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Air Marshal
File:Flag of Air Marshal (India).gif
Flag of an Air Marshal
Rank Insignia of an Air Marshal
Country  India
Service branch  Indian Air Force
Abbreviation AM
Rank Three-star rank
Next higher rank Air Chief Marshal
Next lower rank Air Vice Marshal
Equivalent ranks Lieutenant General (Indian Army)
Vice Admiral (Indian Navy)

Air Marshal is a Three Star Air Officer rank in the Indian Air Force. It is the second-highest active rank in the Indian Air Force. 'Air Marshal' ranks above the Two Star rank of Air Vice Marshal and below the Four Star rank of Air Chief Marshal, which is held by the Chief of the Air Staff (CAS).

From 1947 to 1966, the appointment of Chief of the Air Staff (CAS), the professional head of the Indian Air Force was held by an Air Marshal. The position of the CAS was upgraded from Air Marshal to Air Chief Marshal in 1966. The first IAF officer to hold the rank was ACM Arjan Singh (later promoted to the five-star rank of Marshal of the Indian Air Force) who was promoted to the rank while he served as the CAS.[1][2] The equivalent rank in the Indian Army is Lieutenant General and in the Indian Navy is Vice Admiral.

Officers in the rank of Air Marshal hold important appointments at the Air Commands and at the Air Headquarters.

Air Commanders (C-in-C grade)

Air Marshal S B Deo in an Air Marshal's uniform

Senior Air Marshals who are in the C-in-C grade (Air Commanders), are considered to be in a grade higher than other Air Marshals. They hold the senior-most appointments like the Vice Chief of the Air Staff and the heads of the seven air commands (stlyed Air Officer Commanding-in-Chief). The seven AOC-in-C appointments are:


The badges of rank consist of three sky blue bands (each on a slightly wider navy blue band) over a sky blue band on a navy blue broad band.

An Air Marshal wears Gorget patches which are Blue patches with Three white stars. Air Commanders in the C-in-C grade have additional oak leaves under the three white stars.

In addition to this, the Blue Grey terrywool tunic has three sleeve stripes consisting of a broad band with two narrower bands.[3]

Order of Precedence

An Air Marshal in the C-in-C grade ranks at No. 23 on the Indian order of precedence, along with Lieutenant Generals of the Indian Army and Vice Admirals of the Indian Navy in the C-in-C grade. The other Air Marshals rank at No. 24 in the order of precedence.[4]

Air Marshals in the C-in-C grade are at the Apex pay scale (pay level 17), with a monthly pay of ₹225,000 (US$3,100). Other Air Marshals, in the HAG+ pay scale (pay level 16) draw lesser, depending on the years in service. However, since they should not draw equivalent or more than the next higher level, the renumeration is capped at ₹224,000.[5][6]

See also


Indian Air Force
Ensign of the Indian Air Force.svg
Nabha Sparsham Deeptam
"Touch the Sky with Glory"
Headquarters New Delhi
History and traditions History of the Indian Air Force
(established 8 October 1932)
Personnel Marshal of the Indian Air Force
Chief of the Air Staff
Indian Air Force ranks and insignia
Aircraft Current Indian Air Force aircraft
Historical Indian Air Force aircraft
Installations Bases

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