Commander (order)

Commander (Italian: Commendatore, French: Commandeur, German: Komtur, Spanish: Comandante, Portuguese: Comendador), or Knight Commander, is a title of honor prevalent in chivalric orders and fraternal orders.

The title of Commander occurred in the medieval military orders, such as the Knights Hospitaller, for a member senior to a Knight. Variations include Knight Commander, notably in English, sometimes used to denote an even higher rank than Commander. In some orders of chivalry, Commander ranks above Officier (i.e. Officer), but below one or more ranks with a prefix meaning "Great", e.g. Grand - in French, Grosskomtur in German, Comandante Mayor (using an equivalent suffix) in Spanish, and Groot- in Dutch (Grootcommandeur; "Grand Commander"), Grand Cross.



The rank of commandeur in the French orders comes from the Middle Ages military orders, in which low-level administrative houses were called commanderies and were governed by commandeurs. In the Modern Age, the French Kings created chivalric orders which mimicked the military order's ranks.

  • The Order of the Holy Spirit, created in 1578 by king Henry III, had two categories of commanders.
    • Ecclesiastical commanders : members of the clergy with the rank of prelate. They were eight, but the grand almoner of the King was counted as a supplementary ecclesiastical commander ex officio.
    • Administrative officers : the "officers-commanders" were the four most important executive officers of the order. They had the same rank as lay knights, but they needed not to prove their nobility. These offices were used by the Kings to honor recent nobles, such as Jean-Baptiste Colbert. The officers-commanders were sometimes called grand officers, in order to distinguished them from the lowest rank of officers.
  • The Order of Saint Louis, created in 1694 by King Louis XIV, had one rank of commanders. This was the second highest rank of the order, destined to honor military officers. They were only twenty-four commanders at a time, eventually promoted to the rank of Grand Cross.

Both orders were suppressed in 1830 by the new King Louis-Philippe I.

Modern merit orders

Commandeur de l'Ordre de la Légion d'Honneur avers
Insignia of the rank of Commander in the Legion of Honor


The title of Commendatore ("Knight Commander") in the Order of Merit of the Italian Republic (originally established by the royal House of Savoy) and other orders of knighthood is awarded by decree of the President of Italy. The rank of Commendatore (Knight Commander) is a higher award than Ufficiale (Officer), which in turn is higher than Cavaliere (Knight), the first level in this order of chivalry. The Italian government's orders are exceptional to the international standard in that they do not officially have special ranks or decorations for females (Dames).

The rank of Commendatore is also bestowed in several Italian dynastic orders of the royal houses of Savoy, the Two Sicilies, Parma, and Tuscany. The Republic of Italy officially recognizes the Orders and titles conferred upon its citizens from the Holy See and from some of the royal houses of Italy.

Commendatore is also the Italian translation for the rank of Knight Commander in foreign orders, such as the Order of the British Empire.

Il Commendatore is also a character in Mozart's Don Giovanni, and was additionally commonly used to refer to Enzo Ferrari. In the movie The Godfather Part III, Michael Corleone is addressed as "Commendatore" Michael Corleone on his return to Sicily since he received a Papal order of knighthood.

In the Italian Armed Forces, the military rank of Commander is Comandante.


In German, Komtur (derived from Latin: commendator) was a rank within military orders, especially the Teutonic Knights. In the State of the Teutonic Order, the Komtur was the commander of a basic administrative division called Kommende (also Komturei). A Komtur was responsible for feeding and supporting the Order's Knights from the yield of local estates. He commanded several Procurators. A Kommende had a convent of at least 12 brothers.[1] Various Kommenden formed a Ballei province.

