Captain at sea

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Not to be confused with Sea captain.
Naval officer ranks
Flag officers:

Admiral of the fleetFleet admiralGrand admiral
AdmiralGeneral admiral
Vice admiralSquadron vice-admiralLieutenant admiral
Rear admiralCounter admiralDivisional admiral
CommodoreFlotilla admiral

Senior officers:

CaptainCapt at seaCapt of sea and warShip-of-the-line Capt
CommanderFrigate captain
Lieutenant commanderCorvette captain

Junior officers:

Captain lieutenantLieutenantShip-of-the-line lieutenant
Frigate lieutenantLieutenant (junior grade)Sub-lieutenant
Corvette lieutenantEnsign

Captain at sea ( Kapitein-ter-zee) is a naval rank corresponding to command of a ship-of-the-line or capital ship.

The equivalent in other navies is ship-of-the-line captain or the naval rank of captain in the Commonwealth of Nations and USA.


Naval Ensign of Germany.svg

Kapitän zur See is a German Navy line officer rank OF-5 equivalent to Oberst (en: Colonel) in German Army and German Air Force.


In the Royal Netherlands Navy the rank of kapitein-ter-zee is the third grade of superior officer, equivalent to colonel in the land-forces. His insignia is made up of four bands and he commands a capital ship or a shore establishment (until recently, a kapitein-ter-zee commanded the Onderzeedienst and Mijnendienst, the Netherlands Navy's submarine and mine-laying training establishments). Smaller vessels such as destroyers and frigates are commanded by a kapitein-luitenant ter zee.

Until recently flagships of the Netherlands Navy (such as Tromp-class frigates) were also commanded by a kapitein-ter-zee. Currently De Zeven Provinciën-class frigates are commanded by a kapitein-luitenant-ter-zee.

See also[edit]

  • Flag of Belgium.svg - Kapitein-ter-zee/ Capitaine de vaisseau
  • Flag of Canada.svg - Ship-of-the-line captain/ Capitaine de vaisseau
  • Flag of Croatia.svg - kapetan bojnog broda
  • Flag of France.svg - Capitaine de vaisseau
  • Flag of Italy.svg - capitano di vascello
  • Flag of the Netherlands.svg - Kapitein ter zee
  • Flag of Portugal.svg - Capitão de Mar e Guerra
  • Flag of Spain.svg - Capitán de Navío