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Encyclopedia > Ensign (rank)
Common Military Ranks
Naval Forces Land/Air Forces Commonwealth Air Forces
Admiral General Marshal
Commodore Brigadier Air Commodore
Captain Colonel Group Captain
Commander1 Major2 Wing Commander1
Lieutenant3 Captain3 Squadron Leader2
Ensign5 Lieutenant4 Pilot Officer5
Warrant Officer Warrant Officer Warrant Officer
Petty Officer Sergeant Sergeant
Leading Rate Corporal Corporal
Seaman Private Aircraftman
This table shows the hierarchy of widely recognized military rank titles. Not all variants ranks in between are included. If "broadly" equivalent ranks do not appear alongside each other, they are indicated by matching numerical notation (1 being the highest).

Ensign is a junior rank of commissioned officer in the militaries of some countries, normally in the infantry or navy. As the junior officer in an infantry regiment was traditionally the carrier of the ensign flag, the rank itself acquired the name. When navies began, the junior naval officer took the same name. The Commonwealth of Nations (CN), usually known as the Commonwealth, is a voluntary association of 53 independent sovereign states, the majority of which are former colonies of the United Kingdom. ... Admiral is the rank, or part of the name of the ranks, of the highest naval officers. ... A General is an officer of high military rank. ... Marshal (also sometimes spelled marshall in American English, but not in British English) is a word used in several official titles of various branches of society. ... Commodore is a military rank used in some navies for officers whose position exceeds that of a Captain, but is less than that of a Flag Officer. ... Brigadier is a rank which is used in different ways by different countries. ... An Air Commodoress sleeve/shoulder insignia Air Commodore is the fourth most senior rank active in the Royal Air Force today, after the deactivation of Marshal of the Royal Air Force as a substantive rank in peacetime during defence cuts of the 1990s. ... This article concerns the rank and title of Captain. ... Colonel (IPA: or ) is a military rank of a commissioned officer, with the corresponding ranks existing in nearly every country in the world. ... A Group Captains sleeve/shoulder insignia A Group Captains command flag Group Captain is a senior commissioned rank in the Royal Air Force and the air forces of many other Commonwealth countries. ... Insignia of a United States Navy Commander Commander is a military rank used in many navies but not generally in armies or air forces. ... Major is a military rank the use of which varies according to country. ... Wing Commander (rank) is a rank in the Royal Air Force, equivalent to a Lieutenant Colonel in most Armies, the Royal Marines and the United States Marine Corps. ... Lieutenant is a military, naval, paramilitary, fire service or police officer rank. ... Please see Captain for other uses of the term Captain is a military rank used in nearly every army and navy of the world. ... A Squadron Leaders sleeve/shoulder insignia Squadron Leader is a commissioned rank in some air forces. ... Lieutenant is a military, naval, paramilitary, fire service or police officer rank. ... A Pilot Officers sleeve/shoulder insignia Pilot Officer (Plt Off in the RAF; PLTOFF in the RAAF and RNZAF, P/O in the former RCAF) is the lowest substantive commissioned rank in the Royal Air Force and the air forces of many other Commonwealth countries, ranking only above Acting... Two Bermuda Regiment Warrant Officers. ... Two Bermuda Regiment Warrant Officers. ... Two Bermuda Regiment Warrant Officers. ... A Petty Officer is a noncommissioned officer or equivalent in many navies. ... Sergeant is a rank used in some form by most militaries, police forces, and other uniformed organisations around the world. ... Sergeant is a rank used in some form by most militaries, police forces, and other uniformed organisations around the world. ... Leading Rating (or Leading Rate) is the most senior of the junior rates in the British Royal Navy. ... Corporal is a rank in use in some form by most militaries, police forces or other uniformed organizations around the world. ... Corporal is a rank in use in some form by most militaries, police forces or other uniformed organizations around the world. ... For other uses, see Seaman (disambiguation). ... A Private is a soldier of the lowest military rank (equivalent to Nato Rank Grades OR-1 to OR-3 depending on the force served in). ... Aircraftman (AC) (or Aircraftwoman (ACW)) is the lowest rank in the Royal Air Force, ranking below Leading Aircraftman and having a NATO rank code of OR-1. ... In military organizations, a commissioned officer is a member of the service who derives authority directly from a sovereign power, and as such holds a commission from that power. ... Ensign of the Imperial Japanese Navy. ...

