Talk:Rear admiral

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New Template[edit]

I like the new template, but it needs to be modified to show larger font. Right now, it is almost unreadable as the size of the letters is extremely small. Just a thought for whoever made the template in the first place. "The English, the English, the English are best!" -Husnock 17 Nov 2004

British POV[edit]

The term Rear Admiral originated from the days of Naval Sailing Squadrons, and is most directly associated with the British Royal Navy.

The second half of that statement strikes me as utterly POV. How does one determine what "most directly" means? Most rear admirals are British? Most people in the world think of "rear admiral" as a British rank? I strongly suspect the former isn't true (by a long shot), and I challenge anyone to prove the latter. Unless someone can suggest a valid reason for keeping that clause, I intend to remove it, leaving the historical British origin, a verifiable statement, in place. — Jeff Q 13:13, 12 Feb 2005 (UTC)

Agreed, go for it. Stan 14:12, 12 Feb 2005 (UTC)

Well seeing as the British had Rear Admiral as a rank before the US navy existed and the Rest of Europe (who had their own names for the rank if they had it at all!)I say we should keep it. The article is already littered with pictures of the American Rank and has a whole paragraph for it. In my opinion it seems you are using your own point of view that anything that mentions the British had something first is biased.

Designations for Rear Admirals[edit]

It has changed, and someone needs to update the template. As of when I left the Navy in late 2003, Read Admiral (Lower) was now RDML and Rear Admiral (Upper) was RADM.--Mitsukai 04:33, 6 Jun 2005 (UTC)

I have taken care of that. Neovu79 03:04, 14 May 2007 (UTC)

RN Officers[edit]

The template is misleading by suggesting that the ranks in the RN are one grade below the US ones - i.e. O6 (USN) is Captain yet the suggestion is that OF6 (RN) is Cdre which may mean that readers think that an RN captain is subordinate to a USN captain which is not true. The difficulty appears to begin with the snotty (Midshipman) rank as it is not the only training rank as graduate-entry training officers will be subs.

The template should be renumbered to reflect the fact that the USN differentiates between Lt (j.g. and full) whereas the RN does not. Ensign is roughly equivalent to a snotty and a sub is roughly equivalent (although I understand in NATO terms junior to) a Lt(j.g.). From Lt-Cdr onwards the USN and RN ranks are comparable - with Commodore (RN) now being a substantive rank (it used to be honorary) at 1* level (i.e. RADML USN).

Alisdair Gillespie.


I stumbled across this article, and have a question which is probably equally valid for other military rank articles. I see why Rear Admiral Jones or so is capitalized, but shouldn't "a rear admiral", "an admiral", ... be in lowercase? agrees, but perhaps more official dictionaries or some WP guideline disagrees with me. If there has been a relevant discussion about this yet somewhere else, pleasae point me there! Fram 07:22, 28 July 2006 (UTC)

Move to Rear admiral[edit]

The following discussion is an archived debate of the proposal. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section on the talk page. No further edits should be made to this section.

The result of the debate was Move Duja 17:30, 12 November 2006 (UTC)

Since it has been almost three months since I posted the previous section (capitalization) without any comments, all dictionaries spell "rear admiral", and even Prime Minister has been moved to Prime minister, I guess no one will disagree if in a few weeks time I move this article to Rear admiral and change the capitalization of all instances where it doesn't point to one particular person or function, but to the general subject... Thereafter, many other articles will follow as well, but that can be discussed on their specific talk pages again. 12:17, 20 October 2006 (UTC)

