Template talk:Infobox military person

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Does Awards paramater only show most senior grade of orders of chivalry in its list? e.g an officer has Knight Commander of the Order of The British Empire and Commander of the Order of The British Empire, can both be listed in Awards parameters? or only most senior grade (Knight Commander)? Ikatemag (talk) 19:02, 6 November 2015 (UTC)

Just need to display the senior grade of the same order. Cheers, Ian Rose (talk) 21:40, 6 November 2015 (UTC)

General usage question[edit]

I've noticed many infoboxes being populated with template:Infobox military person for non-military notables, especially actors, who spent some time in the army. See for instance Telly Savalas and Karl Malden. The template description is vague about when to use it. Most are being macro-added by an IP, with some ruining the TOC formatting, as for James Earl Jones (now fixed). Is this a proper use of the template? --Light show (talk) 01:48, 29 November 2015 (UTC)

Not answering the question, the IP is the Wikipedia:Long-term abuse/Cause of death vandal and should generally be mass-reverted. -- zzuuzz (talk) 08:27, 29 November 2015 (UTC)

Another IP, (possibly the same editor, per IP lookup), has added the template to such articles as Robert Loggia, Norman Lear and Leonard Nimoy. Like Light show, I'd like to see the template's usage narrowed (IMHO, placing it pretty much anywhere dilutes the template's intent to honor those for whom it is a badge of notability, so to speak). Therefore, I offer a:


Change the wording of the first sentence from

  • A military person infobox may be used to summarize information about an individual military person, such as a soldier or military leader.


  • A military person infobox may be used to summarize information about an individual military person, such as a soldier or military leader, who is or became notable due to military service whose service is likely to be of interest to the reader.

or something very similar.ATinySliver/ATalkPage 🖖 22:07, 5 December 2015 (UTC)

I don't think I'd agree. I added the template to Tim Kennedy (fighter) in part because Tim's military service is well-known although he fails WP:MILPEOPLE. The same is true for veterans like Lee Marvin and Ernest Borgnine that had some interesting but not necessarily notable military service. I like the spirit of this proposal but the wording is too strict. I think local consensus makes more sense. Chris Troutman (talk) 22:41, 5 December 2015 (UTC)
"... whose military service is likely to be of interest to the reader"? Face-grin.svgATinySliver/ATalkPage 🖖 22:52, 5 December 2015 (UTC)
much better. Chris Troutman (talk) 23:36, 5 December 2015 (UTC)
Face-smile.svgATinySliver/ATalkPage 🖖 23:40, 5 December 2015 (UTC)
  • Oppose: The phrasing seems too vague and subjective. It could easily lead to endless disputes about what's "of interest to the reader." I'd suggest something like, "..., such as someone whose notability is partly based on their military service." The key word is "notability." Those military templates in an infobox are prominent features in articles, with flags, ranks, years, etc. and should be reserved. --Light show (talk) 02:06, 6 December 2015 (UTC)
Light show, that was why who is or became notable due to military service was my original proposal. Hm ... how about whose service played a significant role in his or her notability? What say you, Chris troutman? Face-smile.svgATinySliver/ATalkPage 🖖 02:22, 6 December 2015 (UTC)
Something like this would be less wordy: "... whose notability rests partly on their military service." --Light show (talk) 03:10, 6 December 2015 (UTC)
I'm not worried so much about brevity as clarity; the more clear, the less likely any potential issue would be. I would think, anyway ... Face-grin.svgATinySliver/ATalkPage 🖖 03:20, 6 December 2015 (UTC)
"... whose service is likely to be considered significant" comes to mind. —ATinySliver/ATalkPage 🖖 09:05, 6 December 2015 (UTC)
Light show isn't wrong. The wording I support is deliberately vague, as I'd like to see this template used more widely. If what's desired is to curtail its use then you'd want more specific terms about which we won't likely agree. As I said before, I'd prefer local consensus. Anyway, "whose notability rests on partly on their military service" would remove use of this template on articles like Don Rickles, where military service is no part of the subject's notability. Chris Troutman (talk) 10:49, 8 December 2015 (UTC)

────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────Clarity was my only concern. (Edit: Chris troutman, my point is it shouldn't be on Rickles' or a similar page if the reasonable reader were to see "interesting but not notable" military service mentioned within the body and ask, "Why is this here?" When so, it would constitute a WP:N and/or WP:UNDUE issue—it's the very dilution of purpose that I raise.) So, given the above ...

Alternate proposal[edit]

Change the wording of the first sentence from

A military person infobox may be used to summarize information about an individual military person, such as a soldier or military leader.


A military person infobox may be used to summarize information about an individual military person, such as a soldier or military leader, whose notability rests [partly/in part] on their military service.

  • Support as nom. —ATinySliver/ATalkPage 🖖 12:06, 8 December 2015 (UTC)
  • Oppose too strict. Chris Troutman (talk) 13:49, 8 December 2015 (UTC)
  • Support. Although I'd prefer tightening a bit to, "A military person infobox may be used to summarize information about a person whose notability rests in part on their military service." --Light show (talk) 17:40, 8 December 2015 (UTC)
No argument from me. —ATinySliver/ATalkPage 🖖 21:42, 8 December 2015 (UTC)

Usage of honorifics parameters[edit]

I've run into a conflict at Richard Peirse where Abraham B.S. keeps removing the |honorific_suffix=. His arguments are that there is "no need for postnominals to be duplicated in infobox ", and "the majority of WP users do not browse by mobile. Also inconsistent with similar articles". I'd like to differ. In the mobile view, the infobox is displayed as one of the first elements even before the lead section of the article. So it makes sense to provide a summary of information that is found in the full text – which includes mentioning honorific titles and suffixes. While the majority of Wikipedia users may in fact still use a desktop PC or laptop for browsing, that is not a valid argument to deny a service to the mobile users. And if the majority of biographical articles does not display postnomimals in the infobox then they should be amended there instead of removing the parameters from articles that did already show them. The inclusion of |honorific_prefix= and |honorific_suffix= in the template code is consistent with {{infobox person}} that also uses them, but if there is general consensus to not use them at all, we should completely disable these template parameters. Otherwise I don't see a justification for removing them from articles. De728631 (talk) 20:19, 3 January 2016 (UTC)

