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, although the rank is not regarded as a general officer.
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.
Mexico uses the ranks of both General brigadier and General de brigada.
|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
|Leading seaman||Corporal or
This gallery displays Air Force brigadier general insignia if they are different from the Army brigadier general insignia. (They usually are.)
Note that in many Commonwealth countries, the equivalent air force rank is Air Commodore (and in the Netherlands, it is simply Commodore).
The rank of brigadier general (with some local variations) is used in the Argentine Air Force. Unlike other armed forces of the World, the rank of brigadier general is actually the highest rank in the Air Force. This is due to the use of the rank of brigadier and its derivatives to designate all general officers in the Air Force: brigadier (lowest general officer); brigadier-major (middle); and brigadier-general (highest). The rank of brigadier general is reserved for the Chief General Staff of the Air Force, as well as the Chief of the Joint General Staff if he should be an Air Force officer.
The Argentine Army does not use the rank of brigadier-general, instead using brigade general ( Spanish: General de brigada ) which in turn is the lowest general officer before Divisional General ( Spanish: General de Division ) and Lieutenant General ( Spanish: Teniente General ).
In the Australian Imperial Force during World War I, the rank of brigadier general was always temporary and held only while the officer was posted to a particular task, typically the command of a brigade. When posted elsewhere, the rank would be relinquished and the former rank resumed. This policy prevented an accumulation of high-ranking general officers brought about by the relatively high turnover of brigade commanders. Brigadier general was also used as an honorary rank on retirement. The rank insignia was like that of the current major general, but without the star/pip[note 2] - example.
As in the United Kingdom, the rank was later replaced by brigadier. Hence, prior to 1922, a "brigadier general" was a "general officer"; subsequently, brigadiers were not "generals"; this is shown by the rank insignia being like that of a colonel, but with an extra (third) star/pip[note 2] - example.
Prior to 2001, the Bangladesh Army rank was known as brigadier, in conformity with the rank structure of the Commonwealth Nations. In 2001 the Bangladesh Army introduced the rank of brigadier general, however "the grade stayed equivalent to brigadier", and although classified as a "one-star rank", a brigadier general is not considered to be a general officer – the lowest ranking general officer is Major General. Brigadier general is equivalent to commodore of the Bangladesh Navy and air commodore of the Bangladesh Air Force. It is still more popularly called brigadier.
The Belgian Army uses the rank of général de brigade (French) and brigadegeneraal (Dutch) (Brigade General). However, in this small military there are no permanent promotions to this rank, and it is only awarded as a temporary promotion to a full colonel who assumes a post requiring the rank, notably in an international context (e.g. as Military Attaché in a major embassy).
General de brigada (Brigade general) is the lowest rank amongst general officers of the Brazilian Army – i.e. like in most British Commonwealth counties, the lowest general officer rank is a two-star rank, and a General de Brigada wears a two-star insignia. Hence, it is equivalent to the major general rank of many counties. In the Brazilian Air Force, all of the senior ranks include "Brigadeiro" – the two-star rank is Brigadeiro (Brigadier), the three-star rank is Major-Brigadeiro (Major-Brigadier) and the four-star rank is Tenente-Brigadeiro-do-Ar (Lieutenant-Air-Brigadier). (See Military ranks of Brazil and Brigadier#Latin America for more information.)
The rank of brigadier general is known in Burma as bo hmu gyoke and is often the deputy commander of one of Burma's Regional Military Commands, commander of the light infantry division (LID) or Military Operation Commands. In civil service, a brigadier general often holds the office of deputy minister or director general of certain ministries.
In the Canadian Forces, the rank of brigadier-general (BGen) (brigadier-général or bgén in French) is a rank for members who wear army or air force uniform, equal to a commodore for those in navy uniform. A brigadier-general is the lowest rank of general officer. A brigadier-general is senior to a colonel or naval captain, and junior to a major-general or rear admiral.
The rank title brigadier-general is still used notwithstanding that brigades in the army are now commanded by colonels. Until the late 1990s brigades were commanded by brigadier-generals. In the air force context, brigadier-generals used to command air force groups until these bodies were abolished in the late 1990s.
