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Template talk:Military ranks

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Chief Petty OfficerEdit

I add Chief Petty Officer as most Naval force have Chief in place of Warrent officers and the fact that there is a great deal of Differce between the role of a CPO and a Petty officer

Yes, it should be added, by all means. Just about every commonwealth Navy (as well as the USN and USCG, obviously) have Chiefs. This needs to be added. --ip.address.conflict (talk) 16:15, 6 November 2014 (UTC)

- What about the Commonwealth Air Ranks? The UK, Australia, New Zealand, India, Pakistan, etc. all use the Royal Air Force system of ranks for their air force. This should definitely be included in this.

I second the above about Commonwealth Air Ranks. Also, at present the template has General = Commodore. In many militaries this is never true, and even in those with Brigadier Generals, most general ranks do not equate to Commodores. It would be far better to put General = Admiral. Greenshed 19:23, 10 November 2006 (UTC)

that good thinking However I think if we do that Chief Petty Officer should be in as it most Navaies there are Equal to a Warret officer or go for CPO/WO because both are fairly common

Common Military Ranks
Naval Forces Land (and some Air) Forces Other Air Forces
Fleet Admiral Marshal Marshal of the Air Force
Admiral General Air Marshal
Commodore Brigadier Air Commodore
Captain Colonel Group Captain
Commander Wing Commander
Major Squadron Leader
Lieutenant Captain Flight Lieutenant
Ensign Lieutenant Flying Officer
Warrant Officer Warrant Officer Warrant Officer
Petty Officer Sergeant Sergeant
Leading Rate Corporal Corporal
Seaman Private Aircraftman
This template attempts to order military ranks an everyday civilian might hear in many countries to aid in understanding which rank precedes which, excluding combinations of names such as Lieutenant Colonel. Please feel free to improve it.

What about the version alongside? I know it could use a little format work. Greenshed 20:09, 10 November 2006 (UTC)

I think the whole point of this easy-comparison table is to be simple. Also, it probably is meant to be a comparison within each column, not across each row. If we're going to clutter it we might as well include all the ranks and the peculiarities of these ranks which every country has as well? The RAF style is very similar to the naval style and I think it can be omitted. --Rifleman 82 20:18, 10 November 2006 (UTC)

What about the General =! Commodore problem? Greenshed 21:01, 14 November 2006 (UTC)

How about leaving out Commodore and Marshal? --Rifleman 82 21:12, 14 November 2006 (UTC)

Inclusion and exclusion of air force ranksEdit

Here's may take on this question.

  • Air force rank titles which are clearly derived from only one navy or army rank should be ommited. E.g. Air commodore is clearly derived from commodore and no other rank. Likewise for wing commander. Therefore they should stay out.
  • Air force rank titles which might (to the uninformed eye) be derived from two or more different ranks should stay in. E.g. Group captain as it is not obvious from the rank title that it is equivalent to a navy captain and not an army captain.
  • Air force rank titles which are do not occur in army or navy usage should be listed. E.g. squadron leader. Greenshed 17:12, 10 February 2007 (UTC)

I think it is probably much better and clearer to use slightly more air force ranks than you suggest. Mesoso 23:28, 18 March 2007 (UTC)

On reflection, you're right. Greenshed 23:09, 22 April 2007 (UTC)

'Commonweath' ranksEdit

The air force ranking system which originated in the RAF should not be described as the Commonwealth air force ranking system. First, the Commonwealth is not a military alliance and so saying that it is a Commonwealth rank system is somewhat misleading. More importantly, not all Commonwealth countries use the system (notably Canada) and some countries which are not part of the Commonwealth (notably Zimbabwe) do use the system. Additionally, several non-English speaking countries (eg Greece) conventionally have their air force ranks translated according to the system. Greenshed (talk) 07:54, 26 July 2008 (UTC)

Most commonwealth countries use these ranks.
The Commonwealth is not a military alliance but the existence of air force ranks used only in the current and former Commonwealth, and by most of the commonwealth, is a fact. Therefore the existence of a comomnwealth rank system is a fact. i do not think this is misleading, i see no implication of military alliance.
The Greeks may chose to translate their ranks any way they like, in greek they do not use these ranks.
Zimbabwe was in the commonwealth, that is why it uses these ranks. Mesoso2 (talk) 18:47, 6 August 2008 (UTC)

