Template talk:US officer ranks

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
WikiProject United States (Rated Template-class)
WikiProject icon This template is within the scope of WikiProject United States, a collaborative effort to improve the coverage of topics relating to the United States of America on Wikipedia. If you would like to participate, please visit the project page, where you can join the ongoing discussions.
 Template  This template does not require a rating on the project's quality scale.
WikiProject Military history (Rated Template-Class)
MILHIST This template is within the scope of the Military history WikiProject. If you would like to participate, please visit the project page, where you can join the project and see a list of open tasks. To use this banner, please see the full instructions.
Temp Templates and modules do not require a rating on the quality assessment scale.

NATO Codes[edit]

This table lists the four star ranks of General and Admiral as OR-10, when in fact they are OR-09, equivalent to the commonwealth ranks of General, Admiral and Air Chief Marshal. Following the Link to OR-10 goes to a page titled "4 star rank", which is labeled as OR-09. OR-10 is actually a 5 star rank - Fleet Admiral, General of the Army and General of the Air Force, which are currently abeyent ranks equivalent to Admiral of the Fleet, Field Marshal and Marshal of the Royal Air Force. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 15:16, 6 August 2009 (UTC)

These are not NATO grade codes, they are US pay grades. --< Nicht Nein! (talk) 21:14, 6 August 2009 (UTC)

Commandant of the Marine Corps[edit]

The Commandant of the Marine Corps is not an equivalent to Fleet Admiral, General of the Army, or General of the Air Force. These positions are war-time only "ranks" that could be described as O-11. Commandant of the Marine Corps is a continuously-filled position and is analogous to the Air Force and Army's Chiefs of Staff, and whatever it's called in the Navy †. The Commandant is a position, not a rank, and thus should not be in the US officer ranks template.

Chief of Naval Operations? —— Shakescene (talk) 05:36, 23 June 2009 (UTC)
It isn't... in the template. --< Nicht Nein! (talk) 08:10, 23 June 2009 (UTC)

MGEN - MG[edit]

The US Army rank of Major General is abbreviated by MG, or it has been at every instance I've seen it. This should be changed, but seeing that it is a template, I would like to see some kind of consensus or information on why it is MGEN and not MG. If there has been a recent change in the rank abbreviation or UCMJ or something I might not know it.--Tim Thomason 02:53, 21 July 2005 (UTC)

It's not MGEN, it's MG. I'm changing it. 18:36, 3 August 2005 (UTC)

Warrant officers?[edit]

As far as I know, warrant officers are commisioned officers. Should they not be included here? --- Safemariner 00:59, 27 December 2006 (UTC)

Warrant Officers past a certain paygrade are commissioned in the same manner as "Commissioned Officers". However, a distinction is usually made between Warrant Officers and Commissioned Officers. — Manticore 16:15, 15 January 2007 (UTC)
In the United States, all warrant officers WO2 and above are commissioned officers and are called CWOs. Only WO1 are not commissioned but in practice WO1 has been phased out and as far are I know, there are no more WO1 left. CWO2 to CWO5 should be included in the list here. --- Safemariner 01:19, 16 January 2007 (UTC)

CAPS, Capts, CPTs, and CAPTS[edit]

I went in and changes some of the capitalization. There's an important distinction, for example, between CPT (Army O3), Capt (Marine Corps or Air Foce O3), and CAPT (Navy, Coast Guard, PHS, and NOAA O6). I could not find a good source for the proper abbreviation for an O11 in the Air Force, as there has only been one of them. DukeEGR93 03:33, 14 May 2007 (UTC)


