Republic of China Armed Forces rank insignia

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The Republic of China Armed Forces rank insignia have five schemes among different military branches, including Army[1], Navy[2], and Air Force[3]. The Marine Corps[4], although being a part of the Navy, maintains a different insignia to other naval fleet personnel. The Military Police has insignia very similar to the Army, just with a slightly different green color. Under the current regulations, military ranks contain the following:

  • Officers (軍官) can be classified into three(3) levels (generals, colonels, captains), and to ten(10) ranks,
  • Non-commissioned officers (士官) can be classified into six(6) ranks, and
  • Enlisted soldiers (士兵) can be classified into three(3) ranks.

The official military rank names in Chinese are identical across all different military branches, but their English translations may be different.

History[edit]

Insignia of
Generalissimo

The rank system of the Republic of China Armed Forces was originally based on that of the Wehrmacht of Germany (Weimar Republic and early era of Nazi Germany) during the era of Sino-German cooperation in the 1930s. Due to the German influence, the rank of one-star general or admiral does not use the French-style title of Brigadier General, but the German-style title of Major General (Army, Air force and Marines) or Rear Admiral (Navy).

After the government of the Republic of China relocated to Taiwan in December 1949, the military rank system had a large reform in 1956. The rank structure is getting closer to the one used by the United States Armed Forces.

Before 2000, Generalissimo (Chinese: 特級上將; pinyin: Tèjí Shàngjiàng; Pe̍h-ōe-jī: Te̍k-kip Siōng-chiòng) was the highest military rank of the Armed Forces. It was bestowed only once, to Chiang Kai-shek in 1935. This rank was abolished since 2000.

The rank of Full general (Chinese: 一級上將; pinyin: Yījí Shàngjiàng; Pe̍h-ōe-jī: It-kip Siōng-chiòng) was designed for the Chief of the General Staff and some senior military strategy advisors in the Office of the President. Since 2013, the new regulations have all these positions shall be with lower rank generals. The rank of Full general will be granted only in wartime.

Officers[edit]

Level Generals Colonels Captains
Rank 一級上將 二級上將 中將 少將 上校 中校 少校 上尉 中尉 少尉
Mandarin Yījí Shàngjiàng Èrjí Shàngjiàng Zhōngjiàng Shaojiàng Shàngxiào Zhōngxiào Shàoxiào Shàngwèi Zhōngwèi Shàowèi
Taiwanese It-kip Siōng-chiòng Jī-kip Siōng-chiòng Tiong-chiòng Siáu-chiòng Siōng-hāu Tiong-hāu Siáu-hāu Siōng-ùi Tiong-ùi Siáu-ùi
Hakka Yit-khi̍p Song-chiông Ngi-khi̍p Song-chiông Chûng-chiông Seu-chiông Song-káu Chûng-káu Seu-káu Song-ví Chûng-ví Seu-ví
Equivalent
NATO Code
OF-9 OF-8 OF-7 OF-5 OF-4 OF-3 OF-2 OF-1
Republic of China Army
Rank Full
general
General Lieutenant
general
Major
general
Colonel Lieutenant
colonel
Major Captain First
lieutenant
Second
lieutenant
Insignia Taiwan-army-OF-9b.svg Taiwan-army-OF-9a.svg Taiwan-army-OF-8.svg Taiwan-army-OF-7.svg Taiwan-army-OF-5.svg Taiwan-army-OF-4.svg Taiwan-army-OF-3.svg Taiwan-army-OF-2.svg Taiwan-army-OF-1b.svg Taiwan-army-OF-1a.svg
Republic of China Navy
Rank Full
admiral
Admiral Vice
admiral
Rear
admiral
Captain Commander Lieutenant
commander
Lieutenant Lieutenant
(junior grade)
Ensign
Insignia Taiwan-navy-OF-9b.svg Taiwan-navy-OF-9a.svg Taiwan-navy-OF-8.svg Taiwan-navy-OF-7.svg Taiwan-navy-OF-5.svg Taiwan-navy-OF-4.svg Taiwan-navy-OF-3.svg Taiwan-navy-OF-2.svg Taiwan-navy-OF-1b.svg Taiwan-navy-OF-1a.svg
Republic of China Marine Corps
Rank General Lieutenant
general
Major
general
Colonel Lieutenant
colonel
Major Captain First
lieutenant
Second
lieutenant
Insignia Taiwan-Marine-OF-9a.svg Taiwan-Marine-OF-8.svg Taiwan-Marine-OF-7.svg Taiwan-Marine-OF-5.svg Taiwan-Marine-OF-4.svg Taiwan-Marine-OF-3.svg Taiwan-Marine-OF-2.svg Taiwan-Marine-OF-1b.svg Taiwan-Marine-OF-1a.svg
Republic of China Air Force
Rank Full
general
General Lieutenant
general
Major
general
Colonel Lieutenant
colonel
Major Captain First
lieutenant
Second
lieutenant
Insignia Taiwan-airforce-OF-9b.svg Taiwan-airforce-OF-9a.svg Taiwan-airforce-OF-8.svg Taiwan-airforce-OF-7.svg Taiwan-airforce-OF-5.svg Taiwan-airforce-OF-4.svg Taiwan-airforce-OF-3.svg Taiwan-airforce-OF-2.svg Taiwan-airforce-OF-1b.svg Taiwan-airforce-OF-1a.svg

