|Comparative military ranks|
Lieutenant(abbreviated Lt, LT (U.S.), LT(USN), Lieut and LEUT, depending on nation) is a commissioned officer rank in many English-speaking nations' navies and coast guards. 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.
The now immediately senior rank of lieutenant commander was formerly a senior naval lieutenant rank. Many navies also use a subordinate rank of sub-lieutenant. The appointment of "first lieutenant" in many navies is held by a senior lieutenant.
This naval lieutenant ranks higher than an army lieutenants; within NATO countries the naval rank of lieutenant is a OF-2 and is the equivalent rank of an army captain. Other nations will use a naval lieutenant rank equivalent to an army lieutenant.
From at least 1580,the lieutenant on a ship had been the officer immediately subordinate to the captain. Before the English Restoration, lieutenants were appointed by their captains, and this inevitably led to abuses and to the widespread appointment of men of insufficient qualification. In 1677, Samuel Pepys, while he was Chief Secretary to the Admiralty, introduced the first examination for lieutenant, and thereafter their seniority was dated from the passing of this examination.
A lieutenant was numbered by his seniority within the ship on which he served, so that a frigate (which was entitled to three) would have a first, a second, and a third lieutenant. A first-rate ship was entitled to six, and they were numbered accordingly. At first, a lieutenant's commission was given only for the particular ship in which he served, but after the loss of HMS Wager in 1741 and the subsequent mutiny, the Royal Navy changed its policy and lieutenants were given more general commissions upon passing their examination.
During the early days of the naval rank, some lieutenants could be very junior indeed, while others could be on the cusp of promotion to captain; those lieutenants ranged across present-day army ranks from a second lieutenant through to a lieutenant colonel. As the rank structure of navies stabilized, and the ranks of commander, lieutenant commander, and sub-lieutenant (or lieutenant, junior grade in the U.S. services) were introduced, the rank of naval lieutenant became less wide-ranging and is today the equivalent of an army captain.
In the United States Navy, promotion to lieutenant is governed by United States Department of Defense policies derived from the Defense Officer Personnel Management Act (DOPMA) of 1980. The United States Coast Guard follows the same policy regarding promotion to lieutenant. DOPMA guidelines suggest that at least 95% of lieutenants (junior grade) should be promoted to lieutenant after serving a minimum of two years at the lower rank.[ citation needed ]
In the Royal Navy, promotion to lieutenant is done in line with seniority. Officers are typically promoted after serving as a sub-lieutenants (OF-1) for 30 months.However, promotion may be quicker if a candidate has previous naval service and commissions from the ranks (upper yardsman/senior upper yardsman).
The first lieutenant (1st Lt or 1LT) in the Royal Navy and other Commonwealth navies, is a post or appointment, rather than a rank. Historically, the lieutenants in a ship were ranked in accordance with seniority, with the most senior being termed the first lieutenant and acting as the second-in-command. Although lieutenants are no longer numbered by seniority, the post of "first lieutenant" remains.
In minor war vessels, destroyers and frigates, the first lieutenant (either a lieutenant or lieutenant commander) is second in command, executive officer (XO) and head of the executive branch; in larger ships, where a commander of the warfare specialisation is appointed as the executive officer, a first lieutenant (normally a lieutenant commander) is appointed as his deputy. The post of first lieutenant in a shore establishment carries a similar responsibility to that of the first lieutenant of a capital ship.
In the U.S. Navy or U.S. Coast Guard, the billet of first lieutenant describes the officer in charge of the deck department or division, depending on the size of the ship. In smaller ships that have only a single deck division, the billet is typically filled by an ensign; while in larger ships, with a deck department consisting of multiple subordinate divisions, the billet may be filled by a lieutenant commander. On submarines and smaller Coast Guard cutters, the billet of first lieutenant may be filled by a petty officer.
The insignia of a lieutenant in many navies, including the Royal Navy,consists of two medium gold braid stripes (top stripe with loop) on a navy blue or black background. This pattern was copied by the United States Navy, the United States Coast Guard, United States Public Health Service (USPHS) Commissioned Corps the National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration Commissioned Officer Corps (NOAA Corps), and various air forces (primarily those of the United Kingdom, British Commonwealth, and nations formerly aligned with the Crown) for their equivalent ranks and grades, except that the executive curl is removed (see flight lieutenant).
In the United States, contingent on the type of uniform worn, U.S. Navy, U.S. Coast Guard, USPHS Commissioned Corps, and NOAA Corps lieutenants also wear pin-on metal collar, shoulder, or headgear insignia, or cloth shoulder, collar, tabbed, or headgear insignia identical to that of a United States Marine Corps captain and similar to that of a United States Army, United States Air Force, or United States Space Force captain.
Commodore is a senior naval rank used in many navies which is equivalent to brigadier and air commodore. It 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 commonly use the rank of flotilla admiral, counter admiral, or senior captain as an equivalent, although counter admiral may also correspond to rear admiral lower half abbreviated as RDML.
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.
A lieutenant is a commissioned officer rank in the armed forces of many nations.
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.
Second lieutenant is a junior commissioned officer military rank in many armed forces, comparable to NATO OF-1 rank.
Commander is a common naval officer rank. Commander is also used as a rank or title in other formal organizations, 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; in some forces, it is an appointment.
Lieutenant junior grade is a junior commissioned officer rank used in a number of navies.
This is a table of the ranks and insignia of the Canadian Armed Forces. As the Canadian Armed Forces is officially bilingual, the French language ranks are presented following the English.
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.
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 with many not choosing a career in the armed forces.
Sub-lieutenant is usually a junior officer rank, used in armies, navies and air forces.
Commodore was an early title and later a rank in the United States Navy, United States Coast Guard and the Confederate States Navy, and also has been a rank in the United States Public Health Service Commissioned Corps and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Commissioned Officer Corps and its ancestor organizations. For over two centuries, the designation has been given varying levels of authority and formality.
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. Many fire departments and police departments in the United States also use the rank of captain as an officer in a specific unit.
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 air force rank of group captain.
In the United States, commander is a military rank that is also sometimes used as a military billet title—the designation of someone who manages living quarters or a base—depending on the branch of service. It is also used as a rank or title in non-military organizations; particularly in law enforcement.
Lieutenant Commander (LCDR) is a senior officer rank in the United States Navy, the United States Coast Guard, the United States Public Health Service Commissioned Corps, and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Commissioned Officer Corps, with the pay grade of O-4 and NATO rank code OF-3. Lieutenant commanders rank above lieutenants and below commanders. The rank is also used in the United States Maritime Service. The rank is equivalent to a major in the United States Army, United States Air Force, United States Marine Corps, and United States Space Force.
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, Space Force, and Marine Corps.
Lieutenant Commander is a senior officer rank in the Royal Navy of the United Kingdom. It is immediately junior to commander and immediately senior to the naval rank of lieutenant.