You say the Greeks don't use air marshal ranks. Whilst it is true that the words "air marshal" do not exisit in Greek their is common history between the two air forces (Air operations during the Greek Civil War) and their rank insignia are rather similar. Not coincidence I would say. Greenshed (talk) 21:51, 5 September 2008 (UTC)

NATO Code OF-10 OF-9 OF-8 OF-7 OF-6 OF-5 OF-4 OF-3 OF-2 OF-1 OF(D) Student Officer
No equivalent                     No equivalent No equivalent
Πτέραρχος Αντιπτέραρχος Υποπτέραρχος Ταξίαρχος Σμήναρχος Αντισμήναρχος Επισμηναγός Σμηναγός Υποσμηναγός Ανθυποσμηναγός
Pterarchos Antipterarchos Ypopterarchos Taxiarchos Sminarchos Antisminarchos Episminagos Sminagos Yposminagos Anthyposminagos
  United Kingdom
                             No equivalent
Marshal of the RAF1 Air Chief Marshal Air Marshal Air Vice-Marshal Air Commodore Group Captain Wing Commander Squadron Leader Flight Lieutenant Flying Officer Pilot Officer
/Acting Pilot Officer
Officer Cadet

Air Marshal, Admiral and GeneralEdit

The note on equivalence between the admiral, general and air marshal ranks was removed with the edit summary "equivalence depends on countries". I am not aware of any countries which use air chief marshal as a rank and don't list it as equivalent to a full admiral or full general. Perhaps an example could be provided? Oops, forgot to sign Greenshed (talk) 23:10, 28 July 2008 (UTC)

Air Marshal in one country may be equivalent to General in another. Since this is about common military ranks, the assumption seems to be that it should take into account different countries, rather than being simply a list of commonwealth ranks.
Nonetheless, Lieutenant Generals (=Air Marshals) in the Commonwealth are addressed as General, and Vice-Admirals (=Air Marshals) as Admiral, etc. The terms General, Admiral, and Air Marshal are commonly to refer generically to equivalent groups of ranks. Especially general. That is why you above had to use the terms "full general" and "full admiral", because "general" or "admiral" are vaguer terms.
In any case, I think this list should be kept simple if possible. Mesoso2 (talk) 18:41, 6 August 2008 (UTC)

'In the Commonwealth'Edit

Surely the box doesn't claim to make any direct correspondence between any two countries' systems. I move that that message be removed since the box clearly describes general terminology. Whether or not a country chooses to use only army-style ranks or has its own mumbo-jumbo really belongs on that particular country's page, not here.

It probably is only really applicable if it made clear that the box was describing, say, "military forces patterned after the USA" (if such a distinction existed). (talk) 05:13, 21 January 2009 (UTC)

Over a month has elapsed and no one has made a statement. I will be WP:BOLD and remove the footnote. Feel free to revert, but please explain any objection, since none has been forthcoming so far! (talk) 09:56, 23 February 2009 (UTC)


The rank of generalissimo was removed from the template on the grounds that it is very rarely awarded. If generalissimos were junior or middle-ranking officers then I would not favour it inclusion. However the reason why it is so rare is because it is also so senior, being the most senior of all the general officer ranks and having unparallelled authority. On that basis I argue for its inclusion. Greenshed (talk) 14:31, 15 April 2009 (UTC)

Well I am guessing that the intended use is to be a quick and rough guide. Anyone who needs to know about a generalissimo is never going to have to use that information with relation to any other (lower) rank. Becuase generalissimos don't appear very often I'd say it is unnecessary. On that basis I think it should be removed. (talk) 02:14, 27 April 2009 (UTC)
I really think it should be removed, because the table of ranks is English language focused, while generalissimo has not been awarded by any English speaking countries. Commander-in-chief (or Head of Armed Forces) is appropriate instead. Kirk (talk) 14:04, 4 May 2009 (UTC)


Ensign is curiously missing from this template, so I replaced Midshipman with Ensign, and added another row for the common cadet ranks (midshipman, officer cadet, officer candidate). Kirk (talk) 13:59, 4 May 2009 (UTC)

Good work. Greenshed (talk) 19:31, 28 May 2009 (UTC)


The the British Armed Forces and many Commonwealth militaries, the title of commander-in-chief may be held officers holding such ranks as lieutenant general, air marshal or vice-admiral. It is not generally used as a supreme military rank in the English-speaking world. Greenshed (talk) 22:49, 4 May 2009 (UTC)