The rank insignia for a brigadier-general on air force uniforms is a single wide braid on the cuff, as well as a single silver maple leaf beneath crossed sabre and baton, all surmounted by St. Edward's Crown, worn on the shoulder straps of the service dress jacket, and on slip-ons on other uniforms. The rank insignia on army uniforms is a gold maple leaf beneath crossed sword and baton, all surmounted by St. Edward's Crown, on the shoulder straps. On the visor of the service cap are two rows of gold oak leaves; the air force wedge cap features silver braid on the edges of the ear flaps. The cap insignia for a general officer is a modified version of the Canadian Forces insignia. Army brigadier-generals wear gorget patches on the collar of the service uniform tunic.
Brigadier-generals are initially addressed verbally as "General" and name; thereafter by subordinates as "Sir" or "Ma'am" in English or mon général in French. They are normally entitled to staff cars.
Note: Until unification in 1968 of the Royal Canadian Air Force, Canadian Army, and the Royal Canadian Navy, rank structure and insignia followed the British pattern. This system of rank insignia was reinstated in 2014. In army usage, the term "brigadier" was used to denote what is now known as a brigadier-general while the air force used the rank of air commodore.
Chinese rank of (Da-Xiao 大校) or Senior Colonel is a direct equivalent of a brigadier. It ranks above colonel (Shang-Xiao 上校) and below major general (Shao-Jiang 少将). A brigadier is commonly in command of a division (Shi 师) or a brigade (Lu 旅). Divisional commanders are seldom general officers.
Denmark, a NATO member, has for many years been following NATO standards and adapting its rank system to closely relate. As in the armies of most other NATO nations, brigadier general is the lowest of the general ranks, usually a brigade commander.
France uses the rank of "brigade general" (général de brigade). It formerly used the historic rank, until 1793, of brigadier des armées ("brigadier of the armies"). The rank contrasts with the French sub-officer rank of brigadier. As with all French general officers, a French brigade general is titled "general" without any implication that he is an army general; for instance General Charles de Gaulle never rose higher than brigade general.
Until 1793, a rank of brigadier des armées ("brigadier of the armies") existed in the French Army, which could be described as a senior colonel or junior brigade commander. The normal brigade command rank was field marshal (maréchal de camp) (which elsewhere is a more senior rank). A "brigadier of the armies" wore one-star and a "field marshal" wore two stars. During the French Revolution, the revolutionaries' drive to rationalise the state led to a change in the system of ranks. The rank of "brigadier of the armies" was abolished and the normal brigade command rank, field marshal, was replaced by brigade general. The rank of brigade general inherited the two stars of the rank of field marshal, explaining the absence since 1793 of a French rank with only one star.
Nowadays, a French général de brigade generally commands a brigade, which is the biggest permanent formation in the French army. The rank can also be awarded in an honorary fashion to retiring colonels. The insignias are two stars, worn on the shoulder are at the sleeve of the uniform, depending on the dress. Two different kepis are issued : the service kepi sports the two stars, while the formal kepi features a large band of oak leaves (the kepi of a division general has two smaller such bands).
Charles de Gaulle held the rank of brigade general. He was given a temporary promotion to this rank in May 1940 as commander of the 4th Armoured Reserve Division (4e division cuirassée de réserve). However his authority as head of the Free French really came from being the only cabinet member outside occupied France, not from his military rank. As a reminder of his war position, he refused any further promotion.
The equivalent modern German OF6-rank is Brigadegeneral. The concept of a brigadier general rank is relatively new, as prior to 1945 the lowest German general officer OF6-rank was Generalmajor, which was often considered equivalent to brigadier general in other armies.
In Hungary the brigadier general is a relatively new military rank used from 1992. The army and the air force insignia are not different.
Brigadir jenderal (abbreviated as brigjen) is the fourth highest rank and the lowest general rank in the Indonesian National Police, the Indonesian National Armed Forces, and the Indonesian Marine Corps. The insignia is a gold star.
