Commander

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.

Commander is also a generic term for an officer commanding any armed forces unit, for example "platoon commander", "brigade commander" and "squadron commander". In the police, terms such as "borough commander" and "incident commander" are used.

Navies Armies Air forces
Commissioned officers
Admiral of
the fleet
Field marshal or
General of the Army
Marshal of
the air force
Admiral General Air chief marshal
Vice admiral Lieutenant general Air marshal
Rear admiral Major general Air vice-marshal
Commodore Brigadier or
brigadier general
Air commodore
Captain Colonel Group captain
Commander Lieutenant colonel Wing commander
Lieutenant
commander
Major or
Commandant
Squadron leader
Lieutenant Captain Flight lieutenant
Lieutenant
junior grade
or
sub-lieutenant
Lieutenant or
first lieutenant
Flying officer
Ensign or
midshipman
Second lieutenant Pilot officer
Officer cadet Officer cadet Flight cadet
Enlisted grades
Warrant officer or
chief petty officer
Warrant officer or
sergeant major
Warrant officer
Petty officer Sergeant Sergeant
Leading seaman Corporal or
bombardier
Corporal
Seaman Private or
gunner or
trooper
Aircraftman or
airman
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Commander as a naval and air force rank

Commander is a rank used in navies but is very rarely used as a rank in armies. The title, originally "master and commander,"[1] originated in the 18th century to describe naval officers who commanded ships of war too large to be commanded by a lieutenant but too small to warrant the assignment of a post-captain and (before about 1770) a sailing-master; the commanding officer served as his own Master. In practice, these were usually unrated sloops-of-war of no more than 20 guns. The Royal Navy shortened "master and commander" to "commander" in 1794; however, the term "master and commander" remained (unofficially) in common parlance for several years.[2] The equivalent American rank master commandant remained in use until changed to commander in 1838. A corresponding rank in some navies is frigate captain. In the 20th and 21st centuries, the rank has been assigned the NATO rank code of OF-4.

Various functions of commanding officers were also styled commandeur. In the navy of the Dutch Republic, anyone who commanded a ship or a fleet without having an appropriate rank to do so, could be called a Commandeur. This included ad hoc fleet commanders and acting captains (Luitenant-Commandeur). In the fleet of the Admiralty of Zealand however, commandeur was a formal rank, the equivalent of Schout-bij-nacht (rear-admiral) in the other Dutch admiralties. The Dutch use of the title as a rank lives on in the Royal Netherlands Navy, as the equivalent of commodore. In the Royal Netherlands Air Force, however, this rank is known by the English spelling of commodore which is the Dutch equivalent of the British air commodore.

Australia

The rank of commander in the Royal Australian Navy (RAN) is identical in description to that of a commander in the British Royal Navy. RAN chaplains who are in sivisions 1, 2 or 3 (of five divisions) have the equivalent rank standing of commanders. This means that to officers and NCOs below the rank of commander, lieutenant colonel, or wing commander, the chaplain is a superior.

To those officers ranked higher than commander, the chaplain is subordinate. Although this equivalency exists, RAN chaplains who are in divisions 1, 2 or 3 do not actually wear the rank of commander, and they hold no command privilege.

Denmark

In Denmark, the rank of commander exists as kommandørkaptajn (commander captain or commanding captain), which is senior to kaptajn (captain) and kommandør ("commander", which is senior to kommandørkaptajn.

France

French Navy-Rama NG-OF4
Shoulder insignia of a French capitaine de frégate

In France, the rank of commander exists as capitaine de frégate (frigate captain). It is senior to capitaine de corvette (corvette captain), and junior to capitaine de vaisseau (ship-of-the-line captain).

Japan

The rank of commander was used in the Imperial Japanese Navy, and continues to be used in the modern Japanese Maritime Self-Defense Force. Though the modern rank is translated as "commander" in English, its literal translation is "captain second rank". The rank is equivalent to that of a commander in the U.S. Navy.

