Bombardier is a military rank that has existed since the 16th century in artillery regiments of various armies, such as in the British Army and the Royal Prussian Army. It is today equivalent to the rank of corporal in other branches; the rank of lance-bombardier is the artillery counterpart of lance-corporal. Bombardier and lance-bombardier are used by the British Army in the Royal Artillery and Royal Horse Artillery; the same applies to the Royal Australian Artillery, the Royal New Zealand Artillery, the South African Army Artillery and the Armed Forces of Malta. The Royal Canadian Artillery uses the ranks of master bombardier and bombardier, corresponding to master corporal and corporal; the Royal Artillery had corporals, but not lance-corporals. Unlike a lance-corporal, a bombardier held full non-commissioned rank and not an acting appointment; the rank was equivalent to second corporal in the Royal Engineers and Army Ordnance Corps. In 1920 corporals were abolished in the Royal Artillery; the rank of lance bombardier originated as acting bombardier, an appointment similar to lance-corporal and was indicated by a single chevron.
The appointment was renamed lance-bombardier in February 1918 and became a full rank, as did lance-corporal, in 1961. British Army Other Ranks rank insignia Comparative military ranks Canadian Forces ranks and insignia Texts on Wikisource: "Bombardier". New International Encyclopedia. 1905. "Bombardier". Encyclopædia Britannica. 1911
Air commodore is a one-star rank and the most junior general rank of the air-officer which originated in and continues to be used by the Royal Air Force. The rank is used by the air forces of many countries which have historical British influence such as Zimbabwe, it is sometimes used as the English translation of an equivalent rank in countries which have a non-English air force-specific rank structure; the name of the rank is always the full phrase and is never shortened to Commodore, a rank in various naval forces. Air commodore is a one-star rank and the most junior air officer rank, being senior to group captain and subordinate to air vice-marshal, it has a NATO ranking code of OF-6 and is equivalent to a commodore in the Royal Navy or a brigadier in the British Army or the Royal Marines. Unlike these two ranks, however, it has always been a substantive rank. Additionally, air commodores have always been considered to be air officers whilst Royal Navy commodores have not since the Napoleonic Wars been classified as officers of flag rank, British Army brigadiers have not been considered to be general officers since 1922 when they ceased to be titled as brigadier-generals.
In other NATO forces, such as the United States Armed Forces and the Canadian Armed Forces, the equivalent one-star rank is brigadier general. The equivalent rank in the Women's Auxiliary Air Force, Women's Royal Air Force and Princess Mary's Royal Air Force Nursing Service was "air commandant". In the present-day RAF, air commodores hold senior appointments within groups, acting directly in support of the air officer commanding. However, during the inter-war period, in the case of the contemporary No. 83 Expeditionary Air Group, the air officer commanding held or holds air commodore rank. In the Air Training Corps, an appointed air commodore holds ultimate authority over the cadet organisation as the Commandant Air Cadets. On 1 April 1918, the newly created RAF adopted its officer rank titles from the British Army, with officers at what is now air commodore holding the rank of brigadier-general. In response to the proposal that the RAF should use its own rank titles, it was suggested that the RAF might use the Royal Navy's officer ranks, with the word "air" inserted before the naval rank title.
Although the Admiralty objected to this simple modification of their rank titles, it was agreed that the RAF might base many of its officer rank titles on Navy officer ranks with differing pre-modifying terms. It was suggested that air-officer ranks could be based on the term "ardian", derived from a combination of the Gaelic words for "chief" and "bird", with the term "fourth ardian" or "flight ardian" being used for the equivalent to brigadier-general and commodore. However, the rank title based on the Navy rank was preferred and air commodore was adopted on 1 August 1919; the rank insignia is a light-blue band on a broad black band worn on both the lower sleeves of the tunic or on the shoulders of the flying suit or the casual uniform. On the mess uniform, air commodores wear a broad gold ring on both lower sleeves; the command flag of an air commodore has one narrow red band running through the centre and is rectangular with a cut-away section giving it two tails. It is the only RAF command flag of this shape and it is similar in shape to that of a Royal Navy commodore's broad pennant.
