Table of Ranks of the Russian Empire

from the article by Trambitsky
(Central State Military Historical Archive)


On January,24, 1722 Peter I retified "The Law About the State Service Order In The Russian Empire" (ranks by seniority and promotion succession), or "Table of Ranks" The base of this law was a numer of similar laws in some European countries, especially in Denmark and Prussia.

All ranks in "The Table of Ranks" were of three types: military, civilian and court ones and were subdivided into XIV classes. (The first class was the highest and fourteenth one - the lowest).
Military ranks were higher than civilian and even court ones. This seniority gave advantage for military ranks in the main goal - transferring to nobility. And even XIV class of "The Table" ("Praporshik" - ensign) gave the right of the hereditary nobiliary rank (in civilian service the hereditary nobiliary rank was given only from 8 class, and 14 class gave only the right of personal nobility).

Below you can see the main tables dealing with Guards, Army, Cossacks and Navy. As you see in the table 'The Table of Ranks" was changed several times during almost two centuries as a result of main reforms.

We translated the main part of the rank names into English. When the ranks had some very special Russian pronunciation we spelled it in Russian way and gave the translation (or meaning) in English in brackets.

Addresses To Every Class According To The Regulations
I-II III-IV V VI-VII-VIII IX-X-XI-XII-XIII-XIV
Vashe Visokoprevoskhoditelstvo
(Your High Superiority)
Vashe Prevoskhoditelstvo
(Your Superiority)
Vashe Visokorodie
(Your High Birth)
Vashe Visokoblagorodie
(Your High Nobleness)
Vashe Blagorodie
(Your Nobleness)

 

G U A R D S
CLASS INFANTRY CAVALRY
  1748-1798 1798-1917 1798-1884 1884-1917
I - - - -
II - - - -
III Polkovnik
(Colonel)
- - -
IV Podpolkovnik
(Lieutenant-Colonel)
- - -
V Premier-Maior
(Major)
- - -
VI Secund-Maior
(Second Major)
Polkovnik
(Colonel)
Polkovnik
(Colonel)
Polkovnik
(Colonel)
VII Kapitan
(Captain)
Kapitan
(Captain)
Rotmistr
(Captain of cavalry)
Rotmistr
(Captain of cavalry)
VIII Kapitan-Poruchik
(Lieutenant-Captain)
Shtabs-Kapitan
(Junior Captain)
Shtabs-Rotmistr
(Junior Captain of cavalry)
Shtabs-Rotmistr
(Junior Captain of cavalry)
IX Poruchik
(Lieutenant)
Poruchik
(Lieutenant)
Poruchik
(Lieutenant)
Poruchik
(Lieutenant)
X Podporuchik
(Second Lieutenant)
Podporuchik
(Second Lieutenant)
- Kornet
(Cornet)
XI - - - -
XII - - Kornet
(Cornet)
-
XIII - - - -
XIV - - - -

 

A R M Y
CLASS INFANTRY CAVALRY DRAGOONS
. 1798-1884 1884-1917 1798-1884 1884-1917 1798-1884
I General Field-Marshal General Field-Marshal - - -
II General of Infantry General of Infantry General of Cavalry General of Cavalry -
III Lieutenant-General Lieutenant-General Lieutenant-General Lieutenant-General -
IV Major-General Major-General Major-General Major-General -
V - - - - -
VI Polkovnik
(Colonel)
Polkovnik
(Colonel)
Polkovnik
(Colonel)
Polkovnik
(Colonel)
Polkovnik
(Colonel)
VII Podpolkovnik
(Lieutenant-Colonel)
Podpolkovnik
(Lieutenant-Colonel)
Podpolkovnik
(Lieutenant-Colonel)
Podpolkovnik
(Lieutenant-Colonel)
Podpolkovnik
(Lieutenant-Colonel)
VIII Major Kapitan
(Captain)
Major Rotmistr
(Captain of cavalry)
-
IX Kapitan
(Captain)
Shtabs-Kapitan
(Junior Captain)
Rotmistr
(Captain of cavalry)
Shtabs-Rotmistr
(Junior Captain of cavalry)
Kapitan
(Captain)
X Shtabs-Kapitan
(Junior Captain)
Poruchik
(Lieutenant)
Shtabs-Rotmistr (Junior Captain of cavalry) Poruchik
(Lieutenant)
Shtabs-Kapitan
(Junior Captain)
XI - - - - -
XII Poruchik
(Lieutenant)
Podporuchik
(Second Lieutenant)
Poruchik
(Lieutenant)
Kornet
(Cornet)
Poruchik
(Lieutenant)
XIII Podporuchik
(Second Lieutenant)
Praporshik
(Ensign)
- - Podporuchik
(Second Lieutenant)
XIV Praporshik
(Ensign)
- Kornet
(Cornet)
- -

 

COSSACKS AND NAVY
CLASS COSSACKS NAVY
. 1798-1884 1884-1917 1798-1884 1884-1907 1907-1912 1912-1917
I - - General-Admiral General-Admiral General-Admiral General-Admiral
II General of Cavalry General of Cavalry Admiral Admiral Admiral Admiral
III Lieutenant-General Lieutenant-General Vice-Admiral Vice-Admiral Vice-Admiral Vice-Admiral
IV Major-General Major-General Contr-Admiral
(Rear Admiral)
Contr-Admiral
(Rear Admiral)
Contr-Admiral
(Rear Admiral)
Contr-Admiral
(Rear Admiral)
V - - Kapitan-Comandor
(Captain Commander)
untill 1827
- - -
VI Polkovnik
(Colonel)
Polkovnik
(Colonel)
Captain of 1 rank
(Captain)
Captain of 1 rank
(Captain)
Captain of 1 rank
(Captain)
Captain of 1 rank
(Captain)
VII Podpolkovnik
(Lieutenant-Colonel)
Voiskovoy Starshina
(Major of Cossacks)
Captain of 2 rank
Captain of 2 rank
Captain of 2 rank
Captain of 2 rank
VIII Voiskovoy Starshina
(Major of Cossacks)
Esaul
(Cossak Captain)
Lieutenant-Captain - Lieutenant-Captain till 1911 Senior Lieutenant
IX Esaul
(Captain of Cossacks)
Podesaul
(Senior Lieutenant of Cossacks)
Lieutenant Lieutenant Lieutenant and Senior Lieutenant Lieutenant
X - Sotnik
(Lieutenant of Cossacks)
- Michman
(Warrant officer)
Michman
(Warrant officer)
Michman
(Warrant officer)
XI - - - - - -
XII Sotnik
(Lieutenant of Cossacks)
Khorunzhy
(Cornet of Cossacks)
Michman
(Warrant officer)
- - -
XIII - - Gardemarin
(Naval Cadet)
1860-1882
- - -
XIV Khorunzhy
(Cornet of Cossacks)
- - - - -

 




Historical Russian Translations