Brigadier /brɪɡəˈdɪər/ 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 (e.g. Spain, Italy, France, the Netherlands and the Indonesian Police ranks).
As the head of the Polish Legions fighting on the Austrio-Hungarian side in World War I, Józef Piłsudski was given the rank of Brigadier that otherwise did not exist in the Austro-Hungarian military.
In many countries, especially those formerly part of the British Empire, a brigadier is either the highest field rank or most junior general appointment, nominally commanding a brigade. It ranks above colonel and below major general.
The rank is used by the British Army, the Royal Marines, the Australian Army, the Indian Army, the Sri Lankan Army, the New Zealand Army, the Pakistan Army and several others. Although it is not always considered a general officer rank, it is always considered equivalent to the brigadier general and brigade general rank of other countries. In NATO forces, brigadier is OF-6 on the rank scale.
"The grade of brigadier-general, also called, almost interchangeably, brigadier, first appeared in the British army during the reign of King James II. A warrant of 1705 placed the grade directly below major-general, but the appointment was always considered temporary and not continuous. The British were ambiguous over whether the holder was considered a general officer or a senior field grade office".
The title is derived from the equivalent British rank of brigadier-general, used until 1922 and still used in many countries. "Brigadier" was already in use as a generic term for a commander of a brigade irrespective of specific rank. Until the rank was dissolved in 1922, brigadier-generals wore a crossed sword and baton symbol on its own.
From 1922-28, the British rank title used was that of colonel-commandant, with one crown and three 'pips', a rank which, although reflecting its modern role in the British Army as a senior colonel rather than a junior general, was not well received and was replaced with brigadier after six years. Colonel-commandant was only ever used for officers commanding brigades, depots or training establishments. Officers holding equivalent rank in administrative appointments were known as "colonels on the staff", also replaced by brigadier in 1928. Colonel-commandants and colonels on the staff wore the same rank badge later adopted by brigadiers.
In Commonwealth countries, and most Arabic-speaking countries (in which the rank is called amid), the rank insignia comprises a crown (or some other national symbol) with three stars, (sometimes called "pips"), which are often arranged in a triangle. A brigadier's uniform may also have red gorget patches. It is otherwise similar to that of a colonel (colonel's rank insignia have a crown/emblem with two stars/"pips".)
The Canadian Army used the rank of brigadier (following British tradition, with identical insignia) until the unification of the Canadian Forces in 1968. The rank then became brigadier-general with the insignia of St. Edward's Crown surmounting a crossed sword and baton over one gold maple leaf.
Until 1788, a rank of brigadier des armées ("brigadier of the armies"), which could be described as a senior colonel or junior brigade commander, was used in the French Army. The normal brigade command rank was field marshal (maréchal de camp) (which elsewhere is a more senior rank). During the French Revolution, the ranks of brigadier des armées and maréchal de camp were replaced by brigade general (général de brigade).
In common with many countries, France now uses the officer rank of brigade general instead of a "brigadier" rank; this was the rank held by Charles de Gaulle. The brigadier des armées held a one-star insignia, while the général de brigade inherited the maréchal de camp two-stars insignia. The disparition of the brigadier rank is the reason that there is no one-star insignia in the French Army.
The rank of brigadier is used in some regiments as an equivalent of corporal.
The rank of a brigadier was established by Philip V in 1702 as an intermediate rank between colonel and true generals. In some Iberoamerican republics (see below), the rank survived after independence. In Spain, brigadiers came to be considered full generals in 1871, and in 1889 they were renamed general de brigada.The historical rank is distinct from the current NCO rank of brigada, although sometimes translators confuse the two. The name has survived as a cadet rank at the Spanish Naval Academy.
Many countries in South and Central America were formerly Spanish or Portuguese (Brazil) possessions. Brigadier [-general] is used in Latin America, in the normal sense of brigade commander rank (e.g. Colombia, Chile), although most Latin American nations instead use the rank of brigade general. In Mexico, brigadier general is the rank below brigade general, both ranks falling between colonel and divisional general.
