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Nigerian Military Ranks And Their Equivalent

Last Updated on May 1, 2024 by Twinbrodas

In Nigeria, the military is a highly respected organization. It is composed of three branches: the Army, the Navy, and the Air Force. The Nigerian military has a rank structure that is similar to each other. In this post, we will outline the ranks of the Nigerian military and their equivalents. Meanwhile you also check their salary structure and the highest paid Force among them.

Nigerian Military Ranks

Ranks in the Nigerian Military

Nigeria has a military rank system, with the president of Nigeria as the head of the armed forces.

The first is the commissioned officers who are in charge of some specific areas of the military. The next is non-commissioned officers, who are responsible for leading and training of other Non Commissioned officers.

Nigeria military ranks and Equivalent are listed in descending order below:


Recruit Trainee Trainee


Ordinary Seaman

Aircraftman / woman

Lance Corporal


Lance Corporal


Corporal Able Seaman Corporal
Sergeant Leading Seaman Sergeant
Staff Sergeant Petty Officer Flight Sergeant
Warrant Officer Warrant Officer Warrant Officer
Master Warrant Officer Master Warrant Officer Master Warrant Officer
Army Warrant Officer Navy Warrant  Officer Air Warrant Officer
Second Lieutenant Midshipman Pilot Officer
Lieutenant Sub-Lieutenant Flying Officer
Captain Lieutenant Flight Lieutenant
Major Lieutenant Commander Squadron Leader
Lieutenant Colonel Commander Wing Commander
Colonel Captain Group Captain
Brigadier General Commodore Air Commodore
Major General Rear Admiral Air Vice-Marshal
Lieutenant General Vice-Admiral Air Marshal
General Admiral Air Chief Marshal
Field Marshal Admiral of the Fleet Marshal of the Air Force

How Nigerian military ranks compare to other militaries

Nigerian military ranks are similar to those of other Commonwealth countries. The rank insignia for Nigerian military officers are also very similar to those used by the British Armed Forces. This is likely because Nigeria was once a British colony. The rank structure of the Nigerian military is also very similar to that of the United States military. They also have ranks like (private, corporal, sergeant), Warrant officers who are seniors to other non-commissioned officers, and officers who are in charge of everything from a platoon to an entire battalion.

The Most senior Nigerian military rank

The most senior Nigerian military rank is the Chief of Defense Staff. He is responsible for the overall administration and command of the Nigerian Armed Forces. He reports directly to the President of Nigeria who is the commander in chief of the Armed Forces.

The Lowest Rank in the Nigerian military

The lowest rank in the Nigerian military is the Private followed by the Lance corporal, and then the Corporal.

The final rank in the Nigerian military is the Field Marshall, which is the highest rank in the armed forces.

In Nigeria, military ranks are determined by the level of authority and responsibility a soldier has. The highest rank in the Nigerian military is the “President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria”. The lowest rank is a private. Nigerian military ranks are equivalent to ranks in some other countries’ militaries.