Grosskomtur (Großkomtur or Grand Commander) was one of the highest ranks within the Knights responsible for the administration of the Order and second-in-command after the Grand Master. He had his seat at Malbork Castle (Marienburg). Grosskomtur and four other senior officers like the Grand Marshal were appointed by the Grand Master and formed the council of Großgebietiger with competence on the whole order.[1]

In postwar Germany the ranks of the Order of Merit were named totally with new terms. The equivalent to a commander is the Great Cross of Merit and the Knight Commander's equivalent is the Great Cross of Merit with the Star and Slash (Großes Verdienstkreuz mit Stern und Schulterband)

Papal orders

As for the Papal orders, it is also applied in the Sovereign Military Order of Malta (in its Order pro merito Melitensi bestowed for merit) and the Order of the Holy Sepulchre. Traditionally, the analogous rank for ladies is Dama di Commenda ("Dame commander"), but today the word "Commendatrice" is sometimes used.

United Kingdom

United Kingdom is distinguished by its use of differentiating Commander and Knight or Dame Commander.

Knight Commander or Dame Commander is the second most senior grade of seven British orders of chivalry, three of which are dormant (and one of them continues as a German house order). The rank entails admission into knighthood, allowing the recipient to use the title 'Sir' (male) or 'Dame' (female) before his or her name. In the Commonwealth Realms orders and decorations, Knight Commander and Dame Commander rank before Knights Bachelor but after the Order of the Companions of Honour, although Companions of Honour obtain no knighthood or other status.

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 respectively, but junior to that of Knight Commander or Dame Commander. In the British Venerable Order of Saint John, a Commander ranks below a Knight. However, Knights of the Venerable Order of St John are not entitled Sir.

The orders that award the rank of Knight Commander, and related post-nominal letters, are as follows (dormant orders in italics):

Knights Commander and Dames Commander rank behind the most senior rank in each order, that of Knight Grand Cross. The third most senior rank in each order is a Companion (CB, CSI, CMG, CIE), Knight (KH) or Commander (CVO, CBE). Insignia include a breast star, a badge, and a ribbon.


In military orders with extensive territorial possessions, individual estates could be called commenda and entrusted to an individual knight, as a de facto fief. Apart from cases where such a fief was ex officio linked to a higher office within the order, his style would then be Commandeur; this etymology is best preserved in the Spanish form Commendador, important in the military orders involved in the Reconquista such as the Order of Santiago.

See also


  1. ^ a b A History of the Crusades: The Fourteenth and Fifteenth Centuries by Kenneth Meyer Setton, Harry W. Hazard, p. 578
Abba Musa Rimi

Abba Musa Rimi (born 28 February 1940) is a Nigerian politician who was elected Deputy Governor of Kaduna State, Nigeria in October 1979 during the Nigerian Second Republic, becoming acting governor when the Governor Abdulkadir Balarabe Musa was impeached on 23 June 1981.

He was elected on the platform of the People's Redemption Party.In February 1982 Pope John Paul II visited Kaduna. Although squabbling Moslem religious leaders failed to show up, while at the airport the Pope read an address to Rimi and other government officials urging cooperation and unity among Christians and Moslems before flying on to Lagos.

In August 1982 Rimi was forced to appeal to the Jama'atul Nasril Islam (JNI) to find a way to end violent clashes between the Izala and Darika Moslem groups.

Rimi officially opened IBBI Nigeria, now a leading brewery in Northern Nigeria, on 27 March 1982.After General Mohammadu Buhari seized power in a coup on 31 December 1983, he arrested most of the former governors. On 28 March 1985 a Special Military Tribunal sentenced Rimi to 21 years in jail for corruptly enriching 96 legislators of the State House of Assembly by N500,000. Rimi said he had given the money to the legislator "for keeping the law and order in their constituencies".Rimi worked in sales and marketing for various multinational companies such as UAC, NTC and G.B. OLLIVANT. He later became a director of African Circle Pollution Management.

He became a holder of Commander Order of the Niger (CON).

He is married to a wife and has seven kids.

In October 1998 Rimi became the special advisor on political affairs to the military head of state Abdulsalam Abubakar during the transition to civilian rule with the Nigerian Fourth Republic.

