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Subedar-major is the senior rank of junior commissioned officer in the Indian and Pakistani Armies, and formerly a Viceroy's commissioned officer in the British Indian Army.

Although commissioned, they would be considered as senior enlisted personnel and fulfil a role similar to that of the most senior non-commissioned officers in other armies. A battalion's single subedar-major assists the commander in much the same way as a regimental sergeant major would (to the extent that this rank, known as regimental havildar major, is now almost obsolete in the Indian Army).

Under British rule a subedar-major wore the crown of a full major, a tradition which has continued with slight variation after independence. India now use Ashoka lions with a gold and red stripe below, and Pakistan a wreathed star with green and red. These stripes separate subedar-majors from full commissioned majors; in the Old Indian Army[Clarification needed]

this distinction was made by race.[citation needed][Clarification needed]


In the cavalry, the equivalent rank is risaldar-major. Subedar-major or risaldar-major equated to a British major and subedar or risaldar to captain, although junior to all British officers.

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