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Ranks and rank insignia of the Soviet Army 1955–1991

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Title: Ranks and rank insignia of the Soviet Army 1955–1991  
Author: World Heritage Encyclopedia
Language: English
Subject: Ranks and rank insignia of the Red Army 1935–1940, Admiral of the fleet of the Soviet Union, General of the army (USSR), Military ranks of Russia, Military insignia
Collection: Military Insignia, Military Ranks of Russia
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Ranks and rank insignia of the Soviet Army 1955–1991

The ranks and rank insignia of the Soviet Army between 1955 and 1991 were distinguished by the reorganisation of the Soviet armed forces after the death of Stalin, resulting in changes to ranks, insignia, and uniforms.

Contents

  • Changes to distinction insignia 1
    • Shoulder straps to field utilization 1.1
    • Enlisted men, non-commissioned officers, warrant officers, and michman 1.2
      • Army, Air Force 1.2.1
      • Navy, coastal services and other shore commandse 1.2.2
    • Letter codes from 1972 onward 1.3
    • Army officers and generals (all services) 1.4
    • Naval officers and flag officers (all services) 1.5
    • Top ranks 1.6
  • See also 2
  • Notes 3
  • References 4

Changes to distinction insignia

Shoulder straps to field utilization

In December 1956 the coloured border piping on officers' shoulder straps was changed. A cinnamon-brown color was used instead of the burgundy red previously worn by commanders and commanding officers. All other officers and other ranks wore corps colours as follows:

  • Motorised & mechanised rifles – raspberry
  • Artillery & armored troops – black, red
  • Air Force & aviation – blue
  • Technical troops of any kind and the navy – black

Enlisted men, non-commissioned officers, warrant officers, and michman

Army, Air Force

Enlisted men Non-commissioned officers Warrant officers
Shoulder boards to
service uniform
basic
(ground forces)
Shoulder boards to
service uniform
basic
(air force & aviation)
Rank
designation
Soldier Corporal Junior sergeant Sergeant Senior sergeant until 1963
Staff sergeant
from 1964
Staff sergeant
from 1971
Warrant officer
from 1981
Senior warrant officer
Рядовой Ефрейтор Мл. сержант Сержант Ст. сержант Старшина Прапорщик Ст. прапорщик
NATO-equivalent OR-1 OR-2 OR-4 OR-6 OF-7 OR-8 OR-9

Navy, coastal services and other shore commandse

Enlisted ratings Boatswain/ petty officers Michman
Shoulder boards to
service uniform
basic
Rating
designation
(naval services)
Sailor Leading sailor Petty officer 2nd class Petty officer 1st class Chief petty officer Michman
(until 1955)
Michman (1956-1971)
Glavny starshina of the ship
(from 1971)
Michman
(from 1971)
Starshy michman
(from 1981)
Матрос Ст. матрос Старшина
2 статьи
Старшина
1 статьи
Главный
старшина
Мичман Мичман
Гл. корабельный старшина
Мичман Ст. мичман
...
(coastal services
and other shore commands)
Sailor Senior sailor Junior sergeant Sergeant Senior sergeant until 1961
Staff sergeant
from 1962
Staff sergeant
from 1971
Warrant officer
from 1981
Senior warrant officer
Матрос Ст. матрос Мл. сержант Сержант Ст. сержант Старшина Старшина Прапорщик Ст. прапорщик
NATO-equivalent OR-1 OR-2 OR-4 OR-6 OF-7 OR-8 OR-9