  • Rear AdmiralRear admiral —(Discuss)— Correct capitalization, see e.g. the Prime Minister to Prime minister move. Move has been suggested on the talk page since October 20th: I'll add a formal section now. —Fram 15:00, 6 November 2006 (UTC)
No, I got the message that some admin needs to do it (possible becvause the target has more than one line in its history). Fram 15:18, 6 November 2006 (UTC)
  • Oppose. It's a technical term, not a general one. No one is called a Rear Admiral without actually being one. "Prime Minister" is different in that it can be a general term to describe a head of government and doesn't necessarily refer to people who are actually Prime Ministers. Look at Category:Military ranks for similar examples of correctly capitalised military ranks. Proteus (Talk) 17:38, 6 November 2006 (UTC)
    • Comment. Whether a title is used figuratively, or whether a military rank, is not relevant to proper usage. Capitalization depends on usage. When used nominatively to refer to a specific person, it is a proper noun. When prefixed to a name, it is an attributive modifier and is capitalized along with the proper noun it modifies. When used as a job description, it is a common noun and is not capitalized. This information can be found in the front matter of any decent dictionary. An example:
      "The Prime Minister reviewed the promotion list. We need two rear admirals, one for the new carrier group, and one to replace the late Rear Admiral Smith." Robert A.West (Talk) 19:45, 6 November 2006 (UTC)
    • Most (all?) of the articles in the category military ranks are incorrectly capitalized and need to be moved as well. All dictionaries have "rear admiral", not "Rear Admiral"[1], [2], [3], or [4]. Newspapers use the lowercase as well when referencing to the rank in general[5], as does CNN[6] and the BBC[7]. Finally, see Wikipedia:Naming conventions, the very first point: "Do not capitalize second and subsequent words unless the title is a proper noun (such as a name) or is otherwise almost always capitalized (for example: John Wayne and Art Nouveau, but not Computer Game).". Rear admiral is not a proper noun (unless used for one specific person: Rear Admiral Edwards), and is not "almost always capitalized", as I have just shown. This one should be in lower case, per common usage and the MoS, and all other military ranks should do likewise. Fram 20:11, 6 November 2006 (UTC)
    • (edit conflict) The US Naval War College's style manual defers to the GPO style manual on general matters. I specifically cite [8]: "Titles not capitalized: Charles F. Hughes, rear admiral, U.S. Navy: the rear admiral." Robert A.West (Talk) 20:17, 6 November 2006 (UTC)
    • All you've done is cite US usage, which (as a British English speaker) I don't follow. The Royal Navy, for instance, uses "Rear Admiral" all the time. My vote stands. Proteus (Talk) 20:49, 6 November 2006 (UTC)
      • I cited the BBC, I can also give you the Oxford Pocket dictionary[9], and I'm fairly certain that the larger versions of the Oxford dictionary will support this as well. I can also give you The Times[10], The Guardian[11], and The Independent[12]. I can't get much more "British English", I think... Fram 21:02, 6 November 2006 (UTC)
        • Just a comment for clarification - not intending to detract from your main point but the OED is not a British English dictionary and is not prescriptive. It is a descriptive international dictionary and even has a North American Editorial Department - as such it should not be used to indicate or dictate what is or isn't British usage. For solely British English, Chambers as used by British scrabble players is preferred. Jooler 11:59, 8 November 2006 (UTC)
          • Thanks, I'm not familiar with these dictionaries, and I supposed that Oxford would be predominantly British English. Can anyone indicate what preference the Chambers dictionary has? The rest of my point stands of course, and my links do indicate a general usage (by major news sources) of "rear admiral" in Great Britain. Fram 12:11, 8 November 2006 (UTC)
          • Chambers has it lowercase. -- SigPig \SEND - OVER 20:11, 8 November 2006 (UTC)
            • Allright, let's hope that Proteus will change his !vote now his objections have been met. Fram 20:33, 8 November 2006 (UTC)
            • Out of curiosity, doesn't the OED clearly distinguish American and British usage where relevant? Robert A.West (Talk) 20:35, 8 November 2006 (UTC)
  • Support capitalise when referring to specific ones, lower case when talking about the rank in abstract. -- Beardo 05:10, 10 November 2006 (UTC)
The above discussion is preserved as an archive of the debate. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section on this talk page. No further edits should be made to this section.

Move Back to Rear Admiral[edit]

