Australian Defence Force ranks

The Australian Defence Force's (ADF) ranks of officers and enlisted personnel in each of its three service branches of the Royal Australian Navy (RAN), the Australian Army, and the Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) inherited their rank structures from their British counterparts. The insignia used to identify these ranks are also generally similar to those used in the British Armed Forces.

The following tables show the "equivalent rank and classifications" for the three services, as defined in the ADF Pay and Conditions Manual.[1] "Equivalent rank" means the corresponding rank set out under Regulation 8 of the Defence Force Regulations 1952.[2]

Commissioned officer ranks

NATO
Code
Aus/US
Code
Navy Army RAAF
Flag/General/Air Officers[1][3]
OF-10 O-11[a] Admiral of the fleet Field marshal Marshal of the RAAF
OF-9 O-10[b] Admiral General Air chief marshal
OF-8 O-9[c] Vice admiral Lieutenant general Air marshal
OF-7 O-8 Rear admiral Major general Air vice marshal
OF-6 O-7[d] Air commodore
Senior officers
OF-6 O-7[d] Commodore Brigadier
OF-5 O-6[d] Captain (RAN) Colonel Group captain
OF-4 O-5[d] Commander Lieutenant colonel Wing commander
OF-3 O-4[d] Lieutenant commander Major Squadron leader
Junior officers
OF-2 O-3[d] Lieutenant Captain (Army) Flight lieutenant
OF-1 O-2 Sub lieutenant Lieutenant Flying officer
OF-1 O-1 Acting sub lieutenant Second lieutenant Pilot officer
S-1 Midshipman
Cadets
Officer cadet Officer cadet

Warrant officer ranks

NATO
Code
Aus/US
Code
Navy Army RAAF
Warrant officers
OR-9 E-9 Warrant officer Warrant officer Warrant officer
Warrant officer class 1
OR-8 E-8 Warrant officer class 2
Note that the most senior warrant officer in each of the three services is appointed either Warrant Officer of the Navy (WO-N), Regimental Sergeant Major of the Army (RSM-A), or Warrant Officer of the Air Force (WOFF-AF), as appropriate. These are appointments, not ranks; these three people hold the rank of Warrant Officer in their respective services. However, they each wear special insignia, different from the rank insignia worn by other warrant officers. Although the RAN and the RAAF have the one warrant officer rank, the army has three. The soldier appointed Regimental Sergeant Major of the Army (RSM-A) holds the unique Army rank of warrant officer (introduced in 1991 and senior to WO1). The Army rank of WO2 is the same pay grade as the RAN and the RAAF's most senior NCOs, (i.e. chief petty officer and flight sergeant).[1]

Non-commissioned officer ranks

NATO
Code
Aus/US
Code
Navy Army RAAF
Senior non-commissioned officers
OR-8 E-8 Chief petty officer Flight sergeant
OR-7 E-7 Staff sergeant[1][e]
OR-6 E-6 Petty officer Sergeant Sergeant
Junior non-commissioned officers
OR-5 E-5 Leading seaman Corporal/bombardier Corporal
OR-4 E-4 Lance corporal/
Lance bombardier

Other ranks

NATO
Code
Aus/US
Code
Navy Army RAAF
Enlisted
OR-3 E-3 Able seaman Private proficient[1][f] Leading aircraftman/woman
OR-2 E-2 Seaman Private Aircraftman/woman

Insignia

Commissioned officers

The rank insignia for commissioned officers for the army, navy and air force respectively.

