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Useful Notes / Common Military Ranks
aka: Common Ranks

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Following is a list of Common Ranks in some of the world's prominent existing and historical military forces: USA (Yanks with Tanks), UK (Brits with Battleships), USSR/Russia (Reds with Rockets and Russians with Rusting Rockets, respectively), Imperial Japan, the Third Reich (Nazis with Gnarly Weapons) and Canada (just Canada). The Imperial Japan military (Katanas of the Rising Sun) while included, was more commonly seen in anime than the modern Japanese ranks (Kaiju Defense Force), unless the work involves the Self-Defense Forces themselves. See also certain Useful Notes pages for historical armies to find uncommon ranks that were used in them, such as Russians with Rifles.

See also Common Military Units. For when someone is promoted on show, see Rank Up.

For the sake of easier comparison, the NATO rank scale is used, so several disclaimers should be made:

  • Note that US, UK and Canada are the only members of NATO on the list. Moreover, NATO was formed in 1949, whereas Imperial Japanese and the Third Reich's armies were disbanded in 1945 (though the modern Bundeswehr did inherit all Wehrmacht's ranks up to OF-9, save for those of the disbanded Waffen-SS). Additionally, the Schutzstaffel rank ladder was shuffled multiple times before 1934, and this list refers to its final version.
  • Both Tsarist Russia and the Soviet Union also had the rank of Generalissimus, which is largely off the NATO scale and was awarded just six times in history. Russian Federation has inherited its complete rank ladder from the Soviet Union (except the Marshal of the Soviet Union, which was obviously renamed).
  • Also note that the ranks for Reds with Rockets as listed here were established in 1940s (non-general officer ranks were in the late 1930s). Before that, the Red Army used position names (e.g. brigade commander, regiment commander) instead of ranks. Rudiments of this system existed during WWII in ranks such as "regiment commissar" or "division military lawyer".
  • Ranks above OF-9 (four-star general) have never been awarded in peacetime in the USA.
  • The list also doesn't contain the Commander-in-Chief of the entire national military. The CIC may not hold any military rank at all (e.g. a democratically elected president) but still be on top of the entire chain of military command.
  • Due to reductions in numbers of squadrons, in the UK a Squadron is usually commanded by a Wing Commander today.
  • Warships of destroyer size or smaller tend to be commanded by officers of OF-4 rank (i.e. Commanders), but the ship's commanding officer (aka the skipper) is always addressed as "Captain" while aboard ship, regardless of their actual rank. Likewise, if any member of the Army/Marine Corps/etc. is on board who's actually holding the rank of Captain, he is addressed as "Major" to avoid confusion. Those of cruiser size or greater have OF-5s in charge, so you have a Captain for a Ticonderoga-class cruiser and a Commander for an Arleigh Burke-class destroyer.
  • Even the NATO rank scale isn't perfect. For example, although a Lance Corporal is only a single promotion up from a Private in the British Army, they are often considered equivalent to a US Sergeant in terms of responsibility [They both command a fire-team], even sometimes wearing the American 3 Chevrons when working with American units. It doesn't help that Lance Corporals are considered NCOs in the British Army, while a US PFC, or even a Specialist is just a higher-paid Private, or that before 1961, Lance Corporal was an appointment, given to a private acting as NCO, not a substantive rank and could be rescinded by the CO rather than court-martial. Long story short, rank's a complicated-

Officer ranks

Officers play the commanding role in the military. If enlisted ranks are its hands, the officers are its brains. Usually, an officer has formal education in warfare in addition to the usual training, so that he can assume the responsibility for others and uphold the officer honor. In fiction (and often in Real Life), they are usually also way more badass than their non-commissioned and enlisted subordinates.

The "n star" designation refers to the American custom of placing stars on the generals' shoulder boards. Note that other military forces who also use stars to denote ranks (e.g. USSR) may not necessarily have exactly the same numbers of them.

Additionally, sometimes militaries group sets of officer ranks together into categories based loosely on their roles in the chain of command. In the US, OF-6 and above are called General Officers in the Army/Air Force/Marine Corps/Space Force, and Flag Officers in the Navy/Coast Guard.note  USA/USAF/USMC/USSF calls its OF-5 to OF-3s Field Grade Officersnote  while the USN/USCG calls their OF-5 and OF-4s Senior Officers.note  USA/USAF/USMC/USSF OF-2s to OF-1 (lower) are Company Grade Officersnote  and USN/USCG OF-3s to OF-1 (lower) are Junior Officers.

