|Comparative military ranks in English|
|Naval officer ranks|
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.
Traditionally, "commodore" is the title for any officer assigned to command more than one ship at a time, even temporarily, much as "captain" is the traditional title for the commanding officer of a single ship even if the officer's official title in the service is a lower rank. As an official rank, a commodore typically commands a flotilla or squadron of ships as part of a larger task force or naval fleet commanded by an admiral. A commodore's ship is typically designated by the flying of a broad pennant, as opposed to an admiral's flag.
It is often regarded as a one-star rank with a NATO code of OF-6 (which is known in the U.S. as "rear admiral (lower half)"), but whether it is regarded as a flag rank varies between countries.
It is sometimes abbreviated: as "Cdre" in British Royal Navy, "CDRE" in the US Navy, "Cmdre" in the Royal Canadian Navy, "COMO" in the Spanish Navy and in some navies speaking the Spanish language, or "CMDE" as used in some other Navies of several countries.
The rank of commodore derives from the French commandeur, which was one of the highest ranks in the orders of knighthood, and in military orders the title of the knight in charge of a commande (a local part of the order's territorial possessions).
The Dutch Navy also used the rank of commandeur from the end of the 16th century for a variety of temporary positions, until it became a conventional permanent rank in 1955. The Royal Netherlands Air Force has adopted the English spelling of "commodore" for an equivalent rank.
In the Royal Navy, the position was introduced in the 17th Century to combat the cost of appointing more admirals—a costly business with a fleet as large as the Royal Navy's at that time.
The rank of commodore was at first a position created as a temporary title to be bestowed upon captains who commanded squadrons of more than one vessel. In many navies, the rank of commodore was merely viewed as a senior captain position, whereas other naval services bestowed upon the rank of commodore the prestige of flag officer status.
In 1899, the substantive rank of commodore was discontinued in the United States Navy, but revived during World War II in both the U.S. Navy and U.S. Coast Guard. It was discontinued as a rank in these services during the postwar period, but as an appointment, the title "commodore" was then used to identify senior U.S. Navy captains who commanded squadrons of more than one vessel or functional air wings or air groups that were not part of a carrier air wing or carrier air group. Concurrently, until the early 1980s, U.S. Navy and U.S. Coast Guard captains selected for promotion to the rank of rear admiral (lower half), would wear the same insignia as rear admiral (upper half), i.e., two silver stars for collar insignia or sleeve braid of one wide and one narrow gold stripe, even though they were actually only equivalent to one-star officers and paid at the one-star rate.
To correct this inequity, the rank of commodore as a single star flag officer was reinstated by both services in the early 1980s. This immediately caused confusion with those senior U.S. Navy captains commanding destroyer squadrons, submarine squadrons, functional air wings and air groups, and so on, who held the temporary "title" of commodore while in their major command billet. As a result of this confusion, the services soon renamed the new one-star rank as commodore admiral (CADM) within the first six months following the rank's reintroduction. However, this was considered an awkward title and the one-star flag rank was renamed a few months later to its current title of rear admiral (lower half), later abbreviated by the U.S. Navy and U.S. Coast Guard as RDML.
The "title" of commodore continues to be used in the U.S. Navy and Coast Guard for those senior captains in command of organizations consisting of groups of ships or submarines organized into squadrons; air wings or air groups of multiple aviation squadrons other than carrier air wings (the latter whose commanders still use the title "CAG"); explosive ordnance disposal (EOD), mine warfare and special warfare (SEAL) groups; Mobile Inshore Underwater Warfare (MIUW) groups; and construction (SeaBee) regiments. Although not flag officers, modern day commodores in the U.S. Navy rate a blue and white command pennant, also known as a broad pennant, that is normally flown at their headquarters facilities ashore or from ships that they are embarked aboard when they are the senior officer present afloat (SOPA).
In the Argentine Navy, the position of commodore was created in the late 1990s, and is usually, but not always, issued to senior captains holding rear-admirals' positions. It is not a rank but a distinction and, as such, can be issued by the chief of staff without congressional approval. Its equivalents are colonel-major in the Army and commodore-major in the Air Force. It is usually—but incorrectly—referred to as "navy commodore", to avoid confusion with the "air force commodore", which is equivalent to the navy's captain and army's colonel. The sleeve lace is identical to that of the Royal Navy, and wears one star on the epaulette.