Obviously for the USN and USMC, the abbreviations found in SECNAVINST 5216.5D should be considered authoritative until proven otherwise, but I'm less sanguine about using it as a source for the USAF, given the contradictions it has with AR 600-20 for the Army enlisted grade abbreviations. A search of the Air Force website http://www.af.mil definitely shows that the space is used (no hits for "LtGen" or "MajGen", thousands for the spaced versions. Less clear about the period since the site's search function doesn't consider periods even with quotes used, but every single page I came across there used periods with the rank abbreviations. My source for the non-Army abbreviations was http://www.defenselink.mil/specials/insignias/officers.html , so I'm willing to assume that page was edited by an airman who made some assumptions about marine usage. Caerwine Caer’s whines 03:41, 2 July 2007 (UTC)

Order of services[edit]

I don't entirely agree with the way this is set up. While I can see how it can be practical, it doesn't match, the setup of the enlisted ranks setup, which are different. Neovu79 (talk) 05:12, 3 April 2008 (UTC)

Convert template from hardcode[edit]

On articles where this template stacks with others its lack of automatic collapseability becomes obvious, as seen on Midshipman. Should be converted to use {{Military navigation}} and {{Navbox}}. — MrDolomite • Talk 17:58, 21 May 2008 (UTC)

I took a look at this a while back, but I couldn't find a way to make template:military navigation show columns in a manner that looked acceptable. All of my attempts had uneven or non-uniform columns and rows. bahamut0013 15:32, 23 May 2008 (UTC)

check out Template:Comparative military ranks[edit]

i have very even and uniform (a pun) columns and rows. diremarc (talk) 04:25, 2 June 2009 (UTC)

Items outside of the navbox[edit]

Any notes or other information should be put in a subheading at the bottom of the navbox, not outside of it. Having any template information outside of the navbox is disruptive to the articles it is transcluded into, especially when stacked with other navboxes. Additionally, having notes for the navbox outside of the box can be confusing to some readers, as they (like I initially did) may assume that the notes are for the article rather than the navbox. bahamut0013 11:35, 4 September 2008 (UTC)

autocollapse; duplicate navbox[edit]

Seems that somebody felt so strongly that the navbox should default collapsed that he or she created Template:US Officer ranks collapsed. I'm not going to nominate it for deletion because I can see why: it can be disruptive on many pages to have the navboxes default as open. I do feel, however, that editors should know and maintain both: they should be identical (unless, of course, somebody nominates it for deletion). bahamut0013 17:51, 8 December 2008 (UTC)

Of which they are not. In both cases. --< Nicht Nein! (talk) 18:40, 8 December 2008 (UTC)

I just noticed this too. It's annoying that they are not identical. Isn't it possible to change the template to have a parameter that says if it should be collapsed or not? By default it can be open. I am going to ask at the help desk about this. It would be nice to delete the other template. Jason Quinn (talk) 15:11, 25 May 2010 (UTC)
I've gotten the template improved such that it can now be passed a parameter that allows it to be collapsed. To use it, just type {{US officer ranks|collapse=collapsed}}. I have already converted all uses of the other template over to the new notation. (The template also still needs documentation.) All that remains is to delete the other template but before that the differences need to be considered and merged. I think some aspects of the other template like the flags are better. I will merge some differences and then nominate the other template for deletion. I hope others will add their input. Jason Quinn (talk) 18:08, 25 May 2010 (UTC)
I have added the documentation. All that is left is to merge the differences and then delete the old template. Jason Quinn (talk) 21:25, 25 May 2010 (UTC)
The flags were removed citing Wikipedia:Manual of Style (icons). This is debatable but I suppose it is not worth pushing to get them back without good cause. The differences between this template and the other have now been considered by me. I incorporated only one thing: the rank of commodore into the current table. The other differences are not worth merging. I will look to see if there was a reason why commodore was removed from this template. This change now renders the old template obsolete and I have nominated it for speedy deletion. Jason Quinn (talk) 22:45, 25 May 2010 (UTC)