The vehicle star plate for an air commodore depicts a single white star on an air force blue background. RAF air commodores are classed as air officers and as such have two rows of gold oak leaves on the peak of their service dress hats; the reigning monarch may appoint honorary air commodores for RAF flying stations. For example, Prince Charles is RAF Valley's honorary air commodore and Winston Churchill was 615 Squadron's honorary air commodore; as the title suggests, this is an honorary position bestowed by the reigning monarch and it does not grant the recipient command of a unit or formation. It is designed to strengthen the bond between the military unit and the individual and promote the role of the air force amongst the public. Serving officers, such as Prince Harry, may be granted an equivalent appointment to the honorary rank. In such cases the individual is made an honorary air commandant and they retain their regular rank. Larger air force organisations or formations may be honoured by having an air commodore-in-chief appointed in their name.
These appointments are rare and to date. Air commodore-in-chief is not a rank and such an appointment does not convey the rank of air commodore upon the recipient; the rank of air commodore is used in a number of the air forces in the Commonwealth, including the Bangladesh Air Force, Ghana Air Force, Indian Air Force, Pakistan Air Force, Royal Australian Air Force, Royal New Zealand Air Force and Sri Lanka Air Force. The Royal Canadian Air Force used the rank until the unification of the Canadian Forces in 1968, when army-type rank titles were adopted. An air commodore became a brigadier-general. In official French Canadian usage, the rank title was commodore de l'air; the position of honorary air commodore still exists in the Royal Canadian Air Cadets. Air Commodore, a calque or near-literal translation is a rank in the Egyptian Air Force, Royal Air Force of Oman, the Royal Thai Air Force and the Air Force of Zimbabwe. In the Indonesian Air Force the rank of Komodor Udara, a calque of "air commodore" was used until 1973
A petty officer is a non-commissioned officer in many navies and is given the NATO rank denotion OR-5. In many nations, they are equal to a corporal or sergeant in comparison to other military branches, they may be superior to a seaman the lowest ranks in a navy, subordinate to a more senior non-commissioned officer, such as a chief petty officer. The modern petty officer dates back to the Age of Sail. Petty officers rank between most enlisted sailors; these were men with some claim to officer rank, sufficient to distinguish them from ordinary ratings, without raising them so high as the sea officers. Several were warrant officers, in the literal sense of being appointed by warrant, like the warrant sea officers, their superiors, they were among the specialists of the ship's company; the Oxford English Dictionary suggests that the title derives from the Anglo-Norman and Middle French "petit", meaning "of small size, little". Two of the petty officer's rates and master's mate, were a superior petty officer with a more general authority, but they remained no more than ratings.
However, it was quite possible for a warrant officer, in his role as a superior officer, to be court-martialed for striking a midshipman. This is because both were regarded as future sea officers, with the all-important social distinction of having the right to walk the quarterdeck. Midshipmen wore distinctive uniforms, master's mates dressed respectably, both behaved like officers; the master's mate rating evolved into the rank of sub-lieutenant, midshipman evolved into naval cadet. There are two petty officer ranks in the Royal Canadian Navy. Petty officer, 2nd class is equivalent to a sergeant and petty officer, 1st class is equivalent to a warrant officer. Petty officers are addressed as "Petty Officer Bloggins" or "PO Bloggins", thereafter as "PO"; the "1st class" and "2nd class" designations are only used when such a distinction needs to be made, such as on a promotion parade or to distinguish two petty officers with similar names but different ranks. The NATO rank denotion for "petty officer, 2nd class" is OR-6.
The NATO rank denotion for "petty officer, 1st class" is OR-7. A petty officer is a non-commissioned officer in the Indian Navy, equivalent to the NATO rank enlisted grade of OR-5, they are equal in rank to a sub inspector of police in the Indian Police Services, or sergeant in the Indian Army and Indian Air Force. A petty officer is superior in rank to a leading rate and subordinate to a chief petty officer, as is the case in the majority of Commonwealth navies. A petty officer has the ability to work as a leader, capable of taking charge of a group of personnel, taking roles in the training and recruitment of new members of the Indian Navy. In the Royal Navy, the rate of petty officer comes above that of leading rating and below that of chief petty officer, it is the equivalent of sergeant in British Army and Royal Air Force. Petty officer is the lowest of the senior rating grades. Petty officers, like all senior rates, wear "aft" rig; the title of petty officer in the United States Navy and United States Coast Guard has three separate "classes" and three senior grades.