  • Support -- While this dictionary does list it are lower case, this dictionary list ALL words in lower case. The common use of the term Rear Admiral is by title. People normally refer to some as "Rear Admiral John Do" and not "John do is a rear admiral". Also this section is the only one that does not conform with other Navy ranks in Wikipedia which are all capitalized, i.e. Lieutenant Junior Grade, Lieutenant Commander, Lieutenant Colonel, Brigadier General, Major General, Lieutenant General. Need I go on? Even the Captain section is wikipedia is capitalized. I know many military officers who get aggitated or offended when you do not refer to them by their rank. If you change one rank capitalization in Wikipedia, then you must also change them all. You can not have the glass half full. Neovu79 03:58, 12 May 2007 (UTC)
  • Oppose per all the arguments (with examples) in the above discussion, and per the Wikipedia:Manual of Style (capital letters). I do agree that all the other ones should be changed as well, but it is not because the other ones are incorrect that this one should be as well. As for yur other argument, see this press release from the (US) Military Sealift Command, second line[13]: "Stewart is a rear admiral", or this Purdue University news[14]: "Carol M. Pottenger, who is a rear admiral in the U.S. Navy". People normally refer to "X is a rear admiral", just like they do to "Rear Admiral X", and it is the first use that defines our capitalization as well (the impersonal, not the personal use). Fram 19:01, 12 May 2007 (UTC)
Grammatically in a sentence the above statements are true, however, note the official biographies of Navy flags officers in this this page United States Navy Biographies. All ranks are in capital letters. Neovu79 22:19, 12 May 2007 (UTC)
So we have examples of both... Any reason then, except personal preference, not to follow the example of dictionaries, other encyclopedias, newspapers, and our own Manual of Style? Fram 18:37, 13 May 2007 (UTC)
A commission rank is a title not just a word or term used in a sentence. It signifies one's status and we military famlies worked hard to achieve especially flag rank. Only 1% of all active commission officers will ever reach O-7 and above. Secondly, dictionaries and encyclopedia did not come up with the rank. They are used to find the correct spelling and definition with the later giving a brief background history of it. When does either tell you to capitalize a word? Lastly, when addressing someone of rank, you would use something like, "May I speak with the Rear Admiral?" Show me a grammar book that says the Navy is grammatically incorrect in the capitalization of military ranks when they created it and I will recend my movement. Neovu79 21:58, 13 May 2007 (UTC)
I understand the context of what you're saying however, the military doesn't see it a just a general "word," we see it in the term of "grade ranks," which is what it was founded for. I see the title, Prime Minister in the same context. If the titles are capitalized to emphasize their importance. No one would take "Prime minister Blair" seriously, which is why his title is capitalized to signify his importance. Military ranks are the exact same way. Neovu79 02:47, 14 May 2007 (UTC)
I don't really care if they are taken seriously or not, there are a lot of prime ministers, presidents, generals and so on that no one takes seriously, no matter if their title is capitalized or not. Anyway, no one says that we should write "prime minister Blair", but "Prime Minister Blair is a prime minister", and "Rear Admiral Jones is a rear admiral". I'm sorry, but that's standard usage in English (American, British, whatever), and we should reflect that; we are not the military Wikipedia (nor anyone else Wikipedia), and we don't reflect the point of view of the military nor of the anti-military. Fram 08:02, 14 May 2007 (UTC)
I'm not saying the entire Wikipedia should reflect military standards, I'm saying that this particular page does because it is a military/naval word and it's tied to many other military/naval pages in Wikipedia. Neovu79 15:12, 14 May 2007 (UTC)
If there is nomore further discussion, I'm going to change it back to Rear Admiral. Neovu79 00:14, 19 May 2007 (UTC)
Um, why? You are turning back a previous conclusion because you disagree with it? Where is the consensus to move it back? If you want to move it back, post it at Wikipedia:Requested moves, just like the previous one (and not under the "uncontroversial proposals", please. Fram 18:44, 20 May 2007 (UTC)
  • Strong oppose. Usage is absolutely clear, both inside and outside the navy, that the grade is lower case, and is upper cased only when properly used as the title of an individual. I cite the following executive order as evidence of the Joint Chiefs' and the Commander in Chief's opinion on this matter. I hope this puts the issue to rest for aye. Robert A.West (Talk) 05:10, 25 May 2007 (UTC)
We're not disputing how it can be used, but how the ranks is perceived in common usage. Ranks are commonly used inside and outside the military with a person's name following it and not as commonly used in a sentence without. Neovu79 05:06, 2 July 2007 (UTC)
  • Support. Usage in the US, perhaps. DND capitalizes its rank titles.[15] With apologies to Emerson's hobgoblins, I think that this rank should be moved to be consistent with all the others, BUT then that the entire set of ranks be RM'ed en masse. --SigPig |SEND - OVER 20:22, 25 May 2007 (UTC)
  • Support - military ranks do not use lower case in both normal and official usage, the Admiral is part of the title not just a modifier. MilborneOne 15:39, 9 November 2007 (UTC)
  • Strong Support to move back to Rear Admiral - The argument: "Just because everything else is wrong doesn't mean that this has to be wrong too." has its merits. However, extending that argument to: "Now that we have this one right, we need to change the rest of the world too.", although logical, doesn't seem to pay much attention to reality. The reality of the situation seems to be that, in fact, the rest of the world is wrong. However, I don't think a dozen Wikipedia zealots are going to convince several hundred million readers in any short period of time. In this interim period, statements like "Rear admiral is ... below Vice Admiral" just look silly. Let's get back to "Rear Admiral is ... below Vice Admiral" as soon as is practical. Pdfpdf 07:19, 10 November 2007 (UTC)
Note: This discussion is on hold pending the result of the discussion at
Wikipedia talk:WikiProject Military history#Rank articles: capitalization of title 