However, both the Argentine and Brazilian Air Forces use a curious system of variations on brigadier for all (Argentina) or most (Brazil) general officers. The origin of this system is not entirely clear, but in the case of Argentina may be due to army air units being commanded by brigade generals before the establishment of the Air Force as an independent armed force.
In the Argentine Air Force these ranks are, in decreasing order of seniority:
In the Brazilian Air Force these ranks are, in decreasing order of seniority:
Above these is the highest Brazilian Air Force rank of marshal of the air, used only in wartime.
In the United States, the Army, Air Force, and Marine Corpse (a component of the Department of the Navy) rank Brigadier General above Colonel and below Major General. The sea-born divisions of Navy and Coast Guard have no generals, preferring to call their higher-ranked officers admiral. A Rear Admiral Lower Half is the same pay grade as a Brigadier General.
Brigadier also exists as a non-commissioned rank. This usage derives from the use of "brigade" to denote a squad or team, similar to the occasional English civilian usage "work brigade".
In France, and some countries whose forces were structured based on the method used in France, some branches of the army and the gendarmerie use brigadier for a rank equivalent to caporal (corporal), and brigadier-chef for a rank equivalent to caporal-chef. Brigadier is used by arms of the army that are by tradition considered "mounted" arms, such as logistics or cavalry units. A similar usage exists elsewhere.
In the French gendamerie, the brigadier ranks are used as in the army, i.e. as junior enlisted ranks (gradés), while the French police use brigadier ranks as their sub-officer (sous-officier) ranks. Since all professional police and gendarmes have sub-officer status in France, the gendarmerie brigadier ranks are rarely used, since they are used only by auxiliaries. On the other hand, the police brigadier ranks, which are used to indicate professional ranks, are common.
In the French gendarmerie and in "mounted" arms of the French army, the brigadier ranks are:
In the Indonesian National Police force, this rank is referred to as the Constable ranks in the regular police units. It is equivalent to the "sergeant" rank in the military. This rank is the most junior rank in the regular police units of Indonesia but is above the enlisted ranks (Tamtama) of the special police units such as in the Mobile Brigade corps and water police units. This rank is below the "Assistant inspector" (Ajun Inspektur Polisi) ranks. The police Brigadier ranks are as shown below:
In the Italian Carabinieri and Guardia di Finanza, the ranks of vice-brigadier (vice brigadiere), brigadier (brigadiere), and chief brigadier (brigadiere capo) correspond roughly to the army ranks based on sergeant. The rank of brigade general (generale di brigata) is used throughout the armed forces as the most junior general rank, and corresponds to the British rank title of brigadier.
Brigadier is traditionally the most senior non-commissioned rank in some Netherlands police forces, for example the Korps landelijke politiediensten and Gemeentepolitie. The rank has been continued by the National Police Corps (Korps Nationale Politie) into which the previous forces merged in 2013. The Royal Marechaussee do not use this rank.
In Spain, a brigada has a NATO rank code of OR-8 (and is thus a senior NCO). The Spanish rank brigada is distinct from the Spanish-language brigadier [-general] used for senior officers in Latin America (and historically in Spain).
3 Commando Brigade is a commando formation of the British Armed Forces and the main manoeuvre formation of the Royal Marines. Its personnel are predominantly Royal Marines, supported by units of Royal Engineers, Royal Artillery, and the Fleet Air Arm, together with other Commando Qualified sailors, soldiers and airmen.
The brigade was formed in 1942, during the Second World War, with a mixture of Army commando and Royal Marine commando units and served in the Burma Campaign. After the Second World War, the Army commandos were disbanded and the brigade became a Royal Marine formation. Recently, the brigade has again become a mixed Army and Marine formation with the addition of an Army infantry battalion, artillery regiment and engineer regiment alongside three Royal Marine battalions and support services. Since the end of the Second World War, it has served in the Suez crisis, Falklands War, Gulf War and the War in Afghanistan.Air commodore
Air commodore (abbreviated as Air Cdre in the RAF, IAF and PAF; AIRCDRE in the RNZAF and RAAF) is a one-star rank and the most junior general rank of the air-officer 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.
