The RAN crew of HMAS Perth presenting for inspection by Prime Minister MenziesArmy personnel in Gorari, New GuineaThe RAAF crew of a Halifax aircraft, Squadron 466Australian Army Medical Women's Service (AAMWS) members after returning home from Balikpapan aboard the aircraft carrier HMS VengeanceA group of the Merchant Navy survivors off the Macdhui
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Glossary of Ranks


Table Of Contents

RAN
 RAN Officers
 RAN Ratings
 Royal Australian Naval Nursing Service
  Women's Royal Australian Naval Service

Army
  Army Commissioned ranks
  Army Non Commissioned ranks
  Australian Women's Army Service
  Australian Army Medical Womens' Service (formerly Voluntary Aid Detachments)
  Australian Army Nursing Service

RAAF
  RAAF Commissioned ranks
  RAAF Non Commissioned ranks
  RAAF Nursing Service
  WAAAF Commissioned ranks
  WAAAF Non Commissioned ranks

Merchant Navy
  All Branches
 
RAN back to top  
RAN - Officers   
Branch Rank Rank Abbreviation
Seaman Branch Admiral A
  Vice Admiral VA
  Rear Admiral RA
  Commodore 1st Class  
  Commodore 2nd Class  
  Captain C
  Commander Cr
  Lieutenant Commander Lt Cr
  Lieutenant Lt
  Sub Lieutenant Sub
  Midshipman Mid
  Cadet Midshipman C Mid
  Commissioned Gunner Cd Gr
  Gunner Gr
  Commissioned Boatswain Cd B
  Boatswain B
Engineer Branch Engineer Rear Admiral E A
  Engineer Captain E C
  Engineer Commander E Cr
  Commander (E) Cr (E)
  Engineer Lieutenant Commander E Lt Cr
  Lieutenant Commander (E) Lt Cr (E)
  Engineer Lieutenant E Lt
  Lieutenant (E) Lt (E)
  Sub Lieutenant (E) Sub (E)
  Midshipman (E) Mid (E)
  Commissioned Engineer Cd Eng
  Warrant Engineer W Eng
  Commissioned Mechanician Cd Mech
  Warrant Mechanician W Mech
Communications Branch Telegraphist Lieutenant TL
  Commissioned Telegraphist Cd Tel
  Warrant Telegraphist W Tel
  Signal Lieutenant Sig Lt
  Commissioned Signal Boatswain Cd SB
  Signal Boatswain SB
Artisan Branch Shipwright Lieutenant Commander Shwt Lt Cr
  Shipwright Lieutenant Shwt Lt
  Commissioned Shipwright Cd Shwt
  Warrant Shipwright W Shwt
  Ordnance Lieutenant Commander O Lt Cr
  Ordnance Lieutenant O Lt
  Commissioned Ordnance Officer Cd O O
  Warrant Ordnance Officer W O O
  Electrical Lieutenant El Lt
  Commissioned Electrician Cd Elec
  Warrant Electrician W Elec
Medical Branch Surgeon Captain Sg C
  Surgeon Commander Sg Cr
  Surgeon Commander (D) Sg Cr (D)
  Surgeon Lieutenant Commander Sg Lt Cr
  Surgeon Lieutenant Commander (D) Sg Lt Cr (D)
  Surgeon Lieutenant Sg Lt
  Surgeon Lieutenant (D) Sg Lt (D)
  Wardmaster Lieutenant Wdr Lt
  Commissioned Wardmaster Cd Wdr
  Warrant Wardmaster W Wdr
Accountant Branch / Supply and Secretariat Branch Paymaster Captain P C
  Paymaster Commander P Cr
  Paymaster Lieutenant Commander P Lt Cr
  Paymaster Lieutenant P Lt
  Paymaster Sub Lieutenant P Sub
  Paymaster Midshipman P Mid
  Paymaster Cadet P Cdt
  Commissioned Writer Cd W
  Warrant Writer W W
  Commissioned Supply Officer Cd S O
  Warrant Supply Officer W S O
Chaplain and Instructor Branch Chaplain Ch
  Instructor Captain I C
  Instructor Commander I Cr
  Instructor Lieutenant Commander I Lt Cr
  Instructor Lieutenant I Lt
  Commissioned Instructor Cd I
  Warrant Instructor W I
  Headmaster Lieutenant Commander Hdmr Lt Cr
  Headmaster Lieutenant Hdmr Lt
  Senior Master Sen Mr
  Schoolmaster Schr
  Schoolmaster holding the rank of Schr (CWO)
  Commissioned Officer from Warrant Rank  
  Schoolmaster Candidate Schr C
Miscellaneous Commissioned Master-at-Arms Cd MAA
  Warrant Master-at-Arms W MAA
  Commissioned Bandmaster Cd Br
  Warrant Bandmaster W Br
  Commissioned Officer from Warrant Rank Cd W O
  Warrant Officer W O
  Senior Naval Instructor S N I
  Naval Instructor N I
  Inspector, Naval Dockyard Police Insp
  Sub Inspector, Naval Dockyard Police Sub Insp
Officers' Stewards and Cooks Commissioned Steward Cd S
