Military ranks of the Swedish Armed Forces

Military ranks of the Swedish Armed Forces shows the rank system used in the Swedish Armed Forces today, as well as changes during the 20th century due to changes in the personnel structure.

Current ranks

Since 2009, there are three categories of ranks, Officerare, Specialistofficerare and GSS- Gruppbefäl, soldater och sjömän


Officerare (Officers)

Officers lead units from platoon and up. They are trained at the Military Academy Karlberg in a three-year academic program(180 ECTS credits) and graduate as fänrik. Cadets with no prior service must complete a 6-9 months preparatory course before they start at the academy.

Specialistofficerare (Senior NCOs, lit. Specialist Officers)

Specialistofficerare are educated at specialist schools and centres for 1,5 years and graduate as Förste Sergeant. Experienced soldiers who have served as corporals and sergeants may take a shortened course. Civilians must complete a preparatory course before the 1,5 year specialist training starts.

GSS - Gruppbefäl, soldater och sjömän (junior NCOs, soldiers and seamen, lit. Squad leaders, soldiers and seamen)

The two highest ranks in this category, korpral and sergeant, form their own sub-category, gruppbefäl. They command squads of approx. 8 men. Ordinary soldiers are given the rank menig 1 klass with different insignia depending on how long they have served.


When the professional NCO corps was reintroduced in 2009 it was decided that some ranks in this category should, like the old underofficerare ranks in 1960-1972, have a relative rank higher than the most junior officers. The current relative ranks are shown in the table below.

OF
(Officer Ranks)
Other Ranks
(Specialistofficerare)
OF-9 (General, Amiral)
OF-8 (Generallöjtnant, Viceamiral)
OF-7 (Generalmajor, Konteramiral)
OF-6 (Brigadgeneral, Flottiljamiral)
OF-5 (Överste, Kommendör)
OF-4 (Överstelöjtnant, Kommendörkapten)
  OR-9 (Regements-/Flottiljförvaltare)
OF-3 (Major, Örlogskapten)  
OF-2 (Kapten)
  OR-8 (Förvaltare)
OF-1 (Löjtnant)
  OR-7 (Fanjunkare)
OF-1 (Fänrik)  
  OR-6 (Förste Sergeant)
GSS - Squad leaders, soldiers and seamen
OR-5 (Sergeant)
OR-4 (Korpral)
OR-3 (Vice korpral)
OR-2 (Menig 1kl)
OR-1 (Menig)

Current rank insignias

The table below shows ranks according to seniority, with the most senior to the left. OF denotes officers, OR other ranks (as per STANAG 2116). Those ranks were ratified by the supreme commander on October 24, 2008, and became effective as of January 1, 2009.[1] Military ranks of (primarily) Great Britain have been used as a basis for harmonization with NATO.

Officers
Equivalent
NATO code
OF-10OF-9OF-8OF-7OF-6OF-5OF-4OF-3OF-2OF-1OF(D) and student officer
Sweden
(Edit)
No equivalent
General Generallöjtnant Generalmajor Brigadgeneral Överste Överstelöjtnant Major Kapten Löjtnant Fänrik Kadett
Sweden
(Edit)
No equivalent



General Generallöjtnant Generalmajor Brigadgeneral Överste Överstelöjtnant Major Kapten Löjtnant Fänrik
Sweden
(Edit)
No equivalent No equivalent
Amiral Viceamiral Konteramiral Flottiljamiral Kommendör Kommendörkapten Örlogskapten Kapten Löjtnant Fänrik
Equivalent
NATO Code
OF-10OF-9OF-8OF-7OF-6OF-5OF-4OF-3OF-2OF-1OF(D) & Student officer
Enlisted
Equivalent
NATO Code
OR-9OR-8OR-7OR-6OR-5OR-4OR-3OR-2OR-1
Sweden
(Edit)
Branch insignia
Regementsförvaltare Förvaltare Fanjunkare Förste sergeant Sergeant Korpral Vicekorpral Menig 1 klass Menig
Sweden
(Edit)
Flottilj-förvaltare Förvaltare Fanjunkare Förste sergeant Sergeant Korpral Vicekorpral Menig 1kl Menig
Sweden
(Edit)
Flottilj-förvaltare Förvaltare Fanjunkare Förste Sergeant Sergeant Korpral Vicekorpral Sjöman 1 klass Sjöman
Equivalent
NATO Code
OR-9OR-8OR-7OR-6OR-5OR-4OR-3OR-2OR-1


