A brigade is a major tactical military formation, composed of three to six battalions plus supporting elements. It is equivalent to an enlarged or reinforced regiment. Two or more brigades may constitute a division. Brigades formed into divisions are infantry or armored. In addition to combat units, they may include combat support units or sub-units, such as artillery and engineers, logistic units or sub-units; 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 be specialized and comprise battalions of a single branch, for example cavalry, armored, air defence, 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 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 use "regiment" instead of brigade, this was common in much of Europe until after World War II. A brigade's commander is a major general, brigadier general, brigadier or colonel. In some armies, the commander is rated as a General Officer; the brigade commander has staff. The principal staff officer 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 have a deputy commander. The headquarters has a nucleus of staff officers and support that can vary in size depending on the type of brigade. On operations, additional specialist elements may be attached; the headquarters will have its own communications unit. In some gendarmerie forces, brigades are the basic-level organizational unit. "The brigade as a military unit came about starting in the 15th century when the British army and militia developed a unit to control more than one infantry regiment or cavalry squadron".
Each regiment, cavalry squadron, or artillery battery operated somewhat independently, with its own field officer or battery commander reporting directly to the field force or "army" commander. As such a "field army" became larger, the number of subordinate commanders became unmanageable for the officer in general command of said army a major general, to command. In order to streamline command relationships, as well as effect some modicum of tactical control in regard to combined arms operations, an intermediate level of command became evident. "The term's origin is found in two French roots, which together, meant roughly'those who fight' ". Another theory for derivation of the term brigade derives from Italian brigata, as used for example in the introduction to The Decameron, where it refers only to a group of ten, or Old French brigare, meaning "company" of an undefined size, which in turn derives from a Celtic root briga, which means "strife"; the so-called "brigada" was a well-mixed unit, comprising infantry and also artillery, designated for a special task.
The size of such "brigada" ranged from a reinforced "company" of up to two regiments. The "brigada" was the forerunner of the modern "battalion task force", "battle group", or "brigade"; the brigade was improved as a tactical unit by the Swedish king Gustavus Adolphus, who introduced it in 1631 during a reorganization of the Swedish Army during the Thirty Years' War. The creation of the brigade overcame the lack of coordination inherent in the traditional army structure consisting of independent regiments of infantry and units of supporting arms acting separately under their individual commanding officers. Gustavus accomplished this battlefield coordination by combining battalions of infantry with cavalry troops and artillery batteries into a "battle group", viz. brigada or "brigade" commanded by a senior colonel, or lieutenant colonel, appointed as a brigadier-general. The brigade organization was copied in France by Maréchal Turenne, who made it a permanent standing unit, requiring the creation in 1667 of a permanent rank of brigadier des armées du roi.
Unlike the Swedish brigades, French brigades at that time were composed of two to five regiments of the same branch. The rank, intermediate between colonel and maréchal de camp, disappeared in 1788 and should not be confused with that of général de brigade, equivalent to a brigadier general. In the Argentinian Army, the typical brigade is composed of an HQ company, two or three battalions of the brigade´s main branch, which give the brigade its denomination, plus one battalion of the other branch, plus one or two artillery groups, an engineers battalion or company, a signals company, intelligence company, an army aviation section and a logistics battalion. Mountain brigades have a special forces company; the brigade is commanded by a brigadier general or a senior colonel, who may be promoted to general during his tenure as brigade comman
The Parachutist Badge or Parachutist Brevet is a military badge awarded by the Armed Forces of most countries in the world to soldiers who receive the proper parachute training and accomplish the required number of jumps. It is difficult to assess; the School of Airborne Troops oversees different courses. The Military Parachute Trainee Badge is a badge created in 1965 and aimed at reservists and national service personnel; the laureates of the badge could serve in airborne units and train at the Airborne School for the Military Parachute Badge in a short course. Since the end of conscription in France, the PMP Badge is awarded to prospective soldiers in airborne units after a 4-week course; the Military Parachuting Initiation Badge was created in 1980 and aimed at military personnel outside of airborne units. It was awarded for four daytime jumps; the BIMP course was closed in 1994 for French personnel, but the Badge is still awarded to members foreign militaries after a short course at the Airborne School.
