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Encyclopedia > Military rank
War

Image File history File links Broom_icon. ... Image File history File links Gnome-globe. ... Look up rank in Wiktionary, the free dictionary. ... For other uses, see War (disambiguation). ... Ramses II at the Battle of Kadesh (relief at Abu Simbel) The two-dimensional work of art depicted in this image is in the public domain in the United States and in those countries with a copyright term of life of the author plus 100 years. ... from Swedish Wikipedia The two-dimensional work of art depicted in this image is in the public domain in the United States and in those countries with a copyright term of life of the author plus 100 years. ... Download high resolution version (819x768, 141 KB)A front view of an M1A1 Abrams, from www. ...

Military History

War Portal   v  d  e 

Within armed forces, the use of ranks is almost universal. The Chinese People's Liberation Army (1965–1988)[1], the Albanian Army (1966–1991)[2], and the Soviet Red Army (1918–1935)[1] are rare examples of armed forces which abolished rank only to re-establish them after encountering operational difficulties of command and control. Peoples Liberation Army redirects here. ... The Albanian Armed Forces (AAF) {Albanian: Forcat e Armatosura të Shqipërisë (FASH)} is made up of the General Staff Headquarters and consists of the Albanian Joint Forces Command, the Albanian Support Command and the Albanian Training and Doctrine Command. ... CCCP redirects here. ... For other organizations known as the Red Army, see Red Army (disambiguation). ... The phrase command and control is used in various fields: In telecommunications Command and control (C 2) is the exercise of authority and direction by a properly designated commander over assigned and attached forces in the accomplishment of the mission. ...

Contents

Ancient and Medieval ranks

Persian ranks

The army of ancient Persia consisted of sizeable military groupings under individual commands. Starting at the bottom, a unit of 10 was called a dathabam and was led by a dathapatish. A unit of 1,000 was a hazarabam and was commanded by a hazarapatish. A unit of 10,000 was a baivarabam and was commanded by a baivarapatish. The Greeks called such masses of troops a myrias or myriad. Among mounted troops, an asabam was a cavalry unit led by an asapatish. For other uses of this term see: Persia (disambiguation) The Persian Empire is the name used to refer to a number of historic dynasties that have ruled the country of Persia (Iran). ... Not to be confused with Golgotha, which was called Calvary. ...


We are aware of the following ranks in Parthian and Sassanian armies: Parthia at its greatest extent under Mithridates II (123–88 BC) Capital Ctesiphon, Ecbatana Government Monarchy [[Category:Former monarchies}}|Parthia, 247 BC]] History  - Established 247 BC  - Disestablished 220 AD Parthian votive relief. ... Head of king Shapur II (Sasanian dynasty A.D. 4th century). ...


Commander in Chief: Eran Spahbod (to be replaced with four Spahbods, one for each frontier of the Empire during the reign of Khosrau I). Spahbod or Spahbed (Persian: سپهبد, in Modern Persian Sepahbod, is derived from the words Spah سپه army bod بد master; or AspahPaeity (in new Persian Asb and Payeh) commander of cavaliers/knights; alternatively Spah Salar (سپهسالار) and was a rank used in the Parthian empire and more widely in the Sassanid Empire of... Spahbod or Spahbed (Persian: سپهبد, in Modern Persian Sepahbod, is derived from the words Spah سپه army bod بد master; or AspahPaeity (in new Persian Asb and Payeh) commander of cavaliers/knights; alternatively Spah Salar (سپهسالار) and was a rank used in the Parthian empire and more widely in the Sassanid Empire of... A coin of Khosrau I. Khosrau I, (Chosroes I in classical sources, most commonly known in Persian as Anooshiravan also spelled Anushirvan, Persian: انوشيروان meaning the immortal soul), also known as Anooshiravan the Just (انوشیروان عادل, Anooshiravan-e-ādel) (ruled 531–579), was the favourite son and successor of Kavadh I (488–531...

Not to be confused with Golgotha, which was called Calvary. ... Infantry of the Royal Irish Rifles during the Battle of the Somme in World War I Infantry or footmen are very highly disciplined and trained soldiers who fight primarily with small arms(rifles), but are trained to use everything from their bare hands to missle systems in order to neutralize... A castellan was the governor or caretaker of a castle or keep. ... Argbadh (derived from the words Arg meaning castle or fortress and the suffix -ban بان meaning guardian) were a class of military commanders in charge of castles and fortresses of the Sassanid Empire of Persia (Iran) between 3rd and 7th centuries CE. Argbadhs were granted their command by the Sassanian emperor... Argbadh (derived from the words Arg meaning castle or fortress and the suffix -ban بان meaning guardian) were a class of military commanders in charge of castles and fortresses of the Sassanid Empire of Persia (Iran) between 3rd and 7th centuries CE. Argbadhs were granted their command by the Sassanian emperor... The word Marzban consists of two sections: Marz (border or boundary in Persian) and the suffix -ban (guardian in Persian). ... The word Marzban consists of two sections: Marz (border or boundary in Persian) and the suffix -ban (guardian in Persian). ... Map of Central Asia showing three sets of possible boundaries for the region Central Asia located as a region of the world Central Asia is a vast landlocked region of Asia. ...

Greek ranks

From 501 BC the Athenians annually elected ten individuals to the rank of strategos, one for each of the ten "tribes" that had been created with the founding of the democracy. Strategos literally means "army leader" and so it is usually translated as "general." Originally these generals worked together with the old polemarchos or polemarch ("war minister," more akin to "warlord") but over time the latter figure lost all military function. For other uses, see Athens (disambiguation). ... Bust of an unidentified strategos with Corinthian helmet; Hadrianic Roman copy of a Greek sculpture of c. ... This does not adequately cite its references or sources. ... A polemarch was one of the magistrates of ancient Athens. ...


The ten poos were equals to one another; there was no hierarchy amongst them. For example, at the Battle of Marathon in 490 BC, the generals determined the battle plan by majority vote. Particular assignments, however, might have been given to individual generals; inevitably there was a regular division of responsibilities. Combatants Athens, Plataea Persia Commanders Miltiades, Callimachus â€ , Arimnestus Datis â€ ?, Artaphernes Strength 10,000 Athenians, 1,000 Plataeans 20,000 - 100,000 a Casualties 192 Athenians killed, 11 Plataeans killed (Herodotus) 6,400 killed, 7 ships captured (Herodotus) a These are modern consensus estimates. ...


