Rear admiral

Rear admiral
Common anglophone military ranks
Navies Armies Air forces
Admiral of
the fleet
Marshal /
field marshal
Marshal of
the Air Force
Admiral General Air marshal
Commodore Brigadier Air commodore
Captain Colonel Group captain
Commander Lieutenant colonel Wing commander
Major /
Lieutenant Captain Flight lieutenant
Sub-lieutenant Lieutenant Flying officer
Ensign 2nd lieutenant Pilot officer
Midshipman Officer cadet Officer cadet
Seamen, soldiers and airmen
Warrant officer Sergeant major Warrant officer
Petty officer Sergeant Sergeant
Leading seaman Corporal Corporal
Seaman Private Aircraftman

Rear admiral is a naval commissioned officer rank above that of a commodore and captain, and below that of a vice admiral. It is generally regarded as the lowest of the "admiral" ranks, which are also sometimes referred to as "flag officers" or "flag ranks". In many navies it is referred to as a two-star rank.

It originated from the days of naval sailing squadrons and can trace its origins to the Royal Navy. Each naval squadron would be assigned an admiral as its head, who would command from the centre vessel and direct the activities of the squadron. The admiral would in turn be assisted by a vice admiral, who commanded the lead ships which would bear the brunt of a naval battle. In the rear of the naval squadron, a third admiral would command the remaining ships and, as this section of the squadron was considered to be in the least danger, the admiral in command of the rear would typically be the most junior of the squadron admirals. This has survived into the modern age, with the rank of rear admiral the most-junior of the admiralty ranks of many navies.

In some European navies (e.g., that of France), and in the Canadian Forces' French rank translations, the rank of rear admiral is known as contre-amiral. In the Royal Netherlands Navy, this rank is known as schout-bij-nacht (lit.: supervisor during night), denoting the role junior to the squadron admiral, and fleet admiral.



RAN Rear Admiral shoulder board

The Royal Australian Navy maintains a rank of rear admiral; refer to Australian Defence Force ranks and insignia. The abbreviation is RADM.

Since the mid 1990s, the insignia of a Royal Australian Navy Rear Admiral is the crown of St Edward above a crossed sword and baton, above two silver stars, above the word "AUSTRALIA". Unlike other Commonwealth countries, the sword is a traditional naval cutlass. The stars have eight points, unlike the four pointed Order of the Bath stars used by the army (which are often referred to as "pips"). Prior to 1995, the RAN shoulder board was identical to the UK shoulder board. The UK shoulder board changed in 2001.


In the Royal Canadian Navy, the rank of rear-admiral (RAdm) (contre-amiral or CAm in French) is the Navy rank equivalent to major-general of the Army and Air Force. A rear-admiral is a flag officer, the naval equivalent of a general officer. A rear-admiral is senior to a commodore and brigadier-general, and junior to a vice-admiral and lieutenant-general.

The rank insignia for a rear-admiral is two gold maple leaves beneath crossed sword and baton, all surmounted by St Edward's Crown, worn on shoulder boards and slip-ons on uniforms other than the service dress tunic. The service dress features a wide strip of gold braid around the cuff and, since June 2010,[1] above it a narrower strip of gold braid embellished with the executive curl. On the visor of the service cap are two rows of gold oak leaves.


Indian Navy also maintains a rear admiral rank senior to commodore and captain ranks and junior to vice admiral (and admiral) ranks.

The rank insignia for a rear-admiral is two stars beneath crossed sword and baton, all surmounted by Emblem of India, worn on shoulder boards.


Pakistani rear admiral rank insignia.

A rear admiral in the Pakistani Navy is a senior and two-star rank naval officer, appointed in higher naval commands. Because of the command and staff experience, the rear admiral rank is generally highly superior to commodore and captain. However, the rank is junior to the three-star rank vice-admiral and four-star rank admiral, who is generally a Chief of Naval Staff of the Navy.

United Kingdom

The Royal Navy maintains a rank of rear admiral. Note that the rank of rear admiral is quite different from the honorary office Rear-Admiral of the United Kingdom.

United States

In the United States since 1984, there have been two ranks with the title of rear admiral: Rear admiral (lower half) (RDML), a one-star rank; and rear admiral (upper half) (RADM), a two-star rank. Prior to that, a combination of ranks were used – see the main article and Commodore (United States) for the history and evolution of these ranks.


In Vietnam, the equivalent to rear admiral is the Chuẩn Đô đốc or Đề đốc, literally "master of the rowboat".

See also

References and notes

  1. ^ [1] The Maple Leaf/La Feuille d'érable – no. 13 vol.18

Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

Игры ⚽ Нужно решить контрольную?

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Rear admiral — Rear Rear, a. Being behind, or in the hindmost part; hindmost; as, the rear rank of a company. [1913 Webster] {Rear admiral}, an officer in the navy, next in rank below a vice admiral and above a commodore. See {Admiral}. {Rear front} (Mil.), the …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Rear Admiral — Rear Admirals N TITLE; N COUNT Rear Admiral is a rank in the navy. It is the rank below Vice Admiral. ...Rear Admiral Douglas Cap, commander of the USS America …   English dictionary

  • Rear-admiral — (engl., spr. rihr äddmĭrĕl), s.v.w. Konteradmiral (s. Admiral) …   Kleines Konversations-Lexikon

  • rear admiral — ► NOUN ▪ a rank of naval officer, above commodore and below vice admiral …   English terms dictionary

  • rear admiral — n. U.S. Navy an officer ranking above a commodore and below a vice admiral …   English World dictionary

  • Rear Admiral — (engl., spr. rīr äddmiräl), in der engl. Marine soviel wie Konteradmiral …   Meyers Großes Konversations-Lexikon

  • rear admiral — n a high rank in the navy …   Dictionary of contemporary English

  • rear admiral — noun count an officer of high rank in the navy or COAST GUARD …   Usage of the words and phrases in modern English

  • Rear Admiral — Konteradmiral der Deutschen Marine Konteradmiral (englisch: Rear Admiral; französisch: contre amiral) ist eine Dienstgradbezeichnung für einen Flaggoffizier in der Marine. Inhaltsverzeichnis 1 …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • rear admiral — noun an admiral junior to a vice admiral • Hypernyms: ↑flag officer * * * noun, pl ⋯ als [count] : an officer of high rank in the navy * * * ˌrear ˈadmiral [rear admiral rear admirals] noun …   Useful english dictionary

Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”