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Yliluutnantti kauluslaatta.svg
Yliluutnantti l hihalaatta.svg


Yliluutnantti (premiärlöjtnant in Swedish) is a Finnish military rank above luutnantti (löjtnant) and below kapteeni (kapten), used in the Finnish Defence Forces (Army, Navy and Air Force) and the Finnish Border Guard.

The prescribed duty is a company vice-commander. Officers who have graduated as Bachelors of Military Science from the National Defence College with the rank of luutnantti usually re-enter the College after four years' tour of duty. After a study of two additional years, they are promoted yliluutnantti and return to more challenging duties. Yliluutnantti is also the highest rank available to those educated in the now-decommissioned school Maanpuolustusopisto (comparable to a military junior college). The rank of yliluutnantti may be placed in the NATO rank class OF-1, although it is not a part of the NATO system.

History and related ranks[edit]

The Army of the Finnish Grand Duchy of the Russian Empire had a rank of alikapteeni, similar in use as Prussian and Russian Stabskapitän. The rank of yliluutnantti came to Finland from Germany with Jägers in 1918, but General Mannerheim considered it being too German and encouraged holders of the rank to use more general rank of lieutenant instead since rank of yliluutnantti had not been confirmed as an official rank. In some regiments people with rank of yliluutnantti were considered to have been promoted to captain, and the rank fell in disuse until 1952 when it was taken to regular use, and ever since it has been in use in all three branches; Air force, Navy and the Army.

Prior to the Second World War, graduates of the Defence College served with the rank of luutnantti. The rank of yliluutnantti was established in 1952, when it was felt that cadets graduating from the Defence College would be denied promotion avenues due to the large number of field-promoted company-grade officers in active service. As most of such officers held the rank of vänrikki or luutnantti, and were unlikely to advance to field grade (due to their background as NCOs and lack of academic studies), the rank of yliluutnantti circumvented the seniority issue that would have appeared should the cadets have been promoted to luutnantti. Due to this revision, reservists who held the wartime rank of luutnantti did not receive a promotion to Captain, as would have been expected, but rather to yliluutnantti; promotions were not grandfathered.

See also[edit]