Template:Comparative military ranks[edit]

i am new at this but want to contribute. i apologize for my earlier attempt to insert a new navbox (Template:Comparative military ranks) into this page without notice. i found the two existing navboxes somewhat confusing, with acronymns and jargons not immediately understandable to a non-military reader. i generated a new template from other sources (this is not a copyedit) and verified it at the official sites for each service. i think it would be useful to include this template, even though it also lists pay grades and ranks for enlisted servicemen. again, sorry about my attempt to edit this page without discussion. i just constructed template:Comparative military officer ranks for officers only by deleting the servicemen info. diremarc (talk) 04:47, 2 June 2009 (UTC)

It is less accurate and has less information. --< Nicht Nein! (talk) 07:38, 2 June 2009 (UTC)
what is inaccurate? you do not address my concerns that "the two existing navboxes [are] somewhat confusing, with acronymns and jargons not immediately understandable to a non-military reader". the first nav box lacks a visual key to translate the acronyms, which are used inconsistently (e.g., admiral not adm, general not gen.). the types of rear adm. are not distinguished. in both of the current nav boxes, inclusion of "Approximate insignia" provides inaccurate, trivial and/or non-info. if "approximate insignia" provides valuble info, why is it omited from the second nav box? look again at the offered Template:Comparative military ranks. the information provided is accurate, properly cross-linked and provided in an easily accessable, handsome format. and what are you trying to convey by disguising your user name as a german double negative (Nicht Nein!)? that seems a rude way to deny consenus (as was your one line, false put down of my contribution).diremarc (talk) 18:48, 2 June 2009 (UTC)
The version you propose is sloppier. It is less uniformed and doesn't convey the same sets of information. You do not need to be a "military reader" to understand abbreviations or have the care and curiosity enough to mouse-over the abbreviation to find out what it is and potentially click on it to learn more about it. Abbreviations are given as a comparative measure across services and to save space. The types are distinguishable. This template is attached to articles that already describe in whole or in part the content of the template. There is no need to be more specific at the cost of being redundant with a loss of information.
As for "Approximate insignia", well the commissioned ranks all share a common insignia with small variations between the services. The warrant officer ranks of each service have a different insignia for each. The only uniformity would be in the form of a bar. I am in favor of expanding the insignia in each area to better represent the insignia. I had already removed the insignia portion from the commissioned chart only to have it reverted and opposed. As this is a personal preference I didn't fight it. Your perception of "an easily accessable [sic], handsome format", is the same; a personal preference, as I disagree wholeheartedly.
Furthermore, your false call out of the idea that I am disguising my name is more rude, than if I was actually doing that. In what way do I "deny consenus [sic]"? For all I know you are disguising your name by failing to capitalize the first letter of it. My first comment, in response to your outreach, was in no way false. The original version looked atrocious... more so. --< Nicht Nein! (talk) 08:36, 6 June 2009 (UTC)
Registered editors who have installed WP:popups are a really tiny fraction of the editors and readers of Wikipedia. (Another rather small fraction can see the full Wikipedia link on the status bar of their browser if they have a status bar, think to look at the URL and the URL isn't truncated for length.) We're not (or should not be) editing for them, nor for those who already know these abbreviations; most of those who know the abbreviations already know a lot about the ranks behind them. —— Shakescene (talk) 06:27, 7 August 2009 (UTC)
I did not install that script either. I was not referring to the status bar either. --< Nicht Nein! (talk) 07:01, 7 August 2009 (UTC)

Template:United States uniformed services comparative ranks[edit]

Template:United States uniformed services comparative ranks is good to go. please let me know if you have any objections, as i plan to add it to this article sometime on Tuesday, June 9. --diremarc (talk) 05:39, 6 June 2009 (UTC)

Object No, please don't. --< Nicht Nein! (talk)

are you with monty python?[edit]

an automatic naysayer is not a substitute for diologue. if that is your only objection, i still will go ahead.--diremarc (talk) 14:37, 6 June 2009 (UTC)

Military ranks quiz at Sporcle.com[edit]

Just for everyone's interest and amusement, there's a (free, no stakes, no prizes) quiz here that challenges you to fill in all 104 U.S. military ranks in 12 minutes:


Also read through the comments on this quiz, some of them relevant to issues discussed on this talk page. —— Shakescene (talk) 05:50, 23 June 2009 (UTC)

Funny; not perfectly accurate. Comments are not really relevant. --< Nicht Nein! (talk) 08:10, 23 June 2009 (UTC)

Template needs fixing[edit]

One can't see the 4-star & 5-star ranks. There's no way to move the Template over. GoodDay (talk) 18:24, 6 November 2009 (UTC)

I just squeezed the left-hand title for National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration to allow more space on the right. Does that help? (Originally all the services' names were abbreviated, like USPHS and USCG, but I expanded the abbreviations that aren't instantly recognizable by civilians like me.) —— Shakescene (talk) 22:51, 6 November 2009 (UTC)
There should be something there, to move the entire article over (the same way there's something to move the article up/down). GoodDay (talk) 23:56, 6 November 2009 (UTC)
Your browser (Firefox, Internet Explorer, etc.) should allow you to do that, by providing a moving bar at the bottom at the bottom of the window whenever the window's narrower than the page it's displaying. I just used the middle button at the top right of my Firefox browser to shrink the window, and then opened up the template. A bar appeared at the bottom of the window. —— Shakescene (talk) 01:43, 7 November 2009 (UTC)

Commodore... keep or delete?[edit]

As part of the merge with a duplicate template, I have added Commodore back into the table. This was deleted in July 2009 by User:FlieGerFaUstMe262 saying, "Shouldn't be here; there are many other ranks that have been abolished". This a good point and one that draws a distinction between "inactive" and "abolished". Keep or delete?

weak delete for same reasons as stated by FlieGerFaUstMe262. Jason Quinn (talk) 22:53, 25 May 2010 (UTC)

Stong delete for the same reasons as stated by Jason Quinn. --< Nicht Nein! (talk) 01:56, 26 May 2010 (UTC)

idea it occurred to me that it wouldn't be a bad idea to have a link in the template to a list of abolished US military titles. This may require making such a list. But if FlieGerFaUstMe262 is correct that there are "many", such a list would be nice to have. Jason Quinn (talk) 16:38, 26 May 2010 (UTC)

Admiral of the Navy[edit]

Admiral of the Navy (United States) is listed in the template when you go to edit it, but not visible in the preview or saved version. A bug? -OberRanks (talk) 03:54, 21 December 2011 (UTC)


This template should be combined with this template: Template:US officer candidate collapsed (talk) 08:04, 25 April 2012 (UTC)

Image:US-O12 insignia.svg[edit]

The 6-star insignia that was proposed in WWII for General of the Armies / Admiral of the Navy was never authorized, in part because the rank was never authorized. It is unclear how many stars Pershing and Dewey should be considered as being equivalent to, and they used different insignia. (Pershing used 4 gold stars while Dewey used 4 silver stars and 2 gold anchors) The 6 star insignia should not be used in this template. Caerwine Caer’s whines 00:13, 3 May 2008 (UTC)

While I agree with you on the "official-ness" of the insignia, I think that the template is more aesthetically pleasing with the image. After all, it was created by the United States Army Institute of Heraldry, while never used, I feel that lends sufficient weight behind it that it would be used should another 6-star general ever be promoted. I don't normally vouch for form over function, but in this case, I think it would impart to the casual reader the weight of the rank. bahamut0013 15:41, 23 May 2008 (UTC)
Considering that barring a war on the scale of World War II, I doubt we'll ever have even a 5-star general or admiral again, if aesthetics is to be the determiner, it might be better to just remove the column for General of the Armies/Admiral of the Navy entirely, especially as one can argue whether they actually are 6-star ranks. Caerwine Caer’s whines 18:10, 23 May 2008 (UTC)