Army Gruppbefäl & Soldater Specialistofficerare Officerare
OR-1 OR-2 OR-3 OR-4 OR-5 OR-6 OR-7 OR-8 OR-9 OF-1 OF-2 OF-3 OF-4 OF-5 OF-6 OF-7 OF-8 OF-9
Branch
insignia1
Menig Menig 1kl2 Vicekorpral Korpral Sergeant Förste
Sergeant
Fanjunkare Förvaltare Regements-
förvaltare
Fänrik Löjtnant Kapten Major Överste-
löjtnant
Överste' Brigad-
general
'
General-
major
'
General-
löjtnant
'
General'
Navy
(Amphibious Corps)
Gruppbefäl & soldater Specialistofficerare Officerare
OR-1 OR-2 OR-3 OR-4 OR-5 OR-6 OR-7 OR-8 OR-9 OF-1 OF-2 OF-3 OF-4 OF-5 OF-6 OF-7 OF-8 OF-9
Menig Menig 1kl2 Vicekorpral Korpral Sergeant Förste
Sergeant
Fanjunkare Förvaltare Regements-
förvaltare
Fänrik Löjtnant Kapten Major Överste-
löjtnant
Överste Brigad-
general
General-
major
General-
löjtnant
General
Navy
(The Fleet)
Gruppbefäl & Sjömän Specialistofficerare Officerare
OR-1 OR-2 OR-3 OR-4 OR-5 OR-6 OR-7 OR-8 OR-9 OF-1 OF-2 OF-3 OF-4 OF-5 OF-6 OF-7 OF-8 OF-9
Sjöman Sjöman 1kl2 Vicekorpral Korpral Sergeant Förste
Sergeant
Fanjunkare Förvaltare Flottilj-
förvaltare
Fänrik Löjtnant Kapten Örlogs-
kapten
Kommendör-
kapten
Kommendör Flottilj-
amiral
Konter-
amiral
Vice-
amiral
Amiral
Air Force Gruppbefäl & soldater Specialistofficerare Officerare
OR-1 OR-2 OR-3 OR-4 OR-5 OR-6 OR-7 OR-8 OR-9 OF-1 OF-2 OF-3 OF-4 OF-5 OF-6 OF-7 OF-8 OF-9
Menig Menig 1kl2 Vicekorpral Korpral Sergeant Förste
Sergeant
Fanjunkare Förvaltare Flottilj-
förvaltare
Fänrik Löjtnant Kapten Major Överste-
löjtnant
Överste Brigad-
general
General-
major
General-
löjtnant
General
Officer
Trainees
Officer Cadets
OR-2 OR-3 OR-4 OR-5
Officer Candidate First Year Second Year Third Year
Home Guard Home Guard Soldiers
OR-1 OR-2 OR-4 OR-5 OR-6 OR-7 OR-8 OF-1 OF-2 OF-3
Menig Menig 1kl Korpral Sergeant Förste
Sergeant
Fanjunkare Förvaltare Fänrik Löjtnant Kapten Major
1 Menig in the Army wear no insignia other than their respective branch insignia (see table below).
2 Menig 1kl are given one additional bar/stripe after 3, 5 and 7 years of service; without advancement in rank, seniority and skill level.
Branch insignias
InfantryCavalryArtilleryArmourAir-DefenseEngineerSignalSupplyArmy
(generic)

Distribution of personnel vs ranks

Since the end of the Cold War, Sweden has gradually abolished the mass-mobilization system based on national service and universal military training of all young males, through a system of selective draft of an increasingly lower proportion of available manpower, to a system based on volunteer enlistment. Concomitantly a large reduction of forces and capabilities has occurred, as well as a substantial increase of participation in "hot" international operations. Reflecting these new conditions a new personnel structure was introduced in 2009 (see historical section below), emphasizing junior leadership and specialist competence through the re-creation of a NCO Corps. As a result, there is a large surplus of older soldiers of officer rank that either will have to be phased out through early retirement or converted into non-commissioned officers.

