Ranks in the Austro-Hungarian Navy

The rank insignia of the Austro-Hungarian Navy were worn on and on sleeves for navy jackets and coats, or on shoulder straps of shirts and white jackets. Officers' ranks were indicated by lines of 1.3 centimetres (0.51 in) gold braid as were senior non-commissioned officers' ranks, enlisted men's rank was indicated by white stars on their square collar flaps. Senior officers and flag officers would wear a broader gold braid line (Stabsoffiziers-Distinktionsborte or General-Distinktionsborte resp.) of 3.3 centimetres (1.3 in) and 5.3 centimetres (2.1 in) resp. beneath smaller lines, in addition flag officers would wear a crown on top of their sleeve insignia.

Rank system

For enlisted men an elaborate rank system existed distinguishing between Mannschaften (crew), Chargen (junior non-commissioned officers), Unteroffizieren (Maaten/NCOs) and Bootsleute/Feldwebel (senior NCOs). In addition the rank indicated the special training the men had received, indicated by a specialty badge worn on the left sleeve. The basic rank would be combined with the specialty resulting in numerous ratings. Non-commissioned officers would be seamen 1st class (one white star) or Gasten and Quartiermeister depending on specialty (two white stars) and Maate (three white stars). Bootsleute would wear the blue or white navy jacket with gold braid half stripes of 11 cm length on the sleeves or shoulder straps. They would be called Meister (master) sometimes Untermeister in the basic rank, the next senior rank would be 'preceded by 'Stabs- (staff), and then Oberstabs-.

Enlisted men and Chargen

Career and specialist insignia indicated on left sleeve.

Matrose 2. Klasse k.u.k. Kriegsmarine Matrose 1. Klasse k.u.k. Kriegsmarine Rudergast k.u.k. Kriegsmarine
Mannschaften Chargen 1 star Chargen 2 stars
k.u.k. Geschützvormeister 2. Klasse k.u.k. Geschützvormeister 1. Klasse k.u.k. Geschützgast
k.u.k. ...matrose 2. Klasse k.u.k. ...matrose 1. Klasse k.u.k. ...gast / ...quartiermeister
  • Elektromatrose ...
  • Fliegermatrose ...
  • Küchenmatrose ...
  • Musikmatrose ...
  • Proviantmatrose ...
  • Sanitätsmatrose ...
  • Steuermatrose ...
  • Telegraphenmatrose ...
  • Waffenmatrose ...
  • Elektromatrose ...
  • Fliegermatrose ...
  • Küchenmatrose ...
  • Musikmatrose ...
  • Proviantmatrose ...
  • Sanitätsmatrose ...
  • Steuermatrose ...
  • Telegraphenmatrose ...
  • Waffenmatrose ...
  • Elektrogast / Elektroquartiermeister
  • Fliegergast / Fliegerquartiermeister
  • Küchengast / Küchenquartiermeister
  • Marsgast / ...
  • Minengast / Minenquartiermeister
  • Musikgast / Musikquartiermeister
  • Proviantgast / Proviantquartiermeister
  • Rudergast / Ruderquartiermeister
  • Sanitätsgast / Sanitätsquartiermeister
  • Steuergast / Steuerquartiermeister
  • Telegraphengast / Telegraphen
  • Torpedogast / Torpedoquartiermeister
  • Waffengast / Waffenquartiermeister
k.u.k. Heizer 2. Klasse k.u.k. Heizer 1. Klasse k.u.k. Oberheizer
k.u.k. Militärarbeiter 2. Klasse
k.u.k. Minenvormann 2. Klasse
k.u.k. Torpedovormann 2. Klasse
k.u.k. Militärarbeiter 1. Klasse
k.u.k. Minenvormann 1. Klasse
k.u.k. Torpedovormann 1. Klasse
k.u.k. Vorarbeiter ...
  • Vorarbeiter 3. Klasse
  • Vorarbeiter 2.Klassee

Maate on junior NCO level

Bootsmannsmaat k.u.k. Kriegsmarine K.u.k. Unterbootsmann K.u.k. Unterbootsmann (Sommer)
Maate Maate (on Bootsmann grade)
k.u.k. Bootsmannsmaat k.u.k. Unterbootsmann
k.u.k. Geschützmaat k.u.k.  Untergeschützmeister
k.u.k. ...maat k.u.k. ...
  • Elektromaat
  • Fliegermaat
  • Küchenmaat
  • Maschinenmaat
  • Minenmaat
  • Musikmaat
  • Proviantmaat
  • Sanitätsmaat
  • Steuermannsmaat
  • Telegraphenmaat
  • Torpedomaat
  • Waffenmaat
  • Elektrounterwärter
  • Fliegeruntermeister
  • Unterküchenmeister
  • Untermaschinenwärter
  • Unterminenmeister
  • Untermusikmeister
  • Unterproviantmeister
  • Untersanitätsmeister
  • Untersteuermann
  • Untertelegraphenmeister
  • Untertorpedomeister
  • Unterwaffenmeister
k.u.k. Vorarbeiter 1.Klasse k.u.k. Unterwerkmeister

