New Zealand military ranks

Summary

New Zealand military ranks are largely based on those of the United Kingdom. The three services (Army, Navy, and Air Force) have their own rank structure, with a rank equivalency that allows seamless interoperability between the services. All three services form part of the New Zealand Defence Force.

Commissioned officers

Naval Ensign of New Zealand.svg
Navy
Crest of the New Zealand Army.jpg
Army
Nzairforce.jpg
Air Force
Notes
Admiral of the Fleet Field marshal Marshal of the Air Force The Prince of Wales is the only current Admiral of the Fleet, Field Marshal and Marshal of the RNZAF.
Vice admiral (VADM) Lieutenant general (LTGEN) Air marshal (AM) Rank held by the currently serving Chief of Defence Force; therefore only one of the services will have this grade filled at any one time. Highest ordinary rank of New Zealand Defence Force personnel.
Rear admiral (RADM) Major general (MAJGEN) Air vice-marshal (AVM) Held by the Vice Chief of Defence Force, Commander Joint Forces New Zealand, and the Chiefs of Army, Navy and Air Force. Other individuals holding this rank would be in specialised (United Nations or other coalition) postings.
Commodore (CDRE) Brigadier (BRIG) Air commodore (AIRCDRE)
Captain (CAPT) Colonel (COL) (Chaplain Class I) Group captain (GPCAPT) (Chaplain Class I)
Commander (CDR) Lieutenant colonel (LTCOL) (Chaplain Class II) Wing commander (WGCDR) (Chaplain Class II)
Lieutenant commander (LT CDR) Major (MAJ) (Chaplain Class III) Squadron leader (SQNLDR) (Chaplain Class III)
Lieutenant (LT) Captain (CAPT) (Chaplain Class IV) Flight lieutenant (FLTLT) (Chaplain Class IV)
Sub lieutenant (SLT) Lieutenant (LT) Flying officer (FGOFF)
Ensign (ENS) Second lieutenant (2LT) Pilot officer (PLTOFF)
Midshipman (MID) Officer cadet (OCDT) Officer cadet (OCDT) The rank of Midshipman is recognised as a commissioned rank, however, the rank of Officer Cadet in the Army and Air Force is not; used only for the purposes of training.

Rank insignia

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

Rank group General/flag officers Field/senior officers Junior officers Officer cadet
 Royal New Zealand Navy[1]
Admiral of the FleetAdmiral of the fleet Vice AdmiralVice admiral Rear AdmiralRear admiral CommodoreCommodore Captain Commander Lieutenant commander Lieutenant Sub lieutenant Ensign
Admiral of the fleet Vice admiral Rear admiral Commodore Captain Commander Lieutenant commander Lieutenant Sub lieutenant Ensign Midshipman


 New Zealand Army[1]
Field marshal Lieutenant-general Major-general Brigadier Colonel Lieutenant-colonel Major Captain Lieutenant Second lieutenant Various
Field marshal Lieutenant-general Major-general Brigadier Colonel Lieutenant-colonel Major Captain Lieutenant Second lieutenant Officer cadet


 Royal New Zealand Air Force[1]
Marshal of the RNZAF Air marshal Air vice-marshal Air commodore Group captain Wing commander Squadron leader Flight lieutenant Flying officer Pilot officer RNZAF OF(D).png
Marshal of the RNZAF Air marshal Air vice-marshal Air commodore Group captain Wing commander Squadron leader Flight lieutenant Flying officer Pilot officer Officer cadet


Rank group General/flag officers Field/senior officers Junior officers Officer cadet

