Brigadier

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Brigadier /brɪɡəˈdɪər/ is a military rank, the seniority of which depends on the country. In some countries, it is a senior rank above colonel, equivalent to a brigadier general, typically commanding a brigade of several thousand soldiers. In other countries, it is a non-commissioned rank (e.g. Spain, Italy, France, the Netherlands and the Indonesian Police ranks).

Military organized body primarily tasked with preparing for and conducting war

A military or an armed force is a professional organization formally authorized by a sovereign state to use lethal or deadly force and weapons to support the interests of the state. It typically consists of branches such as an Army, Navy, Air Force, and in certain countries, Marines and a Coast Guard. The task of the military is usually defined as defence of the state and of its citizens, and as the prosecution of war against other states. The military may also have additional sanctioned and non-sanctioned functions within a society, including, the promotion of a political agenda, protecting corporate economic interests, internal population control, construction, emergency services, social ceremonies, and guarding important areas. The military may also function as a discrete subculture within a larger civil society, through the development of separate infrastructures, which may include housing, schools, utilities, logistics, health and medical, law, food production, finance and banking.

Military ranks are a system of hierarchical relationships in armed forces, police, intelligence agencies or other institutions organized along military lines. Military ranks and the military rank system define among others dominance, authority, as well as roles and responsibility in a military hierarchy. The military rank system incorporates the principles of exercising power and authority, and the military chain of command – the succession of commanders superior to subordinates through which command is exercised – constructs an important component for organized collective action.

Colonel is a senior military officer rank below the brigadier and general officer ranks. However, in some small military forces, such as those of Monaco or the Vatican, colonel is the highest rank. It is also used in some police forces and paramilitary organizations.

Contents

Senior officer rank

Austria-Hungary

As the head of the Polish Legions fighting on the Austrio-Hungarian side in World War I, Józef Piłsudski was given the rank of Brigadier that otherwise did not exist in the Austro-Hungarian military.

Józef Piłsudski Polish politician and Prime Minister

Józef Klemens Piłsudski, was a Polish statesman who served as the Chief of State (1918–22) and First Marshal of Poland. He was considered the de facto leader (1926–35) of the Second Polish Republic as the Minister of Military Affairs. From World War I he had great power in Polish politics and was a distinguished figure on the international scene. He is viewed as a father of the Second Polish Republic re-established in 1918, 123 years after the 1795 Partitions of Poland by Austria, Prussia and Russia.

British tradition

In many countries, especially those formerly part of the British Empire, a brigadier is either the highest field rank or most junior general appointment, nominally commanding a brigade. It ranks above colonel and below major general.

British Empire States and dominions ruled by the United Kingdom

The British Empire comprised the dominions, colonies, protectorates, mandates and other territories ruled or administered by the United Kingdom and its predecessor states. It originated with the overseas possessions and trading posts established by England between the late 16th and early 18th centuries. At its height, it was the largest empire in history and, for over a century, was the foremost global power. By 1913, the British Empire held sway over 412 million people, 23% of the world population at the time, and by 1920, it covered 35,500,000 km2 (13,700,000 sq mi), 24% of the Earth's total land area. As a result, its political, legal, linguistic and cultural legacy is widespread. At the peak of its power, the phrase "the empire on which the sun never sets" was often used to describe the British Empire, because its expanse around the globe meant that the sun was always shining on at least one of its territories.

A field officer, field-grade officer, or senior officer is an army, Marine, or air force commissioned officer senior in rank to a company officer but junior to a general officer. In most armies this corresponds to the ranks of major, lieutenant colonel and colonel, or their equivalents. Some countries also include brigadier in the definition.

Brigade Military formation size designation, typically of 3-6 battalions

A brigade is a major tactical military formation that is typically composed of three to six battalions plus supporting elements. It is roughly equivalent to an enlarged or reinforced regiment. Two or more brigades may constitute a division.

The rank is used by the British Army, the Royal Marines, the Australian Army, the Indian Army, the Sri Lankan Army, the New Zealand Army, the Pakistan Army and several others. Although it is not always considered a general officer rank, it is always considered equivalent to the brigadier general and brigade general rank of other countries. In NATO forces, brigadier is OF-6 on the rank scale.

British Army land warfare branch of the British Armed Forces of the United Kingdom

The British Army is the principal land warfare force of the United Kingdom, a part of British Armed Forces. As of 2018, the British Army comprises just over 81,500 trained regular (full-time) personnel and just over 27,000 trained reserve (part-time) personnel.

Royal Marines marine corps and amphibious infantry of the United Kingdom

The Corps of Royal Marines (RM) is the amphibious light infantry and one of the five fighting arms of the Royal Navy. The Royal Marines were formed in 1755 as the Royal Navy's infantry troops. However, the marines can trace their origins back to the formation of the English Army's "Duke of York and Albany's maritime regiment of Foot" at the grounds of the Honourable Artillery Company on 28 October 1664.