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) and student officer
Australia Australia
(Edit)
Australian Army OF-10.svg Australian Army OF-9.svg Australian Army OF-8.svg Australian Army OF-7.svg Australian Army OF-6.svg Australian Army OF-5.svg Australian Army OF-4.svg Australian Army OF-3.svg Australian Army OF-2.svg Australian Army OF-1b.svg Australian Army OF-1a.svg Australian Army OF (D) (OCDT).svg Australian Army OF (D) (SCDT).svg
Field marshal General Lieutenant general Major general Brigadier Colonel Lieutenant colonel Major Captain Lieutenant Second lieutenant Officer cadet Staff cadet
Australia Australia
(Edit)
Australia-Navy-OF-10-collected Australia-Navy-OF-9-collected Australia-Navy-OF-8-collected Australia-Navy-OF-7-collected Australia-Navy-OF-6-collected Australia-Navy-OF-5-collected Australia-Navy-OF-4-collected Australia-Navy-OF-3-collected Australia-Navy-OF-2-collected Australia-Navy-OF-1-collected Australia-Navy-OF-1-collected Royal Australian Navy OF (D).svg
UK-Navy-OFD
Admiral of the fleet Admiral Vice admiral Rear admiral Commodore Captain Commander Lieutenant commander Lieutenant Sub lieutenant Acting sub lieutenant Midshipman
Australia Australia
(Edit)
Australia RAAF OF-10.svg Australia RAAF OF-9.svg Australia RAAF OF-8.svg Australia RAAF OF-7.svg Australia RAAF OF-6.svg Australia RAAF OF-5.svg Australia RAAF OF-4.svg Australia RAAF OF-3.svg Australia RAAF OF-2.svg Australia RAAF OF-1b.svg Australia RAAF OF-1a.svg Australia RAAF OF (D).svg
Marshal of the RAAF Air chief marshal Air marshal Air vice-marshal Air commodore Group captain Wing commander Squadron leader Flight lieutenant Flying officer Pilot officer Officer cadet
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) and student officer

Enlisted

The rank insignia for enlisted personnel for the army, navy and air force respectively.

Equivalent
NATO code
OR-9 OR-8 OR-7 OR-6 OR-5 OR-4 OR-3 OR-2 OR-1
Australia Australia
(Edit)
Regimental sergeant major of the army Warrant officer class 1 Warrant officer class 2 Staff sergeant Sergeant No equivalent Corporal Lance corporal No insignia
Regimental sergeant
major of the army
Warrant officer
class 1
Warrant officer
class 2
Staff sergeant
(to be phased out)
Sergeant Corporal Lance corporal Private
(or equivalent)
Australia Australia
(Edit)
Warrant Officer of the Navy Warrant Officer Chief Petty Officer No equivalent Petty Officer No equivalent Leading Seaman No equivalent Able Seaman Seaman
Warrant Officer of the Navy Warrant Officer Chief Petty Officer Petty Officer Leading Seaman Able Seaman Seaman
Australia Australia
(Edit)
Warrant Officer of the Air Force Warrant Officer Flight Sergeant No equivalent Sergeant No equivalent Corporal No equivalent Leading Aircraftman Aircraftman
Warrant Officer of the Air Force Warrant Officer Flight Sergeant Sergeant Corporal Leading Aircraftman Aircraftman
Equivalent
NATO Code
OR-9 OR-8 OR-7 OR-6 OR-5 OR-4 OR-3 OR-2 OR-1

See also

Notes

  1. ^ O-11 ranks - admiral of the fleet, field marshal and marshal of the RAAF - may only be used in wartime and for honorary appointments.
  2. ^ O-10 ranks - The Chief of the Defence Force is the sole O-10 ranked appointment.
  3. ^ O-9 ranks - The Vice Chief of the Defence Force, Chief of Joint Operations, Chief of the Capability Development Executive and Chiefs of the Navy, Army and Air Force comprise the six O-9 ranked appointments.
  4. ^ Chaplains:
    • O-3 ranks - Chaplains are commissioned officers without rank, however they are accorded the rank of Captain (O-3) for reasons of protocol, ceremonial occasions and for saluting purposes.
    • O-4/5 ranks - The more senior division 2 and 3 chaplains are accorded the rank of Major (O-4) and Lieutenant Colonel (O-5), respectively.
    • O-6 ranks - The three Principal Chaplains representing the three major Christian denominations: Catholic, Anglican, and Protestant, are equivalent to a Colonel (O-6).
    • O-7 ranks - The heads of the various churches and religions officially associated to the ADF's Religious Advisory Committee, such as the Anglican and Catholic Bishops of the Military, are equivalent to a Brigadier (O-7).
  5. ^ Without prejudice to existing holders of the rank, the Army has ceased to promote soldiers to the rank of staff sergeant.
  6. ^ "Private proficient" (PTE(P)) is not a separate formal ADF rank and does not 'outrank' private; it is a salary proficiency point (pay grade) which is "automatically" granted after 12 months service as a private. The same holds with seaman being re-classified as able seaman, and aircraftman/woman being re-classified leading aircraftman/woman after 12 months; the requirements are the same for all three services. Thus, able seaman and leading aircraftman/woman do not outrank private, seaman or aircraftman/woman.
    The relevant regulations are:

