Venezuelan military ranks

A new law approved in July 2008 changed the military ranks of Venezuela, principally with regard to names, functions and commanding regulation of the armed forces. The law was sanctioned by Venezuela's National Assembly.

The main changes are for the General Officer Ranks, with the incorporation of the “Comandante en Jefe” rank, the upgrading of the “General en Jefe/Almirante en Jefe” Rank to that of a full 4-star general/flag officer rank, and the creation of the “Mayor General/Almirante” Rank.

Throughout Venezuelan Military history, the ranks system has been notably complex and quite different from other armies in Latin America and NATO. It has 3 types of Non-Commissioned Officers: Technical NCO's and Warrant Officers, Professional NCO's, and Enlisted NCO's – the largest in any military force worldwide.

History

Historically the Venezuelan system of ranks and insignia was based on Prussian patterns, just as is currently the case in the Chilean and Ecuadorian army. However, currently Prussian-style insignia are preserved only in the ceremonial uniform (not displayed below)[1], while for everyday use a system with simpler patterns was introduced. Only the Army and National Guard use the Prussian patern in the ceremonial uniforms.

Comandante en jefe

The office of the Venezuelan military supreme commander has always been held by the President of Venezuela as per constitutional requirements, however with the new law sanctioned in 2008, the “Comandante en Jefe” is not only a function and an appointment attributed to the executive branch, but is now set to be a military rank equivalent to a Five Stars General or a Marshall. Anybody who gets elected President of Venezuela is automatically made a full general of the National Armed Forces and may be granted full military uniform, but he may wear it or not depending on the circumstances.

Hugo Chávez left the Army as a lieutenant colonel in 1992, but when he became president he adopted the uniform of "Commander in Chief", with distinctive shoulder badge and sleeve and epaulette insignia and carried a saber similar to Simon Bolivar's in military events. During the Nicolas Maduro administration however, the rank insignia and epaulette (as well as the saber) were not worn by him during major military events, instead preferring to wear civilian dress or suits during formal events (with the national flag sash and the presidential medal).

This rank holds the direct operational control and command over all armed forces, and is held while he is in the presidential office.

The position is a copy of the one used by Fidel Castro in Cuba, and the design of the shoulder patch are very similar, but not in the shoulder board and epaulette on the dress uniform since Venezuelan military ranks are inspired by German (especially Prussian) military influence, and thus is similar to a Marshal of the German Democratic Republic but with a dark red star inside.

Officer ranks

The following are the rank insignia for commissioned officers for the army, navy and air force respectively. The Venezuelan National Guard uses the Army rank system while the militia uses the rank system according to their function (ground, naval, or air).

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
Venezuela Venezuela
(Edit)
No equivalent General-in-Chief (Venezuela).PNG Major General (Venezuela).PNG Divisional General (Venezuela).PNG General-de-Brigada.png Coronel (Venezuela).png Teniente Coronel (Venezuela).png RMayor.jpg Captain (Venezuela).png 1st Lieutenant (Venezuela).png Sub-lieutenant (Venezuela).png Unknown
General en Jefe Mayor General General de Division General de Brigada Coronel Teniente Coronel Mayor Capitán Primer Teniente Teniente
Venezuela Venezuela
(Edit)
No equivalent Almiranteenjefe.png Almirante - 2.png Vicealmirante.gif Contralmirante.png Generic-Navy-O7.svg Generic-Navy-O5.svg Generic-Navy-O4.svg Generic-Navy-O3.svg Generic-Navy-O2.svg Generic-Navy-O1.svg Unknown
Almirante en Jefe Almirante Vicealmirante Contraalmirante Capitán de Navío Capitán de Fragata Capitán de Corbeta Teniente de Navío Teniente de Fragata Alferez de Navío
Venezuela Venezuela
(Edit)
No equivalent General-in-Chief (Venezuela).PNG Major General (Venezuela).PNG Divisional General (Venezuela).PNG General-de-Brigada.png Coronel (Venezuela).png Teniente Coronel (Venezuela).png RMayor.jpg Captain (Venezuela).png 1st Lieutenant (Venezuela).png Sub-lieutenant (Venezuela).png Unknown
General en Jefe Mayor General General de Division General de Brigada Coronel Teniente Coronel Mayor Capitán Primer Teniente Teniente
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

Technical Non-commissioned officers and Warrant officers

SOPC Rangos Venezuela
Professional Career Warrant Officer ranks of the National Armed Forces (Army, Air Force, National Guard and Militia version).