Air commodore is a one-star rank and the most junior air officer rank, being immediately senior to group captain and immediately subordinate to air vice-marshal. It has a NATO ranking code of OF-6 and is equivalent to a commodore in the Royal Navy or a brigadier in the British Army or the Royal Marines. Unlike these two ranks, however, it has always been a substantive rank. Additionally, air commodores have always been considered to be air officers whilst Royal Navy commodores have not since the Napoleonic Wars been classified as officers of flag rank, and British Army brigadiers have not been considered to be general officers since 1922 when they ceased to be titled as brigadier-generals. In other NATO forces, such as the United States Armed Forces and the Canadian Armed Forces, the equivalent one-star rank is brigadier general.
The equivalent rank in the Women's Auxiliary Air Force, Women's Royal Air Force (until 1968) and Princess Mary's Royal Air Force Nursing Service (until 1980) was "air commandant".Appomattox campaign
The Appomattox campaign was a series of American Civil War battles fought March 29 – April 9, 1865 in Virginia that concluded with the surrender of Confederate General Robert E. Lee's Army of Northern Virginia to forces of the Union Army (Army of the Potomac, Army of the James and Army of the Shenandoah) under the overall command of Lieutenant General Ulysses S. Grant, marking the effective end of the war.
As the Richmond–Petersburg campaign (also known as the siege of Petersburg) ended, Lee's army was outnumbered and exhausted from a winter of trench warfare over an approximately 40 mi (64 km) front, numerous battles, disease, hunger and desertion. Grant's well-equipped and well-fed army was growing in strength. On March 29, 1865, the Union Army began an offensive that stretched and broke the Confederate defenses southwest of Petersburg and cut their supply lines to Petersburg and the Confederate capital of Richmond, Virginia. Union victories at the Battle of Five Forks on April 1, 1865 and the Third Battle of Petersburg, often called the Breakthrough at Petersburg, on April 2, 1865, opened Petersburg and Richmond to imminent capture. Lee ordered the evacuation of Confederate forces from both Petersburg and Richmond on the night of April 2–3 before Grant's army could cut off any escape. Confederate government leaders also fled west from Richmond that night.
The Confederates marched west, heading toward Danville, Virginia or Lynchburg, Virginia as an alternative. Lee planned to resupply his army at one of those cities and march southwest into North Carolina where he could unite his army with the Confederate army commanded by General Joseph E. Johnston. Grant's Union Army pursued Lee's fleeing Confederates relentlessly. During the next week, the Union troops fought a series of battles with Confederate units, cut off or destroyed Confederate supplies and blocked their paths to the south and ultimately to the west. On April 6, 1865, the Confederate Army suffered a significant defeat at the Battle of Sailor's Creek, Virginia, where they lost about 7,700 men killed and captured and an unknown number wounded. Nonetheless, Lee continued to move the remainder of his battered army to the west. Soon cornered, short of food and supplies and outnumbered, Lee surrendered the Army of Northern Virginia to Grant on April 9, 1865 at Appomattox Court House, Virginia.Army of Northern Virginia
The Army of Northern Virginia was the primary military force of the Confederate States of America in the Eastern Theater of the American Civil War. It was also the primary command structure of the Department of Northern Virginia. It was most often arrayed against the Union Army of the Potomac.Beretta 92
The Beretta 92 (also Beretta 96 and Beretta 98) is a series of semi-automatic pistols designed and manufactured by Beretta of Italy. The model 92 was designed in 1972 and production of many variants in different calibers continues today.
The United States military replaced the M1911A1 .45 ACP pistol in 1985 with the Beretta 92FS, designated as the M9.Brigade
A brigade is a major tactical military formation that is typically composed of three to six battalions plus supporting elements. It is roughly equivalent to an enlarged or reinforced regiment. Two or more brigades may constitute a division.