References

  1. ^ a b c d e "ADF Pay and Conditions Manual (PACMAN)". People Strategies and Policy (AL13 ed.). Department of Defence, Australian Government. November 2009. p. 1.
  2. ^ Defence Force Regulations 1952.
  3. ^ Badges of Rank and Special Insignia. Commonwealth of Australia - Department of Defence. September 2003. pp. 2–3.

External links

Admiral (Australia)

Admiral (abbreviated as ADML) is the highest active rank of the Royal Australian Navy and was created as a direct equivalent of the British Navy rank of admiral. It is a four-star rank. Since World War II, in general, the only time the rank is held is when the Chief of the Defence Force is a navy officer.

Admiral is a higher rank than vice admiral, but is a lower rank than admiral of the fleet. Admiral is the equivalent of air chief marshal in the Royal Australian Air Force and general in the Australian Army.

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.

Air chief marshal (Australia)

Air chief marshal (abbreviated as ACM) is the highest active rank of the Royal Australian Air Force and was created as a direct equivalent of the British Royal Air Force rank of air chief marshal. It is also considered a four-star rank. The only time the rank is held is when the Chief of the Defence Force is an Air Force officer.

Air chief marshal is a higher rank than air marshal and is a lower rank than Marshal of the Royal Australian Air Force, which has only ever been awarded as an honorary rank. Air chief marshal is a direct equivalent of admiral in the Royal Australian Navy and general in the Australian Army.

Air marshal (Australia)

Air marshal (abbreviated as AIRMSHL) is the second highest active rank of the Royal Australian Air Force and was created as a direct equivalent of the British Royal Air Force rank of air marshal, it is also considered a three-star rank. The rank is held by the Chief of Air Force (CAF), and when the Vice Chief of the Defence Force (VCDF), the Chief of Joint Operations (CJOPS) and/or the Chief of the Capability Development executive (CCDE) are Air Force officers.

Air marshal is a higher rank than air vice-marshal and is lower than air chief marshal. It is a direct equivalent of vice admiral in the Royal Australian Navy and lieutenant general in the Australian Army.

The insignia is two light blue bands (each on a slightly wider black band) over a light blue band on a black broad band.

The Australian Air Corps adopted the RAF rank system on 9 November 1920 and this usage was continued by its successor, the Royal Australian Air Force. However, the rank of air marshal was not used by the Australian Armed Forces until 1940 when Richard Williams, a RAAF officer, was promoted.

Air vice-marshal (Australia)

Air vice-marshal (abbreviated as AVM) is the third highest active rank of the Royal Australian Air Force and was created as a direct equivalent of the British Royal Air Force rank of air vice-marshal. It is also considered a two-star rank. The Australian Air Corps adopted the RAF rank system on 9 November 1920 and this usage was continued by its successor, the Royal Australian Air Force.Air vice-marshal is a higher rank than air commodore and is a lower rank than air marshal. Air vice-marshal is a direct equivalent of rear admiral in the Royal Australian Navy and major general in the Australian Army.

The insignia is one light blue band (on a slightly wider black band) over a light blue band on a black broad band.

The equivalent rank in the Women's Auxiliary Australian Air Force, was 'air chief commandant'.