Personnel[2] [3] [4] [5]
Officers, including reserve officers2009[2]2010[3]2011[4]2012[5]6
OF-9General / Admiral223 13 1
OF-7 - OF-8Maj, General / Rear Admiral, Lt. General / Vice Admiral40432120
OF-6Brigadier General / Rear Admiral LH85864647
OF-5Colonel / Captain (N)268263192187
OF-4Lieutenant Colonel / Commander1,1741,2171,1831,181
OF-3Major / Lieutenant Commander3,0532,8912,7252,667
OF-2Captain / Lieutenant (N)7,5867,4337,0266,936
OF-1Lieutenant / Sub Lieutenant5,6525,4285,0934,981
OF-1Second Lieutenant / Acting Sub Lieutenant571749810785
OR-9Regimental Sergeant Major / Command Master Chief Petty Officer0000
OR-8Sergeant Major / Master Chief Petty Officer '0025
OR-7Colour Sergeant21816
OR-6First Sergeant26089+(427)334531
OF-OROther officers74146
Total number of officers18,71218,63617,50817,494
GSS - Soldiers, seamen, specialists and squad leaders 4
OR-5Sergeant7705909530723222
1,637 34,148 3
OR-4Corporal
OR-3Lance Corporal
OR-2Private 1st class
OR-1Private
Total number of soldiers, seamen, specialists and squad leaders7709091,6374,148
1 The King of Sweden, the supreme commander, and the former supreme commander serving in the EU as general, retaining his Swedish rank of general.
2 Sergeant (OR5) is a GSS rank, but the number is included in the table for professional officers in the annual report.
3 The annualized sum of all GSS personnel, including readiness personnel (beredskaps BSA) 607, augmentees (förstärknings FS) 477 and personnel abroad (US) 555. Disclaimer: Personnel serving abroad (US) may also consist of former professional officers serving in officer ranks. It is not clear whether the number also includes sergeants (OR5), which are recorded separately in the table "professional officers" of the annual report. Thus, the number could as well be 1,637 - 307 = 1,337.
4 This constitute the number of GSS/K, continuously serving personnel. GSS/T (reserve personnel serving some days a year) is an emerging category personnel that was not possible to measure at the time the annual report was published.
5 The sum of all personnel between OR1 and OR5, including readiness personnel (beredskaps BSA), augmentees (förstärknings FS) and personnel serving abroad (US). Disclaimer: Personnel serving abroad (US) may also consist of former professional officers serving in officer ranks.
6 This includes officers serving at times (T) as of the annual report for 2011.
Officer candidates[2][3]
Officer candidates who graduate as Fanrik 2010107
Officer candidates who graduate as Fanrik 2011117
Officer candidates who graduate as Fanrik 2012163
S-Officer candidates who graduate as First Sergeant 2010317
Total officer candidates704

Translation to English

This table shows the official translations[6] of the Swedish ranks and their abbreviations.

Translation of OR, Other Ranks to English
Code Swedish Rank Army Navy Amphibious Corps Airforce
OR-1 Menig Private Pte Seaman S Marine M Airman Amn
OR-2 Menig 1.kl Private First Class PFC Seaman First Class SFC Marine First Class MFC Airman First Class AFC
OR-3 Vicekorpral Vkrp Lance Corporal LCpl Able Seaman AS Lance Corporal LCpl Senior Airman SrA
OR-4 Korpral Krp Corporal Cpl Able Seaman First Class ASFC Corporal Cpl Corporal Cpl
OR-5 Sergeant Serg Sergeant Sgt Leading Seaman LS Sergeant Sgt Sergeant Sgt
OR-6 1:e Sergeant 1 Serg Sergeant First Class SgtFC Petty Officer PO Sergeant First Class SgtFC Sergeant First Class SgtFC
OR-7 Fanjunkare Fj Colour Sergeant CSgt Chief Petty Officer CPO Colour Sergeant CSgt Colour Sergeant CSgt
OR-8 Förvaltare Förv Sergeant Major WO2 Warrant Officer WO Sergeant Major WO2 Sergeant Major WO2
OR-9 Regementsförvaltare
Flottiljförvaltare2
Regförv
Fljförv2
Regimental Sergeant Major WO1 Chief Warrant Officer CWO Regimental Sergeant Major WO1 Wing Sergeant Major WO1
Translation of OF, Officer Ranks to English
Code Swedish Rank Army Navy Amphibious Corps Airforce
OF-1 Fänrik Fk Second Lieutenant 2Lt Acting Sub-Lieutenant ASLt Second Lieutenant 2Lt Second Lieutenant 2Lt
OF-1 Löjtnant Lt Lieutenant Lt Sub-Lieutenant SLt Lieutenant Lt Lieutenant Lt
OF-2 Kapten Kn Captain Capt Lieutenant (N)3 Lt (N)3 Captain Capt Captain Capt
OF-3 Major
Örlogskapten1
Mj
Örlkn1
Major Maj Lieutenant Commander LtCdr Major Maj Major Maj
OF-4 Överstelöjtnant
Kommendörkapten1
Övlt
KK1
Lieutenant Colonel LtCol Commander Cdr Lieutenant Colonel LtCol Lieutenant Colonel LtCol
OF-5 Överste
Kommendör1
Öv
Kmd1
Colonel Col Captain (N)3 Capt (N)3 Colonel Col Colonel Col
OF-6 Brigadgeneral
Flottiljamiral1
Bgen
Fljam1
Brigadier General BGen Rear Admiral
(lower half)
RAdm (LH) Brigadier General BGen Brigadier General BGen
OF-7 Generalmajor
Konteramiral1
Genmj
Kam1
Major General MajGen Rear Admiral RAdm Major General MajGen Major General MajGen
OF-8 Generallöjtnant
Viceamiral1
Genlt
Vam1
Lieutenant General LtGen Vice Admiral VAdm Lieutenant General LtGen Lieutenant General LtGen
OF-9 General
Amiral1
Gen
Am1
General Gen Admiral Adm General Gen General Gen
1 used in the Navy.
2 used in the Navy and Air Force.
3 for clarification of ranks, personnel in Navy appends (N) after rank or abbreviation.

