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Ranks of Pakistan Army

Passing out parade at PML Kakul

The Pakistan Army (commonly called as Pak Fauj) is the land force of the Pakistan. As compared to the Pakistan Air Force (PAF-Pak Fazaiya) and the Pakistan Navy, Pakistan Army is considered as the most powerful and the most important organ of the armed forces of Pakistan.

Before partition there was just one army – the British Army in the sub-continent. After partition in 1947 the defence assets were divided between India and Pakistan and likewise the army. It was since then that the new born country by the Islamic Republic of Pakistan had its independent army – the Pakistan Army.

According to statistics, the Pakistan Army has approximately 650 000 active-duty personnel, supported by the 550 000 Army Reserve and National Guard-effectively making it the 15th army in the world in terms of manpower.

Pakistani citizens can join the armed forces of Pakistan after passing a tough physical and written test. Criteria for selection of commissioned officers and non-commissioned officers is different.

Pak Army’s service structure is basically derived from the British Army. The Ranks of Pakistan Army are also primarily based on British Army Ranks. Officers and JCOs of the Pakistan Army in khaki uniform wear their rank insignia on the shoulders, while NCOs wear them on the arm. In CCD, all army personnel wear their insignia on the chest.

The Non-Commissioned Officers rank insignia are displayed on sleeves and from the rank ‘Lance Naik’ the non-commissioned officer status starts. The ranks of Company Quartermaster Havildar, Company Havildar Major, Battalion Quartermaster Havildar and Battalion Havildar Major are company/battalion appointments held by senior Havildars and these badges are worn on the right wrist.

The Junior-Commissioned Officers (JCOs) rean insignia are displayed on shoulders. From the rank of ‘Naib Subedar’ starts the JCOs status. The ranks of Naib Subedar, Subedar and Subedar Major are displayed on shoulders.

The rank of a commissioned officer in Khaki uniform is displayed on shoulder and in case of camouflage dress for combat and ops areas the rank insignia is displayed on chest.

The officers ranks of Pakistan Army start from 2nd Lieutenant and ends on Field Marshal.

The very first officer’s rank of Pakistan Army is 2nd Lieutenant, then comes Lieutenant and later Captain and after Captain comes the rank of Major.

A Major in Pakistan Army is promoted to the rank of Lieutenant Colonel and a Lt. Colonel becomes Colonel after getting promotion. A Colonel in Pak Army, by getting one step promotion, becomes Brigadier (One star general) and a Brigadier of Pakistan Army is elevated to the post of Major General and with one step ahead a Major General becomes Lt. General. Then comes the post of the Commander-in-Chief of the Pakistan Army-the post of Army Chief.

The Army Chief of Pakistan Army commands the entire force. The tenure of Chief of the Army Staff of Pakistan is three years. Occasionally Army Chief gets extension for another 3-year term.

The highest rank in Pakistan Army is the rank of Field Marshal. There has been only one field marshal of the Pakistan Army since partition. General Ayub Khan was the first and so far the last field marshal of Pakistan Army.

About Zaheer Ahmad

Muhammad Zaheer Ahmad is a senior journalist having more than 20 years of experience. He has served both print and electronic media at senior positions. Currently, Zaheer is associated with a leading news channel of Pakistan as Sr. Producer News. He is also the Managing Editor of Newsmakers.Com.Pk. Zaheer can be reached at zaheer.ahmad.lhr@gmail.com

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