Captain (naval)

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A Royal Navy captain's rank insignia during Divisions conducted at HMNB Clyde in January 2013 HMS Vanguard's Port ship's company, Divisions, Jan 2013 01.jpg
A Royal Navy captain's rank insignia during Divisions conducted at HMNB Clyde in January 2013
Captains from different Navies Chinese visit 151103-N-PP197-213.jpg
Captains from different Navies

Captain is the name most often given in English-speaking navies to the rank corresponding to command of the largest ships. [1] [2] [3] The rank is equal to the army rank of colonel.

Contents

Equivalent ranks worldwide include "ship-of-the-line captain" (e.g. France, Argentina, Spain), "captain of sea and war" (e.g. Brazil, Portugal), "captain at sea" (e.g. Germany, Netherlands) and "captain of the first rank" (Russia).

The NATO rank code is OF-5, although the United States of America uses the code O-6 for the equivalent rank (as they do for all OF-5 ranks).

Etiquette

Any naval officer who commands a ship is addressed by naval custom as "captain" while aboard in command, regardless of his or her actual rank, even though technically an officer of below the rank of captain is more correctly titled the commanding officer, or C.O. Officers with the rank of captain travelling aboard a vessel they do not command should be addressed by their rank and name (e.g., "Captain Smith"), but they should not be referred to as "the captain" to avoid confusion with the vessel's captain. [4] The naval rank should not be confused with the army, air force, or marine ranks of captain, which all have the NATO code of OF-2. [Note 1]

US Navy traditions

On large US ships (e.g., aircraft carriers), the executive officer (XO) may be a captain in rank, in which case it would be proper to address him by rank. Often the XO prefers to be called "XO" to avoid confusion with the CO, who is also a captain in rank and the captain of the ship. [5] The same applies to senior commanders on board US aircraft carriers, where the commander and deputy commander of the embarked carrier air wing are both captains in rank, but are addressed by the titles of "CAG" and "DCAG", respectively.

Commands

Captains with sea commands generally command ships of cruiser size or larger; the more senior the officer, the larger the ship, but ship commanders do not normally hold a higher rank than captain. In the Royal Navy, a captain might command an aircraft carrier, an amphibious assault ship, or the Ice Patrol Ship, while naval aviator and naval flight officer captains in the U.S. Navy command aircraft carriers, large-deck amphibious assault ships, carrier air wings, maritime patrol air wings, and functional and specialized air wings and air groups.

Maritime battlestaff commanders of one-star rank (commodores or rear admirals lower half) will normally embark on large capital ships such as aircraft carriers, which will function as the flagship for their strike group or battle group, but a captain will retain command of the actual ship, and assume the title of "flag captain". Even when a senior officer who is in the ship's captain's chain of command is present, all orders are given through the captain.

Captains in national navies

The following articles deal with the rank of captain as it is used in various navies.

See also

Notes

  1. The Polish Navy is, however, a notable exception with "naval captain" (Polish - kapitan marynarki) in the OF-2 rank of lieutenant or captain lieutenant and the OF-5 rank being a "Commodore" (Polish - komandor).

Related Research Articles

Commodore is a senior naval rank used in many navies which is equivalent to Brigadier and Air Commodore that is superior to a navy captain, but below a rear admiral. It is either regarded as the most junior of the flag officers rank or may not hold the jurisdiction of a flag officer at all depending on the officer's appointment. Non-English-speaking nations often use the rank of flotilla admiral, counter admiral, or senior captain as an equivalent, although counter admiral may also correspond to rear admiral.

A lieutenant is the second junior-most or in some cases the junior-most commissioned officer in the armed forces, fire services, police, and other organizations of many nations.

Lieutenant commander commissioned officer rank in many navies

Lieutenant commander is a commissioned officer rank in many navies. The rank is superior to a lieutenant and subordinate to a commander. The corresponding rank in most armies and air forces is major, and in the Royal Air Force and other Commonwealth air forces is squadron leader.

Commander is a common naval and air force officer rank. Commander is also used as a rank or title in other formal organisations, including several police forces. In several countries this naval rank is termed Frigate Captain.

First lieutenant is a commissioned officer military rank in many armed forces and, in some forces, an appointment.

An executive officer (CCE) is generally a person responsible for running an organization, although the exact nature of the role varies depending on the organization. In many militaries, an executive officer, or "XO", is the second-in-command, reporting to the commanding officer. The XO is typically responsible for the management of day-to-day activities, freeing the commander to concentrate on strategy and planning the unit's next move.

Squadron leader OF-3 rank in the Royal Air Force and other air forces

Squadron leader is a commissioned rank in the Royal Air Force and the air forces of many countries which have historical British influence. It is also sometimes used as the English translation of an equivalent rank in countries which have a non-English air force-specific rank structure.

Ensign is a junior rank of a commissioned officer in the armed forces of some countries, normally in the infantry or navy. As the junior officer in an infantry regiment was traditionally the carrier of the ensign flag, the rank acquired the name. This rank has generally been replaced in army ranks by second lieutenant. Ensigns were generally the lowest ranking commissioned officer, except where the rank of subaltern existed. In contrast, the Arab rank of ensign, لواء, liwa', derives from the command of units with an ensign, not the carrier of such a unit's ensign, and is today the equivalent of a major general.