The rank that was subordinate to a top general was a taxiarchos or taxiarhos, something akin to the modern brigadier. In Sparta, however, the title was polemarchos. Below this was the syntagmatarkhis, which can be translated as "leader of a regiment" (syntagma) and was therefore like a modern colonel. Below him was the tagmatarkhis, a commanding officer of a tagma (near to the modern battalion). The rank was roughly equivalent to the legatus of a Roman legion. Next was the lokhagos, an officer who led an infantry unit called a lokhos that consisted of roughly a hundred men, much the same as in a modern company led by a captain. Taxiarhos is used in the Greek language to mean Brigadier. In Ancient Greece the title/rank was held by a number of officers in the armies of several but not all city-states. ... Brigadier (IPA pronunciation: ) is a military rank, the meaning of which has a considerable variation. ... For modern day Sparta, see Sparti (municipality). ... Syntagmatarhis (Συνταγματάρχης) is used in the Greek language to mean Colonel. It is translated as leader of a regiment (syntagma), and dates back to the Classical Age armies. ... British regiment A regiment is a military unit, consisting of a variable number of battalions - commanded by a colonel. ... For other uses, see Colonel (disambiguation). ... Tagmatarhis is used in the Greek language to mean Major. The name was used in ancient times to signify the commanding officer of a tagma (battalion). ... Symbol of the Austrian 14th Armoured Battalion in NATO military graphic symbols This article is about the military unit. ... A legatus (often anglicized as legate) was equivalent to a modern general officer in the Roman army. ... Legion redirects here. ... Lokhagos is used in the Greek language to mean Captain. The term has been used since the times of Ancient Greece to describe the commanding officer of a lokhos (company. ... Standard NATO code for a friendly infantry company. ... For other uses, see Captain (disambiguation). ...


A Greek cavalry (hippiko) regiment was called a hipparchia and was commanded by a hyparchos or hipparch, but Spartan cavalry was led by a hipparmostes. A hippotoxotès was a horse archer. A Greek cavalry company was led by a tetrarchès or tetrarch. A Hipparchos, or in Latinized form Hipparchus was an ancient Greek cavalry officer, commanding a hipparchia (unit of about 500 horsemen); two such units can be commanded by an Epihipparchos Categories: | ... A tetrarch is a Greek term that strictly identifies one of four governors of a divided province. ...


The rank and file of the military in most of the Greek city states was composed of ordinary citizens. These levels were organized on democratic principles and, accordingly, discipline was relatively weak. Heavily armed foot soldiers were called hoplitès or hoplites and a hoplomachos was a drill or weapons instructor. The hoplite was a heavy infantryman that was the central focus of warfare in Ancient Greece. ...


Once Athens became a naval power, the top generals had charge of the navy as well. Under them, each warship was commanded by a trièrarchos or trierarch, a word which originally meant "trireme officer" but persisted when other types of vessels came into use. Moreover, as in modern navies, the different tasks associated with running a ship were delegated to different subordinates. Specifically, the kybernètès was the helmsman, the keleusthès managed the rowing speed, and the trièraulès was the flute player who maintained the strike rate for the oarsmen. Following further specialization, the naval strategos was replaced by a nauarchos, a sea officer equating to an admiral. This article is about the capital of Greece. ... This article does not cite any references or sources. ... A Greek trireme Triremes were ancient war galleys with three rows of oars on each side. ... A Greek trireme. ... Navarch is a Greek word meaning leader of the ships, which in some states became the title of an office equivalent to that of a modern admiral. ... For other uses, see Admiral (disambiguation). ...


With the rise of Macedonia under Philip II of Macedon and Alexander the Great, the Greek military became professional, tactics became more sophisticated and additional levels of ranking developed. Foot soldiers were organized into heavy infantry phalanxes called phalangites. These were among the first troops ever to be drilled and they fought packed in a close rectangular formation, typically eight men deep, with a leader at the head of each column (or file) and a secondary leader in the middle so that the back rows could move off to the sides if more frontage was needed. Philip II of Macedon: victory medal (niketerion) struck in Tarsus, 2nd c. ... For the film of the same name, see Alexander the Great (1956 film). ... Look up phalanx in Wiktionary, the free dictionary Phalanx (Greek word from phalangos, meaning Finger) can refer to: phalanx formation in ancient warfare. ... Phalangite is the Greek name for an infantryman deployed in a phalanx (massive rectangular (or square) closed formation ) of Classical and hellenistic antiquity. ...


A tetrarchia was a unit of four files and a tetrarchès or tetrarch was a commander of four files; a dilochia was a double file and a dilochitès was a double-file leader; a lochos was a single file and a lochagos was a file leader; a dimoiria was a half file and a dimoirites was a half-file leader. Another name for the half file was a hèmilochion with a hèmilochitès being a half-file leader. A tetrarch is a Greek term that strictly identifies one of four governors of a divided province. ...


Different types of units, however, were divided differently and therefore their leaders had different titles. For example, under a numbering system by tens, a dekas or dekania was a unit of ten led by a dekarchos, a hekatontarchia was a unit of hundred led by a hekatontarchès and a chiliostys or chiliarchia was a unit of a thousand led by a chiliarchès.


The cavalry, for which Alexander became most famous (in a militarily sense ), grew more varied. There were heavy cavalry and wing cavalry (ilè) units, the latter commanded by an ilarchès.


Roman ranks

The use of formalized ranks came into widespread use with the Roman legions after the introduction in 60 BC of reforms by Julius Caesar's uncle, Marius, a politician and general. Under the new system, a legion would be commanded by a legate (legatus), typically a senator, for a three-year term. Immediately beneath the legate were six military tribunes (tribuni militum), five of whom were young men of Equestrian rank and one of whom was a nobleman who was headed for the Senate. Legion redirects here. ... So-called “Marius”, Munich Glyptothek (Inv. ... A legatus (often anglicized as legate) was equivalent to a modern general officer in the Roman army. ... The Roman Senate (Latin: Senatus) was the main governing council of both the Roman Republic, which started in 509 BC, and the Roman Empire. ... Military tribunes were officers of the Roman Legions. ... An equestrian (Latin eques, plural equites - also known as a vir egregius, lit. ...


The tribuni militari were the Roman army's senior officers who commanded the rough equivalents to the US and British armies battalions and brigades (the relevant modern ranks being major, lieutenant colonel, colonel and brigadier general). Note that these comparisons are only loose because the Roman army's command structure was much different from the organizational structure of its modern counterparts, which arose from the medieval mercenary companies, rather than from the writings of Fourth Century Roman writer Vegetius and Caesar's commentaries on his conquest of Gaul and the civil war. The Army is the branch of the United States armed forces which has primary responsibility for land-based military operations. ... Major is a military rank the use of which varies according to country. ... 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. ... For other uses, see Colonel (disambiguation). ... 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. ... Vegetius (Publius Flavius Vegetius Renatus) was a celebrated military writer of the 4th century. ... For other uses, see Julius Caesar (disambiguation). ... Gaul (Latin: ) was the name given, in ancient times, to the region of Western Europe comprising present-day northern Italy, France, Belgium, western Switzerland and the parts of the Netherlands and Germany on the west bank of the Rhine river. ...


The term military tribune is sometimes translated into English as "colonel" — most notably by the late classicist Robert Graves in his "Claudius" novels and his translation of Suetonius' Twelve Caesars — to avoid confusion with the political "tribunes of the people." Robert von Ranke Graves (24 July 1895 – 7 December 1985) was an English poet, scholar, and novelist. ... For other persons named Claudius, see Claudius (disambiguation). ... Gaius Suetonius Tranquillus ( 69/75 - after 130), also known as Suetonius, was a prominent Roman historian and biographer. ...


The fighting men in the legion were formed into ranks, rows of men who fought as a unit. Under Marius's new system, legions were divided into ten cohorts (cohortes), each consisting of six centuries, each of between 60 and 160 men. Each century was led by a centurion (centurio) who was assisted by a number of junior officers. Centuries were further broken into ten contubernia of eight soldiers each. Individual soldiers were referred to as soldiers (milites) or legionaries (legionarii). A cohort (from the Latin cohors, plural cohortes) is a fairly large military unit, generally consisting of one type of soldier. ... Look up Centurion in Wiktionary, the free dictionary. ...