Brigades formed into divisions are usually infantry or armored (sometimes referred to as combined arms brigades). In addition to combat units, they may include combat support units or sub-units, such as artillery and engineers, and logistic units or sub-units. Historically, such brigades have sometimes been called brigade-groups. On operations, a brigade may comprise both organic elements and attached elements, including some temporarily attached for a specific task.
Brigades may also be specialized and comprise battalions of a single branch, for example cavalry, mechanized, armored, artillery, air defence, aviation, engineers, signals or logistic. Some brigades are classified as independent or separate and operate independently from the traditional division structure. The typical NATO standard brigade consists of approximately 3,200 to 5,500 troops. However, in Switzerland and Austria, the numbers could go as high as 11,000 troops. The Soviet Union, its forerunners and successors, mostly use "regiment" instead of brigade, and this was common in much of Europe until after World War II.
A brigade's commander is commonly a major general,, brigadier general, brigadier or colonel. In some armies, the commander is rated as a General Officer. The brigade commander has a self-contained headquarters and staff. The principal staff officer, usually a lieutenant colonel or colonel, may be designated chief of staff, although until the late 20th century British and similar armies called the position 'brigade-major'. Some brigades may also have a deputy commander. The headquarters has a nucleus of staff officers and support (clerks, assistants and drivers) that can vary in size depending on the type of brigade. On operations, additional specialist elements may be attached. The headquarters will usually have its own communications unit.
In some gendarmerie forces, brigades are the basic-level organizational unit.Brigadier (United Kingdom)
Brigadier (Brig) is a senior rank in the British Army and the Royal Marines. Brigadier is the superior rank to colonel, but subordinate to major-general. It corresponds to the Rank of brigadier general in many other nations.
The rank has a NATO rank code of OF-6, placing it equivalent to the Royal Navy commodore and the Royal Air Force air commodore ranks and the brigadier general (1-star general) rank of the United States military and numerous other NATO nations.Brigadier Lethbridge-Stewart
Brigadier Alistair Gordon Lethbridge-Stewart, generally referred to simply as the Brigadier, is a fictional character in the British science fiction television series Doctor Who, created by writers Mervyn Haisman and Henry Lincoln and played by Nicholas Courtney. He is one of the founders of UNIT (United Nations Intelligence Taskforce, later Unified Intelligence Taskforce), an international organization that defends Earth from alien threats, and serves as commander of the British contingent. Presented at first as reluctant to accept the continuing aid of the Doctor, over time the Brigadier became one of the Doctor's greatest friends and his principal ally in defending the Earth.
As one of the series' most prominent recurring characters over its fifty-year history, the Brigadier appeared in 23 stories during the original run of Doctor Who, first appearing in the 1968 serial The Web of Fear opposite the Second Doctor (Patrick Troughton). The character made frequent appearances on the series following the introduction of the Third Doctor (Jon Pertwee) in 1970's Spearhead from Space. His final appearance in the program was in 1989's Battlefield opposite the Seventh Doctor (Sylvester McCoy). Nearly 20 years later, Courtney reprised the role in the spin-off programme The Sarah Jane Adventures in 2008, his last appearance prior to Courtney's death in 2011. That year, Doctor Who later paid tribute to Courtney by announcing the Brigadier had died with a line of dialogue in "The Wedding of River Song". Later still, a Cyberman avatar of the Brigadier also appears, and achieves some closure with the Twelfth Doctor (Peter Capaldi), in "Death in Heaven" (2014).
The 2012 episode "The Power of Three" introduced the Brigadier's daughter, new UNIT chief Kate Stewart (Jemma Redgrave). The character was originally created in the unlicensed video spin-off Downtime in 1995, in which the Brigadier also appeared. Kate becomes a recurring character making appearances alongside the Eleventh Doctor (Matt Smith) and Twelfth Doctor (Peter Capaldi).Brigadier general
Brigadier general (Brig. Gen.) 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 (four battalions). In some countries a brigadier general is informally designated as a one-star general (OF-6).
In some countries, this rank is given the name of brigadier, which is usually equivalent to brigadier general in the armies of nations that use the rank.