The Military Parachute Badge is the standard course for every personnel in airborne units and all graduates of the école spéciale militaire de Saint-Cyr. It was created in 1946 and is awarded for six jumps, three daylight standard jumps, one daylight jump with the reserve parachute, one night jump without equipment, one night jump with full gear and equipment; the Parachutist Monitor Badge is awarded to long-serving NCO in airborne units. Its graduates can teach the basics of parachute jumping to trainees, act as technical advisors on parachute matters and be jumpmasters both in units or at the Airborne Schools; the Operational Free Fall Badge is awarded to graduates of long courses in Military Free Fall techniques. All graduates must have at least finished the Military Parachute Course and have some years of experience in airborne units; the Operational Free Fall Badge is part of the pipeline training for special forces and for commando platoons within the Airborne units. The High-altitude Parachute Instructor is awarded to long-serving NCO in airborne units wishing to become jumpmasters in Free Fall jumping.
All graduates must have finished the Operational Free Fall course and serve some years in an airborne unit using HALO/HAHO techniques. There is no Airborne School in the Air Force; the Military Parachuting Initiation Badge is awarded to graduates of a short course at the Airborne School, where the only students are Air Force cadets. It is awarded after four daytime jumps; the Military Parachute Badge is awarded to Air Force personnel graduates of the Airborne School, serving in the Fusiliers Commandos de l'Air, the airborne infantry units of the Air Force. A minimum of 30 jumps is required for the award of the Air Force badge; the Special Parachute Badge is the Free Fall badge of the Air Force. It is awarded after long courses at both the Airborne School and the Fusiliers Commandos Training Squadron. Parachutist Badge, a World War II-era decoration in the Wehrmacht and the Waffen-SS The parachute course are done by the "Defensie Para School"; the Armed Forces of the Netherlands know 9 types of para wings: B brevet.
Prerequisite: 5 jumps, the certificate and brevet are awarded by the Dutch sport Parachute centres at Texel and Teuge and maybe awarded by other Dutch centres if authorised. It is awarded to foreign jumpers who qualify on Dutch soil. A brevet, Operational Parachutist, Static Line. Prerequisite: 8 jumps, the last 3 have to been completed with gear and weapon, the last one needs to be made at night. Maximum altitude: 400 meters; the course is completed by members of the Royal Netherlands Marine Corps. SLS brevet, Operational Parachutist, Static Line, Square.. The same as the A certificate, with the last one with gear and weapon, the last one needs to be made at night. Only for the reconnaissance platoons of the Royal Netherlands Marine Corps B brevet, Parachutist Free Fall: Of the at least 20 jumps, 3 have to be made with "Accelerated Free Fall method" a night jump has to be done; this certificate is done by Parachutist riggers, Royal Netherlands Air Force Oxygen Supervisors. C brevet, Operational Parachutist, Free fall.
Prerequisite: 20 jumps, again 3 jumps with gear and weapon, 2 night jumps, one with gear and weapon, maximum altitude is ± 4.000 meters. All Army Commandos, need to do the course during the Phase 3 of the Commando Course, members of the MARSOF of the Royal Netherlands Marine Corps. C-OPS brevet, Operation Parachutist, Free fall. Prerequisite: 10 jumps, during day and night, 8 jumps with gear, navigation console and weapon, 5 need to be made with backpack; the maximum altitude is 4.000 meters, 3 need to be a precision jump. Advanced course after the C certificate course, it focus on group jumps, the course is for operators of the Army Commandos. D brevet, HALO/HAHO. Prerequisite: The amount of jumps depend on the proficiency of the student and the jumps are with a maximum altitude of 10.000 meters with oxygen. The course is only done by Commando groups, who are specialised in HALO/ HAHO jumps, instructors of the Parachutist Training Group. Operational Wings: Rare wing, the last time given to a member happened on 10 March 1949 in Indo
The Crimean War was a military conflict fought from October 1853 to February 1856 in which the Russian Empire lost to an alliance of the Ottoman Empire, France and Sardinia. The immediate cause involved the rights of Christian minorities in the Holy Land, a part of the Ottoman Empire; the French promoted the rights of Roman Catholics, while Russia promoted those of the Eastern Orthodox Church. The longer-term causes involved the decline of the Ottoman Empire and the unwillingness of Britain and France to allow Russia to gain territory and power at Ottoman expense, it has been noted that the causes, in one case involving an argument over a key, have never revealed a "greater confusion of purpose", yet they led to a war noted for its "notoriously incompetent international butchery". While the churches worked out their differences and came to an agreement, Nicholas I of Russia and the French Emperor Napoleon III refused to back down. Nicholas issued an ultimatum that the Orthodox subjects of the Ottoman Empire be placed under his protection.