Malta

Commander is a rank in the Military and Hospitaller Order of Saint Lazarus of Jerusalem, and is denoted by the post-nominal letters CLJ.

Poland

POL PMW pagon2 komandor porucznik
Komandor porucznik, Poland

The corresponding rank in the Polish Navy is komandor porucznik.

Russia

In the Russian Navy the equivalent rank to commander is "captain of the second rank".[3]

Russian Empire

The rank was introduced in Russia by Peter the Great in 1722. From the introduction of the Russian Table of Ranks to its abolition in 1917, "captain of the second rank" was equal to a court councillor, at the sixth level out of 14 ranks. Until 1856 it was also conferred hereditary nobility on the holder.

Soviet Navy

The equivalent rank in the Soviet Navy from 1918 to 1935 was "first mate", (старпом корабля 1 ранга; starpom korablya pervogo ranga).[Note 1] The rank returned to the Imperial Russian Navy form of "captain 2nd rank" in 1935.

Imperial Russian Navy
(1909-1917)
Soviet Navy
(1917-1935)
Soviet Navy
(1935-1991)
Russian Navy
(current)
нарукавный знак флота 1917 IRN F4Commander 1917.png Red Fleet Insignia 8 RAF N F4Commander 1940 RAF N F4-Kapitan-2nd sleeve RAF N F4Com since 2010par
Captain 2nd rank First mate Captain 2nd rank Captain 2nd rank
Sleeve
insignia
Shoulder insignia Sleeve insignia Sleeve insignia Sleeve insignia Shoulder insignia

Scandinavia

Commander is a naval rank in Scandinavia (Kommandør in Danish and Norwegian, Kommendör in Swedish) equivalent to the Anglo-American naval rank of captain. The Scandinavian the rank of commander is immediately above "commander-captain" (Norwegian: Kommandørkaptein, Swedish: Kommendörkapten, Danish: Kommandørkaptajn), which is equivalent to the Anglo-American naval rank of commander.[4]

Spain

In the Spanish Navy the equivalent rank to commander is capitán de fragata.

United Kingdom

Royal Navy

Generic-Navy-O5
Insignia of a Royal Navy commander

A commander in the Royal Navy is above the rank of lieutenant commander, below the rank of captain, and is equivalent in rank to a lieutenant colonel in the army. A commander may command a frigate, destroyer, submarine, aviation squadron or shore installation, or may serve on a staff.

Royal Air Force

Since the British Royal Air Force's mid-rank officers' ranks are modelled on those of the Royal Navy, the term wing commander is used as a rank, and this is the equivalent of a lieutenant colonel in the army or a commander in the navy. The rank of wing commander is above that of squadron leader and below that of group captain.

In the former Royal Naval Air Service, which was merged with the Royal Flying Corps to form the Royal Air Force in 1918, the pilots held appointments as well as their normal ranks in the Royal Navy, and they wore insignia appropriate to the appointment instead of the rank. A flight commander wore a star above a lieutenant's two rank stripes, squadron commander wore two stars above two rank stripes (less than eight years' seniority) or two-and-a-half rank stripes (over eight years seniority), and wing commander wore three rank stripes. The rank stripes had the usual Royal Navy curl, and they were surmounted by an eagle.

United States

US Navy O5 insignia
Insignia of a US Navy commander

Vietnam

Commander (trung tá) is a two-star field grade officer of Vietnam People's Navy

Commander as a military appointment

For instance, as in various small colonial settlements (such as various Caribbean islands) commanding the garrison was the crux of the top job, the military title Commandeur could be used instead of a civilian gubernatorial style, not unlike the Portuguese captain-major.

British Army

In the British Army, the term "commander" is officially applied to the non-commissioned officer in charge of a section (section commander), vehicle (vehicle commander) or gun (gun commander), to the subaltern or captain commanding a platoon (platoon commander), or to the brigadier commanding a brigade (brigade commander). Other officers commanding units are usually referred to as the officer commanding (OC), commanding officer (CO), general officer commanding (GOC), or general officer commanding-in-chief (GOC-C), depending on rank and position, although the term "commander" may be applied to them informally.