Informally, officers (and particularly officers at about OF-5 and above) are often referred to as "brass", or sometimes "shinies" owing to the shiny metal their insignia is made from on their service uniforms.

  • Supreme (six-star general) (off the NATO scale but still within range)
    • US: General of the Armies, Admiral of the Navy, none
      • Only four individuals have ever held this rank in the entire history of the United States Armed Forces, though none of them were technically six-star commanders while alive. George Washington (who died as a lieutenant general) was posthumously promoted to this rank (his rank is officially "General of the Armies of the United States"), as he must by law be the most senior officer on the rolls of the United States Army. John J. Pershing was promoted to the rank of General of the Armies (at the time equivalent to a five-star rank) as a one-time affair so that he would not be outranked by the field marshals then commanding the other major Allied armies on the Western Front;note  he is traditionally seen as senior to the current five-star rank, but this has never been officially confirmed (in part because this would mean promoting Washington to a new seven-star rank). George Dewey was promoted to Admiral of the Navy (also held as equivalent to a five-star rank at the time, though he actually wore three) during the Spanish-American War. Unlike Pershing's case, however, the Department of the Navy explicitly made the newly-created Fleet Admiral rank junior to Dewey's. Most recently, Ulysses S. Grant was posthumously promoted to this rank in December 2022.
      • The United States did consider creating an explicit 6-star rank for both the Army and the Navy during World War II in anticipation of the invasion of Japan, to be held by Douglas MacArthur and Chester Nimitz respectively. Like the rest of the invasion plans, these were discarded after the atomic bombs fell and Japan surrendered.
    • USSR: Generalissimus of the Soviet Union (Generalissimus Sovétskogo Soyuza). Intended as a rank specifically for Joseph Stalin to distinguish him from other high-ranked Marshals of the Soviet Union but was refused several times.
    • Italy: The rank of Marshal of Italian Empire (superior to a regular old marshal of Italy) was created in 1938, just for the king and the Duce.
    • IJ: Grand Marshal (Dai-Gensui), reserved exclusively for the Emperors of Japan.
    • Third Reich: Reich Marshal of the Greater German Reich (Reichsmarschall des Großdeutschen Reiches), created solely for Hermann Göring to differentiate him from the other generals promoted to Field Marshal after the Battle of France and to firmly establish him as Hitler's successor.
  • OF-10 (five-star general)
    • US: General of the Army, Fleet Admiral, General of the Air Force. A total of nine 5-star Army and Navy officers were appointed in 1944-45, with two more appointments immediately after WWII. note  By 1953, all 5-star generals had retired from active duty. Omar Bradley, the last surviving 5-star officer, passed away in 1981.
      • Only one man has attained the rank of General of the Air Force, Henry "Hap" Arnold. One of the first military pilots in history, trained by the Wright Brothers, and afraid of heights.note 
      • The five-star rank is reserved in the US for wartime only. As the US has not had a declared war since WWII, and the rank was only created during that war, no one has been awarded the rank since then and there are none still alive. Still, it remains on the books in case it is ever needed again.
      • Uniquely in the US armed forces, holders of 5-star ranks technically remain on active duty for life, receiving full pay and benefits even after they "retire".note 
    • UK: Field Marshal, Admiral of the Fleet, Marshal of the Royal Air Force
    • USSR: Marshal of the Soviet Union (Marshal Sovetskogo Soyuza), Admiral of the Fleet of the Soviet Union (Admiral Flota Sovetskogo Soyuza), Chief Marshal of Aviation (Glavny Marshal Aviatsii); note that these ranks technically have only ONE large star.
      • The five-star admiral rank has been only held by three individuals during the Cold War, partly because one of them, Sergey Gorshkov, spent 27 years (1958-1985) in the post. The rest of the time, the Marshal commanded all Soviet armed forces including the Navy. This rank was not passed down to the modern Russian military.
