Ministry of Defence

Officer Career

An active duty officer of the Armed Forces is an Albanian citizen who has completed higher military education at the country and abroad, or the Albanian citizen who has completed higher civilian education, and the respective military course, not less than one year at the Military Academy, who swears the military oath, and is commissioned as such by order of the Minister of Defence.

The military ranks for officers in the Armed Forces are classified into low, high, and highest ones. For officers commissioned as active duty officers, the ranks are:

Level of Designation Land/Air Forces
Type of rank
Navy Forces
Type of rank
Highest rank Lieutenant  General Vice Admiral
  Major General Rear Admiral (Upper Half)
  Brigadier General Rear Admiral (Lower Half)
High rank Colonel Captain
  Lieutenant Colonel Commander
  Major Lieutenant Commander
Low rank Captain Lieutenant
  First Lieutenant Lieutenant Junior Grade
  Second Lieutenant Ensign

Minimal and maximal time in a rank until promotion to the next rank is as follows:

Land/Air Forces
Navy Forces
Min/Max time in a rank
Second Lieutenant Ensign 3 years/6 years
First Lieutenant Lieutenant Junior Grade 4 years/8 years
Captain Lieutenant 5 years/15 years
Major Lieutenant Commander 4 years/22 years
Lieutenant Colonel Commander 5 years/27 years
Colonel Captain 4 years/30 years
Brigadier General Rear Admiral (Lower Half) 3 years/33 years
Major General Rear Admiral (Upper Half) 3 years/35 years
Lieutenant  General Vice Admiral          /35 years


The commissioning as active duty officer and granting of the first rank to an officer is carried out by order of the Minister of Defence. The rank of second lieutenant is granted to students who complete higher military education in military academies in the country and abroad, equalized to them, and are commissioned as active duty officers. Military ranks from second lieutenant/ensign to colonel/captain are granted by order of the Minister of Defence, under career commissions’ proposals. The highest ranks are granted to officers by decree of the President of the Republic, and by proposal of the Minister of Defence.

The military officer is eligible for next promotion when he/she meets the following criteria:

a)   Time limit in a certain rank;
b)   Required education and qualification in military and civilian schools and courses;
c)   Annual work performance results.

Officers, candidates for promotion, are eligible to be appraised and evaluated by the career and ranks’ commissions for each rank as below:

a)   Officers at the rank of First Lieutenant/Lieutenant Junior Grade through colonel/captain twice;
b)   Officers at the rank of Brigadier General and above only once.

Education and qualification criteria to receive the rank are:

Current rank Next  rank Qualification Duration
Second Lieutenant/ Ensign First Lieutenant/        Lt. Junior Grade Basic Course 6-9 months
First Lieutenant/          Lt. Junior Grade Captain/Lieutenant Advanced Officer Course  (AOC) 4-6 months
Captain/Lieutenant Major/Lt. Commander Basic Staff Officer Course  (BSOC) 3 months
Major/Lt. Commander Lt. Colonel/ Commander

Functional Course

Command and General Staff Course (CGSC)

2 months

1 year

Lt. Colonel/Commander Colonel/Captain Senior Officer Course (SOC) 1 year
Colonel/Captain General/Admiral Senior Security and Defense Course (SSDC) -



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