French Military Hierarchy

French military hierarchy incorporates different ranks using Gold as the main color for their insignia. Being a part of the military is considered a high honor in France and serving the country is considered a royal deed. The hierarchy basically consists of Marshals and Officer Ranks which are further sub categorized. The French military hierarchy is being described below in this article starting from the highest rank and moving towards the lower one:

French Military Hierarchy

French Military Hierarchy

  • Marshals
  • General Officers (Generaux )
  • Senior Officers (Officiers Superieurs)
  • Junior Officer (Officiers Subalternes)
  • Sub Officer



This is the highest rank available (as well as highest rank achievable) in French military hierarchy. This is basically more of an award or a distinction than just a rank for the French people. The insignia consists of seven stars and the Marshals carry a baton. One of the most famous and reputed Marshal in the French military history is Marshal de Mac Mohan, from 1875 to 1879.


The rank next to Marshal Rank is of Officers in French military hierarchy. This rank is further sub categorized as below –

  • Generaux  (General Officers) – The General Officer ranks are of four types in the French military hierarchy as described below:

Général d’armée – This rank is equivalent to Army General, in command senior officer of an army.

Général de corps d’armée – This rank is equivalent to Corps General and in command officer of a corps.

Général de division – This rank is assigned to the senior most officer in a division.

Général de brigade – This rank is assigned to the senior most officer in a brigade.

  • Officiers Superieurs (Senior Officers) – This is the category lower to rank of General officers but higher to Junior Officers in the French military hierarchy. This is further sub categorized as below:

Colonel – Colonel means the person who can command a column. The senior officer in category of Officiers Superieurs.

Lieutenant Colonel – Lieutenant Colonel refers to a person who can take place of a Colonel in his absence. Second in command in category of Officiers Superieurs.

Commandant – The next rank in category of Officiers Superieurs, following the orders of a Lieutenant Colonel and also referred as chef de battalion in French military.

  • Officiers Subalternes (Junior Officer) – Officiers Subalternes is the subcategory of Officers category lower in rank to Officiers Superieurs.

Capitaine – Top most rank in the Officiers Subalternes, below the rank of Commandant and in charge of a compagnie.

Lieutenant – Also referred to as First Lieutenant in the hierarchy, second in command in absence of a Capitaine and following the orders of the same.

Sous – Lieutenant – This rank is normally termed as the Second Lieutenant.

Aspirant – Aspirants are also referred as Officer Cadet, the students at the military schools.

Sous – Officiers (Sub Officer) – The officers in charge of the paperwork and book keeping etc.