  Warrant Steward  
  Commissioned Cook Cd Ck
  Warrant Cook W Ck
Naval Auxiliary Patrol Squadron Skipper Sq Sk
  Divisional Skipper D Sk
  Staff Skipper St Sk
  Area Skipper Ar Sk
  Skipper Sk
  Surgeon Skipper Sg Sk
  Communications Officer C O
  Liaison Officer L O
  Survey Officer S O
RAN - Ratings back to top  
Branch Rank Rank Abbreviation
Seaman Branch Chief Petty Officer CPO
  Petty Officer PO
  Leading Seaman Ldg Sea or Ldg Smn
  Able Seaman AB
  Ordinary Seaman Ord Sea or Ord Smn
  Ordinary Seaman II Ord Sea II or Ord Smn II
Engineroom Branch Chief Engine Room Artificer CERA
  Engine Room Artificer I ERA I
  Engine Room Artificer II ERA II
  Engine Room Artificer III ERA III
  Engine Room Artificer IV ERA IV
  Chief Mechanician CMech
  Mechanician Mech
  Mechanician I Mech I
  Mechanician II Mech II
  Chief Stoker CPO Sto
  Stoker Petty Officer Sto PO
  Leading Stoker Ldg Sto
  Stoker Sto
  Stoker I Sto I
  Stoker II Sto II
  Stoker III Sto III
Communications Branch Chief Yeoman of Signals CYS
  Yeoman of Signals Y of S
  Leading Signalman Ldg Sig
  Signalman Sig
  Ordinary Signalman Ord Sig
  Chief Petty Officer Telegraphist CPO Tel
  Petty Officer Telegraphist PO Tel
  Leading Telegraphist Ldg Tel
  Telegraphist Tel
  Ordinary Telegraphist Ord Tel
  Petty Officer Coder  
  Leading Coder  
  Ordinary Coder  
  Ordinary Coder II  
Artisan Branch Chief Shipwright  
  Shipwright I  
  Shipwright II  
  Shipwright III  
  Shipwright IV  
  Chief Joiner  
  Joiner I  
  Joiner II  
  Joiner III  
  Joiner IV  
  Chief Blacksmith  
  Blacksmith I  
  Blacksmith II  
  Blacksmith III  
  Blacksmith IV  
  Chief Plumber  
  Plumber I  
  Plumber II  
  Plumber III  
  Plumber V  
  Chief Painter  
  Painter I  
  Painter II  
  Painter III  
  Painter IV  
  Chief Ordnance Artificer COA
  Ordnance Artificer I OA I
  Ordnance Artificer II OA II
  Ordnance Artificer III OA III
  Ordnance Artificer IV OA IV
  Chief Electrical Artificer CEA
  Electrical Artificer EA
  Electrical Artificer I EA I
  Electrical Artificer II EA II
  Electrical Artificer III EA III
  Electrical Artificer IV EA IV
  Motor Mechanic I  
  Motor Mechanic II  
  Motor Mechanic III  
  Motor Mechanic IV  
  Petty Officer Wireman  
  Leading Wireman  
  Wireman  
Medical Branch Sick Berth Chief Petty Officer SB CPO
  Sick Berth Petty Officer SB PO
  Leading Sick Berth Attendant Ldg SBA
  Sick Berth Attendant SBA
  Sick Berth Attendant II SBA II
  Chief Dental Mechanic  
  Dental Mechanic  
Accountant Branch/Supply and Secretariat Branch Chief Petty Officer Writer CPO Wtr
  Petty Officer Writer PO Wtr
  Leading Writer Ldg Wtr
  Writer Wtr
  Supply Chief Petty Officer  
  Supply Petty Officer  
  Leading Supply Assistant  
  Supply Assistant  
  Supply Probationer  
  Chief Petty Officer Cook (S)  
  Petty Officer Cook (S)  
  Leading Cook (S)  
  Cook (S)  
  Assistant Cook (S)  
Officers' Stewards and Cooks Officer' Stewards and Cooks  
  Chief Petty Officer Cook (O)  
  Petty Officer Cook (O)  
  Leading Cook (O)  
  Cook (O)  
  Assistant Cook (O)  
  Chief Petty Officer Steward CPO Std
  Petty Officer Steward PO Std
  Leading Steward Ldg Std
  Steward Std
  Assistant Steward  
  Chief Petty Officer Butcher  
  Petty Officer Butcher  
  Leading Butcher  
  Butcher  
Wireless Mechanic Branch Wireless Mechanic  
  Leading Wireless Mechanic  
  Petty Officer Wireless Mechanic  
  Chief Petty Officer Wireless Mechanic  
Radio Mechanic Branch Ordinary Seaman Radio Mechanic Ord Radio Mech (C), (R), (S) or (W)*
  Radio Mechanic Radio Mech (C), (R), (S) or (W)*
  Leading Radio Mechanic Ldg Radio Mech (C), (R), (S) or (W)*
  Petty Officer Radio Mechanic PO Radio Mech (C), (R), (S) or (W)*
  Chief Petty Officer Radio Mechanic CPO Radio Mech (C), (R), (S) or (W)*
* For the above Radio Mechanic Branch, the following text explains the (C), (R), (S) and (W) suffixes:

