Military ranks and insignia of the Japan Self-Defense Forces

Following the end of World War II in Asia, after the surrender of Japan, the Imperial Japanese Army and Imperial Japanese Navy were dissolved by the Supreme Commander for the Allied Powers during the occupation of Japan. The symbols below represent the ranks of the Japan Self-Defense Forces: the Japan Ground Self-Defense Force, the Japan Air Self-Defense Force, and the Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force which have, since 1954, replaced the imperial military. The 1938–1945 Japanese military and naval ranks were phased out after World War II. The self-defense force breaks away from the Sino-centric tradition of non-branch-specified ranks, each JSDF rank with respect to each service carries a distinct Japanese title, although equivalent titles in different branches are still similar, differing only in the use of the morphemes riku (ground) for the army ranks, kai (maritime) for the naval ranks, and (air) for the aviation ranks.[1]

The pentagramic stars on the insignia represent cherry blossoms. Because Japanese soldiers take an oath to die to protect the lives and wealth of Japanese citizens, they have been compared to delicate cherry blossoms that break easily.

Remarks[]

Ground Self-Defense Force[]

Ranks are listed with the lower rank at right.

Officer
(幹部)
NATO Code OF-9 OF-8 OF-7 OF-5 OF-4 OF-3 OF-2 OF-1
(OF-8)[2] (OF-7)[2] (OF-6)[2]
Rank 陸将
(統合幕僚長および陸上幕僚長)
陸将 陸将補 1等陸佐 2等陸佐 3等陸佐 1等陸尉 2等陸尉 3等陸尉
English translation General
or
Army general[3][4]
(rikushō
serve as Chief of Staff)
Lieutenant
general

or
Divisional general[3]
(rikushō)
Major
general

or
Brigade general[3]
(rikushōho)
Colonel
(issa)
Lieutenant
colonel
(nisa)
Major
(sansa)
Captain
(ichi-i)
First
lieutenant
(ni-i)
Second
lieutenant
(san-i)
Insignia Type A
(甲階級章)
JGSDF General insignia (a).svg JGSDF Lieutenant General insignia (a).svg JGSDF Major General insignia (a).svg JGSDF Colonel insignia (a).svg JGSDF Lieutenant Colonel insignia (a).svg JGSDF Major insignia (a).svg JGSDF Captain insignia (a).svg JGSDF First Lieutenant insignia (a).svg JGSDF Second Lieutenant insignia (a).svg
Insignia Type B
(乙階級章)
JGSDF General insignia (b).svg JGSDF Lieutenant General insignia (b).svg JGSDF Major General insignia (b).svg JGSDF Colonel insignia (b).svg JGSDF Lieutenant Colonel insignia (b).svg JGSDF Major insignia (b).svg JGSDF Captain insignia (b).svg JGSDF First Lieutenant insignia (b).svg JGSDF Second Lieutenant insignia (b).svg
Insignia Miniature Type
(略章)
JGSDF General insignia (miniature).svg JGSDF Lieutenant General insignia (miniature).svg JGSDF Major General insignia (miniature).svg JGSDF Colonel insignia (miniature).svg JGSDF Lieutenant Colonel insignia (miniature).svg JGSDF Major insignia (miniature).svg JGSDF Captain insignia (miniature).svg JGSDF First Lieutenant insignia (miniature).svg JGSDF Second Lieutenant insignia (miniature).svg
Usual Commanding Level Chief of Staff Ground
Component
Command

and
Army
Division Brigade Regiment Battalion Company Platoon


Warrant Officer & Enlisted
(准尉および曹士)
NATO Code OR-9 OR-8 OR-7 OR-6 OR-5 OR-3 OR-2 OR-1 OR-D
Rank 准陸尉 陸曹長 1等陸曹 2等陸曹 3等陸曹 陸士長 1等陸士 2等陸士 自衛官候補生
English translation Warrant
Officer