The following articles deal with the rank of commodore (or its equivalent) as it is employed OF-6 one-star flag officer rank in various countries.
|Australia||Commodore||abbreviated as CDRE|
|Bangladesh||Commodore||abbreviated as "CDRE"|
|Chile||Comodoro||denomitation for some Officials|
|Estonia||Kommodoor||Introduced in 2000.|
|Finland||Kommodori||Equivalent to colonel|
|France||Chef de division||historical|
|Contre-Amiral||French Navy rank OF-6|
|Germany||Flottillenadmiral||Deutsche Marine rank OF-6|
|Kommodore||German Kriegsmarine rank OF-5 until 1945|
|India||Commodore||abbreviated as "CMDE"|
|Indonesia||Komodor||used until 1973, then replaced with Laksamana Pertama|
|Ireland||Commodore (Irish: Ceannasóir)|
|Italy||Sottoammiraglio or Comandante superiore||SA during Kingdom of Italy 1918–1923; CS it continues|
|Philippines||Commodore||Philippine Navy OF-5 Rank|
|Poland||Kontradmirał||Komandor OF-5 rank|
|Portugal||Comodoro||abbreviated as "COM"|
|Romania||Contraamiral de flotilă||Comandor OF-5 rank|
|United States||Commodore||United States - abbreviated when used "CDRE"|
Commodore, in Spanish comodoro, is a rank in the Argentine Air Force. This rank is the equivalent of a colonel in the Argentine Army, and a colonel or group captain in other air forces of the world. The Argentine rank below commodore is the rank of vice-commodore (Spanish vicecomodoro) equivalent to a lieutenant-colonel in the Argentine Army, and a lieutenant-colonel or wing commander in other air forces.
Commodore is a rank in the Royal Netherlands Air Force. It is a one-star rank and has essentially the same rank insignia as the British air commodore.
Many air forces use the rank of air commodore. This rank was first used by the Royal Air Force and is now used in many countries such as Australia, Bangladesh, Greece, India, New Zealand, Nigeria, Pakistan, Thailand and Zimbabwe. It is the equivalent rank to the navy rank of "commodore", and the army ranks of brigadier and brigadier general.
The German air force used the concept of a unit commodore for the commander of a wing, usually in the rank of colonel (OF-5).
Commodore is also a title held by many captains as recognition of exceptional navigation ability and seagoing seniority in the Merchant Service, and by the directors of a few yacht clubs and boating associations. Commodores 'in command' as Master aboard Merchant Marine ships wear distinctive rank and cap insignia denoting their honorific high rank position. Traditionally, commodore is the title of the president of a yacht club.
During wartime, a shipping convoy will have a ranking officer—sometimes an active-duty naval officer, at other times a civilian master or retired naval officer—designated as the convoy commodore. This title is not related to the individual's military rank (if any), but instead is the title of the senior individual responsible for the overall operation of the merchant ships and naval auxiliary ships that make up the convoy. The convoy commodore does not command the convoy' escort forces (if any), which are commanded by a naval officer who serves as escort commander.
Civilian yacht clubs, yachting associations and fellowshipswith formal hierarchical structures, began to use the title "commodore" in countries around the world for their presidents in the early twentieth century along with "vice commodore" in the same manner as "vice president,"and "rear-commodore" and "port captain' or "international bridge member" in the same manner as board members.
Commodores, vice-commodores and rear-commodores are also known as civilian flag officers because they have an epaulettes, regalia and maritime flags with designated symbols and number of stars for their ranks. Many of the clubs that are more than a century old, such as the Los Angeles Yacht Club have formal ceremonies, where commodores from more than 100 surrounding yacht clubs, flag officers of the US Navy and Coast Guard attend a ceremony at the beginning of the year. The ceremony includes a bagpipe entrance, a presentation of the country flag by commissioned officers of the country's navy and a cannon shot upon the raising of each individual officer's flags on a flag staff, (also known as flagpoles) for each flag officer (commodore, vice commodore, rear commodore) as their term of office officially begins. Sometimes a trumpet fanfare is also include for special occasions like ribbon cutting in 2019 for the 50th Transpacific Yacht Race. Salutes are given to commodores for special ceremonies, including opening days of the racing season.
The U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary also employs variants of the title of commodore. Members of the Auxiliary serve in the Coast Guard's uniformed auxiliary service and they do not have military rank, but who do wear modified U.S. Coast Guard uniforms and U.S. military-style officer rank insignia to indicate office. Auxiliary members who have been elected or appointed to positions in the highest levels of the organization, similar in nature to active and reserve rear admirals and vice admirals use the term commodore (e.g., district commodore, assistant national commodore, deputy national commodore, national commodore, etc.). These Coast Guard auxiliarists may permanently append the title commodore, sometimes abbreviated COMO, to their names (e.g., Commodore James A. Smith, National Commodore; or COMO Jim Smith, (NACO)).
In the Philippine Coast Guard Auxiliary—PCGA—each of the directors in command of the ten Coast Guard Auxiliary districts are commodores, as well as most of the Deputy National Directors (some may be rear admirals). Commodore is abbreviated to COMMO in the PCGA.
Vanderbilt University's intercollegiate athletics teams are nicknamed the "Commodores", a reference to Cornelius Vanderbilt's self-appointed title (he was the master of a large shipping fleet).
In the U.S. Sea Scouting program (which is part of the Boy Scouts of America), all National, Regional, Area, and Council committee chairs are titled as commodore, while senior committee members are addressed as vice commodore. Ship committee chairs do not hold this recognition.