(C) Trained in all forms of radar and wireless telegraphy, electronic navigational aids and radio counter measures.
(R) Trained for radar equipment and general service.
(S) Trained for wireless telegraphy equipment in stations ashore.
(W) Trained for part radar, part wireless telegraphy and general service.
Miscellaneous Master-at-Arms MAA
  Regulating Petty Officer RPO
  Chief Bandmaster  
  Bandmaster  
  Band Corporal  
  Bandsman  
Canteen Canteen  
  Canteen Manager  
  Canteen Assistant  
RAN - Royal Australian Naval Nursing Service back to top  
Branch Rank Rank Abbreviation
All Branches Matron  
  Superintending Sister  
  Sister  
  Staff Officer  
RAN - Women's Royal Australian Naval Service back to top  
Branch Rank Rank Abbreviation
Officers Chief Officer  
  First Officer  
  Second Officer  
  Third Officer  
Wrans Chief Petty Officer Wran CPO Wran
  Petty Officer Wran PO Wran
  Leading Wran Ldg Wran
  Wran Wran
Army back to top  
Army - Commissioned ranks  
Branch Rank Rank Abbreviation
All Branches Field Marshal FM
  General Gen
  Lieutenant General Lt-Gen
  Major General Maj-Gen
  Brigadier Brig
  Colonel Col
  Lieutenant Colonel Lt-Col
  Major Maj
  Captain Capt
  Lieutenant Lt
  Second Lieutenant 2Lt
  Chaplain Chap
Army - Non Commissioned ranks back to top  
Branch Rank Rank Abbreviation
All Branches Company Sergeant Major CSM
  Warrant Officer Class 1 WO1
  Warrant Officer Class 2 WO2
  Staff Sergeant S-Sgt
  Sergeant Sgt
  Lance Sergeant L-Sgt
  Corporal Cpl
  Bombardier Bdr
  Lance Bombardier L-Bdr
  Lance Corporal L-Cpl
  Private Pte
  Pioneer Pnr
  Gunner Gnr
  Craftsman Cfn
  Driver Dvr
  Signalman Sig
  Sapper Spr
  Trooper Tpr
Army - Australian Women's Army Service back to top  

The ranks used for members of the Australian Women's Army Service are the same as those above.

Army - Australian Army Medical Womens' Service (formerly Voluntary Aid Detachments) back to top  

The ranks used for members of the Australian Army Medical Womens' Service (formerly Voluntary Aid Detachments) are the same as those above.

Army - Australian Army Nursing Service back to top  

The ranks below applied to members of the Australian Army Nursing Service (AANS) until March 1943.  After that date, members of the AANS used the same standard ranks detailed above, eg: Lieutenant, Captain.

Branch Rank Rank Abbreviation
All Branches Matron-in-Chief  
  Matron  
  Sister  
  Staff Nurse  
RAAF back to top   
RAAF - Commissioned ranks  
Branch Rank Rank Abbreviation
All Branches Marshal of the Royal Australian Air Force (King George VI)  
  Air Marshal AM
  Air Vice Marshal AVM
  Air Commodore AC
  Group Captain GC
  Wing Commander Wg Cr
  Squadron Leader SL
  Flight Lieutenant FL
  Flying Officer FO
  Pilot Officer PO
RAAF - Non Commissioned ranks back to top  
Branch Rank Rank Abbreviation
All Branches Warrant Officer WO
  Flight Sergeant F/Sgt
  Sergeant Sgt
  Corporal Cpl
  Leading Aircraftman LAC
  Aircraftman Class II AC2
  Aircraftman Class 1 AC1
RAAF - Nursing Service back to top  
Branch Rank Rank Abbreviation
All Branches Matron-in-Chief  
  Principal Matron  
  Senior Sister  
  Sister  
RAAF - WAAAF Commissioned ranks back to top  
Branch Rank Rank Abbreviation
All Branches Group Officer Gr O
  Wing Officer Wg O
  Squadron Officer Sq O
  Flight Officer Fl O
  Section Officer SO
  Assistant Section Officer ASO
RAAF - WAAAF Non Commissioned ranks back to top  
Branch Rank Rank Abbreviation
All Branches Warrant Officer WO
  Flight Sergeant F/Sgt
  Sergeant Sgt
  Corporal Cpl
  Leading Aircraftwoman LACW
  Aircraftwoman Class II ACW2
  Aircraftwoman Class 1 ACW1
Merchant Navy back to top  
Merchant Navy - All Branches  

The abbreviations in this section are typical of the many variations of capacities (ranks) recorded in the service records.

