Nigerian navy ranks insignias, salary structure

Ranks in the Nigerian Navy — Including pictures of their Logo / badges

Want to know the ranks in the Nigerian Navy? If yes, then read on. Because in this article you’ll discover the complete list of ranks in the Nigerian Navy along with the pictures of their respective logos / badges. Actually, those badges are usually referred to as insignia in the military.

As a matter of fact, Nigeria happens to own one of the largest naval forces within the African continent. And, generally, each member of the naval force has his/her unique rank.

The various ranks in the Nigerian are grouped into two, they are: Commissioned officers ranks and non-commissioned officers ranks.

A non-commissioned officer (NCO),as the name implies, is a military officer who has not earned a commission. Usually, they obtain their rank through hard-earned promotion from the lowest to the highest ranks.

On the other hand, commissioned officers hold higher ranks than NCOs and enjoy a much better salary structure. Furthermore, commissioned officers are usually products of reduced or non-military training.

Ranks in The Nigerian Navy

Here are the 12 ranks for commissioned officers in the Nigerian navy, from the highest to the lowest:

  • Admiral ofthe Fleet
  • Admiral
  • Vice-Admiral
  • Rear Admiral
  • Commodore
  • Captain
  • Commander
  • Lieutenant Commander
  • Lieutenant
  • Sub-Lieutenant
  • Acting Sub-Lieutenant
  • Midshipman

Here are the 7 ranks for the non-commissioned officers in the Nigerian Navy, from the highest to the lowest:

  • Warrant Chief Petty Officer
  • Chief Petty Officer
  • Petty Officer
  • Leading Rating
  • Able Rating
  • Ordinary Rating
  • Trainee

To put it in simple terms, non-commissioned officers are usually products of regular recruitment procedures; while commissioned officers attain their ranks after successful graduation from the Nigerian defense academy or recruitment via the Nigerian Navy Direct Short Service Commissions (DSSC)

Nigerian Navy ranks for commissioned officers & Their Badges / Insignia

Admiral of the fleet

Admiral of the fleet is the highest rank in the Nigerian Navy. However, it is rare to see a naval officer attain this status, since it’s usually granted on honorary grounds. Admiral of the field is similar to Field marshal (highest in the Nigerian Army) or Marshal (highest in the Nigerian Air Force).

Badge / insignia of Nigerian Naval Admiral of the fleet

Admiral (Adm)

Admiral is second in command compared to Admiral of the fleet; but as earlier indicated, it is highly uncommon to see an officer attain Admiral of the fleet. So, generally, Admiral is the highest rank.

Nigerian Navy Admiral badge / insignia
Admiral badge / insignia


A vice admiral is typically the nearest superior to a rear admiral and direct junior to an admiral. It is similar to lieutenant general in the Nigerian Army and air marshal in the Air Force.

Nigerian Navy vice-admiral badge/insignia
vice-admiral badge/insignia

Rear admiral

Rear admiral is generally regarded as the lowest of the “admiral” ranks, which is occasionally referred to as “flag officers” or “flag ranks”. The rear admiral is directly below the vice admiral and is a direct superior to the Commodore (Cdre).

Nigerian Navy Rear Admiral badge / insignia
Rear Admiral badge / insignia

Commodore (Cdre)

Commodore is a naval commissioned officer rank above that of a navy captain, but below a rear admiral.

Nigerian Navy Commodore badge / insignia
Commodore badge / insignia


In most English-speaking countries, Captain is the name most often given to the rank corresponding to commander of the largest ships.  A naval captain is similar in hierarchy to an Army colonel.

Captain badge/insignia
Nigerian Naval Captain badge/insignia

Commander (Cdr)

Commander (often abbreviated Cdr) is a senior officer rank, which is directly below the captain and an immediate superior to the rank of lieutenant commander.

Nigerian Navy Commander badge / Insignia
Commander badge / Insignia

Lieutenant Commander

Lieutenant commander is a commissioned officer rank which is directly superior to a lieutenant and below the commander.It is equivalent to the rank the major in the Nigerian Army & Air Force.

Nigerian Navy lieutenant commander badge / insignia
lieutenant commander badge / insignia


A lieutenant is a commissioned officer which is typically the most senior of junior officer ranks. In the Nigerian Army, a lieutenant is a direct superior to the sub-lieutenant and subordinate to the lieutenant commander.

Nigerian Navy lieutenant commander badge / insignia
lieutenant commander badge / insignia


A sub-lieutenant is a naval commissioned officer, directly ranked beneath a lieutenant. The rank of sub-lieutenant is the same as the rank of lieutenant in the Nigerian Army and of flying officer in the Nigerian Air Force.

Nigerian Navy Sub-Lieutenant badge / insignia
Sub-Lieutenant badge / insignia

Acting sub-Lieutenant

An acting sub-lieutenant is a naval officer who has passed the rank of midshipman, but has not been commissioned into the rank of the sub-lieutenant. Acting sub-lieutenants hold their ranks by order and not by commission. Ultimately, Acting sub-lieutenants get confirmed as sub-lieutenants and are issued commissions backdated to the date when they were appointed acting sub-lieutenants.

Acting Sub-Lieutenant badge / insignia


A midshipman is the most junior commissioned officer rank in the Nigerian Navy. It is directly below the rank of sub-lieutenant or acting sub-lieutenant depending certain factors.

Nigerian Navy midshipman badge / insignia
midshipman badge / insignia

Apparently, non-commissioned naval officers do not have any insignia (badges), and that explains why we have not indicated any.

See how to apply for the Nigerian army Regular Recruit intake or Direct Short Service.

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