Petty officer, first class is equivalent in paygrade to staff sergeant in the United States Army and Marine Corps, technical sergeant in the United States Air Force. Petty officer, second class is equivalent in paygrade to sergeant in the United States Army and Marine Corps, staff sergeant in the United States Air Force. Petty officer, third class is equivalent in paygrade to corporal in the United States Army, corporal in the United States Marine Corps, senior airman in the United States Air Force. Enlisted rank has two components: rating. Both components are reflected in the title. A sailor in the rate of petty officer first class with a rating of yeoman, would be a Yeoman 1st Class. In the Navy, it is acceptable to refer to Petty Officer as such, while in the Coast Guard, rating is always used. In some countries the same term is used as for a non-commissioned officer in land forces, e.g. "suboficial" in some Spanish-speaking countries. The Russian equivalent is Glavny Starshina. Boatswain List of United States Navy ratings Royal Navy ratings rank insignia United States Navy enlisted rates
For more information on commandant when used as a position, see Commandant. Commandant is a police rank. In the French, Spanish and Monegasque armed forces it is a rank equivalent to major. In South Africa for most of the second half of the 20th century, commandant was a rank equivalent to lieutenant-colonel. Commandant d'aviation was the Canadian French term for the air force rank of squadron leader; the rank of squadron leader itself had not been held by active duty personnel in the Canadian Forces since 1968 when it was replaced by major. Commandant is a military rank in both Irish Air Corps, it is equivalent to squadron leader. In the Irish Naval Service, the equivalent rank is lieutenant commander. Commandant, is an officer-grade rank of the Military of France the French Army and the French Air Force, equivalent to major; the commandant is styled chef de bataillon in the infantry, chef d'escadrons in the armoured cavalry and chef d'escadron in the artillery and the Gendarmerie. Commandant is the style, but not the rank, of the senior officers of the French Navy.
Prior to the French Revolution, the major was the officer appointed by the King to keep track of the expenditures and readiness of a regiment. He could be either a commoner or a nobleman. A major was graded as a commissar, not an officer; the officer at commandant rank level was the chef de chef d'escadron. Major is now, the most senior warrant officer rank, above adjudant-chef. In the Spanish Army and Spanish Air Force, the rank of comandante is senior to a captain and junior to a lieutenant colonel, making it equivalent to the rank of major or squadron leader in English-speaking countries. Comandante is a military officer rank used in some Latin American countries; the Chilean Air Force uses the rank of comandante de escuadrilla as a rank equivalent to the British rank of squadron leader. The Peruvian Air Force uses the rank of comandante as an equivalent to lieutenant-colonel or wing commander. Comandante can be translated into English either as "commandant" or as "commander"; the rank may be found in numerous paramilitary organizations, such as the Sandinistas.
In South Africa, from 1950 to 1994 commandant was the official designation of the rank of lieutenant-colonel in the South African Army, South African Air Force, South African Medical Service. Prior to this in 19th and early 20th centuries it was the title of the commanding officer of a commando unit. From 1950 to 1957, the rank insignia for a commandant was a crown over a five-pointed star. In 1957 the crown was replaced by a pentagonal castle device based on the floor plan of the Castle of Good Hope in Cape Town, South Africa's oldest military building. In 1994, the rank of commandant / kommandant reverted to lieutenant colonel. From 1968 to 1970, a related rank, chief commandant, existed in the Commando Forces; this rank of chief commandant existed purely in the army and slotted in between commandant and colonel. The rank was only used by officers commanding commando groups. In the United Kingdom the term commandant refers to an appointment, not a rank. However, between 1922 and 1928 the rank of brigadier-general was replaced by colonel-commandant.