Britain arranged a compromise that Nicholas agreed to. When the Ottomans demanded changes, Nicholas prepared for war. Having obtained promises of support from France and Britain, the Ottomans declared war on Russia in October 1853; the war started in the Balkans in July 1853, when Russian troops occupied the Danubian Principalities, which were under Ottoman suzerainty began to cross the Danube. Led by Omar Pasha, the Ottomans fought a strong defensive campaign and stopped the advance at Silistra. A separate action on the fort town of Kars in eastern Anatolia led to a siege, a Turkish attempt to reinforce the garrison was destroyed by a Russian fleet at Sinop. Fearing an Ottoman collapse and Britain rushed forces to Gallipoli, they moved north to Varna in June 1854, arriving just in time for the Russians to abandon Silistra. Aside from a minor skirmish at Köstence, there was little for the allies to do. Karl Marx quipped, "there they are, the French doing nothing and the British helping them as fast as possible".
Frustrated by the wasted effort, with demands for action from their citizens, the allied force decided to attack Russia's main naval base in the Black Sea at Sevastopol on the Crimean peninsula. After extended preparations, the forces landed on the peninsula in September 1854 and marched their way to a point south of Sevastopol after the successful Battle of the Alma; the Russians counterattacked on 25 October in what became the Battle of Balaclava and were repulsed, but at the cost of depleting the British Army forces. A second counterattack, at Inkerman, ended in stalemate; the front led to brutal conditions for troops on both sides. Smaller military actions took place in the Baltic, the Caucasus, the White Sea, the North Pacific. Sevastopol fell after eleven months, neutral countries began to join the Allied cause. Isolated and facing a bleak prospect of invasion from the west if the war continued, Russia sued for peace in March 1856. France and Britain welcomed this development; the Treaty of Paris, signed on 30 March 1856, ended the war.
It forbade Russia from basing warships in the Black Sea. The Ottoman vassal states of Wallachia and Moldavia became independent. Christians there were granted a degree of official equality, the Orthodox Church regained control of the Christian churches in dispute; the Crimean War was one of the first conflicts in which the military used modern technologies such as explosive naval shells and telegraphs. The war was one of the first to be documented extensively in written photographs; as the legend of the "Charge of the Light Brigade" demonstrates, the war became an iconic symbol of logistical and tactical failures and mismanagement. The reaction in the UK was a demand for professionalisation, most famously achieved by Florence Nightingale, who gained worldwide attention for pioneering modern nursing while treating the wounded; the Crimean War proved to be the moment of truth for Nikolaevan Russia. The humiliation forced Russia's educated elites to identify the Empire's problems and to recognize the need for fundamental transformations aimed at modernizing and restoring Russia's position in the ranks of European powers.
