The rank insignia of the French Navy (French language: Marine Nationale) are worn on shoulder straps of shirts and white jackets, and on sleeves for navy jackets and mantels. Until 2005, only commissioned officers had an anchor on their insignia, but enlisted personnel is now receiving them as well. Commanding officers have titles of capitaine, but are called commandant (in the army, both capitaine and commandant are ranks, which tends to stir some confusion among the public). The two highest ranks, vice-amiral d'escadre and amiral (admiral), are functions, rather than ranks. They are assumed by officers ranking vice-amiral (vice admiral). The only amiral de la flotte (Admiral of the Fleet) was François Darlan after he was refused the dignity of Admiral of France. Equivalent to the dignity of Marshal of France, the rank of Admiral of France remains theoretical in the Fifth Republic; it was last granted in 1869, during the Second Empire, but retained during the Third Republic until the death of its bearer in 1873. The title of amiral de la flotte was created so that Darlan would not have an inferior rank to that of his counterpart in the British Royal Navy, who was an Admiral of the Fleet.
- 1 Insignia
- 1.1 Great Officers
- 1.2 Officers
- 1.3 Petty officers and enlisted personnel
- 2 Attributions
Officiers généraux — Flag officers
Officiers supérieurs — Senior officers
Officiers subalternes — Junior officers
Petty officers and enlisted personnel
Officiers mariniers — Petty Officers
Matelots et quartiers-maîtres — Sailors and quarter-masters
Personnel with a particular attribution may wear distinctive features on their rank insignia. For instance, medical officers bear two red stripes on their insignia. Similarly, the Ingénieur des études et techniques de travaux maritimes wear pearl-grey stripes.
Peintres de la Marine, who are not employed by the Navy but have a special status, wear a uniform and officier straps with rank insignia replaced with the words "Peintre officiel".
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