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Mexico - Rank and Insignia

Mexican RankTranslationUS Equivalent
NONEPrivate First Class
Sargento Segundo Sergeant SecondStaff Sergeant
Sargento Primero Sergeant FirstSergeant First Class
NONEFirst Sergeant
NONEMaster Sergeant
NONESergeant Major
SubtenienteSub-LieutenantSecond Lieutenant
TenienteLieutenantFirst Lieutenant
Capitan SegundoCaptain SecondCaptain
Capitan PrimeroCaptain First
Teniente Coronel Lieutenant ColonelLieutenant Colonel
Coronel ColonelColonel
General BrigadierGeneral BrigadierBrigadier General
General de BrigadaBrigade GeneralMajor General
General de DivisionDivision GeneralLieutenant General
General Secretario
de la Defensa Nacional
General Secretary
of the National Defense
Secretary of Defense

Mexico originally adopted its system of officer ranks from the Spanish military. With some modifications, it has been retained in the modern armed forces. The highest rank within the Secretariat of National Defense is the rough equivalent of a general in the United States Army. The only officers with the rank of general are current army officers and former secretaries of national defense. Generals are identified by insignia composed of four silver stars and a gold eagle worn on their epaulets. The next highest rank, open to both army and air force personnel, is the equivalent of lieutenant general. Although there is no difference between the Spanish name for this rank and that held by secretaries of national defense, the officers are separately identified by three stars and an eagle. The rank equivalents of major general and brigadier general are distinguished, in addition to the emblem of the gold eagle on their epaulets, by two silver stars and one silver star, respectively.

Officers holding the rank of colonel command certain brigades and cavalry regiments, serve as chiefs of staff for military zones, or manage staff directorates. Colonels are identified by three gold stars arranged in a triangle on their epaulets. The equivalents of lieutenant colonels, a select few of whom may command a battalion or cavalry squadron but most of whom serve as instructors or administrative aides, wear two gold stars. Majors sometimes serve as second-in-command of battalions or squadrons, but usually are assigned to personnel management and training. They are identified by a single gold star. Other commissioned ranks include first captain and second captain, both comparable to the United States rank of captain. First captains wear three gold bars on the epaulet; second captains have two-and-one-half gold bars. Captains command companies, squadrons, and batteries. Below these ranks are first lieutenants, with two gold bars, and second lieutenants, identified by a single gold bar.

The rank insignia of commissioned naval officers consist of gold stripes above the sleeve cuff, the uppermost stripe incorporating a braided loop. The rough equivalents of the United States Navy's ranks of admiral, vice admiral, and rear admiral wear insignia consisting of a wide gold stripe plus narrow and looped stripes. The equivalents of admiral and vice admiral are consolidated. The sleeve insignia of other officer ranks are similar to those of the corresponding ranks of the United States Navy, except that the upper stripe is looped. Officers of marine infantry units are distinguished by red piping on their insignia of rank.

The rank titles and rank insignia for enlisted personnel in the army and air force are the same. The highest rank, sergeant 1st class (or master sergeant), is recognized by green epaulets with three horizontal red bars. The next two lowest ranks, sergeant and private 1st class (or corporal specialist), are distinguished by two and one horizontal red bars, respectively. The soldado de prime?a, corresponding to the United States rank of private in the army and airman in the air force, has two short vertical red bars. The lowest rank for each service, basic private or airman basic (soldado), wears a plain green epaulet.

The rank insignia of enlisted naval personnel are indicated by white stripes above the sleeve cuff. Enlisted personnel in the navy have only three ranks, chief petty officer, petty officer, and seaman. A chief petty officer has three white stripes and a petty officer two. A seaman has a single V-shaped stripe.

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Page last modified: 27-01-2017 19:19:38 ZULU