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Know your Army: What military ranks are equivalent to 'private'?

Private is the lowest rank of trained soldiers in the British Army, although there are a number of equivalent ranks.

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There are a number of ranks that equate to 'private', depending on which regiment personnel are assigned to.

Private is the lowest rank of trained soldier in the British Army – it is assigned to all new soldiers, although there are a number of equivalent ranks, depending on which regiment a soldier is assigned to.


A Trooper is any soldier in a regiment with a cavalry tradition in the British Army, such as The Queen's Own Yeomanry.


Any soldier who is assigned to an artillery regiment, including the Royal Artillery, holds the rank of Gunner.


Sappers are the lowest ranked soldier serving in the Royal Engineers - specialising in engineering and responsible for providing combat support.


A private serving with the Royal Corps of Signals is referred to as a Signaller.

Experts in communications, the Signals have deployed on every operation the British Army has been involved in.

Previously, the rank of Signaller was Signalman.

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As the name suggests, a guardsman is a soldier serving with the Guards.

Famous for standing guard outside Buckingham Palace, the Guards, as fully trained combat soldiers, also deploy on operations abroad – from peacekeeping to disaster relief.


A fusilier is the equivalent of private, serving with the Royal Regiment of Fusiliers.

Specialising in armoured infantry, the Fusiliers have both regular and reserve soldiers serving within the Corps.


Kingsman are the lowest-ranked troops serving with the Duke of Lancaster regiment.

Known as the 'Lions of England', kingsmen are specialists in light infantry and the regiment has two regular battalions and one reserve battalion.

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Privates serving in the Army's biggest infantry regiment, the Rifles, hold the rank of rifleman.

Home to both 1 and 2 Rifles, the Rifles are deployed all over the world and are specialists in a number of different weapons and vehicles.


Serving the British Army's aviation combat arm, airtroopers are the lowest rank operating within the Army Air Corps.

Wearing the blue beret since 1957, Army Air Corps soldiers use aircraft such as Apache attack helicopters to support troops on the ground.

They are also responsible for reconnaissance, observing enemy forces and passing information on to ground forces.


A craftsman is a private serving with the Corps of Royal Electrical and Mechanical Engineers (REME).

Soldiers within the regiment are responsible for maintaining the Army’s equipment and are based both in the UK and overseas.

In January this year, military officials considered changing the name of the lowest-ranked officer within REME to private – as opposed to craftsman.