Bombardier is a military rank that has existed since the 16th century in artillery regiments of various armies, such as in the British Army and the Royal Prussian Army, equivalent to the infantry rank of corporal. The rank of lance-bombardier is the artillery counterpart of lance-corporal.
British and Commonwealth armies
Bombardier (Bdr) and lance-bombardier (LBdr or L/Bdr) are used by the British Army in the Royal Artillery and Royal Horse Artillery. The same applies to the Royal Australian Artillery, the Royal New Zealand Artillery, the South African Army Artillery and the Armed Forces of Malta. The Royal Canadian Artillery uses the ranks of master bombardier and bombardier, corresponding to master corporal and corporal. In the Australian Army the insignia is identical to that of a corporal, the only distinguishing featuring being the RAA badge worn on the cap by lance bombardiers and bombardiers.
Originally, the Royal Artillery had corporals, but not lance-corporals. Unlike a lance-corporal, a bombardier held full non-commissioned rank and not an acting appointment. The rank was equivalent to second corporal in the Royal Engineers and Army Ordnance Corps.
In 1920 corporals were abolished in the Royal Artillery; bombardiers became the equivalent and acquired the normal two chevrons.
The rank of lance bombardier originated as acting bombardier, an appointment similar to lance-corporal and was also indicated by a single chevron. The appointment was renamed lance-bombardier in February 1918 and became a full rank, as did lance-corporal, in 1961.
"Bomb" is widely used as an informal form of address for both full bombardiers and lance-bombardiers. They may also be referred to as a "full screw" (bombardier) or a "lance jack" (lance-bombardier), in common with corporals and lance-corporals. As with other common military abbreviations, such as "sarge", these terms are not used on formal occasions.
United States of America
Until the advent of smart bombs and guided missiles, bomber aircraft carried crew members responsible for aiming bombs. In Commonwealth air forces this crew member was the "bomb aimer"; in US forces the function was named bombardier.
- British Army Other Ranks rank insignia
- Comparative military ranks
- Canadian Forces ranks and insignia
- Oxford dictionary. "Bombardier". Retrieved 19 August 2012.