Enlisted[edit]

Level Non-commissioned officers Enlisted soldiers
Rank 一等士官長 二等士官長 三等士官長 上士 中士 下士 上等兵 一等兵 二等兵
Mandarin Yīděng Shìguānzhǎng Èrděng Shìguānzhǎng Sānděng Shìguānzhǎng Shàngshi Zhōngshi Xiàshi Shàngděng Bīng Yīděng Bīng Èrděng Bīng
Taiwanese It-téng Sū-koaⁿ-tiúⁿ Jī-téng Sū-koaⁿ-tiúⁿ Sàm-téng Sū-koaⁿ-tiúⁿ Siōng-sū Tiong-sū Hā-sū Siōng-téng Peng It-téng Peng Jī-téng Peng
Hakka Yit-tén Sṳ-kôn-chóng Ngi-tén Sṳ-kôn-chóng Sâm-tén Sṳ-kôn-chóng Song-sṳ Chûng-sṳ Ha-sṳ Song-tén Pîn Yit-tén Pîn Ngi-tén Pîn
Equivalent
NATO Code
OR-9 OR-8 OR-7 OR-6 OR-5 OR-4 OR-3 OR-2 OR-1
Republic of China Army
Rank First class
master sergeant
Second class
master sergeant
Third class
master sergeant
Sergeant Staff sergeant Corporal Private
specialist
Private
first class
Private
Insignia Taiwan-army-OR-9.svg Taiwan-army-OR-8.svg Taiwan-army-OR-7.svg Taiwan-army-OR-6.svg Taiwan-army-OR-5.svg Taiwan-army-OR-4.svg Taiwan-army-OR-3.svg Taiwan-army-OR-2.svg Taiwan-army-OR-1.svg
Republic of China Navy
Rank First class
chief petty officer
Second class
chief petty officer
Third class
chief petty officer
Petty officer
first class
Petty officer
second class
Petty officer
third class
Seaman
specialist
Seaman
first class
Seaman
Insignia Taiwan-Navy-OR-9.svg Taiwan-Navy-OR-8.svg Taiwan-Navy-OR-7.svg Taiwan-Navy-OR-6.svg Taiwan-Navy-OR-5.svg Taiwan-Navy-OR-4.svg Taiwan-Navy-OR-3.svg Taiwan-Navy-OR-2.svg Taiwan-Navy-OR-1.svg
Republic of China Marine Corps
Rank First class
master sergeant
Second class
master sergeant
Third class
master sergeant
Sergeant Staff sergeant Corporal Lance
corporal
Private
first class
Private
Insignia Taiwan-Marine-OR-9.svg Taiwan-Marine-OR-8.svg Taiwan-Marine-OR-7.svg Taiwan-Marine-OR-6.svg Taiwan-Marine-OR-5.svg Taiwan-Marine-OR-4.svg Taiwan-Marine-OR-3.svg Taiwan-Marine-OR-2.svg Taiwan-Marine-OR-1.svg
Republic of China Air Force
Rank First class
master sergeant
Second class
master sergeant
Third class
master sergeant
Sergeant Staff sergeant Corporal Senior
airman
Airman
first class
Airman
Insignia Taiwan-airforce-OR-9.svg Taiwan-airforce-OR-8.svg Taiwan-airforce-OR-7.svg Taiwan-airforce-OR-6.svg Taiwan-airforce-OR-5.svg Taiwan-airforce-OR-4.svg Taiwan-airforce-OR-3.svg Taiwan-airforce-OR-2.svg Taiwan-airforce-OR-1.svg

NATO comparative listing[edit]

Equivalent
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
Republic of China
(edit)
No equivalent Taiwan-army-OF-9b.svg Taiwan-army-OF-9a.svg Taiwan-army-OF-8.svg Taiwan-army-OF-7.svg No equivalent Taiwan-army-OF-5.svg Taiwan-army-OF-4.svg Taiwan-army-OF-3.svg Taiwan-army-OF-2.svg Taiwan-army-OF-1b.svg Taiwan-army-OF-1a.svg None.svg
Full general General Lieutenant general Major general Colonel Lieutenant colonel Major Captain Lieutenant Second lieutenant Officer cadet
一級上將 二級上將 中將 少將 上校 中校 少校 上尉 中尉 少尉 軍校生