(jun-i)
Sergeant
major

(sōchō)
Master
sergeant

(issō)
Sergeant
first
class

(nisō)
Sergeant
(sansō)
Senior Private
(sichō)
Private
first
class

(issi)
Private
(nisi)
Self defence
official cadet
(jiēkan-kōhosē)
Insignia Type A
(甲階級章)
JGSDF Warrant Officer insignia (a).svg JGSDF Sergeant Major insignia (a).svg JGSDF Master Sergeant insignia (a).svg JGSDF Sergeant First Class insignia (a).svg JGSDF Sergeant insignia (a).svg JGSDF Leading Private insignia (a).svg JGSDF Private First Class insignia (a).svg JGSDF Private insignia (a).svg JGSDF self defence official cadet insignia (a).svg
Insignia Type B
(乙階級章)
JGSDF Warrant Officer insignia (b).svg JGSDF Sergeant Major insignia (b).svg JGSDF Master Sergeant insignia (b).svg JGSDF Sergeant First Class insignia (b).svg JGSDF Sergeant insignia (b).svg JGSDF Leading Private insignia (b).svg JGSDF Private First Class insignia (b).svg JGSDF Private insignia (b).svg JGSDF self defence official cadet insignia (b).svg
Insignia Miniature Type
(略章)
JGSDF Warrant Officer insignia (miniature).svg JGSDF Sergeant Major insignia (miniature).svg JGSDF Master Sergeant insignia (miniature).svg JGSDF Sergeant First Class insignia (miniature).svg JGSDF Sergeant insignia (miniature).svg JGSDF Leading Private insignia (miniature).svg JGSDF Private First Class insignia (miniature).svg JGSDF Private insignia (miniature).svg No insignia
Usual Commanding Level Platoon Section
or
Squad
No Commanding

Maritime Self-Defense Force[]

Ranks are listed with the lower rank at right.

Officer
(幹部)
NATO Code OF-9 OF-8 OF-7 OF-5 OF-4 OF-3 OF-2 OF-1
(OF-8)[2] (OF-7)[2] (OF-6)[2]
Rank 海将
(統合幕僚長および海上幕僚長)
海将 海将補 1等海佐 2等海佐 3等海佐 1等海尉 2等海尉 3等海尉
English translation Admiral
(kaishō
serve as Chief of Staff)
Vice
admiral

(kaishō)
Rear
admiral
(kaishōho)
Captain Commander Lieutenant
commander
Lieutenant Lieutenant
Junior grade
Ensign
Insignia Type A
(甲階級章)
JMSDF Admiral insignia (a).svg JMSDF Vice Admiral insignia (a).svg JMSDF Rear Admiral insignia (a).svg JMSDF Captain insignia (a).svg JMSDF Commander insignia (a).svg JMSDF Lieutenant Commander insignia (a).svg JMSDF Lieutenant insignia (a).svg JMSDF Lieutenant Junior Grade insignia (a).svg JMSDF Ensign insignia (a).svg
Insignia Type B
(乙階級章)
JMSDF Admiral insignia (b).svg JMSDF Vice Admiral insignia (b).svg JMSDF Rear Admiral insignia (b).svg JMSDF Captain insignia (b).svg JMSDF Commander insignia (b).svg JMSDF Lieutenant Commander insignia (b).svg JMSDF Lieutenant insignia (b).svg JMSDF Lieutenant Junior Grade insignia (b).svg JMSDF Ensign insignia (b).svg
Insignia Type C
(丙階級章)
JMSDF Admiral insignia (c).svg JMSDF Vice Admiral insignia (c).svg JMSDF Rear Admiral insignia (c).svg JMSDF Captain insignia (c).svg JMSDF Commander insignia (c).svg JMSDF Lieutenant Commander insignia (c).svg JMSDF Lieutenant insignia (c).svg JMSDF Lieutenant Junior Grade insignia (c).svg JMSDF Ensign insignia (c).svg
Insignia Miniature Type
(略章)
JMSDF Admiral insignia (miniature).svg JMSDF Vice Admiral insignia (miniature).svg JMSDF Rear Admiral insignia (miniature).svg JMSDF Captain insignia (miniature).svg JMSDF Commander insignia (miniature).svg JMSDF Lieutenant Commander insignia (miniature).svg JMSDF Lieutenant insignia (miniature).svg JMSDF Lieutenant Junior Grade insignia (miniature).svg JMSDF Ensign insignia (miniature).svg
Usual Commanding Level Chief of Staff Fleet Type Force Flotilla Large Vessel
or
Division
(Medium Vessel)
Medium Vessel
or
Division
(Small Vessel)
Small Vessel No Commanding  
Warrant Officer & Enlisted
(准尉および曹士)
NATO Code OR-9 OR-8 OR-7 OR-6 OR-5 OR-3 OR-2 OR-1 OR-D
Rank 准海尉 海曹長 1等海曹 2等海曹 3等海曹 海士長 1等海士 2等海士 自衛官候補生
English translation Warrant
Officer
Chief
petty
officer
Petty
officer
first class
Petty
officer
second class
Petty
officer
third class
Leading
seaman
Seaman Seaman
apprentice
Self defence
official cadet
Type A
(甲階級章)
JMSDF Warrant Officer insignia (a).svg JMSDF Chief Petty Officer insignia (a).svg JMSDF Petty Officer 1st Class insignia (a).svg JMSDF Petty Officer 2nd Class insignia (a).svg JMSDF Petty Officer 3rd Class insignia (a).svg JMSDF Leading Seaman insignia (a).svg JMSDF Seaman insignia (a).svg JMSDF Seaman Apprentice insignia (a).svg JMSDF self defence official cadet insignia (a)1.svg

