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Royal Navy ratings rank insignia: Wikis


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NATO Code OR-9 OR-8 OR-7 OR-6 OR-5 OR-4 OR-3 OR-2 OR-1
United Kingdom United Kingdom
UK RN OR9.gif File:UK RN OR8.gif OR7 RN Chief Petty Officer.gif File:UK Navy CPO S.gif File:UK Navy PO S.gif No Equivalent File:UK RN OR4.gif No Equivalent OR2 RN Able Rate.gif No Equivalent
Warrant Officer Class 1 Warrant Officer Class 2 Chief Petty Officer Petty Officer Leading Rate Able Rate Ordinary Rate
Abbreviation WO1 WO2 CPO PO LH AB ORD
United Kingdom United Kingdom (Royal Marines)
UK RN OR9.gif File:UK RN OR8.gif No Equivalent OR3 RM Lance Corporal.gif No Insignia No Equivalent
Warrant Officer Class 1 Warrant Officer Class 2 Colour Sergeant Sergeant Corporal Lance Corporal Marine
Abbreviation WO1 WO2 CSgt Sgt Cpl L/Cpl Mne
United Kingdom
Surface Fleet
Fleet Air Arm
Submarine Service
Royal Naval Reserve
Nursing Service (QARNNS)
Royal Fleet Auxiliary
Royal Marines Reserve
History and future
History of the Royal Navy
History of the Royal Marines
Customs and traditions
Future of the Royal Navy
Current fleet
Current deployments
Historic ships
The Admiralty
Senior officers
Officer rank insignia
Ratings rank insignia
Related civilian agencies of
the Ministry of Defence

Royal Maritime Auxiliary Service

For Chief Petty Officer both the shoulder tab insignia and the sleeve insignia from the No.1/No.2 uniforms are shown.


Trade (Branch) Badges

Ratings in the Royal Navy also carry trade badges on the right sleeve to indicate their specific job (the information carried on the left arm is the individual's title - e.g. a leading rate (commonly called a leading hand. As a nick-name they are known as 'Killick' as their rate badge (worn on the left arm) is a Killick Anchor) who is also in the Marine Engineering department is known as a "Leading Marine Engineering Mechanic" (LMEM), whereas someone of the same rate who specialises in gunnery (which would also make them responsible for certain seamanship aspects on the upper deck) will be known as "Leading Seaman" (LS). A common title for Able Rates in the warfare branch is Warfare Specialist. An overview of trade badges is given on the Royal Navy's website. Variances with branch badges include stars and crowns above and below the logo of the branch to symbolise the rate of the person in possession of the badge

  • Basic badge = AB class 2 - not fully operationally trained
  • Basic Badge + 1 star above the branch logo = AB class 1 - fully operationally trained, usually to NVQ level 2
  • Basic Badge + 1 star above the branch logo and one below = Leading Hand qualified - able to complete complicated tasks
  • Basic Badge + 1 crown above the branch logo = Petty Officer qualified - able to complete more complicated tasks
  • Basic Badge + 1 crown above the branch logo, badge appears on the left breast = Chief Petty Officer - the most qualified branch badge
  • Basic Badge + 1 crown above the branch logo and 1 star below = Chief Staff (obsolete)

Warrant Officers and above do not wear branch badges as well as Artificers (also known as "Tiffs"). Until the late 90s, Artificer Apprentices and Leading Artificers used to wear the same uniform as Petty Officers but with a red beret or cap badge similar to a Petty Officer's. Apprentices were the last junior ratings not to be dressed as seamen, ie they did not wear 'square rig'. They now wear the same uniform as all other junior ratings, but without branch badges, until advanced to the rate of Petty Officer.


Badges for naval ratings were first introduced in 1827 and were as follows:

Petty Officer 1st Class Crown above anchor
Petty Officer 2nd Class Foul Anchor

Both were white and to be worn on the upper left sleeve

In 1853 two new ranks were introduced and the badges were altered as follows:

Chief Petty Officer Crown above anchor surrounded by laurel wreath
Petty Officer 1st Class Crown above 2 crossed anchors
Petty Officer 2nd Class Crown above anchor
Leading Seaman Foul Anchor

These were also white, or in gold on the dress uniform, or blue on white uniforms. In 1860 the badges changed from white to red on ordinary uniforms.

In 1879 Chief Petty Officers received a fore-and-aft uniform similar to that of the officers, with a cap badge of an anchor within a cord surmounted by a crown. In 1890 they ceased to wear their arm badge.

In 1913 the rank of Petty Officer 2nd Class was abolished, but the other badges remained the same.

In 1920 Petty officers of 4 years standing also received the Fore-and-Aft rig with the cap badge formerly worn by CPOs. The CPOs added a wreath to their cap badge, making it similar to the earlier arm badge.

In 1970 a new rank of Fleet Chief Petty Officer was introduced, with insignia of the royal coat of arms on the lower arm, the same as a Warrant Officer Class 1 in the army and RAF, to which the new rank was exactly equivalent. This rank was later renamed Warrant Officer, and later still Warrant Officer Class 1.

In 2004 the rank of Warrant Officer Class 2 was formed from those CPOs holding the appointment of Charge Chief Petty Officer. The insignia is a crown within a wreath, also worn on the lower arm.

Nowadays the badges are worn on the shoulders of some uniforms.

Chevrons on the left sleeve below the rank badge are for long service & good conduct.

External links

See also



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