      • The five-star general in some branches of the Soviet military, such as artillery and tank forces, was called "Chief Marshal of [insert branch here]". Discontinued in 1984, fully removed from the rank structure in 1993.
    • IJ: Field Marshal (Rikugun Gensui), Fleet Admiral (Kaigun Gensui)
    • Third Reich: Reich Leader SS (Reichsführer-SS), General Field Marshal (Generalfeldmarschall), Grand Admiral (Großadmiral)
    • Canada: No equivalent.
    • India: Field Marshal, Admiral of the Fleet, Marshal of the Air Force
  • OF-9 (four-star general) a.k.a. Four-Star Badass, cf. General Ripper and General Failure
    • US: General, Admiral. There are approximately 40 4-star ranks in the US military, all of them at either the highest or second-highest level of command.note 
    • UK: General, Admiral, Air Chief Marshal
    • USSR: General of the Army (General armii), Admiral of the Fleet (Admiral flota), Marshal of Aviation (Marshal aviatsii); note that due to the absence of The Brigadier rank in the Soviet Union, General of the Army and Admiral of the Fleet only carry four stars, while being generally equivalent to their five-star Western counterparts.
      • In artillery and some other branches, this rank was called "Marshal of [insert branch here]". Discontinued in 1984, fully removed in 1993.
    • IJ: General (Rikugun Taishou), Admiral (Kaigun Taishou)
    • Third Reich: Supreme Group Leader (Oberstgruppenführer), General Colonel or (more accurately) Supreme General (Generaloberst), General Admiral (Generaladmiral)
    • Canada: General (Général), Admiral (Amiral)
  • OF-8 (three-star general)
    • US: Lieutenant General, Vice Admiral
    • UK: Lieutenant General (pronounced Lefftenant note ), Vice Admiral, Air Marshal
    • USSR: General-Colonel (General-polkovnik), Admiral
      • Until late 1930s, the equivalent rank was Army Commander Second Rank (Komandarm vtorogo ranga).
    • IJ: Lieutenant General (Rikugun Chuujou), Vice Admiral (Kaigun Chuujou)
    • Third Reich: Senior Group Leader (Obergruppenführer), General,note  Admiral
    • Canada: Lieutenant-General (Lieutenant-Général),note  Vice-Admiral (Vice-Amiral).
  • OF-7 (two-star general), cf. Modern Major General
    • US: Major General, Rear Admiral (upper half)
      • This is the highest permanent peacetime rank possible in the US armed forces. All higher ranks are tied to specific positions whose holders are required by law to have 3 or more stars. Under current policy, an officer is expected to retire upon leaving a 3- or 4-star position, unless he or she is moved to another position of equal or higher rank. Virtually all officers who retire at this point are approved to retire at their highest rank. They are in charge of military divisions.
    • UK: Major General, Rear Admiral, Air Vice-Marshal
    • USSR: General-Lieutenant (General-leytenant), Vice Admiral (Vicee-Amiral)
      • Until late 1930s, the equivalent rank was Corps Commander (Komkor).
    • IJ: Major General (Rikugun Shoushou), Rear Admiral (Kaigun Shoushou)
    • Third Reich: Group Leader (Gruppenführer), General Lieutenant (Generalleutnant), Vice Admiral (Vizeadmiral)
    • Canada: Major-General (Major-Général), Rear-Admiral (Contre-Amiral)
  • OF-6 (one-star general) a.k.a. The Brigadier
    • US: Brigadier General, Rear Admiral (lower half)
      • Intermittently, the US Navy has had the rank of Commodore in place of Rear Admiral (lower half), much like the UK and other commonwealth countries, usually during times of war, such as the Civil War, World War II, but also during peacetime high tensions like the mid-Cold War. However originally (in the late 1700s and early 1800s) it was used as a title for a senior Captain in charge of a group of other ships, and since 1982 it has returned to that function. The spilt between Rear Admiral (lower half) and (upper half) was originally created to ensure that the Navy and Army had equivalent rank structures, as at one point the Navy did not have a one-star rank at all and it was possible for Army Brigadier Generals to be outranked by officers junior to them who had skipped straight from Captain to Rear Admiral. This obviously created some resentment among Army officers until it was changed.
    • UK: Brigadier, formerly Brigadier-General, Commodore, Air Commodore
