cornet (rank)
   HOME

TheInfoList



OR:

Cornet was originally the lowest grade of
commissioned officer An officer is a person who holds a position of authority as a member of an Military, armed force or Uniformed services, uniformed service. Broadly speaking, "officer" means a commissioned officer, a non-commissioned officer, or a warrant off ...
in a
British British may refer to: Peoples, culture, and language * British people British people or Britons, also known colloquially as Brits, are the citizens of the United Kingdom, United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, the Britis ...
cavalry Historically, cavalry (from the French word ''cavalerie'', itself derived from "cheval" meaning "horse") are soldiers or warriors who fight mounted on horseback. Cavalry were the most mobile of the combat arms, operating as light cavalr ...
troop A troop is a military sub-subunit, originally a small formation of cavalry, subordinate to a squadron. In many armies a troop is the equivalent element to the infantry Infantry is a military specialization which engages in ground ...
, the modern equivalent being a
second lieutenant Second lieutenant is a junior Officer (armed forces), commissioned officer military rank in many armed forces, comparable to NATO OF-1 rank. Australia The rank of second lieutenant existed in the Colonial forces of Australia, military forces of ...
. The rank was abolished by the 1871
Cardwell Reforms The Cardwell Reforms were a series of reforms of the British Army undertaken by Secretary of State for War Edward Cardwell, 1st Viscount Cardwell, Edward Cardwell between 1868 and 1874 with the support of Liberal prime minister William Ewart Gla ...
, which replaced it with
sub-lieutenant Sub-lieutenant is usually a junior officer rank, used in armies, navies and air forces. In most armies, sub-lieutenant is the lowest officer rank. However, in Brazil, it is the highest non-commissioned rank, and in Spain, it is the second high ...
. Although obsolete, the term is still used when referring to a newly commissioned officer (the equivalent of a second lieutenant) within the
British Army The British Army is the principal land warfare force of the United Kingdom The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, commonly known as the United Kingdom (UK) or Britain, is a country in Europe, off the north-western ...
regiment of the
Blues and Royals The Blues and Royals (Royal Horse Guards and 1st Dragoons) (RHG/D) is a cavalry regiment of the British Army The British Army is the principal land warfare force of the United Kingdom The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Nort ...
. The cornet rank was also used by other nations such as the
Imperial Russian Army The Imperial Russian Army (russian: Ру́сская импера́торская а́рмия, Romanization of Russian, tr. ) was the armed land force of the Russian Empire, active from around 1721 to the Russian Revolution of 1917. In the earl ...
and the Prussians.


Etymology

A ''cornet'' or "cornet of horse" was in the 17th and 18th century a term for a group of cavalry (typically 100–300 men), so-called because it was accompanied by a
cornet The cornet (, ) is a brass instrument similar to the trumpet but distinguished from it by its conical Bore (wind instruments), bore, more compact shape, and mellower tone quality. The most common cornet is a transposing instrument in B, thou ...
player (a trumpet-like instrument, from Latin ''cornū'', "horn"). Later "cornet" came to refer to the fifth commissioned officer in a cavalry troop, who carried the colours; it never referred to the cornet player himself. An alternative etymology claims that the term is derived from a ''cornette'', a woman's headdress, with a strip of
lace Lace is a delicate fabric made of yarn or thread (yarn), thread in an open weblike pattern, made by machine or by hand. Generally, lace is divided into two main categories, needlelace and bobbin lace, although there are other types of lace, suc ...
hanging down from a headdress against the cheeks; later it referred to the pennon of a cavalry troop.