Roman discipline was severe, with all ranks subject to corporal and even capital punishment --- all at the commander's discretion. For example, if a cohort broke in battle the typical punishment was called decimation (from the Latin word for ten): every tenth soldier, selected by lot, was executed. This article or section does not cite its references or sources. ...


Mongol ranks

There were no "ranks" in the Mongol Empire in the modern sense of a hierarchy of titles, although the army was organized into a hierarchical command (see "Mongol military tactics and organization"). The organization of the Mongol army was based on that of the Achaemenid Empire of Persia: the decimal system. The army was built upon a squad of ten (arban) led by an appointed chief. Ten of these would then compose a company of a hundred (jaghun), also led by an appointed chief. The next unit was a regiment of a thousand (minghan) led by an appointed noyan. The largest organic unit was a ten thousand man unit (tumen) led by an appointed noyan.[2] Expansion of the Mongol Empire Historical map of the Mongol Empire (1300~1405), the gray area is Timurid dynasty. ... The Mongol military machine was largely the creation of one man- Genghis Khan. ... The Persepolis Ruins The Achaemenid dynasty (Old Persian:Hakamanishiya, Persian: هخامنشیان) - was a dynasty in the ancient Persian Empire. ... For other uses of this term see: Persia (disambiguation) The Persian Empire is the name used to refer to a number of historic dynasties that have ruled the country of Persia (Iran). ... Noyan, noyon (and some other spellings introduced via Arabic texts) was a title of authority in Mongol Empire. ... Tumen was the part of decimal system used by Turkic, Proto-Turkic (such as the Huns) and by Mongol peoples for their army. ...


Medieval ranks

High command in medieval armies

The king’s army was placed under the command of the High Constable as commander-in-chief. The High Constable had authority over the local constables, commanders of the garrisons of major castles. The High Constable had the help of the Field Marshal, an officer that set up the army’s camp. (Marshals acted as chiefs of logistics and were also employed by royal and noble courts.) The High Constable derived his authority over the army from his role of head of the Cavalry. For other uses, see Monarch (disambiguation). ... For the painter, see John Constable. ... Commander-in-Chief (in NATO-lingo often C-in-C or CINC pronounced sink) is the commander of all the military forces within a particular region or of all the military forces of a state. ... Note: This article is about the military usage of the word marshal. For other usages, see the end of this article. ...


Origins of modern ranks

As the Middle Ages came to an end, the rank structure of medieval armies became more formalized. The top officers were known as commissioned officers because their rank came from a royal commission. Army commissions were reserved for the elite — the aristocracy of mainland Europe and the aristocracy and gentry of Great Britain. In the military, 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. ...


The basic unit of the medieval army was the company, a band of soldiers assigned (or raised) by a vassal lord on behalf of his lord (in later times the King himself). The vassal lord in command of the company was a commissioned officer with the rank of captain. Captain was derived from the Late Latin word capitaneus (meaning head man or chief). Standard NATO code for a friendly infantry company. ... Lordship redirects here. ... For other uses, see Captain (disambiguation). ... Vulgar Latin, as in this political graffito at Pompeii, was the speech of ordinary people of the Roman Empire — different from the classical Latin used by the Roman elite. ... The examples and perspective in this article may not represent a worldwide view. ...


The commissioned officer assisting the captain with command of the company was the lieutenant. Lieutenant was derived from the French language; the lieu meaning “place” as in a position; and tenant meaning “holding” as in “holding a position”; thus a “lieutenant” is somebody who holds a position in the absence of his superior. When he was not assisting the captain, the lieutenant commanded a unit called a platoon, particularly a more specialized platoon. The word is derived from the 17th-century French peloton, meaning a small ball or small detachment of men, which came from pelote, a ball. Lieutenant is a military, naval, paramilitary, fire service or police officer rank. ... French (français, langue française) is one of the most important Romance languages, outnumbered in speakers only by Spanish and Portuguese. ... Platoon of the German Bundeswehr. ...


The commissioned officer carrying the (infantry) company’s flag was the ensign. The word ensign was in fact derived from the Latin word insignia. In cavalry companies the equivalent rank was cornet. In English usage, these ranks were merged into the single rank of Second Lieutenant in the 19th Century. Ensign of the Imperial Japanese Navy. ... ... Second Lieutenant is the lowest commissioned rank in many armed forces. ...


Not all officers received a commission from the King. Certain specialists were granted a warrant, certifying their expertise as craftsmen. These warrant officers assisted the commissioned officers but ranked above the noncommissioned officers. A warrant officer (WO) or a chief warrant officer (CWO) is a member of a military organization, with a rank subordinate to other commissioned officers and senior to noncommissioned officers. ...


A noncommissioned officer (NCO) received their authority from superior officers rather than the King. The highest rank of NCO was sergeant. The first sergeants were the armed servants (men-at-arms) of the aristocracy, assigned to command, organize and train the militia units raised for battle. After years of commanding a squad, a NCO could be promoted to sergeant. While a sergeant might have commanded a squad upon promotion, he usually became a staff officer. While commissioned staff officers assisted their commander with personnel, intelligence, operations and logistics, the sergeant was a jack of all trades, concerning himself with all aspects of administration to maintain the enlisted men serving under his commander. Over time, sergeants were differentiated into many ranks as various levels of sergeants were used by the commanders of various levels of units. A non-commissioned officer (sometimes noncommissioned officer), or NCO, is an enlisted member of an armed force who has been delegated leadership or command authority by a commissioned officer. ... For other uses, see Sergeant (disambiguation). ...


A corporal commanded a squad. Squad derived from the Italian word for a “square” or “block” of soldiers. In fact, corporal was derived from the Italian caporal de squadra (head of the squad). Corporals were assisted by lancepesades. Lancepesades were veteran soldiers; lancepesade was derived from the Italian lanzia spezzata meaning broken spear - the broken spear being a metaphor for combat experience, where such an occurrence was likely. The first lancepesades were simply experienced privates; who either assisted their corporal or performed the duties of a corporal themselves. It was this second function that made armies increasingly regard their lancepesades as a grade of corporal rather than a grade of private. As a result, the rank of Lance Corporal was derived from combining lancepesade and corporal. In the fire service a Squad is a Engine Company with a compliment of rescue tools. ... Lance Corporal is a military rank below Corporal used by some armed forces, police, and other uniformed organizations. ... Lance Corporal (LCpl or L/Cpl) is a military rank used by some elements of the British, Commonwealth, and U.S. armed forces. ...


As the Middle Ages came to an end, kings increasingly relied on professional soldiers to fill the bottom ranks of their armies instead of militiamen. Each of these professionals began their careers as a private. The private was a man who signed a private contract with the company commander, offering his services in return for pay. The money was raised through taxation; those yeomen (smallholding peasants) who did not fulfill their annual 40-day militia service paid a tax that funded professional soldiers recruited from the yeomanry. This money was handed to the company commanders from the royal treasury, the company commanders using the money to recruit the troops. 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). ...


