Talk:Captain (armed forces)

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A land Captain on a naval ship[edit]

I've read in a Heinlin book that when a land Captain boards a naval ship, then the sailors refer to him as Major (a rank higher than Captain), because there can be only one Captain in a ship, and that's the naval Captain.Sandman2007 (talk) 09:28, 31 August 2008 (UTC)

Interesting. Which book? Pdfpdf (talk) 11:57, 31 August 2008 (UTC)
I think it was Space Troopers.
"As a matter of etiquette in the U.S. Navy there is only one captain aboard a vessel. If a Marine Corps captain is at the officer's mess, he or she is given the courtesy title of major to be differentiated from the head of the ship." From: Captain (naval). Sandman2007 (talk) 18:20, 10 December 2008 (UTC)
It was Starship Troopers, yes, and it seems to be fairly close to universal in fiction and science fiction, but I'm playing pluperfect hell trying to source it in real life. --Baylink (talk) 03:24, 28 January 2009 (UTC)
Found two US Navy references that say that captains should be addressed as captains. See references in Captain (naval). Sandman2007 (talk) 15:06, 21 July 2009 (UTC)

UK Centric[edit]

This article may be too specific for what it is and definitely includes too many UK specific details. And do all the commonwealth countries really follow the same ranking structure?-- (talk) 00:55, 26 September 2008 (UTC)

I concur. As a minimum, I think that the "common military ranks" info boxes ought to be removed. I haven't yet done that, per the "be bold" maxim in WP, just because of time. User:Pdfpdf removed the UK and US rank lists for much the same reason.
Don'tKnowItAtAll (talk) 12:50, 4 December 2008 (UTC)
Hmmm. I'm afraid I have different opinions.
  • I don't see any more UK specific details than U.S. specific: UK 4, US 4, France 1, Canada 1, Commonwealth 3
  • And do all the commonwealth countries really follow the same ranking structure? - No. And the article doesn't say they do. It says: "the air forces of many Commonwealth countries". And in the next sentence: "In the unified system of the Canadian Forces, however, the air force rank titles are identical to that of the Army".
  • "User:Pdfpdf removed the UK and US rank lists for much the same reason." - Not really; I removed the templates because they are about UK ranks and US ranks, whereas this article is about the one rank of Captain, not about ranks in general, nor specifically about UK or US.
  • Regarding "I think that the "common military ranks" info boxes ought to be removed." - I'm not convinced one way or the other. I think it's appropriate to start a discussion, and will do so.
Cheers, Pdfpdf (talk) 14:14, 4 December 2008 (UTC)

Removal of "Common military ranks" box[edit]

User:Don'tKnowItAtAll has canvased the idea of the removal of this box
The following is derived from User talk:Pdfpdf#Captain (land and air):

  • Remove - I think that the "Common military ranks" info boxes ought to be deleted because they are not necessarily common to all nations, they have a footnote about the UK, etc. Therefore, I think that the info box ought to be deleted. This was also a concern of an anonymous user back in Sept see Talk:Captain (land and air)#UK Centric above. Thoughts? Don'tKnowItAtAll (talk) 12:51, 4 December 2008 (UTC)
  • Retain until we can find a better way to provide the functionality. - Although I don't particularly like that box, it's a reasonably concise summary of the ranks, and shows where a rank fits into "the grand scheme", so it does serve a useful purpose. That raises some questions: 1) How well does it serve that purpose? 2) If you removed it, would you be able to replace it with something that better serves that purpose? Although I can't find anything to disagree with in what you say, it would seem that I think the box serves a useful purpose, and I can't think of a better way to serve that purpose. Therefore, I don't think removing the box is the best way forward, unless we can find something better to replace it with. Pdfpdf (talk) 14:33, 4 December 2008 (UTC)
  • Retain. If there is a problem with the Common military ranks then it should be improved. Personally, I think the box is pretty good as it is, although as with most things it might stand some improvement. While it does not include every single rank in every single language (that would be a vast amount of information), it does include the generic name of almost all ranks in all English-speaking countries. Greenshed (talk) 19:17, 22 August 2009 (UTC)

