Captain (Royal Navy)

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Please see Captain (naval) for other versions of this naval rank.
Portrait of famous British explorer Captain James Cook
A Royal Navy captain's rank insignia during Divisions conducted at HMNB Clyde in January 2013.
A Royal Navy captain's rank insignia.

Captain (Capt) is a senior officer rank of the Royal Navy. It ranks above Commander and below Commodore and has a NATO ranking code of OF-5. The rank is equivalent to a Colonel in the British Army and Royal Marines, and to a Group Captain in the Royal Air Force. There are similarly named equivalent ranks in the navies of many other countries.

Seagoing captains[edit]

In the Royal Navy, the officer in command of any warship of the rank of Commander and below is informally referred to as "the Captain" on board, even though holding a junior rank, but formally is titled "the Commanding Officer" (or CO). In former times Royal Navy officers who were Captains by rank and in command of a naval vessel were referred to as Post-Captains; this practice is now defunct.

Terminology[edit]

Ashore, the rank of Captain is often verbally described as "Captain RN" to distinguish it from the more junior Army and Royal Marines rank, and in naval contexts, as a "Four Ring Captain" (referring to the uniform lace) to avoid confusion with the title of a seagoing Commanding Officer. In the Ministry of Defence, and in Joint Service establishments, a Captain may be referred to as a "DACOS" (standing for Deputy Assistant Chief of Staff) or an "AH" (Assistant Head), from the usual job title of OF5-ranked individuals who work with civil servants.

Insignia and uniform[edit]

The rank insignia features four rings of gold braid with a loop in the upper ring.[1]

When in mess dress or mess undress, officers of the rank of Captain and above wear gold-laced trousers (the trousers are known as "tin trousers", and the gold lace stripes thereon are nicknamed "lightning conductors"), and may wear the undress tailcoat (without epaulettes).[2]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Uniforms and Badges of Rank at Royal Navy website". Archived from the original on 2 August 2008. Retrieved 2 December 2008. 
  2. ^ "Naval Book of Reference, Annex 39A: RN Dress Tables" (PDF). Royal Navy. October 2015. Retrieved 5 April 2015.