Retrieved 2017-11-08.
  • "person-type-rank-code". Multilateral Interoperability Programme. 13 December 2007. Archived from the original on 2011-07-27. Retrieved 2015-05-13.
  • "NATO Rank Comparison". Canadian Forces. Retrieved 2009-06-24.

External links[edit]

  • NATO. "APersP-01". nso.nato.int. Retrieved 23 September 2022.