Former ranks and rank insignia

When an army based on national service (conscription) was introduced in 1901 all commissioned officers had ranks that were senior to the warrant officers (underofficerare) and non-commissioned officers (underbefäl). In a reform 1926 the relative rank of the then senior warrant officer, fanjunkare, was increased to be equal with the junior officer rank underlöjtnant and above the most junior officer rank fänrik. In 1949 the relative rank of the warrant officers were elevated further so that

i. The lowest warrant officer, sergeant, had relative rank just below the lowest officer rank, fänrik.

ii. The second warrant officer rank, fanjunkare, had relative rank between fänrik and löjtnant.

iii. The highest warrant officer rank, förvaltare, had relative rank between first lieutenant and captain.

In 1972 the personnel structure changed, reflecting increased responsibilities of warrant and non-commissioned officers, renaming the underofficerare as kompaniofficerare, giving them the same ranks as company grade officers (fänrik, löjtnant, kapten). Underbefäl was renamed plutonsofficerare and given the rank titles of sergeant and fanjunkare, although their relative ranks were now placed below fänrik. The commissioned officers were renamed regementsofficerare, beginning with löjtnant. The three-track career system was maintained, as well as three separate messes.

A major change in the personnel structure in 1983 (NBO 1983), merged the three professional corps of platoon officers, company officers, and regimental officers into a one-track career system within a single corps called professional officers (yrkesofficerare). The three messes were also merged to one.

Ranks 1983 - 2009

National Servicemen
Värnpliktiga
National Service Officers
Värnpliktsofficerare
Professional Officers (one-track officer system)
Yrkesofficerare (enhetsbefäl)
Army
Trainee
ranks
Menig3

Korpral
Furir

Cadet1
Överfurir4Sergeant

Cadet2
1st year
Fanjunkare4

Cadet2
2nd year
FänrikLöjtnantKaptenMajorÖverste-
löjtnant
ÖversteÖverste 1grBrigad-
general
General-
major
General-
löjtnant
General
  • (1) Specialist school where aspirants graduate as Sergeant (Specialist Officer) (year 2008)
  • (2) Military Academy, cadets graduate as Fänrik
  • (3) Privates wear insignia of branch. In this case the infantry.
  • (4) No new permanent appointments to these ranks after 1990.