In the First Aid Nursing Yeomanry commander is a rank equivalent to major.

Netherlands

Commandeur as title of colonial office was the case on the island of Tobago in the Dutch colony of Nieuw Walcheren.

New Zealand Army

The usage is similar to the United States Army, with the term "commander" usually applying to very senior officers only, typically at divisional level (major general).

Spanish Armed Forces and Guardia Civil

In the Spanish Army, the Spanish Air Force and the marine infantry, the term commander is the literal translation of comandante, the Spanish equivalent of a Commonwealth major. The Guardia Civil shares the army ranks, and the officer commanding a house-garrison (usually an NCO or a lieutenant, depending on the size) is addressed as the comandante de puesto (post commander).

United States Army

In the United States Army, the term "commander" is officially applied to the commanding officer of army units; hence, there are company commanders, battalion commanders, brigade commanders, and so forth. At the highest levels of U.S. military command structure, "commander" also refers to what used to be called commander-in-chief, or CINC, until October 24, 2002, although the term CINC is still used in casual speech.

United States Air Force

In the United States Air Force, the term "commander" (abbreviated "CC" in office symbols, i.e. "OG/CC" for "operations group commander") is officially applied to the commanding officer of an air force unit; hence, there are flight commanders, squadron commanders, group commanders, wing commanders, and so forth. In rank, a flight commander is typically a lieutenant or captain, a squadron commander is typically a major or lieutenant colonel, a group commander is typically a colonel, and a wing commander is typically a senior colonel or a brigadier general.

Commander as a non-military rank or title

NASA rank

In NASA spacecraft missions since the beginning of Project Gemini, one crew member on each spacecraft is designated as mission commander. The commander is the captain of the ship, and makes all real-time critical decisions on behalf of the crew and in coordination with the Mission Control Center (MCC).

Use in aviation

The title of aircraft commander is used in civil aviation to refer to the pilot in command (commonly referred to as "captain", which is technically an airline rank and not related to the commander's role on board the aircraft).

British police rank

ACC
Epaulette of a commander in the City of London Police or Metropolitan Police

Within the British police, commander is a chief officer rank in the two police forces responsible for law enforcement within London, the Metropolitan Police and City of London Police. In both forces, the rank is senior to chief superintendent; in the Metropolitan Police it is junior to deputy assistant commissioner and in the City of London Police it is junior to assistant commissioner. In forces outside London, the rank equates to assistant chief constable which bears the same insignia.

The Metropolitan Police introduced the rank in 1946, after the rank of deputy assistant commissioner was split in two, with senior DACs keeping that rank and title and junior DACs being regraded as commanders. The Metropolitan Police also used the rank of deputy commander, ranking just below that of commander, between 1946 and 1968.

Officers in charge of policing each of the London's boroughs are given the title "borough commander". However, most such officers do not hold the actual rank of commander but instead hold the rank of chief superintendent. An exception to this is the borough commander of Westminster, who actually holds the rank of commander due to the size, complexity, and high-profile nature of the borough.

The Metropolitan Police Service announced that by Summer 2018 the rank would be phased out, along with that of chief inspector.[5] However, in August 2017 it was announced that the new Commissioner Cressida Dick had cancelled the plan to phase them out.[6]

The rank badge worn by a commander or an assistant chief constable consists of crossed tipstaves within a wreath. Until the abolition of the rank of deputy commander in 1968, however, a commander wore the same badge of rank as a deputy assistant commissioner.

Australian police rank

In Australia, commander is a rank used by the Victorian,[7] Tasmanian, Western Australian,[8] South Australian, and Australian Federal police forces. The insignia consists of a crown over three bath stars in a triangular formation, equivalent to a brigadier in the army. In all four forces, it is junior to the rank of assistant commissioner, and senior to the rank of chief superintendent, with the exception of Western Australia and Victoria where it is senior to the rank of superintendent.

