Admiral of the fleet (Australia)

Admiral of the fleet (AF) is the highest rank in the Royal Australian Navy (RAN), but is a ceremonial, not active or operational, rank. It equates to the rank code O-11. Equivalent ranks in the other services are field marshal and marshal of the Royal Australian Air Force. Like those ranks, admiral of the fleet is a five-star rank.

The subordinate naval rank, and highest active rank in the RAN, is admiral. This rank is only held when the Chief of the Defence Force is a naval officer. The highest permanent rank in the RAN is vice admiral, held by the Chief of Navy.

Admiral of the fleet
Royal Australian Navy OF-10
The AF insignia
Royal Australian Navy (sleeves) OF-10
Country Australia
Service branch Royal Australian Navy
AbbreviationAF
RankFive-star
NATO rankOF-10
Non-NATO rankO-11
Formation2 April 1954 (ceremonial)
Next higher rankGovernors of the Australian states (ceremonial)
Next lower rankAdmiral
Equivalent ranks

History

The rank evolved from the ancient sailing days and the admiral distinctions then used by the Royal Navy. The British fleet was divided into three divisions and each designated a colour, that of red, white, or blue. Each coloured division was assigned an admiral, who in turn had command over a vice admiral and a rear admiral. In the 18th century, the original nine ranks began to be filled by more than one person per rank. The admiral of the fleet commanded the admirals of the various divisions and thus, the entirety of the British fleet.

The organisation of the British fleet into coloured squadrons was abandoned in 1864, with the Royal Navy keeping the White Ensign. By this time, the position admiral of the fleet had already become an honorary promotion; when the position of professional head of the Royal Navy was given the name of First Naval Lord in 1828 (renamed First Sea Lord in 1904), admiral of the fleet became an honorary promotion for retiring First Naval Lords. This allowed multiple honorary admirals of the fleet to co-exist throughout the history of the rank. With the establishment of the Royal Australian Navy in 1911, the navy inherited the same ranks as its Royal Navy predecessor. However, the rank of admiral of the fleet has only been once used in its history so far, with the highest ranks remaining the traditional reserve as a wartime rank and did not take on the regular honorary appointments that its British counterpart did until 1996. The current and so far only holder of this rank is HRH Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, prince-consort to the Queen of Australia, Elizabeth II.

Admirals of the Royal Australian Naval fleet

Appointed
Name
Born
Died
2 April 1954 HRH Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh 1921 Prince Consort to HM Queen Elizabeth II of Australia

See also

Admiral of the fleet

An admiral of the fleet or fleet admiral (sometimes also known as admiral of the navy or grand admiral) is a military naval officer of the highest rank. In many nations the rank is reserved for wartime or ceremonial appointments. It is usually a rank above admiral (which is now usually the highest rank in peacetime for officers in active service), and is often held by the most senior admiral of an entire naval service.

It is also a generic term for a senior admiral in command of a large group of ships, comprising a fleet or, in some cases, a group of fleets. If actually a rank, its name can vary depending on the country. In addition to "fleet admiral" and "admiral of the fleet", such rank names include "admiral of the navy" and "grand admiral".It ranks above vice admiral, rear admiral and usually full admiral, and is usually given to a senior admiral commanding multiple fleets as opposed to just one fleet. It is often classified in NATO nations as a five-star rank.Admiral of the fleet is equivalent to an army field marshal. It is also equivalent to a marshal of the air force which in many countries has a similar rank insignia to admiral of the fleet.

Australia-United States Rank Code Officer Cadet O-1 O-2 O-3 O-4 O-5 O-6 O-7
*
O-8
**
O-9
***
O-10
****
O-11
*****
Royal Australian Navy MIDN ASLT SBLT LEUT LCDR CMDR CAPT CDRE RADM VADM ADML AF
Australian Army OCDT 2LT LT CAPT MAJ LTCOL COL BRIG MAJGEN LTGEN GEN FM
Royal Australian Air Force OFFCDT PLTOFF FLGOFF FLTLT SQNLDR WGCDR GPCAPT AIRCDRE AVM AIRMSHL ACM MRAAF

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