    • Imperial Russia: Brigadier, Captain-Commander (Kapitan-komandor); both of these were abolished back in the Tsarist times, so neither USSR nor modern Russia ever used them, except for the late 1930s, when the rank of Brigade Commander (Kombrig) existed (the corresponding naval rank of Flagman, 3rd rank is not attested). On the other hand, there are talks about reinstating them, due to ongoing reorganization of the command structure.
      • Captain-Commander was briefly named "Captain, Brigadier-rank" in late 18th century.
    • USSR: General-Major (General-mayor), Counter Admiral (Kontr-admiral)
      • Until late 1930s, the equivalent rank was Division Commander (Komdiv).
      • For some time after introduction the Rear/Counter Admiral rank was called schout-bij-nachtnote  in Russia, after the corresponding Dutch rank (Peter the Great was a great fan of everything Dutch), before being renamed the more common Counter Admiral after his death.
    • Third Reich: Brigade Leader (Brigadeführer), General Major (Generalmajor), Counter Admiral (Konteradmiral)
    • Canada: Brigadier-General (Brigadier-Général), Commodore
  • OF-5 a.k.a. Colonel Badass and The Captain (four-striper)
    • US: Colonel, Captain
    • UK: Colonel, Captain, Group Captain
    • USSR: Colonel (Polkovnik - literally "regimentary"), Captain, 1st Rank (Kapitan pervogo ranga)
      • Contrary to the Western practice, Russian Captains have one wide sleeve stripe, like NATO OF-6'ers.
    • IJ: Colonel (Rikugun Taisa), Captain (Kaigun Taisa); note that it is also customary to refer to the ship's captain as "Kanchou" (on warships) and "Senchou", regardless of the actual rank he holds
    • Third Reich: Regiment Leader (Standartenführer), Colonel (Oberst - literally "uppermost"), Captain (Kapitän zur See)
    • Canada: Colonel, Captain (Capitaine de vaisseau)
  • OF-4 a.k.a. Commanding Coolness and The Captain (three-striper)
    • US: Lieutenant Colonel, Commander
    • UK: Lieutenant Colonel, Commander, Wing Commander
    • USSR: Lieutenant Colonel (Podpolkovnik), Captain, 2nd Rank (Kapitan vtorogo ranga)
    • IJ: Lieutenant Colonel (Rikugun Chuusa), Commander (Kaigun Chuusa)
    • Third Reich: Senior Storm Unit Leader (Obersturmbannführer), Lieutenant Colonel (Oberstleutnant), Frigate Captain (Fregattenkapitän)
    • Canada: Lieutenant-Colonel, Commander (Capitaine de frégate)
  • OF-3 a.k.a. Majorly Awesome
    • US: Major, Lieutenant Commander
    • UK: Major, Lieutenant Commander, Squadron Leader
    • USSR: Major (Mayor), Captain, 3rd Rank (Kapitan tret'ego ranga)
    • IJ: Major (Rikugun Shousa), Lieutenant Commander (Kaigun Shousa)
    • Third Reich: Storm Unit Leader (Sturmbannführer), Major, Corvette Captain (Korvettenkapitän)
    • Canada: Major, Lieutenant-Commander (Capitaine de corvette)
  • OF-2
    • US: Captain, Lieutenant
    • UK: Captain, Lieutenant, Flight Lieutenant
    • USSR: Captain (Kapitan), Captain Lieutenant (Kapitan-leytenant)
    • IJ: Captain (Rikugun Taii), Lieutenant (Kaigun Taii)
    • Third Reich: Head Storm Leader (Hauptsturmführer), Captain (Hauptmann), Captain Lieutenant (Kapitänleutnant)
    • Canada: Captain (Capitaine), Lieutenant (Lieutenant de vaisseau)
  • OF-1 (senior)
    • US: First Lieutenant, Lieutenant, Junior Grade
    • UK: Lieutenant, Sub-Lieutenant, Flying Officer
    • USSR: Senior Lieutenant (Starshiy leytenant)
    • IJ: Lieutenant (Rikugun Chuui), Sub-Lieutenant (Kaigun Chuui)
    • Third Reich: Senior Storm Leader (Obersturmführer), Senior Lieutenant (Oberleutnant), Senior Navy Lieutenant (Oberleutnant zur See)
    • Canada: Lieutenant, Sub-Lieutenant (Enseigne de vaisseau de 1re classe)
  • OF-1 (junior) a.k.a. Ensign Newbie
    • US: Second Lieutenant, Ensign
    • UK: Second Lieutenant,note  Midshipman, Pilot Officer
    • USSR: Lieutenant (Leytenant)
      • The lowest officer rank the Soviets had was Junior Lieutenant (Mladshiy leytenant), which was reserved for demoting normal lieutenants or bestowing to half-year officer training course graduates during wartime. It is therefore usually lumped with full Lieutenant.
    • IJ: Second Lieutenant (Rikugun Shoui), Ensign (Kaigun Shoui)
    • Third Reich: Junior Storm Leader (Untersturmführer), Lieutenant (Leutnant), Navy Lieutenant (Leutnant zur See)
    • Canada: Second Lieutenant (Sous-Lieutenant), Acting Sub-Lieutenant (Enseigne de vaisseau de 2e classe)

