The Indian Army is the largest component of the Indian Armed Forces with the President of India as its Supreme Commander and is commanded by the Chief of Army Staff. It was founded in 1895, but until 26 January 1950, the Indian Army utilized the British-pattern rank badges of the British Indian Army, incorporating the Tudor Crown and four-pointed Bath Star “pip”. It is only when India became a republic in 1950, the President of India became Commander-in-Chief, and the Ashoka Lion replaced the crown, with a five-pointed star being substituted for the “pip.”
Indian Army ranks can be classified into 3 categories: Commissioned Officers – who are equivalent to All India Services and Group A Services in Defence Forces, Junior Commissioned Officers – who are equivalent to Group B Gazetted officers, and other ranks comprise of Non-Commissioned Officers and Soldiers.
Commissioned officers are the leaders of the army and command anywhere from Platoon, Company, Brigade, Division, Corps and the Whole army. In the following, we present the army ranks and insignia of the commissioned officers of the Indian Army.
1. Field Marshal
Field Marshal is a five-star general officer rank and the highest attainable rank in the Indian Army. He is ranked immediately above general, but not exercised in the regular army structure. It is a largely ceremonial or wartime rank, and it has been conferred on only two officers in the past – the late Field Marshal Sam Manekshaw conferred in January 1973, and the late Field Marshal K M Cariappa in January 1986. A Field Marshal’s insignia consists of the National Emblem over a crossed baton and saber in a lotus blossom wreath.
He is the Chief of the Army Staff and the highest-ranking officer of the Indian Army. The position is abbreviated as COAS in Indian Army, and held by a four-star officer rank. The General’s insignia consists of the National Emblem over a five-pointed star, over a crossed baton and saber.
3. Lieutenant General
National emblem over crossed baton and saber.
4. Major General
Five-pointed star over crossed baton and saber.
National emblem over three five-pointed stars in a triangular formation.
National emblem over two five-pointed stars.
7. Lieutenant Colonel
National emblem over five-pointed star.
Three five-pointed stars.
Two five-pointed stars.
11. Subedar Major
Gold national emblem with a stripe.
Two gold stars with a stripe.
13: Naib Subedar
One gold star with a stripe.
Needless to mention, the dress insignias of the commissioned officers are in Gold/Black/Silver based on regiments of the officers commissioned. Also, the Indian Army ranks generally correspond with those of Western militaries, in particular, reflect those of the British and Commonwealth armies.
All images: Wikipedia
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