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Rank Structure of Royal Australian Navy in Lowest to Highest Order

Shreyas Dasharathe
The Royal Australian Navy is known for its defense capabilities, its vast fleet, and ordered command structure. This story gives a brief about the Australian Navy and its rank structure.

Did You Know?

The largest ship built for the Royal Australian Army, 'Nuship Canberra', was completed in 2014. Weighing about 28,000 tons, it has a hospital, helicopter hangar and deck, and provisions to prepare 5,000 meals a day.
The Royal Australian Navy (RAN) is the maritime force of Australia, and a part of the Australian Defence Force. The Australian Defence Force comprises the Royal Australian Navy (RAN), the Australian Army, and the Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF). The RAN was formed after the formation of the Federation of Australia in 1901.
As the colonies were combined to form a nation, similarly, their individual navies were combined to form the Commonwealth Naval Forces. It was titled the 'Royal Australian Navy' in 1911. Given the location of Australia, the RAN is chiefly responsible for the nation's defense. The Naval Headquarters (NHQ) situated in Canberra commands the RAN.
The Australian Navy is one of the most established naval forces in the South Pacific region. The fleet of the navy consists of more than 53 vessels. These include warships, auxiliary ships, patrolling boats, and submarines. RAN ships are given the prefix HMAS, which stands for 'His/Her Majesty's Australian Ship'.
The head of the RAN is the Chief of Navy (CN). The rank associated with the position of the Chief of Navy is Vice Admiral, which is also the highest position in the navy structure.

The following is the rank structure of the Royal Australian Navy, in lowest to highest order.

Royal Australian Navy Ranks (lowest to highest order)

Non-Commissioned Officers & Sailors

  • Seaman (SMN)
  • Able Seaman (AB)
  • Leading Seaman (LS)
  • Petty Officer (PO)
  • Chief Petty Officer (CPO)
  • Warrant Officer (WO)
  • Warrant Officer Navy (WO-N)

Officers Midshipman (MIDN)

  • Acting Sub Lieutenant (ASLT)
  • Sub Lieutenant (SBLT)
  • Lieutenant (LEUT)
  • Lieutenant Commander (LCDR)
  • Commander (CMDR)
  • Captain (CAPT)
  • Rear Admiral (RADM)
  • Vice Admiral (VADM)
  • Admiral (ADML)
The uniforms of RAN are similar to those of the British Navy in color and cut. Australian Navy uniforms have shoulder flashes, which read 'Australia', with provision for rank insignia.
Officers have metallic gold flashes on shoulder boards, whereas, the shoulder slip-ons are embroidered. The uniform pattern varies depending on the occasion and the operation undertaken.
Apart from being a major contribution to Australia's defense structure, the RAN is also active in undertakings that are in national and global interests. This includes off-shore protection, operations dealing with oceanology, and support to meteorological operations.
The Royal Australian Navy consists of more than 16,000 personnel, along with its 50+ commissioned ships, and continues to grow strong.