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A senior officer is an officer of a more senior grade in military or other uniformed services. In military organisations, the term may refer to any officer above
junior officer Junior officer, company officer or company grade officer refers to the lowest operational Officer (armed forces), commissioned officer category of ranks in a military or paramilitary organization, ranking above non-commissioned officers and below ...
rank, but usually specifically refers to the middle-ranking group 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 ...
s above junior officer ranks but below
flag A flag is a piece of fabric (most often rectangular or quadrilateral) with a distinctive design and colours. It is used as a symbol A symbol is a mark, sign, or word that indicates, signifies, or is understood as representing an ide ...
,
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, and marines or naval infantry. In some usages the term "general officer" refers t ...
or air rank. In most countries, this includes the
rank Rank is the relative position, value, worth, complexity, power, importance, authority, level, etc. of a person or object within a ranking, such as: Level or position in a hierarchical organization * Academic rank * Diplomatic rank * Hierarchy * H ...
s of
lieutenant commander Lieutenant commander (also hyphenated lieutenant-commander and abbreviated Lt Cdr, LtCdr. or LCDR) is a Officer (armed forces), commissioned officer military rank, rank in many navy, navies. The rank is superior (hierarchy), superior to a l ...
/
major Major (Commandant (rank), commandant in certain jurisdictions) is a military rank of commissioned officer status, with corresponding ranks existing in many military forces throughout the world. When used unhyphenated and in conjunction with ...
/
squadron leader Squadron leader (Sqn Ldr in the RAF ; SQNLDR in the Royal Australian Air Force, RAAF and Royal New Zealand Air Force, RNZAF; formerly sometimes S/L in all services) is a Officer (armed forces), commissioned rank in the Royal Air Force and the ...
,
commander Commander (commonly abbreviated as Cmdr.) is a common naval officer rank. Commander is also used as a rank or title in other formal organizations, including several police forces. In several countries this naval rank is termed frigate captain. ...
/
lieutenant colonel Lieutenant colonel ( , ) is a rank of commissioned officers in the army, armies, most Marine (armed services), marine forces and some air forces of the world, above a major and below a colonel. Several police forces in the United States use t ...
/
wing commander Wing commander (Wg Cdr in the RAF, the Indian Air Force, IAF, and the Pakistan Air Force, PAF, WGCDR in the Royal New Zealand Air Force, RNZAF and Royal Australian Air Force, RAAF, formerly sometimes W/C in all services) is a senior Officer (ar ...
and naval captain/
colonel Colonel (abbreviated as Col., Col or COL) is a senior military officer rank used in many countries. It is also used in some police forces and paramilitary organizations. In the 17th, 18th and 19th centuries, a colonel was typically in charge o ...
/
group captain Group captain is a senior Officer (armed forces)#Commissioned officers, commissioned rank in the Royal Air Force, where it originated, as well as the air forces of many countries that have historical British influence. It is sometimes used as th ...
, or their equivalents. In some countries, it also includes
brigadier Brigadier 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 or commodore, typically commanding a brigade of several thousand soldiers. I ...
s and commodores. Sometimes, particularly in the army, this grade is referred to as field-grade officers, field officers or officers of field rank. Historically, a
regiment A regiment is a military unit. Its role and size varies markedly, depending on the country, military service, service and/or a administrative corps, specialisation. In Middle Ages, Medieval Europe, the term "regiment" denoted any large bod ...
or
battalion A battalion is a military unit, typically consisting of 300 to 1,200 soldiers commanded by a lieutenant colonel Lieutenant colonel ( , ) is a rank of commissioned officers in the army, armies, most Marine (armed services), marine fo ...
's field officers made up its command element.


Canada

In the
Canadian Armed Forces } The Canadian Armed Forces (CAF; french: Forces armées canadiennes, ''FAC'') are the unified Military, military forces of Canada, including sea, land, and air elements referred to as the Royal Canadian Navy, Canadian Army, and Royal Canadian Ai ...
, the term "senior officer" (french: officier supérieur) is used in all three services. It includes the army and air force ranks of
major Major (Commandant (rank), commandant in certain jurisdictions) is a military rank of commissioned officer status, with corresponding ranks existing in many military forces throughout the world. When used unhyphenated and in conjunction with ...
,
lieutenant-colonel Lieutenant colonel ( , ) is a rank of commissioned officers in the army, armies, most Marine (armed services), marine forces and some air forces of the world, above a major and below a colonel. Several police forces in the United States use t ...
, and
colonel Colonel (abbreviated as Col., Col or COL) is a senior military officer rank used in many countries. It is also used in some police forces and paramilitary organizations. In the 17th, 18th and 19th centuries, a colonel was typically in charge o ...
, and the naval ranks of
lieutenant-commander Lieutenant commander (also hyphenated lieutenant-commander and abbreviated Lt Cdr, LtCdr. or LCDR) is a commissioned officer An officer is a person who holds a position of authority as a member of an Military, armed force or Uniforme ...
,
commander Commander (commonly abbreviated as Cmdr.) is a common naval officer rank. Commander is also used as a rank or title in other formal organizations, including several police forces. In several countries this naval rank is termed frigate captain. ...
, and
captain Captain is a title, an appellative for the commanding officer of a military unit; the supreme leader of a navy ship, merchant ship, aeroplane, spacecraft, or other vessel; or the commander of a port, fire or police department, election precinct, e ...
.