Arthur Young (police officer)

Colonel Sir Arthur Edwin Young KPM (15 February 1907 – 20 January 1979) was a British police officer. He was Commissioner of Police of the City of London from 1950 to 1971 and was also the first head of the Royal Ulster Constabulary to be styled Chief Constable. Young was instrumental in the creation of the post of Chief Inspector of Constabulary. In the early 1950s, he played a crucial role in policing decolonisation in the British Empire. During the 1960s, he led the way in modernising British police recruitment and in improving the training of senior officers.

Derek Bowett

Sir Derek William Bowett, (20 April 1927 – 23 May 2009) was an international lawyer and academic. He was appointed Whewell Professor of International Law in 1981 and was President of Queens' College, Cambridge 1970 – 1982.

Dimitris Avramopoulos

Dimitris Avramopoulos (Greek: Δημήτρης Αβραμόπουλος) is a Greek politician of the conservative New Democracy party, and former career diplomat. He has served in various high-level cabinet posts, including Minister for Foreign Affairs and Minister for National Defence, and was Mayor of Athens in 1995–2002. Since 1 November 2014 he is serving as EU Commissioner for Migration, Home Affairs and Citizenship in the Juncker Commission.

Eighth Route Army

The Eighth Route Army (simplified Chinese: 八路军; traditional Chinese: 八路軍; pinyin: Bālù-Jūn), officially known as the 18th Group Army of the National Revolutionary Army of the Republic of China, was a group army under the command of the Chinese Communist Party, nominally within the structure of the Chinese military headed by the Chinese Nationalist Party during the Second Sino-Japanese War.

The Eighth Route Army was created from the Chinese Red Army on September 22, 1937, when the Chinese Communists and Chinese Nationalists formed the Second United Front against Japan at the outbreak of the Second Sino-Japanese War, as World War II is known in China. Together with the New Fourth Army, the Eighth Route Army formed the main Communist fighting force during the war and was commanded by Communist party leader Mao Zedong and general Zhu De. Though officially designated the 18th Group Army by the Nationalists, the unit was referred to by the Chinese Communists and Japanese military as the Eighth Route Army. The Eighth Route Army wore Nationalist uniforms and flew the flag of the Republic of China and waged mostly guerrilla war against the Japanese, collaborationist forces and, later in the war, other Nationalist forces. The unit was renamed the People's Liberation Army in 1947, after the end of World War II, as the Chinese Communists and Nationalists resumed the Chinese Civil War.

The Eighth Route Army consisted of three divisions (the 115th, which was commanded by Lin Biao, the 120th under He Long, and the 129th under Liu Bocheng). During World War II, the Eighth Route Army operated mostly in North China, infiltrating behind Japanese lines, to establish guerrilla bases in rural and remote areas. The main units of the Eighth Route Army were aided by local militias organized from the peasantry.

The Communist Party's liaison offices in cities under Nationalist control such as Chongqing, Guilin and Dihua (Ürümqi) that were called Eighth Route Army Offices.

Ethnic Koreans who fought in the Eighth Route Army later joined the Korean People's Army, the Communist army of North Korea in the Korean War.

Norman Bethune, a Canadian doctor and communist, served with the Eighth Route Army.

Godefroi, prince de La Tour d'Auvergne-Lauraguais

Henri-Godefroi-Bernard-Alphonse, prince de La Tour d'Auvergne, marquis de Saint-Paulet (21 October 1823 – 5 May 1871) was a French politician of the Second Empire who twice served as Minister of Foreign Affairs for Emperor Napoleon III.

De La Tour d'Auvergne was Ambassador of France to London (1863–69), in which capacity he was a signatory to the Treaty of London in 1867.