Contents

Argentina

In Argentina, the rank of ensign is used by both the air force and the gendarmerie. It is, however, used differently in the two services. The air force uses the rank to designate officer cadets, while the gendarmerie uses "ensign" ranks as an equivalent for the army's "lieutenant" ranks. The other armed forces of Argentina do not use the rank of ensign. The Argentine Air Force (Fuerza Aérea Argentina, FAA) is the national air force of Argentina. ... The Argentine National Gendarmerie (Spanish: Gendarmería Nacional Argentina, also abbreviated to GNA) is the gendarmerie of Argentina. ... The armed forces of Argentina are controlled by the Commander-in-Chief (the President) and a civilian Minister of Defense. ...

Argentine Air Force Rank Argentine Gendarmerie Rank Equivalent Commonwealth Ranks for comparison
------------- ------------- -------------
Ensign Sub-Ensign Officer Cadet
Lieutenant Ensign Pilot Officer / 2nd Lieutenant
First Lieutenant First Ensign Flying Officer / Lieutenant

Officer Cadet is a rank held by military cadets during their training to become commissioned officers. ... A Pilot Officers sleeve/shoulder insignia Pilot Officer (Plt Off in the RAF; PLTOFF in the RAAF and RNZAF, P/O in the former RCAF) is the lowest substantive commissioned rank in the Royal Air Force and the air forces of many other Commonwealth countries, ranking only above Acting... Second Lieutenant is the lowest commissioned rank in many armed forces. ... A Flying Officers sleeve/shoulder insignia Flying Officer (Fg Off in the RAF; FLGOFF in the RAAF; FGOFF in the RNZAF; F/O in the former RCAF) is a junior commissioned rank in the Royal Air Force and the air forces of many other Commonwealth countries. ... Lieutenant is a military, naval, paramilitary, fire service or police officer rank. ...

France

In France, like in other countries, the ensign (enseigne) was the banner of a regiment, particularly of the infantry regiments of the ancien regime. Also like in other countries, the name began to be used for the officers who carried the ensign. Ancien R gime means Old Regime or Old Order in French; in English, the term refers primarily to the social and political system established in France under the Valois and Bourbon dynasties, and secondarily to any regime which shares the formers defining features: a feudal system under the control...


The term is no longer used in the army, being replaced entirely by the rank of sub-lieutenant (sous-lieutenant). However, the rank is used in the navy: Enseigne de vaisseau (literally "ensign of ship-of-the-line") is the name of the two lowest officer ranks (which are distinguished as from one another as "first class", equal to an army lieutenant, and "second class", equal to an army sub-lieutenant.) The term enseigne de marine ("naval ensign") is also sometimes used, but is not the official title. The first-rate HMS Victory in 1884 In the age of sail, after the development of the line of battle tactic in the mid 17th century, and up to the mid 19th century, a ship of the line (of battle) was a warship powerful enough to take a place in...

French Ship-of-the-line Ensigns
Image:grade-enseigne-1classe.jpg Image:Grade-enseigne-2classe.jpg
Ship-of-the-line Ensign, First Class Ship-of the-line Ensign, Second Class
Enseigne de vaisseau de première classe Enseigne de vaisseau de deuxième classe

Image File history File links Insignes denseigne de vaisseau 1e classe Work by Rama File links The following pages link to this file: Ranks in the French Navy ... Image File history File links Insignes denseigne de 2e classe Work by Rama File links The following pages link to this file: Ranks in the French Navy ...