France

In the
French Armed Forces The French Armed Forces (french: Forces armées françaises) encompass the French Army, Army, the French Navy, Navy, the French Air and Space Force, Air and Space Force and the National Gendarmerie, Gendarmerie of the French Republic. The Preside ...
, senior officers are called ''officiers supérieurs''. They include the army and air force ranks of ''
commandant Commandant ( or ) is a title often given to the officer in charge of a military (or other uniformed service) training establishment or academy. This usage is common in English-speaking nations. In some countries it may be a military or police ran ...
'', ''
lieutenant-colonel Lieutenant colonel ( , ) is a rank of commissioned officers in the army, armies, most Marine (armed services), marine forces and some air forces of the world, above a major and below a colonel. Several police forces in the United States use t ...
'' and ''
colonel Colonel (abbreviated as Col., Col or COL) is a senior military officer rank used in many countries. It is also used in some police forces and paramilitary organizations. In the 17th, 18th and 19th centuries, a colonel was typically in charge o ...
'', and the
naval A navy, naval force, or maritime force is the branch of a nation's armed forces principally designated for naval warfare, naval and amphibious warfare; namely, lake-borne, riverine, littoral zone, littoral, or ocean-borne combat operations and ...
ranks of''
capitaine de corvette Corvette captain is a rank in many navies which theoretically corresponds to command of a corvette (small warship). The equivalent rank in the United Kingdom, Commonwealth of Nations, Commonwealth, and United States is lieutenant commander. The ...
'', '' capitaine de frégate'' and '' capitaine de vaisseau''.


Germany

In the German
Bundeswehr The ''Bundeswehr'' (, meaning literally: ''Federal Defence'') is the armed forces of the Federal Republic of Germany. The ''Bundeswehr'' is divided into a military part (armed forces or ''Streitkräfte'') and a civil part, the military part con ...
, officers of the rank of
major Major (Commandant (rank), commandant in certain jurisdictions) is a military rank of commissioned officer status, with corresponding ranks existing in many military forces throughout the world. When used unhyphenated and in conjunction with ...
,
oberstleutnant () is a senior field officer rank in several German (language), German-speaking and Scandinavian countries, equivalent to Lieutenant colonel. It is currently used by both the Army, ground and air forces of Austria, Germany, Switzerland, Denmark, ...
and
oberst ''Oberst'' () is a senior field officer rank in several German (language), German-speaking and Scandinavian countries, equivalent to colonel. It is currently used by both the Army, ground and air forces of Austria, Germany, Switzerland, Denmark, ...
in the Heer (army) and
Luftwaffe The ''Luftwaffe'' () was the aerial warfare, aerial-warfare branch of the German ''Wehrmacht'' before and during World War II. German Empire, Germany's military air arms during World War I, the ''Luftstreitkräfte'' of the German Army (Ge ...
(air force), and Korvettenkapitän, fregattenkapitän and kapitän zur see in the Deutsche Marine (navy) are traditionally known as ''stabsoffiziere'' ( en, staff officers).


Russia

''Shtabofitser'' (Штаб-офицер), derived from the German ''stabsoffizier'', was the designation of the following officers of the
Russian Imperial 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 Navy until 1917.


