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Naval officer ranks
Flag officers:

Admiral of the fleetFleet admiralGrand admiral
AdmiralGeneral admiral
Vice admiralSquadron vice-admiralLieutenant admiral
Rear admiralCounter admiralDivisional admiral
CommodoreFlotilla admiral

Senior officers:

CaptainCapt at seaCapt of sea and warShip-of-the-line Capt
CommanderFrigate captain
Lieutenant commanderCorvette captain

Junior officers:

Captain lieutenantLieutenantShip-of-the-line lieutenant
Frigate lieutenantLieutenant (junior grade)Sub-lieutenant
Corvette lieutenantEnsign
Midshipman

Vice admiral is a senior naval flag officer rank, which is equivalent to lieutenant general and air marshal. A vice admiral is typically senior to a rear admiral and junior to an admiral. In many navies,[1] vice admiral is a three-star rank with a NATO Code of OF-8, although in some navies like the French Navy it is an OF-7 rank, the OF-8 code corresponding to the four-star rank of squadron vice-admiral.

Rank Insignia[edit | edit source]

The rank insignia for a vice admiral usually involves three stars, but this is not always the case. In the navy of Iraq, vice admiral insignia involves one star.[2] In the navies of Azerbaijan,[3] Bangladesh,[4] China,[5] Cuba,[6] Iran,[7] Mexico,[8] North Korea,[9] and Russia, vice admiral insignia involves two stars, and in the navy of Turkey, vice admiral insignia involves four stars.[10]

Gallery[edit | edit source]

Australia[edit | edit source]

In the Royal Australian Navy, the rank of vice admiral is held by the Chief of Navy and, when the positions are held by navy officers, by the Vice Chief of the Defence Force, the Chief of Joint Operations, and/or the Chief of Capability Development Group.

Vice admiral is the equivalent of air marshal in the Royal Australian Air Force and lieutenant general in the Australian Army.

Canada[edit | edit source]

In the Royal Canadian Navy, the rank of vice-admiral (VAdm) (vice-amiral or Vam in French) is equivalent to lieutenant-general of the Canadian Army and Royal Canadian Air Force. A vice-admiral is a flag officer, the naval equivalent of a general officer. A vice-admiral is senior to a rear-admiral and major general, and junior to an admiral and general.

The rank insignia of a Canadian vice-admiral is as follows:

  • On winter black mess dress jacket and winter black service dress tunic: the cuff insignia is one wide gold braid below two standard size gold braids, the superior one includes the executive curl.
  • On tropical white mess dress and tropical white service dress tunic: three gold maple leaves, beneath crossed sword and baton, all surmounted by a St. Edward's Crown located on gold shoulder boards.

Two rows of gold oak leaves are located on the black visor of the white service cap. From 1968 to June 2010, the winter service dress tunic featured only a wide gold braid around the cuff with three gold maple leaves, beneath crossed sword and baton, all surmounted by a St. Edward's Crown located on cloth shoulder straps.

Vice-admirals are addressed by rank and name; thereafter by subordinates as "Sir" or "Ma'am". Vice-admirals are normally entitled to a staff car; the car will normally bear a flag, dark blue with three gold maple leaves arranged one over two.

A vice-admiral generally holds only the most senior command or administrative appointments, barring only Chief of Defence Staff, which is held by a full admiral or general. Appointments held by vice-admirals may include:

Charles, Prince of Wales holds the honorary rank of vice admiral in the Royal Canadian Navy.[11]

France[edit | edit source]

In France, vice-amiral is the most senior of the ranks in the French Navy; higher ranks, vice-amiral d'escadre and amiral, are permanent functions, style and position (in French rang et appellation) given to a vice-amiral-ranking officer. The vice-amiral rank used to be an OF-8 rank in NATO charts, but nowadays, it is more an OF-7 rank.

The rank of vice-amiral d'escadre (literally, "squadron vice-admiral", with more precision, "fleet vice-admiral") equals a NATO OF-8 rank.

In the ancien régime Navy, between 1669 and 1791. The office of "Vice-Admiral of France" (Vice-amiral de France) was the highest rank, the supreme office of "Admiral of France" being purely ceremonial.

Distincts offices were :

  • 1669-1791 Vice-admiral of the West (Atlantic Ocean).
  • 1669-1791 Vice-admiral of the East (Mediterranean Sea).
  • 1778-1791 Vice-admiral of the Asian and American Seas (American shores).
  • 1784-1788 Vice-admiral of the Indian Seas (Indian Ocean).

India[edit | edit source]

In India, vice admiral is a three star admiral.

Italy[edit | edit source]

In Italy, the equivalent to vice admiral is the ammiraglio di squadra.

Philippines[edit | edit source]

In Philippines, the rank vice admiral is the highest-ranking official of the Philippine Navy. He is recognized as the flag officer in-charge of the Navy. The rank vice-admiral in the Philippines, has the same ranking in the U.S Navy.

United Kingdom[edit | edit source]

In the Royal Navy the rank of vice-admiral should be distinguished from the office of "Vice-Admiral of the United Kingdom", which is an Admiralty position usually held by a retired "full" admiral, and that of "Vice-Admiral of the Coast", a now obsolete office dealing with naval administration in each of the maritime counties.

History[edit | edit source]

United States[edit | edit source]

Vietnam[edit | edit source]

In Vietnam, the equivalent to vice admiral is the phó đô đốc.

See also[edit | edit source]

Notes[edit | edit source]

  1. 1.0 1.1 Vice admiral is a three-star rank in the navies of NATO and Commonwealth countries, including (since 2001) the Royal Navy. (Refer UK DCI (Joint Service) 125/2001)
  2. "Navy of Iraq - Vice Admiral". http://www.uniforminsignia.net/?option=com_insigniasearch&Itemid=53&result=2074. 
  3. "Navy of Azerbaijan - Vice Admiral". http://www.uniforminsignia.net/?option=com_insigniasearch&Itemid=53&result=2088. 
  4. "Navy of Bangladesh - Vice Admiral". http://www.uniforminsignia.net/?option=com_insigniasearch&Itemid=53&result=2071. 
  5. "Navy of China - Vice Admiral". http://www.uniforminsignia.net/?option=com_insigniasearch&Itemid=53&result=237. 
  6. "Navy of Cuba - Vice Admiral". http://www.uniforminsignia.net/?option=com_insigniasearch&Itemid=53&result=221. 
  7. "Navy of Iran - Vice Admiral". http://www.uniforminsignia.net/?option=com_insigniasearch&Itemid=53&result=245. 
  8. "Navy of Mexico - Vice Admiral". http://www.uniforminsignia.net/?option=com_insigniasearch&Itemid=53&result=253. 
  9. "Navy of North Korea - Vice Admiral". http://www.uniforminsignia.net/?option=com_insigniasearch&Itemid=53&result=885. 
  10. "Navy of Turkey - Vice Admiral". http://www.uniforminsignia.net/?option=com_insigniasearch&Itemid=53&result=1378. 
  11. Deachman, Bruce; McCulloch, Sandra (9 November 2009). "Royals arrive in Ottawa in final leg of cross-Canada tour". http://www.canada.com/entertainment/Royals+arrive+Ottawa+final+cross+Canada+tour/2203180/story.html. Retrieved 10 November 2009. 

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