New Zealand

The Royal New Zealand Navy, unlike the Royal Navy—whose uniforms, insignia, and traditions it copies—created the Ensign grade to equal the lowest commissioned RNZAF grade of Pilot Officer and the New Zealand Army grade of Second Lieutenant. It ranks above the grade of Midshipman. Like the grade of Pilot Officer, it uses a single thin strip of braid. The fact that the Royal Navy has no real equivalent to the lowest commissioned Royal Air Force and British Army grades was the driving factor behind the RNZN's decision to create the Ensign grade, as well as the fact that at the time New Zealand was actively involved with the United States Armed Forces, it also made sense to balance the rank system out with that used by the United States Navy. Image File history File links Ensign Rank Insignia (Royal New Zealand Navy) File history Legend: (cur) = this is the current file, (del) = delete this old version, (rev) = revert to this old version. ... HMNZS Te Mana The Royal New Zealand Navy (RNZN) is the navy of New Zealand. ... The Royal Navy of the United Kingdom is the oldest of the British armed services (and is therefore the Senior Service). ... The Royal New Zealand Air Force (RNZAF) is the air force arm of the New Zealand Defence Force. ... A Pilot Officers sleeve/shoulder insignia Pilot Officer (Plt Off in the RAF; PLTOFF in the RAAF and RNZAF, P/O in the former RCAF) is the lowest substantive commissioned rank in the Royal Air Force and the air forces of many other Commonwealth countries, ranking only above Acting... Second Lieutenant is the lowest commissioned rank in many armed forces. ... A midshipman is a subordinate officer, or alternatively a commissioned officer of the lowest rank, in the navies of several English-speaking countries. ... The Royal Air Force (RAF) is the air force branch of the British Armed Forces. ... The British Army is the land armed forces branch of the British Armed Forces. ... USN redirects here. ...


United Kingdom

Until 1871, when it was replaced by Second Lieutenant, Ensign was the lowest rank of commissioned officer in infantry regiments of the British Army (except fusilier regiments, which always used Second Lieutenant). It was the duty of officers of this rank to carry the colours of the regiment. In the 16th century "ensign" was corrupted into "ancient," and was used in the two senses of a banner and the bearer of the banner. Today, the term "Ensign" is still used by the Foot Guards regiments, for instance during the ceremony of Trooping the Colour. The equivalent cavalry rank was Cornet, also being derived from the name of a banner. Second Lieutenant is the lowest commissioned rank in many armed forces. ... In military organizations, a commissioned officer is a member of the service who derives authority directly from a sovereign power, and as such holds a commission from that power. ... Infantry of the Royal Irish Rifles during the Battle of the Somme in World War I. Infantry are soldiers who fight primarily on foot with small arms in organized military units, though they may be transported to the battlefield by horses, ships, automobiles, skis, or other means. ... Fusilier was originally the name of a soldier armed with a light flintlock musket called the fusil. ... Foot guards is a term used to describe elite infantry regiments. ... Elizabeth II riding to Trooping the Colour for the last time in 1986 Trooping the Colour is a military pageant or ceremony performed by regiments of the Commonwealth and the British Army. ... Cornet was the third and lowest grade of commissioned officer in a British cavalry troop, after the Captain and Lieutenant. ...


United States

Insignia of a United States Navy Ensign
Insignia of a United States Navy Ensign

In the United States Navy, the rank of "Ensign" superseded in 1862 that of "Passed Midshipman". It designates an officer in the United States Navy or the United States Coast Guard ranking with a Second Lieutenant in the army. A typical Ensign is at specialty training for up to two years after receipt of the commission, depending on specialty, and after that is a division officer, leading a group of petty officers and enlisted personnel in a division. Even this billet, however, is for training purposes, as the division officer's duties and responsibilities are specifically designed to familiarize the "Div-O" with the appropriate naval systems, programs, and polices, under the guidance of their divisions' Chief Petty Officers. U.S. Navy and Coast Guard Ensigns wear a collar insignia of a single gold bar, hence their nickname of "butterbars" (shared with Army, Air Force and Marine 2nd Lieutenants). Image File history File links File history Legend: (cur) = this is the current file, (del) = delete this old version, (rev) = revert to this old version. ... USN redirects here. ... 1862 was a common year starting on Wednesday (see link for calendar). ... A midshipman is a subordinate officer, or alternatively a commissioned officer of the lowest rank, in the navies of several English-speaking countries. ... USN redirects here. ... The United States Coast Guard (USCG) is a branch of the United States armed forces involved in maritime law enforcement, mariner assistance, search and rescue, and national defense, among other duties of coast guards elsewhere. ... A Petty Officer is a noncommissioned officer or equivalent in many navies. ... Chief Petty Officer is a noncommissioned officer or equivalent in many navies. ... Second Lieutenant is the lowest commissioned rank in many armed forces. ...