In New South Wales the position of commander is instated to officers (usually superintendents) in charge of a command or unit.

United States police rank

See: Police ranks of the United States § Ranks.

Some large police departments and sheriff's offices in the US have a commander rank. Most commonly, this is the next rank above captain. Examples of this include the Chicago Police Department, Los Angeles Police Department, San Francisco Police Department, Hawai'i County Police Department, Portland Police Bureau and Rochester Police Department. In others, such as the Phoenix Police Department and Saint Paul Police Department, a commander rank is the next rank above lieutenant, and is equivalent to captain.

A commander in the LAPD is equivalent to an inspector in other large US departments (such as the NYPD); the LAPD rank was originally called inspector as well, but was changed in 1974 to commander after senior officers voiced a preference for the more military-sounding rank. The Metropolitan Police Department of the District of Columbia also uses the rank of commander, which is a grade above inspector and two grades above captain.

The insignia worn is usually a gold oak leaf (equivalent to an army major). It may alternatively be a silver oak leaf (equivalent to an army lieutenant colonel) or one or more stars. Commander is also used as a title in certain circumstances, such as the commander of a squad of detectives, who would usually be of the rank of lieutenant.

Canadian police rank

The Montreal police force, Service de police de la Ville de Montréal, uses the rank of commander.[9]

Incident Command System

In the Incident Command System the incident commander is in charge of the response to an emergency. The title may pass from person to person as the incident develops.

Chivalric orders

The title of commander is used in chivalric orders such as the Sovereign Military Order of Malta for a member senior to a knight. The title of knight commander is often used to denote an even higher rank. These conventions are also used by most of the continental orders of chivalry. The United Kingdom uses different classifications.

In most of the British orders of knighthood, the grade of knight (or dame) commander is the lowest grade of knighthood, but is above the grade of companion (which does not carry a knighthood). In the Royal Victorian Order and the Order of the British Empire, the grade of commander is senior to the grade of lieutenant or officer, but junior to that of knight or dame commander. In the British Venerable Order of Saint John, a commander ranks below a knight.

In common usage

"Commander" may sometimes be used by laymen, usually applied to the person who is accountable for and holds authority over a group or the attempts of a group to achieve a common goal.

See also

Notes

  1. ^ The Russian word "старпом" (starpom) is an abbreviation of "старший помощник" (starshy pomoshchnik), literally "senior assistant". Thus "старпом корабля 1 ранга" (starpom korablya pervogo ranga) is literally the "senior assistant of the ship, 1st rank" - the first mate.

References

  1. ^ See also: Master and Commander: The Far Side of the World.
  2. ^ "Why is the Colonel called a 'Kernal?'". Naval Historical Center. 1998. Archived from the original on 2011-02-24.
  3. ^ Russian: капитан 2-го ранга; kapitan vtorogo ranga; abbreviated "кавторанг"; kavtorang
  4. ^ "NATO grades / national ranks: Navy" (PDF). Hellenic Multinational Peace Support Operations Training Center. Archived from the original (PDF) on 10 August 2017. Retrieved 24 May 2015.
  5. ^ ""Met police to modernise its rank structure", MPS website". Archived from the original on 2016-10-19. Retrieved 2016-10-18.
  6. ^ "Met cancels plan to abolish two ranks". Archived from the original on 2017-08-25. Retrieved 2017-08-25.
  7. ^ "Victoria Police Website". Archived from the original on 2009-05-20. Retrieved 2009-04-29.
  8. ^ "Western Australia Police Website". Archived from the original on 2008-01-06. Retrieved 2009-09-04.
  9. ^ "Positions". Service de police de la Ville de Montréal. Archived from the original on 2010-05-04. Retrieved 30 December 2009.
Allies of World War I

The Allies of World War I or Entente Powers is the term commonly used for the coalition that opposed the Central Powers of Germany, Austria-Hungary, the Ottoman Empire and Bulgaria during the First World War (1914–1918).

