Civil disobedience is the active, professed refusal of a citizen to obey certain laws, orders or commands of a government or occupying international power. Civil disobedience is sometimes defined as having to be nonviolent to be called civil disobedience. Civil disobedience is sometimes, equated with nonviolent resistance. Although civil disobedience is considered to be an expression of contempt for law, Martin Luther King Jr. regarded civil disobedience to be a display and practice of reverence for law. Its earliest successful implementation was brought about during the lead up to the Glorious Revolution in Britain, when the 1689 Bill of Rights was documented, the last Catholic monarch was deposed, male and female joint-co-monarchs were elevated; the English Midland Enlightenment had developed a manner of voicing objection to a law viewed as illegitimate and taking the consequences of the law. This was focused on the illegitimacy of laws claimed to be "divine" in origin, including the "divine rights of Kings" and the "divine rights of man", the legitimacy of laws acknowledged to be made by human beings.
It became an effective tool by various peoples who objected to British occupation, such as in the 1919 Revolution, this was never used with native laws that were more oppressive than the British occupation, leading to problems for these countries today. Zaghloul Pasha, considered the mastermind behind this massive civil disobedience, was a native middle-class, Azhar graduate, political activist, parliamentary and ex-cabinet minister whose leadership brought Christian and Muslim communities together as well as women into the massive protests. Along with his companions of Wafd Party, who started campaigning in 1914, they have achieved independence of Egypt and a first constitution in 1923. Civil disobedience is one of the many ways people have rebelled against what they deem to be unfair laws, it has been used in many nonviolent resistance movements in India, in Czechoslovakia's Velvet Revolution, in early stages of Bangladesh independence movement against Pakistani repression and in East Germany to oust their communist governments.
In South Africa in the fight against apartheid, in the American civil rights movement, in the Singing Revolution to bring independence to the Baltic countries from the Soviet Union with the 2003 Rose Revolution in Georgia and the 2004 Orange Revolution in Ukraine, among other various movements worldwide. One of the oldest depictions of civil disobedience is in Sophocles' play Antigone, in which Antigone, one of the daughters of former King of Thebes, defies Creon, the current King of Thebes, trying to stop her from giving her brother Polynices a proper burial, she gives a stirring speech in which she tells him that she must obey her conscience rather than human law. She is not at all afraid of the death he threatens her with, but she is afraid of how her conscience will smite her if she does not do this. Following the Peterloo massacre of 1819, the poet Percy Shelley wrote the political poem The Mask of Anarchy that year, that begins with the images of what he thought to be the unjust forms of authority of his time—and imagines the stirrings of a new form of social action.
According to Ashton Nichols, it is the first modern statement of the principle of nonviolent protest. A version was taken up by the author Henry David Thoreau in his essay Civil Disobedience, by Gandhi in his doctrine of Satyagraha. Gandhi's Satyagraha was influenced and inspired by Shelley's nonviolence in protest and political action. In particular, it is known that Gandhi would quote Shelley's Masque of Anarchy to vast audiences during the campaign for a free India. Thoreau's 1849 essay Civil Disobedience titled "Resistance to Civil Government", has had a wide influence on many practitioners of civil disobedience; the driving idea behind the essay is that citizens are morally responsible for their support of aggressors when such support is required by law. In the essay, Thoreau explained his reasons for having refused to pay taxes as an act of protest against slavery and against the Mexican–American War, he writes, If I devote myself to other pursuits and contemplations, I must first see, at least, that I do not pursue them sitting upon another man's shoulders.
