A chevron is a V-shaped mark inverted. The word is used in reference to a kind of fret in architecture, or to a badge or insignia used in military or police uniforms to indicate rank or length of service, or in heraldry and the designs of flags; the chevron occurs in early art including designs on rock carvings. Examples can be found 1800 BC in archaeological recovery of pottery designs from the palace of Knossos on Crete in the modern day country of Greece. Sparta used a capital lambda on their shields. A chevron is one of the ordinaries in heraldry, one of the simple geometrical figures which are the chief images in many coat of arms, it can be subject to a number of modifications including inversion. When the ends are cut off in a way that looks like the splintered ends of a broken piece of wood, with an irregular zig-zag pattern, it is called éclaté; when shown as a smaller size than standard, it is a diminutive called a chevronel. Chevrons appeared early in the history of heraldry in Normandy.
In Scandinavia the chevron is known as sparre. Chevrons are found among the insignias and heraldries of many of the earliest higher education institutions in the United States and the United Kingdom. In areas observing Commonwealth of Nations or United States doctrine, chevrons are used as an insignia of enlisted or NCO rank by military forces and by police. One chevron designates a private or lance corporal, two a corporal, three a sergeant. One to four "rockers" may be incorporated to indicate various grades of sergeant. In the U. S. Army and Marine Corps, chevrons point towards the neck. S. Air Force and Coast Guard, in Commonwealth usage, they point away from the neck. In the Commonwealth, the correct terminology for rank chevrons includes the number of stripes, called "bars", the sergeants' insignia is properly termed a "3-bar chevron". Canadian and Australian Forces refer to chevrons as "hooks". In the Dutch armed forces they are nicknamed "bananas". In the British Army, Royal Marines and Royal Air Force, chevrons are worn point down to denote NCO rank, with one for lance corporal, two for corporal, three for sergeant, three with a crown for Staff Sergeant or Flight Sergeant.
Branch and tradition results in variations in rank spellings. Large chevrons are worn on the sleeves of Royal Navy sailors to denote good conduct rather than rank. Although associated with Non-Commissioned Officers, the chevron was used as an insignia to denote General Officer ranks in the British Army, it was adopted from the insignia worn by cavalry during the 18th Century, in particular the Household Cavalry. It was worn on the cuffs and tails of their coats, embroidered in gold bullion for the guards and silver for Dragoons Regiments. George III favoured the uniform of the Horse Guards, his Windsor Uniform followed a similar pattern. After 1768, A similar pattern uniform as worn the King was introduced to General Officers, with the number and spacing of the chevrons denoting rank. For example, a Major General would wear his chevrons in pairs: two on the sleeves, two on the tails. A Lieutenant General would wear them in groups of three, a full General's would be equidistant; this practice continued into the early Victorian Era.
In some armies, small chevrons are worn on the lower left sleeve to indicate length of service, akin to service stripes in the U. S. military. The Israel Defense Forces use chevrons in various orientations as organizational designators on their vehicles which company within a battalion they belong to. French car maker, Citroën uses a double chevron as its logo. Chevrons on their side are used as road signs to denote bends
A field army is a military formation in many armed forces, composed of two or more corps and may be subordinate to an army group. Air armies are equivalent formation within some air forces. A field army is composed of 100,000 to 150,000 troops. Particular field armies are named or numbered to distinguish them from "army" in the sense of an entire national land military force. In English, the typical style for naming field armies is word numbers, such as "First Army". A field army may be given a geographical name in addition to or as an alternative to a numerical name, such as the British Army of the Rhine, Army of the Niemen or Aegean Army; the Roman army was among the first to feature a formal field army, in the sense of a large, combined arms formation, namely the sacer comitatus, which may be translated as "sacred escort". The term is derived from the fact that they were commanded by Roman emperors, when they acted as field commanders. While the Roman comitatensis is sometimes translated as "field army", it may be translated as the more generic "field force" or "mobile force".