Cadets and Midshipmen

These are officers-in-training, found mostly at a Military Academy or occasionally in the field or at sea accompanying full officers, basically as apprentices. Militaries vary from country to country, service to service, and era to era on whether they are considered actual officers with authority over the Other Ranks (enlisted)note  or whether they are simply trainees for the officer role.note  Occasionally there is a class system to denote how far through their training they are.note  and/or special cadet ranks that give students authority over other students but nobody in the normal chain of command.note  Confusingly, some navies also use Midshipman as a title for their naval warrant officer ranks.note 

Although the Plucky Middie trope comes from this rank and historically children as young as 12 could become midshipmen in some navies, for the last century or so most midshipmen and cadets have been young men and women just above the age of majority. Military School students are often called cadets, but the military trappings of such schools are usually just a disciplinary and educational technique and in most cases the students are not actually part of their nation's military or obliged to join it after graduation.

Warrant officers

The technical difference between an "actual" officer and a warrant officer is that the former has been commissioned (charged with performing their duties of office) - they likely graduated from officer school and were sworn in as such. A warrant officer, by comparison, received a warrant - a writ issued by a lawful authority authorizing them to perform their duties. The first warrant officers served on sailing ships; they were the sailing masters, gunners, carpenters, and other skilled experts that actually operated the ship while under the command of commissioned officers (many of whom were landlubber noblemen who paid for their commission and didn't know an anchor from a yardarm).note  Later on, specialists who weren't directly involved in operating the ship (such as pursers, cooks, and even schoolmasters for the younger midshipmen onboard) were considered warrant officers as well.

Their authority is greater than that of NCOs and sometimes can outrank even junior COs. The reason the military, usually pedantic about a clear chain of command, introduced this was technical expertise. WOs tend to be really good at what they do and it is usually technical, like keeping a nuclear reactor running or (in the case of the US Army) piloting a helicopter. You don't want any pasty-faced Ensign, fresh from the academy, to order your senior reactor technicians around. You also don't want to make the man an officer as he's not expected to fill a command position and hasn't been trained for the task. That's why you give him a warrant, so he can kindly tell the pasty faced ensign to bugger off, this is grownup stuff.

Note that the definition of a warrant officer varies greatly across different countries: e.g. in the US, they are an extra ranks category, whereas in UK note  they are part of the non-commissioned ranks. US warrant officers, unlike commissioned officers, are not required to have a college degree.

  • WO-5 through WO-2
    • US: Chief Warrant Officer 5, 4, 3, or 2, respectively.note 
    • USSR: Senior Warrant Officer (Starshiy praporschik), Senior Midshipman (Starshiy michman)
      • Russian military inherited this rank from USSR but abolished it in 2008. Reinstated back in 2013 as a part of a complex political and bureaucratic game around switching of the Defence Ministers (and partly because the original reasoning didn't play out).
    • Third Reich: Senior Warrant Officer (Oberfähnrich), Senior Midshipman (Oberfähnrich zur See)
  • WO-1
    • US: Warrant Officer 1
    • USSR: Warrant Officer (Praporschik), Midshipman (Michman)
      • Likewise, inherited by Russia, abolished in 2008, reinstated in 2013.
    • IJ: Warrant Officer (Jun-i)
    • Third Reich: Warrant Officer (Fähnrich), Midshipman (Fähnrich zur See)

Other ranks

The Other Ranks ("OR" in NATO codes) include both non-commissioned officers (NCOs) and enlisted ranks (sometimes marked as "E-#"). NCOs, better known as sergeants, do not have formal officer education but can be put in charge of The Squad thanks to their field experience. The enlisted servicemen receive only basic training and hold the least authority, mostly following others' orders. In the countries with conscription, most conscripted men begin as Privates (lowest enlisted rank).