Branch Capacity Capacity Abbreviation
All Branches Able Seaman Ab
  Apprentice App'tce, appce, appr'tce, apptc, apptce
  Assistant Engineer  
  Assistant Engineer Steward  
  Assistant Purser  
  Assistant Steward  
  Baker  
  Boiler Attendant B/a, b/att, b/attd, blr attdt, blr attndt, blr/attdt, boiler att
  Boilermaker  
  Bosun Bos'n, Bosn
  Butcher  
  Cabin Boy  
  Cadet Cdt
  Cadet Steward Cad Std, Cadet Std, Cadet Stwd, Cdt Std, Cdt Stwd, Cdt/Std
  Carpenter Carpt, carptr
  Cattleman  
  Chief Clerk Ch Clerk
  Chief Cook C/Cook, Ch Cook, Ch/Cook
  Chief Electrician Ch Elect
  Chief Officer Ch Officer
  Chief Radio Officer Ch Ro
  Chief Steward C/Stwd, C/Std, C/Stwd, Ch Stwd, Ch Std
  Cleaner  
  Cook Cook
  Cook Steward Cook Stwd, Cook/Steward
  Cook Attendant Cook Attd, Cook Attdt
  Deck Attendant D Att, Deck Attdt, Deck Attend, Dk Att, Dk Attend
  Deck Boy D boy, d'boy, d/boy, dk boy, dk/boy
  Deck Cadet D/Cadet, Dk Cadet, Dk Cdt
  Deck Hand Dk Hand, Dk/Hand
  Deck Man D/Man, Dk Man
  Donkey Man Dkyman
  Donkeyman Greaser Dk greaser, dky greaser, dky gres, dky grser, dky grsr, dky/greaser
  Donkey Boy Dky Boy
  Electrical Engineer Elect Eng
  Electrician Elect, electn, electrn
  Engine Room Attendant E room attndt, er att, er attdt
  Engineer Eng, engn, engr
  Executive Engineer Ex Engr
  Executive Officer Ex Officer
  Extra Purser  
  Fireman F'man, f/man
  Fireman Attendant F attd, f'man att, f/man attdt
  Fireman Greaser F'man & grsr, f'man greaser, f'man grsr, f'man gssr
  Fireman Trimmer F&T, F'man & Trimmer, F'man Trim, F/Man Trim, Fman & Trim, Fman trim
  Fireman Wiper F'man Wiper
  First Grade Steward 1 Gd Std, 1 Gd Stew, 1 Gd Stw
  First Mate 1 MATE, 1/MATE
  Galley Boy G/Boy
  General Servant  
  General Steward G/Steward
  Greaser Grsr,Grs
  Hairdresser  
  Head Waiter 1 /C HD WAITER
  Hospital Attendant Hosp Attdt
  Junior Engineer  
  Junior Ordinary Seaman Jos, jnr os
  Kitchen Porter Kit port, kit porter,kit pter, kit pur
  Laundress L'dress
  Laundryman L'dyman
  Linen Keeper  
  Messman  
  Motorman  
  Musician  
  Night Watch N watch, nightwatch
  Officer Steward Off Stwd
  Oil Burner  
  Oiler  
  Ordinary Seaman Os
  Pantry Man Pyman
  Pantry Steward Pantry Std
  Plumber Plum
  Printer Printer/Gde
  Probationer Steward Prob stwd, pro std
  Purser  
  Radio Officer/Radio Operator R/o, radio, ro, r/officer, r/off, r/offr, rad off
  Room Boy  
  Sailor  
  Saloon Boy Sal boy
  Scullion  
  Seaman  
  Second Officer 2 OFF
  Section Man  
  Ships Carpenter S carpt, s/carpenter, ship cpter
  Ships Joiner  
  Shipwright S/Wright
  Steward Std, stwd, stw
  Signaller  
  Steward Boy Std boy, stwd boy
  Steward In Charge Std i/c, std in chge
  Storekeeper  
  Surgeon  
  Third Officer 3 Rd Off
  Trimmer  
  Utility Man Utility M
  Utility Steward Utility stwd, utility stewd
  Wiper  
  Youngman Yman
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