Origins of higher ranks

As armies grew larger, composed of multiple companies, one captain was granted general (overall) authority over the field armies by the King. (National armies were the armies of the kings. Field armies were armies raised by the King to enter the battle field in preparation for major battles.) In French history, “lieutenant du roi” was a title borne by the officer sent with military powers to represent the king in certain provinces. A lieutenant du roi were sometimes known as a lieutenant general to distinguish him from lieutenants subordinate to mere captains. The sergeant acting as staff officer to the captain general was known as the sergeant-major general. This was eventually shortened to major general, while captain general was shortened to simply general. This is the reason why a major outranks a lieutenant, but a lieutenant general outranks a major general. 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. ... This does not adequately cite its references or sources. ... Major is a military rank the use of which varies according to country. ...


As armies grew bigger, they were split into corps. The lieutenant generals received command of these corps. The corps were split into divisions, each division headed by a major general. The division was originally an organizational structure under the corps to assist in command and control of various regiments and brigades. The corps remained the primary maneuver unit of the army, while heraldry and unit identification remained primarily a matter of the regiment. Brigades headed by brigadier generals were the units invented as a tactical unit, by the Swedish king Gustavus Adolphus. It was introduced to overcome the normal army structure, consisting of regiments. The so-called “brigada” was a mixed unit, comprising infantry, cavalry and normally artillery too, designated for a special task. The size of such “brigada” was a reinforced company up to two regiments. The “brigada” was the ancient form of the nowadays “task force”. Symbol of the Polish 1st Legions Infantry Division in NATO code A division is a large military unit or formation usually consisting of around ten to twenty thousand soldiers. ... Insignia of a United States Air Force Major General German Generalmajor Insignia Major General is a military rank used in many countries. ... This article is about a military unit. ... A regiment is a military unit, larger than a company and smaller than a division. ... Brigade is a term from military science which refers to a group of several battalions (typically two to four), and directly attached supporting units (normally including at least an artillery battery and additional logistic support). ... Brigade is a term from military science which refers to a group of several battalions (typically two to four), and directly attached supporting units (normally including at least an artillery battery and additional logistic support). ... Brigadier General (sometimes known as a one-star general from the United States insignia) is the lowest rank of general officer in some countries, usually ranking just above Colonel and just below Major General. ... Gustav II Adolph Gustav II Adolph (December 9, 1594 - November 6, 1632) (also known as Gustav Adolph the Great, under the Latin name Gustavus Adolphus or the Swedish form Gustav II Adolf) was a King of Sweden. ... For other uses, see Artillery (disambiguation). ...


Around the end of the 16th century, companies were grouped into regiments. The officers commissioned to lead these regiments were in fact called colonels (column officers). They were first appointed in Spain by King Ferdinand II of Aragon where they were also known as coronellos (crown officers) since they were appointed by the Crown. Thus the English pronunciation of the word colonel. Colonel (Ger: Oberst) is a military rank, usually the highest below general grades, and just above Lieutenant Colonel. ...


The first colonels were captains granted command of their regiments by commission of the King. The lieutenants of the colonel were the lieutenant colonels. In the 17th century, the sergeant of the colonel was the sergeant major. These were field officers, third in command of their regiments (after their colonels and lieutenant colonels), with a role similar to the older, army-level sergeant majors (although obviously on a smaller scale). The older position became known as sergeant major general to distinguish it. Over time, the sergeant was dropped from both titles since both ranks were used for commissioned officers. This gave rise to the modern ranks of major and major general. 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. ... This article is about a military rank and position. ... ... Major is a military rank the use of which varies according to country. ...


The full title of sergeant major fell out of use until the latter part of the 18th century, when it began to be applied to the senior non-commissioned officer of an infantry battalion or cavalry regiment.


Regiments were later split into battalions with a lieutenant colonel as a commanding officer and a major as an executive officer. In military terminology, a battalion consists of two to six companies typically commanded by a lieutenant colonel. ... The commanding officer (CO) is the officer in command of a military unit. ... While Executive officer literally refers to a person responsible for the performance of duties involved in running an organization, the exact meaning of the role is highly variable, depending on the organization. ...


Modern ranks

Most modern military services recognize three broad categories of personnel. These are codified in the Geneva Conventions, which somewhat ambiguously distinguish "officers", "non-commissioned officers" and "enlisted men". Original document. ...


Apart from conscripted personnel one can distinguish:


Commissioned officers

Officers are distinguished from other military members by holding a commission; they are trained as leaders and hold command positions. An officer is a member of a military, naval, or if applicable, other uniformed services who holds a position of responsibility. ... Letters Patent by Queen Victoria creating the office of Governor-General of Australia Letters patent are a type of legal instrument in the form of an open letter issued by a monarch or government granting an office, a right, monopoly, title, or status to someone or some entity such as...


Officers are further separated into three levels:

  • General, Flag, or Air Officers
  • Field or Senior Officers
  • Company Grade or Junior Officers

General, Flag, or Air Officers

Officers who typically command units or formations that are expected to operate independently for extended periods of time (brigades and larger, or flotillas or squadrons of ships), are referred to variously as General Officers (Army, Marines, and some Air Forces), Flag Officers (navy), or Air Officers (some Commonwealth air forces). A formation is a high-level military organization, such as a Brigade, Division, Corps, Army or Army group. ... In military science a brigade is a military unit that is part of a division and includes regiments (where that level exists), or (in modern armies) is composed of several battalions (typically two to four) and directly attached supporting units. ... A flotilla (from Spanish, meaning a flota of small ships, and this from French flotte), or naval flotilla, is a formation of small warships that may be part of a larger fleet. ... A Squadron is a small unit or formation of cavalry, aircraft (including balloons), or naval vessels. ... This does not adequately cite its references or sources. ... A Flag Officer is a naval officer of a high rank entitling him to fly a personal flag, especially on his flagship. ... An Air Officer is a U.K. Royal Air Force officer of rank Air Commodore or higher. ... The Commonwealth of Nations as of 2007 Headquarters Marlborough House, London, UK Official languages English Membership 53 sovereign states Leaders  -  Queen Elizabeth II  -  Secretary-General Kamalesh Sharma Appointed 24 November 2007 Establishment  -  Balfour Declaration 18 November 1926   -  Statute of Westminster 11 December 1931   -  London Declaration 28 April 1949  Area  -  Total...


General Officer ranks typically include (from the top down) General, Lieutenant General, Major General, and Brigadier General, although there are many variations like Division General or (Air-, Ground-) Force General. This does not adequately cite its references or sources. ... 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. ... 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. ...


Flag Officer ranks, named after the traditional practice of showing the presence of such an officer with a flag on a ship and often land, typically include (from the top down) Admiral, Vice Admiral and Rear Admiral. In some navies, such as Canada's, the rank of Commodore is a flag rank. For other uses, see Admiral (disambiguation). ... Vice Admiral is a naval rank of three star level, equivalent to Lieutenant General in seniority. ... The term Rear Admiral originated from the days of Naval Sailing Squadrons, and can trace its origins to the British Royal Navy. ... 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. ...