Commissioned officers always outrank Other-Rank / Enlisted men. However, smart officers always pay attention to what the NCO has to say: he probably has way more field experience, whereas the officer's shiny new 2LT bars may indicate little more than a college graduation without ever hearing a shot fired in anger. So, while an OF-1 could give orders to an OR-8, in practice he or she would not do so without a very good reason.note  For the same reasons, platoons (the smallest units normally commanded by commissioned officers) usually have a special position of "platoon sergeant" for a senior NonCom who acts as the commander's Number Two.

Note: In Britain and some Commonwealth nations "sergeant major" no longer exists as a distinct rank but still exists as a title, with RCMs (Regimental Sergeant Majors) being Warrant Officers First Class who have earned the extra title through long and distinguished service, and who maintain standards in drill and discipline for their unit. In USSR and Russia the sergeant major equivalent (starshina) exists both as a rank and as a positionnote  that can be filled by either a sergeant major or a warrant officer. Also note in the UK only commissioned officers and warrant officers are called "Sir". Calling a Sergeant "sir" if you are a private soldier is Serious Business and will earn you the traditional reply "Don't call me Sir: I work for a living."

Although British officer cadets are to be treated as officers by Other Ranks, they are not saluted, but are either referred to by their name in the manner of officers ("Mr Trope”, “Miss Example”) or called "Sir" "ma'am,” etc. However, as they do not hold a commission they must refer to Warrant Officers as "Sir," leading to the line that pretty much everyone to pass through RMA Sandhurst (picture West Point, but nastier) hears on their first day from their Warrant officer drill instructors: "You will call me sir. I will call you Sir. The difference being, one of us means it!"

In the US Army, there are several senior enlisted ranks with two different titles, which reflect if they have a leadership or staff position. A Master Sergeant or Sergeant Major hold the rank, but normally don't lead men, while a First Sergeant or Command Sergeant Major do. Either way, both hold the same authority if push comes to shove.

In the US Air Force, First Sergeant is a special duty temporary rank and positional billet usually held by an OR-7, but depending on the size of the unit can also be held by an OR-8 or OR-9. Holders of this role are distinguished by a lozenge (colloquially "diamond") inside their rank insignia. Within a specific pay grade, First Sergeants are considered senior to non-diamond sergeants.

In the Soviet Union and early New Russia, the lower half of sergeant ranks was usually filled by promoted conscripts rather than career sergeants (which were and still are a relatively minor part of the Soviet/Russian enlisted army). The rank of Starshina (Sgt. Major) was the only sergeant rank exclusive to career NCOs.

