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Encyclopedia > General
Common Military Ranks
Naval Forces Land/Air Forces Commonwealth Air Forces
Admiral General Air Marshal
Commodore Brigadier Air Commodore
Captain Colonel Group Captain
Commander Lieutenant Colonel Wing Commander
Lieutenant Commander Major Squadron Leader
Lieutenant Captain Flight Lieutenant
Sub-Lieutenant Lieutenant Flying Officer
Warrant Officer Warrant Officer Warrant Officer
Petty Officer Sergeant Sergeant
Leading Rate Corporal Corporal
Seaman Private Aircraftman

A General is an officer of high military rank. The term is used by nearly every country in the world. General may be a rank on its own, or can be used as a generic term for all grades of general officer. rank. ... The Commonwealth of Nations (CN), usually known as The Commonwealth, is a voluntary association of 53 independent sovereign states all of which are former colonies of the United Kingdom, except for Mozambique and the United Kingdom itself. ... Admiral is the rank, or part of the name of the ranks, of the highest naval officers. ... An air marshals sleeve/shoulder insignia Air Marshal (Air Mshl or AM) is a rank in the Royal Air Force. ... 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. ... . Captain, is the name most often given in naval circles to the NATO rank code of OF-5. ... 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. ... Commander is a military rank which is also sometimes used as a military title depending on the individual customs of a given military service. ... In the U.S. Army, Air Force and Marine Corps, a lieutenant colonel is a commissioned officer superior to a major and inferior to a colonel. ... 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. ... In the Royal Navy, United States Navy and United States Coast Guard, a lieutenant commander (lieutenant-commander or Lt Cdr in the RN) is a commissioned officer superior to a lieutenant and inferior to a commander. ... Major is a military rank the use of which varies according to country. ... 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 Captain in armies, air forces and marine forces, is a rank an army or air force rank with a NATO rank code of OF-2. ... A Flight Lieutenants sleeve/shoulder insignia Flight Lieutenant (abbreviated as Flt Lt and pronounced as flight lef-tenant, see Lieutenant) is a junior commissioned rank in the Royal Air Force and the air forces of many Commonwealth countries. ... A Lieutenant, Junior Grade, is a division officer in the United States Navy. ... Lieutenant is a military, naval, paramilitary, fire service or police officer rank. ... 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. ... 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. ... This article is about a military rank. ... 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. ... rank. ...


The various grades of general officer are at the top of the rank structure, but in some countries the highest general officers are titled Field Marshal or Marshal. Note: This article is about the military usage of the word marshal. For other usages, see the end of this article. ... 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. ...


The rank of General came about as a "general" officer who commanded an army in general, i.e. the whole army. The rank of General began appearing around the time of the organization of professional armies in the 17th century. Early on, it was often added as an adjective to existing names of ranks, yielding Colonel General, Captain General, Lieutenant General and Sergeant Major General. Other terms then came about such as lieutenant-general, i.e. lieutenant (assistant leader) over the army in general. All officers who commanded more than a single regiment (the most significant level of unit) came to be known as a "general officer". General officer ranks often include the word "general", e.g. major-general, but not always, e.g. brigadier. (16th century - 17th century - 18th century - more centuries) As a means of recording the passage of time, the 17th century was that century which lasted from 1601-1700. ... Colonel General is a senior military rank which is used in some of the world’s militaries. ... Captain General is a rank and a title. ... Lieutenant General is a military rank used in many countries. ... ... A regiment is a military unit, consisting of a variable number of battalions - - commanded by a colonel. ... Major General or Major-General is a military rank used in many countries. ... Brigadier is a rank which is used in different ways by different countries. ...


While historically an army rank, General is also used in many air forces, although many air forces are based on the British Royal Air Force system (e.g. UK, India, Pakistan, New Zealand, Nigeria etc.) and use Air Marshal instead, with Air Officer being the generic title for general officers in these air forces. In most navies of the world, the equivalent rank is Admiral and the generic term is Flag Officer; however a noteworthy historical exception was the Cromwellian naval rank General at sea. In the Israeli Defence Forces there are no separate naval ranks and the Hebrew term Aluf can be both "General" and "Admiral". In recent years in the American service there is a tendency to use "Flag Officer" and "Flag Rank" to refer to generals and admirals of the services collectively. This article or section is in need of attention from an expert on the subject. ... An Air force is a military or armed service that primarily conducts aerial warfare. ... The Royal Air Force (RAF) is the air force branch of the British Armed Forces. ... An air marshals sleeve/shoulder insignia Air Marshal (Air Mshl or AM) is a rank in the Royal Air Force. ... An Air Officer is a U.K. Royal Air Force officer of rank Air Commodore or higher. ... The multinational Combined Task Force One Five Zero (CTF-150) The British Grand Fleet, the supreme naval force of World War I A rare occurrence of a 5-country multinational fleet, during Operation Enduring Freedom in the Oman Sea. ... Admiral is the rank, or part of the name of the ranks, of the highest naval officers. ... Flag Officer is both a historic naval rank and a modern day navy title. ... Oliver Cromwell (April 25, 1599–September 3, 1658) was an English military and political leader best known for making England a republic and leading the Commonwealth of England. ... The Israel Defense Forces (IDF) (Hebrew: צבא ההגנה לישראל Tsva Ha-Haganah Le-Yisrael ([Army] Force [for] the Defense of Israel), often abbreviated צהל Tsahal, alternative English spelling Tzahal, is the name of Israels armed forces... Aluf is the term used for general in the Israeli Defence Forces. ...