Historians have studied the role of the Crimean War as a catalyst for the reforms of Russia's social institutions: serfdom, local self-government and military service. More scholars have turned their attention to the impact of the Crimean War on the development of Russian nationalistic discourse; as the Ottoman Empire weakened during the 19th century, Russia stood poised to take advantage by expanding south. In the 1850s, the British and the French, who were allied with the Ottoman Empire, were determined not to allow this to happen. A. J. P. Taylor argues that the war resulted not from aggression but from the interacting fears of the major players: In some sense the Crimean war was predestined and had deep-seated causes. Neither Nicholas I nor Napoleon III nor the British government could retreat in the conflict for prestige once it was launched. Nicholas needed a subservient Turkey for the sake of Russian security. Mutual fear, not mutual aggression, caused the Crimean war. In the early 1800s, the Ottoman Empire
Major general 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 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, 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. In the old Austro-Hungarian Army, the major general was called a Generalmajor. Today's Austrian Federal Army still uses the same term. General de Brigada is the lowest rank of general officers in the Brazilian Army. A General de Brigada wears two-stars as this is the entry level for general officers in the Brazilian Army.
See Military ranks of Brazil and Brigadier for more information. In the Canadian Armed Forces, the rank of major-general is both a Canadian Army and Royal Canadian Air Force rank equivalent to the Royal Canadian Navy's rank of rear-admiral. A major-general is the equivalent of a naval flag officer; the major-general rank is senior to the ranks of brigadier-general and commodore, junior to lieutenant-general and vice-admiral. Prior to 1968, the Air Force used the rank of air vice-marshal, instead; the rank insignia for a major-general in the Royal Canadian Air Force is a wide braid under a single narrow braid on the cuff, as well as two silver maple leaves beneath crossed sword and baton, all surmounted by St. Edward's Crown. In the Canadian Army, the rank insignia is a wide braid on the cuff, as well as two gold maple leaves beneath crossed sword and baton, all surmounted by St. Edward's Crown, it is worn on the shoulder straps of the service dress tunic, on slip-ons on other uniforms. On the visor of the service cap are two rows of gold oak leaves.
Major-generals are addressed as "general" and name, as are all general officers. Major-generals are entitled to staff cars. In the Estonian military, the major general rank is called kindralmajor; the Finnish military equivalent is kenraalimajuri in Finnish, generalmajor in Swedish and Danish. The French equivalent to the rank of major general is général de division. In the French military, major général is not a rank but an appointment conferred on some generals of général de corps d'armée rank, acting as head of staff of one of the armed forces; the major general assists the chief of staff of the French army with matters such as human resources and discipline, his role is analogous with the British Army position of Adjutant-General to the Forces. The position of major général can be considered the equivalent of a deputy chief of staff; the five major generals are: the Major General of the Armed Forces, head of the General Staff, the Major General of the Army, the Major General of the Navy, the Major General of the Gendarmerie, the Major General of the Air Force.
In the French Army, Major General is a position and the major general is of the rank of corps general. The French army had some sergent-majors généraux called sergents de bataille, whose task was to prepare the disposition of the army on the field before a battle; these sergents-majors généraux became a new rank, the maréchal de camp, the equivalent of the rank of major general. However, the term of major général was not forgotten and used to describe the appointment of armies chiefs of staff. One well-known French major général was Marshal Louis Alexandre Berthier. In addition,maréchal de camp was renamed général de brigade in 1793; the rank was decided to correspond to brigadier general after WWⅡ. In Georgia, the rank major-general has one star as for security forces; the army, does not follow the traditional soviet model and uses the now more common two-star insignia. The German Army and Luftwaffe referred to the rank as Generalmajor until 1945. Prior to 1945, the rank of Generalleutnant was used to define a division commander, whereas Generalmajor was a brigade commander.
With the remilitarization of Germany in 1955 on West Germany's admission to NATO, the Heer adopted the rank structure of the U. S. with the authority of the three lower ranks being moved up one level, the rank of Brigadegeneral added below them. The rank of Generaloberst was no longer used; the Nationale Volksarmee of the German Democratic Republic continued the use Generalmajor, abbreviated as "GenMaj", as the lowest general officer rank until reunification in 1990. It was equivalent to Konteradmiral. In the Magyar Honvédség, the equivalent rank to major general is vezérőrnagy. In the Iranian army and air force, the ranks above colonel are sartip dovom, sarlashkar and arteshbod.
