Naval officer ranks


Navies have military rank systems that often are quite different from those of armies or air forces. Sometimes, services that are considered parts of the navy – marine or amphibious corps – use the army-style ranks instead, while the ranks listed here are reserved for fleets.

NATO rank codes

To assist in the comparison of ranks in the armed forces of different countries, established NATO rank codes are used.[1] These are established codes for determining the seniority of officer and other ranks in NATO countries for a particular joint task group or command structure, although specific appointments designate a higher level of seniority over other equivalent rank codes in a given situation. Officer ranks go from OF-1 (applying to all subaltern officers below (army) captain) up to OF-10; OF(D) being a special category for trainee officers awaiting a commission. Other ranks (those considered enlisted men in the United States forces) are classified from OR-1 to OR-9. Warrant officers in the United States forces are a special case as single track career specialists between the enlisted and officer ranks in terms of seniority, and have no NATO rank code. The system should not be confused with the pay grades used in the US military.

While countries outside the NATO command structure (including some NATO member countries such as France) do not strictly fall into this classification structure and there may be incidences of overlap (particularly in ranks between countries) the codes still provide a useful gauge in determining what ranks are broadly equivalent.

Flag officers

These are the highest ranks. Promotion to a rank above OF-9 is now rare and usually reserved for wartime. Fleet admiral is an example of such a rank.

Note that there is doubt about rank equivalence in countries that have fleet admirals but no commodores, such as the former German Empire and Russia - often it is considered that in these countries a fleet admiral equates to an OF-9 rank, an admiral to OF-8, a vice admiral to OF-7, and a rear admiral to OF-6 (i.e. the ranks all move down one grade).

The Royal New Zealand Navy ranks of admiral and vice-admiral are generally only used in times of war.

Country OF-10 OF-9 OF-8 OF-7 OF-6
Albania   Admiral Nënadmiral Kundëradmiral  
Argentina   Almirante Vicealmirante Contraalmirante Comodoro de Marina
Australia Admiral of the fleet Admiral Vice admiral Rear admiral Commodore
Belgium   Admiraal (in Dutch)
amiral (in French)
Vice-admiraal (in Dutch)
vice-amiral (in French)
Divisieadmiraal (in Dutch)
amiral de division (in French)
Flottieljeadmiraal (in Dutch)
amiral de flottille (in French)
Brazil Almirante Almirante-de-esquadra Vice-almirante Contra-almirante  
Bulgaria Адмирал на флота

Admiral na flota









Canada   Admiral (in English)
Amiral (in French)
Vice-admiral (in English)
Vice-Amiral (in French)
Rear-admiral (in English)
Contre-Amiral (in French)
Commodore (in English)
Commodore (in French)
Chile Almirante Vicealmirante Contralmirante Comodoro
China   Shang jiang (上將) Zhong jiang (中將) Shao jiang (少將) Da xiao (大校)
Croatia Admiral flote Admiral Viceadmiral Kontraadmiral Komodor
Denmark   Admiral Viceadmiral Kontreadmiral Flottilleadmiral
Estonia   Admiral Viitseadmiral Kontradmiral Kommodoor
Finland   Amiraali (in Finnish)
Amiral (in Swedish)
Vara-amiraali (in Finnish)
Viceamiral (in Swedish)
Kontra-amiraali (in Finnish)
Konteramiral (in Swedish)
Lippueamiraali (in Finnish)
Flottiljamiral (in Swedish)
(literally: Flotilla admiral)
France Amiral de France Amiral Vice-amiral d'escadre Vice-amiral Contre-amiral
Germany   Admiral Vizeadmiral Konteradmiral Flottillenadmiral
Germany (1935–1945) Großadmiral Generaladmiral Admiral Vizeadmiral Konteradmiral
Germany (1871–1918) Großadmiral   Admiral Vizeadmiral Konteradmiral
Greece Αρχιναύαρχος (archinavarchos) Ναύαρχος (navarchos) Αντιναύαρχος (antinavarchos) Υποναύαρχος (hyponavarchos) Αρχιπλοίαρχος (archiploiarchos)
Indonesia Laksamana besar
(literally: Grand admiral)
Laksamana Laksamana madya Laksamana muda Laksamana pertama
Israel Rav-aluf Aluf Tat-aluf
Italy Ammiraglio Ammiraglio di squadra
incarichi speciali
Ammiraglio di squadra