JMSDF self defence official cadet insignia (a)2.svg
Type B
(乙階級章)
JMSDF Warrant Officer insignia (b).svg JMSDF Chief Petty Officer insignia (b).svg JMSDF Petty Officer 1st Class insignia (b).svg JMSDF Petty Officer 2nd Class insignia (b).svg JMSDF Petty Officer 3rd Class insignia (b).svg JMSDF Leading Seaman insignia (b).svg JMSDF Seaman insignia (b).svg JMSDF Seaman Apprentice insignia (b).svg JMSDF self defence official cadet insignia (b).svg
Type C
(丙階級章)
JMSDF Warrant Officer insignia (c).svg JMSDF Chief Petty Officer insignia (c).svg JMSDF Petty Officer 1st Class insignia (c).svg JMSDF Petty Officer 2nd Class insignia (c).svg JMSDF Petty Officer 3rd Class insignia (c).svg JMSDF Leading Seaman insignia (c).svg JMSDF Seaman insignia (c).svg JMSDF Seaman Apprentice insignia (c).svg No insignia
Miniature
(略章)
JMSDF Warrant Officer insignia (miniature).svg JMSDF Chief Petty Officer insignia (miniature).svg JMSDF Petty Officer 1st Class insignia (miniature).svg JMSDF Petty Officer 2nd Class insignia (miniature).svg JMSDF Petty Officer 3rd Class insignia (miniature).svg JMSDF Leading Seaman insignia (miniature).svg JMSDF Seaman insignia (miniature).svg JMSDF Seaman Apprentice insignia (miniature).svg No insignia

Air Self-Defense Force[]

Ranks are listed with the lower rank at right.

Officer
(幹部)
NATO Code OF-9 OF-8 OF-7 OF-5 OF-4 OF-3 OF-2 OF-1
(OF-8)[2] (OF-7)[2] (OF-6)[2]
Rank 空将
(統合幕僚長および航空幕僚長)
空将 空将補 1等空佐 2等空佐 3等空佐 1等空尉 2等空尉 3等空尉
English translation General
or
Army general[3]
(kūshō
serve as Chief of Staff
Lieutenant
general