The equivalent rank for brigadier general in the Iranian army and air force is called sar-tip. In Persian the word tip means brigade, and sar means head or commander. After 1987 the rank sar-tip dovom (second brigadier general) was introduced between sar-tip and sar-hang (colonel or literally head of regiment). There is no equivalent for sar-tip dovom in other countries. The rank above sar-tip is sar-lashgar. Lashgar means division so, sar-lashgar means divisional general (major general).
The Iranian Revolutionary Guards also use this rank; the difference is in salutation. One refers an army or air force brigadier general as "amir sar-tip", while a revolutionary guard general is referred to as "sardar sar-tip".
Major general is the highest Iranian military rank, and therefore brigadier general is considered to be second highest rank. It is equivalent to the rank of the commander of the air force, and commodore of the Navy.
The country is divided into two areas for administrative and operational reasons, and in each area there is an infantry brigade. The two brigade group structure envisages distinct operational areas of responsibility for each of the brigades and is supported in its responsibilities by the Naval Service and Air Corps. Each of the brigade formations and the Air Corps is commanded by a brigadier general, while the Naval Service is commanded by a commodore.
In the Israel Defense Forces, the rank of brigadier general is called tat aluf and is the third highest rank, below aluf (major general) and rav aluf (lieutenant general or general), and above aluf mishne (colonel).
In the Italian Armed Forces the rank has different denominations. In the Army, the rank for combat arms officers is generale di brigata whilst for the logistics and technical corps is called brigadier generale. The rank is also present in the other armed forces, police corps and other services of Italy, with different denominations, and it is associated with the lowest level within the government top management.
In the Jordanian military, the rank of brigadier general is known as amid (عميد), and it is higher than colonel (akeed عقيد) and lower than major general (liwa لواء).
In Mexico, general brigadier wears the arms of Mexico with one star, and is the rank below general de brigada who wears as rank insignia the arms of Mexico with two stars.
Prior to 2002, the Polish rank of generał brygady was equivalent to both the ranks of major general and brigadier general.
In the Portuguese Army and Air Force, brigadeiro-general is a temporary general rank for the colonels that have to exercise a special command. It is the equivalent of the commodore rank in the Portuguese Navy.
The rank was reintroduced in 1999. Before that, simply as brigadeiro, it existed from 1707 to 1864 and again from 1929 to 1947, not being considered a general rank. From 1947 to 1999, brigadeiro become the two-star general rank in the Portuguese Army. As two-star rank, it was substituted by the rank of major-general in 1999.
In the Romanian Army the general de brigadă is the lowest rank of general officers, The equivalent in the Navy is contra-amiral and in the Air-Force general de flotilă aeriană.
The rank of brigadier general is known in South Korea as junjang (Korean: 준장; hanja: 准將) and is a direct equivalent to the United States one-star rank, with very similar insignia. The military of North Korea does not technically maintain a brigadier general rank, but the rank of senior colonel (대좌, taejwa) which is above colonel (상좌, sangjwa) and below major general (소장, Sojang) is an effective equivalent.
In the Turkish Army and the Turkish Air Force, the equivalent rank is tuğgeneral (the Turkish Navy equivalent would be tuğamiral). The name is derived from tugay, the Turkish word for a brigade. Both tugay and tuğ- as military terms may owe their origins to the older Turkish word tuğ, meaning horsetail, which was used as a symbol of authority and rank in Ottoman and pre-Ottoman times.
Brigadier-general was formerly a rank or appointment in the British Army and Royal Marines, and briefly in the Royal Air Force. The appointment was abolished in both the Army and the Marines in 1921 and the equivalent rank today is simply Brigadier.
In the United States Army, United States Air Force and United States Marine Corps, a brigadier general is a one-star general officer. It is equivalent to the rank of rear admiral (lower half) in the other uniformed services.
