|Comparative military ranks|
|Naval officer ranks|
Sub-lieutenant is usually a junior officer rank, used in armies, navies and air forces.
In most armies, sub-lieutenant is the lowest commissioned officer rank. However, in Brazil, it is the highest non-commissioned rank, and in Spain, it is the second highest non-commissioned rank.
As a naval rank, a sub-lieutenant ranks below a lieutenant.
In France, a sub-lieutenant (sous-lieutenant) is the junior commissioned officer in the army or the air force. He wears a band in the colour of his corps (e.g. gold for infantry, silver for armoured cavalry, etc.). During the 18th century a rank of sous-lieutenant de vaisseau existed in the French Navy. It was the equivalent of the master's mate rank of the Royal Navy. It is now replaced by the rank of "first ensign" (enseigne de vaisseau de première classe).
An Argentinian sub-lieutenant wears a single silver sun on each shoulder, Brazilian sub-lieutenants are the most senior non-commissioned rank (called Sub-Officer in the Navy and Air force), wearing a golden lozenge. In Mexico, the sub-lieutenant is the most junior officer in the rank scale, and wears a single gold bar. Thai sub-lieutenants and acting sub-lieutenants wear a single star on each shoulder.
The British Army briefly used the rank of sub-lieutenant from 1871 to 1877, replacing the ranks of ensign in the infantry and cornet in the cavalry. In 1877, it was replaced in turn by the rank of second lieutenant, although this had always been used by the Royal Artillery, Royal Engineers, and rifle and fusilier regiments.
The examples and perspective in this section may not represent a worldwide view of the subject.(November 2022)
In the British Royal Navy, a passed midshipman awaiting promotion often elected to become a master's mate, normally an experienced petty officer who assisted the sailing master. Though formally the rating did not lead to promotion to lieutenant, master's mates were paid more than any other rating and were the only ratings allowed to command any sort of vessel.A midshipman who became a master's mate got an increase in pay from £1 13s 6d to £3 16s per month, but initially reduced his chances at a commission. Over time, however, service as a master's mate became a normal part of the path to a commission. The situation caused some confusion during the last part of the 18th century, when two parallel roles—master's mates trying to become masters, and former midshipmen working toward a commission—held the same title and responsibilities aboard ship.
By the first years of the 19th century, the prefix "master's" was dropped for passed midshipmen, to distinguish them from master's mates in the navigator's branch.In 1824 two further grades were also introduced, consisting of master's assistants and second-class volunteers. These corresponded to midshipmen and first-class volunteers respectively in the executive line. From this point, passed midshipmen had the rating master's mate, abbreviated as mate, and prospective masters had the rating master's assistant. These changes helped eliminate the confusion caused by the mingling of midshipmen in the navigator's branch.
In 1861 the rank of mate was renamed sub-lieutenant.
In the modern Royal Navy, all officer cadets now commission as midshipmen, regardless of whether they are a graduate or a school leaver. They are subsequently promoted to sub-lieutenant one year after entering Britannia Royal Naval College. Upper Yardsmen commission as Sub-Lieutenants assuming their seniority date is greater than 12 months.
In the Royal Canadian Navy, all undergoing basic officer training join as naval cadets, but upon graduation, those who joined with a bachelor's degree receive an immediate promotion to acting sub-lieutenant, while those who do not retain their rank as naval cadet until such time as they finish more career-related training.
In the Royal Navy, the Royal Australian Navy and the Royal New Zealand Navy, the insignia of both sub-lieutenants and acting sub-lieutenants consists of one medium gold braid stripe with an executive curl. The size of this stripe should not be confused with the narrow stripe, colloquially referred to as "spaghetti strap," used on the Royal New Zealand Navy rank of ensign and the Royal Canadian Navy's naval cadets. The Royal Air Force also followed this example of braiding when developing their rank system (see flying officer).
The insignia of sub-lieutenants in most commonwealth countries are identical to the United States Navy and United States Coast Guard grade of ensign (although US ranks do not use the executive curl), even though its equivalent grade in the USN is actually lieutenant junior grade.
In the Royal Canadian Navy, acting sub-lieutenants display one medium stripe. A sub-lieutenant adds a narrow stripe below the medium stripe to maintain the executive curl on the top. The equivalent air force lieutenant rank has the narrow stripe above the medium stripe since these elements do not need to maintain spacing on top due to the lack of an executive curl; the Royal Canadian Navy followed this pattern before the addition of the curl in 2010.