In some armed forces, an "army" has been equivalent to a corps-level unit. Prior to 1945, this was the case with a gun within the Imperial Japanese Army, for which the formation equivalent in size to a field army was an "area army". In the Soviet Red Army and the Soviet Air Forces, an army was subordinate in wartime to a front, it contained at least three to five divisions along with artillery, air defense and other supporting units. It could be classified as either tank army. In peacetime, a Soviet army was subordinate to a military district. Modern field armies are large formations which vary between armed forces in size and scope of responsibility. For instance, within NATO a field army is composed of a headquarters, controls at least two corps, beneath which are a variable number of divisions. A battle is influenced at the field army level by transferring divisions and reinforcements from one corps to another to increase the pressure on the enemy at a critical point. NATO armies are commanded by a general or lieutenant general.
Armeeoberkommando Military unit Military history List of numbered armies
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
A division is a large military unit or formation consisting of between 10,000 and 20,000 soldiers. Infantry divisions during the World Wars ranged between 30,000 in nominal strength. In most armies, a division is composed of several brigades; the division has been the default combined arms unit capable of independent operations. Smaller combined arms units, such as the American regimental combat team during World War II, were used when conditions favored them. In recent times, modern Western militaries have begun adopting the smaller brigade combat team as the default combined arms unit, with the division they belong to being less important. While the focus of this article is on army divisions, in naval usage division has a different meaning, referring to either an administrative/functional sub-unit of a department aboard naval and coast guard ships, shore commands, in naval aviation units, to a sub-unit of several ships within a flotilla or squadron, or to two or three sections of aircraft operating under a designated division leader.
Some languages, like Russian, Serbo-Croatian and Polish, use a similar word divizion/dywizjon for a battalion-size artillery or cavalry unit. In administrative/functional sub-unit usage, unit size varies though divisions number far fewer than 100 people and are equivalent in function and organizational hierarchy/command relationship to a platoon or flight. In the West, the first general to think of organising an army into smaller combined-arms units was Maurice de Saxe, Marshal General of France, in his book Mes Rêveries, he died without having implemented his idea. Victor-François de Broglie put the ideas into practice, he conducted successful practical experiments of the divisional system in the Seven Years' War. The first war in which the divisional system was used systematically was the French Revolutionary War. Lazare Carnot of the Committee of Public Safety, in charge of military affairs, came to the same conclusion about it as the previous royal government, the army was organised into divisions.
It made the armies more flexible and easy to maneuver, it made the large army of the revolution manageable. Under Napoleon, the divisions were grouped together because of their increasing size. Napoleon's military success spread the corps system all over Europe; the divisional system reached its numerical height during the Second World War. The Soviet Union's Red Army consisted of more than a thousand divisional-size units at any one time, the total number of rifle divisions raised during the Great Patriotic War is estimated at 2,000. Nazi Germany had hundreds of numbered and/or named divisions, while the United States employed 91 divisions, two of which were disbanded during the war. A notable change to divisional structures during the war was completion of the shift from square divisions to triangular divisions that many European nations started using in World War I; this was done to pare down chain of command overhead. The triangular division allowed the tactic of "two forward, one back", where two of the division's regiments would be engaging the enemy with one regiment in reserve.
All divisions in World War II were expected to have their own artillery formations the size of a regiment depending upon the nation. Divisional artillery was seconded by corps level command to increase firepower in larger engagements. Regimental combat teams were used by the US during the war as well, whereby attached and/or organic divisional units were parceled out to infantry regiments, creating smaller combined-arms units with their own armor and artillery and support units; these combat teams would still be under divisional command but have some level of autonomy on the battlefield. Organic units within divisions were units which operated directly under Divisional command and were not controlled by the Regiments; these units were support units in nature, include signal companies, medical battalions, supply trains and administration. Attached units were smaller units that were placed under Divisional command temporarily for the purpose of completing a particular mission; these units were combat units such as tank battalions, tank destroyer battalions and cavalry reconnaissance squadrons.
In modern times, most military forces have standardized their divisional structures. This does not mean that divisions are equal in size or structure from country to country, but divisions have, in most cases, come to be units of 10,000 to 20,000 troops with enough organic support to be capable of independent operations; the direct organization of the division consists of one to four brigades or battle groups of its primary combat arm, along with a brigade or regiment of combat support and a number of direct-reporting battalions for necessary specialized support tasks, such as intelligence, logistics and combat engineers. Most militaries standardize ideal organization strength for each type of division, encapsulated in a Table of Organization and Equipment which specifies exact assignments of units and equipment for a division; the modern division became the primary identifiable combat unit in many militaries during the second half of the 20th century, supplanting the brigade.
