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From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Common military ranks
Navies Armies Air forces
Admiral of
the Fleet
Marshal /
Field Marshal
Marshal of
the Air Force
Admiral General Air Marshal
Commodore Brigadier Air Commodore
Captain Colonel Group Captain
Commander Lt. Colonel Wing Commander
Lt. Commander Major / Commandant Squadron Leader
Lieutenant Captain Flight Lieutenant
Sub-Lieutenant Lieutenant Flying Officer
Ensign 2nd Lieutenant Pilot Officer
Midshipman Officer Cadet Officer Cadet
Seamen, soldiers and airmen
Warrant Officer Sergeant Major Warrant Officer
Petty Officer Sergeant Sergeant
Leading Seaman Corporal Corporal
Seaman Private Aircraftman

An Admiral of the Fleet or Fleet Admiral is a military naval officer of the highest rank. In many nations the rank is reserved for wartime or ceremonial appointments. It is usually a rank above Admiral, (which is now usually the highest rank in peace-time for officers in active service), and is often held by the most senior Admiral of an entire naval service. It is also a generic term for a senior Admiral in command of a large group of ships, comprising a fleet or, in some cases, a group of fleets. If actually a rank its name can vary depending on the country. In addition to 'Fleet Admiral' and 'Admiral of the Fleet', such rank names include, Admiral of the Navy and Grand Admiral.[1] It ranks above Vice Admiral, Rear Admiral and usually full Admiral, and is usually given to a senior Admiral commanding multiple fleets as opposed to just one fleet. It is often classified as a '5 star rank'.

Admiral of the Fleet is equivalent to an army Field Marshal or General of the Army (which both rank above General). It is also equivalent to a Marshal of the Air Force which in many countries has a similar rank insignia to Admiral of the Fleet.

The title Admiral of the Fleet can trace its origins to the Middle Ages, where the title was typically granted to a nobleman who was appointed by a monarch to raise and command a navy for a specific campaign.


Usage in specific countries

The following articles contain specific information on the rank as it pertains to individual countries:

Ambiguity exists when translating the French Amiral into English (into Admiral of the Fleet or Admiral). A French title of Amiral de la flotte, outranking an full Admiral was invented in 1939 for Darlan, who was the only person in French history to hold that title.

Before the fall of the monarchy in 1952, the Egyptian Navy had the equivalent rank of Sayed Elbehar Elazam.

The associated list of Fleet and Grand Admirals provides a summary of those who have held the rank of Fleet Admiral, or its equivalent.

In the Turkish Navy, the corresponding rank Büyük Amiral, literally meaning "Grand Admiral", can only be bestowed by the National Assembly, and only given to an Admiral who leads an army successfully into and out of a war, criteria tougher than those for equivalent ranks, and no one has ever been bestowed this rank yet in republic era. In Ottoman Empire, commander of navies were carrying rank of Kaptan-ı Derya as equivalent. (Like Barbaros Hayreddin Pasha. He did carry responsibility for a region stretching from Atlas Ocean to Indian Ocean in his era.)

Other countries

The rank also exists or has existed (on paper at least) in Bangladesh, India, Indonesia, Nigeria, Oman and Pakistan, although not all of these countries have actually ever bestowed the rank on an individual.


The following articles contains information about fictional Fleet Admirals:

References and notes

  • Francis E. McMurtrie and Raymond V.B. Blackman (editors), Jane's Fighting Ships 1949-50. New York: The McGraw-Hill Book Company, Inc., 1949.
  1. ^ In some navies, however, such as the German Kriegsmarine during World War II, "Admiral of the Navy" has been considered an even higher rank than "Admiral of the Fleet" or its equivalent.


Up to date as of January 15, 2010

Definition from Wiktionary, a free dictionary



Admiral of the Fleet

  1. (nautical) The highest-ranking officer in the navy.


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