The "aesthetically pleasing" but false premise of leaving the unauthorized six-star rank in place is exactly the reason Wikipedia, albeit encyclopedic, is a seriously flawed source of information. Instead of sticking to the facts, there are apparently people here who insist on embellishing because it suits their purposes. There was NEVER a six-star insignia authorized for wear. It was a proposal. Its use here is as silly as showing uniform prototypes as law-and-gospel that were never authorized nor wear tested, just discussed and played around with among the muckety-mucks. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 07:06, 21 March 2012 (UTC)

The insignia was created and is officially "on the books", just never authorized for wear. I don't see any problem in having the picture in the template. -OberRanks (talk) 14:41, 21 March 2012 (UTC)
On which "book"? State a source. I don't believe this is correct for any official "book." United State Code? DOD regulation? -RelativelyCertain (talk) 19:24, 31 May 2013 (UTC)
Institute of Heraldry has the insignia guidelines and published this one. This topic has also been discussed over several different articles and the 6 star picture has been agreed as valid. Maybe bring this up at the actual General of the Armies article if you want to challenge the validity of the source. I should also add the picture is more to link to the Six-star rank article, since these super ranks are generally referred to as such, rather than serve to connect to the history of the historical ranks themselves. As this is only a navigation template, I wouldn't change it. -OberRanks (talk) 22:51, 31 May 2013 (UTC)
From the Institute of Heraldry webpage: "The title of General of the Armies was established after World War I. No special insignia was developed and General Pershing wore four stars. He was the only person appointed as General of the Armies." (http://www.tioh.hqda.pentagon.mil/UniformedServices/Insignia_Rank/general_officers.aspx) The fact that it has been discussed before seems like a weak argument in light of a claim that the material posted does not meet the "verifiable" policy, and especially since the cited source does not appear to back the currently posted claim. The template advertises as "United States officer ranks." This rank is not authorized by Congress (as can be verified by examining Title 10 of USC). The rank, as a historical reference, never used this symbol, and the authoritative source referenced for supporting it explicitly contradicts the claim presented. The suggestion that this should be challenged under the article for General of the Armies also seems strange since that page is (and has been for some time - I didn't change it) consistent with my point. Under the section on WWII and Six Star rank, there's a quote for Sec of War Stimson, which is summarized as follows: "Stimson's answer was very carefully worded and nowhere did he ever actually state that Pershing held six-star rank." (More detail if you go to the page.) I don't challenge that there was a draft design with six stars around WWII - which is all that's claimed on the General of the Armies page. As presented on the General of the Armies page, I believe the claim is true. The presentation here is different, and, in this case, not accurate. (As noted in the above referenced pages, esp General of the Armies, even if MacArthur has been given six star, there's no clear policy to say that it would have been the same rank as given to Pershing and Washington to which the table links, the rank "General of the Armies" having been used at least 6 different way throughout history (according to current version of General of the Armies. RelativelyCertain (talk) 19:55, 1 June 2013 (UTC)
This has been discussed before. The proposed insignia should be kept, but a more detailed footnote explaination could be added with links; such as, "1945 proposed, but never adopted insignia for the US general of the armies". Kierzek (talk) 23:40, 31 May 2013 (UTC)
Per above suggestion, I have challenged the claim for the design ever having existed on the General of the Armies page. As noted in my entry in the talk section there, aside from Wikipedia itself, there seems to be little readily available evidence that this existed even in draft. Perhaps someone will provide additional information or references to back that part of the claim. Either way, I stand by earlier comments about the symbol being factually misleading as used in this template. RelativelyCertain (talk) 21:02, 1 June 2013 (UTC)

There's a further discussion at Talk:Six-star rank#Why retain the image for a non-fact?. Some previous discussions are mentioned there. Links to any others would be welcome. Andrewa (talk) 10:55, 18 July 2014 (UTC)

This is really confusing[edit]

To someone who hasn't served in the armed forces and isn't a specialist, the alphabet soup and insignias are ridiculously confusing. Ed [talk] [majestic titan] 17:28, 5 October 2016 (UTC)