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.

British Army OF-6
British Army insignia
British Royal Marines OF-6
Royal Marines insignia
British Royal Marines OF-6

Insignia

The rank insignia for a brigadier is a St Edward's Crown over three "pips" ("Bath" stars). The rank insignia for a brigadier-general was crossed sword and baton.

Usage

Brigadier was originally an appointment conferred on colonels (as commodore was an appointment conferred on naval captains) rather than a substantive rank.[1] However, from 1 November 1947 it became a substantive rank in the British Army.[2] The Royal Marines, however, retained it as an acting rank until 1997, when both commodore and brigadier became substantive ranks.[3]

Historical rank of brigadier general

British Army (1920-1922) OF-6
Rank insignia (until 1920)

Brigadier-general was formerly a rank or appointment in the British Army and Royal Marines, and briefly in the Royal Air Force. It first appeared in the army in the reign of James II,[4] but did not exist in the Royal Marines until 1913.[5] In the 1740s, the substantive rank of brigadier-general was suppressed,[6] and thereafter brigadier-general was a temporary appointment only, bestowed on a colonel or lieutenant-colonel (or on a colonel commandant in the Royal Marines) for the duration of a specific command (similar to a commodore).

The appointment was abolished in both the Army and the Marines in 1921, being replaced in the Army by the appointments of colonel-commandant (which already existed as a rank in the Marines) and colonel on the staff. These appointments, although reflecting its modern role in the British Army as a senior colonel rather than a junior general, were not well received and were both replaced with brigadier in both the Army and the Marines (although not replacing the substantive rank of colonel commandant in the latter) in 1928.[1][7][8] From the formation of the Royal Air Force on 1 April 1918 until 31 July 1919, it used the appointment of brigadier-general. This was superseded by the rank of air commodore on the following day.

The rank insignia for appointment of the brigadier-general was a crossed sword and baton; the insignia for higher grades of general consist of this device, with the addition of a star (major general), crown (lieutenant general), or both ("full" general).

Brigadier is the highest field officer rank (hence the absence of the word "general"), whereas brigadier-general was the lowest general officer "rank". However, the two ranks are considered equal.

Junior officer rank

Historically, brigadier and sub-brigadier were the junior officer ranks in the Troops of Horse Guards. This corresponded to French practice, where a brigadier was the cavalry equivalent of a corporal. To reflect the status of the Horse Guards as Household Troops, brigadiers ranked with lieutenants and sub-brigadiers with cornets in other cavalry regiments. When the Horse Guards were disbanded in 1788, the brigadiers and sub-brigadiers of the 1st and 2nd Troops became lieutenants and cornets in the 1st and 2nd Regiments of Life Guards, respectively.[9]

Brigadier remains the lowest officer rank in the Royal Company of Archers, the Queen's Bodyguard for Scotland. There are twelve brigadiers on the establishment, ranking after ensigns.[10]

References

  1. ^ a b "New Army Rank of Brigadier", The Times, 23 December 1927
  2. ^ "Rank of Brigadier", The Times, 24 March 1948
  3. ^ Debrett's
  4. ^ John J. McGrath (2009). The Brigade: A History, Its Organization and Employment in the US Army. DIANE Publishing. ISBN 1-4289-1022-0. Retrieved 2010-06-19.
  5. ^ Senior RM Officers - Promotion, London Gazette
  6. ^ Beatson, Robert (1788). A Political Index to the Histories of Great Britain and Ireland: Or, A Complete Register of the Hereditary Honours, Public Offices, and Persons in Office, from the Earliest Periods to the Present Time. G. G. J. & J. Robinson. p. 387.
  7. ^ "World War II RN Pay Tables". Retrieved 2010-06-19.
  8. ^ Scribbles (April 1956). "Pay and Allowances of Officers - RN, RM, WRNS, QARNNS and VAD". Pbenyon.plus.com. Retrieved 2010-06-19.
  9. ^ "No. 13005". The London Gazette. 5—8 July 1788. p. 325. Check date values in: |date= (help)
  10. ^ Royal Company of Archers, royal.gov.uk. Accessed 1 July 2012 Archived 16 June 2012 at the Wayback Machine

External links

Commodore (Royal Navy)

Please see Commodore (rank) for other versions of this rank.Commodore (Cdre) is a rank of the Royal Navy above captain and below rear admiral. It has a NATO ranking code of OF-6. The rank is equivalent to brigadier in the British Army and Royal Marines and to air commodore in the Royal Air Force.

NATO rank code Student officer OF-1 OF-2 OF-3 OF-4 OF-5 OF-6
*
OF-7
**
OF-8
***
OF-9
****
OF-10
*****
Royal Navy O Cdt Mid SLt Lt Lt Cdr Cdr Capt Cdre RAdm
(list)
VAdm
(list)
Adm
(list)
Adm of the Fleet
Royal Marines O Cdt 2Lt Lt Capt Maj Lt Col Col Brig Maj-Gen Lt-Gen Gen
(list)
Capt-Gen
Army O Cdt 2Lt Lt Capt Maj Lt Col Col Brig Maj-Gen
(list)
Lt-Gen
(list)
Gen
(list)
Fd Mshl
Royal Air Force Off Cdt / SO APO / Plt Off Fg Off Flt Lt Sqn Ldr Wg Cdr Gp Capt Air Cdre AVM Air Mshl Air Chf Mshl
(list)
Mshl of the RAF

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