Australian Army enlisted rank insignia

Like the British Army, the Australian Army does not use the term 'enlisted' to describe its non-commissioned ranks. Instead, personnel who are not commissioned officers are referred to as other ranks. These are soldiers, non-commissioned officers (NCOs) and warrant officers (WOs). Warrant officers are appointed by a warrant which is signed by the Chief of the Army. The insignia for non-commissioned ranks are identical to the British Army up to the rank of warrant officer class two. Since 1976, WO1s and the WO in the Australian Army wear insignia using the Australian Coat of Arms.

Australian Army officer rank insignia

Australian Army officers receive a commission from the Monarch, currently Queen Elizabeth II, of Australia, signed by the Governor-General of Australia, acting on her behalf. Rank insignia for commissioned officers is identical to that of the British Army, with the addition of a band containing the word "Australia" beneath the insignia.

Current senior Australian Defence Organisation personnel

The Australian Defence Organisation (ADO) is composed of the armed forces of the Commonwealth of Australia, the Australian Defence Force (ADF), and the Australian Public Service government department, the Department of Defence which is composed of a range of civilian support organisations.

The Chief of the Defence Force (CDF) leads the Australian Defence Force and the Secretary of Defence leads the Department of Defence though both jointly manage the Australian Defence Organisation under a diarchy, and both report directly to the Minister for Defence.

The highest active rank in the Australian Defence Force is reserved for the Chief of the Defence Force. This is a four-star rank and the CDF is the only Australian military officer at that level. As a result of the diarchy, the Secretary of the Department of Defence is of the equivalent civilian four-star level in the Senior Executive Service of the Australian Public Service.

General (Australia)

General (abbreviated GEN) is the second-highest rank, and the highest active rank, of the Australian Army and was created as a direct equivalent of the British military rank of general; it is also considered a four-star rank.

Prior to 1958, Australian generals (and field marshals) were only appointed in exceptional circumstances. In 1958, the position, which is currently called Chief of the Defence Force, was created, and since 1966, the rank of general has been held when an army officer is appointed to that position.

General is a higher rank than lieutenant general, but is lower than field marshal. General is the equivalent of admiral in the Royal Australian Navy and air chief marshal in the Royal Australian Air Force.

A general's insignia is St Edward's Crown above a star of the Order of the Bath (or 'pip') above a crossed sword and baton, with the word 'Australia' at the bottom.

Lieutenant general (Australia)

Lieutenant general (abbreviated LTGEN and pronounced 'lef-tenant general') is the second-highest active rank of the Australian Army. It was created as a direct equivalent of the British military rank of lieutenant general, and is considered a three-star rank.

The rank of lieutenant general is held by the Chief of Army. The rank is also held when an army officer is the Vice Chief of the Defence Force, the Chief of Joint Operations, or the Chief of Joint Capabilities. The Chief of Capability Development Group, disestablished in 2016, also carried three-star rank.

Lieutenant general is a higher rank than major general, but lower than general. Lieutenant general is the equivalent of vice admiral in the Royal Australian Navy and air marshal in the Royal Australian Air Force. The insignia for a lieutenant general is the Crown of St Edward above a crossed sword and baton.

List of comparative military ranks

This article is a list of various states' armed forces ranking designations. Comparisons are made between the different systems used by nations to categorize the hierarchy of an armed force compared to another. Several of these lists mention NATO reference codes. These are the NATO rank reference codes, used for easy comparison among NATO countries. Links to comparison charts can be found below.

Major general (Australia)

Major general (abbreviated MAJGEN) is a senior rank of the Australian Army, and was created as a direct equivalent of the British military rank of major general. It is the third-highest active rank of the Australian Army (the rank of field marshal not being held by any currently serving officer), and is considered to be equivalent to a two-star rank. A major general commands a division or the equivalent.

Major general is a higher rank than brigadier, but lower than lieutenant general. Major general is the equivalent of rear admiral in the Royal Australian Navy and air vice marshal in the Royal Australian Air Force.The insignia for a major general is the star (or 'pip') of the Order of the Bath (despite membership of the Order no longer being awarded to Australians), above a crossed Mameluke sword and baton.