I must get off him first. See what gross inconsistency is tolerated. I have heard some of my townsmen say, "I should like to have them order me out to help put down an insurrection of the slaves, or to march to Mexico. By the 1850s, a range of minority groups in the United States: Blacks, Seventh Day Baptists, anti-prohibitionists, racial egalitarians, others—employed civil disobedience to combat a range of legal measures and public practices that to them promoted ethnic and racial discrimination. Pro Public and peaceful resistance to political power would remain an integral tactic in modern American minority rights politics. Henry David Thoreau's 1849 essay "Resistance to Civil Government" was renamed "Essay on Civil Disobedience". After his landmark lectures were published in 1866, the term began to appear in numerous sermons and lectures relating to slavery and the war in Mexico
Louis David Riel was a Canadian politician, a founder of the province of Manitoba, a political leader of the Métis people of the Canadian Prairies. He led two rebellions against the government of Canada and its first post-Confederation prime minister, John A. Macdonald. Riel sought to preserve Métis rights and culture as their homelands in the Northwest came progressively under the Canadian sphere of influence. Over the decades, he has been made a folk hero by Francophones, Catholic nationalists, native rights activists, the New Left student movement. Arguably, Riel has received more scholarly attention than any other figure in Canadian history; the first resistance led by Riel became known as the Red River Rebellion of 1869–1870. The provisional government established by Riel negotiated the terms under which the modern province of Manitoba entered the Canadian Confederation. Riel ordered the execution of Thomas Scott, fled to the United States to escape prosecution. Despite this, he is referred to as the "Father of Manitoba".
While a fugitive, he was elected three times to the House of Commons of Canada, although he never assumed his seat. During these years, he was frustrated by having to remain in exile despite his growing belief that he was a divinely chosen leader and prophet, a belief which would resurface and influence his actions; because of this new religious conviction, Catholic leaders who had supported him before repudiated him. He married in 1881 while in exile in Montana in the United States. In 1884 Riel was called upon by the Métis leaders in Saskatchewan to articulate their grievances to the Canadian government. Instead he organized a military resistance that escalated into a military confrontation, the North-West Rebellion of 1885. Ottawa used the new rail lines to send in thousands of combat soldiers, it ended in his conviction for high treason. Despite protests and popular appeals, Prime Minister Macdonald rejected calls for clemency, Riel was executed by hanging. Riel was seen as a heroic victim by French Canadians.
Although only a few hundred people were directly affected by the Rebellion in Saskatchewan, the long-term result was that the Prairie provinces would be controlled by the Anglophones, not the Francophones. An more important long-term impact was the bitter alienation Francophones across Canada felt, anger against the repression by their countrymen. Riel's historical reputation has long been polarized between portrayals as a dangerous half-insane religious fanatic and rebel against the Canadian nation, or by contrast a heroic rebel who fought to protect his Francophone people from the unfair encroachments of an Anglophone national government, he is celebrated as a proponent of multiculturalism, although that downplays his primary commitment to Métis nationalism and political independence. The Red River Settlement was a community in Rupert's Land nominally administered by the Hudson's Bay Company, inhabited by First Nations tribes and the Métis, an ethnic group of mixed Cree, Saulteaux, French-Canadian and English descent.
Louis Riel was born there in 1844, near modern Winnipeg, Manitoba, to Louis Riel, Sr. and Julie Lagimodière. Riel was the eldest of eleven children in a locally well-respected family, his father, of Franco-Ojibwa Métis descent, had gained prominence in this community by organizing a group that supported Guillaume Sayer, a Métis imprisoned for challenging the HBC's historical trade monopoly. Sayer's eventual release due to agitations by Louis Sr.'s group ended the monopoly, the name Riel was therefore well known in the Red River area. His mother was the daughter of Jean-Baptiste Lagimodière and Marie-Anne Gaboury, one of the earliest white families to settle in the Red River Settlement in 1812; the Riels were noted for their devout Catholicism and strong family ties. Riel was first educated by Roman Catholic priests at St. Boniface. At age 13 he came to the attention of Alexandre Taché, the Suffragan Bishop of St. Boniface, eagerly promoting the priesthood for talented young Métis. In 1858 Taché arranged for Riel to attend the Petit Séminaire of the Collège de Montréal, under the direction of the Sulpician order.
Descriptions of him at the time indicate that he was a fine scholar of languages and philosophy, but exhibited a frequent and unpredictable moodiness. Following news of his father's premature death in 1864, Riel lost interest in the priesthood and withdrew from the college in March 1865. For a time, he continued his studies as a day student in the convent of the Grey Nuns, but was soon asked to leave, following breaches of discipline, he remained in Montreal for over a year, living at the home of Lucie Riel. Impoverished by the death of his father, Riel took employment as a law clerk in the Montreal office of Rodolphe Laflamme. During this time he was involved in a failed romance with a young woman named Marie–Julie Guernon; this progressed to the point of Riel having signed a contract of marriage, but his fiancée's family opposed her involvement with a Métis, the engagement was soon broken. Compounding this disappointment, Riel found legal work unpleasant and, by early 1866, he had resolved to leave Canada East.