By the end of the first decade of the 20th century, the major European powers were divided between the Triple Entente and the Triple Alliance. The Entente was made up of France, the United Kingdom and Russia. The Triple Alliance was originally composed of Germany, Austria-Hungary and Italy, which remained neutral in 1914.

As the war progressed, each coalition added new members. Japan joined the Entente in 1914. After proclaiming its neutrality at the beginning of the war, Italy also joined the Entente in 1915. The United States joined as an "associated power" rather than an official ally. 'Associated members' included Belgium, Serbia, Greece, Montenegro and Romania.

Battalion

A battalion is a military unit. The use of the term "battalion" varies by nationality and branch of service. Typically a battalion consists of 300 to 800 soldiers and is divided into a number of companies. A battalion is typically commanded by a lieutenant colonel. In some countries, the word "battalion" is associated with the infantry.

The term was first used in Italian as battaglione no later than the 16th century. It derived from the Italian word for battle, battaglia. The first use of battalion in English was in the 1580s, and the first use to mean "part of a regiment" is from 1708.

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.

Commander-in-chief

A commander-in-chief, sometimes also called supreme commander, is the person that exercises supreme command and control over an armed forces or a military branch. As a technical term, it refers to military competencies that reside in a country's executive leadership – a head of state or a head of government.

Often, a commander-in-chief role if held by an official, need not be or have been a commissioned officer or even a veteran. Such countries follow the principle of civilian control of the military.

Commander (United States)

In the United States, commander is a military rank that is also sometimes used as a military billet title—the designation of someone who manages living quarters or a base—depending on the branch of service. It is also (sometimes) used as a rank or title in non-military organizations; particularly in law enforcement.

Commanding officer

The commanding officer (CO) or sometimes, if the incumbent is a general officer, commanding general (CG), is the officer in command of a military unit. The commanding officer has ultimate authority over the unit, and is usually given wide latitude to run the unit as they see fit, within the bounds of military law. In this respect, commanding officers have significant responsibilities (for example, the use of force, finances, equipment, the Geneva Conventions), duties (to higher authority, mission effectiveness, duty of care to personnel), and powers (for example, discipline and punishment of personnel within certain limits of military law).

In some countries, commanding officers may be of any commissioned rank. Usually, there are more officers than command positions available, and time spent in command is generally a key aspect of promotion, so the role of commanding officer is highly valued. The commanding officer is often assisted by an executive officer (XO) or second-in-command (2i/c), who handles personnel and day-to-day matters, and a senior enlisted advisor. Larger units may also have staff officers responsible for various responsibilities.

Legion of Merit

The Legion of Merit (LOM) is a military award of the United States Armed Forces that is given for exceptionally meritorious conduct in the performance of outstanding services and achievements. The decoration is issued to members of the seven uniformed services of the United States as well as to military and political figures of foreign governments.

The Legion of Merit (Commander degree) is one of only two United States military decorations to be issued as a neck order (the other being the Medal of Honor) and the only United States military decoration that may be issued in award degrees (much like an order of chivalry or certain Orders of Merit), although the degrees including a neck riband are only awarded to non-U.S. nationals.The Legion of Merit is seventh in the order of precedence of all U.S. military awards and is worn after the Defense Superior Service Medal and before the Distinguished Flying Cross. In contemporary use in the U.S. Armed Forces, the Legion of Merit is typically awarded to Army, Marine Corps, and Air Force general officers and colonels, and Navy and Coast Guard flag officers and captains occupying senior command or very senior staff positions in their respective services.

