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Bulgaria: Ranks, Uniforms, and Insignia
Country Study > Chapter 5 > National Security > Military Personnel > Ranks, Uniforms, and Insignia


The ground forces and air and air defense forces used the same system of ranks. The air and air defense forces and naval forces lacked an equivalent to the four-star army general rank in the ground forces. Below army general there were three general-grade, three field-grade, and four company-grade officer ranks. In descending order, the ranks were colonel general, lieutenant general, major general, colonel, lieutenant colonel, major, captain, senior lieutenant, lieutenant, and junior lieutenant. Naval officer ranks included three admiral, four captain, and three lieutenant ranks. The ground forces and air and air defense forces had six enlisted grades, four sergeant and two private. The naval forces had equivalent petty officer and seaman grades.

Officers wore a service uniform consisting of a tailored blouse with patch pockets and trousers that tucked into high boots. A Sam Browne belt and sidearms were optional. The ground forces wore stripes and piping on caps and rank insignia that varied in color according to the branch of service (motorized rifle, tank, artillery, and others). Enlisted uniforms were similar in design but had less ornate trim. The air and air defense forces and naval forces had the same uniforms but could be distinguished by blue stripes and piping for the former and traditional naval blues and whites for the latter.

Rank insignia on uniforms consisted of stars or stripes on shoulder boards. Officer ranks were identified by varying numbers of stars and increasingly ornate shoulder boards with higher ranks. Those of company-grade officers were relatively plain; those of general officers were very ornate. Enlisted grades were denoted by increasing numbers of stripes. Privates and seamen wore no stripes and plain shoulder boards. The number and width of stripes increased with promotion to higher grades.

Data as of June 1992

Last Updated: June 1992

Editor's Note: Country Studies included here were published between 1988 and 1998. The Country study for Bulgaria was first published in 1992. Where available, the data has been updated through 2008. The date at the bottom of each section will indicate the time period of the data. Information on some countries may no longer be up to date. See the "Research Completed" date at the beginning of each study on the Title Page or the "Data as of" date at the end of each section of text. This information is included due to its comprehensiveness and for historical purposes.

Note that current information from the CIA World Factbook, U.S. Department of State Background Notes, Australia's Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade Country Briefs, the UK's Foreign and Commonwealth Office's Country Profiles, and the World Bank can be found on

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