United Kingdom and Commonwealth

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 ...
and
Royal Marines The Corps of Royal Marines (RM), also known as the Royal Marines Commandos, are the UK's special operations capable commando force, amphibious warfare, amphibious light infantry and also one of the :Fighting Arms of the Royal Navy, five fighti ...
use the terms "officers of field rank" or "field officers" to refer to the ranks of
major Major (Commandant (rank), commandant in certain jurisdictions) is a military rank of commissioned officer status, with corresponding ranks existing in many military forces throughout the world. When used unhyphenated and in conjunction with ...
,
lieutenant colonel Lieutenant colonel ( , ) is a rank of commissioned officers in the army, armies, most Marine (armed services), marine forces and some air forces of the world, above a major and below a colonel. Several police forces in the United States use t ...
,
colonel Colonel (abbreviated as Col., Col or COL) is a senior military officer rank used in many countries. It is also used in some police forces and paramilitary organizations. In the 17th, 18th and 19th centuries, a colonel was typically in charge o ...
and
brigadier Brigadier 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 or commodore, typically commanding a brigade of several thousand soldiers. I ...
. The term "senior officer" is used for the ranks of
lieutenant commander Lieutenant commander (also hyphenated lieutenant-commander and abbreviated Lt Cdr, LtCdr. or LCDR) is a Officer (armed forces), commissioned officer military rank, rank in many navy, navies. The rank is superior (hierarchy), superior to a l ...
,
commander Commander (commonly abbreviated as Cmdr.) is a common naval officer rank. Commander is also used as a rank or title in other formal organizations, including several police forces. In several countries this naval rank is termed frigate captain. ...
,
captain Captain is a title, an appellative for the commanding officer of a military unit; the supreme leader of a navy ship, merchant ship, aeroplane, spacecraft, or other vessel; or the commander of a port, fire or police department, election precinct, e ...
and commodore in the
Royal Navy The Royal Navy (RN) is the United Kingdom's naval warfare force. Although warships were used by Kingdom of England, English and Kingdom of Scotland, Scottish kings from the early medieval period, the first major maritime engagements were foug ...
, and
squadron leader Squadron leader (Sqn Ldr in the RAF ; SQNLDR in the Royal Australian Air Force, RAAF and Royal New Zealand Air Force, RNZAF; formerly sometimes S/L in all services) is a Officer (armed forces), commissioned rank in the Royal Air Force and the ...
,
wing commander Wing commander (Wg Cdr in the RAF, the Indian Air Force, IAF, and the Pakistan Air Force, PAF, WGCDR in the Royal New Zealand Air Force, RNZAF and Royal Australian Air Force, RAAF, formerly sometimes W/C in all services) is a senior Officer (ar ...
and
group captain Group captain is a senior Officer (armed forces)#Commissioned officers, commissioned rank in the Royal Air Force, where it originated, as well as the air forces of many countries that have historical British influence. It is sometimes used as th ...
in the
Royal Air Force The Royal Air Force (RAF) is the United Kingdom's Air force, air and space force. It was formed towards the end of the World War I, First World War on 1 April 1918, becoming the first independent air force in the world, by regrouping the Royal ...
. An RAF
air commodore Air commodore (abbreviated as Air Cdre in the Royal Air Force, RAF, and Pakistan Air Force, PAF; Air Cmde in the Indian Air Force, IAF, AIR CDRE in the RNZAF and RAAF) is a one-star rank and is an air officer (Flag Rank, Deputy Director Gener ...
, however, is considered to be an air officer. A number of other armed forces in the
Commonwealth A commonwealth is a traditional English term for a political community founded for the common good In philosophy, economics, and political science, the common good (also commonwealth, general welfare, or public benefit) is either what is share ...
, including Australia and New Zealand, also follow this pattern.


United States

The officer group in
United States Armed Forces The United States Armed Forces are the Military, military forces of the United States. The armed forces consists of six Military branch, service branches: the United States Army, Army, United States Marine Corps, Marine Corps, United States N ...
, has two different names depending on the branch. In the
Army An army (from Old French ''armee'', itself derived from the Latin verb ''armāre'', meaning "to arm", and related to the Latin noun ''arma'', meaning "arms" or "weapons"), ground force or land force is a fighting force that fights primarily on ...
,
Marine Corps Marines, or naval infantry, are typically a military force trained to operate in littoral zones in support of naval operations. Historically, tasks undertaken by marines have included helping maintain discipline and order aboard the ship (refle ...
,
Air Force An air force – in the broadest sense – is the national military branch that primarily conducts aerial warfare. More specifically, it is the branch of a nation's armed services that is responsible for aerial warfare as distinct from an ar ...
, and
Space Force A space force is a military branch of a nation's armed forces that conducts military operations in outer space and space warfare. The world's first space force was the Russian Space Forces, established in 1992 as an independent military service. ...
the rank group is called field grade and consists of
major Major (Commandant (rank), commandant in certain jurisdictions) is a military rank of commissioned officer status, with corresponding ranks existing in many military forces throughout the world. When used unhyphenated and in conjunction with ...
,
lieutenant colonel Lieutenant colonel ( , ) is a rank of commissioned officers in the army, armies, most Marine (armed services), marine forces and some air forces of the world, above a major and below a colonel. Several police forces in the United States use t ...
, and
colonel Colonel (abbreviated as Col., Col or COL) is a senior military officer rank used in many countries. It is also used in some police forces and paramilitary organizations. In the 17th, 18th and 19th centuries, a colonel was typically in charge o ...
. In the
navy A navy, naval force, or maritime force is the branch of a nation's armed forces principally designated for naval warfare, naval and amphibious warfare; namely, lake-borne, riverine, littoral zone, littoral, or ocean-borne combat operations and ...
, and
coast guard A coast guard or coastguard is a maritime security organization of a particular country. The term embraces wide range of responsibilities in different countries, from being a heavily armed military force with customs and security duties t ...
, the rank group is called mid-grade and consists of
lieutenant commander Lieutenant commander (also hyphenated lieutenant-commander and abbreviated Lt Cdr, LtCdr. or LCDR) is a Officer (armed forces), commissioned officer military rank, rank in many navy, navies. The rank is superior (hierarchy), superior to a l ...
,
commander Commander (commonly abbreviated as Cmdr.) is a common naval officer rank. Commander is also used as a rank or title in other formal organizations, including several police forces. In several countries this naval rank is termed frigate captain. ...
, and
captain Captain is a title, an appellative for the commanding officer of a military unit; the supreme leader of a navy ship, merchant ship, aeroplane, spacecraft, or other vessel; or the commander of a port, fire or police department, election precinct, e ...
.


References

{{Authority control Military ranks Military terminology