Get Korporal essential facts below. View Videos or join the Korporal discussion. Add Korporal to your PopFlock.com topic list for future reference or share this resource on social media.

Korporal (en: Corporal; fr: Caporal; from corpus, corporis [lat]) is in a number of armed forces the lowest rank of the non-commissioned officers group (NCO group). However, according to the NATO-Rang it might be equivalent to Hauptgefreiter / Stabsgefreiter of the German Bundeswehr. In Switzerland the rank will be used in the Fire department as well.

In former German armed forces, the designation of the lowest NCO rank was "Corporal".


Flag of Austria (state).svg
Korporal in Austria
Anzug 75/03 Rockkragen Tellerkappe
Rank insignia Austrian Bundesheer
Introduction 1867
Rank group Charges

TZ TRP.svg TZ GRP.svg

Army / Air Force Korporal
Navy no equivalent

Korporal[1] (Kpl) is a rank of the enlisted men rank group (EN group) in the Austrian Bundesheer, and is equivalent to NATO-Rang code OR-3. In the k.u.k Army it still counted to the NCO rank group and was allowed to wear the yellow-black port epée.

Today and in the comparison to the German Bundeswehr it is equivalent to the EN-rank "Hauptgefreiter/ Stabsgefreiter ". In peacetime the Korporal might be tasked to command a small sub unit, e.g. a fileteam (de: Trupp, 2 to 8 men) or a squad (de: Gruppe, 8-13 men).

During United Nations missions and in NATO Partnership for Peace the rank Korporal will be designated in English with Corporal (Cpl) and is equivalent to NATO-Rang code OR-3.

k.u.k. Army

Korporal (Hungarian: Tizedes) was also a military rank of the k.u.k. Austro-Hungarian Army (1867-1918). Rank insignia where two white celluloid-star on the stand-up collar of the so-called Waffenrock (en: uniform jacket) on gorget patch (de: Paroli). Stand-up collar and background of the gorget patch showed a particular egalisation colour. This rank was corresponding to the ranks of enlisted men as follows:

  • Bataillonshornist (Battalion bugler)
  • Bataillonstambour (Battalion drummer)
  • Geschütz-Vormeister (Gunner-corporal) artillery
  • Gewehr-Vormeister (Machinegun-corporal ) infantry
  • Unterjäger (Rifles-corporal) mountain troops
  • Waffenmeister 3. Klasse (Weapon master 3rd class) artillery and weapon arsenal
Korporal in adjustation of the k.u.k. infantry
See also

=> Ranks of the Austrian Bundesheer
=> Rank insignias of the Austro-Hungarian armed forces


Flag of Switzerland.svg
Korporal in Switzerland
Schulterstück eines Korporals der Schweizer Armee
Rank insignia Swiss army
Rank group NCOs (de: Unteroffiziere)
Army / Air Force Korporal
Navy no equivalent

In the Military of Switzerland the Korporal is the lowest NCO-rank (NATO-Code: OR-4). The rank is higher than the enlisted rank Obergefreiter.

Until the so-called Army reform XXI (with effect from January 1, 2004) the regular Korporal appointment was to squad leader (de: Gruppenführer, 8-13 men). However, in 2014 this appointment was upgraded to Wachtmeister (OR-5). The Korporal rank was converted to military specialist without any command function.

Korporal is also a rank designation in the "Switzerland armed forces postal system", and in CBRN Defence.

In United Nations missions and in NATO Partnership for Peace the rank Korporal will be designated in English with Corporal (Cpl).

See also

=> Military ranks of the Swiss Armed Forces

Other armed forces

France, Great Britain, and United States

In France, Great Britain, and the United States the promotion to Corporal is possible by passing of a particular course, several tests and examination.

  • In France, however, the Caporal belongs to the enlisted men.
  • In the UK and the USA the Corporal ranks to the NCOs. However, paradoxically in the NATO-rank cote system it is equivalent to the German Obergefreiter, which is counted to the enlisted men.

The Netherlands

In the Netherlands the promotion to "Korporaal" is possible after a longer service time in the enlisted men rank group. There are two corporal ranks:

  • Korporaal OR-3
  • Korporaal der 1e klasse OR-4

Vatican City

In the Pontifical Swiss Guard there are two corporal ranks:

  • Korporal and
  • Vizekorporal


In the Polish armed forces there are the two Kortporal OR4-rank :

  • Kapral [short: kpr.] (en: Corporal)
  • Starszy kapral [short: st.kpr.]) (en: Senior corporal)


In Prussia the "Corporal" commanded an up to 30 men strong so-called Korporalschaft (en: Corporal-ship). The rank sequence was as follows:

In 1856 the designation Corporal was changed to Unteroffizier. Until 1807 the (aristocrat) officer aspirants were called Freikorporal (en: Freecorporal).


Below there are shown some examples, which might be explain by the wording Corporal


  1. ^ Duden; Origin and meaning of "Korporal", in German. [1]
  • Die Streitkräfte der Republik Österreich, 1918-1968, Heeresgeschichtliches Museum, Militärwissenschaftliches Institut, 1968.

  This article uses material from the Wikipedia page available here. It is released under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share-Alike License 3.0.



Music Scenes