Ship-of-the-line captain

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Naval officer ranks
Flag officers:

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

Ship-of-the-line captain (French: capitaine de vaisseau; German: linienschiffskapitän; Italian: capitano di vascello; Spanish: capitán de navío; Serbo-Croatian: kapetan bojnog broda) is a rank that appears in several navies. The name of the rank derives from the fact the rank corresponded to command of a warship of the largest class, the ship-of-the-Line, as opposed to smaller types (corvettes and frigates). It is normally above the rank of frigate captain.

Ship-of-the-line captain is equivalent to the naval rank of captain in most of the Commonwealth navies and captain in the United States Navy, and to the rank of captain at sea used in Germany and the Netherlands. Ship-of-the-line captain is rank OF-5 in the NATO rank codes, and equates to the land-forces rank of full colonel.

Austro-Hungarian Empire[edit]

Linienschiffskapitän was an officer rank in the Austro-Hungarian Navy, equivalent to oberst in the land forces or kapitän zur see in the Kaiserliche Marine. It is still partly used by the navies of the Empire's successor states, such as Yugoslavia and Croatia.

In order, the other officer ranks below ship-of-the-line captain were

Belgium[edit]

In the Belgian Navy the rank of capitaine de vaisseau or kapitein-ter-zee is the third grade of superior officer, equivalent to colonel in the land forces. Its insignia is made up of four bands. He or she commands a capital ship (cruiser, battleship or aircraft carrier) or a shore establishment. Smaller vessels such as destroyers and frigates are commanded by a kapitein-luitenant.

Canada[edit]

In the Royal Canadian Navy or the navy of Ancien Régime France, the rank of captain (N) (French: Capitaine de vaisseau or capv'') is a naval rank equal to a colonel of the Army or Air Force. Like colonel, captain (N) is the highest rank of senior officer. A captain (N) is senior to a commander or an army or air force lieutenant-colonel, and junior to a commodore or brigadier-general.

Typical appointments for captains (N) include:

The rank insignia for a captain (N) is four ½" stripes, worn on the cuffs of the service dress jacket, and on slip-ons on other uniforms. On the visor of the service cap is one row of gold oak leaves along the edge. Captains wear the officers' pattern branch cap badge.

The "(N)" is a part of the rank descriptor, and is used in official publications and documents to distinguish a captain (N) from a captain in the army or air force. It is also important to distinguish between the rank of captain and the appointment of captain, meaning the commanding officer of a ship, regardless of his or her rank.

A captain (N) is addressed initially as "Captain Bloggins", thereafter by superiors and peers as "Captain" and by subordinates as "Sir" or "Ma'am". The "(N)" is not part of the address.

Note: Before Unification of the Canadian Forces in 1968, rank structure and insignia followed the British pattern.

France[edit]

Capitaine de vaisseau is a rank in the French Navy, corresponding to that of colonel in the French Army. They usually command the navy's most important ships.

He has five stripes and is addressed as "commandant". In naval slang, he is also known as a "cap' de veau".

Italy[edit]

The rank of ship-of-the-line captain (Italian: capitano di vascello, lit. "naval vessel captain") also exists in the Italian Navy. He is addressed as "comandante".

See also[edit]