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This article lists the ranks of officers and enlisted personnel in the Australian Defence Force's (ADF) three service branches.

The ADF comprises the:

The three Australian services inherited their rank structures from their British counterparts. The insignia used to identify these ranks are also generally similar to those used in the British Armed Forces.

The following tables show the "equivalent rank and classifications" for the three services, as defined in PACMAN, ADF Pay and Conditions Manual, Vol.2, Chap.1, Part.4, pg.1, sections 1.4.1 and 1.4.2, Edition AL13 (November 2009), People Strategies and Policy, Australian Department of Defence.[1] "Equivalent rank" means the corresponding rank set out under Regulation 8 of the Defence Force Regulations 1952.[2]

Commissioned Officer ranks[]


Navy Army RAAF
Flag/General/Air Officers
OF-10 O-11[4] Admiral of the fleet Field marshal Marshal of the
Royal Australian Air Force
OF-9 O-10[5] Admiral General Air chief marshal
OF-8 O-9[6] Vice admiral Lieutenant general Air marshal
OF-7 O-8 Rear admiral Major general Air vice marshal
OF-6 O-7[7] Commodore Air commodore
Senior officers
OF-6 O-7[7] Brigadier
OF-5 O-6[7] Captain (RAN) Colonel Group captain
OF-4 O-5[7] Commander Lieutenant colonel Wing commander
OF-3 O-4[7] Lieutenant commander Major Squadron leader
Junior officers
OF-2 O-3[7] Lieutenant Captain (Army) Flight lieutenant
OF-1 O-2 Sub lieutenant Lieutenant Flying officer
OF-1 O-1 Acting sub lieutenant Second lieutenant Pilot officer
Midshipman Officer cadet Officer cadet

Warrant Officer ranks[]

Navy Army RAAF
Warrant officers
OR-9 E-9 Warrant officer Warrant officer Warrant officer
Warrant officer class 1
OR-8 E-8 Warrant officer class 2

Note that the most senior warrant officer in each of the three services is appointed either Warrant Officer of the Navy (WO-N), Regimental Sergeant Major of the Army (RSM-A), or Warrant Officer of the Air Force (WOFF-AF), as appropriate. These are appointments, not ranks; these three people hold the rank of Warrant Officer in their respective services. However, they each wear special insignia, different to the rank insignia worn by other warrant officers. Although the RAN and the RAAF have the one warrant officer rank, the army has three. The soldier appointed Regimental Sergeant Major of the Army (RSM-A) holds the unique Army rank of warrant officer (introduced in 1991 and senior to WO1). The Army rank of WO2 is the same pay grade as the RAN and the RAAF's most senior NCOs, (i.e. chief petty officer and flight sergeant).[1]

Non-commissioned officer ranks[]

Senior non-commissioned officers
OR-8 E-8 Chief petty officer Flight sergeant
OR-7 E-7 Staff sergeant[1][8]
OR-6 E-6 Petty officer Sergeant Sergeant
Junior non-commissioned officers
OR-4 E-5 Leading seaman Corporal/bombardier Corporal
OR-3 E-4 Lance corporal/
Lance bombardier

Enlisted ranks[]

Navy Army RAAF
OR-3 E-3 Able seaman Private proficient[1][9] Leading aircraftman/woman
OR-2 E-2 Seaman Private Aircraftman/woman

See Australian Army enlisted rank insignia for ranks used by some Corps in place of private.

See also[]

References and notes[]

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 PACMAN, ADF Pay and Conditions Manual, Vol.2, Chap.1, Part.4, pg.1, sections 1.4.1 and 1.4.2, Edition AL13 (November 2009), People Strategies and Policy, Australian Department of Defence. (Online at
  2. Defence Force Regulations 1952.
  3. Badges of Rank and Special Insignia. Commonwealth of Australia - Department of Defence. September 2003. pp. 2–3. 
  4. O-11 ranks - admiral of the fleet, field marshal and marshal of the RAAF - may only be used in wartime and for honorary appointments.
  5. O-10 ranks - The Chief of the Defence Force is the sole O-10 ranked appointment.
  6. O-9 ranks - The Vice Chief of the Defence Force, Chief of Joint Operations, Chief of the Capability Development Executive and Chiefs of the Navy, Army and Air Force comprise the six O-9 ranked appointments.
  7. 7.0 7.1 7.2 7.3 7.4 7.5 Chaplains:
    O-3 ranks - Chaplains are commissioned officers without rank, however they are accorded the rank of Captain (O-3) for reasons of protocol, ceremonial occasions and for saluting purposes.
    O-4/5 ranks - The more senior division 2 and 3 chaplains are accorded the rank of Major (O-4) and Lieutenant Colonel (O-5), respectively.
    O-6 ranks - The three Principal Chaplains representing the three major Christian denominations: Catholic, Anglican, and Protestant, are equivalent to a Colonel (O-6).
    O-7 ranks - The heads of the various churches and religions officially associated to the ADF's Religious Advisory Committee, such as the Anglican and Catholic Bishops of the Military, are equivalent to a Brigadier (O-7).
  8. Without prejudice to existing holders of the rank, the Army has ceased to promote soldiers to the rank of staff sergeant.[citation needed]
  9. "Private proficient" (PTE(P)) is not a separate formal ADF rank and does not 'outrank' private; it is a salary proficiency point (pay grade) which is "automatically" granted after 12 months service as a private - refer and
    The same holds with seaman being re-classified as able seaman, and aircraftman/woman being re-classified leading aircraftman/woman after 12 months; the requirements are the same for all three services. Thus, able seaman and leading aircraftman/woman do not outrank private, seaman or aircraftman/woman.
    The relevant regulations are:

External links[]

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