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Part 4 : Equivalent ranks and classifications

1.4.1 Overview

  1. In Chapters 1 to 17, a reference to a rank is a reference to an Army rank. It includes a reference to the equivalent rank in the Navy and Air Force. This is unless it is made clear otherwise.

    Note: This is consistent with long-standing Defence practice whereby Army ranks are used, often followed by the letter (E) for Equivalent rank. To simplify and save space, the text does not include the (E) symbol. Where there is a reference to the three Services, the normal order is followed – Navy, Army, Air Force.

  2. Equivalent rank means the corresponding rank set out under Schedule 1 of the Defence Act 1903.

  1. This table shows the equivalent ranks.

Equivalent ranks
Item Navy Army Air Force Rank equivalency
1. Admiral of the Fleet Field Marshal Marshal of the Royal Australian Air Force
2. Admiral General Air Chief Marshal
3. Vice Admiral Lieutenant General Air Marshal
4. Rear Admiral Major General Air Vice-Marshal
5. Commodore Brigadier Air Commodore
6. Captain Colonel Group Captain
7. Commander Lieutenant Colonel Wing Commander
8. Lieutenant Commander Major Squadron Leader
9. Lieutenant Captain Flight Lieutenant
10. Sub-Lieutenant Lieutenant Flying Officer
11. Acting Sub-Lieutenant Second Lieutenant Pilot Officer
12. Midshipman Officer Cadet Officer Cadet
13. Warrant Officer of the Navy Regimental Sergeant Major of the Army Warrant Officer of the Air Force
14. Warrant Officer Warrant Officer Class 1 Warrant Officer
15. Chief Petty Officer Warrant Officer Class 2 Flight Sergeant
16. Staff Sergeant
17. Petty Officer Sergeant Sergeant
18. Leading Seaman Corporal Corporal
19. Lance Corporal
20. Able Seaman [Private Proficient]* Leading Aircraftman
21. Seaman Private Aircraftman

*Note: For the definition of Private Proficient see Part 3 Division 1 section 1.3.59.

See also: Chapter 3 Part 2 Division 3 section 3.2.34, Salary – Private Proficient

1.4.2 Chaplain and Maritime Spiritual Wellbeing Officer classification for benefit purposes

For conditions of service purposes, a Chaplain classification in column A or a Maritime Spiritual Wellbeing Officer classification in column B means the rank specified in column C of the same item of the following table.

Chaplain and Maritime Spiritual Wellbeing Officer ranks
Item Column A
Chaplain classification
Column B
Maritime Spiritual Wellbeing Officer classification
Column C
1. Division 1 Class 1 Captain
2. Division 2 Class 2 Major
3. Division 3 Class 3 Lieutenant Colonel
4. Division 4 Class 4 Colonel
5. Division 5 Class 5 Brigadier

1.4.3 ADF Ranks and APS classifications

  1. This table is a guide for comparing ADF and APS ranks and classification levels for clerical duties that do not require the exercise of military command responsibilities. It is not for use as a statement of equivalent ranks and classifications. It cannot be used to compare competency standards for employment category or work value purposes.

  2. Ranks and classifications
    Item APS classification Army rank
    1. APS 1 Private
    Lance Corporal
    2. APS 2 Corporal
    3. APS 3 Sergeant
    Staff Sergeant
    4. APS 4 Warrant Officer, Class 2
    Warrant Officer, Class 1
    2nd Lieutenant
    5. APS 5 Captain
    6. APS 6 Major
    7. Executive Level 1 Lieutenant Colonel
    8. Executive Level 2 Colonel
    9. Senior Executive Service Band 1 Brigadier
    10. Senior Executive Service Band 2 Major General
    11. Senior Executive Service Band 3 Lieutenant General
    12. Secretary General
  3. A member may be in a position (on either an ongoing or acting basis) that calls for the exercise of powers under the Public Service Act 1999 or the Defence Enterprise Agreement 2017-2020. In this case, they need to hold a written delegation of those powers in order to perform those duties accountably.

Application to Reservists: Yes.

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