Some of his friends said that he worked odd jobs in Chicago, while staying with poet Louis-Honoré Fréchette, wrote poems himself in the manner of Lamartine, that he was employed as a clerk in Saint Paul, before returning to the Red River settlement on 26 July 1868. The majority population of the Red Rive
Higher education is an optional final stage of formal learning that occurs after completion of secondary education. Delivered at universities, colleges, seminaries and institutes of technology, higher education is available through certain college-level institutions, including vocational schools, trade schools, other career colleges that award academic degrees or professional certifications. Tertiary education at non-degree level is sometimes referred to as further education or continuing education as distinct from higher education; the right of access to higher education is mentioned in a number of international human rights instruments. The UN International Covenant on Economic and Cultural Rights of 1966 declares, in Article 13, that "higher education shall be made accessible to all, on the basis of capacity, by every appropriate means, in particular by the progressive introduction of free education". In Europe, Article 2 of the First Protocol to the European Convention on Human Rights, adopted in 1950, obliges all signatory parties to guarantee the right to education.
In the days when few pupils progressed beyond primary education or basic education, the term "higher education" was used to refer to secondary education, which can create some confusion. This is the origin of the term high school for various schools for children between the ages of 14 and 18 or 11 and 18. Higher education includes teaching, exacting applied work, social services activities of universities. Within the realm of teaching, it includes both the undergraduate level, beyond that, graduate-level; the latter level of education is referred to as graduate school in North America. In addition to the skills that are specific to any particular degree, potential employers in any profession are looking for evidence of critical thinking and analytical reasoning skills, teamworking skills, information literacy, ethical judgment, decision-making skills, fluency in speaking and writing, problem solving skills, a wide knowledge of liberal arts and sciences. Since World War II, developed and many developing countries have increased the participation of the age group who studies higher education from the elite rate, of up to 15 per cent, to the mass rate of 16 to 50 per cent.
In many developed countries, participation in higher education has continued to increase towards universal or, what Trow called, open access, where over half of the relevant age group participate in higher education. Higher education is important to national economies, both as an industry, in its own right, as a source of trained and educated personnel for the rest of the economy. College educated workers have commanded a measurable wage premium and are much less to become unemployed than less educated workers. However, the admission of so many students of only average ability to higher education requires a decline in academic standards, facilitated by grade inflation; the supply of graduates in many fields of study is exceeding the demand for their skills, which aggravates graduate unemployment, underemployment and educational inflation. The U. S. system of higher education was influenced by the Humboldtian model of higher education. Wilhelm von Humboldt's educational model goes beyond vocational training.
In a letter to the Prussian king, he wrote: There are undeniably certain kinds of knowledge that must be of a general nature and, more a certain cultivation of the mind and character that nobody can afford to be without. People cannot be good craftworkers, soldiers or businessmen unless, regardless of their occupation, they are good, upstanding and – according to their condition – well-informed human beings and citizens. If this basis is laid through schooling, vocational skills are acquired on, a person is always free to move from one occupation to another, as so happens in life; the philosopher Julian Nida-Rümelin criticized discrepancies between Humboldt's ideals and the contemporary European education policy, which narrowly understands education as a preparation for the labor market, argued that we need to decide between McKinsey and Humboldt. Demonstrated ability in reading and writing, as measured in the United States by the SAT or similar tests such as the ACT, have replaced colleges' individual entrance exams, is required for admission to higher education.
There is some question as to whether advanced mathematical skills or talent are in fact necessary for fields such as history, philosophy, or art. The general higher education and training that takes place in a university, college, or Institute of technology includes significant theoretical and abstract elements, as well as applied aspects. In contrast, the vocational higher education and training that takes place at vocational universities and schools concentrates on practical applications, with little theory. In addition, professional-level education is always included within Higher Education, in graduate schools since many postgraduate academic disciplines are both vocationally and theoretically/research oriented, such as in the law, pharmacy and veterinary medicine. A basic requirement for entry into these graduate-level programs is always a bachelor's degree, although alternative means of obtaining entry into such programs may be available at some universiti
United States Armed Forces
The United States Armed Forces are the military forces of the United States of America. It consists of the Army, Marine Corps, Air Force, Coast Guard; the President of the United States is the Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces and forms military policy with the Department of Defense and Department of Homeland Security, both federal executive departments, acting as the principal organs by which military policy is carried out. All five armed services are among the seven uniformed services of the United States. From the time of its inception, the U. S. Armed Forces played a decisive role in the history of the United States. A sense of national unity and identity was forged as a result of victory in the First Barbary War and the Second Barbary War. So, the founders of the United States were suspicious of a permanent military force, it played a critical role in the American Civil War, continuing to serve as the armed forces of the United States, although a number of its officers resigned to join the military of the Confederate States.