Contents

General officer ranks

Common systems

There are two common systems of using general ranks. One form, used in the United Kingdom, eventually spread to the Commonwealth and the United States. The system is not particularly British in origin, and variations of this system were once used throughout Europe. Some variations use a brigadier rank, others use no brigadier rank and add a colonel general rank. The other is an ostensibly more logical derived from the French Revolution, where generals' ranks are named according to the unit they (theoretically) command. The Commonwealth of Nations (CN), usually known as The Commonwealth, is a voluntary association of 53 independent sovereign states all of which are former colonies of the United Kingdom, except for Mozambique and the United Kingdom itself. ... Brigadier is a rank which is used in different ways by different countries. ... Brigadier is a rank which is used in different ways by different countries. ... Colonel General is a senior military rank which is used in some of the world’s militaries. ... The French Revolution(1789-1799) was a period of major political and social change in the political history of France and Europe as a whole, during which the French governmental structure, previously an absolute monarchy with feudal privileges for the aristocracy and Catholic clergy, underwent radical change to forms based...


Old European system This system uses five ranks: either brigadier rank and no colonel general rank, or colonel general rank and no brigadier rank. (i.e. Excluding one of the italicised ranks.)

Field Marshal
Colonel General
General
Lieutenant General
Major General
Brigadier (General)

French (Revolutionary) system Note: This article is about the military usage of the word marshal. For other usages, see the end of this article. ... Colonel General is a senior military rank which is used in some of the world’s militaries. ... Lieutenant General is a military rank used in many countries. ... Insignia of a United States Air Force Major General German Generalmajor Insignia Major General is a military rank used in many countries. ... Brigadier is a rank which is used in different ways by different countries. ... A Brigadier General, or one-star general, is the lowest rank of general officer in the United States and some other countries, ranking just above Colonel and just below Major General. ...

Marshal
Army General
Corps General
Divisional General
Brigade General

In the old system, a General, without prefix or suffix (and sometimes referred to informally as a "full general"), is usually the most senior general officer rank, above Lieutenant General. In some armies, however, the rank of Captain General, General of the Army, Army General or Colonel General occupied or occupies this position. These ranks may be considered to be equivalent to a full General or to a Field Marshal, depending on the army in question. 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. ... General of the Army, or less formally five-star general, is historically the second most senior rank in the United States Army. ... Corps General is a rank corresponding to the Commonwealth and US rank of Lieutenant General. ... Rank insignia of a French Divisional General Divisional General is a rank used in many armies to denote a rank of general, corresponding to command of a division. ... Brigade General is a rank used in many armies to denote the lowest rank of general, corresponding to command of a brigade. ... Lieutenant General is a military rank used in many countries. ... Captain General is a rank and a title. ... Colonel General is a senior military rank which is used in some of the world’s militaries. ...


In some nations (particularly in the Commonwealth), the equivalent to Brigadier General is Brigadier, which is not always considered by these armies to be a general officer rank a part entiere, although it is always treated as equivalent to the rank of Brigadier General for comparative purposes. The Commonwealth of Nations (CN), usually known as The Commonwealth, is a voluntary association of 53 independent sovereign states all of which are former colonies of the United Kingdom, except for Mozambique and the United Kingdom itself. ... Brigadier is a rank which is used in different ways by different countries. ...