This was not well received, was replaced by brigadier. Senior commandant and chief commandant were Auxiliary Territorial Service ranks equivalent to major and lieutenant-colonel used between 1939 and May 1941, when they were replaced by senior and chief commander; the Commanding Officers of individual battalions of the Brigade of Gurkhas was designated a Commandant, rather than a commanding officer. These ranks were used in the Women's Auxiliary Air Force until December 1939, when they were replaced by squadron officer and wing officer respectively; the rank was used for senior commanders of the Ulster Special Constabulary. Captain-Commandant, in the Belgian Army, the highest rank of subaltern officer, ranking above captain and below major
A General Officer is an officer of high rank in the army, in some nations' air forces or marines. The term "general" is used in two ways: as the generic title for all grades of general officer and as a specific rank, it originates in the 16th century, as a shortening of captain general, which rank was taken from Middle French capitaine général. The adjective general had been affixed to officer designations since the late medieval period to indicate relative superiority or an extended jurisdiction. Today, the title of "General" is known in some countries as a four-star rank; however different countries use other insignia for senior ranks. It has a NATO code of OF-9 and is the highest rank in use in a number of armies, air forces and marine organizations; the various grades of general officer are at the top of the military rank structure. Lower-ranking officers in land-centric military forces are known as field officers or field-grade officers, below them are company-grade officers. There are two common systems of general ranks used worldwide.
In addition, there is a third system, the Arab system of ranks, used throughout the Middle East and North Africa but is not used elsewhere in the world. Variations of one form, the old European system, were once used throughout Europe, it is used in the United Kingdom, from which it spread to the Commonwealth and the United States of America. The general officer ranks are named by prefixing "general", as an adjective, with field officer ranks, although in some countries the highest general officers are titled field marshal, marshal, or captain general; the other is derived from the French Revolution, where generals' ranks are named according to the unit they command. The system used either a colonel general rank; the rank of field marshal was used by some countries as the highest rank, while in other countries it was used as a divisional or brigade rank. Many countries used two brigade command ranks, why some countries now use two stars as their brigade general insignia. Mexico and Argentina still use two brigade command ranks.
In some nations, the equivalent to brigadier general is brigadier, not always considered by these armies to be a general officer rank, although it is always treated as equivalent to the rank of brigadier general for comparative purposes. As a lieutenant outranks a sergeant major; the serjeant major was the commander of the infantry, junior only to the captain general and lieutenant general. The distinction of serjeant major general only applied after serjeant majors were introduced as a rank of field officer. Serjeant was dropped from both rank titles, creating the modern rank titles. Serjeant major as a senior rank of non-commissioned officer was a creation; the armies of Arab countries use traditional Arabic titles. These were formalized in their current system to replace the Turkish system, in use in the Arab world and the Turco-Egyptian ranks in Egypt. Other nomenclatures for general officers include the titles and ranks: Adjutant general Commandant-general Inspector general General-in-chief General of the Army General of the Air Force General of the Armies of the United States, a title created for General John J. Pershing, subsequently granted posthumously to George Washington Generaladmiral Air general and aviation general Wing general and group general General-potpukovnik Director general Director general of national defence Controller general Prefect general Master-General of the Ordnance – senior British military position.
Police Director General. Commissioner Admiral In addition to militarily educated generals, there are generals in medicine and engineering; the rank of the most senior chaplain, is usually considered to be a general officer rank. In the old European system, a general, without prefix or suffix, is the most senior type of general, above lieutenant general and directly below field marshal as a four-star rank, it is the most senior peacetime rank, with more senior ranks being used only in wartime or as honorary titles. In some armies, the rank of captain general, general of the army, army general or colonel general occupied or occupies this position. Depending on circumstances and the army in question, these ranks may be considered to be equivalent to a "full" general or to a field marshal; the rank of general came about as a "captain-general", the captain of an army in general (i.e. th
Seaman is a military rank used in many navies around the world. It is considered a junior enlisted rank and, depending on the navy, it may be a single rank on its own or a name shared by several similarly-junior ranks. In the Commonwealth, it is the lowest rank in the navy, while in the United States, it refers to the three lowest ranks of the U. S. Navy and U. S. Coast Guard; the equivalent of the seaman is the matelot in French-speaking countries, Matrose in German-speaking countries. The Royal Australian Navy features one Seaman rank. There are 4 grades of seaman/matelot in the Royal Canadian Navy: The rank of master seaman is unique because it was created only for the Canadian Navy, it does not follow the British tradition of other Canadian ranks. It corresponds to the rank of master corporal/caporal-chef. Matelot 2e classe, or apprentice seaman, matelot breveté are designations of the French Navy. Matelots are colloquially known as "mousses". Madrus is the lowest rank in the Estonian Navy, it is equivalent to OR-1 in NATO The German rank of "seaman" is the lowest enlisted rank of the German Navy.