In the United Kingdom and most other Commonwealth air forces, Air Officer ranks usually include Air Chief Marshal, Air Marshal, Air Vice-Marshal and Air Commodore. For some air forces, however, such as those of Canada, United States or most of the Air Forces in the Americas, army General Officer ranks are used. The Commonwealth of Nations as of 2007 Headquarters Marlborough House, London, UK Official languages English Membership 53 sovereign states Leaders  -  Queen Elizabeth II  -  Secretary-General Kamalesh Sharma Appointed 24 November 2007 Establishment  -  Balfour Declaration 18 November 1926   -  Statute of Westminster 11 December 1931   -  London Declaration 28 April 1949  Area  -  Total... Air Chief Marshal Sir Richard Johns in RAF No 1 Dress uniform Air Chief Marshal (Air Chf Mshl or ACM) is a senior air officer rank in the Royal Air Force of the United Kingdom as well as in the Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) and in the air forces... An air marshals sleeve/shoulder insignia Air Marshal (Air Mshl or AM) is a rank in the Royal Air Force. ... An Air Vice Marshals sleeve/shoulder insignia 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 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. ...


In some forces there may be one or more superior ranks to the common examples, above, that are given distinguishing titles, such as Field Marshal or General of the Armies (many armies), Fleet Admiral (U.S. Navy), Marshal of the Royal Air Force, or other national air force. These ranks have often been discontinued, such as in Germany and Canada, or limited to wartime and/or honorific promotion, such as in the United Kingdom and the United States. Note: This article is about the military usage of the word marshal. For other usages, see the end of this article. ... A Fleet Admiral or a Admiral Of The Fleet, as it was first coined, is a military officer of very high rank and is a generic term for a senior admiral in command of a large group of ships, comprising a fleet or, in some cases, a group of fleets. ... The United States Navy (USN) is the branch of the United States armed forces responsible for naval operations. ... Marshal of the RAF sleeve/shoulder insignia Marshal of the Royal Air Force was the highest rank in the Royal Air Force. ...


In various countries, particularly the United States, these may be referred to as "star ranks" for the number of stars worn on some rank insignia: typically one star for Brigadier General or equivalent with the addition of a star for each subsequent rank. In the United States five stars has been the maximum used in all services (excluding the Marines and Coast Guard which have only used four). Marine ranks in descending order, with tables indicating abbreviations in the style used by the Marine Corps, pay grades, and rank insignia: // Commissioned Officers are distinguished from other officers by their commission, which is the formal written authority, issued in the name of the President of the United States, that... Coast Guard shield The United States Coast Guard is the coast guard of the United States. ...


Some titles are not genuine ranks, but either functions assumed by generals or honorific titles. For instance, in the French Army Général de corps d'armée is a function assumed by some Généraux de division, and Maréchal de France which is a distinction denoting the most superior military office, but one that has often neutered the practical command powers of those on whom it is conferred. In the United States Navy, a commodore currently is a senior captain commanding a squadron that is too small for a rear admiral to command, although that name has historically been used as a rank. The French Army, officially the Armée de Terre (Army of the land), is the land-based component of the French Armed Forces and the largest. ... A Général de corps darmée (General of Army Corps) is a senior rank in the French Army. ... Insignia of a United States Air Force Major General German Generalmajor Insignia Major General is a military rank used in many countries. ... Baton of a modern Marshal of France The Marshal of France (French: Maréchal de France) is a military distinction in contemporary France, not a military rank. ... USN redirects here. ... Commodore is a rank of the United States Navy with a somewhat complicated history. ... For other uses, see Captain (disambiguation). ... A Squadron is a small unit or formation of cavalry, aircraft (including balloons), or naval vessels. ... The term Rear Admiral originated from the days of Naval Sailing Squadrons, and can trace its origins to the British Royal Navy. ...


Field or Senior officers

Field officers, also called "field-grade officers" or "senior officers", are officers who typically command units that can be expected to operate independently for short periods of time (infantry battalions, cavalry or artillery regiments, large warships, air squadrons). Field officers also commonly fill staff positions. A field officer or field grade officer is an army or marine commissioned officer senior in rank to a company officer but junior to a general officer. ...


The term "field(-grade) officer" is primarily used by armies and Marines; air forces and navies generally prefer the term "senior officer." The two terms are not necessarily synonymous.


Typical army and Marine Field Officer ranks include Colonel (/ˈkɜrnl/), Lieutenant Colonel, Major and Captains in the British Army holding an Adjutant's appointment. In many Commonwealth countries the field rank of Brigadier is used, although it fills the position held by Brigadier General in other countries. For other uses, see Colonel (disambiguation). ... 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. ... Major is a military rank the use of which varies according to country. ... Brigadier (IPA pronunciation: ) is a military rank, the meaning of which has a considerable variation. ...


USN naval senior officer ranks include Captain and Commander. In some countries, the more senior rank of Commodore is also used, a position that follows the flag flying tradition (above) of Flag Officers but through the use of a dove-tail pennant of rank instead of the flag or triangular pennant of other senior officers. For other uses, see Captain (disambiguation). ... Commander is a military rank which is also sometimes used as a military title depending on the individual customs of a given military service. ... 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. ...


Commonwealth (excluding Canada) air force Senior Officer ranks include Group Captain, Wing Commander, and Squadron Leader. A Group Captains sleeve/shoulder insignia Group Captain (Gp Capt in the RAF, GPCAPT in the RNZAF and RAAF, G/C in the former RCAF) is a senior commissioned rank in the Royal Air Force and the air forces of many other Commonwealth countries. ... A Wing Commanders sleeve/shoulder insignia A Wing Commanders command flag Wing Commander is a commissioned rank in the Royal Air Force and the air forces of many other Commonwealth countries. ... A Squadron Leaders sleeve/shoulder insignia Squadron Leader (Sqn Ldr in the RAF, SQNLDR in the RNZAF and RAAF and S/L in the former RCAF) is a commissioned rank in some air forces. ...


Company Grade or Junior Officers

The ranks of junior officers are the three or four lowest ranks of officers. Units under their command are generally not expected to operate independently for any significant length of time. Company grade officers also fill staff roles in some units. In some militaries, however, a captain may act as the permanent commanding officer of an independent company-sized unit, for example a signal or field engineer squadron, or a field artillery battery.


Typical army Company Officer ranks include Captain and various grades of Lieutenant. Typical naval Junior Officer ranks include grades of Lieutenant Commander, Lieutenant and/or Sub-Lieutenant/Ensign. Commonwealth (excluding Canada) air force Junior Officer ranks usually include Flight Lieutenant, Flying Officer, and Pilot Officer. For other uses, see Captain (disambiguation). ... Lieutenant is a military, naval, paramilitary, fire service or police officer rank. ... 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. ... A Lieutenant, Junior Grade, is a division officer in the United States Navy. ... Ensign is a junior rank of commissioned officer in the militaries of some countries, normally in the infantry or navy. ... 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. ... This article does not cite any references or sources. ... 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...


Warrant Officers

Warrant officers (as receiving authority by virtue of a warrant) are a hybrid rank treated slightly differently in each country and/or service. WOs may either be effectively senior non-commissioned officers or an entirely separate grade between commissioned and non-commissioned officers, usually held by specialist personnel. For Warrant Officers in the United States military, see Warrant Officer (United States). ... In law, a warrant can mean any authorization. ... A non-commissioned officer (sometimes noncommissioned officer), also known as an NCO or Noncom, is an enlisted member of an armed force who has been given authority by a commissioned officer. ...


