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Aspirant is a military rank in the Royal Canadian Navy, Estonian Defence Forces, French military, Brazilian military, Portuguese military, Swiss military, Italian Air Force, Argentinian Armed Forces, Romanian Navy, Polish Policja and Państwowa Straż Pożarna.
In Western Christianity, the term is also used in reference to religious vocations as one who is discerning the religious life. This is followed by the novitiate, temporarily professed, and then perpetually professed.
An aspirant is also a title for doctoral education candidates in the post-Soviet states. This educational step leads to a scientific degree called kandidat nauk.
Officer aspirant OA (de. Offizieranwärter) designates in the German Bundeswehr a military person or member of the armed forces assigned to an officer´s carrier in Heer, Luftwaffe ar Marine.
Similar to the French usage, the Royal Canadian Navy uses the French-language rank of "Aspirant de marine" (AspM) to denote a junior officer under training. The same rank in the English language is referred to as "Naval Cadet" (NCdt). An aspirant de marine does not hold the Queen's commission and must either acquire a university degree or complete his first trades qualification to earn promotion.
Estonian Defence Forces
Junior sergeant conscriptees having passed the Reserve Platoon Commander Course get ranked aspirants, meaning they will be given officer ranks (ensign or junior lieutenant) in case of mobilisation and war. Some aspirants also get promoted during reserve war games.
An Officer Designate rank, it is used in the Armée de terre (Army), the Armée de l'air (Air Force), the Marine nationale (Navy) and the Gendarmerie nationale. Technically it is not a commissioned rank but it is still treated in all respects as one. Aspirants are either officers in training in military academies or voluntaries, serving as temporary officers. The aspirant must have been previously élève officier (Officer Cadet). He can afterwards be commissioned as a sous-lieutenant or enseigne de vaisseau de deuxième classe. His insignia is a single curl of gold lace, disrupted by "flashes" of wool. It was widely used during both World Wars for providing young educated people with an officer's authority.
Portuguese Armed Forces
Aspirante-a-oficial is the first rank in the officer corps, coming below Alferes in the army and air force and Guarda-Marinha (Naval School graduates) or Sub-tenente (temporary officers graduated from civilian universities) in the navy.
In the Argentinian Armed Forces, "aspirante" is a student in any of the three NCOs academies.
In Norway, the "Aspirant Course" is a three-year trainee programme for students intending to work for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, i.e. prospective diplomats.