Israel Defense Forces Ranks - Current Ranks

Current Ranks

Category Rank name, rank equivalent and Nato code Insignia
קצינים בכירים
Senior Officers
Field Grade Officers
(רב-אלוף (רא"ל
Rav aluf (Ra'al)

(Chief of General Staff, Commander-in-chief)
(Lieutenant general, equivalent to NATO OF-8)
(Rav Aluf means 'Chief General', which would be equal to a Field Marshal or Five Star General in other armies.)


(Commanding General, Command of the Branch of Arms, Corps, Divisions)
(Major General, equivalent to NATO OF-7)
(Aluf, meaning "General", translates as "High Commander".)

(תת-אלוף (תא"ל
Tat aluf (Ta'al)

(Commanding General, Command of the Service of Arms, Corps, Divisions, Brigades)
(Brigade General, equivalent to NATO OF-6)
(Tat aluf translates as "Subordinate-General")

(אלוף משנה (אל"מ
Aluf mishne (Alam)

(Executive Officer of a Division, or Brigade Commander)
(Colonel, equivalent to NATO OF-5)
(Aluf mishne translates as "Junior General")

(סגן-אלוף (סא"ל
Sgan aluf (Sa'al)

(Executive Officer of a Brigade, or Regiment / Battalion Commander)
(Lieutenant Colonel, equivalent to NATO OF-4)
(Sgan Aluf translates as "Deputy-General")

(רב סרן (רס"ן
Rav seren (Rasan)

(Executive Officer of a Regiment or Battalion)
(Major, equivalent to NATO OF-3)
(Rav Seren means "Chief Commander")

קצינים זוטרים
Junior Officers
Company Grade Officers

(Company or Battery Commander)
(Captain, equivalent to NATO OF-2)
(Seren, meaning "Captain", translates as "Captain" or "Commander")

Segen — since 1951

(סגן ראשון (סג"ר
Segen rishon (Sagar) — 1948–51
(Company Executive Officer; Platoon leader)
(Lieutenant, equivalent to NATO OF-1)
(Segen rishon means "Lieutenant First Class"; Segen literally translates as "Deputy")

(סגן-משנה (סג"מ
Segen mishne (Sagam) — since 1951

Segen — 1948–51
(Platoon leader)
(Second Lieutenant, equivalent to NATO OF-1)
(Segen mishne, means "Junior Lieutenant"; Segen literally translates as "Deputy")

קצינים אקדמאים
Ktzinim Akademaim
Academic Officers
(קצין אקדמאי בכיר (קא"ב
Katsín akademai bakhír (Ka'ab)

(Professional Officer of the First Class in the Reserve — equivalent to a brevet Captain.)
(officer of medical service, officer of dental medical service, officer of veterinary service, officer of justice, officer of religion.)
(Senior Academic Officer)

(קצין מקצועי אקדמאי (קמ"א
Katsín miktsoí akademai (Kama)

(Professional Officer of the Second Class in the Reserve — equivalent to a brevet First Lieutenant.)
(officer of medical service, officer of dental medical service, officer of veterinary service, officer of justice, officer of religion.)
(Professional Academic Officer)

Non-Commissioned Officers
(רב-נגד (רנ"ג
Rav nagad (Ranag)

(Chief Warrant Officer, most senior specialist professional, equivalent to NATO WO-2)
(it translates as "Chief Warrant Officer" or "Chief NCO")
(Since 1993)

(רב-נגד משנה (רנ"מ
Rav nagad mishne (Ranam)

(Warrant Officer, senior specialist professional, equivalent to NATO WO-1)
(it translates as "Junior Chief Warrant Officer" or "Junior Chief NCO")
(Since 2011)

(רב-סמל בכיר (רס"ב
Rav samal bakhír (Rasab)

(Warrant Officer, senior specialist professional, equivalent to NATO WO-1)
(it translates as "Senior Chief Sergeant")

(רב-סמל מתקדם (רס"מ
Rav samal mitkadem (Rasam)

(Sergeant Major, NATO OR-9, senior soldier of a company, battery, battalion or regiment)
(it translates as "Advanced Chief Sergeant")

(רב-סמל ראשון (רס"ר
Rav samal rishon (Rasar)

(Master Sergeant, senior non-commissioned officer, equivalent to NATO OR-8)
(it translates as "Chief Sergeant First Class")

(רב-סמל (רס"ל
Rav samal (Rasal)

(Sergeant First Class, equivalent to Nato OR-7
(it translates as "Chief Sergeant")

( סמל ראשון (סמ"ר
Samal rishon (Samar)

(Staff Sergeant, a Squad Leader, Nato OR-6
(it translates as "Sergeant First Class")


(Sergeant, a Squad Leader, Nato OR-5
(it translates as "Sergeant".)

(רב טוראי (רב"ט
Rav turai (Rabat)

(Corporal, Nato OR-4
(it translates as "Chief Private")


(Private E-2 or Private, Nato OR-2
(it translates as "Private")


Officers (Ktzinim): Volunteers who have completed the Officer's Course. Promotions are based on ability and time served. It takes about a year to be promoted from 2nd Lieutenant to 1st Lieutenant and three years to be promoted from 1st Lieutenant to Captain. Army officers have bronze-metal insignia (replaced with subdued black-metal insignia in 2002), Air Force officers have silver metal insignia, and Navy officers have gold-metal insignia.

Academic Officers (Ktzinim Akademaim): Special rank given to soldiers who are delaying completing officers' training so they can complete a professional education (usually in engineering, medicine, law, or religion). A Kama is equivalent to a 2nd Lieutenant, and a Ka'ab is equivalent to a 1st Lieutenant, but are treated as if they were breveted to the next higher rank. Officers of these ranks are considered professional manpower and rarely take posts of command. Upon finally completing officers' training, an Academic Officer is immediately awarded the corresponding next "real" rank due to their experience in grade. Their insignia bars are embossed with scrolls (megilot) rather than laurel branches (aronot).

Non-Commissioned Officers (Nagadim): The professional non-commissioned and warrant ranks, drawn from volunteers who signed on for military service after completing conscription. They usually are assigned to head-up the headquarters staff of a unit.

Enlisted (Hogrim): The conscript and field NCO ranks. All conscripts must start their duty at 18 (unless they get a deferment) and serve for 3 years. In the IDF enlisted ranks are earned by means of time in service (pazam), rather than by a particular post or assignment. After 4 to 12 months, the conscript is promoted to Rav Turai, after 18 to 24 months, promoted to Samal, and after 24 to 32 months, promoted to Samal Rishon.
Field NCOs (Samal and Samal Rishon) who command sub-units (fire team or squad, respectively) are called Mashak. This is an abbreviation that translates into English literally as "Non-Commissioned Officer". It is a term of respect like the French Army's Chef ("Chief").

Recruit (Tironim): Upon enlistment to military service in Israel, all soldiers begin a basic training course and undergo several days or weeks of 'integration' from citizens to soldiers. This course is called Tironut (recruit training) and the soldier being trained on this course is called a Tiron (or Recruit). This is often erroneously interpreted as a rank, similar to the US Army's Private (E-1); Tironim are ranked as Turai (Private), the same rank and paygrade as newly-trained conscripts. Tironim wear cloth sliders with a horizontal blue stripe on their fatigue-uniform epaulets and wear a diamond-shaped "general service" beret badge to indicate their status; this is exchanged for a corps beret with corps badge and unit insignia upon graduation.

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