Enlisted personnel

Enlisted personnel are personnel below commissioned rank and make up the vast majority of military personnel. They are known by different names in other countries, such as Other Ranks (ORs) in the United Kingdom and some Commonwealth countries, and Non-commissioned members (NCMs) in Canada. A Non-commissioned member (NCM) is the Canadian Forces equivalent to Other Ranks or Enlisted. ...


Non-Commissioned Officers

Non-commissioned officers (NCOs) are enlisted personnel, under the command of an officer, granted delegated authority to supervise other military members or assigned significant administrative responsibilities. In U.S. Army parlance: "NCOs are the backbone of the Army!"[3] They are responsible for the care and direct control of junior military members, often functioning in the smaller field units as Executive Officers. A non-commissioned officer (sometimes noncommissioned officer), also known as an NCO or Noncom, is an enlisted member of an armed force who has been given authority by a commissioned officer. ... While Executive officer literally refers to a person responsible for the performance of duties involved in running an organization, the exact meaning of the role is highly variable, depending on the organization. ...


Even the most senior NCO officially ranks beneath the most junior commissioned officer or warrant officer. However, most senior NCOs have more experience, possibly including combat, than junior officers. In some organizations, senior NCOs may have formal responsibility and informal respect beyond that of junior officers, but less than that of warrant officers. Many warrant officers come from the ranks of mid-career NCOs. In some countries warrant ranks replace senior enlisted ranks.


NCO ranks typically include a varying number of grades of Sergeant and Corporal (air force, army and Marines), or Chief Petty Officer and Petty Officer (navy and coast guard). In many navies the term rate is used to designate specialty, while rank denotes paygrade. For other uses, see Sergeant (disambiguation). ... This article is about the military rank. ... Chief Petty Officer is a non-commissioned officer or equivalent in many navies. ... A Petty Officer is a noncommissioned officer or equivalent in many navies. ...


Other enlisted ranks

Personnel with no command authority usually bear titles such as Private, Marine, Airman/Aircraftman and Seaman (Seaman Recruit in the United States Navy and Coast Guard). In some countries and services, personnel in different branches have different titles. These may have a variety of grades, but these usually only reflect variations in pay, not increased authority. These may or may not technically be ranks, depending on the country and/or service. 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). ... A Marine is an elite warrior whose primary function is to serve aboard a ship and/or assault the land from the sea in amphibious warfare. ... Airman is a term used to refer to any enlisted personnel in the United States Air Force or Other Ranks in the Royal Air Force (in which airwoman is also seen). ... 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. ... This article is about a military rank. ... Seaman Recruit is the lowest enlisted rank in the U.S. Navy and U.S. Coast Guard, just below Seaman Apprentice; this rank was formerly known as Seaman Third Class. ...


Appointment

Appointment refers to the instrument by virtue of which the person exercises his or her authority. Officers are appointed by a Royal Commission in most monarchies or a Presidential Commission in many other countries. In the Commonwealth, Warrant Officers hold a Royal or Presidential Warrant. In the United States, officers are commissioned by the United States Senate after nomination by the President. Most officers are approved en bloc by voice vote, but flag officers are usually required to appear before the Armed Services Committee and answer questions to the satisfaction of its members, prior to a vote on their commission. Letters Patent by Queen Victoria creating the office of Governor-General of Australia Letters patent are a type of legal instrument in the form of an open letter issued by a monarch or government granting an office, a right, monopoly, title, or status to someone or some entity such as... Type Upper House President of the Senate Richard B. Cheney, R since January 20, 2001 President pro tempore Robert C. Byrd, D since January 4, 2007 Members 100 Political groups Democratic Party Republican Party Last elections November 7, 2006 Meeting place Senate Chamber United States Capitol Washington, DC United States... A voice vote in a legislative body refers to a vote taken on a topic where the participants respond to a question with yea (yes), nay (no), or present (abstain). ... The Committee on Armed Services is a committee of the United States Senate empowered with legislative oversight of the nations military, including the Department of Defense, military research and development, nuclear energy (as pertaining to national security), benefits for members of the military, the Selective Service System and other...


NCOs are appointed by an instrument of appointment, a written document, often a certificate, usually from the service head. Entry into service is often referred to as enlistment throughout the English speaking world, even in countries where soldiers do not technically enlist.


Sometimes personnel serve in an appointment which is higher than their actual rank. For instance, Commodore used to be an appointment of Captain in the Royal Navy and Lance Corporal used to be an appointment of Private in the British Army. British Commodore Sleeve Rank Command flag Commodore is a rank of the Royal Navy that dates to the mid-17th century: it was first used in the time of William III. There was a need for officers to command squadrons, but it was not deemed desirable to create new admirals. ... For other uses, see Captain (disambiguation). ... This article is about the navy of the United Kingdom. ... Lance Corporal (LCpl or L/Cpl) is a military rank used by some elements of the British, Commonwealth, and U.S. armed forces. ... The British Army is the land armed forces branch of the British Armed Forces. ...


Size of command

Main article: Military organization

To get a sense of the practical meaning of these ranks—and thus to be able to compare them across the different armed services, different nations, and the variations of titles and insignia—an understanding of the relative levels and sizes of each command will be helpful. The ranking and command system used by U.S. Marine ground forces can serve as a template for this purpose. It should be remembered that different countries will often use their own systems which won't match that of the U.S. Marines. In fact, the U.S. Army assigns a different rank to command the same type of unit as the Marines. The armed forces of a state are its government-sponsored defense and fighting forces and organizations used to further the objectives of the state. ... The United States Marine Corps (USMC) is a branch of the United States military responsible for providing force projection from the sea,[1] using the mobility of the U.S. Navy to rapidly deliver combined-arms task forces and is one of seven uniformed services. ...


Under this system, starting from the bottom and working up, a Corporal leads a Fireteam consisting of three other Marines. A Sergeant leads a Squad consisting of three Fireteams. As a result, a full squad numbers 13 individuals. Squads usually have numbered designations, i.e.: 1st Squad. This article does not cite any references or sources. ... In the fire service a Squad is a Engine Company with a compliment of rescue tools. ...


A Lieutenant commands a Platoon, which can consist of three or four Squads. In Marine infantry units, Rifle Platoons usually consist of three Rifle Squads of 13 men each, with a Navy corpsman, the Platoon Commander, and a Platoon Sergeant (a Staff Sergeant who serves as Executive Officer). A Weapons Platoon replaces the three squads with a 60 mm mortar section, an assault section, and a medium machine gun section. An infantry Platoon can number from 42 to 55 individuals, depending on the service. Platoons are usually numbered (i.e.: 1st Platoon) or named after their primary function (i.e.: Service Platoon). Platoon of the German Bundeswehr. ... Infantry of the Royal Irish Rifles during the Battle of the Somme in World War I Infantry or footmen are very highly disciplined and trained soldiers who fight primarily with small arms(rifles), but are trained to use everything from their bare hands to missle systems in order to neutralize... Hospital Corpsmen (HMs) are members of the United States Navy Hospital Corps. ... United States Military Staff Sergeant insignia (U.S. Air Force) Staff Sergeant is the fifth enlisted rank in the U.S. Air Force, just above Senior Airman and below Technical Sergeant. ... While Executive officer literally refers to a person responsible for the performance of duties involved in running an organization, the exact meaning of the role is highly variable, depending on the organization. ...


