Defence Forces Ranks and Structure

By Dhruv Kumar|Updated : September 10th, 2021

Indian Army is the world’s largest volunteer army in the world. It is ranked as the third largest armed forces. Many of you are eager to join the army so today here we are providing you with ranks of the Indian Army.

This information is very important for those who appear in the SSB interview, as it is seen that the assessor asks about the equivalent ranks of officers of armed forces. This is very critical to create a good impression on him.

Ranks of Indian Army

The ranks of the Indian Army are categorized into:

  1. Commissioned Officers
  2. Personnel Below Officer Rank

Commissioned Officers:

They are Grade - A officers who join the Indian Army through exams such as NDA, CDS, TGC, TES, TA etc. They lead the men into the battlefield & command platoon/company to brigades, division, corps, and the whole army.

Personnel Below Officer Rank (PBOR):

They are soldiers who execute responsibilities assigned to them by the commissioned officers. They are recruited through exams like Air Force Group X & Y, Indian Navy SSR, MR, and AA.

They are further classified into:

  1. JCO’s (Junior Commissioned Officer)
  2. NCO’s (Non - Commissioned Officer)

Here is the table that provides information about equivalent ranks in the armed forces:

Ranks of Officers of Armed Forces

Indian Army

Indian Navy

Indian Air Force

Field Marshal

Admiral of the Fleet

Marshal of the Air Force



Air Chief Marshal

Lieutenant General

Vice Admiral

Air Marshal

Major General

Rear Admiral

Air Vice Marshal



Air Commodore



Group Captain

Lieutenant Colonel


Wing Commander


Lieutenant Commander

Squadron Leader



Flight Lieutenant


Sub Lieutenant

Flying Officer


Ranks of Personnel Below Officer Ranks

Indian Army

Indian Navy

Indian Air Force

Subedar Major

Master Chief Petty Officer - I

Master Warrant Officer


Master Chief Petty Officer - II

Warrant Officer

Naib Subedar

Chief Petty Officer

Junior Warrant Officer


Petty Officer



Leading Seaman


Lance Naik

Seaman I

Leading Aircraftman


Seaman II



Insignia of Armed Forces:

Insignia or shoulder insignia is a badge that represents the ranks of an officer or a person below officer rank. The badges provide a distinction between various ranks of armed forces. Below is an image that represents the insignia used by armed forces:

Indian Army:

Insignia of Commissioned Officers


Insignia of PBOR:



Insignia of Indian Navy:

Insignia of Commissioned Officers


Insignia of PBOR:


Insignia of Indian Air Force:

Insignia of Commissioned Officers


Insignia of PBOR:



Here are some special facts about Indian Armed Forces:

1. The rank of Field Marshal is the ceremonial rank and has been conferred only to two officers of the Indian Army - Field Marshal Sam Manekshaw (1973) & Field Marshal K.M Carriappa (1983).

2. The rank of Marshal of the Air Force is the ceremonial rank of the Indian Air Force and has been conferred once in 2002 to Marshal of the  Indian Air Force Arjan Singh.

3. The highest rank in the Indian Navy - Admiral of the fleet has not yet been conferred yet.


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