Military ranks of the Philippines

The following list presents the ranks and insignia of the Armed Forces of the Philippines, one of Asia's oldest armed services.


The current Philippine military ranks are inspired partially by the very first military insignia used by the military forces during the Philippine Revolution of 1896 and the Philippine–American War, and the insignia used by the Philippine Constabulary raised in 1902 during the final days of the Philippine–American War. The ranks used by these forces were designed by Americans under the tutelage of Captain Henry T. Allen, the "father of the Philippine Constabulary". The original Philippine military ranks are those actually worn by the Philippine Revolutionary Army, the nemesis of the Philippine Constabulary. The Philippine Constabulary is one of the predecessors of the present day Armed Forces of the Philippines. Elements of both the US army ranks and the old Philippine Army appear in the current ranks; this was reflected at the general officers insignia and enlisted ranks that resembled those of the US military (the silver stars used by generals and admirals were used by field grade officers in the First Republic), the field officers [like colonels], whose insignia are suns, use those insignia used by general officers of the Revolutionary Army. Company rank insignia[i.e. captain], consisting of a silver triangle, are a recent creation. Both company grade and field grade officer insignia have the baybayin letter ka ( K) in the middle, another throwback to the days of the war for independence, and even in the medal used by second-level members of the Katipunan during meetings, in which the letter is in the center.

Revolutionary Army ranks

These rank insignia for the nascent army were created in late 1896, replacing the earlier rank insignia used by the Katipuneros containing the letter K (ka). Ranks were then wore on the sleeves of all uniforms.

Officer ranks

Revolutionary Army ranks Tagalog Name Spanish Name Sleeve insignia
Minister Marshal Ministrong Mariskal Ministro Mariscal
General Heneral General
Lieutenant General Tenyente Heneral Teniente General
Major General Magat Heneral General de División
Brigadier General Brigadyer Heneral General de Brigada
Colonel Koronel Coronel
Lieutenant Colonel Tenyente Koronel Teniente Coronel
Major Komandante Comandante
Captain Kapitán Capitán
Lieutenant Tenyente Teniente

Revolutionary Army enlisted ranks

Revolutionary Army ranks Tagalog Name Spanish Name Sleeve insignia
Sergeant Sarhento Sargento
Corporal Kabo Cabo

Present rank insignia of the Philippine armed forces

The current AFP insignia used today are a modification of the system first used in 1954-55 as part of the Filipinization of the military forces by then President and former Secretary of National Defense Ramon Magsaysay, ending years of the US-styled rank system in place since 1935.

Officer ranks

Officer Ranks Battledress collar insignia
(Army, Air Force and Marines)
Full dress shoulder insignia
(Army and Air Force)
Army Service dress shoulder insignia Air Force Service dress shoulder insignia Navy white dress shoulder insignia
Navy full black dress sleeve insignia
Navy and Marine Corps service dress collar insignia
Lieutenant General/Vice Admiral
Major General/Rear Admiral
Brigadier General/Commodore
Lieutenant Colonel/Commander
Major/Lieutenant Commander
Captain/Lieutenant Senior Grade
First Lieutenant/Lieutenant Junior Grade
Second Lieutenant/Ensign

Enlisted Personnel

Note: currently senior NCO rank insignia for personnel promoted recently to these ranks in the Philippine Marine Corps, and since 2016 the enlisted and NCO personnel of the Philippine Military Academy Band sport US style enlisted rank insignia'.

Army and Marines

Ground forces ranks Army and Marine Corps battledress collar
and Army service dress sleeve insignia
Marine Corps service dress sleeve insignia
First Chief Master Sergeant
Chief Master Sergeant
Senior Master Sergeant
Master Sergeant
Technical Sergeant
Staff Sergeant
Private First Class

Air Force

Until the early years of the 21st century the Air Forces sported the same enlisted insignia as the other services, its current enlisted rank insignia mirrors that of the United States Air Force, with the use of the national diamond roundel.

Air force ranks Battledress collar insignia Service dress sleeve insignia Full dress sleeve insignia
First Chief Master Sergeant
Chief Master Sergeant
Senior Master Sergeant
Master Sergeant
Technical Sergeant
Staff Sergeant
Airman First Class
Airman Second Class
Airman Recruit
Naval enlisted ratings Collar insignia Sleeve insignia Shoulder insignia (for senior rank holders only)
First Master Chief Petty Officer
Master Chief Petty Officer
Senior Chief Petty Officer
Chief Petty Officer
Petty officer, first class
All petty officers and seamen of the Navy sport NO shoulder insignia.
Petty officer, second class
Petty officer, third class
Seaman First Class
Seaman Second Class
Apprentice Seaman

Five Star General/Admiral

President Ferdinand Marcos, who acted also as national defense secretary (from 1965–1967 and 1971–1972), issued an order conferring the five-star general/admiral rank to the President of the Philippines, making himself as its first rank holder. Since then, the rank of five-star general/admiral became an honorary rank of the commander-in-chief of the armed forces whenever a new president assumes office for a six-year term thus, making the President the most senior military official.[1]

The only career military officer who reached the rank of five-star general/admiral is President Fidel V. Ramos (USMA 1950) (president from 1992–1998) who rose from second lieutenant up to commander-in-chief of the armed forces.[2]

General of the Army Douglas MacArthur was also made a Field Marshal of the Philippine Army with five-star rank in 1938, the only person to hold that rank. Emilio Aguinaldo, the first President of the Philippines, holds an equivalent of five-star general under the title Generalissimo and Minister/Field Marshal as the first Commander-in-Chief of the AFP.

The position is honorary and may be granted to any military officer, especially generals/admirals who had significant contributions and showed heroism, only in times of war and national defense concerns and emergencies. Highest peace-time rank will be that of a four-star general which is being held only by the AFP Chief of Staff. However, no law specifically establishes the rank of 5-star general in the Armed Forces of the Philippines unlike in the United States and other countries.

See also


  1. Ferdinand E. Marcos at the Wayback Machine (archived August 4, 2008), Malacañang Museum.
  2. Fidel V. Ramos at the Wayback Machine (archived April 30, 2008), Malacañang Museum.
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