Ranks 1972 - 1983

National Servicemen (Värnpliktiga)National Service Officers (Värnpliktsofficerare)
Platoon Officers
(Plutonsofficerare NCO)
Company Officers
(Kompaniofficerare Limited Duty Officers)
Regimental Officers (Regementsofficerare Officers)
Regular
ranks
Trainee
ranks
Menig

Korpral
FurirÖverfurir

Kadett1
Sergeant

Kadett2-3
FanjunkareFänrikLöjtnantKaptenMajor
Örlogs-
kapten
Överste-
löjtnant

Kommendör-
kapten
Överste
Kommendör
Överste
1gr
Kommendör
1gr
General-
major

Konter-
amiral
General-
löjtnant

Viceamiral
General
Amiral

Ranks 1957 - 1972

National Servicemen (Värnpliktiga)National Service W.O. (Värnpliktiga underofficerare)National Service Officers (Värnpliktiga officerare)
Underbefäl (NCO)Underofficerare (Warrant Officers)Officerare (Commissioned Officers)
Regular
ranks
Trainee
ranks
Menig

Vicekorpral
KorpralFurirÖverfurirRustmästareSergeant

Kadett1-2
FanjunkareFörvaltareFänrikLöjtnantKaptenMajor
Örlogs-
kapten
Överste-
löjtnant

Komendör-
kapten
Överste
Komendör
General-
major

Konter-
amiral
General-
löjtnant

Viceamiral
General
Amiral

Note that the rank of Fältmarskalk (Field Marshal) was a de jure rank before the reform of 1972, even though it has not been used since 1824.

Field uniform model 1958/1959 - rank structure of 1945

Officerare
Rank insignia on collar patch
Rank General Generallöjtnant Generalmajor Överste Överstelöjtnant Major Kapten
Ryttmästare
Löjtnant Fänrik
Underofficerare Kadetter Underbefäl Meniga
Rank insignia on collar patch
Rank Förvaltare Fanjunkare
Styckjunkare
Sergeant Sergeant
Senior Year at Karlberg
Sergeant
Junior Year at Karlberg
Rustmästare Överfurir Furir Korpral
Konstapel
Vicekorpral
Vicekonstapel
Menig
Infantry

Uniform model 1939 - rank structure of 1945

Officerare
Badge m/46 to field cap
Rank insignia
Rank General Generallöjtnant Generalmajor Överste Överstelöjtnant Major Kapten
Ryttmästare
Löjtnant Fänrik
Underofficerare Kadetter Underbefäl Meniga
Badge to field cap

m/46

m/46

m/46

m/46-57

m/46-52

m/46-52

m/46-52

m/46-52

Rank insignia
Rank Förvaltare Fanjunkare
Styckjunkare
Sergeant Sergeant
Junior Year at Karlberg
Rustmästare
1957
Överfurir Furir Korpral
Konstapel
Vicekorpral
Vicekonstapel
Menig

Uniform model 1939

Officerare
Badge m/40
to field cap
Rank insignia m/39
Rank General Generallöjtnant Generalmajor Överste Överstelöjtnant Major Kapten
Ryttmästare
Löjtnant Fänrik
Underofficerare Manskap
Badge m/40
to field cap
Rank insignia m/39
Rank Förvaltare Fanjunkare
Styckjunkare
Sergeant Överfurir
1942
Furir Korpral
Konstapel
Vicekorpral
Vicekonstapel
Menig

Uniform model 1923

Officerare
Cap m/23
Rank insignia
Rank insignia on greatcoat
Rank General Generallöjtnant Generalmajor Överste Överstelöjtnant Major Kapten
Ryttmästare
Löjtnant Underlöjtnant
Abolished 1937
Fänrik

Also a crown in silver on each lower sleeve until 1937.
Underofficerare Manskap
Cap m/23
Rank insignia
Rank insignia on greatcoat
Rank Fanjunkare
Styckjunkare
with relative rank as Underlöjtnant
Fanjunkare
Styckjunkare
Sergeant Furir Korpral
Konstapel
Vicekorpral
Menig

Uniform model 1910

Officerare
Badge m/14 for fur cap
Badge m/10-14 for hat
Rank insignia m/10
Rank General Generallöjtnant Generalmajor Överste Överstelöjtnant Major Kapten
Ryttmästare
Löjtnant Underlöjtnant

Fänrik 1915

Underofficerare Manskap
Badge m/14 for fur cap -
Badge m/10-14 for hat
Rank insignia m/10
Rank Fanjunkare
Styckjunkare
Sergeant Distinktionskorpral
Förste konstapel
Furir 1915
Korpral
Konstapel
Vicekorpral
Menig

References

  • Research: Ph.D. thesis in "War and the career system", Dagens Nyheter by Professor Mats Alvesson, researcher of military organization at Lunds University, and Karl Ydén at the University of Göteborg.
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