Lieutenant (navy)

Lieutenant[nb 1] (abbreviated Lt, LT, LT(N), Lt(N), Lieut and LEUT, depending on nation) is a commissioned officer rank in many nations' navies. It is typically the most senior of junior officer ranks. The rank's insignia usually consists of two medium gold braid stripes and often the uppermost stripe features an executive curl.

The now immediately senior rank of lieutenant commander was formerly a senior naval lieutenant rank. Many navies also use a subordinate rank of sub-lieutenant. The appointment of "first lieutenant" in many navies is held by a senior lieutenant.

A navy lieutenant ranks higher than an army lieutenant; the navy rank of lieutenant is a NATO OF-2 (US grade O-3) and ranks with an army captain.

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
Major or
Squadron leader
Lieutenant Captain Flight lieutenant
junior grade
Lieutenant or
first lieutenant
Flying officer
Ensign or
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
Seaman Private or
gunner or
Aircraftman or


From at least 1580,[1] the lieutenant on a ship had been the officer immediately subordinate to the captain. Before the English Restoration, lieutenants were appointed by their captains, and this inevitably led to abuses and to the widespread appointment of men of insufficient qualification. In 1677, Samuel Pepys, while he was Chief Secretary to the Admiralty, introduced the first examination for lieutenant,[2] and thereafter their seniority was dated from the passing of this examination.

A lieutenant was numbered by his seniority within the ship on which he served, so that a frigate (which was entitled to three) would have a first, a second, and a third lieutenant. A first-rate ship was entitled to six, and they were numbered accordingly. At first, a lieutenant's commission was given only for the particular ship in which he served, but after the loss of HMS Wager in 1741 and the subsequent mutiny, the Royal Navy changed its policy and lieutenants were given more general commissions upon passing their examination.[1]

During the early days of the naval rank, some lieutenants could be very junior indeed, while others could be on the cusp of promotion to captain; those lieutenants ranged across present-day army ranks from a second lieutenant through to a lieutenant colonel. As the rank structure of navies stabilized, and the ranks of commander, lieutenant commander, and sub-lieutenant were introduced, the rank of naval lieutenant became less wide-ranging and is today the equivalent of an army captain (NATO OF-2 or US O-3).

In the United States Navy, promotion to lieutenant is governed by Department of Defense policies derived from the Defense Officer Personnel Management Act of 1980. DOPMA guidelines suggest that 95% of lieutenants (junior grade) should be promoted to lieutenant after serving a minimum of two years at the lower rank.

Rank insignia

The insignia of a lieutenant in many navies, including the Royal Navy,[3] consists of two medium gold braid stripes (top stripe with loop) on a navy blue or black background. This pattern was copied by the United States Navy and various air forces for their equivalent ranks grades, except that the executive curl is removed. (see flight lieutenant).

Lieutenant-de-vaisseau-France.png 16 - kptlt.png GR-Navy-OF2.svg IN Lieutenant.png 13-Navsarvan POL PMW pagon1 kapitan marynarki.svg POR-Navy-primeiro-tenente.png RO-Navy-OF-3s.png 9arm Generic-Navy-O3.svg Generic-Navy-O3.svg US Navy O3 insignia.svg
France Germany Greece India Iran Poland Portugal Romania Spain United Kingdom Canada United States

"First lieutenant" in naval usage

The first lieutenant (1st Lt or 1LT) in the Royal Navy and other Commonwealth navies, is a post or appointment, rather than a rank. Historically, the lieutenants in a ship were ranked in accordance with seniority, with the most senior being termed the first lieutenant and acting as the second-in-command. Although lieutenants are no longer numbered by seniority, the post of "first lieutenant" remains.

In minor war vessels, destroyers and frigates, the first lieutenant (either a lieutenant or lieutenant commander) is second in command, executive officer (XO) and head of the executive branch; in larger ships, where a commander of the warfare specialisation is appointed as the executive officer, a first lieutenant (normally a lieutenant commander) is appointed as his deputy. The post of first lieutenant in a shore establishment carries a similar responsibility to that of the first lieutenant of a capital ship.

In the U.S. Navy or U.S. Coast Guard, the billet of first lieutenant describes the officer in charge of the deck department or division, depending on the size of the ship. In smaller ships that have only a single deck division, the billet is typically filled by an ensign; while in larger ships, with a deck department consisting of multiple subordinate divisions, the billet may be filled by a lieutenant commander. On submarines and smaller Coast Guard cutters, the billet of first lieutenant may be filled by a petty officer.

See also


  1. ^ The pronunciation of lieutenant is generally split between /lɛfˈtɛnənt/ lef-TEN-ənt, /lɪf-/ lif-, generally in the United Kingdom, Ireland, and Commonwealth countries, and /luːˈtɛnənt/ (listen) loo-TEN-ənt, /lə-/, generally associated with the United States. See lieutenant.