A military staff is a group of officers and civilian personnel that are responsible for the administrative and logistical needs of its unit. It provides bi-directional flow of information between a commanding officer and subordinate military units. A staff provides an executive function where it filters information needed by the commander or shunts unnecessary information. One of the key purposes of a military staff is to provide accurate, timely information on which command decisions are based. A goal is being able to suggest approaches or help produce well-informed decisions that will manage and conserve unit resources. In addition to generating information, the staff manages the flow of communication within the unit and around it. While controlled information flow toward the commander is a priority, those useful or contingent in nature are communicated to lower-level units and/or through their respective staffs. If the information is not pertinent to the unit, it is redirected to the command level which can best utilize the condition or information.
Staffs are the first to know of issues that affect its group. Issues that require major decisions affecting the unit's operational capability are communicated to the commanding officer. However, not all issues will be handled by the commander. Smaller matters that arise are given to a more appropriate tasker within the unit to be handled and resolved, which would otherwise be an unnecessary distraction for the Commanding Officer who makes numerous decisions every day. In addition, a staff aims to craft any useful situations and utilize that information. In a generic command staff, more seasoned and senior officers oversee staff sections of groups organized by the needs of the unit. Senior Enlisted Personnel task personnel in the maintenance of tactical equipment and vehicles. Senior Analysts are tasked with the finalizing of reports, their enlisted personnel participate in the acquisition of information from subordinate staffs and units; this hierarchy places decision making and reporting under the auspices of the most experienced personnel and maximizes information flow of pertinent information sent out of the command overall, clarifying matters overall.
This frees up the most senior members of the command at each level for decision making and issuing direction for further research or information gathering. Operations staff officers are tasked with battle planning both for offensive and defensive conditions, issuing contingency plans for handling situations anticipated during the foreseeable future. Prior to the late 18th century, there was no organizational support for staff functions such as military intelligence, planning or personnel. Unit commanders handled such functions for their units, with informal help from subordinates who were not trained for or assigned to a specific task. A great deal of mythology surrounds the origin of the modern staff system as a tool of army management, it was perfected by the Prussians, but despite the claims of many American and British authors, it did not originate in France not with Napoleon and General Louis Alexandre Berthier. The claims made about Pierre-Joseph Bourcet and his staff college at Grenoble are myths.
In a great irony of history, it was the French attaché to the Austrian court, whose memorandum was used by Count Leopold Joseph von Daun in January 1758 in a letter to the Empress Maria Theresa to press for a more important role for the Generalquartiermeister. The failures in the army at the Battle of Leuthen made it clear that Austria had no "great brain" and the command needed to spread the workload to allow the Commander-in-chief the time to consider the strategic picture; the 1757 regulations had created the Grosse Feldgeneralstab and Kleine Generalstab and after changes in 1769, a permanent staff of 30 officers was established under the Director, Franz Moritz von Lacy, which would be expanded in wartime with junior officers. The Grosse staff was divided into three: First, the Intrinsecum, which handled internal administration and directing operations. Alongside the General Staff was the General Adjutant, who led a group of Adjutant staff selected by the army commanders to handle the details of internal administration and collating intelligence, answered to the Commander-in-chief.