Letter codes from 1972 onward

  • The letter imprint "CA" on army shoulder boards OR1 to OR7[Note 1] stood for "Советская Аpмия (en: Sovetskaya Armiya) " and was the symbol of adherence to the Soviet Army.
  • The letter imprint on Soviet navy shoulder boards OR1 to OR7 symbolised the adherence to the appropriate fleet or naval major command.[1]
    • Ф – Fleet (Russian: Флот, Flot), general personnel of the Navy
    • БФ – Baltic Fleet (Балтийский Флот; Baltiski Flot)
    • ЧМ – Black Sea Fleet (Черноморский Флот, Chernomorski Flot)
    • СФ – Northern Fleet (Северный Флот, Severny Flot)
    • ТФ – Pacific Fleet (Тихоокеанский Флот, Tikhookeanski flot)
  • Other letter symbols
    • BB – (Внутренние Войска, Vnutrennie Voiska) – Internal Troops
    • ВМУ – (Военно-музыкальное Училище, Voyenno-musykalnoye Utchilishche) – students of military musician schools or cadets of military bands
  • ВС – (Вооружённые Силы, Voorushonnye Sily) – armed forces (Soviet Army, later USSR armed forces, also Armed forces of the USSR)
  • ГБ – (КГБ, KGB) – KGB
  • К – (Курсант, Kursant) – higher military college student
  • H – (Нахимовец, Nakhimovez) – cadet in the Nakhimov Naval School
  • ПВ – (Пограничные войска, Pogranitshnye voiska) – border troops
  • СШ – (Cпециальная школа, Spezialnaya shkola) – special school
  • СВУ – (Суворовец, Suvorovez) – cadet at a Suvorov Military School

Army officers and generals (all services)

Designation Lieutenants Captain´s rank Field officers Higher commanders & commander-in-chief
Shoulder boards
to
parade uniform
land forces
(Army)
Air force
Rank
designation (Ground and air forces and independent branches)
Junior lieutenant Lieutenant Senior lieutenant Captain Major Lieutenant colonel Colonel Major general Lieutenant general Colonel general General of the army
until 1974 and after 1974
Marshal of the Soviet Union
Мл. лейтенант Лейтенант Ст. лейтенант Капитан Майор Подполковник Полковник Генерал-майор Генерал-лейтенант Генерал-полковник Генерал аpмии Маршал Советского Союза

Naval officers and flag officers (all services)

Designation Lieutenants Captain lieutenants Staff officers Flag officers & higher commanders
Shoulder board
to
parde uniform
Navy
Sleeve insignia en: Request for creation and upload of a picture! en: Request for creation and upload of a picture!
Rank
designation (naval services)
Junior lieutenant Lieutenant Senior lieutenant Captain lieutenant Captain 3rd rank Captain 2nd rank Captain 1st Rank Rear admiral Vice admiral Admiral Admiral of the fleet
(1955-1961) and (1962-1994)
Admiral of the fleet of the Soviet Union
(1955-1991)
Младший лейтенант Лейтенант Ст. лейтенант Капитан-лейтенант Капитан 3-го ранга Капитан 2-го ранга Капитан 1-го ранга Контр-адмирал Вице-адмирал Адмирал Адмирал флота Адмирал флота Советского Союза
Rank
designation (Shore services of the Navy)
Junior lieutenant Lieutenant Senior lieutenant Captain Major Lieutenant colonel Colonel Major general Lieutenant general Colonel general No equivalent
established
Мл. лейтенант Лейтенант Ст. лейтенант Капитан Майор Подполковник Полковник Генерал-майор Генерал-лейтенант Генерал-полковник
NATO-equivalent OF-1 OF-2 OF-3 OF-4 OF-5 OF-6 OF-7 OF-8 OF-9 OF-10

Top ranks

Marshal ranks and Supreme commanders of the Soviet armed forces
Shoulder board
to
dress uniform
Rank designation Marshal of the branch Chief marshal of the branch Marshal
of the Soviet Union
Generalissimus
of the Soviet Union

(no referenced project)
NATO-equivalent OF-9 OF-10
Supreme commander of the Soviet Navy
Shoulder board
to
dress uniform
Rank
designation
Admiral of the fleet
of the Soviet Union
(1955-1991)
NATO-equivalent OF-10

See also

Notes

  1. ^ The abbreviation "OR" stands for "other ranks"

References

  1. ^ Meyers Konversations-Lexikon, 3th edition 1982, order number: 576 973 7, licence number: 433 130/182/82, volume IV, page 128-129 "Rank insignia of the Soviet Navy"
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