  1. ^ a b "Officer Ranks in the Royal Navy - Lieutenant". Royal Naval Museum. Archived from the original on 2014-10-11. Retrieved 2008-10-11.
  2. ^ J. D. Davies, Gentlemen and Tarpaulins (Oxford University Press, 1991, ISBN 978-0-19-820263-9), p. 40
  3. ^ "Uniforms and Badges of Rank - Royal Navy website". Archived from the original on 2008-10-12. Retrieved 2008-10-05.

An aide-de-camp (UK: , US: ; French expression meaning literally helper in the [military] camp) is a personal assistant or secretary to a person of high rank, usually a senior military, police or government officer, or to a member of a royal family or a head of state.

An aide-de-camp may participate at ceremonial functions, and the first aide-de-camp is typically the foremost personal aide. This is not to be confused with an adjutant, who is the senior administrator of a military unit.

The badge of office for an aide-de-camp is usually the aiguillette, a braided cord in gold or other colours, worn on the shoulder of a uniform. Whether it is worn on the left or the right shoulder is dictated by protocol.

In some countries, aide-de-camp is considered to be a title of honour, which confers the post-nominal letters ADC or A de C.

Carl Hamilton novels

The Carl Hamilton novels are a series of novels by Swedish author Jan Guillou centered on the fictional spy Carl Hamilton. In Sweden and other countries it is a best-selling series. Carl Hamilton has been called "Sweden's James Bond". One commentator said the books "... place [Guillou] besides John le Carre and Len Deighton" (famous British spy novelists).The first novel Coq Rouge was published in 1986, it was Guillou's first significant work of fiction.

Commandos Marine

The Commandos Marine are the Special Operation Forces (SOF) of the French Navy. The Commandos Marine are nicknamed Bérets Verts (Green Berets). They operate under the Naval Riflemen and Special Operations Forces Command (FORFUSCO) and form part of the French Special Operations Command.

Ensign (rank)

Ensign (, Late Middle English, from Old French enseigne (12c.) "mark, symbol, signal; flag, standard, pennant", from Latin insignia (plural)) is a junior rank of a commissioned officer in the armed forces of some countries, normally in the infantry or navy. As the junior officer in an infantry regiment was traditionally the carrier of the ensign flag, the rank acquired the name. This rank has generally been replaced in army ranks by second lieutenant. Ensigns were generally the lowest ranking commissioned officer, except where the rank of subaltern existed. In contrast, the Arab rank of ensign, لواء, liwa', derives from the command of units with an ensign, not the carrier of such a unit's ensign, and is today the equivalent of a major general.

In Thomas Venn's 1672 Military and Maritime Discipline in Three Books, the duties of ensigns are to include not only carrying the colour but assisting the captain and lieutenant of a company and in their absence, have their authority."Ensign" is enseigne in French, and chorąży in Polish, each of which derives from a term for a flag. The Spanish alférez and Portuguese alferes is a junior officer rank below lieutenant associated with carrying the flag, and so is often translated as "ensign". Unlike the rank in other languages, its etymology has nothing to do with flags, but instead comes from the Arabic for "cavalier" or "knight". Fähnrich in German comes from an older German military title, Fahnenträger (flag bearer); however, it is an officer cadet rank, not a junior officer - the same applies to the Dutch vaandrig, which has a parallel etymology. In the German Landsknecht armies (c. 1480), the equivalent rank of a Cornet existed for those men who carried the troop standard (known as a "cornet"). It is still used in the artillery and cavalry units of the Netherlands (kornet).

The NATO rank code is OF-1 (junior).

HMCS Discovery

HMCS Discovery is a Royal Canadian Navy Reserve division and shore facility based in Vancouver, British Columbia. Created during World War II from the Vancouver Half Company of the Royal Naval Canadian Volunteer Reserve, Discovery was used for recruitment and training, and provided almost 8,000 personnel during the war. Discovery continued in its training role following the war, and also serves as headquarters for several Reserve and Cadet units.

The stone frigate takes its name from HMS Discovery, the ship used by George Vancouver to chart most of North America's north-western coast. Originally based at the Stanley Park Barracks, in 1944 Discovery moved to its current location on Deadman's Island, in Coal Harbour, adjacent to Stanley Park.

HMCS Discovery has a crew of about 140 officers and non-commissioned members (NCMs). The 2018 command team consists of: Commanding Officer, Commander Chris Persson; Executive Officer, Lieutenant(Navy) Stuart Evans; Coxswain, Chief Petty Officer Second Class Susie Robinson.

HMCS Montcalm

HMCS Montcalm is a reserve unit of the Royal Canadian Navy based in Quebec City, Quebec. As with all Naval Reserve divisions, its approximately 150 sailors specialize in domestic emergency readiness, port inspection diving, naval intelligence, and the recruiting and retention of personnel who supplement the Royal Canadian Navy on board ship and at shore establishments.

John Hindmarsh

Rear-Admiral Sir John Hindmarsh KH RN (baptised 22 May 1785 – 29 July 1860) was a naval officer and the first Governor of South Australia, from 28 December 1836 to 16 July 1838.

Judgment Night (The Twilight Zone)

"Judgment Night" is episode 10 of the American television anthology series The Twilight Zone.