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.
Marshal of the Soviet Union
Marshal of the Soviet Union was the highest military rank of the Soviet Union. The rank of Marshal of the Soviet Union was created in 1935 and abolished in 1991, forty-one people held this rank; the equivalent naval rank was until 1955 Admiral of the fleet and from 1955 Admiral of the fleet of the Soviet Union. Both ranks were comparable to NATO rank codes OF-10, to the five-star rank in anglophone armed forces. While the supreme rank of Generalissimus of the Soviet Union, which would have been senior to Marshal of the Soviet Union, was proposed for Joseph Stalin after the Second World War, it was never approved; the military rank of Marshal of the Soviet Union was established by a decree of the Soviet Cabinet, the Council of People's Commissars, on 22 September 1935. On 20 November, the rank was conferred on five people: People's Commissar of Defence and veteran Bolshevik Kliment Voroshilov, Chief of the General Staff of the Red Army Alexander Ilyich Yegorov, three senior commanders, Vasily Blyukher, Semyon Budyonny, Mikhail Tukhachevsky.
Of these, Blyukher and Yegorov were executed during Stalin's Great Purge of 1937–38. On 7 May 1940, three new Marshals were appointed: the new People's Commissar of Defence, Semyon Timoshenko, Boris Shaposhnikov, Grigory Kulik. During World War II, Kulik was demoted for incompetence, the rank of Marshal of the Soviet Union was given to a number of military commanders who earned it on merit; these included Ivan Konev and Konstantin Rokossovsky to name a few. In 1943, Stalin himself was made a Marshal of the Soviet Union, in 1945, he was joined by his intelligence and police chief Lavrenti Beria; these non-military Marshals were joined in 1947 by politician Nikolai Bulganin. Two Marshals were executed in postwar purges: Kulik in 1950 and Beria in 1953, following Stalin's death. Thereafter the rank was awarded only to professional soldiers, with the exception of Leonid Brezhnev, who made himself a Marshal in 1976, Ustinov, prominent in the arms industry and was appointed Defence Minister in July 1976.
The last Marshal of the Soviet Union was Dmitry Yazov, appointed in 1990, imprisoned after the failed coup against Mikhail Gorbachev in 1991. Marshal Sergei Akhromeev committed suicide in 1991 during the fall of the Soviet Union; the Marshals fell into three generational groups. Those who had gained their reputations during the Russian Civil War; these included both those who were purged in 1937–38, those who held high commands in the early years of World War II. All of the latter except Shaposhnikov and Timoshenko proved out-of-step with modern warfare and were removed from commanding positions; those who made their reputations in World War II and assumed high commands in the latter part of the war. These included Zhukov, Konev, Malinovsky and Govorov; those who assumed high command in the Cold War era. All of these were officers in World War II, but their higher commands were held in the Warsaw Pact or as Soviet Defence Ministers; these included Grechko, Kulikov, Ogarkov and Yazov. All Marshals in the third category had been officers in World War II, except Brezhnev, a commissar and Ustinov, People's Commissar for Armaments.
Yazov, 20 when the war ended, had been a platoon commander. The rank was abolished with the dissolution of the Soviet Union in December 1991, it was succeeded in the new Russia by the rank of Marshal of the Russian Federation, held by only one person, Marshal Igor Sergeyev, Russian Defence Minister from 1997 to 2001. Note: All Marshals of the Soviet Union, with the exception of Non-Military Marshals, had at least started their military careers in the Army; the Service Arms listed are the services they served in during their respective tenures as Marshals of the Soviet Union. Generalissimus of the Soviet Union Admiral of the fleet of the Soviet Union Marshal of the Russian Federation History of Russian military ranks Military ranks of the Soviet Union Marshal of the branch Chief marshal of the branch Field Marshal of Imperial Russia Ranks and insignia of the Red Army and Navy 1935–1940, 1940–1943 Ranks and rank insignia of the Soviet Armed Forces 1943–1955, 1955–1991 Biographies of all the Marshals of the USSR