Marshal of the Royal Australian Air Force

Marshal of the Royal Australian Air Force (MRAAF) is the highest rank of the Royal Australian Air Force and was created as a direct equivalent of the British Royal Air Force rank of Marshal of the Royal Air Force. It is considered a five-star rank.

It has only twice been awarded, each time as an honorary rank to a senior member of the Royal Family. On 2 June 1939 King George VI assumed the rank which he held until his death in 1952. Two years later in 1954, Prince Philip, the Duke of Edinburgh was granted the rank. He was present at 50th anniversary celebrations of the Royal Australian Air Force in March 1971 as a marshal of the RAAF; and continues to hold the rank to the present day.Marshal of the Royal Australian Air Force is a higher rank than air chief marshal. Marshal of the Royal Australian Air Force is a direct equivalent of admiral of the fleet in the Royal Australian Navy and field marshal in the Australian Army.

The insignia is four light blue bands (each on a slightly wider black band) over a light blue band on a black broad band.

Outline of Australia

The following outline is provided as an overview of and topical guide to Australia:

Australia refers to both the continent of Australia and to the Commonwealth of Australia, the sovereign country. Australia, the world's smallest continent, is in the Southern Hemisphere and borders both the Indian Ocean and the Pacific Ocean.

The Commonwealth of Australia comprises the mainland of the Australian continent, plus the major island of Tasmania, and other nearby islands. The neighbouring countries are Indonesia, East Timor, and Papua New Guinea to the north, the Solomon Islands, Vanuatu, and New Caledonia to the north-east, and New Zealand to the south-east.

The Australian mainland has been inhabited for more than 60,000 years by Indigenous Australians. After sporadic visits by fishermen from the north and then European discovery by Dutch explorers in 1606, the eastern half of Australia was later claimed by the British in 1770 and initially settled through penal transportation as part of the colony of New South Wales, commencing on 26 January 1788. As the population grew and new areas were explored, another five largely self-governing Crown colonies were established during the 19th century.

Ranks of the Royal Australian Air Force

The rank structure of the Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) has been inherited from the Royal Air Force (RAF). The RAF based its officer ranks on the Royal Navy, and its airmen ranks on the British Army.

Unlike the RAF, RAAF rank abbreviations are always written in uppercase without spaces (e.g. Pilot Officer is written as PLTOFF, not Plt Off). Also, the RAAF does not have the ranks of Senior Aircraftman, Junior Technician, Chief Technician or Master Aircrew.

The rank insignia is very similar to that of the RAF, with the exception of Leading Aircraftman (LAC)/Leading Aircraftwoman (LACW) which is one chevron (two bladed propeller in RAF). Both officers and airmen wear rank insignia on the chest when wearing General Purpose Uniform or Disruptive Pattern Combat Uniform. Rank insignia is worn on the shoulder in all other orders of dress with the exception of the Service Dress tunic (where it is worn on the lower sleeve for officers and Warrant Officers and the upper sleeve for airmen) and the working uniform of Physical Training Instructors where it is worn on the sleeve. The word 'Australia' appears immediately below all rank insignia worn on the shoulder or chest.

The most senior active rank of the RAAF, Air Marshal – a three-star rank, is held by the Chief of Air Force. On the occasions that the Chief of the Defence Force is an office of the RAAF, the rank of Air Chief Marshal in awarded to the officer. The rank of Marshal of the Royal Australian Air Force has never been held as an active rank and it is currently held as an honorary rank by HRH Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh.

Rear admiral

Rear admiral is a naval commissioned officer rank above that of a commodore and captain, and below that of a vice admiral. It is generally regarded as the lowest of the "admiral" ranks, which are also sometimes referred to as "flag officers" or "flag ranks". In many navies it is referred to as a two-star rank (OF-7)/(O-7).