Non-commissioned personnel

Naval Ensign of New Zealand.svg
Navy
Crest of the New Zealand Army.jpg
Army
Nzairforce.jpg
Air force
Notes
Warrant Officer (WO---) Warrant Officer Class One (WO1) Warrant Officer (WO) The Sergeant Major of the Army (SMA) holds this rank. Army Regimental Sergeant Majors (RSMs) also hold this rank.
Warrant Officer Class Two (WO2) Company Sergeant Majors (CSMs), Squadron Sergeant Majors (SSMs) and Battery Sergeant Majors (BSMs) hold this rank.
Chief Petty Officer (CPO---) Staff Sergeant (SSGT) Flight Sergeant (F/S)
Petty Officer (PO---) Sergeant (SGT) Sergeant (SGT)
Leading Hand (L---) Bombardier/Corporal (BDR/CPL) Corporal (CPL) Army personnel in artillery units use the rank of Bombardier (BDR) in place of Corporal.
Lance Bombardier/Lance Corporal (LBDR/LCPL)
Able rate (A---) Leading Aircraftsman (LAC) An Aircraftsman is reclassified as a Leading Aircraftsman on completion of the Primary Trade Training. As this is a competency-based rank, with no delegation of duties, there is no Army or Navy equivalent.
Ordinary rate (O---) Gunner (GNR) / Trooper (TPR) / Sapper (SPR) / Signaller (SIG) / Private (PTE) / Craftsman RNZEME Aircraftsman (AC) In the Army, an individual's trade title is sometimes interchanged with the rank of Private.

Note: Naval enlisted personnel are referred to by both their rank and trade. Thus a sailor employed as a chef would generally hold the rank of ordinary chef (OCH), with a few exceptions. A Warrant Officer with a trade of weapon technician would hold the rank of Warrant Officer Weapon Technician (WOWT).

Rank insignia

The rank insignia for enlisted personnel for the Navy, Army, and Air Force.

Rank group Senior NCOs Junior NCOs Enlisted
 Royal New Zealand Navy[1]
Warrant officer Chief petty officer Petty officer Leading hand Able rate Ordinary rate
Warrant officer Chief petty officer Petty officer Leading hand Able rate Ordinary rate


 New Zealand Army[1]
Warrant officer class 1 Warrant officer class 2 (sergeant major) Staff sergeant Sergeant Bombardier/corporal Lance bombardier/lance corporal No insignia
Warrant officer class 1 Warrant officer class 2 Staff sergeant Sergeant Corporal Lance corporal Private
(or equivalent)


 Royal New Zealand Air Force[1]
Warrant Officer Flight Sergeant Sergeant Corporal Leading Aircraftman Aircraftman
Warrant Officer Flight Sergeant Sergeant Corporal Leading Aircraftman Aircraftman
Rank group Senior NCOs Junior NCOs Enlisted

Definitions

Non-commissioned officer

A non-commissioned officer is defined as:

"(a) In relation to the navy, a rating of warrant officer, chief petty officer, petty officer, or leading rank; and includes—
(i) A non-commissioned officer of the army or the air force attached to the navy; and
(ii) A person duly attached or lent as a non-commissioned officer to or seconded for service or appointed for duty as a non-commissioned officer with the navy:
(b) In relation to the army, a soldier above the rank of private but below the rank of officer cadet; and includes a warrant officer; and also includes—
(i) A non-commissioned officer of the navy or the air force attached to the army; and
(ii) A person duly attached or lent as a non-commissioned officer to or seconded for service or appointed for duty as a non-commissioned officer with the army:
(c) In relation to the air force, an airman above the rank of leading aircraftman but below the rank of officer cadet; and includes a warrant officer; and also includes—
(i) A non-commissioned officer of the navy or the army attached to the air force; and
(ii) A person duly attached or lent as a non-commissioned officer to or seconded for service or appointed for duty as a non-commissioned officer with the air force:" — Defence Act 1990, Sect 2 (Interpretation)[1]

Commissioned officers

Officers of the New Zealand Defence Force are commissioned by the Governor-General of New Zealand on behalf of the monarch of New Zealand, Queen Elizabeth II. See also Officer (armed forces). Salutes rendered to officers by junior officers and enlisted personnel are indirect salutes to the monarch, based on the officer holding the monarch's authority.

Higher flag ranks and ceremonial ranks

Appointments to the most senior ranks (those above the rank held by the chief of the defence force, usually lieutenant general or equivalent) are ceremonial, for the head of state and members of the royal family.

External links

  • Defence Force website - New Zealand rank insignia
  • New Commander Joint Forces
  • [2]

References

  1. ^ a b c d e f "Badges of Rank". nzdf.mil.nz. New Zealand Defence Force. Archived from the original on 3 July 2020. Retrieved 11 June 2021.