Nye distinksjoner (fv.) Sersjantmajor Luftforsvaret, Flaggmester Sjøforsvaret og Sersjantmajor Hær / New distinction (fl.) Sergeant major Airforce, Master chief petty officer Navy and Sergeant major Army.

Military ranks

Military ranks distinguish officers, ORs and conscripts. They also show a soldier's responsibility and command.

You may have heard the phrase "rise through the ranks". The military is known for its system of order and command, in which military ranks are fundamental.

Out in the field and in battle, commands and information must be delivered quickly, and the recipients must understand them correctly. To ensure this, we need clear and indisputable command structure and lines.

The Norwegian Armed Forces have two career ladders for its military personnel: one for officers, and one for specialist officers (OR, other ranks). The two career ladders are equal, but each has its own system of ranks and insignia.

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Ranks and insignia in the Norwegian Armed Forces (PDF file)

Officer ranks (OF)

Brigader Trond Lundberg og major Helje Borud snakker med soldatene som graver stillinger.

Officers are military personnel who have a formal education from a military academy or have similar academic education and qualification courses. In the Army and the Air Force, the officers follow the traditional military ranks from Second Lieutenant to General. In the Navy, the ranks go from Sub Lieutenant to Admiral.

The Norwegian officer ranks correspond to NATO's rank system (OF1–9).

The ranks

The first name applies for the Army and the Air Force, the latter for the Navy.

  • OF9: General and Admiral
  • OF8: Lieutenant General and Vice Admiral
  • OF7: Major General and Rear Admiral
  • OF6: Brigadier and Commodore
  • OF5: Colonel and Captain (Navy)
  • OF4: Lieutenant Colonel and Commander Senior Grade
  • OF3: Major and Commander
  • OF2: Captain and Lieutenant Commander
  • OF1: Lieutenant and Lieutenant
  • OF1: Second Lieutenant and Sub Lieutenant

Specialist officer ranks OR – other ranks

I august vil Norwegian Task Unit 7 ta over oppdraget fra Norwegian Task Unit 6. Før avreise gjennomfører Nortu 7 utdanningskontroll på Rena før avreise til Irak.

Specialist officers, also known as non-commissioned officers (NCOs), have officer training, or academic qualifications, experience or competence of special importance to the Armed Forces.

The specialist officers have their own structure of ranks and insignias. The Norwegian specialist officer corps correspond to NATO’s other ranks system (OR2–9). In Norway, OR1 is used for soldiers in initial service.

Seniority in grade

The Norwegian Armed Forces have implemented a system in which the specialist officer with the longest continuous service holds a superior position in his or her unit (i.e. military branch, department, vessel, station, base). This person is the senior enlisted advisor to the unit’s commanding officer. Only one can hold this position per unit.

This function is placed outside the ordinary rank system, and is called a Command Sergeant Major in the Army and the Air Force, and a Command Master Chief Petty Officer in the Navy.

The specialist officer ranks

The first name applies for the Army, the second for the Navy, and the third for the Air Force.

  • OR9: Sergeant Major (Army), Master Chief Petty Officer (Navy), Chief Master Sergeant (Air Force)
  • OR8: Master Sergeant, Senior Chief Petty Officer, Senior Master Sergeant
  • OR7: Sergeant 1st Class, Chief Petty Officer, Master Sergeant
  • OR6: Staff Sergeant, Senior Petty Officer, Senior Sergeant
  • (OR5+: Senior Sergeant, Petty Officer 1st Class, Wing Sergeant)
  • OR5: Sergeant, Petty Officer, Sergeant
  • OR4: Corporal, Leading Seaman, Specialist 1st Class
  • OR3: Specialist 1st Class, Able Seaman, Specialist
  • OR2: Specialist, Seaman, Junior Specialist

Privates and soldiers in the initial service

  • OR1+: Private 1st Class, Able Rating, Airman
  • OR1: Private, Ordinary Rating, Airman Basic

Student ranks and insignia

  1. Apprentices have their own insignias, and the Armed Forces are Norway's largest employer of apprentices. The insignia is a stylized L (the Norwegian name for "apprentice" is Lærling). Below the L, first-year apprentices have one star, while second-year apprentices have two stars, and third-year apprentices have three stars.

  2. Officer Cadet is another name for students at the Norwegian Military Academy. The insignia for Officer Cadets in the Army and the Air Force has the Norwegian golden lion on it, while naval Officer Cadets have the Navy’s anchor. First-year Cadets have one star below the mark, second-year cadets two stars, while third-year cadets have three stars.