Lieutenant (British Army and Royal Marines)

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Lieutenant
British Army OF-1b.svg British Royal Marines OF-1b.svg
Army and Royal Marines insignia
CountryFlag of the United Kingdom.svg  United Kingdom
Service branchFlag of the British Army.svg  British Army
Flag of the Royal Marines.svg  Corps of Royal Marines
AbbreviationLt
NATO rank code OF-1
Next higher rank Captain
Next lower rank Second lieutenant
Equivalent ranks

Lieutenant ( UK: /lɛfˈtɛnənt/ ; Lt) is a junior officer rank in the British Army and Royal Marines. It ranks above second lieutenant and below captain and has a NATO ranking code of OF-1 and it is the senior subaltern rank. Unlike some armed forces which use first lieutenant, the British rank is simply lieutenant, with no ordinal attached. The rank is equivalent to that of a flying officer in the Royal Air Force (RAF). Although formerly considered senior to a Royal Navy (RN) sub-lieutenant, the British Army and Royal Navy ranks of lieutenant and sub-lieutenant are now considered to be of equivalent status. The Army rank of lieutenant has always been junior to the Navy's rank of lieutenant.

Contents

Usage

In the 21st-century British Army, the rank is ordinarily held for up to three years. A typical appointment for a lieutenant might be the command of a platoon or troop of approximately thirty soldiers. [1]

Before 1871, when the whole British Army switched to using the current rank of "lieutenant", the Royal Artillery, Royal Engineers and Fusilier regiments used "first lieutenant" and "second lieutenant".

Form of address

In the United Kingdom, "Lieutenant" is a rank which is not used as a form of address, unlike "Captain" and higher ranks. A Lieutenant called Smith is addressed and referred to as "Mr Smith". [2]

Historical insignia

From 1856 to 1880 a lieutenant's rank insignia was worn on the collar and comprised a single crown, the current insignia for a major. In 1881 lieutenants had their insignia changed to single pip and moved to the shoulder. In 1902 they received a second pip, the badge of rank which has been kept to the present.

During the First World War, some officers took to wearing similar jackets to the men, with the rank badges on the shoulder, as the cuff badges made them conspicuous to snipers. This practice was frowned on outside the trenches but was given official sanction in 1917 as an alternative, being made permanent in 1920 when the cuff badges were abolished. The cuff badges were:

From 1 April 1918 to 31 July 1919, the Royal Air Force maintained the rank of Lieutenant. It was superseded by the rank of flying officer on the following day.

See also

Related Research Articles

A lieutenant is a junior commissioned officer in the armed forces, fire services, police and other organizations of many nations.

Second lieutenant is a junior commissioned officer military rank in many armed forces, comparable to NATO OF-1a rank.

Brigadier general or brigade general is a military rank used in many countries. 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).

Flying officer is a junior commissioned rank in the Royal Air Force (RAF) 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. In these cases a flying officer usually ranks above pilot officer and immediately below flight lieutenant.

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.

Flight Lieutenant is a junior commissioned rank in air forces that use the Royal Air Force (RAF) system of ranks, especially in Commonwealth countries. It has a NATO rank code of OF-2. Flight lieutenant is abbreviated as Flt Lt in the Indian Air Force (IAF) and RAF, and as FLTLT in the Pakistan Air Force (PAF), Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) and Royal New Zealand Air Force (RNZAF) and has sometimes also been abbreviated as F/L in many services; however, it has never been correctly abbreviated as "lieutenant". A flight lieutenant ranks above flying officer and below a squadron leader and is sometimes used as an English language translation of a similar rank in non-English-speaking countries.

Pilot officer is the lowest commissioned rank in the Royal Air Force and the air forces of many other Commonwealth countries. It ranks immediately below flying officer.

Ensign (; Late Middle English, from Old French enseigne "mark, symbol, signal; flag, standard, pennant", from Latin insignia 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.

Officer cadet is a rank held by military cadets during their training to become commissioned officers. In the United Kingdom, the rank is also used by members of University Royal Naval Units, University Officer Training Corps and University Air Squadron however these are not trainee officers and most do not join the armed forces.

Listed in the table below are the insignia—emblems of authority—of the British Army. Badges for field officers were first introduced in 1810 and the insignia was moved to the epaulettes in 1880. On ceremonial or parade uniforms these ranks continue to be worn on the epaulettes, either as cloth slides or as metal clips, although on the modern 'working dress' they are usually worn as a cloth slide on the chest. Although these insignia apply across the British Army there is variation in the precise design and colours used and it can take some time to become familiar with them all.

Colonel (Col) is a rank of the British Army and Royal Marines, ranking below brigadier, and above lieutenant colonel. British colonels are not usually field commanders; typically they serve as staff officers between field commands at battalion and brigade level. The insignia is two diamond-shaped pips below a crown. The crown has varied in the past with different monarchs; the current Queen's reign has used St Edward's Crown. The rank is equivalent to captain in the Royal Navy and group captain in the Royal Air Force.

Before Unification as the Canadian Armed Forces in 1968, the Canadian military had three distinct services: the Royal Canadian Navy, the Royal Canadian Air Force, and the Canadian Army. All three services had a Regular (full-time) component and a reserve (part-time) component. The rank structure for these services were based on the services of the British military, the Royal Navy, the Royal Air Force, and the British Army. The change to a "Canadian" rank structure meant that many of the traditional (British) rank titles and insignia were removed or changed.

Major (Maj) is a military rank which is used by both the British Army and Royal Marines. The rank is superior to captain, and subordinate to lieutenant colonel. The insignia for a major is a crown. The equivalent rank in the Royal Navy is lieutenant commander, and squadron leader in the Royal Air Force.

Lieutenant colonel, is a rank in the British Army and Royal Marines which is also used in many Commonwealth countries. The rank is superior to major, and subordinate to colonel. The comparable Royal Navy rank is commander, and the comparable rank in the Royal Air Force and many Commonwealth air forces is wing commander.

Lieutenant-general is a Canadian Forces rank used by commissioned officers of the Canadian Army or Royal Canadian Air Force. Vice-admiral is the equivalent rank in the Royal Canadian Navy.

Royal Navy officer rank insignia

These are the official Royal Navy Officer ranks ordered by rank. These ranks are part of the NATO/United Kingdom ranks, including modern and past. Past insignia is in italic.

Captain (naval) Naval military rank

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 and airforce rank of group captain.

Uniforms of the Royal Navy

The uniforms of the Royal Navy have evolved gradually since the first uniform regulations for officers were issued in 1748. The predominant colours of Royal Navy uniforms are navy blue and white. Since reforms in 1997 male and female ratings have worn the same ceremonial uniform.

Captain (Capt) is a junior officer rank of the British Army and Royal Marines and in both services it ranks above lieutenant and below major with a NATO ranking code of OF-2. The rank is equivalent to a lieutenant in the Royal Navy and to a flight lieutenant in the Royal Air Force. The rank of captain in the Royal Navy is considerably more senior and the two ranks should not be confused.

The rank insignia of the federal armed forces of the Federal Republic of Germany indicate rank and branch of service in the German Army (Heer), German Air Force (Luftwaffe), or the German Navy (Marine).

References

  1. "Ranks". www.army.mod.uk. Archived from the original on 1 December 2017. Retrieved 9 May 2018.
  2. Lieutenant or Second Lieutenant Archived 2 December 2013 at the Wayback Machine at debretts.com, accessed 25 November 2013