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Comparative Military Ranks
This article is a list of various states ' armed forces ranking designations. Comparisons are made between the different systems used by nations to categorize the hierarchy of an armed force compared to another. Several of these lists mention NATO
NATO
reference codes. These are the NATO
NATO
rank reference codes , used for easy comparison among NATO
NATO
countries. Links to comparison charts can be found below
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Commandant (rank)
COMMANDANT (/ˌkɒmənˈdɑːnt/ or /ˌkɒmənˈdænt/ ) is a military or police rank. In the French, Spanish, Irish and Monegasque armed forces it is a rank equivalent to major . In South Africa for most of the second half of the 20th century, commandant was a rank equivalent to lieutenant-colonel in other countries. CONTENTS * 1 Canada * 2 Ireland * 3 France * 4 Spain * 5 Latin America * 6 South Africa * 7 United Kingdom * 8 References * 9 See also CANADAIn the Canadian Forces , “commandant” is the French-language title for a major of any unit. However, in English, “commandant” is used exclusively to identify those commanding officers responsible for units that provide a service or oversight to some lodger population (such as a military school with trainees, a military college with students, a detention facility with prisoners, or a long-term care facility with patients)
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Major
MAJOR is a military rank of commissioned officer status, with corresponding ranks existing in many military forces throughout the world. CONTENTS * 1 Background * 2 Links to major ranks by country * 2.1 Insignia of air force majors * 2.2 Insignia of army majors * 2.3 Insignia of naval infantry majors * 3 Ranks equivalent to major by country * 4 See also * 5 References BACKGROUNDWhen used unhyphenated, in conjunction with no other indicators, major is one rank senior to that of an army captain , and one rank subordinate or below the rank of lieutenant colonel . It is considered the most junior of the field officer ranks. Majors are typically assigned as specialised executive or operations officers for battalion -sized units of 300 to 1,200 soldiers. In some militaries, notably France and Ireland, the rank of major is referred to as commandant , while in others it is known as captain-major
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Colonel
COLONEL (abbreviated COL., COL or COL and pronounced /ˈkɜːrnəl/ , similar to "kernel") is a senior military officer rank below the general officer ranks. However, in some small military forces, such as those of Iceland
Iceland
or the Vatican, colonel is the highest rank. It is also used in some police forces and paramilitary organizations. Historically, in the seventeenth, eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, a colonel was typically in charge of a regiment in an army . Modern usage varies greatly. The rank of colonel is typically above the rank of lieutenant colonel . The rank above colonel is typically called brigadier , brigade general or brigadier general . Equivalent naval ranks may be called captain or ship-of-the-line captain . In the Commonwealth air force rank system, the equivalent rank is group captain
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Captain (naval)
CAPTAIN is the name most often given in English-speaking navies to the rank corresponding to command of the largest ships. The rank is equal to the army rank of colonel . Equivalent ranks worldwide include "ship-of-the-line captain " (e.g. France, Argentina, Spain), "captain of sea and war " (e.g. Portugal), "captain at sea " (e.g. Germany, Netherlands) and "captain of the first rank" (Russia). The NATO rank code is OF-5, although the United States of America uses the code O-6 for the equivalent rank (as they do for all OF-5 ranks). CONTENTS * 1 Etiquette * 2 US Navy
Navy
traditions * 3 Commands * 4 Captains in national navies * 5 See also * 6 Notes * 7 References ETIQUETTE The Captain, a figurine by Royal Doulton
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Lieutenant (navy)
LIEUTENANT (abbreviated LT, LT, LT(N), LT(N), LIEUT and LEUT, depending on nation) is a commissioned officer rank in many nations' navies . It is typically the most senior of junior officer ranks. The rank's insignia usually consists of two medium gold braid stripes and often the uppermost stripe features an executive curl. The now immediately senior rank of lieutenant commander was formerly a senior naval lieutenant rank. Many navies also use a subordinate rank of sub-lieutenant . The appointment of "first lieutenant" in many navies is held by a senior lieutenant. A navy lieutenant ranks higher than an army lieutenant ; the navy rank of lieutenant is a NATO OF-2 (US grade O-3) and ranks with an army captain . CONTENTS * 1 History * 2 Rank insignia * 3 "First lieutenant" in naval usage * 4 See also * 5 Notes * 6 References HISTORYFrom at least 1580, the lieutenant on a ship had been the officer immediately subordinate to the captain
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Captain (armed Forces)
The army rank of CAPTAIN (from the French capitaine) is a commissioned officer rank historically corresponding to the command of a company of soldiers. The rank is also used by some air forces and marine forces . Today, a captain is typically either the commander or second-in-command of a company or artillery battery (or United States Army cavalry troop or Commonwealth squadron ). In the Chinese People\'s Liberation Army , a captain may also command a company , or be the second-in-command of a battalion . In NATO
NATO
countries, the rank of captain is described by the code OF-2 and is one rank above an OF-1 (lieutenant or first lieutenant ) and one below an OF-3 (major or commandant ). The rank of captain is generally considered to be the highest rank a soldier can achieve while remaining in the field
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Corporal
CORPORAL is a military rank in use in some form by many militaries and by some police forces or other uniformed organizations. Within NATO
NATO
, each member nation's corresponding military rank of corporal is combined under the NATO-standard rank scale code OR-4. However, there are often differences in how each nation (or service in each nation) employs corporals. Some militaries don't have corporals, but may instead have a Junior Sergeant. In some militaries, the rank of corporal nominally corresponds to commanding a section or squad of soldiers. However, in the United States Army , the rank of corporal is considered a "lateral promotion" from E-4 Specialist and usually only occurs when the soldier has been selected by a promotion board to become an E-5 Sergeant