Ammiraglio ispettore capo

Ammiraglio di divisione

ammiraglio ispettore

Imperial Japanese Navy Gensui kaigun taisho(元帥海軍大将) Kaigun taisho(海軍大将) Kaigun chujo(海軍中将) Kaigun shosho(海軍少将)
Japan Maritime Self Defense Force Kaijō-bakuryōchō海上幕僚長 Kaishō海将 Kaishō-ho海将補
Latvia   Admirālis Viceadmirālis Kontradmirālis Flotiles admirālis
Malaysia Laksamana armada
(literally: Admiral of the fleet)
Laksamana Laksamana madya Laksamana muda Laksamana pertama
Mexico Comandante Supremo de las Fuerzas Armadas Almirante Secretario de Marina Almirante Vicealmirante Contralmirante
Netherlands Admiraal Luitenant-admiraal Vice-admiraal Schout-bij-nacht Commandeur
New Zealand Admiral of the fleet Admiral Vice admiral Rear admiral Commodore
Nigeria Admiral of the fleet Admiral Vice-admiral Rear-admiral Commodore
Norway   Admiral Viseadmiral Kontreadmiral Flaggkommandør
Philippines Admiral (English)
Almirante (Filipino)
Vice Admiral (English)
Pangalawang Almirante/Bise Almirante (Filipino)
Rear Admiral (English)
Almirante sa Likuran
Commodore (English)
Kommodoro (Filipino)
Poland   Admirał

Admirał floty[2]

Wiceadmirał Kontradmirał  
Portugal Almirante da armada Almirante Vice-almirante Contra-almirante Comodoro
Romania   Amiral Viceamiral Contraamiral Contraamiral de flotilă
Russia Адмирал флота
(admiral of the fleet)
(vice admiral)
(rear admiral)
Singapore     Vice admiral Rear admiral
(two stars)
Rear admiral
(one star)
South Africa   Admiral
Admiraal (in Afrikaans)
Vice admiral
Vise-admiraal (in Afrikaans)
Rear admiral
Skout-admiraal (in Afrikaans)
Rear admiral (junior grade)
Skout-admiraal (JR) (in Afrikaans)
Soviet Union Адмирал флота Советского Союза
(admiral of the fleet of the Soviet Union)

Адмирал флота
(fleet admiral)

(vice admiral)
(rear admiral)
South Korea Wonsu (원수) Daejang (대장) Jungjang (중장) Sojang (소장) Junjang (준장)
Spain Capitán general Almirante general Almirante Vicealmirante Contraalmirante
Sweden - Amiral Viceamiral Konteramiral Flottiljamiral[3]
(literally: Flotilla admiral)
Taiwan (Republic of China) Teji-shangjiang






Zhongjiang 中將 Shaojiang 少將 -
Thailand Chom phon ruea
(admiral of the fleet)
Phon ruea ek
Phon ruea tho
(Vice admiral)
Phon ruea tri
(Rear admiral)
Nawa ek phiset
(Special captain)
Turkey Büyük amiral Deniz kuvvetleri komutanı


Koramiral Tümamiral Tuğamiral
United Kingdom Admiral of the fleet Admiral Vice-admiral Rear-admiral Commodore
(not actually a flag officer)
United States Admiral of the NavyA

Fleet admiral

Admiral Vice admiral Rear admiral
(upper half)
Rear admiral
(lower half)
Ukraine   Admiral Vice-admiral Kontr-admiral  
Country OF-10 OF-9 OF-8 OF-7 OF-6

AAdmiral of the Navy has only been created once during the history of the US Navy. It is considered superior to fleet admiral, but does not have a NATO rank code

Other officers

In most navies, captain is the common address to commanding officers of a naval ship, regardless of their actual rank. As a rank, naval ranks of captain are almost always senior to army captains. Exceptions are the Polish Navy and the Republic of Singapore Navy, where "captain" refers to the same rank in the navy as in the army. In many navies, the concepts of army captain and ship's lieutenant are merged into the rank of "captain-lieutenant". Examples of this are Germany, Russia, Portugal, Denmark and Norway.

Common rank titles used are:

Many naval rank systems ultimately derive from either British, French or Spanish naval usage.

Generally speaking, naval ranks systems derived from French and Spanish usage use the names of different classes of ship (corvette, frigate, ship-of-the-line) in their rank titles. This is also the case in some other navies, e.g. two German naval ranks, those of "corvette captain" and "frigate captain".

Naval rank systems derived from British usage use the rank "captain" exclusively for the highest rank of ship's captain (i.e. of the largest class of ship) and use the rank "lieutenant" exclusively for the highest rank of ship's lieutenant (i.e. of the largest class of ship). In such navies, the captains and lieutenants of smaller ships are therefore unlikely to have the naval rank of "captain" or "lieutenant" respectively; and furthermore a naval "captain" is therefore equivalent to an army colonel, and a naval "lieutenant" to an army captain. These naval ranks should not be confused with merchant navy ranks,[4] where the rankings are based on department basis, although captain has the ultimate authority, followed by the chief engineer.