  • OR-9
    • US: Sergeant Major, Master Chief Petty Officer, Sergeant Major/Master Gunnery Sergeant, Chief Master Sergeant note 
    • UK: Warrant Officer Class 1, Warrant Officer Class 1, Warrant Officer Master Aircrew
    • USSR: Sergeant Major (Starshina), Chief Ship Petty Officer (Glavniy korabel'niy starshina)
    • IJ: Sergeant Major (Souchou)
    • Third Reich: Storm Squad Leader (Sturmscharführer), Staff Sergeant (Stabsfeldwebel), Master Chief Petty Officer (Stabsoberfeldwebel)
    • Canada: Chief Warrant Officer (Adjudant-chef),note  Chief Petty Officer 1st Class (Premier maître de 1re classe)
  • OR-8
    • US: First/Master Sergeant, Senior Chief Petty Officer, First/Master Sergeant, Senior Master Sergeant
    • UK: Warrant Officer Class 2, Warrant Officer Class 2, none
      • Warrant Officer 2nd Class is incorrect, and using it within earshot of a WO2 will provoke the response "I am not a second class anything."
    • USSR: Senior Sergeant (Starshiy serzhant), Chief Petty Officer (Glavniy starshina)
    • Third Reich: Head Squad Leader (Hauptscharführer), Sergeant Major (Oberfeldwebel), Senior Chief Petty Officer (Oberfeldwebel)
    • Canada: Master Warrant Officer (Adjudant-maître), Chief Petty Officer 2nd Class (Premier maître de 2e classe)
  • OR-7
    • US: Sergeant First Class, Chief Petty Officer, Gunnery Sergeant, Master Sergeant
    • UK: Staff/Colour Sergeant, Chief Petty Officer, Colour Sergeant, Flight Sergeant
    • USSR: Sergeant (Serzhant), Petty Officer, 1st class (Starshina pervoy stat'i)
    • IJ: Sergeant (Gunsou)
    • Third Reich: Senior Squad Leader (Oberscharführer), Sergeant First Class (Feldwebel), Chief Petty Officer (Stabsfeldwebel)
    • Canada: Warrant Officer (Adjudant), Petty Officer 1st Class (Maître de 1re classe)
  • OR-6
    • US: Staff Sergeant, Petty Officer First Class, Staff Sergeant, Technical Sergeant
    • UK: Sergeant, Petty Officer, Sergeant, Chief Technician
    • USSR: Junior Sergeant (Mladshiy serzhant), Petty Officer, 2nd class (Starshina vtoroy stat'i)
    • Third Reich: Squad Leader (Scharführer), Sergeant (Unterfeldwebel), Petty Officer, 1st Class (Feldwebel/Bootsmann)
    • Canada: Sergeant (Sergent), Petty Officer 2nd Class (Maître de 2e classe)
  • OR-5 a.k.a. Sergeant Rock or Drill Sergeant Nasty
    • US: Sergeant, Petty Officer Second Class, Sergeant, Staff Sergeant, Sergeantnote 
    • UK: Sergeant
    • Third Reich: Junior Squad Leader (Unterscharführer), Unteroffizier, Petty Officer, 2st Class (Obermaat)
    • Canada: Master Corporal (Caporal-chef), Master Seaman (Matelot-chef)
  • OR-4
    • US: Corporal/Specialist,note  Petty Officer Third Class, Corporal, Senior Airman, Specialist Fournote 
      • There used to be a rank of Sergeant in the US Air Force, with a similar dual arrangement to the Army's Specialist and Corporal, but it was eliminated in The '90snote 
    • UK: Corporal/Specialist/Bombardier, Leading Rate, Corporal, Corporal, Junior Technician
    • USSR: Gefreiter (Yefreytor), Senior Matrose (Starshiy matros)
    • IJ: Corporal (Gochou)
    • Third Reich: Section Leader (Rottenführer), Corporal (Obergefreiter), Petty Officer, 3st Class (Maat)
    • Canada: Corporal (Caporal), Leading Seaman (Matelot de 1re classe)
  • OR-3
    • US: Private First Class, Seaman, Lance Corporal, Airman First Class, Specialist Three
    • UK: Lance-Corporal/Lance-Bombardier, none, Lance Corporal, none
    • IJ: Lance Corporal (Heichou)
    • Third Reich: Storm Trooper (Sturmmann), Acting Corporal (Gefreiter), Leading Seaman (Matrosenhaupgefreiter)
    • Canada: Private (Trained) (Soldat Formé), Able Seaman (Matelot de 2e classe), Aviator (Trained) (Aviateur Formé)
  • OR-2
    • US: Private, Seaman Apprentice, Private First Class, Airman, Specialist Two
    • UK: Able Rate, Private, Senior Aircraftman
    • IJ: Private 1st Class (Ittouhei)
    • Third Reich: Senior Trooper (Obermann), Senior Rifleman (Oberschütze), Able Seaman (Matrosenobergefreiter)
    • Canada: Private (Basic) (Soldat Confirmé), Ordinary Seaman (Basic) (Matelot de 3e classe), Aviator (Basic) (Aviateur Confirmé)
  • OR-1 a.k.a. New Meat, Cannon Fodder (sad but often true), or Southern-Fried Private
    • US: Private,note  Seaman Recruit,note  Private, Airman Basic, Specialist One
    • UK: Private/Trooper (other titles may occur in some regiments), Marine, Leading Aircraftman, Aircraftman
    • USSR: Private (Ryadovoy), Matrose (Matros)
    • IJ: Private 2nd Class (Nitouhei)
    • Third Reich: Trooper (Mann), Rifleman (Schütze), Seaman (Matrosengefreiter)
    • Canada: Private (Recruit) (Soldat Recrue), Ordinary Seaman (Recruit) (Matelot de 3e classe Recrue), Aviator (Recruit) (Aviateur Recrue)

This list is largely a wiki-friendly adaptation of this external table. Refer to it for the original spelling of foreign rank titles.

Alternative Title(s): Common Ranks