rear admiral and/or Rear Admiral, but Rear admiral?[edit]

I've read the above discussions with interest, and I can understand how it could be titled "rear admiral" or "Rear Admiral", but I can not understand how the above discussion resulted in "Rear admiral". The most quoted example is "Rear Admiral X is a rear admiral". "Rear admiral X is a Rear admiral" was never justified, or even advocated, yet that's what the article ended up being called. Can someone explain this to me please? Pdfpdf 14:32, 30 September 2007 (UTC)

See WP:CAPS. Partly for technical reasons, the first letter of the title is (almost) always capitalized in Wikipedia. We make exceptions only when... the title wouldn't be capitalized even at the start of the sentence, like e.g. eBay and μ operator, or Special:Whatlinkshere/Template:lowercase. Duja 12:36, 9 November 2007 (UTC)

Thanks for the reply. Mmmm. Given the discussion above, it would seem to make sense to call the article "rear admiral".
However, We make exceptions only when... seems to rule that out.

Never-the-less, the first line of the article looks weird. (viz: "Rear admiral is ... below Vice Admiral").
(Almost) Independent of what the pages are titled, it should either read "rear admiral is ... below vice admiral" or "Rear Admiral is ... below Vice Admiral".
Even "Rear admiral is ... below Vice admiral" is better than what's there now.
(The fact that these words don't match the page titles shouldn't be an issue - that can be handled by redirects or other mechanisms.) Thanks, Pdfpdf 13:57, 9 November 2007 (UTC)

Yes, after the articles are moved (supposing there is consensus for it), the contents of the articles should be changed as well of course. I haven't started this because I would prefer to have the MoS and a consensus of the MilHist project behind me, instead of only the MoS. eing bold is encouraged, but as these changes are not completely uncontroversial, the "discuss first, change later" model works better. Fram 14:02, 9 November 2007 (UTC)
That would seem to be a prudent approach!! Pdfpdf 14:13, 9 November 2007 (UTC)
Once AGAIN I have to agree with Pdfpdf. It's too ununiform the have this page as the ONLY one to have it in this format. Neovu79 15:05, 9 November 2007 (UTC)
After reading to discussion above, I too have to agree with Neovu79 and the others, it's strange to look at the page in this way. Saevurr 15:13, 9 November 2007 (UTC)
And that's why I have now proposed at Wikipedia talk:WikiProject Military history#Rank articles: capitalization of title to change them all. Consistency in the project, and consistency with the rest of Wikipedia. Fram 15:18, 9 November 2007 (UTC)
If you change all the commissioned ranks you have to change all the noncommissioned and warrant officer ranks as well. Saevurr 20:42, 9 November 2007 (UTC)
If you do that, then you run into the problem of particular ranks like Master Chief Petty Officer of the Navy, Sergeant Major of the Marine Corps, Sergeant Major of the Army, Chief Master Sergeant of the Air Force and Master Chief Petty Officer of the Coast Guard. These are not only ranks, they are the titles of their respective billets/positions like the Chief of Naval Operations or Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. Neovu79 21:33, 9 November 2007 (UTC)
Note: This discussion is on hold pending the result of the discussion at
Wikipedia talk:WikiProject Military history#Rank articles: capitalization of title