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|Comparative military ranks in English|
Major is a military rank of commissioned officer status, with corresponding ranks existing in many military forces throughout the world.
When used unhyphenated, in conjunction with no other indicators, major is one rank senior to that of an army captain, and one rank subordinate or below the rank of lieutenant colonel. It is considered the most junior of the field officer ranks.
Majors are typically assigned as specialised executive or operations officers for battalion-sized units of 300 to 1,200 soldiers.[ citation needed ] In some militaries, notably France and Ireland, the rank of major is referred to as commandant , while in others it is known as captain-major.[ citation needed ]
When used in hyphenated or combined fashion, the term can also imply seniority at other levels of rank, including general-major or major general , denoting a low-level general officer, and sergeant major , denoting the most senior non-commissioned officer (NCO) of a military unit.[ disputed ][ citation needed ] The term major can also be used with a hyphen to denote the leader of a military band such as in pipe-major or drum-major.
Historically, the rank designation develops in English in the 1640s, taken from French majeur, in turn a shortening of sergent-majeur, which at the time designated a higher rank than at present.[ citation needed ]
The rank of major is also used in some police forces and other paramilitary rank structures, such as the Pennsylvania State Police, New York State Police, New Jersey State Police, and several others.[ citation needed ] As with a military major, this rank is most commonly the next rank above captain. The rank is equivalent to an inspector or commander in other large police departments or to the UK rank of superintendent.[ citation needed ]
Alphabetically sorted by name of country:
Alphabetically sorted by name of country or sovereign state
A private is a soldier of the lowest military rank.
A general officer is an officer of high rank in the army, and in some nations' air forces or marines.
A lieutenant is the junior most commissioned officer in the armed forces, fire services, police, and other organizations of many nations.
Colonel is a senior military officer rank below the general officer ranks. However, in some small military forces, such as those of Monaco or the Vatican, colonel is the highest rank. It is also used in some police forces and paramilitary organizations.
Lieutenant general, lieutenant-general and similar is a three-star military rank used in many countries. The rank traces its origins to the Middle Ages, where the title of lieutenant general was held by the second in command on the battlefield, who was normally subordinate to a captain general.
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.
Brigadier general or brigade general is a senior rank in the armed forces. 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).
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. In several countries this naval rank is termed Frigate Captain.
Sergeant First Class (SFC) is a military rank in some militaries and other uniformed organizations around the world, typically that of a senior non-commissioned officer.
First lieutenant is a commissioned officer military rank in many armed forces and, in some forces, an appointment.
Chief warrant officer is a military rank used by the United States Armed Forces, the Canadian Armed Forces, the Pakistan Air Force, the Israel Defense Forces, the South African National Defence Force, the Lebanese Armed Forces and, since 2012, the Singapore Armed Forces. In the United States Armed Forces, chief warrant officers are commissioned officers, not non-commissioned officers (NCOs) like in other NATO forces.
Police commissioner is a senior rank in many police forces.
Aluf is a senior military rank in the Israel Defence Forces (IDF) for officers who in other countries would have the rank of general, air marshal, or admiral. In addition to the aluf rank itself, there are four other ranks which are derivatives of the word. Together, they constitute the five highest ranks in the IDF.
The Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) has a unique rank structure. Because the IDF is an integrated force, ranks are the same in all services The ranks are derived from those used in the pre-state paramilitary Haganah, which operated during the Mandate period in order to protect the Yishuv. This is reflected in the slightly compacted rank structure: for instance, the Chief of Staff is seemingly only equivalent to a lieutenant general in other militaries.
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.
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 colonel (pronounced Lef-ten-ent Kernel or Loo-ten-ent Kernel ) is a rank of commissioned officer in the armies, most marine forces and some air forces of the world, above a major and below a colonel. The rank of lieutenant colonel is often shortened to simply "colonel" in conversation and in unofficial correspondence. Sometimes, the term 'half-colonel' is used in casual conversation in the British Army. A lieutenant colonel is typically in charge of a battalion or regiment in the army.
Major General is a military rank used in many countries. It is derived from the older rank of Sergeant Major General. The disappearance of the "sergeant" in the title explains the apparently confusing phenomenon whereby a Lieutenant General outranks a Major General while a Major outranks a Lieutenant.
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