It originated from the days of naval sailing squadrons and can trace its origins to the Royal Navy. Each naval squadron would be assigned an admiral as its head, who would command from the centre vessel and direct the activities of the squadron. The admiral would in turn be assisted by a vice admiral, who commanded the lead ships which would bear the brunt of a naval battle. In the rear of the naval squadron, a third admiral would command the remaining ships and, as this section of the squadron was considered to be in the least danger, the admiral in command of the rear would typically be the most junior of the squadron admirals. This has survived into the modern age, with the rank of rear admiral the most-junior of the admiralty ranks of many navies.

In some European navies (e.g., that of France), and in the Canadian Forces' French rank translations, the rank of rear admiral is known as contre-amiral. In the German Navy the rank is known as Konteradmiral, superior to the flotilla admiral (Commodore in other navies). In the Royal Netherlands Navy, this rank is known as schout-bij-nacht (lit.: supervisor during night), denoting the role junior to the squadron admiral, and fleet admiral.

Rear admiral (Australia)

Rear admiral (abbreviated as RADM) is the third-highest active rank of the Royal Australian Navy and was created as a direct equivalent of the British rank of rear admiral. It is a two-star rank.

Rear admiral is a higher rank than commodore, but lower than vice admiral. Rear admiral is the equivalent of air vice-marshal in the Royal Australian Air Force and major general in the Australian Army.

Since the mid-1990s, the insignia of a Royal Australian Navy vice admiral is the Crown of St. Edward above a crossed sabre and baton, above two silver stars, above the word "AUSTRALIA". The stars have eight points as in the equivalent Royal Navy insignia. Prior to 1995, the RAN shoulder board was identical to the UK shoulder board. The UK shoulder board changed in 2001.

Rear Admiral Robyn Walker became the first female admiral in the Royal Australian Navy when she was appointed Surgeon-General of the Australian Defence Force on 16 December 2011.

Senior Australian Defence Organisation Positions

The Australian Defence Organisation (ADO) is composed of the armed forces of the Commonwealth of Australia, the Australian Defence Force (ADF), and the Australian Public Service government department, the Department of Defence which is composed of a range of civilian support organisations.

The Chief of the Defence Force (CDF) leads the Australian Defence Force and the Secretary of Defence leads the Department of Defence though both jointly manage the Australian Defence Organisation under a diarchy, and both report directly to the Minister for Defence.

The highest active rank in the Australian Defence Force is reserved for the Chief of the Defence Force. This is a four-star rank and the CDF is the only Australian military officer at that level. As a result of the diarchy, the Secretary of the Department of Defence is of the equivalent civilian four-starlevel in the Senior Executive Service of the Australian Public Service.

Vice admiral (Australia)

Vice admiral (abbreviated as VADM) is the second-highest active rank of the Royal Australian Navy and was created as a direct equivalent of the British rank of vice admiral. It is a three-star rank. The rank is held by the Chief of Navy and, when the positions are held by navy officers, by the Vice Chief of the Defence Force, the Chief of Joint Operations, or the Chief Capability Development Group.

Vice admiral is a higher rank than rear admiral, but lower than admiral. Vice admiral is the equivalent of air marshal in the Royal Australian Air Force and lieutenant general in the Australian Army.

Since the mid-1990s, the insignia of a Royal Australian Navy vice admiral is the Crown of St. Edward above a crossed sabre and baton, above three silver stars, above the word "AUSTRALIA". The stars have eight points as in the equivalent Royal Navy insignia. Prior to 1995, the RAN shoulder board was identical to the UK shoulder board. (The UK shoulder board changed in 2001.)

Military ranks and insignia by country
Africa
Americas
Asia
Europe
Oceania
Post-Soviet states
Commonwealth of Nations
NATO
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
Australia-United States Rank Code E-1 E-2 E-3 E-4 E-5 E-6 E-7 E-8 E-9 Special
Royal Australian Navy RCT SMN AB - LS PO - CPO WO WO-N
Australian Army REC PTE PTE(P) LCPL CPL SGT SSGT WO2 WO1 RSM-A
Royal Australian Air Force RCT AC/ACW LAC/LACW - CPL SGT - FSGT WOFF WOFF-AF

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