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.Brigadier
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 (e.g. Spain, Italy, France, the Netherlands and the Indonesian Police ranks).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 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.Comparative air force officer ranks of Asia
Rank comparison chart of air forces of Asian states.Comparative army officer ranks of Asia
Rank comparison chart of armies/ land forces of Asian states.
Note: Since none of the countries on this list are part of NATO, the conversion to equivalent NATO ranks are approximate.Comparative army officer ranks of the Commonwealth
Rank comparison chart of armies/ land forces of Commonwealth of Nations states.David Stuart (brigadier general)
David Stuart (March 12, 1816 – September 12, 1868) was a politician from the U.S. state of Michigan and an officer in the Union Army during the American Civil War.Early Commissioning Program
Early Commissioning Program (ECP) is a U.S. Army ROTC program that allows graduates of one of the nation's four Military Junior Colleges (MJC) to become commissioned officers in the reserve components (National Guard or Reserve) in two years, instead of the usual four. Upon completion at MJCs, ECP LTs must go on to finish a bachelor's degree before possibly serving as active duty officers or continuing a career in the reserve components. They must graduate within the next 24 months (waiver for one additional year may be granted by Cadet Command) after receiving early commission. While attending their 4-year university, ECP LTs will be serving in a non-deployable status.Egyptian Expeditionary Force
The Egyptian Expeditionary Force (EEF) was a British Empire military formation, formed on 10 March 1916 under the command of General Archibald Murray from the Mediterranean Expeditionary Force and the Force in Egypt (1914–15), at the beginning of the Sinai and Palestine Campaign of the First World War.Estadio Brigadier General Estanislao López
Estadio Brigadier General Estanislao Lopez (nicknamed "El Cementerio de Los Elefantes") is a football stadium in Santa Fe, Argentina. It is the home stadium of Club Atlético Colón. The stadium has a capacity of 33,458 and was first opened in 1946.The ground's nickname (Elephants Graveyard in English) was created in 1964, as a result of the unexpected defeat of the Brazilian team Santos FC led by Pelé. The frequent defeats of the major Argentine teams strengthened the reputation.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.Jack O'Neill
Jonathan J. "Jack" O'Neill, Lieutenant General, USAF, is a fictional character in the military science fiction franchise Stargate, and primarily one of the main characters of the television series Stargate SG-1. He is most known as portrayed by actor Richard Dean Anderson, who played O'Neill in all the Stargate media since 1997, when he took over the role from actor Kurt Russell, who portrayed the character in the original Stargate film in 1994. O'Neill and Daniel Jackson are the only two characters to appear in both the original film and all 3 Stargate television series.
In his first appearance in the 1994 film as Colonel Jack O'Neil, the character leads the first team to go through the Stargate on a reconnaissance mission. He subsequently becomes the main character of the television series Stargate SG-1 created in 1997 as a sequel to the movie. In the first seven seasons of the show, Colonel Jack O'Neill, recalled from retirement after the first film, is the leader of the team SG-1, a part of the Stargate Program, whose goal is to explore the galaxy and defend against any & all alien threats.
The character became less prominent in the eighth season in which he is promoted to Commanding Officer of Stargate Command, at the rank of Brigadier General, therefore greatly reducing the character's time spent exploring via the Stargate. Anderson chose to reduce his character's status to spend more time with his family, eventually leaving the show at the start of its ninth season and only appearing four times until the end of the series in its tenth and final season. The character's absence from the show was explained by yet another promotion, to the position of head of the Department of Homeworld Security, at the rank of Major General.
Anderson reprised his role once again in the direct-to-DVD film Stargate: Continuum, acting as a sequel to the TV series. O'Neill also appeared in the two other Stargate television series: he was an occasional character in the first three seasons of Stargate Atlantis, serving as an Earth contact with Atlantis, this running parallel with Stargate SG-1 for a time and in four episodes of Stargate Universe, appearing at the rank of Lieutenant General, once again having been promoted, sometime after both "SG-1" and "Atlantis" had ended. (His appearance in this show's first season finale being his last appearance in the Stargate universe to date). Anderson also voiced the character in the video game Stargate SG-1: Unleashed.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.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.