Nigerian Army Ranks: Ranks in the Nigerian Army

This post contains information about Nigerian army ranks and their symbols (insignia).


The Nigerian Army is an arm of the Nigerian military that is responsible for land warfare. They fight on the land while the Nigerian Air Force takes care of the air, and the Nigerian Navy deals with the combats on (and in) waters.

The Nigerian Army ranks for commissioned and non-commissioned officers  are as listed below.

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Ranks in the Nigerian Army for commissioned officers

The Nigerian Army ranks for commissioned officers in the Nigerian Army, from lower rank to top rank, is listed below:

11. Second Lieutenant

10. Lieutenant

9. Captain

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8. Major

7. Lieutenant Colonel

6. Colonel

5. Brigadier General

4. Major General

3. Lieutenant General

2. General

1. Field Marshal

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Nigerian Army Ranks for non-commissioned officers

These are the ranks for non-commissioned officers in the Nigerian Army. From bottom to top, they are listed below:

8. Recruit

7. Private

6. Lance-corporal

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5. Corporal

4. Sergeant

3. Staff Sergeant

2. Warrant Officer First Class

1. Master Warrant Officer

Difference between commissioned and non-commissioned officers

You may ask, what is the difference between commissioned and non-commissioned?

Well, commissioned officers are the officers that got into the Nigeria Army either through the Direct Short Service Commission (DSSC) or have finished from the Nigerian Defence Academy (NDA). Commissioned officers have official and written responsibilities and also have direct contact with the government. They give government recommendations, do meetings and all that. They are not limited to combat training, they do also have training on intelligence.

Non-commissioned officers on the other hand got into the Army through the normal military recruitment process and they are the poster guys. They are the ones that engage in combat, go to wars and special missions. They take instructions and orders from the commissioned officers, which is usually about combat or peace keeping.

The commissioned officers get the most pay.

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Common Questions

1. What is the highest rank in Nigeria Army?

The highest rank in the Nigerian Army is Field Marshall, but there has never been a Field Marshall.

2. What is the lowest rank in the Nigerian Army?

The lowest rank in the Nigerian Army is the recruit.

3. What rank is the Chief of Army Staff?

The rank of the Chief of Army Staff (CoAS) is chiefly ceremonial and is only appointed by the President.

4. What’s the difference between Private and Recruit?

The difference between a recruit and private is that recruit is still in training while private has finished training.

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  • Field Marshall is not attainable. General is where every officer ends his active military career
  • In view of the above, General can be said to be the highest ranking officer

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