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Indonesia: Uniforms, Ranks, and Insignia
Country Study > Chapter 5 > National Security > Organization and Equipment of the Armed Forces > Uniforms, Ranks, and Insignia


Grade and rank structure was standard throughout the three military services and the police. It corresponded to that common to most military systems, with minor deviations. No formal class of warrant officers existed between the enlisted and commissioned hierarchies. The first and second assistant lieutenants ranks were being gradually phased out and the two levels of officer candidate -- calon perwira -- were converted to NCO status. Changes announced in 1991 added two steps to enlisted ranks: chief private and chief corporal.

One title unique to Indonesia is panglima, a traditional heroic rank revived during the National Revolution. Although panglima is often translated as commander, it carries a higher connotation of honor and power. Its bearers, usually flag officers of various ranks, derive enhanced personal status from serving as panglima. In the 1980s, tradition evolved to limit the title panglima to the ABRI commander in chief and the commanders of Kostrad and the ten Kodams.

Uniforms of the four services were distinguished by color and style, with variations in headgear and other details distinguishing some elite troops, who wore various colors of berets. Army working and ceremonial uniforms were olive drab and those of the police, dark brown. Air force and navy uniforms were medium blue and navy blue, respectively. Rank insignia were standardized among the services. In ceremonial and service dress, officers wore them on the shoulder epaulet. Field uniform insignia were moved in 1991 from the front of the fatigue shirt to the collar tip. Rank insignia were worn on the sleeves for NCOs and enlisted personnel.

Data as of November 1992

Last Updated: November 1992

Editor's Note: Country Studies included here were published between 1988 and 1998. The Country study for Indonesia was first published in 1993. 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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