Laura Pausini

Laura Pausini (Italian: [ˈlaura pauˈziːni]; born 16 May 1974) is an Italian pop singer-songwriter, record producer and television personality. As a child, she was encouraged by her father to join him during his performances in local piano bars. After competing in local singing contests, Pausini signed her first recording contract. She rose to fame in 1993, winning the newcomer artists' section of the 43rd Sanremo Music Festival with her debut single "La solitudine", which became an Italian standard and an international hit, topping the charts in Italy, the Netherlands, and Belgium. Her eponymous debut album was released in Italy on 23 April 1993 and later became an international success, selling two million copies worldwide.Its follow-up, Laura, was released in 1994 and confirmed her international success, selling three million copies worldwide. During the same year, she released her first Spanish-language album, Laura Pausini, composed of ten adapted songs originally included in her previous works. The album was certified diamond by the Association of Phonographic and Videographic of Spain, making her the first non-Spanish artist to sell more than one million copies in Spain.As of 2017, she has released twelve studio albums, two international greatest hits albums and two compilation albums for the Hispanic and Anglophone market only, respectively. She mostly performs in Italian and Spanish, but she has also recorded songs in English, French, Portuguese and more recently, Catalan. Her only English-language album of original songs, From the Inside, was released in 2002, but failed to satisfy commercial expectations both in North America and in the rest of the world. In 2006, her record Io canto was the best-selling album of the year in Italy.In 2004, Allmusic's Jason Birchmeier considered Pausini's sales "an impressive feat for someone who'd never really broken into the lucrative English–language market". FIMI certified Pausini's sales of more than 70 million records with a FIMI Icon Award.Pausini appeared as a coach on both the Mexican and Spanish versions of international reality television singing competition franchise The Voice, was a judge on the first and second series of La banda, and is likewise a judge on the Spanish version of international franchise The X Factor. In 2016, she also debuted as a variety show presenter, hosting the television show Laura & Paola, with actress Paola Cortellesi.

During her career, she has won numerous music awards in Italy and internationally.

She has earned the first and third place at the Sanremo Music Festival, two "Lunezia Awards", ten Wind Music Awards, four awards at the Festivalbar, seven Telegatti, and an MTV Italian Music Award. Internationally, she has won four awards at the Viña del Mar International Song Festival, three Lo Nuestro Awards, four Latin Grammy Awards, a Billboard Latin Music Award, and six World Music Awards. In 2006, she also became the first Italian female artist to win a Grammy Award, receiving the accolade for Best Latin Pop Album for the record Escucha. She has been honoured as a Commander Order of Merit of the Italian Republic by President Carlo Azeglio Ciampi and as a World Ambassador of Emilia Romagna.

List of post-nominal letters (Malaysia) by alphabetical order

This is a list of post-nominal letters used throughout Malaysia by alphabetical order, compiled from the individual post-nominal letters pages (see below). The order in which they follow an individual's name is the same as the order of precedence for the wearing of order insignias, decorations, and medals. When applicable, non-hereditary titles are indicated.

Maxwell D. Taylor

General Maxwell Davenport "Max" Taylor (August 26, 1901 – April 19, 1987) was a senior United States Army officer and diplomat of the mid-20th century. He served with distinction in World War II, most notably as commander of the 101st Airborne Division, nicknamed "The Screaming Eagles". After the war he served as the fifth Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, having been appointed by President John Kennedy. He is the father of biographer and historian John Maxwell Taylor and military historian and author Thomas Taylor.

New Fourth Army

The New Fourth Army (simplified Chinese: 新四军; traditional Chinese: 新四軍; pinyin: Xīn Sì Jūn) was a unit of the National Revolutionary Army of the Republic of China established in 1937. In contrast to most of the National Revolutionary Army, it was controlled by the Communist Party of China and not by the ruling Kuomintang. The New Fourth Army and the Eighth Route Army were the two main communist forces from 1938. The New Fourth Army was active south of the Yangtze River (Chang Jiang), while the Eighth Route Army was based in Yan'an in the northwest.

Members of the New Fourth Army wore their badges on the left arm, with "N4A" and the soldier's unit and name listed on the badge.

After the Xi'an Incident, the Kuomintang led by Chiang Kai-shek and the Communist Party of China led by Mao Zedong formed a United Front against Japan, which was already in control of Manchuria and pushing into North China. The Marco Polo Bridge Incident in July 1937 marked the beginning of the Sino-Japanese War (1937-1945).