A Captain commands a Company, usually consisting of four Platoons (three Rifle Platoons and one Weapons Platoon). His command post can include a Gunnery Sergeant and as many as seven others. So a Company can comprise from roughly 175 to 225 individuals. Equivalent units also commanded by Captains are Batteries and Detachments. In English speaking countries, a Company (or troop in the Cavalry or Armor, and Battery in the Artillery) is usually designated by a letter, i.e.: A Company. In non-English speaking countries, they are usually numbered. Standard NATO code for a friendly infantry company. ... Gunnery Sergeant insignia (U.S. Marine Corps) Gunnery Sergeant is the seventh enlisted rank in the U.S. Marine Corps, just above Staff Sergeant and below Master Sergeant and First Sergeant, and is a staff non-commissioned officer. ...


A Lieutenant Colonel commands a Battalion or a Squadron, often consisting of four Companies or Sections plus the various members of his command post. A battalion is around 500-1500 men and usually consists of between two and six companies. Several battalions are grouped to form a regiment or a brigade. Symbol of the Austrian 14th Armoured Battalion in NATO military graphic symbols This article is about the military unit. ... A Squadron is a small unit or formation of cavalry, aircraft (including balloons), or naval vessels. ...


A Colonel commands a Regiment or Group, often consisting of four Battalions (for an Infantry unit) or five to six Air Groups (for a Wing). Battalions and Regiments are usually numbered, either as a separate Battalion or as part of a Regimental structure, i.e.: 1/1 Marines in the Marine Corps or 1-501st Infantry in the US Army. British regiment A regiment is a military unit, consisting of a variable number of battalions - commanded by a colonel. ... Group is a term used by different air forces for an element of military organization. ...


In these latter, abstractions cease to be helpful and it becomes necessary to turn to an actual unit. The 1st Battalion of the 1st Marine Regiment of the 1st Marine Division of the I Marine Expeditionary Force consists of three infantry companies, one weapons company, and one headquarters and service company. Above that, the 1st Marine Regiment (First Marines) consists of four such Battalions and one headquarters company. Marine Air Control Group 18 of 1st Marine Air Wing of the III Marine Expeditionary Force consists of four squadrons, one battery, and one detachment, a mix of different-sized units under a regimental equivalent-sized unit. Official force name 1st Marine Regiment Other names 1st Marines Motto No Better Friend, No Worse Enemy Branch United States Marine Corps Chain of Command 1st Marine Division Description Marine infantry regiment Readiness Capable of short notice world wide deployment. ... Marine Air Control Group 18 (MACG-18) is a United States Marine Corps aviation command and control unit based at Marine Corps Air Station Futenma that is currently composed of 4 squadrons, 1 battery and 1 administrative detachment that provide the 1st Marine Aircraft Wings tactical headquarters and positive and... The 1st Marine Aircraft Wing is an aviation unit of the United States Marine Corps based at Marine Corps Air Station Futenma, Okinawa, Japan. ... The III Marine Expeditionary Force, is a Marine Air-Ground Task Force of the United States Marine Corps that is forward-deployed and able to deploy rapidly and conduct operations across the spectrum from humanitarian assistance and disaster relief to amphibious assault and high intensity combat. ...


The next level has traditionally been a Brigade, commanded by a Brigadier General, and containing two or more Regiments. But this structure is considered obsolete today. At the present time, in the U.S. Army, a Brigade is roughly equal to or a little larger than a Regiment, consisting of three to seven battalions. Strength typically ranges from 1,500 to 3,500 personnel. In the U.S. Marines, Brigades are only formed for certain missions. In size and nature they are larger and more varied collections of Battalions than is common for a Regiment, fitting them for their traditional role as the smallest formation able to operate independently on a battlefield without external logistical tactical support. Brigades are usually numbered, i.e.: 2d Brigade. In military science a brigade is a military unit that is part of a division and includes regiments (where that level exists), or (in modern armies) is composed of several battalions (typically two to four) and directly attached supporting units. ... The United States Army is the largest and oldest branch of the armed forces of the United States. ...


The level above Regiment and Brigade is the Division, commanded by a Major General and consisting of from 10,000 to 20,000 persons. The 1st Marine Division, for example, is made up of four Marine Regiments (of the type described above), one Assault Amphibian Battalion, one Reconnaissance Battalion, two Light Armored Reconnaissance Battalions, one Combat Engineer Battalion, one Tank Battalion, and one Headquarters Battalion—totalling more than 19,000 Marines. (Within the Headquarters Battalion are one Headquarters Company, one Service Company, one Military Police Company, one Communications Company, and one Truck Company.) An equivalent elsewhere within the same Marine Expeditionary Force (MEF) might be a MEF Logistics Group (MLG) - which is not a regimental-sized unit (as the word "group" implies), but rather a large support unit consisting of several battalions of support personnel. Divisions are normally numbered, but can be named after a function or personage. Symbol of the Polish 1st Legions Infantry Division in NATO code A division is a large military unit or formation usually consisting of around ten to twenty thousand soldiers. ... The Singapore Armed Forces Military Police Command providing security coverage at the Padang in Singapore during the National Day Parade in 2000. ...


Considering such a variety of units, the command sizes for any given rank will vary widely. Not all units are as troop intensive as infantry forces need to be. Tank and artillery crews, for example, involve far fewer personnel. Numbers also differ for non-combat units such as quartermasters, cooks, and hospital staff. Beyond this, in any real situation, not all units will be at full strength and there will be various attachments and detachments of assorted specialists woven throughout the system. For other uses, see Artillery (disambiguation). ... Quartermaster is a term usually referring to a military unit which specializes in supplying and provisioning troops, or to an individual who does the same. ...


The 1st Marine Division is part of the I Marine Expeditionary Force, which also includes the 3rd Marine Air Wing, 1st Service Support Group, 1st Marine Expeditionary Brigade, three Marine Expeditionary Units (featuring helicopter groups), and a Battalion-sized Marine Air Ground Task Force. In the U.S. Marine Corps there are three Marine Expeditionary Forces. For other uses, see Helicopter (disambiguation). ...


In the U.S. Army, the level above Division is called a Corps instead of an Expeditionary Force. It is commanded by a Lieutenant General. In many armies, a Corps numbers around 60,000, usually divided into three divisions. Corps (and similar organizations) are normally designated with roman numerals and their nationality when operating in a Combined (international) force, i.e.: V (US) Corps, VIII (ROK) Corps, II MEF, I Canadian Corps. This article is about a military unit. ...


During World War II, due to the large scale of combat, multiple Corps were combined into Armies commanded in theory by a General (four stars), but often by a Lieutenant General (three stars), and comprising as many as 240,000 troops. Armies are numbered by spelled-out numerals or functional titles, using their nationality in Combined forces, i.e.: Eighth (US) Army, Third (ROK) Army, British Army of the Rhine (BAOR). For other uses, see Army (disambiguation). ...


