Kapitan (rank)

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This article describes Kapitan as military rank, not to confuse with the title Kapitan. For the equivalent OF-2 rank in Anglophone armed forces see Captain, and in Germany see Hauptmann.
Kapitain mil. engineering Netherlands ca. 1900.

Kapitan (derived from French: capitaine; before Latin: capitaneus – (military)leader, count, or chairman of a parish council; or from Latin: caput – head, main, chief, primary, principal, general, central, leading, etc.) is used manifold as rank, grade, or rank designation in the Army, Air Force or Navy of numerous countries and armed forces. In member countries of NATO-alliance Kapitan is a commissioned officer rank, rated OF-2 in line to the NATO officers rank system. The almost equivalent OF-2 officer, e.g. in the US Army, is the Captain rank.

Sequence of ranks ascending
lower rank:

Lesser Coat of Arms of Russian Empire.svgCoat of arms Kolchak 1919.jpg
(Captain (armed forces))
higher rank:

Historical roots[edit]

Kapitan (appointment, later rank) was used first in the middle age in France in order to designate leaders of the military districts or regions. In the second half of the 16th century it came in use to specify commanding officers of company sized units. In 19th century it became gradually a military rank, and was used in combination with other noun, e.g. Stabs-kapitan (army) Kapitan-leytenant (naval forces). The rank designation Kapitan contains a common syllable and historical roots in a number of European countries at the one hand. Slight national variations of spelling are for the sake of the historical and heraldic tradition, at the other hand.

Variants in different countries[edit]

  • Flag of Azerbaijan.svgAzerbaijani: Kapitein, Kapitan-leytenant
  • Flag of Belgium.svgDutch: Kapitan, Luitenant-ter-zee
  • Flag of Bulgaria.svgBulgarian: Капитан
  • Flag of Belarus.svgBelarusian: Капітан
  • Flag of the Czech Republic.svgCzech: Kapitán
  • Flag of Denmark.svgDanish: Kaptajn, Kaptajnløjtnant
  • Flag of the Netherlands.svgDutch: Kapitein/ ritmeester, Luitenant ter zee der tweede klasse oudste categorie
  • Flag of Lithuania.svgLithuanian: Kapitonas
  • Flag of Macedonia.svgMacedonian: Капeтан
  • Flag of Poland.svgPolish: Kapitan, Kapitan marynarki
  • Flag of Serbia.svgSerbian: Капeтан, Поручник бојног брода
  • Flag of Slovakia.svgSlovak: Kapitan, Poročnik bojne ladje
  • Flag of Sweden.svgSwedish: Kapten, Kaptenlöjtnant
  • Flag of Russia.svgRussian: Капитан, Капитан-лейтенант
  • Flag of Ukraine.svgUkrainian: Капітанб, Капітан-лейтенант
Sequence of ranks ascending
lower rank:
Poruchik / Nadporuchik
higher rank:

See also[edit]