Name change[edit]

Captain (land) doesn't make a lot of sense to me: most sports team captains, tower captains, &c, operate on land. To distinguish OR-2 army captains from their OR-5 naval namesakes I believe Captain (military) would make more sense: this would apply to army and marine captains, captains in paramilitary forces and certain police forces, without implying football captains, Salvation Army captains, &c. (talk) 20:19, 16 September 2009 (UTC)

I agree. At the moment, Captain (military) redirects to this article, and Captain (military rank) redirects to Captain. Seems like there's some reorganizing to do. Eric talk 17:31, 6 October 2009 (UTC)
Not being funny, but wouldn't this article be better titled "Captain (Army)"? The disambiguation "land" seems odd and implies "terrain". Captain (military) is still too wide as it would imply air force captains and naval captains as well. Naval captains are are equivalent to colonels, so that would be wildly wrong! --Bermicourt (talk) 18:25, 9 April 2011 (UTC)
a) There are OF-2 Captains that aren't "army" (or "land").
b) I'm not sure what "Captain (military)" means. Nor am I sure what it "should" mean.
c) I would have thought that all of Army, Navy, Air Force and Marine Captains were both "Captain (military)" and "Captain (military rank)".
d) I'm not sure what "Captain (rank)" means, or "should" mean. The current situation of it redirecting to a dab page (Captain) seems sensible.
e) Similarly, I am quite comfortable that "Captain" is a dab page.
f) Where they exist, Commonwealth Marine captains are, in general, OF-2.
g) US Army, Marine and Air Force captains are Captain (OF-2) (i.e. Captain (O-3)
h) Captain (non-naval) seems rather silly to me ... (I wouldn't support it.)
i) There is a "Captain (land and air)" (that currently redirects to "Captain (land)"). That does 2/3 of the job, but doesn't cover "marines".
j) Captain (OF-2) is unambiguous and concise. As are Captain (OF-5) and Captain (naval).
Pdfpdf (talk) 16:49, 10 April 2011 (UTC)
My Opinions:
a) I think the there should be eight pages: Captain (a dab page); Captain (OF-2) (a page); Captain (OF-5) (a dab page); Captain (naval) (a page); Group Captain (a page); Captain (United States) (a page); Captain (British Army and Royal Marines) (a page); Captain (Royal Navy) (a page)
b) I don't think either "Captain (military)" or "Captain (military rank)" are at all useful disambiguators.
c) I don't think there is much, if any, difference between Captain (land) and Captain (army), and neither are particularly useful disambiguators.
d) I much prefer Captain (naval) to Captain (OF-5), but it doesn't cover Group Captain, so I guess we need all three.
e) I don't particularly like Captain (OF-2), but it caters for Captain (marines), whereas Captain (land and air) doesn't.
Pdfpdf (talk) 16:49, 10 April 2011 (UTC)
Pdfpdf's preferences expanded/clarified (I hope)
Page name Redirects
Captain - dab Captain (rank); Captain (military); Captain (military rank); Captain (non-naval)
Captain (OF-2) - article Captain (land); Captain (army); Captain (land and air); Captain (marines)
Captain (OF-5) - dab
Captain (naval) - article
Group Captain - article
Captain (United States) - article Captain (O-3)
Captain (British Army and Royal Marines) - article
Captain (Royal Navy) - article

Thanks Pdfpdf - an outstanding proposal to bring clarity out of confusion! I would support all of the above with just 2 minor caveats: first, a question mark about why Captain (naval) shouldn't be the main article and Captain (OF-5) the redirect as at present. AFAIK the only OF-5 captains are naval and its the clearer title of the two. Second, it should be Group Captain as at present, not Group captain, which is a combination that is never used in my experience. --Bermicourt (talk) 19:49, 10 April 2011 (UTC)

Dear Bermicourt, I agree with you - that is indeed what I had originally intended! Thanks. Have I now succeeded in making it clearer? Cheers, Pdfpdf (talk) 16:00, 11 April 2011 (UTC)

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