Russian Military Hierarchy

The current Russian military hierarchy got its present day form by Peter the Great’s Table of Ranks in the late 17th century, most of them being inspired from French, English, German, Polish and Dutch military ranks.

The Russian military hierarchy is divided into six major categories and those categories are further sub divided into various sub categories. In this article, the Russian military hierarchy is described with a brief explanation in a manner starting from the highest rank and ending with the lowest one in the hierarchy as below:

Russian Military Hierarchy
Russian Military Hierarchy

General Officers (Supreme Officers)

This rank of the Russian military hierarchy is further categorized into five sub ranks as:

Marshal of the Russian Federation – The top most rank in the Russian military hierarchy is Marshal of the Russian Federation. This is currently inactive. The only officer who held this prestigious rank was Mr. Igor Sergeyev, the former Defense Minister of Russia.

General – Currently the person with highest military authoritative powers in Russian military is the General of the military, due to absence of current Marshal of the Russian Federation.

Colonel – General – The third rank in the category of Supreme officers in Russian military hierarchy is General – Colonel.

Lieutenant – General – The commanding officer in the absence of Colonel – General and the rank below to Colonel – General is Lieutenant Colonel.

Major – General – Derived from Sergeant Major General Rank, a high ranking officer sub ordinate to Lieutenant General.

Field Grade Officers (Senior Officers)

Polkovnik – This rank is highest one in senior Officer’s category and is equivalent to Colonel Rank in the US military hierarchy.

Podpolkovnik – The rank sub ordinate to Polkovnik rank is Podpolkovnik, equivalent to Lieutenant Colonel.

Major – In command officer in the absence of Podpolkovnik.

Company Grade Officers (Junior Officers)

Captain – The highest commissioned officer rank with a NATO ranking OF – 2.

Senior Lieutenant – Sub ordinate to Captain with a ranking OF – 2.

Lieutenant – With a NATO military ranking OF – 1 and third in command in the company grade officer category.

Junior Lieutenant – Lowest in the company grade officer category but higher to the master non – commissioned officer category with a ranking OF – 1.

Master Non – Commissioned Officers (Under – Officers)

Senior Praporshchik – This rank is equivalent to Senior Warrant Officer with a ranking WO – 2.

Praporshchik – With a ranking of WO – 1, this rank is equivalent to Warrant Officer.

Sergeants (Petty Officers)

Sergeant Major – This is the highest ranking in the category of Sergeants with a ranking of OR – 7.

Senior Sergeant – Subordinate to Sergeant Major, the NATO ranking of a Senior Sergeant is OR – 6.

Sergeant – Higher in ranking from Junior Sergeant with a ranking of OR – 5.

Junior Sergeant – The lowest rank in Sergeant Category with a rank OR – 4.


The lowest rank in the Russian military hierarchy is of Soldiers.