It may also be awarded to officers of lesser rank, senior warrant officers (typically in command positions at the rank of CW5), and to very senior enlisted personnel (typically in the rank of CSM and SMA in the Army, FLTCM and MCPON in the Navy, CMSAF in the Air Force and SgtMajMC in the Marine Corps), but these instances are less frequent, typically by exception, and the circumstances vary by branch of service.

Authority to award the Legion of Merit is reserved for general officers and flag officers in pay grade O-9 (e.g., Lieutenant General and Vice Admiral) and above, civilian Department of Defense personnel at assistant service secretary or Assistant Secretary of Defense level and above, or equivalent secretary-level civilian personnel with the Department of Homeland Security with direct oversight of the U.S. Coast Guard.

Lieutenant

A lieutenant (abbreviated Lt, LT, Lieut and similar) is a junior mostcommissioned officer in the armed forces, fire services, police and other organizations of many nations.

The meaning of lieutenant differs in different militaries (see comparative military ranks), but is often subdivided into senior (first lieutenant) and junior (second lieutenant and even third lieutenant) ranks. In navies it is often equivalent to the army rank of captain; it may also indicate a particular post rather than a rank. The rank is also used in fire services, emergency medical services, security services and police forces.

Lieutenant may also appear as part of a title used in various other organisations with a codified command structure. It often designates someone who is "second-in-command", and as such, may precede the name of the rank directly above it. For example, a "lieutenant master" is likely to be second-in-command to the "master" in an organisation using both ranks.

Political uses include lieutenant governor in various governments, and Quebec lieutenant in Canadian politics. In the United Kingdom, a lord lieutenant is the sovereign's representative in a county or lieutenancy area, while a deputy lieutenant is one of the lord lieutenant's deputies.

Lieutenant commander

Lieutenant commander (also hyphenated lieutenant-commander and abbreviated LCdr, LCdr. or LCDR) is a commissioned officer rank in many navies. The rank is superior to a lieutenant and subordinate to a commander. The corresponding rank in most armies (armed services) and air forces is major, and in the Royal Air Force and other Commonwealth air forces is squadron leader.

The NATO rank code is mostly OF-3.A lieutenant commander is a senior department officer or the executive officer (second-in-command) on many warships and smaller shore installation, or the commanding officer of a smaller ship/installation. They are also senior department officers in naval aviation squadrons.

Lieutenant commander (United States)

Lieutenant commander (LCDR) is a mid-ranking officer rank in the United States Navy, the United States Coast Guard, the United States Public Health Service Commissioned Corps, and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Commissioned Officer Corps (NOAA Corps), with the pay grade of O-4 and NATO rank code OF-3. The predecessors of the NOAA Corps, the United States Coast and Geodetic Survey Corps (1917-1965) and the Environmental Science Services Administration Corps (1965-1970), also used the lieutenant commander rank, and the rank is also used in the United States Maritime Service and the United States Naval Sea Cadet Corps. Lieutenant commanders rank above lieutenants and below commanders, and rank is equivalent to a major in the United States Army, United States Air Force, and United States Marine Corps.

Promotion to lieutenant commander in the U.S. Navy is governed by United States Department of Defense policies derived from the Defense Officer Personnel Management Act of 1980. DOPMA guidelines suggest 80% of lieutenants should be promoted to lieutenant commander after serving a minimum of three years at their present rank and after attaining nine to eleven years of cumulative commissioned service.While lieutenant commander is the U.S. Navy's first commissioned officer to be selected by board, they are still considered to be junior officers due to their origin as "lieutenant, commanding." This can be seen by the fact that lieutenant commanders do not wear the oak-leaf gold embellishment (colloquially known as "scrambled eggs") on their combination covers. This is in contrast to other branches, where majors wear the appropriate covers of field-grade officers.The United States Coast Guard used their own rank system until World War I. In 1916, discontent grew among Coast Guard Captains By law, they ranked below a lieutenant commander in the United States Navy despite similar roles and duties. Pursuant to the Appropriations Act of 1918, the Coast Guard adopted the Navy rank structure to prevent disagreements over seniority. There are two insignia used by lieutenant commanders. On service khakis and all working uniforms, lieutenant commanders wear a gold oak leaf collar device, similar to the ones worn by majors in the USAF and Army, and identical to that worn by majors in the Marine Corps. In all dress uniforms, they wear sleeve braid or shoulder boards bearing a single gold quarter-inch stripe between two gold half-inch strips (nominal size). In the case of officers of the U.S. Navy, Above or inboard of the stripes, they wear their specialty insignia (i.e., a star for officers of the line, crossed oak leaves for Civil Engineer Corps, etc.).

