Military Ranks

Les Grades Militaires - PhilTeam

Easily Understand and Memorize Army Military Ranks

The Military Rank indicates the status of the soldier . This hierarchy also applies in other bodies such as the Police or the Fire Department .

It is important to specify that the rank and its designation may vary according to the Army to which the soldier belongs. However, it should be noted that “function takes precedence over rank” . This expression means older soldiers, with a more important role, can command soldiers who are still more senior.

Let's review the hierarchy of Army military ranks that are in use today.

The Troop - The Body

We call the corps, non-commissioned soldiers wearing or not, the ranks of corporal or master corporal and brigadier or brigadier-chief according to their weapon of belonging. Note that the denomination of "soldier first class" is a distinction, it is not a rank.

• Private First Class:

As stated earlier, it is not a rank but a distinction acquired by enlisted men before applying for the rank of corporal.

Distinctive sign ; a simple red chevron.

• Corporal:

He is the first grade in the hierarchical ladder.

Distinctive sign ; two joined red chevrons.


• Master Corporal :

Distinctive sign ; The master corporal or master brigadier wears two contiguous red chevrons, surmounted by a gold or silver chevron.

Army NCOs

• Sergeant:

First rank of the non-commissioned officers, for the regiments "on foot", he is called marshal of the logis.

Distinctive sign ; two joined chevrons, gold or silver depending on the weapon.

• Chief sergeant :

Distinctive sign ; three joined chevrons, gold or silver.

• Warrant Officer:

Distinctive sign ; silver braid (gold in some arms and subdivision of arms) crossed in the middle by a red border.

• Chief Warrant Officer :

Distinctive sign ; a gold or silver braid (the same color as the metal of his weapon) crossed in the middle by a red border.

• Major:

Distinctive sign ; a lace composed of the insignia of chief warrant officer embellished with a gold or silver border according to his weapon of membership.


Junior officers count, midshipman, second lieutenant, lieutenant and captain.

• Applicant:

Distinctive sign ; a single braid in the colors of his weapon cut in three by two black borders.

• Second lieutenant :

Distinctive sign ; wears a simple stripe in the colors of his weapon.

• Lieutenant:

Distinctive sign ; two stripes of gold or silver according to his weapon of belonging.

• Captain:

He commands a company, a squadron or a battery, that is to say a hundred men.

Distinctive sign ; three stripes.

The senior officers are the commander, lieutenant colonel and colonel.

• Commanding officer :

Distinctive sign ; four monochrome stripes.

• Lieutenant Colonel :

Distinctive sign ; five stripes including three of the metal of the weapon buttons and two of the opposite metal.


• Colonel:

Distinctive sign ; five stripes of the metal of his weapon.

General officers

General officers bear the title of brigadier general, division general, general of the army corps, general of the army.

• Brigadier General :

Distinctive sign ; two stars on the sleeves of his uniform and the kepi.

• Division general :

Distinctive sign ; three stars.

The rank of division general gives rise to two other distinct rank designations: general of the army (four stars) and general of the army (five stars).

• Marshal:

Marshalship is not a rank but a dignity.

Today, the dignity of marshal can only be conferred on a general officer who has commanded victoriously in time of war.

The marshal wears 7 silver stars.

The marshals wear a blue velvet stick dotted with stars on which is written: "Terror belli, decus pacis" which means: Terror during the war, ornament for the time of peace.

The Ranks of the French Army in Image

For all those who wish to discover or review visually what these ranks can be, we invite you to consult this website which gives a good representation of all the ranks of the French Army.


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