The Royal Australian Navy (RAN) is the naval force of Australia. Following the Federation of Australia in 1901, the ships and resources of the separate colonial navies were integrated into a national force, called the Commonwealth Naval Forces; it was granted its current title in 1911. It is part of the Australian Defence Force along with the Australian Army and Royal Australian Air Force. Originally intended for local defence, it became increasingly responsible for the defence of the region as the British started to diminish its forces in the Pacific.
Vice admiral is a senior naval flag officer rank, equivalent to lieutenant general and air marshal. A vice admiral is typically senior to a rear admiral and junior to an admiral. In many navies, vice admiral is a three-star rank with a NATO code of OF-8, although in some navies like the French Navy it is an OF-7 rank, the OF-8 code corresponding to the four-star rank of squadron vice-admiral.
Rear admiral is a senior naval flag officer rank, equivalent to a major general and air vice marshal and above that of a commodore and captain, but below that of a vice admiral. It is regarded as a two star "admiral" rank. It is often regarded as a two-star rank with a NATO code of OF-7.
An aide-de-camp is a personal assistant or secretary to a person of high rank, usually a senior military, police or government officer, or to a member of a royal family or a head of state.
In the United States Navy, officers have various ranks. Equivalency between services is by pay grade. United States Navy commissioned officer ranks have two distinct sets of rank insignia: On dress uniform a series of stripes similar to Commonwealth naval ranks are worn; on service khaki, working uniforms, and special uniform situations, the rank insignia are identical to the equivalent rank in the US Marine Corps.
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.
Air commodore is a one-star rank, very senior Flag Officer Rank and at the beginning of the air officer ranks which originated in and continues to be used by the Royal Air Force. The rank is also used by the air forces of many countries which have historical British influence such as Zimbabwe, and it is sometimes used as the English translation of an equivalent rank in countries which have a non-English air force-specific rank structure. The name of the rank is always the full phrase and is never shortened to commodore, which is a rank in various naval forces.
Counter admiral is a rank found in many navies of the world, but no longer used in English-speaking countries, where the equivalent rank is rear admiral. The term derives from the French contre-amiral. Depending on the country, it is either a one-star or two-star rank.
A flag officer is a commissioned officer in a nation's armed forces senior enough to be entitled to fly a flag to mark the position from which the officer exercises command.
Commodore admiral (COMO) was a short-lived military rank of the United States Navy and United States Coast Guard that existed for less than 11 months during the year 1982. The rank of commodore admiral was established as the Navy's one-star admiral rank after over forty years during which all promoted Navy and Coast Guard captains were advanced directly to the two-star position of rear admiral, but were still paid as one-star officers in the pay grade of O-7 while in a "rear admiral, lower half" category. This was a result of the Navy Personnel Act of 3 March 1899 that eliminated the "rank" of commodore in the US Navy. The same protocol was adopted by the US Coast Guard when it was established as a military service in its current form and title in the early 1900s. In the early 1940s, commodore was briefly reinstituted as a one-star wartime rank in the US Navy and US Coast Guard, but most promoted captains were still advanced to the two-star insignia rank of rear admiral, lower half. With nearly all of the one-star commodore incumbents promoted to rear admiral by the end of World War II, the rank of commodore was again suspended.
Admiral is a senior rank of the Royal Navy, which equates to the NATO rank code OF-9, outranked only by the rank of admiral of the fleet. Royal Navy officers holding the ranks of rear admiral, vice admiral and admiral of the fleet are sometimes considered generically to be admirals. The rank of admiral is currently the highest rank to which a serving officer in the Royal Navy can be promoted, admiral of the fleet being in abeyance except for honorary promotions of retired officers and members of the Royal Family.
Admiral is a four-star commissioned naval flag officer rank in the United States Navy, the United States Coast Guard, and the United States Public Health Service Commissioned Corps, with the pay grade of O-10. Admiral ranks above vice admiral and below fleet admiral in the Navy; the Coast Guard and the Public Health Service do not have an established grade above admiral. Admiral is equivalent to the rank of general in the other uniformed services. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Commissioned Officer Corps has never had an officer hold the grade of admiral. However, 37 U.S.C. § 201 of the U.S. Code established the grade for the NOAA Corps, in case a position is created that merits the four-star grade.
Commodore (Cdre) is a rank of the Royal Navy above captain and below rear admiral. It has a NATO ranking code of OF-6. The rank is equivalent to brigadier in the British Army and Royal Marines and to air commodore in the Royal Air Force.
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.
This article covers the organization of the United States Coast Guard.
Captain is the name most often given in English-speaking navies to the rank corresponding to command of the largest ships. The rank is equal to the army rank of colonel.
A rear admiral in the U.S. uniformed services is either of two different ranks of commissioned officers: one-star flag officers and two-star flag officers. By contrast, in most nations, the term "rear admiral" refers to an officer of two-star rank.
Vice-admiral is a flag officer rank of the Royal Navy and equates to the NATO rank code OF-8. It is immediately superior to the rear admiral rank and is subordinate to the full admiral rank.
Rear admiral (RAdm) is a flag officer rank of the Royal Navy. It is immediately superior to commodore and is subordinate to vice admiral. It is a two-star rank and has a NATO ranking code of OF-7.
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.