The National Security Act of 1947, adopted following World War II and during the Cold War's onset, created the modern U. S. military framework. The Act established the National Military Establishment, headed by the Secretary of Defense, it was amended in 1949, renaming the National Military Establishment the Department of Defense, merged the cabinet-level Department of the Army, Department of the Navy, Department of the Air Force, into the Department of Defense. The U. S. Armed Forces are one of the largest militaries in terms of the number of personnel, it draws its personnel from a large pool of paid volunteers. Although conscription has been used in the past in various times of both war and peace, it has not been used since 1973, but the Selective Service System retains the power to conscript males, requires that all male citizens and residents residing in the U. S. between the ages of 18–25 register with the service. On February 22, 2019, however, a federal judge ruled that registering only males for Selective Service is unconstitutional.
As of 2017, the U. S. spends about US$610 billion annually to fund its military forces and Overseas Contingency Operations. Put together, the U. S. constitutes 40 percent of the world's military expenditures. The U. S. Armed Forces has significant capabilities in both defense and power projection due to its large budget, resulting in advanced and powerful technologies which enables a widespread deployment of the force around the world, including around 800 military bases outside the United States; the U. S. Air Force is the world's largest air force, the U. S. Navy is the world's largest navy by tonnage, the U. S. Navy and the U. S. Marine Corps combined are the world's second largest air arm. In terms of size, the U. S. Coast Guard is the world's 12th largest naval force; the history of the U. S. Armed Forces dates to 14 June 1775, with the creation of the Continental Army before the Declaration of Independence marked the establishment of the United States; the Continental Navy, established on 13 October 1775, Continental Marines, established on 10 November 1775, were created in close succession by the Second Continental Congress in order to defend the new nation against the British Empire in the American Revolutionary War.
These forces demobilized in 1784. The Congress of the Confederation created the current United States Army on 3 June 1784; the United States Congress created the current United States Navy on 27 March 1794 and the current United States Marine Corps on 11 July 1798. All three services trace their origins to their respective Continental predecessors; the 1787 adoption of the Constitution gave the Congress the power to "raise and support armies", to "provide and maintain a navy" and to "make rules for the government and regulation of the land and naval forces", as well as the power to declare war. The President is the U. S. Armed Forces' commander-in-chief; the United States Coast Guard traces its origin to the founding of the Revenue Cutter Service on 4 August 1790 which merged with the United States Life-Saving Service on 28 January 1915 to establish the Coast Guard. The United States Air Force was established as an independent service on 18 September 1947. S. Signal Corps, formed 1 August 1907 and was part of the Army Air Forces before becoming an independent service as per the National Security Act of 1947.
The United States Public Health Service Commissioned Corps was considered to be a branch of the United States Armed Forces from 29 July 1945 until its status as such was revoked on 3 July 1952. On March 1st, 2019, the Department of Defense sent a proposal to Congress that would establish the United States Space Force as an independent military service within the Department of the Air Force. If approved, this would become the sixth military service branch to be created. Command over the U. S. Armed Forces is established in the Constitution; the sole power of command is vested in the President by Article II as Commander-in-Chief. The Constitution presumes the existence of "executive Departments" headed by "principal officers", whose appointment mechanism is provided for in the Appointments Clause; this allowance in the Constitution formed the basis for creation of the Department of Defense in 1947 by the National Security Act. The DoD is headed by the Secretary of Defense, a civilian and member of the Cabinet.