Australian Army land warfare branch of Australias defence forces

The Australian Army is Australia's military land force. It is part of the Australian Defence Force (ADF) along with the Royal Australian Navy and the Royal Australian Air Force. While the Chief of the Defence Force (CDF) commands the ADF, the Army is commanded by the Chief of Army (CA). The CA is therefore subordinate to the CDF, but is also directly responsible to the Minister for Defence. Although Australian soldiers have been involved in a number of minor and major conflicts throughout its history, only in World War II has Australian territory come under direct attack.

"The grade of brigadier-general, also called, almost interchangeably, brigadier, first appeared in the British army during the reign of King James II. A warrant of 1705 placed the grade directly below major-general, but the appointment was always considered temporary and not continuous. The British were ambiguous over whether the holder was considered a general officer or a senior field grade office". [1]

The title is derived from the equivalent British rank of brigadier-general, used until 1922 and still used in many countries. "Brigadier" was already in use as a generic term for a commander of a brigade irrespective of specific rank. Until the rank was dissolved in 1922, brigadier-generals wore a crossed sword and baton symbol on its own.

From 1922-28, the British rank title used was that of colonel-commandant, with one crown and three 'pips', a rank which, although reflecting its modern role in the British Army as a senior colonel rather than a junior general, was not well received and was replaced with brigadier after six years. Colonel-commandant was only ever used for officers commanding brigades, depots or training establishments. Officers holding equivalent rank in administrative appointments were known as "colonels on the staff", also replaced by brigadier in 1928. Colonel-commandants and colonels on the staff wore the same rank badge later adopted by brigadiers. [2]

Senior colonel is an army officer rank placed between a regular colonel and a major general. The rank typically exists in militaries that do not maintain a rank of brigadier general or brigadier.

Until shortly after World War II, brigadier was an appointment conferred on colonels (as commodore was an appointment conferred on naval captains) rather than a substantive rank. [2]

In Commonwealth countries, and most Arabic-speaking countries (in which the rank is called amid), the rank insignia comprises a crown (or some other national symbol) with three stars, [3] (sometimes called "pips"), which are often arranged in a triangle. A brigadier's uniform may also have red gorget patches. It is otherwise similar to that of a colonel (colonel's rank insignia have a crown/emblem with two stars/"pips".)[ citation needed ]

The Canadian Army used the rank of brigadier (following British tradition, with identical insignia) until the unification of the Canadian Forces in 1968. The rank then became brigadier-general with the insignia of St. Edward's Crown surmounting a crossed sword and baton over one gold maple leaf.[ citation needed ]

France

Until 1788, a rank of brigadier des armées ("brigadier of the armies"), which could be described as a senior colonel or junior brigade commander, was used in the French Army. The normal brigade command rank was field marshal ( maréchal de camp ) (which elsewhere is a more senior rank). During the French Revolution, the ranks of brigadier des armées and maréchal de camp were replaced by brigade general (général de brigade).

In common with many countries, France now uses the officer rank of brigade general instead of a "brigadier" rank; this was the rank held by Charles de Gaulle. The brigadier des armées held a one-star insignia, [4] while the général de brigade inherited the maréchal de camp two-stars insignia. The disparition of the brigadier rank is the reason that there is no one-star insignia in the French Army.

Spain

The rank of a brigadier [5] was established by Philip V in 1702 as an intermediate rank between colonel and true generals. In some Iberoamerican republics (see below), the rank survived after independence. In Spain, brigadiers came to be considered full generals in 1871, and in 1889 they were renamed general de brigada.The historical rank is distinct from the current NCO rank of brigada, although sometimes translators confuse the two. The name has survived as a cadet rank at the Spanish Naval Academy.

Latin America

Many countries in South and Central America were formerly Spanish or Portuguese (Brazil) possessions. Brigadier [-general] is used in Latin America, in the normal sense of brigade commander rank (e.g. Colombia, Chile), although most Latin American nations instead use the rank of brigade general. In Mexico, brigadier general is the rank below brigade general, both ranks falling between colonel and divisional general.

However, both the Argentine and Brazilian Air Forces use a curious system of variations on brigadier for all (Argentina) or most (Brazil) general officers. The origin of this system is not entirely clear, but in the case of Argentina may be due to army air units being commanded by brigade generals before the establishment of the Air Force as an independent armed force.

In the Argentine Air Force these ranks are, in decreasing order of seniority:

In the Brazilian Air Force these ranks are, in decreasing order of seniority:

Above these is the highest Brazilian Air Force rank of marshal of the air, used only in wartime[ citation needed ].

Junior officer rank

United Kingdom

In the UK, brigadier and sub-brigadier were formerly subaltern ranks in the Royal Horse Guards. [6] [ when? ]

Non-commissioned rank

Brigadier also exists as a non-commissioned rank. This usage derives from the use of "brigade" to denote a squad or team, similar to the occasional English civilian usage "work brigade".

France

In France, and some countries whose forces were structured based on the method used in France, some branches of the army and the gendarmerie use brigadier for a rank equivalent to caporal (corporal), and brigadier-chef for a rank equivalent to caporal-chef. Brigadier is used by arms of the army that are by tradition considered "mounted" arms, such as logistics or cavalry units. A similar usage exists elsewhere.