Kopaska (Indonesian: Komando Pasukan Katak) is the premier frogman and underwater demolition unit of the Indonesian Navy. The unit's motto is in Sanskrit: "Tan Hana Wighna Tan Sirna" ("There is no obstacle that cannot be defeated"). The unit's main duties are underwater demolition (raiding enemy ships and bases), destroying main underwater installations, reconnaissance, prisoner snatches, preparing beaches for larger naval amphibious operations, and counter-terrorism. During peacetime, the unit also deploys a team to serve as security personnel for VIPs and VVIPs. The personnel of Kopaska are recruited from Indonesian Navy seamen. Like other Indonesian special forces, Kopaska is trained to be able to conduct operations in the sea, including underwater, on land and airborne.


Kapitänleutnant, short: KptLt / in lists: KL, (Lang-en: Captain lieutenant) is an officer grade of the captains' military hierarchy group (German: Hauptleute) of the German Bundeswehr. The rank is rated OF-2 in NATO, and equivalent to Hauptmann in Heer, and Luftwaffe. It is grade A11 or A12 in the pay rules of the Federal Ministry of Defence.


Leutnant (German pronunciation: [ˈlɔʏtnant]; OF-1b) is the lowest Lieutenant officer rank in the armed forces of Germany (Bundeswehr), Austrian Armed Forces, and military of Switzerland.

Lieutenant (Royal Canadian Navy)

See "Lieutenant" for other countries which use this rankIn the Royal Canadian Navy, the rank of Lieutenant (N) (Lt(N)) (French: Lieutenant de vaisseau) is the naval rank equal to Captain in the army or air force. Lieutenants (N) are senior to Sub-Lieutenants and to army and air force Lieutenants, and are junior to Lieutenant-Commanders and Majors.Typical appointments for a Lieutenant (N) include:

Combat Director or Head of Department of a frigate, destroyer, supply ship

Training officer at Naval Fleet Schools or Naval Reserve divisions

Executive officer of a minor warship or submarine

Staff officer on a formation or task group headquarters staff.The rank insignia for a Lieutenant (N) is two ½-inch (13 mm) stripes with the executive curl on the top stripe, worn on the cuffs of the service dress jacket, and on slip-ons on other uniforms. As junior officers, they wear one gold band along the edge of the visor of their service caps. Lieutenant-commanders of the Naval Operations Branch wear the officer's pattern of the branch cap badge: an anchor on a black oval, surrounded by a wreath of maple leaves at the sides and base of the oval, the whole surmounted by the St Edward's Crown. Specialist officers in such branches as logistics, intelligence, medical, etc., wear their branch cap badges.

Prior to unification of the Canadian Forces in 1968, rank structure and insignia followed the British pattern. As part of the Canadian Naval Centennial the executive curl pattern of naval officer's rank was returned to all uniforms.

List of Ottoman titles and appellations

This is a list of titles and appellations used in the Ottoman Empire. In place of surnames, Muslims in the Empire carried titles such as "Sultan", "Pasha", "Hoca", "Bey", "Hanım", "Efendi", etc. These titles either defined their formal profession (such as Pasha, Hoca, etc.) or their informal status within the society (such as Bey, Hanım, Efendi, etc.). Later, family surnames were made mandatory in Turkey by the 1934 Surname Law.

List of Presidents of the United States by military service

The United States Constitution names the President of the United States the commander in chief of the U.S. armed forces. Previous service in the military is not a prerequisite for the position of president. As of the 2016 presidential election, no member of the U.S. Marine Corps or U.S. Coast Guard has yet been elected President. The most frequent military experience is Army/Army Reserve with 15 presidents, followed by State Militias at 9, Navy/Naval Reserve at 6 and the Continental Army with 2 presidents serving.

Eight presidents served during World War II, while seven served in the military during the American Civil War.

The following list outlines the military service of each president before becoming the commander in chief.


Oberleutnant (OF-1a) is the highest lieutenant officer rank in the armed forces of Germany (Bundeswehr), Austrian Armed Forces, and Military of Switzerland.

Officer (armed forces)

An officer is a member of an armed forces or uniformed service who holds a position of authority.

In its broadest sense, the term "officer" refers to non-commissioned officers and warrant officers. However, when used without further detail, the term almost always refers to commissioned officers, the more senior portion of a force who derive their authority from a commission from the head of state.

USS Beale (DD-40)

USS Beale (DD-40), a Paulding-class destroyer served in the United States Navy during World War I and later with the United States Coast Guard. She was the first ship of the Navy to be named for Edward Fitzgerald Beale.

Beale was launched on 30 April 1912 and was commissioned on 30 August 1912, Lieutenant, junior grade C. T. Blackburn in command. She served in the Gulf of Mexico and Caribbean Sea until 1915 and with the Atlantic Fleet from 1916 until being decommissioned in 1919. She was transferred to the United States Coast Guard in 1924. From 1924 to 1930 she operated to prevent rum-runners from illegally bringing alcoholic beverages into the United States. Beale was scrapped in 1934.

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