These were, until their transformation into the technical officers corps in 2009, technical high-ranking non-commissioned personnel and warrant officers, with a technical and professional degree, which are usually assigned to technical positions inside the National Armed Forces and as warrant officers in the different service arms. While the insignia for the ground and air forces and the National Guard and Militia (featured here) are both on the shoulders and collars, naval insignia are also used on the sleeve.

Technical Non-commissioned officers and Warrant officers (Army shoulder boards)
Sargento Técnico
de Tercera
(Junior Warrant
Officer)
Sargento Técnico
de Segunda
Sargento Técnico
de Primera
(Third Warrant
Officer)
Maestro Técnico
de Tercera
Maestro Técnico
de Segunda
Maestro Técnico
de Primera
Maestro Técnico
Mayor
Maestro Técnico
Supervisor
(Chief Warrant
Officer)
SargentoTecnico3ra EjSargentoTecnico2da EjSargentoTecnico1ra EjMaestroTecnico3ra EjMaestroTecnico2da EjMaestroTecnico1ra EjMaestroTecnicoMayor EjMaestroTecnicoSupervisor
Technical Non-commissioned officers and Warrant officers (Air Force shoulder boards)
Sargento Técnico
de Tercera
Sargento Técnico
de Segunda
Sargento Técnico
de Primera
Maestro Técnico
de Tercera
Maestro Técnico
de Segunda
Maestro Técnico
de Primera
Maestro Técnico
Mayor
Maestro Técnico
Supervisor
AvSargentoTecnico3ra AvSargentoTecnico2da AvSargentoTecnico1ra AvMaestroTecnico3ra AvMaestroTecnico2da AvMaestroTecnico1ra AvMaestroTecnicoMayor AvMaestroTecnicoSupervisor
Technical Non-commissioned officers and Warrant officers (Navy shoulder boards)
Maestre
de Tercera
Maestre
de Segunda
Maestre
de Primera
Maestre Técnico Maestre
Auxiliar
Maestre Técnico
Principal
Maestre Técnico
Mayor
Maestre Técnico
Supervisor
Maestre3ra Maestre2da Maestre1ra Maestretecnico Maestreauxiliar Maestreprincipal Maestremayor Maestresupervisor

Army, National Guard, Air Force and Militia:

Navy:

Professional and enlisted Other Ranks

The following are rank insignia for enlisted personnel and ratings for the army, navy and air force respectively. Ranks used by the Army are also used by the other service branches, the National Guard and the ground and naval forces of the National Militia.

Equivalent
NATO code
OR-9 OR-8 OR-7 OR-6 OR-5 OR-4 OR-3 OR-2 OR-1
Venezuela Venezuela
(Edit)
Venezuela-Army-OR-8b.svg Venezuela-Army-OR-8a.svg Venezuela-Army-OR-7b.svg Venezuela-Army-OR-7a.svg Venezuela-Army-OR-6b.svg Venezuela-Army-OR-6a.svg Venezuela-Army-OR-5.svg Venezuela-Army-OR-4.svg Venezuela-Army-OR-3.svg Venezuela-Army-OR-2.svg No insignia
Sargento Supervisor Sargento Ayudante Sargento mayor de Primera Sargento mayor de Segunda Sargento mayor de Tercera Sargento Primero Sargento Segundo Cabo Primero Cabo Segundo Distinguido Soldado Raso
Venezuela Venezuela
(Edit)
Sargentosupervisor.gif Sargentoayudante.gif Sargentomayor1ra.gif Sargentomayor2da.gif Sargentomayor3ra.gif Sargento1ro.gif Sargento2do.gif Cabo1ro.png Cabo2do.png Distinguido.png Marinero Raso.gif
Sargento Supervisor Sargento Ayudante Sargento mayor de Primera Sargento mayor de Segunda Sargento mayor de Tercera Sargento Primero Sargento Segundo Cabo Primero Cabo Segundo Distinguido Marinero Raso
Venezuela Venezuela
(Edit)
AvSargento-Supervisor.png AvSargento-Ayudante.png AvSargento-Mayor2da.png AvSargento-Mayor2da.png AvSargento-Mayor3ra.png AvSargento-1ro.png AvSargento-2do.png AvCabo-1ro AvCabo-2do Aviador-Distinguido No insignia
Sargento Supervisor Sargento Ayudante Sargento mayor de Primera Sargento mayor de Segunda Sargento mayor de Tercera Sargento Primero Sargento Segundo Cabo Primero Cabo Segundo Distinguido Aviador
Equivalent
NATO Code
OR-9 OR-8 OR-7 OR-6 OR-5 OR-4 OR-3 OR-2 OR-1
Equivalent
NATO code
OR-9 OR-8 OR-7 OR-6 OR-5 OR-4 OR-3 OR-2 OR-1
Venezuela Venezuela
(National Guard)
Venezuela-Army-OR-8b.svg Venezuela-Army-OR-8a.svg Venezuela-Army-OR-7b.svg Venezuela-Army-OR-7a.svg Venezuela-Army-OR-6b.svg Venezuela-Army-OR-6a.svg Venezuela-Army-OR-5.svg Venezuela-Army-OR-4.svg Venezuela-Army-OR-3.svg Venezuela-Army-OR-2.svg No insignia
Sargento Supervisor Sargento Ayudante Sargento mayor de Primera Sargento mayor de Segunda Sargento mayor de Tercera Sargento Primero Sargento Segundo Cabo Primero Cabo Segundo Distinguido Guardia Nacional Raso
Venezuela Venezuela
(National Militia-
Ground)
Venezuela-Army-OR-8b.svg Venezuela-Army-OR-8a.svg Venezuela-Army-OR-7b.svg Venezuela-Army-OR-7a.svg Venezuela-Army-OR-6b.svg Venezuela-Army-OR-6a.svg Venezuela-Army-OR-5.svg Venezuela-Army-OR-4.svg Venezuela-Army-OR-3.svg Venezuela-Army-OR-2.svg No insignia
Sargento Supervisor Sargento Ayudante Sargento mayor de Primera Sargento mayor de Segunda Sargento mayor de Tercera Sargento Primero Sargento Segundo Cabo Primero Cabo Segundo Distinguido Miliciano
Venezuela Venezuela
(National Militia-
People's Navy)
Sargentosupervisor.gif Sargentoayudante.gif Sargentomayor1ra.gif Sargentomayor2da.gif Sargentomayor3ra.gif Sargento1ro.gif Sargento2do.gif Cabo1ro.png Cabo2do.png Distinguido.png Marinero Raso.gif
Sargento Supervisor Sargento Ayudante Sargento mayor de Primera Sargento mayor de Segunda Sargento mayor de Tercera Sargento Primero Sargento Segundo Cabo Primero Cabo Segundo Distinguido Miliciano Marina Popular
Equivalent
NATO code
OR-9 OR-8 OR-7 OR-6 OR-5 OR-4 OR-3 OR-2 OR-1