It is equivalent to OR1 in NATO and is a grade A3 in the pay rules of the Federal Ministry of Defence. There is one grade of seaman in the Hellenic Navy. In the Indonesian Navy this rank is referred to as "kelasi". There are three levels of this rank in the Indonesian Navy which are: "seaman recruit", "seaman apprentice", "seaman", the rating system thus mirrors the one used in the US Navy; the Italian rank of "seaman" is the lowest enlisted rank of the Italian Navy equivalent in NATO to OR1. See Military ranks and insignia of the Japan Self-Defense Forces Much Russian military vocabulary was imported, along with military advisers, from Germany in the 16th and 17th centuries; the Russian word for "seaman" or "sailor" was borrowed from the German "matrose". In Imperial Russia the most junior naval rank was "seaman 2nd class"; the 1917 Revolution led to the term "Red Fleet man" until 1943, when the Soviet Navy reintroduced the term "seaman", along with badges of rank. The Russian federation inherited the term in 1991, as did several other former Soviet republics, including Ukraine and Belarus, with Bulgaria using the same word and the same Cyrillic orthography.
Estonia and Latvia use related loanwords. In the Royal Navy the rate is split into two divisions: AB1 and AB2; the AB2 rating is used for those. The rate of ordinary seaman has been discontinued. Seaman is the third enlisted rank from the bottom in the U. S. Navy and U. S. Coast Guard, ranking above seaman apprentice and below petty officer third class; this naval rank was called "seaman first class". The rank is used in United States Naval Sea Cadet Corps, a naval-themed uniformed youth program under the sponsorship of the Navy League of the United States; the actual title for an E-3 in the U. S. Navy varies based on the subset of the Navy or Coast Guard known as a group rate, to which the member will be assigned; the color of their group rate mark depends on that subset of the Navy or Coast Guard in which they are serving and which technical rating they will pursue. Those in the general deck, technical and administrative groups are called "seamen" and they represent the largest group of Navy and Coast Guard personnel in pay grades E-3 and below.
They wear white stripes on their blue uniforms, navy blue stripes on their white uniforms. Those in the medical group are now called "hospitalmen." In October 2005, the USN dental technician rating was merged into the hospital corpsman rating, eliminating the "dentalman" title for E-3 and below. Those who once held the rank of "dentalman" have become "hospitalmen", they wear white stripes on their blue uniforms, navy blue stripes on their white uniforms. After the completion of their "A" school, they wear a caduceus of the same color as the stripes on their uniforms. On their combat uniforms, a hospitalman wears their caduceus on the tab of their left collar tab; this rating was called pharmacist's mate and HMs are colloquially referred to as "corpsman" in the naval service. Hospitalmen exist only in the U. S. Navy. S. Coast Guard is the health services technician, sourced from seamen in that service's administrative and scientific group; those in the shipboard engineering and hull group, comprising conventional and nuclear powerplants and propulsion, as well as the hull maintenance area, are called "firemen."
They wear red stripes on both their USN and USCG blue uniforms and, in the case of the Navy, white uniforms. Those in the aviation group of the Navy and Coast Guard are called "airmen", they wear green stripes on blue uniforms and white uniforms. Enlisted personnel in the construction group, which populates the U. S. Navy's civil engineering construction battalions, are called "constructionmen" and they wear light blue stripes on both their blue and white uniforms. Constructionmen are unique to the U. S. Navy. S. Coast Guard equivalent. No such stripes for E-1, E-2 or E-3 are authorized to be worn on working uniforms, e.g. navy work uniform, USCG operational dress uniform, utility wear, flight suits and clinic garb, diving suits, etc. However, sailors with the pay grade of E-2 o
Wing commander (rank)
Wing commander is a senior commissioned rank in the British Royal Air Force and air forces of many countries which have historical British influence, including many Commonwealth countries but not including Canada and South Africa. It is sometimes used as the English translation of an equivalent rank in countries which have a non-English air force-specific rank structure, it ranks above squadron leader and below group captain. It has a NATO ranking code of OF-4, is equivalent to commander in the Royal Navy and to lieutenant colonel in the British Army, the Royal Marines, the US Army, Air Force, Marine Corps; the equivalent rank in the Women's Auxiliary Air Force, Women's Royal Air Force, Princess Mary's Royal Air Force Nursing Service was wing officer. The equivalent rank in the Royal Observer Corps was observer commander which had a similar rank insignia. With the Naval Wing of the Royal Flying Corps adopting the name of Royal Naval Air Service 1 July 1914, the Naval Air Service adopted appointments in addition to the naval ranks.
