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Commandant ( // or // ) is a title often given to the officer in charge of a military (or other uniformed service) training establishment or academy. This usage is common in English-speaking nations. In some countries it may be a military or police rank. It is also often used to refer to the commander of a military prison or prison camp (including concentration camps and prisoner of war camps).
Commandant is the normal Canadian French-language term for the commanding officer of a mid-sized unit, such as a regiment or battalion, within the Canadian Forces. In smaller units, the commander is usually known in French as the officier commandant.
Conversely, in Canadian English, the word commandant is used exclusively for the commanding officers of military units that provide oversight and/or services to a resident population (such as a military school or college, a long-term health care facility or a detention facility.
In the French Army and French Air Force, the term commandant is used as a rank equivalent to major (NATO rank code OF-3). However, in the French Navy commandant is the style, but not the rank, of the senior officers, specifically capitaine de corvette, capitaine de frégate and capitaine de vaisseau.
In the Indian Armed Forces, 'Commandant' is not a rank but an appointment. Commandant is the title of the heads of the Training establishments. Examples include:
In the Indian Army, the Commanding Officer of an armoured regiment or a Mechanized infantry regiment (Mechanised Infantry Regiment, Brigade of The Guards) is known as the Commandant.
In the Central Armed Police Forces (BSF, CRPF, CISF, ITBP, SSB), 'Commandant' is a rank. It is equivalent to the rank of Senior Superintendent of Police. The Commanding Officers of the battalions of the CAPFs.
In the Irish Army, commandant is the equivalent of major in other armies. Irish Army commandants can sometimes be referred to as major if serving overseas under the umbrella of the United Nations or the European Union to alleviate misunderstanding.
In South Africa, Commandant was the title of the commanding officer of a commando (militia) unit in the 19th and early 20th centuries.
During the First World War, Commandant was used as a title by officers commanding Defence Rifle Association units, also known as Burgher commandoes. The commandoes were militia units raised in emergencies and constituted the third line of defence after the Permanent Force and the part-time Active Citizen Force regiments. The commandant rank was equivalent to majoror lieutenant-colonel, depending on the size of the commando.
From 1950 to 1994 commandant (rank) was the rank equivalent of lieutenant colonel.and commander of a battalion. The rank was used by both the Army and the Air Force. The naval equivalent was commander [kommandeur in Afrikaans]. The rank was not used by the South African Police, who continued with lieutenant colonel [luitenant-kolonel].
The rank insignia for a Commandant (Kommandant in Afrikaans) was initially a crown over a five-pointed star. 113-128 In 1957 the crown was replaced by a pentagonal castle device based on the floor plan of the Castle of Good Hope in Cape Town, South Africa's oldest military building. In 1994, the rank of Commandant / Kommandant reverted to lieutenant colonel. :4:
From 1968 to 1970, a related rank, Chief Commandant, existed in the commando forces (the part-time, territorial reserve, roughly equivalent to a National Guard or Home Guard).
Recently, use of the term has followed the standard practice, i.e. the commanding officer of a training institute.
In the New Zealand Defence Force, the term commandant is used for the senior officer (or commander) of garrisoned units that do not deploy and are not operational. This typically includes learning institutes such as the New Zealand Defence College, the New Zealand Cadet Force, and (formerly) the Command and Staff College. The title could also be used for other non-deploying units such as the Services Corrective Establishment in Burnham, or depot-level engineering units.
The equivalent term for operational units is 'commander', such as commander of the Joint Force Headquarters New Zealand.
Under the 2010 creation of the Training and Education Directorate, an additional position of commandant was established for the Training Institute to complement the commandant of the Defence College.
In the National Police Cadet Corps (NPCC), the position of Commandant is given to a Singapore Police Force officer who heads NPCC. The Commandant is aided by his Assistant Commandants, who are NPCC officers. As NPCC units around Singapore are divided into 20 "areas", each area is headed by an Area Commandant who is an NPCC officer. This Area Commandant is also usually an Officer from one of the units in the area that he/she is taking charge of.
In Sri Lanka, the Commandant of the Volunteer Force is the head of the Sri Lanka Army Volunteer Force. Commandant is also the title used for the commanding officer (one-star rank) of military academies - Sri Lanka Military Academy, Naval and Maritime Academy and Air Force Academy - and the commanding officer (two-star rank) of the Defence Services Command and Staff College. It is also the title of the de facto vice-chancellor of the General Sir John Kotelawala Defence University, usually an officer of two-star rank.
Colonel-commandant is an honorary post in corps of the army and the Sri Lanka National Guard, similar to that of Colonel of the Regiment found in infantry regiments. The post of centre commandant is the commanding officer of a corps or regiment. Commandant is the head of the Special Task Force of the Sri Lanka Police.
In the British Armed Forces, a commandant is usually the commanding officer of a training establishment, such as the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst or the Royal Air Force College Cranwell.
Colonel-commandant was an appointment which existed in the British Army between 1922 and 1928, and in the Royal Marines from 1755 to some time after World War II. It replaced brigadier-general in the army, and was itself replaced by brigadier in both the army and the Marines. The colonel-commandant is also the ceremonial head of some Army corps and this position is usually held by a senior general.
Commandant was also the appointment, equivalent to commodore, held by the director of the Women's Royal Naval Service between 1951 and 1993.
In the Royal Air Force Air Cadets, the officer in charge of the organisation is given the title Commandant Air Cadets and will hold the position for two years.
Formerly, commandant was the usual title for the head of the Special Constabulary within a police force. In some forces the title was chief commandant, with subordinate divisional or sub-divisional commandants. The standard title for this position is now "chief officer".
