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Ranks in Indian Army

Indian army officers rank structure:
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Being an army aspirant it is very important to have fair knowledge about the ranks in Indian Army. Let us understand the ranks, promotion structure and insignia of commissioned officers in Indian Army

Commissioned officers are the leaders of the army and command anywhere from platoon/company to brigade, division, corps & the whole army.

First A gentleman cadet is commissioned into Indian Army as Lieutenant. The insignia is  two five pointed stars.

On completion of 2 years reckonable commissioned service an officer is promoted to the rank of Captain. The insignia is three five-pointed stars.

Subsequently on completion of 6 years reckonable commissioned service an officer is further promoted to the rank of Major. The insignia is a National emblem.

Further on completion of 13 years reckonable commissioned service an officer is further promoted to the rank of Lieutenant colonel. The insignia is National emblem over five-pointed star.

Rank of Colonel & above are based on Selection Grade.15 years of commissioned service required for selection. Duration of Time Scale promotion to Colonel is 26 years of commissioned service. The insignia is National emblem over two five-pointed stars.

An officer with 25 years of commissioned service is promoted to Brigadier by selection. The insignia is National emblem over three five-pointed stars in a triangular formation.

Later An officer with 32 years of commissioned service is promoted to Major General by selection. The insignia is Five-pointed star over crossed baton and saber.

Lastly An officer with 36 years of commissioned service is promoted to Lieutenant General by selection. The insignia is a National emblem over crossed baton and saber.

Finally The rank of General is held only by the Chief of Army Staff of the Indian Army. The insignia is a National emblem over a five-pointed star, all over a crossed baton and saber.

Substantive promotions up to lieutenant colonel or equivalent and are based on time in service whereas those for colonel and above are based on selection, with promotion to colonel also based on time served. Due to steep hierarchy and few vacancies, most of the officers retire at the rank of Colonel and only a few make it to the rank of Brigadier and above. in addition India has a field marshal rank, but it is mostly ceremonial.

Therefore there are no field marshals in the army organizational structure at present and it has been conferred on only two officers in the past, the late   Field Marshal Sam Manekshaw  and the late  Field Marshal K M Cariappa. Field marshals hold their rank for life, and are considered to be serving officers until their death.

Unlike other officers, they do not draw a pension. A field marshal gets the full pay of a general equal to the   Chief of the Army Staff. He wears full uniform on all official occasions and runs an office in army headquarters. He also has a dedicated secretariat of his own.

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DDE editor
DDE editor
DDE Editorial Team comprises of researchers & content writers. The source of write ups are individual researches, references, informants and documentations. If you wish to submit a write up or information please write to contactus@defencedirecteducation.com

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