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Korpral is a Swedish military rank corresponding to OR-4, usually serving as a squad leader, deputy squad leader or in a specialized function.

History and related ranks

Swedish insignias before 2009

Army Air force Navy
SWE-Korpral.svg SWE-Airforce-2bar.png SWE-Navy-2bar.svg

1600 - 1700

A korpral held the position as platoon (korpralskap) leader of 24 men during the Swedish allotment system. The korpralskap consisted of four rote (teams) of 6 men each. Each rote was led by a rote master.

Sweden:Reform 1833/37

Korporals were considered underofficers in the Cavalry before the reorganization 1833/37, when Korprals were elevated to Sergeants and the rank was moved down in status.


Established 1500. A corresponding artillery and air-defense rank. Removed 1972 as a rank.

Sweden: Distinktionskorpral

Established 1858 as a rank above Korpral. 1912: Holders of the rank were elevated to Furir and the ranks was removed.

Sweden: Vicekorpral Vicekonstapel

Ranks existed until 1972 for deputy squad leaders. The corresponding English rank was Lance Corporal.

Sweden: Reform 1972

  • Holders of the rank Korpral were elevated to Furir.
  • Holders of the rank Vicekorpral were elevated to Korpral.
  • Vicekopral was removed as a rank

Reform 1972 - Rank inflation phase I

Prior to 1972, military personnel were divided into three categories Underbefäl (non-commissioned officers), Underofficerare (warrant officers) and Officerare (commissioned officers). The reform established a four-career-path system with four categories as described below and carried out major promotions of most personnel below the rank Överstelöjtnant.

The Underbefäl category was split into two categories

  • gruppbefäl to include
korpral - former vicekorpral
furir - former korpral
överfurir - former furir
  • plutonsofficerare to include
sergeant - former överfurir
fanjunkare - former elderly överfurir and rustmästare

The Underofficer category was renamed kompaniofficerare to include

fänrik - former sergeant and fanjunkare with less than 3 years of service
löjtnant - former sergeant and fanjunkare with 3-7 years of service
kapten - former sergeant, fanjunkare with a minimum of 7 years of serviceand and förvaltare

The Officer category was renamed regementsofficerare to include

löjtnant - Löjtnant with less than 3 years of service and former fänrik
kapten - kapten with less than 11 years of service and former Löjtnant with 3-11 years of service
major - former kapten and löjtnant with a minimum of 11 years of service
överstelöjtnant - överstelöjtnant and former major
higher ranks

Reform 1983 - Rank inflation phase II

All categories were merged into one professional officer category with the lowest rank set to fänrik. Furir, överfurir, sergeant and fanjunkare were removed as professional ranks. Holders of the rank fanjunkare were promoted to löjtnant and the rest to fänrik.

See also

[1] [2] [3]


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