Rank insignia senior NCOs

K.u.k. Stabsbootsmann K.u.k. Stabsbootsmann (Sommer) K.u.k. Oberstabsbootsmann K.u.k. Oberstabsbootsmann (Sommer) Einjährig-Freiwilliger k.u.k. Kriegsmarine Längerdienender Unteroffizier

k.u.k. Stabsbootsmann

  • Elektromeister
  • Fliegermeister
  • Küchenmeister
  • Musikmeister
  • Proviantmeister
  • Sanitätsmeister
  • Stabselektrowärter
  • Stabsgeschützmeister
  • Stabsmaschinenwärter
  • Stabswaffenmeister
  • Stabssteuermann
  • Stabsminenmeister
  • Stabstorpedomeister
  • Werkmeister

k.u.k. Oberstabsbootsmann

  • Oberstabsgeschützmeister
  • Oberküchenmeister
  • Oberstabsmaschinenwärter
  • Oberstabswaffenmeister
  • Oberproviantmeister
  • Oberstabssteuermann
  • Oberstabsminenmeister
  • Oberstabsfliegermeister
  • Oberstabselektrowärter
  • Oberstabstorpedomeister
  • Obermusikmeister
  • Oberstabstelegraphenmeister
  • Obersanitätsmeister
  • Oberstabswerkmeister
Einjährig-Freiwilliger Longer serving NCOs

Commissioned Officers

Officers aspirants

Prospective officers would enter the naval academy and become Seekadett (officer cadets) and later Seefähnrich before being commissioned as Fregattenleutnants. Reserve officer candidates would join as Einjährig-Freiwillige (one-year volunteers). These sons of the higher classes who could afford the expenses would then get some training and be commissioned as Korvettenleutnant if successful. Einjährige would also wear the blue navy jacket but with two smaller gold braid stripes.


sleeve K.u.K. Seekadett K.u.K.Seefähnrich K.u.K. Fregattenleutnant K.u.K. Linienschiffsleutnant K.u.K. Korvettenkapitän K.u.K. Fregattenkapitän K.u.K. Linienschiffskapitän
designation Fähnriche Reserve officer Oberoffiziere Senior officers
Seekadett Seefähnrich Korvettenleutnant Fregattenleutnant Linienschiffsleutnant Korvettenkapitän Fregattenkapitän Linienschiffskapitän
Flag of NATO.svg rank c b a OF-2 OF-3 OF-4 OF-5

Flag officers

command flag
Kontreadmiral ( Österreich-Ungarn) Flag of an Austro-Hungarian Rear Admiral (1915) K.u.K. Vizeadmiral Flag of an Austro-Hungarian Vice-Admiral (1915) K.u.K. Admiral Flag of an Austro-Hungarian Admiral (1915) K.u.K Großadmiral Österreich Großadmiral 1915
rank designation Konteradmiral Vizeadmiral Admiral Großadmiral
(Hun: Ellentengernagy) (Hun: Altengernagy) (Hun: Tengernagy) (Hun: Főtengernagy)
Flag of NATO.svg rank OF-6 OF-7 OF-8 OF-10



  • Stefan Rest: Des Kaisers Rock im Ersten Weltkrieg. Uniformierung und Ausrüstung der Österreichisch-Ungarischen Armee von 1914 bis 1918. Verlag Militaria, Wien 2002, ISBN 3-9501642-0-0.
  • k.u.k. Kriegsministerium: Dislokation und Einteilung des k.u.k Heeres, der k.u.k. Kriegsmarine, der k.k. Landwehr und der k.u. Landwehr. In: Seidels kleines Armeeschema, Seidel & Sohn, Wien 1914.
  • Mag. Stefan Fördö: Österreich-Ungarns Heeresuniformierung im 20. Jahrhundert in Beschreibung und Beispielen, Zadní dvůr-Press, Ústí nad Labem (CZ) 2008. (Loseblattsammlung)
  • k.u.k. Kriegsministerium: Adjustierungsvorschrift für das k.u.k. Heer, die k.k. Landwehr, die k.u. Landwehr, die verbundenen Einrichtungen und das Korps der Militärbeamten, Wien 1911/1912.
  • Organische Vorschrift für das Personal der k.u.k. Kriegsmarine: Adjustierung und Ausrüstung". Wien, 1907-12.
Archduke Franz Ferdinand of Austria

Archduke Franz Ferdinand Carl Ludwig Joseph Maria, Archduke of Austria-Este (18 December 1863 – 28 June 1914) was a member of the Imperial Habsburg dynasty, and from 1896 until his death the heir presumptive (Thronfolger) to the Austro-Hungarian throne.It is said that his assassination in Sarajevo precipitated Austria-Hungary's declaration of war against Serbia, which in turn triggered a series of events that eventually led to Austria-Hungary's allies and Serbia's declaring war on each other, starting World War I.

Lieutenant field marshal

Lieutenant field marshal, also frequently historically field marshal lieutenant (German: Feldmarschall-Leutnant, formerly Feldmarschallleutnant, historically also Feldmarschall-Lieutenant and, in official Imperial and Royal Austrian army documents from 1867 always Feldmarschalleutnant, abbreviated FML), was a senior army rank in certain European armies of the 17th to 20th centuries. It emerged as the rank of field marshal (German: Feldmarschall) came to be used for the highest army commander in the 17th century (having originally been the equivalent of a cavalry colonel). In German-speaking countries the commander-in-chief usually appointed an "under marshal" (Untermarschall) or "lieutenant field marshal" to support and represent the field marshal. Amongst his functions as the personal deputy to the field marshal, were the supervision of supply depots and routes, and inspection of the guards.

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.

Rank insignia of the Austro-Hungarian armed forces

This article deals with the rank insignia of the Austro-Hungarian armed forces, as worn by the Austro-Hungarian Army after the reorganisation in 1867 until 1918.

In Austrian armed forces rank insignia are traditionally called Paroli

(pl. Parolis) and are worn as gorget patch or collar tap, appliquéd to the gorget fore-part of the uniform coat, uniform jacket and/or battle-dress.

See also

Military ranks and insignia by country
Post-Soviet states
Commonwealth of Nations


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