Ranks and Insignia of Indian Army
With the biggest ‘voluntary’ military force in the world, the Indian army is the most prestigious and trusted organization. It is also considered one of the best-armed forces in the world. Around 1,237,117 personnel are actively present in the Indian Army. Our soldiers are considered one of the best on high elevations, jungle combat, and mountain warfare.
Let’s take a look at the prestigious ranks that the Indian Army offers:
The Ranks are classified into 3 categories:
- Commissioned Officers (CO)
- Junior Commissioned Officers (JCO)
- Non-Commissioned Officers
Commissioned officers are the leaders of the army and they command anywhere from Platoon, Company, Battalion, Brigade, Division, Corps, and the whole Army.
1. Field Marshal
In the Indian Army, the rank of the Field Marshal is the highest rank that anyone can reach up to. It is a ceremonial rank or a wartime rank which have been awarded only twice to date.
Although a Field Marshal has no function in the day-to-day duties of the Indian army, he never retires and is counted as a serving officer till his death.
The Field Marshal receives a badge which consists of the national emblem over a crossed baton and saber in a lotus blossom wreath and also a star insignia, which comprises five golden stars over a red stripe, which is used on car pennants, rank flags, and as gorget patches. On appointment, the field marshals are also awarded a gold-tipped baton which they may carry on formal occasions.
General, is the highest active rank in the Indian Army. General ranks below field marshal(Ceremonial Rank) and above Lt General. This Rank is occupied by the chief of army staff(COAS) and the chief of defense staff(CDS).
The badge has a crossed sword and baton over a five-pointed star and Ashoka emblem above. The collar patches of a general are:
- CDS (Chief of Defense Staff):- maroon patches with four golden stars and a golden laurel wreath
- COAS (Chief of the Army Staff):- crimson patches with four golden stars and a golden laurel wreath
3. Lieutenant General
Lieutenant General is the second-highest active rank in the Indian Army, ranks above Major General and below General. The ranks equivalent to Lieutenant General in Navy is Vice Admiral and in Air Force is Air Marshal.
The badge has a crossed sword and baton and Ashoka emblem above. Their collar patches are of crimson color with three golden stars. Army commanders in the C-in-C grade have additional oak leaves under the three golden stars in their collar patches.
4. Major General
Major General is the third- highest active rank in the Indian Army ranks above Brigadier and below Lieutenant General.
The badge has a crossed sword and baton and a five-pointed star above. Their collar patches are of crimson color with two golden stars.
Brigadier is one of the most prestigious positions as it is the 4th highest rank in the hierarchy of army officers. Brigadier’s main work is to command a brigade in the field and make the soldiers of different ranks work, practice, fight terrorists and wars.
The badge has a national emblem over three five-pointed stars in a triangular formation. Their collar patches are of crimson color with one golden star.
Colonels in the Indian Army commands battalion-sized units and they also serve as staff officers in brigades and higher formations. It is equivalent to group captain in the Indian Air Force and captain in the Indian Navy.
The badge has a national emblem over two five-pointed stars. Their collar patches are of crimson color with golden braids.
7. Lieutenant Colonel
Lieutenant Colonel is equivalent to Wing Commander in the Indian Air Force and Commander in the Indian Navy. Lieutenant Colonel ranks above Major and below Colonel.
The badge has a national emblem over five-pointed stars.
The rank of Major is considered as one of reputed in the Indian Army. Major is responsible for various strategic roles and serves as the primary staff officer for brigade and task force command. He commands & directs a military unit and manages personnel, logistical and operational missions.
The badge has a national emblem.
The captain is equivalent to Flight Lieutenant in the Indian Air Force and a Lieutenant in the Indian Navy. Captain ranks above Lieutenant and below Major.
The badge has three five-pointed stars.
Lieutenant is the junior-most Commissioned Officer of the Indian Army, a gazette officer of the Government of India, and commands a small tactical unit such as a platoon. They are usually commissioned at the age of 21 or 22 (through NDA/TES Entry).
The badge has two five-pointed stars.
Junior Commissioned Officers:
JCO’s are military personnel who come under class II (group B) gazetted officers who are higher in rank than havildars and lower than lieutenants. On the basis of merit and seniority, senior havildars are promoted to JCO rank.
1. Subedar Major
The badge has a golden national emblem with a stripe.
The badge has two gold stars with a stripe.
3. Naib Subedar
The badge has one gold star with a stripe.
The NCOs are enlisted soldiers with specific skills and duties such as training, recruiting, tech, or military policing, and they are assigned their mission, assignments, and orders by the COs. They are also referred to as the “backbone” of the Indian Army.
The badge has three rank chevrons.
The badge has two rank chevrons.
3. Lance Naik
The badge has one rank chevron.
Plain shoulder badge only.
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