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Brigadier is a military rank, the seniority of which depends on the country. In some countries, it is a senior rank above colonel, equivalent to a brigadier general or commodore, typically commanding a brigade of several thousand soldiers. In other countries, it is a non-commissioned rank (e.g. Spain, Italy, France, the Netherlands and the Indonesian Police ranks).

Senior officer rank



Austria-Hungary

As the head of the Polish Legions fighting on the Austrio-Hungarian side in World War I, Józef Piłsudski was given the rank of Brigadier that otherwise did not exist in the Austro-Hungarian military.

British tradition

In many countries, especially those formerly part of the British Empire, a brigadier is either the highest field rank or most junior general appointment, nominally commanding a brigade. It ranks above colonel and below major general. The rank is used by the British Army, the Royal Marines, the Australian Army, the Bangladesh Army, the Indian Army, the Sri Lankan Army, the New Zealand Army, the Pakistan Army and several others. Although it is not always considered a general officer rank, it is always considered equivalent to the brigadier general and brigade general rank of other countries. In NATO forces, brigadier is OF-6 on the rank scale. File:Australian Army OF-6.svg|Australia File:Bangladesh-army-OF-6.svg|Bangladesh File:Brigadier of the Indian Army.svg|India File:13. Myanmar Army BG.svg|Myanmar File:Sri Lanka-army-OF-6.svg|Sri Lanka File:OF-6 Pakistan Army.svg|Pakistan "The grade of brigadier-general, also called, almost interchangeably, brigadier, first appeared in the British army during the reign of King James II. A warrant of 1705 placed the grade directly below major-general, but the appointment was always considered temporary and not continuous. The British were ambiguous over whether the holder was considered a general officer or a senior field grade office". The title is derived from the equivalent British rank of brigadier-general, used until 1922 and still used in many countries. "Brigadier" was already in use as a generic term for a commander of a brigade irrespective of specific rank. Until the rank was dissolved in 1922, brigadier-generals wore a crossed sword and baton symbol on its own. From 1922-28, the British rank title used was that of colonel-commandant, with one crown and three 'pips', a rank which, although reflecting its modern role in the British Army as a senior colonel rather than a junior general, was not well received and was replaced with brigadier after six years. Colonel-commandant was only ever used for officers commanding brigades, depots or training establishments. Officers holding equivalent rank in administrative appointments were known as "colonels on the staff", also replaced by brigadier in 1928. Colonel-commandants and colonels on the staff wore the same rank badge later adopted by brigadiers."New Army Rank of Brigadier", ''The Times'', 23 December 1997. Until shortly after World War II, brigadier was an appointment conferred on colonels (as commodore was an appointment conferred on naval captains) rather than a substantive rank. In Commonwealth countries, and most Arabic-speaking countries (in which the rank is called ''amid''), the rank insignia comprises a crown (or some other national symbol) with three stars, (sometimes called "pips"), which are often arranged in a triangle. A brigadier's uniform may also have red gorget patches. It is otherwise similar to that of a colonel (colonel's rank insignia have a crown/emblem with two stars/"pips".) The Canadian Army used the rank of brigadier (following British tradition, with identical insignia) until the unification of the Canadian Forces in 1968. The rank then became brigadier-general with the insignia of St. Edward's Crown surmounting a crossed sword and baton over one gold maple leaf.

France

Until 1788, a rank of ''brigadier des armées'' ("brigadier of the armies"), which could be described as a senior colonel or junior brigade commander, was used in the French Army. The normal brigade command rank was field marshal (''maréchal de camp'') (which elsewhere is a more senior rank). During the French Revolution, the ranks of ''brigadier des armées'' and ''maréchal de camp'' were replaced by brigade general (''général de brigade''). In common with many countries, France now uses the officer rank of brigade general instead of a "brigadier" rank; this was the rank held by Charles de Gaulle. The ''brigadier des armées'' held a one-star insignia, while the ''général de brigade'' inherited the ''maréchal de camp'' two-stars insignia. The disappearance of the ''brigadier'' rank is the reason that there is no one-star insignia in the French Army. The rank of ''brigadier'' is used in some regiments as an equivalent of corporal. By extension, also applies to the ''gendarmerie'' (armed police), equivalent in rank to a corporal in the infantry.

Spain

The rank of a ''brigadier'' was established by Philip V in 1702 as an intermediate rank between colonel and true generals. In some Iberoamerican republics (see below), the rank survived after independence. In Spain, brigadiers came to be considered full generals in 1871, and in 1889 they were renamed ''general de brigada''. The historical rank is distinct from the current NCO rank of ''brigada'', although sometimes translators confuse the two. The name has survived as a cadet rank at the Spanish Naval Academy.