In 1955, the Royal Navy created the rank of acting sub-lieutenant, although it had existed intermittently in the world wars. Unlike their substantive counterparts, acting sub-lieutenants are subordinate officers, as they hold their ranks by order and not by commission. Upon passing Fleet Board, acting sub-lieutenants were confirmed as sub-lieutenants and issued commissions backdated to the date when they were appointed acting sub-lieutenants. The rank of acting sub-lieutenant was abolished in the Royal Navy around 1993 but remained in the Royal Naval Reserve until 2013; officers in both the RN and RNR now commission into the rank of Midshipman.The rank of Acting Sub-lieutenant remains in the Royal Navy only within the University Royal Naval Unit where Training Officers enter at this rank.
Before its abolition, the rank of acting sub-lieutenant in the Royal Navy corresponded with, but was junior to, the ranks of lieutenant (Army) and flying officer (RAF).
In many Commonwealth navies (e.g. Canada and Australia), the rank of acting sub-lieutenant still exists as a commissioned rank equivalent to second lieutenant, while the rank of sub-lieutenant is equivalent to that of an army lieutenant. As the term "acting" is a designation, both acting and substantive ranks should be addressed as "sub-lieutenant"; the full designation including "acting" should be used in written documents, however. Indeed, when someone is addressed as "Acting sub-lieutenant", it can be seen as a way of patronising an individual in a derogatory manner due to the emphasis of their "acting" rank.
The Royal New Zealand Navy, Republic of Fiji Navy and South African Navy follows the US precedent in titling its lowest commissioned officer ensign.
In the Royal Thai Army, Army Reserve Force Students who complete grade 5 and their B.D. are promoted to the rank of acting second lieutenant (ว่าที่ ร้อยตรี).
Military ranks are a system of hierarchical relationships, within armed forces, police, intelligence agencies or other institutions organized along military lines. The military rank system defines dominance, authority, and responsibility in a military hierarchy. It incorporates the principles of exercising power and authority into the military chain of command—the succession of commanders superior to subordinates through which command is exercised. The military chain of command constructs an important component for organized collective action.
A lieutenant is a commissioned officer rank in the armed forces of many nations.
Second lieutenant is a junior commissioned officer military rank in many armed forces.
A midshipman is an officer of the lowest rank, in the Royal Navy, United States Navy, and many Commonwealth navies. Commonwealth countries which use the rank include Canada, Australia, Bangladesh, Namibia, New Zealand, South Africa, India, Pakistan, Singapore, Sri Lanka, and Kenya.
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.
A petty officer (PO) is a non-commissioned officer in many navies and is given the NATO rank denotation OR-5 or OR-6. In many nations, they are typically equal to a sergeant in comparison to other military branches. Often they may be superior to a seaman, and subordinate to more senior non-commissioned officers, such as a chief petty officers.
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 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.
Subordinate officer is a term used in some armed forces for a grade of officer above a non-commissioned officer but still not actually commissioned, usually still in training. Such officers are treated for most intents and purposes as commissioned officers.
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.
Aspirant is a rank in the Argentinian Armed Forces, Belgian Air Component, Brazilian military, Estonian Defence Forces, French military, Italian Air Force, Polish Police, Polish State Fire Service, Portuguese military, Romanian Navy, Royal Canadian Navy and Swiss military.
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.
The master, or sailing master, is a historical rank for a naval officer trained in and responsible for the navigation of a sailing vessel. The rank can be equated to a professional seaman and specialist in navigation, rather than as a military commander.
A passed midshipman, sometimes called as "midshipman, passed", is a term used historically in the 19th century to describe a midshipman who had passed the lieutenant's exam and was eligible for promotion to lieutenant as soon as there was a vacancy in that grade.
A new law approved in July 2008 changed the military ranks of Venezuela, principally with regard to names, functions and commanding regulation of the armed forces. The law was sanctioned by Venezuela's National Assembly.
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.
An officer is a person who holds a position of authority as a member of an armed force or uniformed service.
In the Royal Canadian Navy, the rank of Lieutenant(N) (Lt(N)) (French: Lieutenant de vaisseau) is the naval rank equal to Captain in the army or air force. When the naval rank lieutenant is written or typed, it is followed by the letter (N) to indicate that it is a naval rank to distinguish it from army and air force Lieutenants (and therefore, the (N) remains silent as it must not be pronounced or replaced by the word (Navy)). Lieutenants(N) are senior to Sub-Lieutenants and to army and air force Lieutenants, and are junior to Lieutenant-Commanders and Majors.