As of 2010, national and international bodies estimated that approximately 654,000 Pakistan Armed Forces Personnel were on active duty in the three main service branches, with an additional 482,000 serving in paramilitary forces and 550,000 in reserve. It is an all-volunteer military, but conscription can be enacted at the president’s request with the approval of the parliament of Pakistan.
The Pak Army Force is the sixth-largest in the world and has troops deployed around the globe in peacekeeping operations and military support.
Basically, Pakistan is the only Muslim country in which women serve as high-ranking officers and combat roles. A sizeable unit of the female army and air force personnel has been actively included in military operations against Taliban forces.
Members of the Pakistani Military hold a rank, either that of an officer or enlisted, and can get promotions.
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The following data shows current Pakistan Armed Forces Personnel staffing:
|Pakistani military troop levels|
|Service||Total active-duty personnel||Total reserve|
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Rank and insignia structure
As Pakistan became independent, the British military ranks and insignia were instantly appointed by the Armed Forces as part of a legacy of British colonialism.
Moreover, Army had inherited all the professional qualifications of the British army in India.
Regarding the British Indian army, the Ministry of Defence (MoD) authorized the three Junior Commissioned Officers (JCO) to pay grades between the registered ranks and Commissioned Officers.
The Junior Commissioned Officer grades are similar to the civil bureaucracy’s pay systems for those who support promotion from among enlisted recruits.
The JCO grades in the Pakistani Army are a follow-up of the former Viceroy of India’s commissioned pay grades during the British colonial period.
Promotion to the JCO, however, remains a productive and powerful motivation for the enlisted military staff. Hence, it will probably be a slow process if JCO ranks are ever phase-out.
For detailed information, check our blog: Pakistan Army Ranks
Check: Pakistan Air Force Ranks and Salary
- Nishan-i-Haider (Sign of the Lion) is the highest military decoration of Pakistan. It is awarded to those who have performed acts of most extraordinary heroism or most courage in extremely dangerous circumstances. It shows the bravery of the highest order or devotion to a country in the enemy’s presence on the land, sea, or air. Till 2013, this award has been given to ten Pakistani service members who sacrificed their lives in the line of duty.
- Hilal-i-Jurat (Crescent of Courage) is the second-highest military award of Pakistan and the highest to be given to a living Pakistani (the Nishan-i-Haider only awarded after the death). The award is confirmable on officers of the Pak Army, Pak Navy, or Pakistan Air Force for acts of bravery, courage, or devotion to duty in the face of the enemy. The award winners have often got land and pensions and could place the tag of honor “HJ” after their name.
- Sitara-i-Jurat (Star of Courage) is the third-highest military award of Pakistan. It is awarded for heroism or extraordinary service in combat and can be given to officers, JCOs, and warrant officers of the Armed Forces, including Paramilitary Forces under federal control. Receivers can place the tag of honor “SJ” after their name.
- Tamgha-i-Jurat (Medal of Courage) is the fourth-highest military award of Pakistan, which is for courage or outstanding in battle. This is the NCO and enlisted version of the Sitara-i-Jurat. Receivers can place the honorific “TJ” after their name.
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