The rank can be traced back to the militaries of Europe where a "brigadier general", or simply a "brigadier", would command a brigade in the field. The rank name général de brigade (which translates as "brigade general") was first used in the French revolutionary armies.
In the first quarter of the 20th century, British and Commonwealth armies used the rank of brigadier general as a temporary appointment, or as an honorary appointment on retirement; in the 1920s this practice changed to the use of brigadier, which was not classed as a general officer.
Some armies, such as Taiwan and Japan, use major general as the equivalent of brigadier general (See also Japan & Taiwan for details.). Some of these armies then use the rank of colonel general to make four general-officer ranks.Mexico uses the ranks of both General brigadier and General de brigada.Brigadier general (United States)
In the United States Armed Forces, brigadier general (BG, BGen, or Brig Gen) is a one-star general officer with the pay grade of O-7 in the U.S. Army, U.S. Marine Corps, and U.S. Air Force. Brigadier general ranks above a colonel and below major general. The rank of brigadier general is equivalent to the rank of rear admiral (lower half) in the other uniformed services (the U.S. Navy and U.S. Coast Guard, as both Armed Forces and Uniformed Services; and the Public Health Service and National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration, as Uniformed Services). The NATO equivalent is OF-6.Colonel
Colonel ( "kernel"; abbreviated Col., Col or COL) is a senior military officer rank below the brigadier and 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.
Historically, in the seventeenth, eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, a colonel was typically in charge of a regiment in an army. Modern usage varies greatly, and in some cases, the term is used as an honorific title that may have no direct relationship to military service.
The rank of colonel is typically above the rank of lieutenant colonel. The rank above colonel is typically called brigadier, brigade general or brigadier general.
Equivalent naval ranks may be called captain or ship-of-the-line captain. In the Commonwealth air force rank system, the equivalent rank is group captain.Comparative army officer ranks of the Commonwealth
Rank comparison chart of armies/ land forces of Commonwealth of Nations states.General officers in the Confederate States Army
The general officers of the Confederate States Army (CSA) were the senior military leaders of the Confederacy during the American Civil War of 1861–1865. They were often former officers from the United States Army (the regular army) prior to the Civil War, while others were given the rank based on merit or when necessity demanded. Most Confederate generals needed confirmation from the Confederate Congress, much like prospective generals in the modern U.S. armed forces.
Like all of the Confederacy's military forces, these generals answered to their civilian leadership, in particular Jefferson Davis, the South's president and therefore commander-in-chief of the Army, Navy, and Marines of the Confederate States.Major general
Major general (abbreviated MG, Maj. Gen. and similar) 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.
In the Commonwealth and the United States, it is a division commander's rank subordinate to the rank of lieutenant general and senior to the ranks of brigadier and brigadier general. In the Commonwealth, major general is equivalent to the navy rank of rear admiral, and in air forces with a separate rank structure, it is equivalent to air vice-marshal.