or
Divisional general[3]
(kūshō)
Major
general

or
Brigade general[3]
(kūshōho)
Colonel Lieutenant
colonel
Major Captain First
lieutenant
Second
lieutenant
Insignia Type A
(甲階級章)
JASDF General insignia (a).svg JASDF Lieutenant General insignia (a).svg JASDF Major General insignia (a).svg JASDF Colonel insignia (a).svg JASDF Lieutenant Colonel insignia (a).svg JASDF Major insignia (a).svg JASDF Captain insignia (a).svg JASDF First Lieutenant insignia (a).svg JASDF Second Lieutenant insignia (a).svg
Insignia Type B
(乙階級章)
JASDF General insignia (b).svg JASDF Lieutenant General insignia (b).svg JASDF Major General insignia (b).svg JASDF Colonel insignia (b).svg JASDF Lieutenant Colonel insignia (b).svg JASDF Major insignia (b).svg JASDF Captain insignia (b).svg JASDF First Lieutenant insignia (b).svg JASDF Second Lieutenant insignia (b).svg
Insignia Miniature Type
(略章)
JASDF General insignia (miniature).svg JASDF Lieutenant General insignia (miniature).svg JASDF Major General insignia (miniature).svg JASDF Colonel insignia (miniature).svg JASDF Lieutenant Colonel insignia (miniature).svg JASDF Major insignia (miniature).svg JASDF Captain insignia (miniature).svg JASDF First Lieutenant insignia (miniature).svg JASDF Second Lieutenant insignia (miniature).svg
Usual Commanding Level Chief of Staff Major
Command
Air Force Wing Group Squadron Flight Element
or
Section
Warrant Officer & Enlisted
(准尉および曹士)
NATO Code OR-9 OR-8 OR-7 OR-6 OR-5 OR-3 OR-2 OR-1 OR-D
Rank 准空尉 空曹長 1等空曹 2等空曹 3等空曹 空士長 1等空士 2等空士 自衛官候補生
English translation Warrant
Officer
Senior
master
sergeant
Master
sergeant
Technical
sergeant
Staff
sergeant
Airman
first class
Airman
second class
Airman
third class
Self defence
official cadet
Insignia Type A
(甲階級章)
JASDF Warrant Officer insignia (a).svg JASDF Senior Master Sergeant insignia (a).svg JASDF Master Sergeant insignia (a).svg JASDF Technical Sergeant insignia (a).svg JASDF Staff Sergeant insignia (a).svg JASDF Airman 1st Class insignia (a).svg JASDF Airman 2nd Class insignia (a).svg JASDF Airman 3rd Class insignia (a).svg JASDF self defence official cadet insignia (a)1.svg

JASDF self defence official cadet insignia (a)2.svg
Insignia Type B
(乙階級章)
JASDF Warrant Officer insignia (b).svg JASDF Senior Master Sergeant insignia (b).svg JASDF Master Sergeant insignia (b).svg JASDF Technical Sergeant insignia (b).svg JASDF Staff Sergeant insignia (b).svg JASDF Airman 1st Class insignia (b).svg JASDF Airman 2nd Class insignia (b).svg JASDF Airman 3rd Class insignia (b).svg JASDF self defence official cadet insignia (b).svg
Insignia Miniature Type
(略章)
JASDF Warrant Officer insignia (miniature).svg JASDF Senior Master Sergeant insignia (miniature).svg JASDF Master Sergeant insignia (miniature).svg JASDF Technical Sergeant insignia (miniature).svg JASDF Staff Sergeant insignia (miniature).svg JASDF Airman 1st Class insignia (miniature).svg JASDF Airman 2nd Class insignia (miniature).svg JASDF Airman 3rd Class insignia (miniature).svg No insignia
Usual Commanding Level Element
or
Section
Detail No Commanding

See also[]

References[]

  1. ^ "自衛隊の階級" [Ranks of the JSDF]. 平成16年版 防衛白書 [Defense of Japan 2004] (PDF) (in Japanese). Japanese Defense Agency. 2004. p. 266. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2013-07-27. Retrieved 2018-04-09.
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h i Classified in consideration of personnel balance of foreign armed forces such as United States Armed Forces.
  3. ^ a b c d e f Another translation. (It corresponds to designations such as France and Italy. )
  4. ^ Divisional general serve as Chief of Staff( Le chef d'état-major de l'armée de terre japonaise en visite à Djibouti (French)

External links[]