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Lieutenant general (Lt Gen), formerly more commonly lieutenant-general, is a senior rank in the
British Army The British Army is the principal Army, land warfare force of the United Kingdom, a part of the British Armed Forces. , the British Army comprises 80,040 regular full-time personnel and 30,020 Army Reserve (United Kingdom), reserve personnel ...
and the
Royal Marines The Corps of Royal Marines (RM) is an amphibious Amphibious means able to use either land or water. In particular it may refer to: * ''Amphibious'' (film), a 2010 film * Amphibious aircraft An amphibious aircraft or amphibian is an airc ...
. It is the equivalent of a multinational
three-star rank An officer of three-star rank is a senior commander in many of the armed services holding a rank described by the NATO The North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO, ; french: Organisation du traité de l'Atlantique nord, ), also called the ...
; some British lieutenant generals sometimes wear three-star insignia, in addition to their standard insignia, when on multinational operations. Lieutenant general is a superior rank to
major general Major general (abbreviated MG, maj. gen. and similar) is a military rank used in many countries. It is derived from the older rank of sergeant major general. The disappearance of the "sergeant" in the title explains the apparent confusion of a lie ...
, but subordinate to a (full) general. The rank has a
NATO The North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO, ; french: Organisation du traité de l'Atlantique nord, ), also called the North Atlantic Alliance, is an intergovernmental organization, intergovernmental military alliance between 27 European ...
rank code of
OF-8 An officer of three-star rank is a senior commander in many of the armed services holding a rank described by the NATO The North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO, ; french: Organisation du traité de l'Atlantique nord, ), also called the ...

OF-8
, equivalent to a
vice-admiral Vice admiral is a senior naval flag officer A flag officer is a Officer (armed forces), commissioned officer in a nation's armed forces senior enough to be entitled to fly a flag to mark the position from which the officer exercises command. T ...
in the
Royal Navy The Royal Navy (RN) is the United Kingdom's naval warfare Naval warfare is combat Combat ( French for ''fight'') is a purposeful violent conflict meant to physically harm or kill the opposition. Combat may be armed (using weapon A ...
and an air marshal in the
Royal Air Force The Royal Air Force (RAF) is the United Kingdom The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, commonly known as the United Kingdom (UK) or Britain,Usage is mixed. The Guardian' and Telegraph' use Britain as a synonym for th ...
(RAF) and the air forces of many
Commonwealth A commonwealth is a traditional English term for a political community founded for the common good In philosophy Philosophy (from , ) is the study of general and fundamental questions, such as those about reason, Metaphysics, existenc ...

Commonwealth
countries. The rank insignia for both the Army and the Royal Marines is a crown over a crossed sabre and baton. Since the coronation of
Queen Elizabeth II Elizabeth II (Elizabeth Alexandra Mary; born 21 April 1926) is Queen of the United Kingdom The monarchy of the United Kingdom, commonly referred to as the British monarchy, is the constitutional monarchy A constitutional mon ...
, the
St Edward's Crown St Edward's Crown is the centrepiece of the Crown Jewels of the United Kingdom The Crown Jewels of the United Kingdom, originally the Crown Jewels of England, are a collection of royal ceremonial objects kept in the Tower of London The ...

St Edward's Crown
, commonly known as the Queen's Crown, has been depicted. Before 1953, the
Tudor Crown The Tudor Crown, also known as Henry VIII's Crown, was the imperial crown, imperial and state crown used by the monarchs of England and Great Britain from around the time of Henry VIII up to the English Civil War in 1649. It was described by the ...
, commonly known as the King's Crown, was used.


British Army usage

Ordinarily, lieutenant general is the rank held by the officer in command of an entire battlefield
corps Corps (; plural ''corps'' ; from French , from the Latin "body") is a term used for several different kinds of organization. A military innovation by Napoleon, the formation was first named as such in 1805. The size of a corps varies greatly ...