The Chief of Staff became the chief adviser to the Commander-in-chief and, in a fundamental move away from the previous administrative role, the Chief of Staff now undertook operational planning, while delegating the routine work to his senior staff officers. Staff officers were drawn from line units and would return to them, the intention being that they would prove themselves as leaders during their time with the staff. In a battle or when the army had detached corps, a small number of staff would be allocated to the column commander as a smaller version of headquarters; the senior man a Major, would be the chief of the column staff and his principal task would be to help the commander to understand what was intended. When Karl Mack von Leiberich became chief of staff of the army under Prince Josias of Saxe-Coburg-Saalfeld in the Netherlands, he issued the Instruktionspunkte für gesammte Herren Generals, the last of 19 points setting out the roles of staff officers, dealing with offensive and defensive operations, while helping the Commander-
President of the United States
The president of the United States is the head of state and head of government of the United States of America. The president directs the executive branch of the federal government and is the commander-in-chief of the United States Armed Forces. In contemporary times, the president is looked upon as one of the world's most powerful political figures as the leader of the only remaining global superpower; the role includes responsibility for the world's most expensive military, which has the second largest nuclear arsenal. The president leads the nation with the largest economy by nominal GDP; the president possesses international hard and soft power. Article II of the Constitution establishes the executive branch of the federal government, it vests the executive power of the United States in the president. The power includes the execution and enforcement of federal law, alongside the responsibility of appointing federal executive, diplomatic and judicial officers, concluding treaties with foreign powers with the advice and consent of the Senate.
The president is further empowered to grant federal pardons and reprieves, to convene and adjourn either or both houses of Congress under extraordinary circumstances. The president directs the foreign and domestic policies of the United States, takes an active role in promoting his policy priorities to members of Congress. In addition, as part of the system of checks and balances, Article I, Section 7 of the Constitution gives the president the power to sign or veto federal legislation; the power of the presidency has grown since its formation, as has the power of the federal government as a whole. Through the Electoral College, registered voters indirectly elect the president and vice president to a four-year term; this is the only federal election in the United States, not decided by popular vote. Nine vice presidents became president by virtue of a president's intra-term resignation. Article II, Section 1, Clause 5 sets three qualifications for holding the presidency: natural-born U. S. citizenship.
The Twenty-second Amendment precludes any person from being elected president to a third term. In all, 44 individuals have served 45 presidencies spanning 57 full four-year terms. Grover Cleveland served two non-consecutive terms, so he is counted twice, as both the 22nd and 24th president. Donald Trump of New York is the current president of the United States, he assumed office on January 20, 2017. In July 1776, during the American Revolutionary War, the Thirteen Colonies, acting jointly through the Second Continental Congress, declared themselves to be 13 independent sovereign states, no longer under British rule. Recognizing the necessity of coordinating their efforts against the British, the Continental Congress began the process of drafting a constitution that would bind the states together. There were long debates on a number of issues, including representation and voting, the exact powers to be given the central government. Congress finished work on the Articles of Confederation to establish a perpetual union between the states in November 1777 and sent it to the states for ratification.
Under the Articles, which took effect on March 1, 1781, the Congress of the Confederation was a central political authority without any legislative power. It could make its own resolutions and regulations, but not any laws, could not impose any taxes or enforce local commercial regulations upon its citizens; this institutional design reflected how Americans believed the deposed British system of Crown and Parliament ought to have functioned with respect to the royal dominion: a superintending body for matters that concerned the entire empire. The states were out from under any monarchy and assigned some royal prerogatives to Congress; the members of Congress elected a President of the United States in Congress Assembled to preside over its deliberation as a neutral discussion moderator. Unrelated to and quite dissimilar from the office of President of the United States, it was a ceremonial position without much influence. In 1783, the Treaty of Paris secured independence for each of the former colonies.
With peace at hand, the states each turned toward their own internal affairs. By 1786, Americans found their continental borders besieged and weak and their respective economies in crises as neighboring states agitated trade rivalries with one another, they witnessed their hard currency pouring into foreign markets to pay for imports, their Mediterranean commerce preyed upon by North African pirates, their foreign-financed Revolutionary War debts unpaid and accruing interest. Civil and political unrest loomed. Following the successful resolution of commercial and fishing disputes between Virginia and Maryland at the Mount Vernon Conference in 1785, Virginia called for a trade conference between all the states, set for September 1786 in Annapolis, with an aim toward resolving further-reaching interstate commercial antagonisms; when the convention failed for lack of attendance due to suspicions among most of the other states, Alexander Hamilton led the Annapolis delegates in a call for a convention to offer revisions to the Articles, to be held the next spring in Philadelphia.