In October, 1937, an announcement was made that Red Army soldiers active in the eight provinces in southern China — those who did not embark on the Long March would be part of the New Fourth Army. The New Fourth Army was established on December 25, 1937 in Hankou, moving to Nanchang on January 6, 1938, when the detachments began marching to the battlefront. At the beginning, the New Fourth Army had four detachments and one task force battalion and numbered roughly ten thousand. Later the army moved to Anhui province. Ye Ting was the army commander, Xiang Ying the deputy army commander.

It was in theory a united front against Japan but in practice there was friction between Nationalist and Communist Forces, which intensified in the fall of 1940, culminating in the New Fourth Army Incident with a full-fledged battle between the New Fourth Army and KMT National Revolutionary Army forces. Up until that point, most of the battles had been skirmishes. The army was fully reorganised after the incident and remained in active combat until the end of the war.

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 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.

Pavle Jurišić Šturm

Pavle Jurišić Šturm KCMG (Serbian Cyrillic: Павле Јуришић Штурм; August 8, 1848 – January 13, 1922), was a Serbian general, best known for commanding the Serbian 3rd Army in World War I.

Philip Handler

Philip Handler (August 13, 1917 – December 29, 1981) was an American nutritionist, and biochemist. He was President of the United States National Academy of Sciences for two terms from 1969 to 1981. He was also a recipient of the National Medal of Science.

Radomir Putnik

Field Marshal Radomir Putnik (Serbian: Радомир Путник; pronounced [rǎdɔmiːr pûːtniːk]; 24 January 1847 – 17 May 1917) was the first Serbian Field Marshal and Chief of the General Staff of the Serbian army in the Balkan Wars and in the First World War. He took part in all of the wars in which Serbia took part between 1876 to 1917.

Richard Howard-Vyse

Major General Sir Richard Granville Hylton Howard-Vyse (27 June 1883 – 5 December 1962) was a cavalry officer in the British Army.

Howard-Vyse served in the First World War commanding the 10th Cavalry Brigade, and in the Second World War as the Head of British Military Mission to French High Command between 1939–1940. He was invested as a Knight Commander Order of St Michael and St George and awarded the Distinguished Service Order. He also held the office of Deputy Lieutenant of Buckinghamshire, and was a Justice of the Peace.

Simon Cairns, 6th Earl Cairns

Simon Dallas Cairns, 6th Earl Cairns, (born 27 May 1939), styled Viscount Garmoyle between 1946 and 1989, is a British businessman.

Stepa Stepanović

Field Marshal Stepan "Stepa" Stepanović (Serbian Cyrillic: Степан Степа Степановић, pronounced [stɛ̌ːpa stɛpǎːnoʋitɕ]; 11 March [O.S. 28 February] 1856 – 29 April 1929) was a Serbian military commander who fought in the Serbo-Turkish War, the Serbo-Bulgarian War, the First Balkan War, the Second Balkan War and World War I. Having joined the Serbian military in 1874, he fought against the forces of the Ottoman Empire in 1876. Over the following years, he climbed up the ranks of the Serbian Army and fought against Bulgarian forces in 1885. He eventually became the Serbian Minister of War in April 1908 and was responsible for instituting changes in the Serbian Army.

Stepanović commanded Serbian forces during the two Balkan Wars and led the Serbian Second Army during World War I. After Battle of Cer he was promoted to second Field Marshal. He died in Čačak on 29 April 1929.

Émile Dossin de Saint-Georges

Émile Dossin de Saint-Georges, born Émile Jean Henri Dossin (18 July 1854 in Liège – 18 January 1936 in Ixelles), was a Belgian Lieutenant-General and one of the foremost Belgian generals of World War I. Made Baron of Sint-Joris (Saint-Georges in French), a notable barracks at Mechelen (Dossin Baracks) was named in his honour in 1936.

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