Country Listing

El Salvador Table of Contents

El Salvador

Ranks, Uniforms, and Insignia


Figure 10. Officer Ranks and Insignia, 1988


Figure 11. Enlisted Ranks and Insignia, 1988

The rank structure of the armed forces followed traditional lines and conformed to the pattern of the United States services, with minor variations reflecting the disparity in force levels. Army and air force ranks were identical, and the navy used conventional naval designations, although naval personnel generally were addressed by their equivalent army ranks. The only general officer rank was equivalent to a United States brigadier general.

Insignia of rank conformed to the designs adopted in 1968 by the Central American Defense Council (Consejo de Defensa Centroamericano--Condeca). Army and air force officer insignia were worn on shoulder straps and consisted of silver-colored stars for company-grade officers (second lieutenant, lieutenant, and captain), gold-colored stars for field-grade officers (major, lieutenant colonel, and colonel), and a laurel leaf for brigadier general. Naval officers displayed gold-colored metallic braid insignia of rank at the cuff or on shoulderboards, depending on the type of uniform worn. NCOs wore chevrons of gold braid or colored cloth. The grades of all enlisted personnel were indicated by cloth chevrons (gold-colored for army and air force and black for navy), worn on either the uniform coat or the shirt sleeves (see fig. 10; fig. 11).

Both army and air force wore dark-blue dress uniforms, whereas the navy wore traditional navy blue garb but donned standard whites for the hot-weather months. The army's service uniform consisted of a khaki shirt and beige trousers, with an overseas-type garrison cap. The air force's service uniform differed from the army's only in its light-blue color, and the navy used a khaki service uniform. Army and air force officers wore service uniforms in their respective colors. The army's basic garrison uniform consisted of olive-green shirt, trousers, and cap and a belt, socks, and shoes, all in black. The standard uniform became the combat uniform with the addition of short leggings, combat boots, a helmet, and field equipment. The air force's garrison uniform again differed from that of the army only in its blue color. Dress and service uniforms for female personnel were patterned after those for male personnel, but with skirts instead of trousers.

Data as of November 1988