History

The rank was in use by the time of the
English Civil War The English Civil War (1642–1651) was a series of civil wars and political machinations between Parliamentarians ("Roundheads") and Royalists led by Charles I ("Cavaliers"), mainly over the manner of Kingdom of England, England's governanc ...
. Among famous cornets in that conflict were
George Joyce Cornet (rank), Cornet George Joyce (born 1618) was a low-ranking officer in the Parliamentary New Model Army during the English Civil War. Between 2 and 5 June 1647, while the New Model Army was assembling for rendezvous at the behest of the re ...
, Robert Stetson, and Ninian Beall. It was abolished along with the
purchase of commissions The purchase of officer commissions in the British Army was the practice of paying money to the Army to be made an officer of a cavalry or infantry regiment of the English and later British Army The British Army is the principal land warfa ...
in the Army Reform Act of 1871, replaced by
second lieutenant Second lieutenant is a junior Officer (armed forces), commissioned officer military rank in many armed forces, comparable to NATO OF-1 rank. Australia The rank of second lieutenant existed in the Colonial forces of Australia, military forces of ...
. The ranks of
ensign An ensign is the national flag flown on a vessel to indicate nationality. The ensign is the largest flag, generally flown at the stern (rear) of the ship while in port. The naval ensign (also known as war ensign), used on warships, may be differ ...
and cornet were abolished in the
US Army The United States Army (USA) is the land warfare, land military branch, service branch of the United States Armed Forces. It is one of the eight Uniformed services of the United States, U.S. uniformed services, and is designated as the Army o ...
in 1815. The rank also existed in other nations' cavalry troops, such as those of
Denmark ) , song = ( en, "King Christian stood by the lofty mast") , song_type = National and royal anthem , image_map = EU-Denmark.svg , map_caption = , subdivision_type = Sovereign state , subdivision_name = Danish Realm, Kingdom of Denmark ...
(''kornet''),
Sweden Sweden, formally the Kingdom of Sweden,The United Nations Group of Experts on Geographical Names states that the country's formal name is the Kingdom of SwedenUNGEGN World Geographical Names, Sweden./ref> is a Nordic countries, Nordic c ...
(''kornett'') and
Imperial Russia The Russian Empire was an empire and the final period of the List of Russian monarchs, Russian monarchy from 1721 to 1917, ruling across large parts of Eurasia. It succeeded the Tsardom of Russia following the Treaty of Nystad, which ended th ...
(корнет), and by the
Continental Army The Continental Army was the army of the United Colonies (the Thirteen Colonies) in the American Revolution, Revolutionary-era United States. It was formed by the Second Continental Congress after the outbreak of the American Revolutionary Wa ...
in the
American War of Independence The American Revolutionary War (April 19, 1775 – September 3, 1783), also known as the Revolutionary War or American War of Independence, was a major war of the American Revolution. Widely considered as the war that secured the independence of t ...
. General Alexander Macomb was initially commissioned a cornet in a career in which he eventually became
Commanding General of the United States Army The Commanding General of the United States Army was the title given to the service chief and highest-ranking officer of the United States Army (and its predecessor the Continental Army), prior to the establishment of the Chief of Staff of t ...
. It is still used in the artillery and cavalry divisions of the
Netherlands ) , anthem = ( en, "William of Nassau") , image_map = , map_caption = , subdivision_type = Sovereign state , subdivision_name = Kingdom of the Netherlands , established_title = Before independence , established_date = Spanish Neth ...
(''kornet''). The rank of field cornet (''veldkornet'') was used for the senior officer of a ward or sub-district in the independent republican states of the Transvaal and Oranje-Vrystaat in late 19th century
South Africa South Africa, officially the Republic of South Africa (RSA), is the Southern Africa, southernmost country in Africa. It is bounded to the south by of coastline that stretch along the Atlantic Ocean, South Atlantic and Indian Oceans; to the ...
. They were elected by the
commandos Royal Marines from 40 Commando on patrol in the Sangin">40_Commando.html" ;"title="Royal Marines from 40 Commando">Royal Marines from 40 Commando on patrol in the Sangin area of Afghanistan are pictured A commando is a combatant, or operativ ...
of their ward for periods of three years. In the case of large wards, an assistant field cornet could also be chosen. The rank was reminiscent of the Dutch use in cavalry troops that the commandos most closely resembled. In
apartheid-era South Africa Apartheid (, especially South African English South African English (SAfrE, SAfrEng, SAE, en-ZA) is the List of dialects of the English language, set of English language dialects native to South Africans. History British E ...
, the rank of field cornet was used in the
South African Army The South African Army is the principal Army, land warfare force of South Africa, a part of the South African National Defence Force (SANDF), along with the South African Air Force, South African Navy and South African Military Health Servi ...
from 1960 to 1968.


Traditional duties

The subaltern rank of ''cornet'' was the equivalent of the contemporary
infantry Infantry is a military specialization which engages in ground combat on foot. Infantry generally consists of light infantry, mountain infantry, motorized infantry & mechanized infantry, airborne infantry, air assault infantry, and marine i ...
rank of
ensign An ensign is the national flag flown on a vessel to indicate nationality. The ensign is the largest flag, generally flown at the stern (rear) of the ship while in port. The naval ensign (also known as war ensign), used on warships, may be differ ...
; today both have been supplanted by the rank of
second lieutenant Second lieutenant is a junior Officer (armed forces), commissioned officer military rank in many armed forces, comparable to NATO OF-1 rank. Australia The rank of second lieutenant existed in the Colonial forces of Australia, military forces of ...
. The cornet carried the troop
standard Standard may refer to: Symbols * Colours, standards and guidons, kinds of military signs * Heraldic flag, Standard (emblem), a type of a large symbol or emblem used for identification Norms, conventions or requirements * Standard (metrology) ...
, known as a " guidon".


See also

* Fänrik * Fähnrich


References

{{reflist Military ranks of the British Army Household Cavalry