Chorąży

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Great Chorąży of the Polish Crown, 1605

Chorąży or Khorunzhyi (Polish pronunciation: [xɔˈrɔ̃ʐɨ]; means "Standard-bearer"; Russian and Ukrainian: Хорунжий, transliterated: Khorunzhiy) is a military rank in Poland, Ukraine and some neighboring countries. A chorąży was once a knight who bore a standard — the emblem of an armed troop, a province (województwo), a land (ziemia), a duchy, or the kingdom. This function later evolved into a non-hereditary noble title.

From the end of the 14th century in the Kingdom of Poland and the Grand Duchy of Lithuania, and later in the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth, there were four "central" Chorąży positions:

  • Grand Standard-Bearer of the Crown;
  • Grand Standard-Bearer of Lithuania;
  • Court Standard-Bearer of the Crown;
  • Court Standard-Bearer of Lithuania.

At the same time, Chorąży was also an honorary office in a land.

From the 16th century, Chorąży was the title of the military leader of a Cossack community, and later a rank in the Cossack Hosts. The rank, written "хорунжий" (Khorunzhiy) in Russian, was officially recognized in the 1792 Table of Ranks. This Cossack junior officer rank corresponded to the rank of second lieutenant (подпоручик, or podporuchik) of infantry or cornet of cavalry.

In the Republic of Poland in 1919-1922 and from 1963 in the People's Republic of Poland (from 1989, in contemporary Poland), it has been an officer's rank, above sergeant and below second lieutenant. Warrant Officer OR-7, OR-8, OR-9. Between 1944 and 1957, it was the lowest officer's rank.

The situation in Poland[edit]

NATO Code OR-9 OR-8 OR-7
POL Wojska Lądowe.svg
Land Forces
Army-POL-OR-09a.svg Army-POL-OR-09b.svg Army-POL-OR-08.svg Army-POL-OR-07.svg
Polish: Starszy chorąży
sztabowy
Starszy chorąży Chorąży Młodszy chorąży
Abbreviation st. chor. szt. st. chor. chor. mł. chor.
English: Staff-senior-chorąży Senior-chorąży Chorąży Junior-chorąży
NATO Code OR-9 OR-8 OR-7
POL Wojska Lotnicze.svg
Air Forces
Rank insignia of starszy chorąży sztabowy of the Air Force of Poland.svg Rank insignia of starszy chorąży of the Air Force of Poland.svg Rank insignia of chorąży of the Air Force of Poland.svg Rank insignia of młodszy chorąży of the Air Force of Poland.svg
Polish Starszy chorąży
sztabowy
Starszy chorąży Chorąży Młodszy chorąży
Abbreviation st. chor. szt. st. chor. chor. mł. chor.
English: Staff-senior-chorąży Senior-chorąży Chorąży Junior-chorąży
NATO Code OR-9 OR-8
POL Marynarka Wojenna.svg
Navy
POL PMW pagon1 starszy chorąży sztabowy marynarki.svg POL PMW pagon1 starszy chorąży marynarki.svg POL PMW pagon1 chorąży marynarki.svg POL PMW pagon1 młodszy chorąży marynarki.svg
Sleeve POL PMW pagon2 starszy chorąży sztabowy marynarki.svg POL PMW pagon2 starszy chorąży marynarki.svg POL PMW pagon2 chorąży marynarki.svg POL PMW pagon2 młodszy chorąży marynarki.svg
Pl: Starszy chorąży sztabowy
marynarki
Starszy chorąży
marynarki
Chorąży
marynarki
Młodszy chorąży
marynarki
Abbreviation st. chor. szt. mar. st. chor. mar. chor. mar. mł. chor. mar.
Pl: Staff-senior-chorąży
navy
Senior-chorąży
navy
Chorąży
navy
Junior-chorąży
navy

History of the ``Warrant Officers`` Corps

Corps warrant officers is the name of the personal body of soldiers in the Polish Army, which existed between 1963–2004, higher than the NCO corps, and lower than the officer. The body was introduced in 1963, expanded in terms of the hierarchy in 1967 and 1996 and again in July 2004 it was abolished as a separate rank, while the ranks of soldiers wearing standard-bearers included senior NCOs. At the time of the introduction of this corps, professional soldiers who are its members should hold a secondary education matriculation. Virtually warrant were highly skilled technicians.

The decision of the politicians who are motivated in their conduct by a lack of warrant officers in the armies of both NATO and others, the warrant officers corps was liquidated, dropping them to the NCO corps. Result was a marked change in the ratio between officers and NCOs standard-bearers. This decision is criticized, among others for the fact that according to some stakeholders the possibility of multiple standard-bearer was closed and education skills, because that decision is thought to be the officers responsible for planning and decision-making process, and non-commissioned officers for carrying out orders.

See also[edit]