Latin America

Many countries in South and Central America were formerly Spanish or Portuguese (Brazil) possessions. Brigadier generalis used in Latin America, in the normal sense of brigade commander rank (e.g. Colombia, Chile), although most Latin American nations instead use the rank of brigade general. In Mexico, brigadier general is the rank below brigade general, both ranks falling between colonel and divisional general. However, both the Argentine and Brazilian Air Forces use a curious system of variations on brigadier for all (Argentina) or most (Brazil) general officers. The origin of this system is not entirely clear, but in the case of Argentina may be due to army air units being commanded by brigade generals before the establishment of the Air Force as an independent armed force. In the Argentine Air Force these ranks are, in decreasing order of seniority: *''Brigadier-general'' (the highest rank, equivalent to the army's lieutenant-general and the navy's admiral) *''Brigadier-mayor'' ("brigadier-major", equivalent to the army's divisional general and the navy's vice-admiral) *''Brigadier'' (equivalent to the army's brigade general and the navy's rear-admiral) In the Brazilian Air Force these ranks are, in decreasing order of seniority: *''Tenente-brigadeiro'' ("lieutenant-brigadier", equivalent to ''almirante-de-esquadra'' (squadron admiral) and ''general de exército'' (general of the army)). *''Major-brigadeiro'' ("major-brigadier", equivalent to ''vice-almirante'' (vice admiral) and ''general de divisão'' (divisional general)) *''Brigadeiro'' ("brigadier", equivalent to ''contra-almirante'' (rear admiral) and ''general de brigada'' (brigade general)) Above these is the highest Brazilian Air Force rank of marshal of the air, used only in wartime.

North America

In the United States, the U.S. Army, U.S. Air Force, and U.S. Marine Corps rank Brigadier General above Colonel and below Major General. The sea-borne divisions of U.S. Navy and U.S. Coast Guard have no generals, preferring to call their higher-ranked officers admiral. A Rear Admiral Lower Half is the same pay grade as a Brigadier General.

Junior officer rank



United Kingdom

In the UK, brigadier and sub-brigadier were formerly subaltern ranks in the Royal Horse Guards.

Non-commissioned rank

Brigadier also exists as a non-commissioned rank. This usage derives from the use of "brigade" to denote a squad or team, similar to the occasional English civilian usage "work brigade".

France

In France, and some countries whose forces were structured based on the method used in France, some branches of the army and the gendarmerie use ''brigadier'' for a rank equivalent to ''caporal'' (corporal), and ''brigadier-chef'' for a rank equivalent to ''caporal-chef''. Brigadier is used by arms of the army that are by tradition considered "mounted" arms, such as logistics or cavalry units. A similar usage exists elsewhere. In the French gendarmerie, the brigadier ranks are used as in the army, i.e. as junior enlisted ranks (''gradés''), while the French police use brigadier ranks as their sub-officer (''sous-officier'') ranks. Since all professional police and gendarmes have sub-officer status in France, the gendarmerie brigadier ranks are rarely used, since they are used only by auxiliaries. On the other hand, the police brigadier ranks, which are used to indicate professional ranks, are common. In the French gendarmerie and in "mounted" arms of the French army, the brigadier ranks are: *''Brigadier'' (brigadier) (OR-3) *''Brigadier-chef'' (chief brigadier) (OR-4) In the French National Police, the sub-officer variations are used for non-commissioned officers are: *''Sous-brigadier'' (OR-6, equal to gendarmerie ''maréchal-des-logis-chef'') *''Brigadier'' (OR-8, equal to gendarmerie ''adjudant'') *''Brigadier-chef'' (OR-9, equal to gendarmerie ''adjudant-chef'') *''Brigadier-major'' (OR-9, equal to gendarmerie ''major'')

Indonesia

In the Indonesian National Police force, this rank is referred to as the Constable ranks in the regular police units. It is equivalent to the "sergeant" rank in the armed forces. This rank is the most junior rank in the regular police units of Indonesia but is above the enlisted ranks (''Tamtama'') of the special police units such as in the Mobile Brigade corps and water police units. This rank is below the "Sub-inspector" (''Ajun Inspektur Polisi'') ranks. The police Brigadier ranks are as shown below: * ''Brigadir Polisi Kepala'', abbreviated ''Bripka'' (Police Chief Brigadier) * ''Brigadir Polisi'', not abbreviated (Police Brigadier) * ''Brigadir Polisi Satu'', abbreviated ''Briptu'' (Police Brigadier 1st class) * ''Brigadir Polisi Dua'', abbreviated ''Bripda'' (Police Brigadier 2nd class) In addition, Police Brigadier General (''Brigadir Jenderal Polisi'') and Brigadier General (''Brigadir Jenderal'') are general officer ranks in the Indonesian Police, Army and Marine Corps respectively.

Italy

In the Italian ''Carabinieri'' and ''Guardia di Finanza'', the ranks of vice-brigadier (''vice brigadiere''), brigadier (''brigadiere''), and chief brigadier (''brigadiere capo'') correspond roughly to the army ranks based on sergeant. The rank of brigade general (''generale di brigata'') is used throughout the armed forces as the most junior general rank, and corresponds to the British rank title of brigadier.

Netherlands

''Brigadier'' is traditionally the most senior non-commissioned rank in some Netherlands police forces, for example the ''Korps landelijke politiediensten'' and ''Gemeentepolitie''. The rank has been continued by the National Police Corps (''Korps Nationale Politie'') into which the previous forces merged in 2013. The Royal Marechaussee do not use this rank.

Spain

In Spain, a ''brigada'' has a NATO rank code of OR-8 (and is thus a senior NCO). The Spanish rank ''brigada'' is distinct from the Spanish-language ''brigadier general' used for senior officers in Latin America (and historically in Spain).

See also

*List of comparative military ranks

References

{{Reflist Category:Military ranks Category:Military ranks of the Commonwealth Category:Military ranks of Australia Category:Former military ranks of Canada Category:Military ranks of India Category:Military ranks of France Category:Military ranks of Pakistan Category:One-star officers