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Yugoslavia (former) Ranks, Insignia, and Uniforms
Sources: The Library of Congress Country Studies; CIA World Factbook
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    Ranks in the YPA were updated by the Army Law of 1 October 1982. According to that law, the YPA had five categories of ranks, including general officers, senior officers, junior officers, NCOs, and soldiers. The soldier and NCO ranks were private first class, corporal, junior sergeant, sergeant, sergeant first class, senior sergeant, senior sergeant first class, warrant officer, and warrant officer first class. Privates first class, corporals, and junior sergeants wore one, two, and three red chevrons, respectively, on a background of olive-green, blue-gray, or black--corresponding, respectively, to the ground forces, air force, or navy. In the army and air force, sergeants, sergeants first class, senior sergeants, and senior sergeants first class wore single thin yellow-gold chevrons with one, two, three, and four yellow-gold stars, respectively. Warrant officers and warrant officers first class wore two yellow-gold chevrons with one and two gold stars respectively.

    The corresponding navy ranks were seaman apprentice, seaman, and petty officer third class, indicated by one, two, and three red chevrons, respectively. Petty officers second class wore one red chevron and one red star. Petty officers first class, chief petty officers, and master chief petty officers wore two, three, and four yellow-gold chevrons and one yellow-gold star, respectively. Warrant officers wore one broad and one narrow yellow-gold chevron and one yellow-gold star. Warrant officers first class wore a second narrow yellow-gold chevron.

    Insignia for commissioned officers were worn on shoulder boards in colors corresponding to their service branch: olivegreen for the ground forces, blue-gray for the air force, and black for the navy. Shoulder boards were piped with single and double yellow-gold braid, respectively, for junior and senior officers of the army and air force. Shoulder boards of navy officers were not piped. General officers of all three services wore shoulder boards piped with twisted gold cord.

    In the ground forces and air force, junior officer ranks were junior lieutenant, lieutenant, captain, and captain first class. Their shoulder boards had one, two, three, and four small yellowgold stars, respectively. Senior officer ranks were major, lieutenant colonel, and colonel. Their shoulder boards bore one, two, or three large yellow-gold stars respectively. General officer ranks were major general, lieutenant colonel general, colonel general, and army general. Army general officers wore a crossed sword and cannon and air force general officers wore an eagle set on a wreath and one, two, three, and four gold stars, respectively. Tito was the only person to hold the rank of marshal, and the position was abolished shortly after his death. The corresponding navy officer ranks were junior lieutenant, corvette lieutenant, frigate lieutenant, battleship lieutenant, corvette captain, frigate captain, and battleship captain. The rank of frigate captain, which had no equivalent in most Western navies, fell between the ranks equivalent to commander and captain. Junior and senior naval officers wore shoulder boards with yellow-gold stripes and one yellow-gold star. In rank sequence, their stripe configurations were one broad, one broad and one narrow, two broad, two broad and one narrow, three broad, three broad and one narrow, and four broad stripes.

    Senior naval officer ranks were rear admiral, vice admiral, admiral, and fleet admiral. Senior officers wore one broad band and one, two, three, and four broad gold stripes, respectively, each with one gold star on the shoulder boards. The shoulder boards of the naval dress uniform were like those of the army and air force (except that they showed an anchor instead of the crossed swords of the army or the cannon and eagle of the air force), with one, two, three, and four gold stars (see fig. 18).

    Soldiers and NCOs were issued uniforms. Soldiers had field and service uniforms, while NCOs were authorized a dress uniform as well. Because they held conscript or enlisted ranks, military school cadets wore soldier's uniforms. Soldiers' winter and summer uniforms were made of light or heavy wool and cotton in olive-green, blue-gray, and black for army, air force, and navy, respectively. Navy conscripts and enlisted men also had summer white uniforms. All soldiers wore neckties of the same colors except in summer, when the uniform shirt was worn with an open collar.

    There were several variations on the basic soldier's uniform. Women's uniforms were of the same style as those for men, except that a skirt was substituted for trousers. Airborne troops wore an olive-green beret instead of the standard garrison or service cap. The naval infantry wore distinctive blue and white sleeve patches and black berets with anchor and wreath emblems. Mountain troops wore distinctive stiff field caps with semi-rigid visors and earflaps. They wore loose winter shirts under which additional layers could be worn. The shirt itself had a lining and a collar that could be turned up to cover the neck and chin. The trousers worn by mountain troops extended just below the knee, with a strap and buckle closure. Leather leggings, heavy wool socks, and foul-weather capes also were worn by the mountain troops.

    Officers had to procure their own field, service, dress, and full dress uniforms. They wore insignia on the lapels of the field uniform shirts. The service uniform differed only in some details from the basic dress uniform. The shirt buttons of the dress uniform were yellow-gold instead of the service color. The trousers, jackets, and overcoats were piped along the seams with distinctive service colors, red for army, blue for air force, and black for navy. The dress cap visor showed the same piping as the officer's shoulder boards. The general officer's dress cap had a chin strap of twisted gold cord. Other officers wore plain plastic or leather chin straps. Full dress uniforms were blue and were worn with a yellow-gold sash belt lined with the appropriate service color. Cap emblems all included a red star with yellowgold rays, given distinctive configurations according to branch. Air force officers had the red star perched on the wings of an eagle with a sword clenched in its talons. Airborne officers had the red star resting on a silver parachute against a blue background. Cap emblems for general officers showed the same gold wreath as the shoulder boards.

    Data as of December 1990

    NOTE: The information regarding Yugoslavia (former) on this page is re-published from The Library of Congress Country Studies and the CIA World Factbook. No claims are made regarding the accuracy of Yugoslavia (former) Ranks, Insignia, and Uniforms information contained here. All suggestions for corrections of any errors about Yugoslavia (former) Ranks, Insignia, and Uniforms should be addressed to the Library of Congress and the CIA.

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Revised 27-Mar-05
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