Prospects for the next convention appeared bleak until James Madison and Edmund Randolph succeeded in securing George Washington's attendance to Philadelphia as a delegate for Virginia. When the Constitutional Convention convened in May 1787, the 12 state delegations in attendance (Rh
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 commissioned officers, non-commissioned officers, warrant officers. However, when used without further detail, the term always refers to only commissioned officers, the more senior portion of a force who derive their authority from a commission from the head of state; the proportion of officers varies greatly. Commissioned officers make up between an eighth and a fifth of modern armed forces personnel. In 2013, officers were the senior 17% of the British armed forces, the senior 13.7% of the French armed forces. In 2012, officers made up about 18% of the German armed forces, about 17.2% of the United States armed forces. However, armed forces have had much lower proportions of officers. During the First World War, fewer than 5% of British soldiers were officers. In the early twentieth century, the Spanish army had the highest proportion of officers of any European army, at 12.5%, at that time considered unreasonably high by many Spanish and foreign observers.
Within a nation's armed forces, armies tend to have a lower proportion of officers, but a higher total number of officers, while navies and air forces have higher proportions of officers since military aircraft are flown by officers. For example, 13.9% of British army personnel and 22.2% of the RAF personnel were officers in 2013, but the army had a larger total number of officers. Having a command authority is one requirement for combatant status under the laws of war, though this authority need not have obtained an official commission or warrant. In such case, those persons holding offices of responsibility within the organization are deemed to be the officers, the presence of these officers connotes a level of organization sufficient to designate a group as being combatant. Commissioned officers receive training as leadership and management generalists, in addition to training relating to their specific military occupational specialty or function in the military. Many advanced militaries require university degrees as a prerequisite for commissioning from the enlisted ranks.
Others, including the Australian Defence Force, the British Armed Forces, Nepal Army, the Pakistani Armed Forces, the Swiss Armed Forces, the Singapore Armed Forces, the Israel Defense Forces, the Swedish Armed Forces, the New Zealand Defence Force, are different in not requiring a university degree for commissioning—although a significant number of officers in these countries are graduates. In the Israel Defense Forces, a university degree is a requirement for an officer to advance to the rank of lieutenant colonel; the IDF sponsors the studies for its majors, while aircrew and naval officers obtain academic degrees as a part of their training programmes. In the United Kingdom, there are three routes of entry for British Armed Forces officers; the first, primary route are those who receive their commission directly into the officer grades following completion at their relevant military academy. In the second method, an individual may gain their commission after first enlisting and serving in the junior ranks, reaching one of the senior non-commissioned officer ranks, as what are known as'direct entry' or DE officers.
The third route is similar to the second. LE officers, whilst holding the same Queen's commission work in different roles from the DE officers. In the infantry, a number of warrant officer class 1s are commissioned as LE officers. In the British Army, commissioning for DE officers occurs after a 44-week course at the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst for regular officers or the Army Reserve Commissioning Course, which consists of four two-week modules for Army Reserve officers; the first two modules may be undertaken over a year for each module at an Officers' Training Corps, the last two must be undertaken at Sandhurst. For Royal Navy and Royal Air Force officer candidates, a 30-week period at Britannia Royal Naval College or a 24-week period at RAF College Cranwell, respectively. Royal Marines officers receive their training in the Command Wing of the Commando Training Centre Royal Marines during a gruelling 15-month course; the courses consist of not only tactical and combat training, but leadership, management and international affairs training.
Until the Cardwell Reforms of 1871, commissions in the British Army were purchased by officers. The Royal Navy, operated on a more meritocratic, or at least mobile, basis. Commissioned officers are the only persons, in an armed forces environment, able to act as the commanding officer of a military unit. A superior officer is an officer with a higher rank than another officer, a subordinate officer relative to the superior. Non-commissioned officers, to include naval and coast guard petty officers and chief petty officers, in positions of authority can be said to have control or charge rather than command per se. Most officers in the Armed Forces of the United States are commissioned through one of three major commissioning programs: United States Military Academy Unit