The Defense Secretary is second in the U. S. Armed Forces chain of command, with the exception of the Coast Guard, under the Secretary of Homeland Security, is just below the President and serves as the
The Western world known as the West, refers to various nations depending on the context, most including at least part of Europe and the Americas, with the status of Latin America in dispute. There are many accepted definitions, all interrelated; the Western world is known as the Occident, in contrast to the Orient, or Eastern world. Ancient Greece and Ancient Rome are considered to be the birthplaces of Western civilization: the former due to its impact on philosophy, democracy and art, building designs and proportions, architecture. Western civilization is founded upon Christianity, in turn shaped by Hellenistic philosophy and Roman culture; the ancient Hellenes had been affected by ancient Near East civilizations, including Judaism and Early Christianity. In the modern era, Western culture has been influenced by the Renaissance, the Ages of Discovery and Enlightenment and the Industrial Revolutions. Through extensive imperialism and Christianization by Western powers in the 15th to 20th centuries, much of the rest of the world has been influenced by Western culture.
The concept of the Western part of the earth has its roots in the theological and emphatical division between the Western Roman Catholic and Eastern Orthodox Churches. West was literal, opposing Catholic Europe with the cultures and civilizations of Orthodox Europe, the Middle East and North Africa, Sub-Saharan Africa, South Asia, Southeast Asia and the remote Far East, which early-modern Europeans saw as the East. By the mid-20th century. Worldwide export of Western culture went through the new mass media: film and television and recorded music, while the development and growth of international transport and telecommunication played a decisive role in modern globalization. In modern usage, Western world sometimes refers to Europe and to areas whose populations originate from Europe, through the Age of Discovery. Western culture was influenced by many older great civilizations of the ancient Near East, such as Phoenicia, Ancient Israel, Minoan Crete, Sumer and Ancient Egypt, it originated in its vicinity.
Over time, their associated empires grew first to the east and west to include the rest of Mediterranean and Black Sea coastal areas and absorbing. They expanded to the north of the Mediterranean Sea to include Western and Southeastern Europe. Christianization of Ireland, Christianization of Bulgaria, Christianization of Kievan Rus', Christianization of Scandinavia and Christianization of Lithuania brought the rest of present-day European territory into Western civilization. Historians, such as Carroll Quigley in "The Evolution of Civilizations", contend that Western civilization was born around AD 500, after the total collapse of the Western Roman Empire, leaving a vacuum for new ideas to flourish that were impossible in Classical societies. In either view, between the fall of the Western Roman Empire and the Renaissance, the West experienced a period of first, considerable decline, readaptation and considerable renewed material and political development; this whole period of a millennium is known as the Middle Ages, its early part forming the "Dark Ages", designations that were created during the Renaissance and reflect the perspective on history, the self-image, of the latter period.
The knowledge of the ancient Western world was preserved during this period due to the survival of the Eastern Roman Empire and the introduction of the Catholic Church. Since the Renaissance, the West evolved beyond the influence of the ancient Greeks and Romans and the Islamic world, due to the successful Second Agricultural, Commercial and Industrial revolutions peaked with the 18th century's Age of enlightenment, through the Age of exploration's expansion of peoples of Western and Central European empires the globe-spanning colonial empires of 18th and 19th centuries. Numerous times, this expansion was accompanied by Catholic missionaries, who attempted to proselytize Christianity. There is debate among some as to. Whether Russia should be categorized as "East" or "West" has been "an ongoing discussion" for centuries; the term "Western culture" is used broadly to refer to a heritage of social norms, ethical values, traditional customs, religious beliefs, political systems, specific artifacts and technologies.
Western culture may imply: a Biblical Christian cultural influence in spiritual thinking and either ethic or moral traditions, around the Post-Classical Era and after. European cultural influences concerning artistic, folkloric and oral traditions, whose themes have been further developed by Romanticism. A Graeco-Roman Classical and Renaissance cultural influence, concerning artistic, philosophic and legal themes and traditions, the cultural social effec
Albert Pike was an American attorney, soldier and Freemason. Pike was born in Boston, the son of Benjamin and Sarah Pike, spent his childhood in Byfield and Newburyport, Massachusetts, his colonial ancestors settled the area in 1635, included John Pike, the founder of Woodbridge, New Jersey. He attended school in Newburyport and Framingham until he was 15. In August 1825, he passed entrance exams at Harvard University, though when the college requested payment of tuition fees for the first two years, he chose not to attend, he began a program of self-education becoming a schoolteacher in Gloucester, North Bedford and Newburyport. Pike was an imposing figure. In 1831, he left Massachusetts to travel west, first stopping in Nashville and moving to St. Louis, Missouri. There he joined an expedition to New Mexico, devoted to hunting and trading. During the excursion his horse ran, forcing Pike to walk the remaining 500 miles to Taos. After this, he joined a trapping expedition to the Llano Estacado in New Texas.