As far as I am aware as well as the lead the infobox is a normal place for honorifics which is why they are in the code. MilborneOne (talk) 21:25, 3 January 2016 (UTC)
The inclusion of honorifics in Template:Infobox office holder may be relatively common, but it is not at all standard for Template:Infobox military person and should not have been added to the code. The latter was not intended to include honorifics like postnominals and doing so serves to clutter the small space, which in my view gives rise to accessibility issues. My main argument against including honorifics in Infobox military person, however, is that of duplication. The postnominals are already recorded next to the name in the lead, and the list of honours included in the infobox (not to mention prose and categories). Why is there a need to over-clutter the article and duplicate the same information multiple times over? Perhaps Ian Rose, Dormskirk, MisterBee1966 or any other editors who regularly edit biographical articles on military personnel may like contribute to this discussion, if they have an opinion? Cheers, Abraham, B.S. (talk) 22:18, 3 January 2016 (UTC)
Hi - I agree with Abraham, B.S. on the basis (i) rank and awards already appear lower down in the infobox as well as in the first line of the lead and (ii) we already have a standard approach across many thousands of military biographies viz. we do not use honorific prefixes and honorific suffixes in the infobox. Dormskirk (talk) 22:27, 3 January 2016 (UTC)
Fully endorse what Bryce Abraham and Dormskirk have said. Cheers, Ian Rose (talk) 22:33, 3 January 2016 (UTC)
Honorifics should be included the infobox in the same way that they are in most other biographical infoboxes, not least {{Infobox person}}. Andy Mabbett (Pigsonthewing); Talk to Andy; Andy's edits 23:04, 3 January 2016 (UTC)
Indeed. Wikipedia is full of inconsistencies, so in order to avoid further confusion for the standard reader (not editor) we should treat all biographical infoboxes the same way. If the general biographical template, i.e. infobox person, uses them, the military variant should also have such parameters. De728631 (talk) 02:12, 4 January 2016 (UTC)
With respect, I feel that is a poor argument that verges on WP:OTHERSTUFFEXISTS. As Dormskirk has pointed out, such a change would unnecessarily alter thousands of articles and the established status quo among military history editors. Further, if the concern is for the reader, then one would be unnecessarily bombarding them with the exact same information multiple times over, while cluttering the page. It just makes no sense, and decreases accessibility for the reader and the editor. Cheers, Abraham, B.S. (talk) 08:09, 4 January 2016 (UTC)
I am not sure that I fully understand the reason for being against its use. What about academic titles attained by soldiers? Are these not honorifics in this context? MisterBee1966 (talk) 14:32, 4 January 2016 (UTC)
Ditto knighthoods. Andy Mabbett (Pigsonthewing); Talk to Andy; Andy's edits 16:49, 4 January 2016 (UTC)
WP:OTHERSTUFFEXISTS concerns it self with rationales for or against deletion; nothing else. As for the supposed "established status quo among military history editors" (however that group might be defined), Wikipedia recognises no such ring-fencing. Andy Mabbett (Pigsonthewing); Talk to Andy; Andy's edits 16:49, 4 January 2016 (UTC)

Foreign terms allowed? And a tiny error...[edit]

Is there any consensus on the of use foreign terms in infoboxes? For example, if the soldier in question is a German soldier, is right/wrong/undetermined to use "Heer" as Service Branch?

Also, I'd like to point out that the info box for Clifford Carwood Lipton used in the article has a small error. It currently gives his unit as, "Easy Company, 2nd Battalion, 101st Airborne Division, 506th Parachute Infantry Regiment." In WWII the U.S. Army hierarchy was company/battalion/regiment/division, so the 506th shouldn't come after the 101st, should it? __209.179.86.123 (talk) 20:48, 22 January 2016 (UTC)

You should really use the common name in English, a good guide is the article name, in this case it uses "Army". MilborneOne (talk) 09:23, 23 January 2016 (UTC)

When embedded[edit]

This infobox, when embedded in another one, say "Infobox person", get a fixed title "Military career". It is possible to make this title editable so to accommodate other types of careers, e.g. "Paramilitary career" or "Police career" or "Military and police career" or "Paramilitary and police career" or "Military and paramilitary career"? Carlotm (talk) 10:02, 10 February 2016 (UTC)

Carlotm, added |embed_title= Frietjes (talk) 17:38, 1 March 2016 (UTC)
Thank you very much, Frietjes. Carlotm (talk) 00:24, 2 March 2016 (UTC)

Cause of Death[edit]

Can we add a cause of death parameter? I was updating Kay Summersby, who died of cancer, but there is no way to indicate this in the Infobox.

The generic People Infobox has


so it seems it would make sense to include it as an optional parameter in this Infobox. — Safety Cap (talk) 12:51, 19 May 2016 (UTC)

I would not have thought that in the case you quote that cause of death was not particularly notable and not needed in the infobox so it is unlikely to be needed and that is probably true for nearly all of the military person articles. MilborneOne (talk) 14:51, 19 May 2016 (UTC)
I agree with MilborneOne. Although this is an infobox for military persons who naturally have a higher likelihood of being killed as opposed to a death from disease or old age I don't think we need to stress the cause of death by giving it a slot in the infobox. De728631 (talk) 17:56, 19 May 2016 (UTC)