Insignia of lieutenant commanders in different uniformed services in the United States

List of United States Air Force four-star generals

This is a complete list of four-star generals in the United States Air Force. The rank of general (or full general, or four-star general) is the highest rank normally achievable in the U.S. Air Force. It ranks above lieutenant general (three-star general) and below General of the Air Force (five-star general).

There have been 218 four-star generals in the history of the U.S. Air Force. Of these, 214 achieved that rank while on active duty, 3 were promoted after retirement, and one was promoted posthumously. Generals entered the Air Force via several paths: 60 were commissioned via the U.S. Military Academy (USMA), 49 via the aviation cadet program, 40 via the U.S. Air Force Academy (USAFA), 40 via Air Force Reserve Officer Training Corps (AFROTC) at a civilian university, 12 via AFROTC at a senior military college, 8 via Air Force Officer Training School (OTS), 4 via the U.S. Naval Academy (USNA), 2 via direct commission (direct), one via Reserve Officer Training Corps (ROTC) at a civilian university, one via direct commission inter-service transfer from the Army National Guard (ARNG), and one via direct commission inter-service transfer from the Royal Canadian Air Force (RCAF).

Order of St Michael and St George

The Most Distinguished Order of Saint Michael and Saint George is a British order of chivalry founded on 28 April 1818 by George, Prince Regent, later King George IV, while he was acting as regent for his father, King George III.

It is named in honour of two military saints, St Michael and St George.

The Order of St Michael and St George was originally awarded to those holding commands or high position in the Mediterranean territories acquired in the Napoleonic Wars, and was subsequently extended to holders of similar office or position in other territories of the British Empire. It is at present awarded to men and women who hold high office or who render extraordinary or important non-military service in a foreign country, and can also be conferred for important or loyal service in relation to foreign and Commonwealth affairs.

Order of the Bath

The Most Honourable Order of the Bath (formerly the Most Honourable Military Order of the Bath) is a British order of chivalry founded by George I on 18 May 1725. The name derives from the elaborate medieval ceremony for appointing a knight, which involved bathing (as a symbol of purification) as one of its elements. The knights so created were known as "Knights of the Bath". George I "erected the Knights of the Bath into a regular Military Order". He did not (as is commonly believed) revive the Order of the Bath, since it had never previously existed as an Order, in the sense of a body of knights who were governed by a set of statutes and whose numbers were replenished when vacancies occurred.The Order consists of the Sovereign (currently Queen Elizabeth II), the Great Master (currently The Prince of Wales), and three Classes of members:

Knight Grand Cross (GCB) or Dame Grand Cross (GCB)

Knight Commander (KCB) or Dame Commander (DCB)

Companion (CB)Members belong to either the Civil or the Military Division. Prior to 1815, the order had only a single class, Knight Companion (KB), which no longer exists. Recipients of the Order are now usually senior military officers or senior civil servants. Commonwealth citizens who are not subjects of the Queen and foreign nationals may be made Honorary Members.The Order of the Bath is the fourth-most senior of the British Orders of Chivalry, after The Most Noble Order of the Garter, The Most Ancient and Most Noble Order of the Thistle, and The Most Illustrious Order of St Patrick (dormant).