Trapping was minimal and, after traveling about 1,300 miles, he arrived at Fort Smith, Arkansas. Pike's relative, married Bethina Jones, daughter of the Chief of the Choctaw Nation. Jacob and Bethina's son, Benjamin M. Pike, was fluent in several Indian dialects and served as representative between the Native American Tribes in Oklahoma and the government of the United States of America. Settling in Arkansas in 1833, Pike taught in a school and wrote a series of articles for the Little Rock Arkansas Advocate under the pen name of "Casca." The articles were popular enough. Under Pike's administration the Advocate promoted the viewpoint of the Whig Party in a politically volatile and divided Arkansas in December 1832. After marrying Mary Ann Hamilton in 1834, he purchased the newspaper, he was the first reporter for the Arkansas Supreme Court. He wrote a book, titled The Arkansas Form Book, a guidebook for lawyers. Pike was admitted to the bar in 1837, selling the Advocate the same year, he made several contacts among the Native American tribes in the area.
He specialized in claims on behalf of Native Americans against the federal government. In 1852 he represented Creek Nation before the Supreme Court in a claim regarding ceded tribal land. In 1854 he advocated for the Choctaw and Chickasaw, although compensation awarded to the tribes in 1856 and 1857 was insufficient; these relationships were to influence the course of his Civil War service. Additionally, Pike wrote on several legal subjects, he continued writing poetry, a hobby he had begun in his youth in Massachusetts. His poems were regarded in his day, but are now forgotten. Several volumes of his works were published posthumously by his daughter. In 1859, he received an honorary Master of Arts degree from Harvard; when the Mexican–American War started, Pike joined the Regiment of Arkansas Mounted Volunteers and was commissioned as a troop commander with the rank of captain in June 1846. With his regiment, he fought in the Battle of Buena Vista. Pike was discharged in June 1847, he and his commander, Colonel John Selden Roane, had several differences of opinion.
This situation led to an "inconclusive" duel between Pike and Roane on July 29, 1847, near Fort Smith, Arkansas. Although several shots were fired in the duel, nobody was injured, the two were persuaded by their seconds to discontinue it. After the war, Pike returned to the practice of law, moving to New Orleans for a time beginning in 1853, he wrote another book, Maxims of the Roman Law and Some of the Ancient French Law, as Expounded and Applied in Doctrine and Jurisprudence. Although unpublished, this book increased his reputation among his associates in law, he returned to Arkansas in 1857. At the Southern Commercial Convention of 1854, Pike said the South should remain in the Union and seek equality with the North, but if the South "were forced into an inferior status, she would be better out of the Union than in it." His stand was that state's rights superseded national law and he supported the idea of a Southern secession. This stand is made clear in his pamphlet of 1861, "State or Province, Bond or Free?"
In 1861, Pike penned the lyrics to "Dixie to Arms!" At the beginning of the war, Pike was appointed as Confederate envoy to the Native Americans. In this capacity he negotiated several treaties, one of the most important being with Cherokee chief John Ross, concluded in 1861. At the time, Ross agreed to support the Confederacy, which promised the tribes a Native American state if it won the war. Ross changed his mind and left Indian Territory, but the succeeding Cherokee government maintained the alliance. Pike was commissioned as a brigadier general on November 22, 1861, given a command in the Indian Territory. With Gen. Ben McCulloch, Pike trained three Confederate regiments of Indian cavalry, most of whom belonged to the "civilized tribes", whose loyalty to the Confederacy was variable. Although victorious at the Battle of Pea Ridge in March 1862, Pike's unit was defeated in a counterattack, after falling into disarray; when Pike was ordered in May 1862 to send troops to Arkansas, he resigned in protest.
As in the previous war, Pike came into conflict with his superior officers, at one time drafting a letter to Jefferson Davis complaining about his direct superior. After Pea Ridge, Pike was faced with charges that
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