Captain (armed forces)

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
  (Redirected from Captain (Land))
Jump to: navigation, search
This article is about the army and air force rank. For the naval rank, see Captain (naval).
Navies Armies Air forces
Officers
Admiral of
the fleet
Marshal or
Field marshal
Marshal of
the air force
Admiral General Air chief marshal
Vice admiral Lieutenant general Air marshal
Rear admiral Major general Air vice-marshal
Commodore Brigadier Air commodore
Captain Colonel Group captain
Commander Lieutenant colonel Wing commander
Lieutenant
commander
Major or
Commandant
Squadron leader
Lieutenant Captain Flight lieutenant
Sub-lieutenant Lieutenant Flying officer
Ensign Second
lieutenant
Pilot officer
Midshipman Officer cadet Officer cadet
Seamen, soldiers and airmen
Warrant officer Sergeant major
Warrant officer
Warrant officer
Petty officer Sergeant Sergeant
Leading seaman Corporal Corporal
Seaman Private Aircraftman

The army rank of captain (from the French capitaine) is a commissioned officer rank historically corresponding to command of a company of soldiers. The rank is also used by some air forces and marine forces. Today a captain is typically either the commander or second-in-command of a company or artillery battery (or United States Army cavalry troop or Commonwealth squadron). In the Chinese People's Liberation Army, a captain may also command a company, or be the second-in-command of a battalion.

In NATO countries the rank of captain is described by the code OF-2 and is one rank above an OF-1 (lieutenant or first lieutenant) and one below an OF-3 (major or commandant). The rank of captain is generally considered to be the highest rank a soldier can achieve while remaining in the field.

In some militaries such as United States Army and Air Force and the British Army, captain is the entry-level rank for officer candidates possessing a professional degree, namely medical professionals (doctors, nurses, pharmacists, dentists) and lawyers.

The rank of captain should not be confused with the naval rank of captain or with the British-influenced air force rank of group captain, both of which are equivalent to the army rank of colonel.

History[edit]

Prior to the professionalization of the armed services of European nations subsequent to the French Revolution, a captain was a nobleman who purchased the right to head a company from the previous holder of that right. He would in turn receive money from another nobleman to serve as his lieutenant. The funding to provide for the troops came from the monarch or his government; the captain had to be responsible for it. If he was not, or was otherwise court-martialed, he would be dismissed ("cashiered"), and the monarch would receive money from another nobleman to command the company. Otherwise, the only pension for the captain was selling the right to another nobleman when he was ready to retire.

Air forces[edit]

In most countries the air force is the junior service and so air force ranks have been adopted or modified from one of the other services. Many, such as the United States Air Force, use a rank structure and insignia similar to those of the army.

However, the United Kingdom's Royal Air Force, many other Commonwealth air forces and a few non-Commonwealth air forces[1] use an air force-specific rank structure in which flight lieutenant is OF-2. A group captain is OF-5 and was derived from the naval rank of captain.

In the unified system of the Canadian Forces the air force rank titles are identical to that of the army as are army and air rank insignia with both wearing two gold stripes on the sleeve or epaulette. While the rank is equivalent to a naval lieutenant, naval lieutenant rank insignia is embellished with the executive curl. The modern equivalent of the British group captain bears the rank and insignia of colonel, i.e. four gold stripes on sleeve or epaulette (same as a naval captain).

Equivalent Captain ranks[edit]

Rank name Country name
Akhmad Mongolia
Capitaine Belgium (Fr.)
Capitaine France
Capitano Italy
Capitán Spain
Capitão Brasil
Capitão Portugal
Căpitan Romania
Hauptmann Austria
Hauptmann Germany
Hauptmann Switzerland
Hauptsturmführer Nazi SS
Jeg-tooran (جګتورن) Afghanistan
Kamagat Philippines
Kapetan (Капетан) Serbia
Kapitan Poland
Kapitan Azerbaijan
Kapitan (Капитан) Bulgaria
Kapitan (Капитан) Russia
Kapitan (Капітан) Ukraine
Kapitein Netherlands
Kapitein Belgium (NL.)
Kapitonas Lithuania
Kapitán Czech Rep.
Kapitán Slovakia
Kaptajn Denmark
Kaptan (کپتان) Pakistan
Kapteeni Finland
Kaptein Norway
Kapten Indonesia
Kapten Sweden
Lochagos (Λοχαγός) Greece
Phu Kong (ผู้กอง) Thailand
Roi Ek, Roi Ek (ร้อยเอก) Thailand
Satnik Croatia
Seren, Seren (סרן) Israel
Shangwei, Shangwei China – both People's Republic of China (PRC) and Republic of China (ROC) / Taiwan
Százados Hungary
Taewi () South Korea
Taii (), Ichii () Japan
Yüzbaşı Turkey
Đại Úy Vietnam
Капетан (Kapetan) Macedonia

Insignia[edit]

A variety of images illustrative of different forces' insignia for captain (or captain-equivalents) are shown below:

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Non-Commonwealth air forces using an air force-specific rank structure include the Egyptian Air Force, Hellenic Air Force, Royal Air Force of Oman, Royal Thai Air Force and the Air Force of Zimbabwe.
  2. ^ The US Marine Corps insignia for captain is slightly different from the USA / USAF insignia depicted above in that it lacks beveled edges and the cross-bars are further towards the ends. See collar insignia for US Navy lieutenant.