17 Indian Navy Ranks And Insignia That Defence Lovers Must Know
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17 Indian Navy Ranks And Insignia That Defence Lovers Must Know

Navy blues on a mission to defend us from blues!

October 24, 2020

Article By- Kavya Dharshini

Home/World/17 Indian Navy Ranks And Insignia That Defence Lovers Must Know

Knowing our defence system is as important as being a patriotic Indian. It is the duty of every Indian to know how our defence structure is organised, how it functions and also what it matters. Do you know how our Armed Forces are organised?

Our Indian Armed Forces are structured and classified into three professional uniform services namely Indian Army, Indian Navy and Indian Air Force. Each classification provides different services in the concurrence with the other Armed Forces.

Indian Navy is a defence service that deploys defence equipment such as ships with aircrafts and submarines, weapon systems, electronic warfare and systems management and naval satellites.

What is the role of the Indian Navy? The very purpose of the Indian Navy in defence is to protect and safeguard the maritime territories from any danger to ensure peace and also to confront during wars.

Let us get into the list of ranks and its insignia in Indian Navy to know a bit more about it in detail. The following are the Officer Ranks in Indian Navy.

1. Admiral of the Fleet ( OF-10 NATO CODE)

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The Admiral of the Fleet, otherwise called as Fleet Admiral is the highest rank in Indian Navy. This rank is held by the senior-most Admiral of the Naval service. This five-star rank is specially reserved for wartime or ceremonial appointments.

It has both sleeve and shoulder insignia of this Indian Navy rank has one broad stripe upon which four narrow stripes are present. The last stripe is curved to round shape in the middle. 

2. Admiral ( OF - 9)

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The next highest rank of Indian Navy is a four-star Admiral or Full Admiral. It is held by the Chief of the Naval Staff. The shoulder insignia has crossed Baton and Sword below our Indian Emblem and above four eight-pointed stars, on a golden board. The sleeve insignia shows up a broad stripe upon which three narrow stripes are present.

Four white stars on a golden patch are this rank’s star insignia. This position is appointed by the Prime Minister of India. Admiral Adhar Kumar Chatterji was the first to take a position as the Admiral. The current Chief of the Naval Staff (CNS) and the Admiral are Karambir Singh.

3. Vice Admiral (OF - 8)

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The Vice-Admiral is a three-star rank in Indian Navy. Currently, this Navy Rank is the second-highest active rank in the Indian Navy. Before CNS held the Admiral rank, during the period of 1948 to 1968, CNS was held by the Vice-Admiral. The officials at this particular Navy Rank hold the appointments at Naval Commands and Naval Headquarters which are enlisted below.

The Naval Commanders (Commanding-in-Chief grade):

The senior Vice Admirals at the Naval Commander rank or C-in-C grade are at a grade above the rest of the Vice-Admiral officers. The Vice Chief of the Naval Staff and the Flag Officer Commanding-in-Chief (FOC-in-C) appointments are held by those senior Vice Admirals.

There are three Flag Officer Commanding-in-Chief (FOC-in-C) appointments that are enlisted below:

Flag Officer Commanding-in-Chief Eastern Naval Command:

The Command level is based at Vizag, Andhra Pradesh. It is responsible for Naval forces in the parts of Eastern coast of India across Bay of Bengal and parts of Indian Ocean.

Flag Officer Commanding-in-Chief Southern Naval Command:

This command level is the training command of Indian Navy based at Kochi, Kerala.

Flag Officer Commanding-in-Chief Western Naval Command:

The senior-most command level is headquartered in Mumbai, Maharashtra. This is responsible for the Naval forces along the western coast of India, the parts of Indian Ocean and the Arabian Sea.

The shoulder insignia of the Vice Admiral rank has a golden patch upon which a crossed baton and sword is present. This lies below the Asoka emblem and above the three eight-pointed stars. 

The sleeve insignia of the double-breasted reefer jacket has a broad stripe upon which two narrow stripes lie. The golden Gorget patch has three white stars and the Naval Commanders (C-in-C grade) owns additional oak leaves under the stars.

4. Rear Admiral (OF-7)

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The Rear Admiral rank in the Indian Navy is the two-star rank below the Vice Admiral rank. It is the senior Naval Flag Officer Rank to fly a flag. Indian navy has the rank of Rear Admiral above the Commodore and Captain Ranks.

The shoulder insignia of Rear Admiral has an Indian Emblem below which a crossed Baton and Sword is found, followed by two eight-pointed stars. This is patched onto a golden board. The sleeve insignia consists of a broad stripe below one narrow stripe.

5. Commodore  (OF-6)

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The Commodore rank in Indian Navy is a senior Naval Rank. This rank is equivalent to Brigadier rank in Indian Army. The officer at this rank is assigned the work of commanding more than one ship at once. A Commodore, in general, commands a squadron of ships which is a part of a fleet.

