In the World of Naruto every shinobi has a rank. This Guide is here to show what the meaning and the purpose of each rank. Some Ranks are attained by hardwork, others are attained by exam's, but all are respected.
Academy Students are the basic level of ninja in the naruto world. These are children who are enrolled into school that teaches the fundamentals of being a shinobi. Everything from the understanding of chakra, to basic ninjutsu styles. As well as the art of shuriken throwing, and kunai usage. Academy Students do not become Shinobi intill they graduate. Different villages have differnt graduation expectations, but for Konoha a shinobi must understand and perform a certain jutsu inorder to graduate.
After graduating from the academy and recieving the village forehead protector, a student becomes a Genin. Genin is the beginning title any shinobi achieves. Basically as a Genin you are viewed as a shinobi, and will be put into missions and trained to become stronger. All Genin are assigned to a Jounin sensei's (teacher) and are paired up with two other Genin from their graduating class. Each team will handle low to average difficulty ranked missions. This process will allow the genin to grow even stronger, and understand the importance of team work, as well as the development of their jutsu's. Some Genin are lucky to recieve teachers who entrust them with techniques of great power.
Chuunin's are the next rank a shinobi can achieve after being a Genin. During a shinobi's time as a Genin they are trained and prepared for the Chuunin Selection Exam. Basically another level of test to evaluate a shinobi's performance. A Chuunin is a rank with great responsibility. A shinobi of Chuunin rank is responsible for his/her own team of shinobi's. They are responsible for their own life, as well as there team members life during mission's. Being A chuunin is a sign of being a dependable leader.
Becoming an Anbu memember is a different matter in its self. Anbu members are the most covert and secretive of all shinobi's within a village. Anbu members are used as a special task force. Think of it as the Secret Service of the Naruto world. Each member wields a sword as well as dawns an animal type mask. These shinobi's answer to the Hokage and high level Jounin and are incharge of scouting and gathering information that pertains to the village or its enemies.
If becoming a Chuunin shows signs of great dependance and intellgence, then becoming a Jounin is a sign of mastery of the Shinobi way. Jounin are extremely skilled shinobis who are viewed as the elite of their village. Jounin are responsible for the growth and training of their genin students. Jounin are assinged the highest rank of missions. Becoming a jounin takes intellegence, hard work and above all else skill. Jounin often pass down techniques to their students as a sign of trust and affection.
Kage or shadow is the highest rank a ninja can obtain. Becoming kage of a village is a sign of strength, intellgence, and respect over all shinobi's. A kage is the leader of a shinobi village and is often viewd as Godly. There can only be one Kage in a village, and the individual who becomes Kage are immensely skilled in all aspect of a shinobi. Each shinobi village has their own kage. Konoha (hidden leaf village) has the Hokage (fire shadow). The other major shinobi villages have their own. Kazekage, Raikage, Mizukage, and Tsuchikage.
The following shinobi ranks are given titles. This titles are given to shinobi's with specific traits, or skills. These are more of a sign of respect or acknowledgement then they are ranks.
Acadmey Teachers are Chuunin ranked shinobi who are incharge of teaching acadmey students. These Chuunin main responsiblity is to give high quality instructions inorder to develop the students into who'd be shinobi's. The Teacher is often used on mission's but are solely incharge of teaching the academy students.
Special Jounin are similar in all aspects or regular jounin, but with two differences. The first is that the jounin are not assinged genin students. The jounin work alone and are seldom responsible for genin. The second is that most special jounin have a specific field that they are assinged to. Some are experts in interrogation and tourcher, others are medical shinobi's who use their abilities to heal and treat wounds, not for battle.
Missing Nin's are fugitives or their respective village. These shinobi's crimes vary from assasination attempts, to treason. These shinobi's are often referred to as S Class criminal's who are very dangerous.
Hunter Nin's are shinobi's selected by their villages to capture and terminate any and all Missing Nin's. A Hunters responsibility is to make sure there is no trace of the fugitive. By doing this there will be no way a fugitive can reveal any secrets of their village that can be used against the village.
Sannin isn't a rank that any other shinobi can obtain. Infact it is not a rank its self but more of a Respected title. There are only three sannin in the world of naruto, Jiriaya, Tsunade, and Orochimaru. These three where respected as the strongest shinobi's outside of the Hokage. They where the students of the Sandiame Hokage (3rd) who was considered to be the God of Shinobi's. Each of the sannin are on the same level of power, intellgence, and skill as any Kage in the Naruto World.