Iraqi Army ranks insignia

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This article is about the Iraqi Army ranks insignia.

Iraqi military ranks

Armies use ranks in order to achieve a chain of command, which is in turn responsible for smooth and orderly execution operations. The Iraqi military order uses a standard system of ranking in order to achieve these objectives.


The Iraqi military adopted its system of ranking from the British Army. The ranks are very similar of the American counterparts, but differ in insignia.

Officer ranks

Order Rank Insignia
Field Marshal مهيب Iraqi field marshal
2 General فريق أول Iraqi general
3 Lieutenant General فريق Iraqi lieutenant general
4 Major General لواء Iraqi major general
5 Brigadier General عميد Iraqi brigadier general
6 Colonel عقيد Iraqi colonel
7 Lieutenant Colonel مقدم Iraqi lieutenant colonel
8 Major رائد Iraqi major
9 Captain نقيب Iraqi captain
10 First Lieutenant ملازم أول Iraqi first lieutenant
Second Lieutenant ملازم Iraqi second lieutenant

Lower officer ranks

  • 2nd Lieutenant "MULAZIM" (ملُازِم) is the junior officer and the first officer rank. It is portrayed by one star on the shoulder.
  • 1st Lieutenant "MULAZIM AWWAL" (مُلازِم أوَّل) is the second rank of officer. It is portrayed by two stars on the shoulder.
  • Captain "NAQEEB" (نقيب) is the third rank of officer. They usually are the start of considerable responsibility level. They are portrayed by three stars on the shoulder.
  • Major "RAI'D" (رائِد) is the fourth of the officer ranks, it is portrayed by the republican eagle.
  • Lieutenant Colonel "MUQADDAM" (مُقَدَّم) is the junior grade for colonel and usually holds a great deal of responsibility, especially in the military medical field. It is portrayed by the republican eagle and a star.
  • Colonel "AQEED" (عقيد) is the senior officer for the type of officers listed above. It is portrayed by two stars and the republican eagle.

Senior Officer ranks (generals)

  • Brigadier General "AMID" (عميد) is the lowest general rank. Typically command Brigades. They take command of the direct field operations and are directors of some corps. e.g. Maintenance corps. It is portrayed by three stars in a triangle shape with the republican eagle above them.
  • Major General "LIWAA" (لِواء) is the second but lowest general rank. Typically commands divisions. They are usually responsible in the highest military commands, with considerable authority. It is portrayed by two swords crossing with the republican eagle above them.
  • Lieutenant general "FAREEQ" (فَريق) it is perhaps the rank with most of the general authority and responsibility. It is usually for direct assistants of the head of joint chiefs of staff of the military. It is portrayed by two crossing swords with a star and the republican eagle above them.
  • General or Full General "FAREEQ AWWAL" (فريق أوَّل) is usually the head of joint chiefs of staff. He (after the Prime Minister who is the commander-in-chief based on the new Iraqi Constitution) has the most authority over the military and is considered to be the most powerful general. It is portrayed by two swords crossing with two stars and the republican eagle above them.
  • Field Marshal "MAHEEB" (مَهيب) is the highest military rank and the commander-in-chief of the military until 2003. This rank is reserved for the president. It is portrayed by two crossing swords and two wheat plants around it with the republican eagle above them. However, this rank is no longer in use by the new Iraqi Army, Ahmed Hassan al-Bakr, Fourth President of Iraq, was the first president who held this rank during his term in office, followed by Saddam Hussein.
  • Staff Officer A RED strip along the outer edge of the shoulder board indicates the officer is a Staff Course graduate. Staff Officers are elite commanders, selected from those successfully completing a 6-month entry preparatory course, then successfully completing the 2-year Staff Officers course in the School of Staff Officers. Prior to the invasion of Iraq by US forces in 2003, it was highly unlikely that any general commanding battle forces, i.e. non-technical or medical, would progress beyond the rank of Major General, if he was not already a Staff Officer.

See also

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