Major

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Navies Armies Air forces
Commissioned officers
Admiral of
the fleet
Field marshal or
General of the Army
Marshal of
the air force
Admiral General Air chief marshal
Vice admiral Lieutenant general Air marshal
Rear admiral Major general Air vice-marshal
Commodore Brigadier or
brigadier general
Air commodore
Captain Colonel Group captain
Commander Lieutenant colonel Wing commander
Lieutenant
commander
Major or
Commandant
Squadron leader
Lieutenant Captain Flight lieutenant
Lieutenant
junior grade
or
sub-lieutenant
Lieutenant or
first lieutenant
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Ensign or
midshipman
Second lieutenant Pilot officer
Officer cadet Officer cadet Flight cadet
Enlisted grades
Warrant officer or
chief petty officer
Warrant officer or
sergeant major
Warrant officer
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Leading seaman Corporal or
bombardier
Corporal
Seaman Private or
gunner or
trooper
Aircraftman or
airman
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Major is a military rank of commissioned officer status, with corresponding ranks existing in many military forces throughout the world.

Background

When used unhyphenated, in conjunction with no other indicators, major is one rank senior to that of an army captain, and one rank subordinate or below the rank of lieutenant colonel. It is considered the most junior of the field officer ranks.[1]

Majors are typically assigned as specialised executive or operations officers for battalion-sized units of 300 to 1,200 soldiers.[citation needed] In some militaries, notably France and Ireland, the rank of major is referred to as commandant, while in others it is known as captain-major.[citation needed]

When used in hyphenated or combined fashion, the term can also imply seniority at other levels of rank, including general-major or major general, denoting a low-level general officer, and sergeant major, denoting the most senior non-commissioned officer (NCO) of a military unit.[disputed ][citation needed] The term major can also be used with a hyphen to denote the leader of a military band such as in pipe-major or drum-major.

Historically, the rank designation develops in English in the 1640s, taken from French majeur, in turn a shortening of sergent-majeur, which at the time designated a higher rank than at present.[citation needed]

The rank of major is also used in some police forces and other paramilitary rank structures, such as the Pennsylvania State Police, New York State Police, New Jersey State Police, and several others.[citation needed] As with a military major, this rank is most commonly the next rank above captain. The rank is equivalent to an inspector or commander in other large police departments or to the UK rank of superintendent.[citation needed]

Links to major ranks by country

A United States Marine Corps officer being promoted from captain to major

Alphabetically sorted by name of country:

Insignia of Army majors

Insignia of Air Force majors

Insignia of Naval Infantry majors

Ranks equivalent to major by country

Alphabetically sorted by name of country or sovereign state

See also

References

  1. ^ "Army Major". Military-Ranks.org - Serving America's Military. Retrieved 27 July 2016.
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