Italian Army officers used to wear the ranks on the sleeve, like naval officers. Since 1946, insignia were changed in order to align with NATO regulations. In 1973 the system had the following slight change: the wreath was added to the stars for general officers, instead of the silver epaulette; the crown was added to the stars for field officers, instead of a gold band on the edge of the epaulette; the stars began to be placed near the edge of the epaulette instead of in the center. These changes were mostly intended to make insignia more easily recognizable on the field uniform.
The chart below represents the Italian Army rank insignia used on the slip-on of winter service uniforms. The color of the uniforms is khaki.
Officers who are assigned to a position acting in a higher rank than their own wear the insignia of the higher rank but the highest star of the insignia is trimmed in red enamel. Similarly, an officer temporarily assigned to a position attaining a higher rank in the absence of the incumbent officer, wear the star in bronze colour.
As can be seen, the Italian rank system has a large number of junior NCO ranks. Several ranks (which are variations on corporal) have a "chosen" version of the rank, "chosen" having the same sense of "leading", as in the historic British Army appointment of "chosen man" (now called lance-corporal).
|generale di corpo d'armata
Corps General (Lieutenant general)
|generale di divisione
|generale di brigata|
|primo maresciallo luogotenente
First Marshal Lieutenant
NATO Eq.: OR-9, Warrant officer/Sergeant Major of the Army
Transl.: First marshal
NATO Eq.: OR-9, Command Sergeant Major
Transl.: Chief marshal
NATO Eq.: OR-9, Sergeant major
Transl.: Ordinary marshal
NATO Eq.: OR-8, First sergeant
NATO Eq.: OR-8, Master sergeant
|Permanent service volunteers|
|Temporary service volunteers|
STANAG 2116 ranking
|NATO Code||OF-10||OF-9||OF-8||OF-7||OF-6||OF-5||OF-4||OF-3||OF-2||OF-1||OF(D)||Student Officer|
(Chief of Defense Staff only)
|generale di divisione
|generale di brigata
|Abbreviation||Gen.||Gen.CSMD Gen.CSME||Gen.CdA||Gen.Div.||Gen.Brig.||Col.||Ten.Col.||Magg.||Pr.Cap Cap.||Ten.||S.Ten.|
|Primo maresciallo luogotenente||Primo maresciallo||Maresciallo capo||Maresciallo ordinario||Maresciallo||Sergente maggiore capo||Sergente maggiore||Sergente||Caporal maggiore||Caporale||Soldato|
|Abbreviation||1° Mar. Lgt.||1° Mar.||Mar. Ca.||Mar. Ord.||Mar.||Serg. Magg. Ca.||Serg.Magg.||Serg.||CMCS||CMC||C.le Magg. Sc.||1°C.le Magg.||C.le Magg.||C.le Sc.||C.le||Sold.|
This chart represents the Italian Army enlisted rank insignia with seniority decreasing left-to-right inside a given pay grade. All ranks of sergente or higher are considered as Non Commissioned Officers. Airborne units personnel wear the chevrons on a blue base.
Enlisted insignia saw no significant changes until 1973 when the chevrons were moved from the sleeve to the epaulette. In 1997 the new ranks from 1°CM to CMCS were created for permanent service enlisted personnel, and the new insignia were created. in the same year, the rank of C.le Sc. was created as top rank for conscript personnel, and the new insignia was created.
The rank of caporale is not a command grade and only results in a higher paygrade, and may be attained by conscript personnel. The ranks up to caporal maggiore may be attained by temporary service personnel. Higher ranks may only be attained by permanent service personnel. Sergeants generally have team command tasks, and are appointed in the rank only after several months training course. The rank of soldato is used only for recruits and is substituted by the following, depending on the branch or service:
- Fante/Fan. (Infantryman)
- Alpino/Alp. (Mountain infantryman)
- Bersagliere/Bers. (Marksman, Rifleman)
- Paracadutista/Par. (Parachutist)
- Granatiere/Gra. (Grenadier)
- Lagunare/Lag. (Lagoon infantryman)
- Artigliere/Art. (Artilleryman, Gunner)
- Trasmettitore/Trs. (Signaller)
- Assistente di Sanità/Asa. (Medic)
- Cavaliere/Cav. (Cavalryman)
- Lanciere/Lanc. (Lancer)
- Dragone/Dra. (Dragoon)
- Carrista/Cr. (Tanker)
- Autiere/Aut. (Driver)
- Geniere/Gnr. (Pioneer, Sapper)
- Guastatore/Guast. (Combat Sapper)
- Incursore/Inc. (Special Forces Operator)
- In the images the Pantone colour khaki 16-0726 TC, rendered as RGB 161 143 94, has been used.
- until 1947 generale d'armata
- The chief of the Italian Army is now a generale di corpo d'armata con incarichi speciali (special duties) NATO rank OF-8. The insignia has four stars with the higher star in red enamel.
- Italian Army web site
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