Until achieving the rank of Commander, it is customary for civilians to address junior naval officers as "Mister." For example, Ensign Rogers might also be addressed as "Mister Rogers." All commissioned officers rate "Sir" from enlisted personnel. Subordinate commisioned officers should address superior officers as "Sir." This is a component of basic military bearing.


The most senior U.S. Navy ensign on board ship or in a naval aviation squadron, receives an enlarged collar insignia, often engraved with the word "BULL", and is known as the "Bull Ensign". By tradition, this officer is responsible for guiding and mentoring the other ensigns of a ship or squadron's wardroom. In the Civil Engineer Corps (the comissioned-officer leadership of the Seabees), the Bull Ensign must donne a bull-horned hardhat to social functions.


The Bull Ensign is the direct social superior to the J.O.R.G. Ensign, or "George" (Junior Officer Requiring Guidance) who is the most junior officer in a naval command. The Bull is directly responsible for the actions of the JORG. The JORG normally serves as the Vice-President of the mess at formal military dinners, or "mess nights", and has key responsiblities for the success of this important military social event. The JORG is typically the collector and manager of the Wardroom Fund, a bank account funding miscellaneous incidentals to social functions as well as parting gifts or plaques for separating officers. Some of the various incidental duties of the JORG may also include maintaining the senior officer of the wardroom's Government-Owned Vehicle (GOV), setting up projectors and screens for General Military Training (GMT) and various other tasks. In the Seabees, the JORG is called the "Boot" and must carry a concrete- and rebar-filled Boot. This boot must be inspection-ready at all times. Other members of the Wardroom often seek to steal the boot and hold it ransom.


While officer rank is determined based on date of rank and line number precedence, not all ensigns typically receive the same prejudice as demonstrated by the JORG and Bull traditions. Limited Duty Officer or other prior enlisted, are often viewed as being a bit more knowledgeable and experienced as freshly commissioned officers. As such these members often referred to as "Mustangs," who are typically given tougher assignments commensurate with those appropriate for an Ensign. They are also designated as an O-1E versus an O-1 in regard to pay and benefits. True "Mustangs" never experience a break in service. The O-1E pay grade is available to prior enlisted servicemembers with greater than four years of enlisted service. Therefore, the O-1E pay grade does not necessarily indicate one is a Mustang. Prior enlisted service members earning a commission retain separate pay benefits from regular commissioned officers until promotion to O-4. A Limited Duty Officer (LDO) is an officer in the U.S. Navy or U.S. Marine Corps who was selected for commissioning based on his skill and expertise, and is not required to have a Bachelors Degree. ...


See also

U.S. commissioned officer ranks
  Student Officer O-1 O-2 O-3 O-4 O-5 O-6 O-7 O-8 O-9 O-10 O-11 (wartime only) Special Grade
United States Navy: MIDN/OC ENS LTJG LT LCDR CDR CAPT RDML RADM VADM ADM FADM Admiral of
the Navy
United States Marine Corps: Midn 2ndLt 1stLt Capt Maj LtCol Col BGen MajGen LtGen Gen (no equivalent) (no equivalent)
United States Army: CDT/OC 2LT 1LT CPT MAJ LTC COL BG MG LTG GEN General of
the Army
General of the Armies
United States Air Force: Cadet 2nd Lt 1st Lt Capt Maj Lt Col Col Brig Gen Maj Gen Lt Gen Gen General of
the Air Force
(no equivalent)
United States Coast Guard: CDT ENS LTJG LT LCDR CDR CAPT RDML RADM VADM ADM (no equivalent) (no equivalent)

  Results from FactBites:
 
Ensign - Memory Alpha, the Star Trek Wiki (883 words)
Ensign is a military rank, the equivalent of which is used by the service organizations of many civilizations.
The rank of ensign is usually the first commissioned rank assigned to new officers (such as recent graduates of Starfleet Academy).
Ensigns are mentored by more senior officers as well as their (nominally) subordinate chief petty officers as part of their development as Starfleet leaders.
  More results at FactBites »

 
 

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