Country OF-5 OF-4 OF-3 OF-2 OF-1
Albania Kapitan i rangut të parë Kapitan i rangut të dytë Kapitan i rangut te tretë Kapitan lejtnant Lejtnant Nënlejtnant  
Argentina Capitán de navío Capitán de fragata Capitán de corbeta Teniente de navío Teniente de fragata Teniente de corbeta Guardiamarina
Australia Captain Commander Lieutenant commander Lieutenant Sub lieutenant Acting sub lieutenant Midshipman
Austro-Hungarian Empire Linienschiffskapitän Fregattenkapitän Korvettenkapitän Linienschiffsleutnant Fregattenleutnant Korvettenleutnant
Belgium Kapitein-ter-zee
Capitaine de vaisseau
Capitaine de frégate
Capitaine de corvette

Luitenant-ter-zee 1ste klasse
Lieutenant de vaisseau 1ère classe

Lieutenant de vaisseau
Enseigne de vaisseau
Vaandrig-ter-zee 2de klasse
Enseigne de vaisseau de 2ème classe
Brazil Capitão-de-mar-e-guerra Capitão-de-fragata Capitão-de-corveta Capitão-tenente Primeiro-tenente Segundo-tenente Guarda-marinha
Bulgaria Капитан първи ранг

Kapitan parvi rang

Капитан втори ранг

Kapitan vtori rang

Капитан трети ранг

Kapitan treti rang



Старши лейтенант

Starshi leytenant



Младши лейтенант

Mladshi leytenant

Canada Captain
Capitaine de vaisseau
Capitaine de frégate
Capitaine de corvette
Lieutenant de vaisseau
Enseigne de vaisseau de 1ère classe
Acting Sub-Lieutenant
Enseigne de vaisseau de 2ème classe
Naval Cadet
Aspirant de marine
Chile Capitan de navio Capitan de fragata Capitan de corbeta Teniente primero Teniente segundo Subteniente Guardiamarina
China Shang xiao (上校) Zhong xiao (中校) Shao xiao (少校) Shang wei (上尉) Zhong wei (中尉) Shao wei (少尉) Xue yuan (學員)
Croatia Kapetan bojnog broda Kapetan fregate Kapetan korvete Poručnik bojnog broda Poručnik fregate Poručnik korvete  
Denmark Kommandør Kommandør-kaptajn Orlogskaptajn Kaptajnløjtnant Premierløjtnant Løjtnant  
Estonia Mereväekapten Kaptenleitnant Kaptenmajor Vanemleitnant Leitnant Nooremleitnant Lipnik
Finland Kommodori


France Capitaine de vaisseau Capitaine de frégate Capitaine de corvette Lieutenant de vaisseau Enseigne de vaisseau de 1ère classe Enseigne de vaisseau de 2ème classe Aspirant
Germany Kapitän zur See Fregattenkapitän Korvettenkapitän Stabskapitänleutnant


Oberleutnant zur See Leutnant zur See  
German Empire Kapitän zur See Fregattenkapitän Korvettenkapitän Kapitänleutnant Oberleutnant zur See Leutnant zur See  
Greece Πλοίαρχος ("ploiarchos") Αντιπλοίαρχος ("antiploiarchos") Πλωτάρχης ("plotarchis") Υποπλοίαρχος ("hypoploiarchos") Ανθυποπλοίαρχος ("anthypoploiarchos") Σημαιοφόρος ("simeoforos")  
Indonesia Kolonel Letnan kolonel Mayor Kapten Letnan satu Letnan dua
Israel Aluf mishne Sgan aluf Rav seren Seren Segen Segen mishne  
Italy Capitano di vascello Capitano di fregata Capitano di corvetta Primo tenente di vascello,