These were in their turn formed into Army Groups, these being the largest field organization handled by a single commander in modern warfare. Army Groups included between 400,000 and 1,500,000 troops. Army Groups received Arabic numeral designations and national designations when Combined, i.e.: 12 (BR) Army Group. An army group is a military organization (formation) consisting of several armies, and is supposed to be self-sufficient for indefinite periods. ...


These examples illustrate a standard that holds true all over the world and throughout history: rank generally implies size of command in a nested system of ranks and commands. But the specific size of a command for any given rank will depend on the task the unit performs, the nature of weapons used, and the strategies of warfare.


See also

Common military ranks
Navies1 Armies2 Air Forces3
Admiral of
the Fleet
Field Marshal Marshal of
the Air Force
Admiral General Air Chief Marshal
Vice Admiral Lt. General Air Marshal
Rear Admiral Major General Air Vice-Marshal
Commodore Brigadier Air Commodore
Captain Colonel Group Captain
Commander Lt. Colonel Wing Commander
Lt. 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
1 in the English-speaking world          2 also some Air Forces
3 In many Commonwealth countries
  • Other forms and meanings of rank

Admiral of the Fleet is a supreme naval position that has existed in historical navies and still exists in several modern-day navies. ... Note: This article is about the military usage of the word marshal. For other usages, see the end of this article. ... Marshal of the Air Force is both a generic term for the most senior rank in an air force, equivalent to Field Marshal or Fleet Admiral and, in some air forces, a rank title. ... For other uses, see Admiral (disambiguation). ... General is a military rank, in most nations the highest rank, although some nations have the higher rank of Field Marshal. ... Air Chief Marshal Sir Richard Johns in RAF No 1 Dress uniform Air Chief Marshal (Air Chf Mshl or ACM) is a senior air officer rank in the Royal Air Force of the United Kingdom as well as in the Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) and in the air forces... Vice Admiral is a naval rank of three star level, equivalent to Lieutenant General in seniority. ... Lieutenant General is a military rank used in many countries. ... An air marshals sleeve/shoulder insignia Air Marshal (Air Mshl or AM) is a rank in the Royal Air Force. ... The term Rear Admiral originated from the days of Naval Sailing Squadrons, and can trace its origins to the British Royal Navy. ... Insignia of a United States Air Force Major General German Generalmajor Insignia Major General is a military rank used in many countries. ... An Air Vice Marshals sleeve/shoulder insignia 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 of the 1990s. ... 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 (IPA pronunciation: ) is a military rank, the meaning of which has a considerable variation. ... 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. ... For other uses, see Colonel (disambiguation). ... A Group Captains sleeve/shoulder insignia Group Captain (Gp Capt in the RAF, GPCAPT in the RNZAF and RAAF, G/C in the former RCAF) 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. ... A Wing Commanders sleeve/shoulder insignia A Wing Commanders command flag Wing Commander is a commissioned rank in the Royal Air Force and the air forces of many other Commonwealth countries. ... 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 (Sqn Ldr in the RAF, SQNLDR in the RNZAF and RAAF and S/L in the former RCAF) 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. ... This article does not cite any references or sources. ... For Warrant Officers in the United States military, see Warrant Officer (United States). ... For Warrant Officers in the United States military, see Warrant Officer (United States). ... For Warrant Officers in the United States military, see Warrant Officer (United States). ... A Petty Officer is a noncommissioned officer or equivalent in many navies. ... For other uses, see Sergeant (disambiguation). ... For other uses, see Sergeant (disambiguation). ... Leading Seaman (or Leading Rate) is the most senior of the junior rates in the British Royal Navy. ... This article is about the military rank. ... This article is about the military rank. ... 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. ... Definitions of the Anglosphere vary: Countries in which English is the first language of a large fraction of the population are shown in blue. ... The Commonwealth of Nations as of 2007 Headquarters Marlborough House, London, UK Official languages English Membership 53 sovereign states Leaders  -  Queen Elizabeth II  -  Secretary-General Kamalesh Sharma Appointed 24 November 2007 Establishment  -  Balfour Declaration 18 November 1926   -  Statute of Westminster 11 December 1931   -  London Declaration 28 April 1949  Area  -  Total... 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. ... A military unit is an organisation within an armed force. ... // Present Polish system of rank insignia is a direct descendant of various systems used in the past in the Polish Army. ... Modern Russian military ranks trace their roots to Table of Ranks established by Peter the Great. ... Finnish military ranks form a system that incorporates features from Swedish, German, and Russian armed forces. ... Croatian military ranks are as follows: Military of Croatia Category: ... This is a list of the highest-ranking general and flag officers (generals and admirals) who have served in the armed forces of the United States. ... The rank insignia of the French Navy are worn on epaulettes of shirts and white jackets, and on sleeves for navy jackets and mantels. ... Rank insignia in the Frnach army, except for general officers, depends on whether the soldier belongs to a foot arm or a horse arm. All arms are designated either a foot or horse arm. ... This is a table of the ranks and insignia of the Mexican Armed Forces. ... In the 17th and 18th centuries, rank was generally denoted by the quantity of lace and through other decoration used on uniforms. ... The term used to refer to all ranks below officers is Other Ranks (ORs). ... The following tables present the military ranks and insignia of the Sri Lanka Army. ... // Origins Lieutenant-General David Henderson originally proposed that Royal Air Force officers use a combination of British Army and Royal Navy ranks. ... The term used in the Royal Air Force to refer to all ranks below commissioned officer level is Other Ranks (ORs). ... // The Royal Thai Army (กองทัพบกไทย - RTGS Kong Thap Bok Thai - IPA kÉ”:Å‹ tháp bòk thaj) is the land based part of the Thai military. ... It has been suggested that this article or section be merged with US Army. ... This chart represents the U.S. Army enlisted rank insignia with seniority decreasing left-to-right inside a given pay grade. ... Ranks and insignia of NATO are combined military insignia used by the member countries of the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation. ... The Lords and Barons prove their Nobility by hanging their Banners and exposing their Coats-of-arms at the Windows of the Lodge of the Heralds. ... A Navy JROTC cadet salutes during the parading of the colors ceremony held at Pearl Harbor, Hawaii. ... Look up rank in Wiktionary, the free dictionary. ...

References

  1. ^ Rosignoli, Guido (1984). World Army Badges and Insignia Since 1939. Dorset: Blandford Press.
  2. ^ unknown; translated by Urgunge Onon, revised by Sue Bradbury [1228] (1993). "Chapter Nine: Chinggis Khan's military and civil administration", Chinggis Khan: The Golden History of the Mongols (hardback) (in English), London: The Folio Society, page 116. “Within the units of a thousand men he [Chinggis Khan] appointed commanders over groups of a hundred, and within those over groups of ten. The main units he made part of larger contingents of ten thousand, appointing commanders to rule over them.” 
  • Debra Hamel 1998, Athenian generals: Military authority in the classical period. Leiden.
  • Oxford Classical Dictionary, 2nd edition, 1996: strategoi.
  • Warry, John Gibson (1980) Warfare in the classical world: an illustrated encyclopedia of weapons, warriors, and warfare in the ancient civilisations of Greece and Rome. New York, St. Martin's Press.

Debra Hamel is an American historian specializing in ancient Greece. ... The Oxford Classical Dictionary (OCD) is the standard one-volume encyclopedia in English of topics relating to Ancient Greece and Ancient Rome. ...

External links


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