Cadet officer ranks

In the 5 military schools of Venezuela, special military ranks are used by officer candidates and aspirants, with Cadet as the lowest rank, and with the highest ranks of Ensign or Midshipman depending on the service academy save for the Military Technical Academy, Military Medical Academy and Troop Officers Military College whose cadets come from all the service branches, and are ranked as per their service academies.

Cadet ranks of the Military Academies of the Army, Air Force and the National Guard

  • Alférez Mayor (Cadet Senior Ensign)
  • Alférez Auxilar (Cadet Auxiliary Ensign)
  • Alférez (Cadet Ensign)
  • Brigadier Mayor (Cadet Brigadier Major)
  • Primer Brigadier (Cadet Brigadier 1st Class)
  • Brigadier (Cadet Brigadier)
  • Sub-Brigadier (Cadet Sub-Brigadier)
  • Distinguido (Cadet 1st Class)
  • Cadete (Cadet)

Midshipmen ranks of the Venezuelan Naval Academy

  • Guardiamarina Mayor (Senior Midshipman)
  • Guardiamarina Auxiliar (Junior Midshipman)
  • Guardiamarina (Midshipman)
  • Brigadier Mayor (Cadet Brigadier Major)
  • Brigadier Primero (Cadet Brigadier 1st Class)
  • Brigadier (Cadet Brigadier)
  • Sub-Brigadier (Cadet Sub-Brigadier)
  • Distinguido (Cadet 1st Class)
  • Cadete (Cadet)

Rank insignia for the cadets of the service academies are both on the shoulders and on the sleeves of all uniforms save for the combat uniform. Military high schools share the same insignia but use different ranks.

See also

References

  1. ^ http://www.uniforminsignia.org/?option=com_insigniasearch&Itemid=53&result=2248
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.

National Bolivarian Armed Forces of Venezuela

The National Bolivarian Armed Forces (Spanish: Fuerza Armada Nacional Bolivariana) are controlled by the Commander-in-Chief (the President) and a civilian Minister of Defense. In addition to the army, navy, and air force there is also a national guard and national militia primarily focused on internal security.

The armed forces primary purpose is to defend Venezuelan territory from attack, combat drug trafficking, provide search and rescue capabilities, aid the civilian population in case of natural disasters protection, as well as numerous internal security assignments. As of 2018, the armed forces had 123,000 active personnel and 8,000 reservists as well as 220,000 paramilitary troops.

Military ranks and insignia by country
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