Other versions

Other versions of general include:

An adjutant general is the chief administrative officer to a military general. ... Commandant General is a rank. ... Inspector General is a fact finding officer whose responsibility is to investigate charges of corruption, fraud, waste and abuse and other complaints regarding government officials. ... Captain General is a rank and a title. ... General of the Army, or less formally five-star general, is historically the second most senior rank in the United States Army. ... General of the Army, or less formally five-star general, is historically the second most senior rank in the United States Army. ... This article is being considered for deletion in accordance with Wikipedias deletion policy. ... General of the Armies of the United States is the highest possible-land based rank in the United States military hierarchy and is traditionally considered a six star General, equal to a Generalissimo. ... The United States Army is one of the armed forces of the United States and has primary responsibility for land-based military operations. ... John Joseph Black Jack Pershing (September 13, 1860 – July 15, 1948) was an officer in the United States Army. ... George Washington (February 22, 1732 – December 14, 1799)[1] led Americas Continental Army to victory over Britain in the American Revolutionary War (1775–1783), and was later elected the first president of the United States under the U.S. Constitution. ... Third Reich In the German Kriegsmarine, of the Second World War, General Admiral (in German: Generaladmiral) was a rank considered senior to an Admiral, but junior to a Grand Admiral. ... An Air Chief Marshals sleeve/shoulder insignia Air Chief Marshal is the most senior rank active in the Royal Air Force (RAF) today, after the inactivation of Marshal of the Royal Air Force as a substantive rank in peacetime during defence cuts of the 1990s. ... An Air Vice Marshals sleeve/shoulder insignia An Air Vice Marshals command flag Air Vice Marshal is the third most senior rank active in the Royal Air Force today, after the inactivation of Marshal of the Royal Air Force as a substantive rank in peacetime during defence cuts... 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. ... 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. ... The National Police (Police Nationale) is one of two national police forces and the main civil law enforcement agency of France, with primary jurisdiction in cities and large towns. ... The Prefectura Naval Argentina (PNA; in English Argentine Naval Prefecture) is a military service of the Argentine Interior Ministry charged with protecting the countrys rivers and maritime territory. ...

General ranks by country

The following articles deal with the rank of General as it is employed in the militaries of various countries.

Général is the French word for General. ... -1... 4-star Generals shoulder strap Generał is the generic Polish language term for the rank of General. ... General is a rank that is held in Switzerland by the chief of the Army in time of war only. ... UK insignia for a full General General is a rank in the British Army and Royal Marines. ... Army shoulder insignia for a full General General is the most senior rank currently used in the United States Army, United States Air Force and United States Marine Corps. ...

General equivalent ranks

Aluf is the term used for general in the Israeli Defence Forces. ... Daejang (hangul: 대장, hanja: 大將) is a senior military rank of the Korean Peninsula, used by both North and South Korea. ... The term strategos (plural strategoi; Greek στρατηγός) is used in Greek to mean general. In the hellenistic and Byzantine Empires the term was also used to describe a military governor. ... Shang Jiang insignia in the Peoples Liberation Army Yi Ji Shang Jiang insignia in the Peoples Liberation Army Shang Jiang (上將/上将) is a Chinese military rank. ... The Myanmar Army is the land component, the army, of Myanmar, previously known as Burma. ...

Other General ranks

SS-Obergruppenführer Erich von dem Bach-Zalewski SS-Obergruppenführer patch SA-Obergruppenführer insignia Obergruppenführer was a Nazi Party paramilitary rank that was first created in 1932 as a rank of the SA. Translated as Senior Group Leader, the rank of SA-Obergruppenführer was held by...

Quote

  • As for being a General, well, at the age of four with paper hats and wooden swords, we're all Generals. Only some of us never grow out of it.
    Sir Peter Ustinov

Ustinov at Large (book cover) Sir Peter Alexander Ustinov, CBE (16 April 1921 – 28 March 2004), born Peter Alexander von Ustinov, was an Academy Award-winning British-born actor, writer, dramatist and raconteur of French, Italian, German, Russian and Ethiopian ancestry. ...

See also

Look up General in
Wiktionary, the free dictionary.

A generalissimo is a commissioned officer of the highest rank; the word is often translated as Supreme Commander or Commander in Chief. It is an Italian superlative substantive, which grammatically would actually be disallowed in Italian (superlatives can be made with adjectives only). ... Minamoto no Yoritomo, the first shogun of the Kamakura shogunate Shogun )   is a military rank and historical title in Japan. ... Comparative military ranks are a means of comparing military rank systems of different nations as a means of categorizing the hierarchy of an armed force compared to another. ... It has been suggested that this article or section be merged with US Army. ... In the 17th and 18th centuries, rank was generally denoted by the quantity of lace and through other decoration used on uniforms. ... // Present Polish system of rank insignia is a direct descendant of various systems used in the past in the Polish Army. ... Wikipedia does not have an article with this exact name. ... It has been suggested that French Wiktionary be merged into this article or section. ...

External links

  • Generals of World War II
  • Schema-root.org: US Generals News feeds for US Generals in the news
  • Marines.mil: General Officer Biographies Biographies of United States Marine Corps General Officers

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