Ranks in the French Navy

The rank insignia of the French Navy are worn on shoulder straps of shirts and white jackets, and on sleeves for navy jackets and mantels. Until 2005, only commissioned officers had an anchor on their insignia, but enlisted personnel are now receiving them as well. Although the names of the ranks for superior officers contain the word "Capitaine", the appropriate style to address them is "Commandant", "Capitaine" referring to "lieutenant de vaisseau", which is translated as lieutenant. The two highest ranks, Vice-amiral d'escadre and Amiral (Admiral), are functions, rather than ranks. They are assumed by officers ranking Vice-Amiral (Vice-Admiral).

Master commandant was a rank within the early United States Navy. Both the Continental Navy, started in 1775, and the United States Navy created by the United States Congress, in 1796, had just two commissioned ranks, lieutenant and captain. Master commandant, who would command smaller vessels, was used, unofficially, as early as 1799. The rank was made official in 1806. The name of the rank was changed to commander" in 1837.

Senior captain is a rank which is used in some countries' armed forces, navies and merchant marines.

Commodore was an early title and later a rank in the United States Navy, United States Coast Guard and the Confederate States Navy. For over two centuries, the designation has been given varying levels of authority and formality.

Captain-commandant is a rank currently used in the Belgian Armed Forces and formerly used in the United States Revenue Cutter Service and its successor, the United States Coast Guard.

The army rank of captain is a commissioned officer rank historically corresponding to the command of a company of soldiers. The rank is also used by some air forces and marine forces. Today, a captain is typically either the commander or second-in-command of a company or artillery battery. In the Chinese People's Liberation Army, a captain may also command a company, or be the second-in-command of a battalion.

Captain is a rank that appears in several navies. The name of the rank derives from the fact the rank corresponded to command of a warship of the largest class, the ship-of-the-line, as opposed to smaller types. It is normally above the rank of frigate captain.

Commander is a senior officer rank of the Royal Navy of the United Kingdom. It is immediately junior to captain and immediately senior to the rank of lieutenant commander. Officers holding the junior rank of lieutenant commander are not considered to be commanders.

Captain at sea is a naval rank corresponding to command of a ship-of-the-line or capital ship.

Lieutenant (navy) Commissioned officer rank in many nations navies

Lieutenant is a commissioned officer rank in many nations' navies. It is typically the most senior of junior officer ranks. In most navies, the rank's insignia may consist of two medium gold braid stripes, the uppermost stripe featuring an executive curl in many Commonwealth of Nations; or three stripes of equal or unequal width.

Captain (United States O-6) Rank in the United States uniformed services, O-6

In the United States Navy, United States Coast Guard, United States Public Health Service Commissioned Corps (USPHS), and National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Commissioned Officer Corps, captain is the senior-most commissioned officer rank below that of flag officer. The equivalent rank is colonel in the United States Army, Air Force, and Marine Corps.

Captain is a title for the commander of a military unit, the commander of a ship, aeroplane, spacecraft, or other vessel, or the commander of a port, fire department or police department, election precinct, etc. Captain is a military rank in armies, navies, coast guards, etc., typically at the level of an officer commanding a company of infantry, a ship, or a battery of artillery, or similar distinct unit. The terms also may be used as an informal or honorary title for persons in similar commanding roles.

References

  1. Dave Cipra. "A history of sea service ranks & titles" (PDF). Commandant's Bulletin . p. 20. Retrieved 2019-12-22.
  2. Raymond Oliver (August 1983). "Why is the Colonel Called "Kernal"? The Origin of the Ranks and Rank Insignia Now Used by the United States Armed Forces" (PDF). McClennan Aviation Museum . p. 14. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2013-12-28. Retrieved 2019-12-22.
  3. "The History of Navy Rank: The Officer Corps". United States Navy . 2019-11-01. Archived from the original on 2019-12-15. Retrieved 2019-12-22. When the U.S. Navy’s predecessor, the Continental Navy, was established in 1775, the first set of Navy regulations stipulated the commissioned offices of captain and lieutenant. When the United States Navy was created by Congress in 1794, the legislation again provided for the ranks of captain and lieutenant “who shall be appointed and commissioned in like manner as other officers of the United States are.” In 1799, master commandant was authorized as a rank between lieutenant and captain. Although master commandant was changed to commander in 1837, this simple rank system survived intact until the Civil War.
  4. William P. Mack; Harry A. Seymour; Lesa A. McComas (1998). The naval officer's guide. U.S. Navy: Naval Institute Press. p. 91. ISBN   978-1-55750-645-0.
  5. J. D. Fontana; R. M. Hillyer (1990). General Guide to NOSC Civilians Boarding Navy Ships (PDF). San Diego: Naval Oceans System Center. p. 9. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2011-01-26. Retrieved 2009-07-21.