Talk:Captain (United States)

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Every other rank article- Lieutenant Colonel, General, Major, etc- with its own article follows the convention [Rank] (United States). Can we move this article to that title so it's more in line with the other ranks? --MPD01605 (T / C) 15:35, 20 September 2006 (UTC)

Requested move[edit]

Until recently, this article was at Captain (United States). One editor, without discussion, chose to move it to this title in order to create a new disambiguation page at the old title. The new disambiguation page is relatively useless because most of its links are actually redirects to this page; there is already a disambiguation page at Captain that can be used for the remainder; and it is also confusing because there were about 1,500 other articles that already linked to that title expecting it to take readers to this article. I am therefore proposing to reverse the move. --R'n'B (call me Russ) 15:26, 23 February 2009 (UTC)



  • Agreed. The move, other than cause more confusion and disambiguation pages, had little or no use. I'm sure that the "uniformed services" bit is implied in the original title. Cheers. Imperat§ r(Talk) 21:24, 23 February 2009 (UTC)
  • Agreed. Yep, looks ridiculous. --< Nicht Nein! (talk) 23:36, 23 February 2009 (UTC)

This article has been renamed as the result of a move request. Vegaswikian (talk) 00:08, 24 February 2009 (UTC)


It is rather odd to have the same page treat two very different ranks, namely a Navy captain (O-6) and an all-other-services captain (O-3). They have nothing in common except the name (well, and being US military ranks), and Wikipedia not being a dictionary, divisions into articles should not be much influenced by the name.

So I think the article should be split in two, one article on the Navy rank and another on the Army/Air Force/Marines rank. It's true that the article is short at the moment, but I'm sure there's more to say and someone can fill out the articles to reasonable length.

I admit that it's a little tricky to find names. Captain (United States Navy) seems like an easy call (and the US Maritime Service rank can be treated there as well), but I'm not sure what to do with the O-3 rank. Ideas? --Trovatore (talk) 03:42, 29 December 2011 (UTC)

By means of comparison, for the British ranks we have Captain (Royal Navy) and Captain (British Army and Royal Marines). However, Captain (United States Army, United States Air Force and United States Marines) is rather long. Greenshed (talk) 23:19, 10 June 2012 (UTC)

I think the U.S. military rank of captain is actually better off being retained inside a single combined article, as it stands right now with the article being named Captain (United States). This way, when a reader comes to the article, it quickly becomes apparent that the rank exists at different levels (junior and senior) between the services, an important aspect which is more easily overlooked if the types of captain ranks are split between different articles. AzureCitizen (talk) 01:59, 20 August 2012 (UTC)
I support the move and agree with Trovatore to split it, I don't see why Captain (United States O-3) and Captain (United States O-6) wouldn't work because as Greenshed mentioned the name would be rather long if we did it the same way the UK captain articles split up. I also have to disagree with AzureCitizen based off the fact that the UK has 2 separate articles for Captain and it's the same situation here with the U.S. Captains. daintalk   20:59, 22 August 2012 (UTC)
Hi Dainomite. Perhaps you could also provide your thinking on why it's more advantageous for it to be split rather than retained and explained in one location(?). Thanks, AzureCitizen (talk) 23:30, 22 August 2012 (UTC)
Hola! Well, by definition Captains that are O-6 are in the U.S. Navy, Coast Guard and a few others and generally they are installation commanders, they command ships/planes and therefore have a great deal of responsibility compared to their lower-ranked variant. However, Captains in the U.S. AF, Army, Marines are only company grade officers at O-3 and have significantly less responsibility. Also, being that there's more content on the US page than the two UK pages combined I think that's something to look at too to keep things more standardized on the wiki. Sorry for not explaining more of this earlier >.< daintalk   00:56, 24 August 2012 (UTC)
Thanks for the clarification! I think the main thrust of what you are driving at is that they are different, since the responsibility level and pay grade are so far apart (Army Captains and Navy Lieutenants serve in JO billets, while Army Colonels and Navy Captains can have significant command responsibilities at the brigade and capital ship level, etc.). What concerns me about splitting the articles is that it might make those details harder to understand for a reader who lands on one article or the other (if they're split). When the article is combined as it is now, I think it is much easier to understand the differences between the two Captain ranks, with the cues being interwoven throughout the sections and the context made more clear. AzureCitizen (talk) 01:07, 24 August 2012 (UTC)
Why not have a short overview at Captain (United States) with the details going into the two separate O-3, O-6 articles? Greenshed (talk) 17:26, 24 August 2012 (UTC)
I like that idea, it could briefly sum up the difference because it would have to be on the two separate pages anyway without it. daintalk   14:58, 8 September 2012 (UTC)
To be honest, I would be opposed to making a split. The article size is currently way below what is needed to require a split. Furthermore, the article is currently a coherent article. I do not believe anything would be gained by making a split at this time. Op47 (talk) 23:00, 26 November 2012 (UTC)
The size of the article has nothing to do with whether it should be split. I would certainly not support merging the articles on Sherburn, County Durham and Sherburn, North Yorkshire just because they are both stubs. Although they have the same name and are both villages in the north of England, the topic of each article is distinct from the other. Similarly, Navy captains (O-6) and all-other-services captains (O-3) are both ranks in the American Armed Forces but the topic of each heading is distinct from the other. Greenshed (talk) 13:21, 22 December 2012 (UTC)
I agree that article size isn't really an issue here; the topic could be split up or not split up, and the size would be acceptable. I still think we lose more than we gain, however. By keeping the article collective as a whole, it it easier to understand what the different grades of captain are and why they are different. If we create a disambiguation article to clarify the differences, and then link to two stub articles about captains who are O-3's and captain's who are O-6's, what precisely do we gain from this? What is it about that arrangement that would make having three articles preferable to one coherent article that explains everything? Regards, AzureCitizen (talk) 21:16, 22 December 2012 (UTC)
Agree that the article should be split. It's nice to have the disambiguations clarified on the same page, but there are a lot of other areas where that would apply as well. (talk) 04:59, 3 December 2012 (UTC)Ramos37

Atricle has now split. For good measure, I updated the template. Can someone check I put the right rank in the right article. There are a number of issues that need sorting:

  • The O6 article is unreferenced
  • Both articles need a lede of some description. Op47 (talk) 16:50, 3 February 2013 (UTC)