Nigerian Army Ranks, Symbols and Salary Structure
Nigerian Army Ranks, Symbols and Salary Structure

Nigerian Army Ranks, Symbols and Salary Structure

The Nigerian Army plays a crucial role in protecting the territorial integrity and sovereignty of Nigeria. As the largest branch of the Nigerian Armed Forces, it is responsible for land warfare operations and maintaining peace across the nation. Like any other military force, the Nigerian Army has a well-defined ranking system to ensure discipline, order, and proper communication within its ranks.


Nigerian army ranks and symbols and salary: Overview

Commissioned Officers

Commissioned officers are the highest-ranking personnel in the Nigerian Army who hold presidential commissions. Some of the key commissioned officer ranks include:

  • Field Marshal: Highest possible rank, equivalent to a 5-star general.
  • General: 4-star rank, commands multiple divisions or the entire army.
  • Lieutenant General: 3-star rank, commands divisions.
  • Major General: 2-star rank, commands brigades.
  • Brigadier General: 1-star rank, commands brigades.
  • Colonel: Commanding officer of a regiment or battalion.
  • Lieutenant Colonel: Second-in-command of a battalion.
  • Major: Senior captain-level field officer.
  • Captain: Junior field officer leading companies.

Non-Commissioned Officers

Non-commissioned officers are responsible for technical leadership and hold critical positions at the junior level. Some of the important non-commissioned officer ranks are:

  • Warrant Officer Class I: Most senior NCO rank.
  • Warrant Officer Class II: Senior to staff sergeants.
  • Staff Sergeant: Leads sections/platoons as the senior NCO.
  • Sergeant: Junior NCO leading squads/sections.
  • Corporal: Senior enlisted personnel leading fire teams.
  • Private: Most junior enlisted rank in the Army.
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Insignia and Uniforms

Each rank in the Nigerian Army has a distinct insignia worn on the uniform to identify hierarchy and authority. Some notable aspects of their insignia system include:

  • Commissioned officers wear metal rank insignia on their shoulder boards/epaulets.
  • General officers display crossed batons and swords along with stars.
  • Field ranks have metal eagles and stars as signs of command authority.
  • NCOs wear chevrons, arcs, crowns, and stars on their uniform sleeves.
  • Different colored berets and headgear denote special forces, corps, etc.

The Nigerian Army uniforms follow a standardized pattern of khaki or green-colored combat fatigues depending on the regiment/branch. Insignia, shoulder titles, and other badges are added to identify specific roles, awards, and qualifications.


Salary Structure

Let’s explore the Nigerian Army salary structure and pay scales offered by the Nigerian Army based on rank:

Commissioned Officers Salary

  • General: Between ₦1.5 million to ₦2 million
  • Lieutenant General: Around ₦1 million
  • Major General: About ₦950,000
  • Brigadier General: Approximately ₦750,000
  • Colonel: Around ₦550,000
  • Lieutenant Colonel: Approximately ₦350,000
  • Major: Around ₦300,000
  • Captain: Approximately ₦220,000
  • Lieutenant: Around ₦180,000
  • Second Lieutenant: Approximately ₦120,000

Enlisted Ranks Salary

  • Warrant Officer Class I: Around ₦90,000
  • Master Warrant Officer: Approximately ₦80,000
  • Staff Sergeant: Around ₦68,000
  • Sergeant: Approximately ₦63,000
  • Corporal: Around ₦58,000
  • Private: Approximately ₦48,000 to ₦49,000

As you progress and get promoted in rank, your pay scale and compensation increase substantially in the Nigerian Army. Several allowances are also paid depending on special assignments, terrain, and other factors.


Frequently Asked Questions

What is the highest rank in the Nigerian army?

The highest achievable rank in the Nigerian Army is the Field Marshal, which is equivalent to a 5-star general. However, no personnel have been promoted to this rank so far since the nation’s independence in 1960.

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How can I check the rank of a Nigerian Army personnel?

You can identify the rank of Nigerian Army personnel by looking at the insignia and symbols worn on their uniform. Commissioned officers wear metal insignia on the shoulder while non-commissioned officers have emblems on the sleeve to denote their hierarchy.

Which corps/regiments make up the Nigerian Army?

Some of the main regiments and corps in the Nigerian Army include the Guards Brigade, 81st Division, 82nd Division, Artillery Corps, Air Defence Corps, Armour Corps, Signal Corps, Corps of Transport, Corps of Supply and Transport, and supporting arms like the Medical Corps.

What education or training is required to join the Nigerian Army?

For most entry-level ranks like Private, the minimum educational qualification required is a Secondary School Certificate (SSCE). However, prospective commissioned officers must have a Bachelor’s degree from a recognized university to join as Second Lieutenants. Several months of intense basic and advanced training is also provided once recruited into the Army.



In conclusion, the Nigerian Army ranks, insignia, uniforms, and salary structure follow an elaborate hierarchical system to ensure order, discipline, and motivated performance. Understanding the different Nigerian army rank symbols and salaries provides useful career guidance to prospective applicants and general awareness for citizens about military organizations in Nigeria. With merit and hard work, one can aim to rise to the most senior positions in this prestigious national institution.


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