Order of the British Empire

The Most Excellent Order of the British Empire is a British order of chivalry, rewarding contributions to the arts and sciences, work with charitable and welfare organisations,

and public service outside the civil service. It was established on 4 June 1917 by King George V and comprises five classes across both civil and military divisions, the most senior two of which make the recipient either a knight if male or dame if female. There is also the related British Empire Medal, whose recipients are affiliated with, but not members of, the order.

Recommendations for appointments to the Order of the British Empire were originally made on the nomination of the United Kingdom, the self-governing Dominions of the Empire (later Commonwealth) and the Viceroy of India. Nominations continue today from Commonwealth countries that participate in recommending British (Imperial) honours. Most Commonwealth countries ceased recommendations for appointments to the Order of the British Empire when they created their own honours.

Royal Victorian Order

The Royal Victorian Order (French: Ordre royal de Victoria) is a dynastic order of knighthood established in 1896 by Queen Victoria. It recognises distinguished personal service to the monarch of the Commonwealth realms, members of the monarch's family, or to any viceroy or senior representative of the monarch. The present monarch, Queen Elizabeth II, is the Sovereign of the order, its motto is Victoria, and its official day is 20 June. The order's chapel is the Savoy Chapel in London.

There is no limit on the number honoured at any grade, and admission remains at the sole discretion of the monarch, with each of the order's five grades and one medal with three levels representing different levels of service. While all those honoured may use the prescribed styles of the order—the top two grades grant titles of knighthood, and all grades accord distinct post-nominal letters—the Royal Victorian Order's precedence amongst other honours differs from realm to realm and admission to some grades may be barred to citizens of those realms by government policy.

United States Fleet Forces Command

The United States Fleet Forces Command (USFF) is a service component command of the United States Navy that provides naval forces to a wide variety of U.S. forces. The naval resources may be allocated to Combatant Commanders such as United States Northern Command (USNORTHCOM) under the authority of the Secretary of Defense. Originally formed as United States Atlantic Fleet (USLANTFLT) in 1906, it has been an integral part of the defense of the United States of America since the early 20th century. In 2002, the Fleet comprised over 118,000 Navy and Marine Corps personnel serving on 186 ships and in 1,300 aircraft, with an area of responsibility ranging over most of the Atlantic Ocean from the North Pole to the South Pole, the Caribbean Sea, Gulf of Mexico, and the waters of the Pacific Ocean along the coasts of Central and South America (as far west as the Galapagos Islands). The command is based at Naval Support Activity Hampton Roads in Norfolk, Virginia and is the navy's service component to U.S. Northern Command and is a supporting command under the U.S. Strategic Command.The command's mission is to organize, man, train, and equip Naval Forces for assignment to Unified Command Combatant commanders; to deter, detect, and defend against homeland maritime threats; and to articulate Fleet warfighting and readiness requirements to the Chief of Naval Operations.

United States Pacific Fleet

The United States Pacific Fleet (USPACFLT) is a Pacific Ocean theater-level component command of the United States Navy that provides naval forces to the United States Indo-Pacific Command. Fleet headquarters is at Pearl Harbor Naval Station, Hawaii, with large secondary facilities at North Island, San Diego Bay on the Mainland.

Wing commander (rank)

Wing commander (Wg Cdr in the RAF, the IAF, and the PAF, WGCDR in the RNZAF and RAAF, formerly sometimes W/C in all services) is a senior commissioned rank in the Royal Air Force and the air forces of many countries which have historical British influence, including many Commonwealth countries but not including Canada (since Unification) and South Africa. It is sometimes used as the English translation of an equivalent rank in countries which have a non-English air force-specific rank structure. It ranks immediately above squadron leader and immediately below group captain.

It has a NATO ranking code of OF-4, and is equivalent to commander in the Royal Navy and to lieutenant colonel in the British Army, the Royal Marines, and the US Army, Air Force, and Marine Corps.

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 wing officer. The equivalent rank in the Royal Observer Corps (until 1995) was observer commander which had a similar rank insignia.

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