While the premier is nominally number three in China's political system, the position is widely seen as the second-most important, after that of Communist Party secretray general, an office currently held by President Hu Jintao.
Xu Caihou and Guo Boxiong, generals for the People's Liberation Army, were elected vice-chairman of the decision-making Central Military Commission.
A Hong Kong newspaper had said next-generation leader Xi Jinping would become the third vice-chairman of the military commission, but he was not on the ballot on Sunday.
If Xi, who was elected vice-president on Saturday, had been given the military portfolio, it would have cemented his role as heir apparent to President Hu, who doubles as Communist Party and military chief.