Taiwan Republic of China
(Edit)
No equivalent Taiwan-navy-OF-9b.svg Taiwan-navy-OF-9a.svg Taiwan-navy-OF-8.svg Taiwan-navy-OF-7.svg No equivalent Taiwan-navy-OF-5.svg Taiwan-navy-OF-4.svg Taiwan-navy-OF-3.svg Taiwan-navy-OF-2.svg Taiwan-navy-OF-1b.svg Taiwan-navy-OF-1a.svg None.svg
Full Admiral
一級上將
Admiral
二級上將
Vice admiral
中將
Rear admiral
少將
Captain
上校
Commander
中校
Lieutenant commander
少校
Lieutenant
上尉
Lieutenant (junior grade)
中尉
Ensign
少尉
Officer cadet
軍校生


Taiwan Republic of China
(Edit)
No equivalent Taiwan-airforce-OF-9b.svg Taiwan-airforce-OF-9a.svg Taiwan-airforce-OF-8.svg Taiwan-airforce-OF-7.svg No equivalent Taiwan-airforce-OF-5.svg Taiwan-airforce-OF-4.svg Taiwan-airforce-OF-3.svg Taiwan-airforce-OF-2.svg Taiwan-airforce-OF-1b.svg Taiwan-airforce-OF-1a.svg None.svg
Full General
一級上將
Yījí Shàngjiàng
General
二級上將
Èrjí Shàngjiàng
Lieutenant General
中將
Zhōngjiàng
Major General
少將
Shàojiàng
Colonel
上校
Shàngxiào
Lieutenant Colonel
中校
Zhōngxiào
Major
少校
Shàoxiào
Captain
上尉
Shàngwèi
First Lieutenant
中尉
Zhōngwèi
Second Lieutenant
少尉
Shàowèi
Officer cadet
軍校生
Jūnxiào shēng
Enlisted
Equivalent
NATO code
OR-9 OR-8 OR-7 OR-6 OR-5 OR-4 OR-3 OR-2 OR-1
Republic of China
(Edit)
Taiwan-army-OR-9.svg Taiwan-army-OR-8.svg Taiwan-army-OR-7.svg Taiwan-army-OR-6.svg Taiwan-army-OR-5.svg Taiwan-army-OR-4.svg Taiwan-army-OR-3.svg Taiwan-army-OR-2.svg Taiwan-army-OR-1.svg
Master sergeant first class
一等士官長
Master sergeant second class
二等士官長
Master sergeant third class
三等士官長
Staff sergeant
上士
Sergeant
中士
Corporal
下士
Specialist
上等兵
Private first class
一等兵
Private
二等兵


Taiwan Republic of China
(Edit)
Taiwan-Navy-OR-9.svg Taiwan-Navy-OR-8.svg Taiwan-Navy-OR-7.svg Taiwan-Navy-OR-6.svg Taiwan-Navy-OR-5.svg Taiwan-Navy-OR-4.svg Taiwan-Navy-OR-3.svg Taiwan-Navy-OR-2.svg Taiwan-Navy-OR-1.svg
Command master chief petty officer
一等士官長
Master chief petty officer
二等士官
Senior chief petty officer
三等士官長
Chief Petty Officer
上士
Petty Officer 1st Class
中士
Petty Officer 2nd Class
下士
Seaman
上等兵
Seaman apprentice
一等兵
Seaman recruit
二等兵


Taiwan Republic of China
(Edit)
Taiwan-airforce-OR-9.svg Taiwan-airforce-OR-8.svg Taiwan-airforce-OR-7.svg Taiwan-airforce-OR-6.svg Taiwan-airforce-OR-5.svg Taiwan-airforce-OR-4.svg Taiwan-airforce-OR-3.svg Taiwan-airforce-OR-2.svg Taiwan-airforce-OR-1.svg
Master Sergeant First Class
一等士官長
Yīděng shìguānzhǎng
Master Sergeant Second Class
二等士官長
Èrděng shìguānzhǎng
Technical Sergeant
三等士官長
Sānděng shìguānzhǎng
Staff Sergeant
上士
Shàngshì
Sergeant
中士
Zhōngshì
Corporal
下士
Xiàshì
Specialist
上等兵
Shàngděngbīng
Airman
一等兵
Yīděngbīng
Airman Basic
二等兵
Èrděngbīng

See also[edit]

Notes[edit]

References[edit]

External links[edit]