Sergeant
and is serving in an E-5 billet such as a fireteam leader in a rifle squad
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Leading Seaman
LEADING SEAMAN is a junior non-commissioned rank or rate in navies , particularly those of the Commonwealth . When it is used by NATO nations, Leading Seaman
Seaman
has the rank code of OR-4. It is often equivalent to the army and air force rank of corporal and some navies use Corporal
Corporal
rather than Leading Seaman. The rank is used in the navies of Australia , Bangladesh , Canada , Finland , Ghana , India , Ireland , Namibia , New Zealand , Norway , Pakistan , South Africa , Sri Lanka and the United Kingdom . CONTENTS * 1 Australia * 2 Canada * 3 The Soviet Union and Russia * 4 United Kingdom * 5 United States * 6 See also AUSTRALIAThe badge in the Royal Australian Navy
Navy
is the fouled anchor over the word "Australia", worn on the shoulders, or the fouled anchor worn on the left sleeve, depending on what uniform is worn at the time
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Petty Officer
A PETTY OFFICER (PO) is a non-commissioned officer in many navies and is given the NATO
NATO
rank denotion OR-6 . In many nations, they are typically equal to a corporal or sergeant in comparison to other military branches. Often they may be superior to a seaman , generally the (or one of the) lowest ranks in a navy, and subordinate to a more senior non-commissioned officer, such as a chief petty officer . CONTENTS * 1 Origin * 2 Usage in Navies * 2.1 Canada * 2.2 India * 2.3 United Kingdom * 2.4 United States * 2.5 Non English-speaking countries * 3 See also * 4 References ORIGINThe modern petty officer dates back to the Age of Sail . Petty officers rank between naval officers (both commissioned and warrant ) and most enlisted sailors . These were men with some claim to officer rank, sufficient to distinguish them from ordinary ratings , without raising them so high as the sea officers
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Enlisted Rank
An ENLISTED RANK (also known as an ENLISTED GRADE or ENLISTED RATE) is, in some armed services, any rank below that of a commissioned officer . The term can be inclusive of non-commissioned officers or warrant officers , except in United States military usage where warrant officers/chief warrant officers are a separate officer category ranking above enlisted grades and below commissioned officer grades. In most cases, enlisted service personnel perform jobs specific to their own occupational specialty, as opposed to the more generalized command responsibilities of commissioned officers. The term "enlistment" refers solely to a military commitment (whether officer or enlisted) whereas the terms "taken of strength" and "struck off strength" refer to a servicemember being carried on a given unit's roll
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Brigadier
BRIGADIER /brɪɡəˈdɪər/ is a military rank , the seniority of which depends on the country. In some countries, it is a senior rank above colonel , equivalent to a brigadier general , typically commanding a brigade of several thousand men. In other countries, it is a non-commissioned rank (e.g. Spain
Spain
, Italy , France
France
, the Netherlands
Netherlands
and the Indonesian Police ranks)
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Lieutenant Commander
LIEUTENANT COMMANDER (also hyphenated LIEUTENANT-COMMANDER and abbreviated LT CDR, LTCDR. or LCDR ) is a commissioned officer rank in many navies . The rank is superior to a lieutenant and subordinate to a commander . The corresponding rank in most armies (armed services) and air forces is major , and in the Royal Air Force
Royal Air Force
and other Commonwealth air forces is squadron leader . The NATO
NATO
rank code is mostly OF-3. A lieutenant commander is a senior department officer or the executive officer (second-in-command ) on many warships and smaller shore installation, or the commanding officer of a smaller ship/installation. They are also senior department officers in naval aviation squadrons
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General Of The Army
GENERAL OF THE ARMY (GA) is a military rank used (primarily in the United States of America) to denote a senior military leader, usually a general in command of a nation's army . It may also be the title given to a general who commands an army in the field. The rank is typically considered the equivalent of marshal , field marshal , fleet admiral and other equivalent five-star ranks . The rank of " General
General
of the Army" should not be confused with the title "army general "; the rank of " General
General
of the Army" is usually the equivalent of a five-star rank , and theoretically corresponds to overall command of an entire national army, whereas the title of "army general" is usually held by the equivalent of a four-star general , and corresponds to the command of an individual army in the field
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Officer (armed Forces)
An OFFICER is a member of an armed force or uniformed service who holds a position of authority. In its broadest sense, the term "officer" includes non-commissioned officers and warrant officers . However, when used without further detail, the term "officer" almost always refers to commissioned officers, the more senior portion of a force who derive their authority from a commission from the head of state of a sovereign nation-state . CONTENTS * 1 Numbers * 2 Legal relevance * 3 Terminological details in the U.S. * 4 Commissioned officers * 4.1 United Kingdom * 4.2 United States * 4.2.1 Other U.S
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Field Marshal
FIELD MARSHAL (or FIELD-MARSHAL, abbreviated as FM) (UK : /fiːldˈmɑːʃəl/ ( listen ), US : /fildˈmɑːrʃəl/ ( listen )) is a very senior military rank, ordinarily senior to the general officer ranks. Usually it is the highest rank in an army, and when it is, few (if any) persons are appointed to it. It is considered as a five-star rank (OF-10) in modern-day armed forces in many countries. Promotion to the rank of field marshal in many countries historically required extraordinary military achievement by a general (a wartime victory). However, the rank has also been used as a divisional command rank and also as a brigade command rank
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