corps
. The General Officer Commanding NATO's
Allied Rapid Reaction Corps The Allied Rapid Reaction Corps (ARRC) is a North Atlantic Treaty Organization The North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO, ; french: Organisation du traité de l'Atlantique nord, ), also called the North Atlantic Alliance, is an inter ...
is a British lieutenant general. Historically, I Corps and II Corps were commanded by British lieutenant generals. Additionally, three lieutenant general appointments also exist within the extant
British Army The British Army is the principal Army, land warfare force of the United Kingdom, a part of the British Armed Forces. , the British Army comprises 80,040 regular full-time personnel and 30,020 Army Reserve (United Kingdom), reserve personnel ...
's Headquarters. They are the
Commander Field Army Commander Field Army (CFA) is a senior British Army officer who has responsibility for generating and preparing forces for current and contingency operations. He reports to the Chief of the General Staff (United Kingdom), Chief of the General Sta ...
, the Commander Home Command and the Chief of Materiel (Land) in
Defence Equipment and Support Defence Equipment and Support (DE&S) is a trading entity and joint-defence organisation within the UK Ministry of Defence. It began operating on 2 April 2007, following the merger of the MoD's Defence Procurement Agency and the Defence Logistics ...
(double-hatted as the
Quartermaster-General to the Forces The Quartermaster-General to the Forces (QMG) is a senior general in the British Army. The post has become symbolic: the Ministry of Defence organisation charts since 2011 have not used the term "Quartermaster-General to the Forces"; they simply re ...
).


Royal Marines usage

Although the senior appointment in the
Royal Marines The Corps of Royal Marines (RM) is an amphibious Amphibious means able to use either land or water. In particular it may refer to: * ''Amphibious'' (film), a 2010 film * Amphibious aircraft An amphibious aircraft or amphibian is an airc ...
, the Commandant General, has since 1996 held the lower rank of
major general Major general (abbreviated MG, maj. gen. and similar) is a military rank used in many countries. It is derived from the older rank of sergeant major general. The disappearance of the "sergeant" in the title explains the apparent confusion of a lie ...
, prior to this date the Commandant General was a lieutenant general or
full general A general officer is an Officer (armed forces), officer of highest military ranks, high rank in the army, armies, and in some nations' air forces, space forces, or marines. The term ''general'' is used in two ways: as the generic title for all ...
. However, given that a few more senior positions in the British Armed Forces are open to officers from different services, Royal Marines officers can and do reach the rank of lieutenant general, being posted to Joint Forces or
Ministry of DefenceMinistry of Defence or Ministry of Defense may refer to: * Ministry of defence, a type of government department responsible for matters of defence Current ministries * Ministry of Defense (Afghanistan) * Ministry of Defence (Albania) * Ministry ...
postings. Examples include Lieutenant-General Sir
Robert Fry Lieutenant General Lieutenant general or lieutenant-general (Lt Gen, LTG and similar) is a Three-star rank, three-star military rank (NATO code OF-9) used in many countries. The rank traces its origins to the Middle Ages, where the title of li ...
, Lieutenant-General Sir James Dutton and Lieutenant-General Sir David Capewell.


Royal Air Force usage

From 1 April 1918 to 31 July 1919, the
Royal Air Force The Royal Air Force (RAF) is the United Kingdom The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, commonly known as the United Kingdom (UK) or Britain,Usage is mixed. The Guardian' and Telegraph' use Britain as a synonym for th ...
maintained the rank of lieutenant general. It was superseded by the rank of air marshal on the following day. Although Sir David Henderson was an RAF lieutenant general, the then RAF Chief-of-Staff Sir
Hugh Trenchard
Hugh Trenchard
never held this rank. Additionally, the retired
Royal Navy The Royal Navy (RN) is the United Kingdom's naval warfare Naval warfare is combat Combat ( French for ''fight'') is a purposeful violent conflict meant to physically harm or kill the opposition. Combat may be armed (using weapon A ...
admiral John de Mestre Hutchison held an honorary RAF commission in the rank of lieutenant general. The RAF lieutenant general rank insignia was similar to the naval rank insignia for a
vice-admiral Vice admiral is a senior naval flag officer A flag officer is a Officer (armed forces), commissioned officer in a nation's armed forces senior enough to be entitled to fly a flag to mark the position from which the officer exercises command. T ...
, with a broad band of gold being worn on the cuff with two narrower bands above it. Unlike the naval insignia, the RAF lieutenant general insignia did not have an
executive curl The executive curl, or the "Elliot's Eye", is the name given to the ring above a naval officer's gold lace or braid insignia. It originated with the Royal Navy The Royal Navy (RN) is the United Kingdom's Navy, naval warfare force. Although war ...
.


See also

* British and U.S. military ranks compared *
British Army Other Ranks rank insignia The term used to refer to all ranks below British Army officer rank insignia, officers in the British Army and the Royal Marines is "Other ranks (UK), other ranks" (abbreviated "ORs"). It includes warrant officers, non-commissioned officers ("N ...
*
British Army officer rank insignia Listed in the table below are the insignia—emblems of authority—of the British Army. Badges for field officers were first introduced in 1810 and the insignia was moved to the epaulettes in 1880. On ceremonial or parade uniforms these ranks co ...


References

{{UK officer ranks Military ranks of the British Army Military ranks of the Royal Marines Former military ranks of the Royal Air Force