Major-general (United Kingdom)

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For the 17th century Cromwellian regime, see Rule of the Major-Generals.
For other countries which use this rank, see major general.
British Army insignia
Royal Marines insignia

Major general (Maj Gen), formerly more commonly major-general, is a 2 star rank in the British Army[1] and Royal Marines. The rank was used by the Royal Air Force from 1918 to 1919. In the British Army, a division is commanded by a major general. In the Royal Marines the Commandant General holds the rank of major general.

A major general is superior to a brigadier but subordinate to lieutenant-general. The rank has a NATO rank code of OF-7, equivalent to a rear admiral in the Royal Navy or an air vice-marshal in the Royal Air Force or the air forces of many Commonwealth countries.

The rank insignia is the star (or 'pip') of the Order of the Bath, over a crossed sword and baton, similar to that of a Deputy Chief Constable in the police.

British Army usage[edit]

In the British Army, a division is commanded by a major general. However, many other appointments exist for major generals. For example, the Commandant of the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst holds the rank of major general. Additionally professionally qualified officers may attain this rank with the most senior officer of the Royal Army Chaplains Department, the chaplain-general, holding the rank of major general.

The Major-general for the British Army is subsequent to wearing Black Uniform.

Royal Marines usage[edit]

The Commandant General Royal Marines has held the rank of major general since 1996 when the post was downgraded from lieutenant general. As in the British Army, a Royal Marines major general ranks below lieutenant general and above brigadier and is thus the lowest of the general officer ranks.

Royal Air Force usage[edit]

From the foundation of the Royal Air Force on 1 April 1918 to 31 July 1919, the RAF maintained a rank of major general. The rank insignia was derived from that of a Royal Navy rear admiral and featured a broad gold stripe on the cuff below one narrow gold stripe. The two stripes were surmounted by an eagle (volant and affronty) under a king's crown. The RAF replaced its rank of major general with the rank of air vice-marshal on the 1 August 1919. The following officers held the rank of major general in the RAF:

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