The British military comprises of all the three forces – the armed forces, the air force and the naval force of the country. The British military ranks witnessed complete restructuring with a revolution at the end of 18th century and in the beginning of 19th century. It was and is still considered as a great honor to be a part of the military forces. The British military hierarchy is described from the lowest rank to the highest one in this article.
- Cadet – The lowest rank in the military hierarchy is cadet. This is a rank assigned to those seeking training to become a commissioned officer.
- Second Lieutenant – The rank higher than that of the cadet in the hierarchy is Second Lieutenant, a junior commissioned officer military rank with a NATO rank code of OF-1 (lower half).
- First Lieutenant – Next in the hierarchy is rank First Lieutenant, a junior commissioned officer, one rank higher than of Second Lieutenant with a rank code of OF-1 (upper half).
- Captain–A Captain is a rank higher than that of First Lieutenant and lower to the Major. The NATO ranking code of the Captain is OF-2. A Captain’s rank insignia displayed a crown and a pip.
- Major – The next rank in the hierarchy prior to Captain is Major with a NATO ranking code of OF-3. The insignia for this rank is a crown.
- Lieutenant Colonel – The rank higher than that of Major is Lieutenant Colonel with a ranking code of OF-4. The insignia for this rank is a crown above a four pointed star.
- Colonel – Colonel is the next rank in the hierarchy prior to Lieutenant Colonel with a NATO ranking code of OF-5. The insignia for a colonel is a two diamond shape pips below a crown.
- Brigadier–Brigadier is the next senior rank in the hierarchy with a NATO ranking code of OF-6. The insignia designed for this rank is a crown over three pips.
- Major General – The senior next rank in the UK military hierarchy is Major General with insignia of a pip over a crossed sword and baton and having a NATO ranking code of OF-7.
- Lieutenant General – Next rank higher to Major General is Lieutenant General with insignia of a crown over a crossed saber and baton and having a ranking code of OF-8.
- General – General is the second highest rank of the UK military hierarchy with a ranking code of OF-9, a four star rank and having insignia of crossed sword and baton.
- Field Marshal–The highest rank in the British military hierarchy is Field General also sometimes referred as Captain General. Only 140 men in the history have ever been promoted to this rank. The insignia for this rank is two crossed batons in a wreath of oak leaves with a crown placed above. The NATO ranking code for this rank is OF-102.
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