Ranks in the Nigerian Army – Ranks, Salary, Structure, Symbols


Names and Pictures of Nigerian Land Army Officer (Military Force) Ranks
Sometimes it is often seen that people who are interested in joining the Nigerian army don’t even know the different ranks in the Nigerian army division. The word “army” was derived from the old French word armèe, meaning “to arm” which was documented in 1386.

The word “rank” is always used to refer to the social position or level of a soldier or officer in the military hierarchy. Each ranks in Nigerian army or army at large is always entitled with a reasonable salary and perks. Any officer with a respective active rank enjoys the salary and perks of that rank-but it can be reverted to the previous rank by order without notice.
Army is one body of the military that is very important in a country. It helps in so many aspect in a country most especially in peace keeping fighting of battles. In Nigeria in particular, Army is more respected than other force because of their aggressive influence on civilians. An army man can be more respected than three police men even on uniform.

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Ignorantly, some people don’t even know who they should be afraid of mostly in the ranks of the Nigerian army. They are just afraid of anybody that put on an army uniform. Knowledge in knowing the different ranks in the Nigerian army is very necessary both for examination purpose and in our day to day life.


Before going into the different Nigerian army ranks and insignia . I want to clear a confusion on the word “appointment”. Oftentimes, we mistake this two words “appointment” and “ranks”. It is very important to be able to differentiate them so that you won’t fall victim of mixing them up.

There is a difference between appointment and ranks-though they overlap sometimes. Ranks may develop into appointments. In some armies it may be called ranks of officers while other may call it appointment. Meanwhile some appointment are honorary.

Different armies has the own meaning for ranks and appointment. Here is a list of ranks in the Nigerian army in order:

Nigerian Army Ranks and Badges

1. Field Marshal

Going from the lowest to the highest in the military hierarchy, this is the highest rank so far in army. But according to report reaching us, no Nigerians has been able to reach this position. That’s why you hardly hear it is because it’s hardly used.

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2. General

This is the second highest in the army. Many Nigerians army have attained this rank. So this is the guy you should be afraid of. But you will hardly see them because they move in dark screen cars and are guided with troops of army around them. It is indicated with a four-star rank insignia.

3. Lieutenant General

This is a high commissioned officer. It is mostly pronounced as “leftenant” unknowingly. In Nigeria, the rank is recognized by a three-star badge. The term is also used to distinguish between middle and higher rank officer. For example, 1st Lieutenant, 2nd Lieutenant, Sub-Lieutenant depending on the country or era.

4. Major General

This is the medium commissioned officer. The word major was derived from the latin word “major” meaning “superior person, chief officer, an elder”. In the Nigeria army, it is indicated with two star.

5. Brigadier (General)

The word “Brigadier” means “the commander of brigade”. It is called”Brigata” in Italian, meaning “troop, crowd”.

Brigade- a battle group. It is a French word origin. In 1992, “Brigadier-General” was formerly used by the British Army but was reverted to just “Brigadier”. The word can also be shortened to “Brig”.

In the Nigerian Army, it is recognized with a one star.

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6. Colonel

This is the commissioned officer of a lower level and the highest field officer. It’s uses to be called “colonel of the regiment”.

7. Lieutenant Colonel

This is the deputy to the colonel.

8. Major

This is the field officer in the lower category.

9. Captain

The context in military is refer to an officer who commands a company. This is the rank between the “major” and the “lieutenant”.

10. First Lieutenant

This is the deputy to the captain.

11. Second Lieutenant

This officer is subordinate to the first Lieutenant. They both possesses the same NATO rank.

12. Sergeant

This word came from an old French word which means “servant”. This is a non-commissioned officer.

13. Corporal

A corporal is an officer in charge of a body of troops.

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  1. sir i need to be nigerian army

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