Belgium army ranks

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    Post by P-E on Mon Jun 23, 2014 1:43 pm

    I realized that it was very difficult to find informations about belgian army ranks, even here in Belgium...Ranks are usually the best way to differenciate branches / components on combat uniforms (there're no similar tapes as in the US military - US Air Force, US Marine Corps, US Army, US Coast Guard - to differenciate branches / components).

    so I tried to make scheme with all of them. My work isn't finished, and maybe there're a few mistakes...but here's what I've already done :

    Air component ranks :

    Belgium army ranks Grades10

    Belgium army ranks Diapos10

    Belgium army ranks Diapos11

    The "blue color" ranks are used on dress uniforms, and on combat uniforms during parades. Here's for example a picture that show their use on combat uniforms during a parade :

    Belgium army ranks 94033010

    These last years, new ranks have been worn by soldiers on their combat uniforms. They are called "combat ranks" and are subdued. They are directly sewn on camo. Please note that only air component, naval component and medical component use such combat/subdued ranks : land componant still use plastic ranks.

    Here're two pictures showing the use of combat ranks by Air component personnel :

    Belgium army ranks Diapos12

    Belgium army ranks Drone-10

    Belgium army ranks Dsc_0510


    Last edited by P-E on Mon Jun 23, 2014 2:27 pm; edited 1 time in total
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    Post by P-E on Mon Jun 23, 2014 2:16 pm

    Medical component ranks :

    For the medical component, things are harder because you've to differenciate the specialties (nurse, medic, veterinary, dentist,...).

    A) for medic :

    Belgium army ranks Diapos13

    Belgium army ranks Diapos14

    Here're some pictures of them in use :

    Belgium army ranks Diapos19

    Belgium army ranks Dsc_1210 (it looks to be a caporal)

    Belgium army ranks Dsc_9510


    Last edited by P-E on Mon Jun 23, 2014 2:42 pm; edited 2 times in total
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    Post by P-E on Mon Jun 23, 2014 2:19 pm

    B) for pharmacist :

    Belgium army ranks Diapos15

    Belgium army ranks Diapos16
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    Post by P-E on Mon Jun 23, 2014 2:21 pm

    C) for nurse :

    Belgium army ranks Diapos17

    Belgium army ranks Diapos18
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    Post by P-E on Tue Jun 24, 2014 4:19 pm

    Here're the one I own in my collection right now :

    Belgium army ranks Dsc00916

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    Post by P-E on Tue Jun 24, 2014 4:20 pm

    Belgium army ranks Dsc00917

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    Post by P-E on Tue Jun 24, 2014 4:20 pm

    Belgium army ranks Dsc00918
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    Post by CollectinSteve on Wed Jun 25, 2014 6:55 pm

    Excellent information! I was not aware that desert ranks are now in use. Do you know what year they started wearing them?

    Do you know why the Land Component still uses plastic ranks? It seems to me smarter to have one type for all parts of the military services.

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    Post by P-E on Wed Jun 25, 2014 7:33 pm

    Sorry, I don't know since when subdued desert cloth ranks are in use...Please note that only medical, air and naval components use such ranks.

    I absolutely don't know why it exists such an amount of different ranks, and I cannot find any informations about belgium military insignia. Trust me, they are non common even here Wink I can try to find some if you want, but cannot promise ! That's why I'm trying to make my own schemes with all the variants, but it's very difficult (and that's also why I don't exclude mistakes).

    Apparently, ranks are more than "just a rank" ; they are like patches that give informations about :

    - your branch (because each component has its own ranks, so ABL doesn't use branch tapes for each component like US military for example)
    - your specialty (i.e. medical component ranks give informations about the MOS of soldiers ; nurse, medic, pharmacist,...)
    - or may refer to your status in your unit (i.e. the rank with the crown - see post n°6 - is the "Regimental sergeant major", so the higher NCO in a unit).

    In other words, it gives some informations in just one insignia... I've just noticed that in ABL, the quantity of different awards, patches and badges is very restricted, except for ranks. This is my explanation, not the official version (that I just don't know).
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    Post by CollectinSteve on Wed Jun 25, 2014 11:52 pm

    It makes sense to me Very Happy

    I have a variety of Ground Component plastic ranks, including the double sided type. I also have Air Component Blue, Flecktarn, and Jigsaw. But no desert and no medical. I wouldn't mind having some of those types. I have some less common Belgian badges you might be interested in for trade.

    Oh, and I wonder of the solid desert color type were made in Afghanistan. Do you know?

    I also suspect the solid color desert rank are for the sand color flight uniforms worn by aircraft crew. What do you think?
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    Post by P-E on Sat Jul 05, 2014 11:02 am

    CollectinSteve wrote:Oh, and I wonder of the solid desert color type were made in Afghanistan.  Do you know?

    I also suspect the solid color desert ranks are for the sand color flight uniforms worn by aircraft crew.  What do you think?

    Well, I asked the question this morning and apparently the desert ranks are used on combat uniforms. The guy told me it exists some variants : different cloth material (camouflaged or solid), different colorations in embroideries,... Based on what he told me, I don't think they are exclusively for fly suits... And they don't look Afghanistan made, but I just don't know...

    For example, here's one picture that come from a video in which we can see solid ranks on a fleece jacket :

    Belgium army ranks Captur11

    Belgium army ranks Captur12
    (on this last one, sadly, quality of picture do not permit to be sure they're solid color desert ranks...)

    He explained me that he got them in the "Milshop" (this is a place where soldiers can purchase their stuff). I was very surprised because some desert ranks were used (milshop only have brand new insignia that are issued to soldiers), but he explained me that soldiers have to return them after their oversea duty. He's the second guy that tell this to me...This probably explain why we can more easily find jigsaw camo ranks and uniforms than desert ones...

    Another reason that explain the rarety of desert ABL stuff is that only a very small contingent of soldiers are deployed outside the country. I think approximately 550-600 belgian soldiers are deployed in Afghanistan at each rotation ; in Liban, there're approximately 200 belgian soldiers ; 80-100 soldiers in Mali,...

    CollectinSteve wrote:I also have Air Component Blue, Flecktarn, and Jigsaw. But no desert and no medical. I wouldn't mind having some of those types. I have some less common Belgian badges you might be interested in for trade.

    Sure we can make trades ! I went to a militaria sale show this morning and I purchased some doubles I can trade or sell. Please take a look HERE.
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    Post by P-E on Sun Jul 13, 2014 10:46 am

    Ok, this time I met a soldier who was able to give me serious informations about ABL medical component ranks...so here's the result :

    Medical Support corps :

    Belgium army ranks Diapos25

    Belgium army ranks Diapos26

    Belgium army ranks Diapos27

    The Medical Support corps is the only corps of the Medical Component which have all ranks (from soldat to General).

    We can also differenciate it because the symbol is not exactly the same :

    Belgium army ranks Prasen12

    Pharmacist :

    Belgium army ranks Diapos28

    Belgium army ranks Diapos29

    Dentist :

    Belgium army ranks Diapos30

    Medic :

    Belgium army ranks Diapos31

    Veterinary :

    Belgium army ranks Diapos32

    For Dentists, medic and veterinary, only officer ranks exists (from Under Lieutenant to General). And the combat ranks for these specialties are exactly the same :

    Belgium army ranks Diapos33

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