  • I don't know, it seems generally used everywhere except the UK. For example, the constitutional documents state explicitly that the governor general in Canada, Australia and New Zealand is the 'commander-in-chief' of their armed forces, so along with the US that's pretty general. The equivalent title in the UK for the Queen is 'Head of the Armed Forces'. What do you think of Head of the Armed Forces/Commander-in-chief, linked to Commander-in-chief? Kirk (talk) 20:48, 6 May 2009 (UTC)
In Canada, Australia and New Zealand, the Queen is the commander-in-chief but "commander-in-chief" is still not a rank. Greenshed (talk) 19:38, 28 May 2009 (UTC)

Exclusion of US Navy ranks columnEdit

After a bit of reverting, I wanted to set down my reasons for opposing the inclusion of US Navy ranks when we already have a navy ranks column. Looking at the edit summaries, it has been argued that "us navy nomenclature is commonly used world wide and should be available as a reference. more information, not less". I strongly oppose this move as if we are to have USN ranks then I am sure that we also should have Chinese, Russian, Indonesian, Thai, Brazilian, Japanese etc etc ranks and of course we will need the whole spread for each nation's army and air force as well. It is also worth noting that all the USN ranks are covered generically by the naval ranks column. If you want to discuss whether we should have Admiral of the Fleet or Fleet Admiral or bring up whether we should have Sub Lieutenant or LTJG then by all means discuss it on this page (under a different heading.

As I dislike edit wars I am not going to remove the USN ranks column at present. However, I strongly encourage any other editors to remove the column. Greenshed (talk) 19:30, 28 May 2009 (UTC)

As regards the "more information, not less" point, there is such a thing a too much information and the template:US officer ranks provides the detail that has been argued for. Greenshed (talk) 19:36, 28 May 2009 (UTC)



i have requested edit protection. the commonwealth military rank template is inappapropriate as the main template for comparative military ranks. us servicemen outnumber commonwealth five to one, and, in actual combat today, worldwide, the commonwealth is barely represented. diremarc (talk) 23:28, 30 May 2009 (UTC)

This page is not protected, and even if it were, please read what it says before adding it in the future: You need to give a complete and specific description of the request so that any admin unfamiliar with the page can make the edit, and for controversial edits you also most seek consensus first. Thank you, Amalthea 00:01, 31 May 2009 (UTC)
diremac, please check how this template is used. It is not appropriate to make it a full width template regardless of what is in it. ninety:one 00:09, 31 May 2009 (UTC)

And anyway, the stubborn anglocentrism reflects ignorance of the fact that most (if not all) British ranks are derived from their continental European counterparts. Ironically it probably makes you more knowledgeable about European military history if you study the development of the US armed forces, since they have always been more enthusiastic than the British about adopting French and German trends. (talk) 09:50, 5 August 2009 (UTC)

On the English Wikipedia we should be English-language-centric. The generic form of almost all military ranks used in English speaking countries (including the United States) are now covered by the table. As for non-English speaking countries, their ranks are usually translated into English when used in an English language context. Greenshed (talk) 21:26, 7 October 2009 (UTC)

Perhaps this is an issue for WP:CSB. (talk) 13:47, 25 November 2009 (UTC)

Template stylingEdit

This template is a pretty standard vertical navigation template in the military domain. WP:MILHIST has a very well-established style for this kind of template, which I rolled out here. In this edit, changes were made to make the template sort of a halfway house between the MILHIST style and the generic infobox style. I don't think this is appropriate: the template simply ends up looking like neither and thus being alien. I think that edit should be reverted and the standard MILHIST style restored. Chris Cunningham (not at work) - talk 21:40, 17 July 2010 (UTC)

Actually, I think they both look horrible, so we might as well go for your horrible version, which you prefer, than my horrible version, which no-one likes, (not even me.)
As for I don't think this is appropriate, I don't think it's either appropriate or in-appropriate.
Cheers, Pdfpdf (talk) 04:56, 18 July 2010 (UTC)
Great, cheers. I'm not really sold on the current table layout, to be honest, but while it exists in its present form it's better if it doesn't draw excessive attention to itself. Chris Cunningham (not at work) - talk 17:07, 18 July 2010 (UTC)
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