A Commodore insignia for shoulder and sleeve are the same. It is a broad stripe upon which an enclosed ring is found on a black background.

6. Captain  (OF-5)

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The Captain rank is an equivalent Naval rank of Colonel rank in Indian Army. The “Captain” word is usually used to address the person commanding large ships. So, most often the Officer at this rank is addressed as Commanding-Officer.

The shoulder and sleeve insignia has four equal-sized golden stripes with the last stripe looped, on black background. The official at this rank earns a pay of 2.5 lakhs per month in rupees.

7. Commander (OF-4)

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The Commander rank is an equivalent of Lieutenant Colonel in Indian Army and Wing Commander in Indian Air Force. This rank is a common Naval Officer Rank. 

The Commander is a usual rank used not only in Naval Forces but also in other forces like police and other armed forces. The insignia for this Naval Rank is three golden stripes with the last one looped. The shoulder and sleeve insignias are the same.

8. Lieutenant Commander (OF-3)

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The Commander rank is followed by the Lieutenant Commander rank in Indian Navy. The Lt.Commander rank is an equivalent rank of Major in other Armed Forces. It is a Commissioned Officer Rank in many Navies across the world. 

It is the higher level rank of the Lieutenant ranks in the Navy and second in command to Commander Naval Rank. The insignia is common for shoulder and sleeve badges. There are three golden stripes in which the middle one is thinner when compared to the other two. The last stripe is a looped one.

9. Lieutenant (OF-2)

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The Lieutenant rank is an equivalent rank of Captain rank in Indian Army. This rank in Naval force is higher than the Lieutenant rank of Indian Army even. The shoulder and sleeve insignia shows two equal-sized stripes with one stripe curled.

10. Sub Lieutenant (OF-1)

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The next Naval rank is the Subordinate Officer Rank called the Sub Lieutenant. This is ranked below the Lieutenant. The shoulder and sleeve insignia puts up a single curled stripe.

11. Midshipman (OF(D) and Student Officer)

The Midshipman is the lowest rank in Indian Navy. The officials at Midshipman start as the Cadets at the Indian Naval Academy. They are given a B.Tech degree from JNU after a study of three years. After this, they work as trainees aboard the training ship for another one and a half years.  From there, they are promoted to Midshipman positions. No insignia for this Indian Navy rank.

The following are the Other Ranks in Indian Navy:

12. Master Chief Petty Officer 1st Class (OR-9) 

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The Master Chief Petty Officer 1st Class rank is an equivalent of Subedar Major in Indian Army and Master Warrant Officer in Indian Airforce. This Naval Rank is the senior-most rank of all Junior Commissioned Ranks. Its insignia has two stripes above which a golden anchor bounded by a golden wreath of oak leaves.

13. Master Chief Petty Officer 2nd Class (OR-8)

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The Master Chief Petty Officer 2nd Class rank is designated as Junior Commissioned Officer but holds as a senior Non-Commissioned Officer. This Indian Navy rank is an equivalent of Subedar rank in Indian Army. The Insignia of this rank possesses a golden stripe upon which an anchor bounded by golden wreaths of oak leaves is found.

14. Chief Petty Officer (OR-7)

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The Chief Petty Officer rank is a Junior Commissioned Officers rank which is an equivalent of Naib Subedar in Indian Army. The duty of the official at this rank is to train and lead the junior officers, sailors and petty officers under him. The insignia of this Naval rank consists of a golden anchor with golden oak leaves bounded around.

15. Petty Officer (OR-6)

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The Petty Officer rank is a Non-Commissioned Officer rank in Indian Navy. This Naval rank is an equivalent of Havildar rank in Indian Army and Sergeant rank in Indian Air Force. The recruitment and training processes are taken care of by the officials at this rank. Its insignia has two anchors crossed below the National Emblem of India.

16. Leading Seaman (OR-4)

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The Leading Seaman rank in Indian Navy is a junior non-commissioned rank above the Seaman rank. This rank is equivalent to Lance Naik rank in Indian Army. Its insignia is an anchor.

17. Ordinary Seaman (OR-1)

The Ordinary Seaman rank is the lowest among all the ranks in Indian Navy and is the lowest Non - Commissioned Rank. The primary duty of the official at this rank is to keep up with the operations and equipment in the deck department. The person has to work on a ship for a particular duration of time. No insignia for this rank.

The Indian Navy Ranks and Insignia list ends here! This is all about the ranks in Indian Navy. So, totally, there are eleven Officers’ Ranks and six Other Ranks each possessing unique position, duty and insignia. 

Thus, Indian Navy is as equally important as Indian Army and Indian Air Force in defending and safeguarding our country.

Hope this was informative and beneficial enough about the Indian Navy ranks for you to engage in those duties! Jai Hind!

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