Pilots wore insignia according to the appointment not their rank. One of the appointments was wing commander holding the rank of commander. On 1 April 1918, the newly created British Royal Air Force did not adopt a new rank structure with personnel continuing their prior services' rank and uniform. There were some changes in ranks but it was inconstant. In 1920, RAF began using the rank of wing commander. In the early years of the RAF, a wing commander commanded a flying wing a group of three or four aircraft squadrons. In current usage a wing commander is more to command a wing, an administrative sub-division of an RAF station. A flying squadron is commanded by a wing commander but is commanded by a squadron leader for small units. In the Air Training Corps, a wing commander is the officer commanding of a wing; the rank insignia is based on the three gold bands of commanders in the Royal Navy and consists of three narrow light blue bands over wider black bands. This is worn on both the lower sleeves of the tunic or on the shoulder of the flying suit or the casual uniform.
The command pennant is two triangular command pennants used in the RAF. Two thin red lines differentiate this one from the other. During 1941-45 RAF Fighter Command's wing leaders were allowed to use their own initials as aircraft identification letters on their personal aircraft, e.g. Wing Commander Roland Beamont's personal Hawker Tempest, JN751, was coded "R-B", Wing Commander John Robert Baldwin's personal Hawker Typhoon was coded "J-B"; the rank of wing commander is used in a number of the air forces in the Commonwealth, including the Bangladesh Air Force, Ghana Air Force, Nigerian Air Force, Indian Air Force, Pakistan Air Force, Royal Australian Air Force, Royal New Zealand Air Force, the Sri Lankan Air Force. It is used in the Egyptian Air Force, Hellenic Air Force, Royal Air Force of Oman and the Royal Thai Air Force; the Royal Malaysian Air Force used the rank until it was retitled as that of lieutenant colonel in 1973, with the same rank insignia. The Royal Canadian Air Force used the rank until the unification of the Canadian Forces in 1968, when army-type rank titles were adopted.
A Canadian wing commander became a lieutenant colonel. In official French Canadian usage, a wing commander's rank title was lieutenant-colonel d'aviation; the rank of wing commander continues to be used as a cadet rank at the Royal Military College of Canada. In the 1990s, the Canadian Forces Air Command altered the structure of those bases under its control, redesignating them as wings; the commander of such an establishment was re-designated as the "wing commander". Like the United States Air Force usage, the term "wing commander" is an appointment, not a rank. A wing commander holds the rank of colonel. In the United States Air Force wing commander is a duty title, not a rank; the equivalent USAF rank is lieutenant colonel who has command of a squadron. Because USAF wings are larger formations than RAF wings, the commander of a wing must hold at least the rank of colonel, is a colonel or a brigadier general; the one exception to this is the commander of the 59th Medical Wing, customarily a major general.
The Civil Air Patrol, the volunteer auxiliary of the USAF, follows the USAF rank structure. The CAP divides the nation into 52 wings; each wing is headed by a CAP colonel. Douglas Bader, Second World War fighter pilot and double amputee, was the first commander to lead formations of three or more squadrons during the Battle of Britain. Roland Beamont, Second World War fighter pilot and post-war test pilot. Abdel Latif Boghdadi, pilot in the Egyptian Air Force turned politician Pierre Clostermann, Second World War fighter pilot and author of The Big Show. Linda Corbould, first woman to command a RAAF flying squadron Roald Dahl, Second World War fighter pilot, famous novelist, his record of five aerial victories has been confirmed by post-war research and cross-referenced in Axis records. Brendan "Paddy" Finucane, top ranking RAF World War II ace with 32 kills. A native of Rathmines, Ireland, he is the youngest wing commander in the histor