In the United States, 'commandant' is an appointment, not a rank, and the following three appointments currently exist:
Formerly, admirals were appointed as commandants of naval districts.
The commandant is the second most senior officer (after the superintendent) of United States Service academies, such as West Point, United States Naval Academy, and the United States Air Force Academy, equivalent to the Dean of Students at a civilian college. Commandant is also the title of the commanding officer of many units of the United States Army Training and Doctrine Command, including the non-commissioned officer academies, whose commandants are typically command sergeants major.
Commandant is also the title of the ranking officer in charge of each War College of the United States military, and is responsible for the administration, academic progress and success of the civilians and military officers assigned to the college. He is a model for all personnel, a military academy graduate of impeccable character and bearing who has demonstrated accomplishment in both academic excellence and active military service in the field. They include the Naval War College, the Air War College, the Army War College, the Marine Corps War College and the National War College.
Commandant is the duty title for the commanding officer of the US Air Force Test Pilot School.
Commandant is also the duty title of the senior enlisted leader of a Professional Military Education (PME) academy, such as the Airman Leadership School, Non-Commissioned Officer Academy, and Senior Non-Commissioned Officer Academy.
The title may also be used for the commander of a unit headquarters, who is usually responsible for administrative matters such as billeting and is called the headquarters commandant; this may also be a duty assigned to a staff officer in large headquarters.
A military academy or service academy is an educational institution which prepares candidates for service in the officer corps. It normally provides education in a military environment, the exact definition depending on the country concerned.
A lieutenant is the junior most commissioned officer in the armed forces, fire services, police, and other organizations of many nations.
Brigadier 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.
Second lieutenant is a junior commissioned officer military rank in many armed forces, comparable to NATO OF-1a rank.
Sergeant is a rank in many uniformed organizations, principally military and policing forces. The alternative spelling, serjeant, is used in The Rifles and other units that draw their heritage from the British Light Infantry. Its origin is the Latin serviens, 'one who serves', through the French term sergent.
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.
Corporal is a military rank in use in some form by many militaries and by some police forces or other uniformed organizations. Within NATO, each member nation's corresponding military rank of corporal is combined under the NATO-standard rank scale code OR-3 or OR-4. However, there are often differences in how each nation employs corporals. Some militaries don't have corporals, but may instead have a Junior Sergeant.
Staff sergeant is a rank of non-commissioned officer used in the armed forces of several countries. It is also a police rank in some police services.
Lance corporal is a military rank, used by many armed forces worldwide, and also by some police forces and other uniformed organisations. It is below the rank of corporal, and is typically the lowest non-commissioned officer, usually equivalent to the NATO Rank Grade OR3.
A cadet is a trainee. The term is frequently used to refer to those training to become an officer in the military, often a person who is a junior trainee. Its meaning may vary between countries. The term is also used in civilian contexts and as a general attributive, for example in its original sense of a branch of a ruling house which is not currently in the direct line of succession.
Colonel commandant is a military title used in the armed forces of some English-speaking countries. The title, not a substantive military rank, could denote a senior colonel with authority over fellow colonels. Today, the holder often has an honorary role outside the executive military structure, such as advocacy for the troops.
Rank insignia in the French Army are worn on the sleeve or on shoulder marks of uniforms, and range up to the highest rank of Marshal of France, a state honour denoted with a seven-star insignia that was last conferred posthumously on Marie Pierre Koenig in 1984.
In the United States uniformed services, captain is a commissioned-officer rank. In keeping with the traditions of the militaries of most nations, the rank varies between the services, being a senior rank in the naval services and a junior rank in the ground and air forces.
The red beret is a military beret worn by many military police, paramilitary, commando, and police forces. The term is also used to refer to the British Parachute Regiment, although members wear the maroon beret.
The Sri Lanka Army Volunteer Force (SLAVF) is the principal and volunteer reserve force component of the Sri Lanka Army. It is a collective name for the reserve units and the Sri Lanka National Guard. The SLAVF is made up of part-time officers and soldiers. They are paid at a similar rate, while engaged on military activities, as their regular equivalents. This is in contrast to the Regular Army Reserve, which comprises people who have a mobilization obligation following their service in the regular army. Administration and recruitment of reserve personal is carried out by the Volunteer Force Headquarters in Shalawa, Kosgama. The head of the SLAVL is the Commandant of the Volunteer Force.
Commandant is a military or police rank. In the French, Spanish, Irish and Monegasque armed forces it is a rank equivalent to major. In South Africa for most of the second half of the 20th century, commandant was a rank equivalent to lieutenant-colonel.
Lieutenant General Shavendra Silva, WWV, RWP, RSP, USP, psc is a Sri Lankan general. The current Commander and former Chief of Staff of the Sri Lankan Army, he was the Regimental Colonel of the Gajaba Regiment and the Commando Regiment. His prior appointments include Adjutant General, Director of Operations of the Army and the General Officer Commanding, 58 Division during the Sri Lankan civil war. He has also served as Sri Lankan Ambassador and the Deputy Permanent Representative to the United Nations Headquarters.
General Shantha Kottegoda, WWV, RWP, RSP, VSV, USP is a Sri Lankan general. He was the seventeenth Commander of the Sri Lankan Army from 1 July 2004 – 5 December 2007. He had served as the Sri Lankan Ambassador to Brazil and Thailand. In April 2019, following the Easter Sunday bombings he was appointed as the Permanent Secretary to the Ministry of Defence.
Major General Devinda Kalupahana, RSP, USP, psc, SLAC is a Sri Lankan general, who was the former GOC, 3 Division; GOC, 2 Division; Director Operations, General Staff and Commandant, Sri Lanka Military Academy.
Rank insignia in the French air force are worn on the sleeve or on shoulder marks of uniforms
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