Nigerian Military Ranks – Army, Navy, and Air force

Nigerian Military Ranks –

 The Nigerian Armed Force is what we referring to the Nigerian military Forces. This troop is the Armed Forces of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.

Originating from the elements of the Royal West African Frontier Force that became Nigerian when independence was granted in 1960.

The Nigeria Regiment of the Royal West African Frontier Force (RWAFF) was renamed to Nigerian Military Forces.

RWAFF In 1956 and the colonial government of Nigeria took over from the British War control of the Nigerian Military forces in April 1958 and since then, the Nigerian military has fought in a civil war.

The military is best known for its high discipline value and as such, it has manipulated its way to live above the social problems surrounding the civil sector.

It is good for you to know more about the Nigerian military because it will help you to be highly patriotic and understands the military sector better.

Roles of the Nigerian Military Forces

The following are the core duties of the Nigerian Military Forces;

  1. The Nigerian military force has to be defending Nigerians from external aggression;
  2. They have to Maintain Nigeria territorial integrity and secure its borders from violation on land, sea, or air;
  3. Suppress insurrection and act in aid of civil authorities to restore order when called upon to do so by the President but subject to such conditions as may be prescribed by an Act of the National Assembly and
  4. Perform other functions as may be prescribed by an act of the National Assembly.

Tiers of Nigerian Military and their Rankings

The Nigerian Military is made of three main tiers which are;

  • Nigerian Air force
  • Nigerian Navy
  • Nigerian Army

NOTE: There is an earlier rooted ranking order in the Nigerian Military force rankings except in Nigeria Police Force (NPF)where ranks and ranking are significant.

This ranking order is that officers in the Nigerian armed forces are split into two categorize which is the commissioned and non-commissioned officers.

Being a commissioned officer means that the person is in senior ranks while the junior officers of low ranks are said to be a non-commissioned officer.

Nigerian Air Force Ranking

The air force begins as a transport unit with aircrew being trained in Canada, Ethiopia and Pakistan. The combat capability of the air force was not sufficient until a number of MiG-17 aircraft were presented by the Soviet Union in 1966.

This particular arm force was officially established in January 1964 having its technical assistant from West Germany. In 2007 the Air Force had a strength of 10,000. It flies transport, trainer, helicopter, and fighter aircraft.

The Air Force sponsors the Air Force Military School, Jos, Nigeria and the Air Force Institute of Technology.

Just like the Nigerian Army and Nigerian Navy,
The ranks in the Nigerian Airforce is also based on two categories: the commissioned officers and the non commissioned officers.

Nigerian Airforce Ranks for Commissioned Officers

The Nigerian Airforce commissioned officers is made up of 11 ranks which are:

  • Marshal of the Nigerian Airforce.
  • Air Chief Marshal
  • Air Marshal
  • Air Vice-Marshal
  • Air Commodore
  • Group Captain
  • Wing Commander
  • Squadron Leader
  • Flight Lieutenant
  • Flying Officer
  • Pilot Officer

Nigerian Airforce Ranks for Non-commissioned Officers

The Nigerian Airforce non-commissioned officers is made up of 9 ranks which are:

  • Air Warrant Officer
  • Master Warrant Officer
  • Warrant Officer
  • Flight Sergeant
  • Sergeant
  • Corporal
  • Lance Corporal
  • Aircraftman
  • Recruit

Nigerian Airforce Airmen ranks

The Nigerian Airforce airmen are the equivalent of the sailor in the Nigerian Navy. The NAF airman ranks are:

  • Air Warrant Officer
  • Master Warrant Officer
  • Warrant Officer
  • Flight Sergeant
  • Sergeant
  • Corporal
  • Lance Corporal
  • Aircraftman/woman

Nigerian Navy

The Nigerian Navy (NN) is the sea branch of the Nigerian Armed Forces. Present, the command structure of the Nigerian Navy is made up of the Naval Headquarters in Abuja, three operational commands with headquarters in Lagos, Calabar, and Bayelsa.

The Nigerian Navy (NN) Training command’s headquarters are located in Lagos, the commercial capital of Nigeria, but with training, facilities spread all over Nigeria.

The Nigerian Navy has five operational bases, five forward operational bases (with two more soon to come on stream), two dockyards located in Lagos and Port Harcourt and two fleets based in Lagos and Calabar.

Nigerian Navy Ranks for Commissioned Officers

The Nigerian navy commissioned officers is made up of 12 ranks which are:

  1. Admiral of the Fleet
  2. Admiral
  3. Vice-Admiral
  4. Rear Admiral Commodore
  5. Captain
  6. Commander
  7. Lieutenant Commander
  8. Lieutenant
  9. Sub-Lieutenant
  10. Acting Sub-Lieutenant
  11. Mid-Shipman

Navy Ranking for Non-Commissioned Officers

The Nigerian navy non-commissioned officers is made up of 7 ranks which are:

  1. Warrant Chief Petty Officer
  2. Chief Petty Officer
  3. Petty Officer
  4. Leading Rating
  5. Able Rating
  6. Ordinary Rating
  7. Trainee

Nigerian Army

This is the land the largest among all the arm forces in Nigeria that are basically operating on land. The major formations of the Nigerian Army include the 1st Division, the 2nd Division, the 3rd Armoured Division, 81st Division, 82nd Division, and newly formed 8th, 7th and 6th, Divisions.

Nigerian Army Ranks for Commissioned Officers

The Nigerian Army commissioned officers is made up of 11 ranks which are:

  1. Field Marshal
  2. General
  3. Lieutenant General
  4. Major General
  5. Brigadier General
  6. Colonel
  7. Lieutenant Colonel
  8. Major Captain
  9. Lieutenant
  10. Second Lieutenant

Nigerian Army Ranking for Non-Commissioned Officers

The Nigerian army non-commissioned officers is made up of 8 ranks which are:

  1. Warrant Officer Class I
  2. Warrant Officer Class II
  3. Staff Sergeant
  4. Sergeant
  5. Corporal
  6. Lance-corporal
  7. Private
  8. Recruit


The Nigerian Military, officially referred to as the Nigerian Armed Forces is composed of various ranks, which collectively makes it one of the most valiant in Africa. Nigerian Military was created in 1956, from the then Royal West African Frontier Force, which was formed by the British Colonial Office.

The Nigerian Military has fought in several battles including the Nigerian civil war (1967-70), Congo Crisis, Nigerian-Cameroon border conflict, Liberian war, Sierra Leone war, Malian conflict and Boko Haram Insurgency.

The Leadership of the Nigerian military include:

  • President Muhammadu Buhari (Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces)
  • Bashir Salihi Magashi (Defence Minister )
  •  Ipoola Alani Akinrinade (Chief of Defence Staff)
  • Lieutenant general Tukur Yusuf Buratai (Chief of Army Staff)
  • Vice Admiral Ibok-Ete Ekwe Ibas (Chief of Navy Staff)
  • Air Marshal Sadique Abubakar (Chief of Air Staff)

Leave a Comment