Lieutenant colonel (United Kingdom)

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Lieutenant colonel
Lt Col insignia.
Country United Kingdom
Service branch British Army
 Royal Marines
AbbreviationLt Col
NATO rank codeOF-4
Next higher rankColonel
Next lower rankMajor
Equivalent ranks

Lieutenant colonel (Lt Col), is a rank in the British Army and Royal Marines which is also used in many Commonwealth countries. The rank is superior to major, and subordinate to colonel.[1] The comparable Royal Navy rank is commander, and the comparable rank in the Royal Air Force and many Commonwealth air forces is wing commander.

The rank insignia in the British Army and Royal Marines, as well as many Commonwealth countries, is a crown above a four-pointed "Bath" star, also colloquially referred to as a "pip". The crown has varied in the past with different monarchs; the current one being the Tudor Crown. Most other Commonwealth countries use the same insignia, or with the state emblem replacing the crown.[2]

In the modern British Armed forces, the established commander of a regiment or battalion is a lieutenant colonel.

From 1 April 1918 to 31 July 1919, the Royal Air Force maintained the rank of lieutenant colonel. It was superseded by the rank of wing commander on the following day.

Ceremonial usage[edit]

Certain regiments of the British Army have honorary appointments as Regimental Lieutenant Colonel and Deputy Regimental Lieutenant Colonel. These are similar in nature and less in rank to Colonel of the Regiment.

Historical insignia[edit]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Ranks". British Army Website. Retrieved 22 December 2013.
  2. ^ "British Army ranks | National Army Museum". Retrieved 29 June 2022.