In some countries, including much of Eastern Europe, major general is the lowest of the general officer ranks, with no brigadier-grade rank.Military Order of the Loyal Legion of the United States
The Military Order of the Loyal Legion of the United States (MOLLUS), or simply as the Loyal Legion is a United States patriotic order, organized April 15, 1865, by officers of the Army, Navy, or Marine Corps of the United States who "had aided in maintaining the honor, integrity, and supremacy of the national movement" during the American Civil War. It was formed by loyal union military officers in response to rumors from Washington of a conspiracy to destroy the Federal government by assassination of its leaders, in the immediate aftermath of the assassination of President Abraham Lincoln. They stated their purpose as the cherishing of the memories and associations of the war waged in defense of the unity and indivisibility of the Republic; the strengthening of the ties of fraternal fellowship and sympathy formed by companionship in arms; the relief of the widows and children of dead companions of the order; and the advancement of the general welfare of the soldiers and sailors of the United States. As the original officers died off, the veterans organization became an all-male hereditary society. The modern organization is composed of male descendants of these officers (hereditary members), and others who share the ideals of the Order (associate members), who collectively are considered "Companions". A female auxiliary, Dames of the Loyal Legion of the United States (DOLLUS), was formed in 1899 and accepted as an affiliate in 1915.Omar al-Bashir
Omar Hassan Ahmad al-Bashir (Arabic: عمر حسن أحمد البشير, pronounced [ba'ʃiːr]; born 1 January 1944) is a Sudanese politician who served as the seventh President of Sudan from 1989 to 2019 and founder of the National Congress Party. He came to power in 1989 when, as a brigadier in the Sudanese Army, he led a group of officers in a military coup that ousted the democratically elected government of prime minister Sadiq al-Mahdi after it began negotiations with rebels in the south. Since then, he has been elected three times as President in elections that have been under scrutiny for electoral fraud. In March 2009, al-Bashir became the first sitting president to indicted by the International Criminal Court (ICC), for allegedly directing a campaign of mass killing, rape, and pillage against civilians in Darfur.In October 2005, al-Bashir's government negotiated an end to the Second Sudanese Civil War, leading to a referendum in the South, resulting in the separation of the south as the country of South Sudan. In the Darfur region, he oversaw the war in Darfur that has resulted in death tolls that are about 10,000 according to the Sudanese Government, but most sources suggest between 200,000 and 400,000. During his presidency, there have been several violent struggles between the Janjaweed militia and rebel groups such as the Sudanese Liberation Army (SLA) and the Justice and Equality Movement (JEM) in the form of guerrilla warfare in the Darfur region. The civil war has displaced over 2.5 million people out of a total population of 6.2 million in Darfur and has created a crisis in the diplomatic relations between Sudan and Chad. The rebels in Darfur lost the support from Libya after the death of Muammar Gaddafi and the collapse of his regime in 2011.In July 2008, the prosecutor of the International Criminal Court (ICC), Luis Moreno Ocampo, accused al-Bashir of genocide, crimes against humanity, and war crimes in Darfur. The court issued an arrest warrant for al-Bashir on 4 March 2009 on counts of war crimes and crimes against humanity, but ruled that there was insufficient evidence to prosecute him for genocide. However, on 12 July 2010, the Court issued a second warrant containing three separate counts of genocide. The new warrant, like the first, was delivered to the Sudanese government, which did not recognize either the warrant or the ICC. The indictments do not allege that Bashir personally took part in such activities; instead, they say that he is "suspected of being criminally responsible, as an indirect co-perpetrator". Some international experts think it is unlikely that Ocampo has enough evidence to prove the allegations. The court's decision is opposed by the African Union, League of Arab States and Non-Aligned Movement as well as the governments of Russia and China.From December 2018 onwards, Bashir faced large-scale protests which demanded his removal from power. On 11 April 2019, Bashir was ousted in a military coup d'état. This was confirmed by the Sudanese Armed Forces in an "important announcement" on state television.One-star rank
An officer of one-star rank is a senior commander in many of the armed services holding a rank described by the NATO code of OF-6. The term is also used by some armed forces which are not NATO members. Typically, one-star officers hold the rank of commodore, flotilla admiral, brigadier general, brigadier, or in the case of those air forces with a separate rank structure, air commodore.
Officers of one-star rank are either the most junior of the flag, general and air officer ranks, or are not considered to hold the distinction at all. Specifically, in many navies, one-star officers are not considered to be flag officers, although this is not always the case. The army and air force rank of brigadier general is, by definition, a general officer rank. However, the equivalent rank of brigadier is usually not designated as a general officer. The air force rank of air commodore is always considered to be an air-officer rank.
|Field marshal or
General of the army
the air force
|Admiral||General||Air chief marshal|
|Vice admiral||Lieutenant general||Air marshal|
|Rear admiral||Major general||Air vice-marshal|
|Commander||Lieutenant colonel||Wing commander|
junior grade or
|Second lieutenant||Pilot officer|
|Officer cadet||Officer cadet||Flight cadet|
|Warrant officer or
chief petty officer
|Warrant officer or
|Petty officer||Sergeant||Flight sergeant|
|Leading seaman||Corporal or