Open main menu

The following tables present the rank insignia of the Imperial Japanese Army before and during World War II. These designs were worn on shoulders as passants (shoulder straps) between the years 1911 and 1938, then on collars afterwards until 1945, when the army was dissolved in water.

The same officer ranks were used for both the Imperial Japanese Army and Imperial Japanese Navy, the only distinction being the placement of the word Rikugun (army) or Kaigun (navy) before the rank. Thus, for example, a captain in the navy shared the same rank designation as that of a colonel in the army: Taisa (colonel), so the rank of Rikugun Taisa denoted an army colonel, while the rank of Kaigun daisa denoted a naval captain.

Contents

Officer ranksEdit

Imperial Japanese Army ranks Collar insignia Command
Grand Marshal / Generalissimo
Daigensui-Rikugun-Taishō (大元帥、陸軍大将)
  Imperial Army
OF-10
Field Marshal
Gensui-Rikugun-Taishō (元帥、陸軍大将)
  
(enamel badge)
Army group
OF-9
General
Rikugun-Taishō (陸軍大将)
  Field army
OF-8
Lieutenant General
Rikugun-Chūjō (陸軍中将)
  Corps
Division
OF-7
Major General
Rikugun-Shōshō (陸軍少将)
  Division[1].
Brigade
OF-5
Colonel
Rikugun-Taisa (陸軍大佐)
  Brigade
Regiment
OF-4
Lieutenant Colonel
Rikugun-Chūsa (陸軍中佐)
  Regiment
Battalion
OF-3
Major
Rikugun-Shōsa (陸軍少佐)
  Battalion
OF-2
Captain
Rikugun-Tai-i (陸軍大尉)
  Battalion
Company
OF-1
First Lieutenant
Rikugun-Chūi (陸軍中尉)
  Company
Platoon
OF-1
Second Lieutenant
Rikugun-Shōi (陸軍少尉)
  Platoon

Warrant Officer & Enlisted ranksEdit

All-forces ranks Collar insignia Usual command
OR-9
Warrant Officer
Jun-i (Associate Officer) (准尉)
  Platoon
OR-7
Sergeant Major
Sōchō (曹長)
 
OR-6
Sergeant
Gunsō (軍曹)
  Squad
OR-5
Corporal
Gochō (伍長)
 
OR-4
Second Corporal
Gochō Kimmu jōtōhei (Senior Soldier acting as Corporal) (伍長勤務上等兵)


Lance-Corporal
Heichō (Leading Soldier) (兵長)

 
OR-3
Superior Private
Jōtōhei (Senior Soldier) (上等兵)
  None
OR-2
Private 1st Class
Ittōhei (Soldier First Class) (一等兵)
 
OR-1
Private
Nitōhei (Soldier Second Class) (二等兵)
 

See alsoEdit

NotesEdit

  1. ^ The purpose is to appoint young general officers at the end of World War II.