In the French gendamerie, the brigadier ranks are used as in the army, i.e. as junior enlisted ranks (gradés), while the French police use brigadier ranks as their sub-officer (sous-officier) ranks. Since all professional police and gendarmes have sub-officer status in France, the gendarmerie brigadier ranks are rarely used, since they are used only by auxiliaries. On the other hand, the police brigadier ranks, which are used to indicate professional ranks, are common.

In the French gendarmerie and in "mounted" arms of the French army, the brigadier ranks are:

In the French National Police, the sub-officer variations are used for non-commissioned officers are:

Indonesia

PDU BRIG KOM.png

In the Indonesian National Police force, this rank is referred to as the Constable ranks in the regular police units. It is equivalent to the "sergeant" rank in the military. This rank is the most junior rank in the regular police units of Indonesia but is above the enlisted ranks (Tamtama) of the special police units such as in the Mobile Brigade corps and water police units. This rank is below the "Assistant inspector" (Ajun Inspektur Polisi) ranks. The police Brigadier ranks are as shown below:

In addition, Police Brigadier General (Brigadir Jenderal Polisi) and Brigadier General (Brigadir Jenderal) are general officer ranks in the Indonesian Police, Army and Marine Corps respectively.

Italy

In the Italian Carabinieri and Guardia di Finanza , the ranks of vice-brigadier (vice brigadiere), brigadier (brigadiere), and chief brigadier (brigadiere capo) correspond roughly to the army ranks based on sergeant. The rank of brigade general (generale di brigata) is used throughout the armed forces as the most junior general rank, and corresponds to the British rank title of brigadier.

Netherlands

Brigadier is traditionally the most senior non-commissioned rank in some Netherlands police forces, for example the Korps landelijke politiediensten and Gemeentepolitie. The rank has been continued by the National Police Corps (Korps Nationale Politie) into which the previous forces merged in 2013. The Royal Marechaussee do not use this rank.

Spain

In Spain, a brigada has a NATO rank code of OR-8 (and is thus a senior NCO). The Spanish rank brigada is distinct from the Spanish-language brigadier [-general] used for senior officers in Latin America (and historically in Spain).

See also

Related Research Articles

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Field marshal is a very senior military rank, ordinarily senior to the general officer ranks. Usually it is the highest rank in an army, and when it is, few persons are appointed to it. It is considered as a five-star rank (OF-10) in modern-day armed forces in many countries. Promotion to the rank of field marshal in many countries historically required extraordinary military achievement by a general. However, the rank has also been used as a divisional command rank and also as a brigade command rank. Examples of the different uses of the rank include Austria-Hungary, Prussia, Germany and Sri Lanka for an extraordinary achievement; Spain and Mexico for a divisional command ; and France, Portugal and Brazil for a brigade command.

Brigadier general or Brigade general is a senior rank in the armed forces. It is the lowest ranking general officer in some countries, usually sitting between the ranks of colonel and major general. When appointed to a field command, a brigadier general is typically in command of a brigade consisting of around 4,000 troops. In some countries a brigadier general is informally designated as a one-star general (OF-6).

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Général

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Gendarmerie (Belgium)

The Gendarmerie (French) or Rijkswacht (Dutch) was the former paramilitary police force of Belgium. It became a civilian police organisation in 1992, a status retained until January 1, 2001, when it was, together with the other existing police forces in Belgium, abolished and replaced by the Federal Police and the Local Police.

Divisional general is a rank of general in command of a division. Examples would include the Spanish general de división, the French général de division and the Polish generał dywizji. For convenience such ranks are often translated into English as "major-general", the equivalent rank used by most English-speaking nations. The corresponding NATO code is OF-7, or a "two-star rank". Some countries of Latin America such as Brazil and Chile use divisional general as the equivalent of "lieutenant-general". This corresponding NATO code is OF-8, or a "three-star rank" for these countries. In Japan and Taiwan the rank of lieutenant-general is equivalent to divisional general.

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Two-star rank military rank

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One-star rank military rank

An officer of one-star rank is a senior commander in many of the armed services holding a rank described by the NATO code of OF-6. The term is also used by some armed forces which are not NATO members. Typically, one-star officers hold the rank of commodore, flotilla admiral, brigadier general, brigadier, or in the case of those air forces with a separate rank structure, air commodore.

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Rank insignia in the French air force are worn on the sleeve or on shoulder marks of uniforms

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References

  1. The Brigade: A History: Its Organization and Employment in the US Army, Chapter 1, Brigades in the Continental Army, Brigades and Brigadier-Generals, pp. 8-9. http://usacac.army.mil/cac2/cgsc/carl/download/csipubs/Brigade-AHistory.pdf. Retrieved 21 December 2016.
  2. 1 2 "New Army Rank of Brigadier", The Times , 23 December 1997.
  3. In Britain, Australia, and many other Commonwealth and ex-Commonwealth countries, these are Order of the Bath stars.
  4. Les grades dans l’armée de terre Archived December 4, 2014, at the Wayback Machine
  5. Cañete Paez, Francisco Angel : El brigadier. Empleo atípico en el generalato español de los siglos XVIII Y XIX : Revista Arbil: nº 105
  6. Murray, L. (1821). The Young Man's Best Companion, and Book of General Knowledge. p. 446.