tenente di vascello

Sottotenente di vascello Guardiamarina Aspirante guardiamarina
Japan (Imperial Japanese Navy) Daisa (大佐) Chūsa (中佐) Shōsa (少佐) Taii (大尉) Chūi (中尉) Shōi (少尉) Shōi-kouhosei (少尉候補生)
Japan Maritime Self Defense Force Ittou-kaisa 一等海佐 Nitou-kaisa 二等海佐 Santou-kaisa 三等海佐 Ittou-kaii 一等海尉 Nitou-kaii 二等海尉 Santou-kaii 三等海尉  
Latvia Jūras kapteinis Komandkapteinis Komandleitnants Kapteiņleitnants Virsleitnants Leitnants  
Lithuania Jūrų kapitonas Komandoras Komandoras leitenantas Kapitonas leitenantas Vyresnysis leitenantas Leitenantas  
Malaysia Kepten Komander Leftenan komander Leftenan Leftenan madya Leftenan muda Pegawai kadet kanan
Mexico Capitán de navío Capitán de fragata Capitán de corbeta Teniente de navío Teniente de fragata Teniente de corbeta Guardiamarina o 1er maestre
Netherlands Kapitein ter zee Kapitein-Luitenant ter zee Luitenant ter zee der 1e klasse Luitenant ter zee der 2e klasse oudste categorie Luitenant ter zee der 2e klasse Luitenant ter zee der 3e klasse Adelborst
New Zealand Captain Commander Lieutenant commander Lieutenant Sub lieutenant Ensign Midshipman
Nigeria Captain Commander Lieutenant-commander Lieutenant Sub-lieutenant Acting sub-lieutenant Midshipman
Norway Kommandør Kommandørkaptein Orlogskaptein Kapteinløytnant Løytnant Fenrik Kadett
Philippines Commodore Kapitan Kumander Lieutenant commander Tenyente, senior grade Tenyente, junior grade Ensign
Poland Komandor Komandor porucznik Komandor podporucznik Kapitan marynarki Porucznik marynarki Podporucznik marynarki  
Portugal Capitão-de-mar-e-guerra Capitão-de-fragata Capitão-tenente Primeiro-tenente Segundo-tenente Guarda-marinha/subtenente Aspirante
Romania Comandor Căpitan-comandor Locotenent-comandor Căpitan Locotenent Aspirant  
Russia Kapitan pervogo ranga Kapitan vtorogo ranga Kapitan tret'yego ranga Kapitan-leytenant Starshiy leytenant Leytenant  Mladshiy leytenant
Singapore Colonel Lieutenant colonel Major Captain Lieutenant Second lieutenant Midshipman
South Africa Captain
Lieutenant commander
Soviet Union Капитан первого ранга (Kapitan pervogo ranga) Капитан второго ранга (Kapitan vtorogo ranga) Капитан третьего ранга (Kapitan tret'yego ranga) Капитан-лейтенант (Kapitan-leytenant) Старший лейтенант (Starshiy leytenant) Лейтенант (Leytenant) Младший лейтенант (Mladshiy leytenant)
South Korea Daeryeong (대령) Jungryeong (중령) Soryeong (소령) Daewi (대위) Jungwi (중위) Sowi (소위)  
Spain Capitán de navío Capitán de fragata Capitán de corbeta Teniente de navío Alférez de navío Alférez de fragata Guardiamarina
Sweden Kommendör av 1. graden[5]


Kommendörkapten Örlogskapten Kapten Löjtnant Fänrik  
Taiwan (Republic of China) Shangxiao 上校 Zhongxiao 中校 Shaoxiao 少校 Shangwei 上尉 Zhongwei 中尉 Shaowei 少尉 Zhunwei 准尉
Thailand Nawa ek (captain) Nawa tho (commander) Nawa tri (lieutenant commander) Ruea ek (lieutenant) Ruea tho (lieutenant junior grade) Ruea tri (sub-lieutenant)  
Turkey Albay Yarbay Binbaşı Yüzbaşı Üsteğmen Teğmen Asteğmen
United Kingdom Captain Commander Lieutenant Commander Lieutenant Sub Lieutenant Midshipman Officer Cadet
United States Captain Commander Lieutenant commander Lieutenant Lieutenant, junior grade Ensign Midshipman (USNA, ROTC, etc.)
Ukraine Kapitan I ranhu Kapitan II ranhu Kapitan III ranhu Kapitan-leitenant Starshyi leitenant Leitenant Molodshyi leitenant
Country OF-5 OF-4 OF-3 OF-2 OF-1

See also


  1. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 8 May 2012. Retrieved 13 January 2022.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  2. ^ Polish admirał floty was added in 2002, but, along with admirał, both are OF-9. Contrary to its English counterpart fleet admiral, admirał floty is a lower rank.
  3. ^ Introduced on 1 July 2000, when promotions to the rank of Kommendör av 1. graden ceased.
  4. ^ P, Vijay Kr; it (2020-01-24). "Merchant Navy Ranks From Deck Cadet To Captain". ArticleNama. Retrieved 2020-01-26.
  5. ^ Promotion to the rank of Kommendör av 1. graden ceased on 1 July 2000, when the new junior flag rank of Flottiljamiral was introduced.