The Info List - Captain (armed Forces)

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The army rank of captain (from the French capitaine) is a commissioned officer rank historically corresponding to the command of a company of soldiers. The rank is also used by some air forces and marine forces. Today, a captain is typically either the commander or second-in-command of a company or artillery battery (or United States Army cavalry troop or Commonwealth squadron). In the Chinese People's Liberation Army, a captain may also command a company, or be the second-in-command of a battalion. In NATO
countries, the rank of captain is described by the code OF-2 and is one rank above an OF-1 (lieutenant or first lieutenant) and one below an OF-3 (major or commandant). The rank of captain is generally considered to be the highest rank a soldier can achieve while remaining in the field. In some militaries, such as United States Army
United States Army
and Air Force and the British Army, captain is the entry-level rank for officer candidates possessing a professional degree, namely, most medical professionals (doctors, pharmacists, dentists) and lawyers. In the U.S.. Army, lawyers who are not already officers at captain rank or above enter as lieutenants during training, and are promoted to the rank of captain after completion of their training if they are in the active component, or after a certain amount of time, usually one year from their date of commission as a lieutenant, for the reserve components. The rank of captain should not be confused with the naval rank of captain or with the UK-influenced air force rank of group captain, both of which are equivalent to the army rank of colonel.


1 History 2 Air forces 3 Equivalent captain ranks 4 Insignia

4.1 Historical

5 See also 6 Notes 7 References

History[edit] The term ultimately goes back to Late Latin
Late Latin
capitaneus meaning "chief, prominent"; in Middle English
Middle English
adopted as capitayn in the 14th century, from Old French
Old French
capitaine. The military rank of captain was in use from the 1560s, referring to an officer who commands a company. The naval sense, an officer who commands a man-of-war, is somewhat earlier, from the 1550s, later extended in meaning to "master or commander of any kind of vessel". A captain in the period prior to the professionalization of the armed services of European nations subsequent to the French Revolution, during the early modern period, was a nobleman who purchased the right to head a company from the previous holder of that right. He would in turn receive money from another nobleman to serve as his lieutenant. The funding to provide for the troops came from the monarch or his government; the captain had to be responsible for it. If he was not, or was otherwise court-martialed, he would be dismissed ("cashiered"), and the monarch would receive money from another nobleman to command the company. Otherwise, the only pension for the captain was selling the right to another nobleman when he was ready to retire. Air forces[edit] Many air forces, such as the United States Air Force, use a rank structure and insignia similar to those of the army. However, the United Kingdom's Royal Air Force, many other Commonwealth air forces and a few non-Commonwealth air forces[1] use an air force-specific rank structure in which flight lieutenant is OF-2. A group captain is OF-5 and was derived from the naval rank of captain. In the unified system of the Canadian Forces, the air force rank titles are pearl grey and increase from OF-1 to OF-5 in half strip increments.[2] Equivalent captain ranks[edit]

Rank name Country name

Kapitani Georgia

Akhmad Mongolia

Capitaine Belgium (Fr.)

Capitaine France

Capitano Italy

Capitán Spain

Capitão Brazil

Capitão Portugal

Căpitan Romania

Hauptmann Austria



Hauptsturmführer Waffen-SS

Jeg-tooran (جګتورن) Afghanistan

"Kapitán", Capitán, Captain Philippines

Kapetan (Капетан) Serbia

Kapitan Russia

Kapitan Ukraine

Kapitan Poland

Kapitan Azerbaijan

Kapitan (Капитан) Bulgaria

Kapitan (Капитан) Russia

Kapitan (Капітан) Ukraine

Kapitein Netherlands

Kapitein Belgium (NL.)

Kapitonas Lithuania

Kapitán Czech Rep.

Kapitán Slovakia

Kaptajn Denmark

Kaptan (کپتان) Pakistan

Kapteeni Finland

Kaptein Norway

Kapten Indonesia

Kapten Sweden

Lochagos (Λοχαγός) Greece

Bo Gyi (ဗိုလ်ကြီး) Myanmar

Phu Kong (ผู้กอง) Thailand

Roi Ek, Roi Ek (ร้อยเอก) Thailand

Satnik Croatia

Stotnik Slovenia

Seren, Seren (סרן) Israel

Shangwei, Shangwei (上尉), China

Shangwei, Shangwei (上尉), Taiwan

Százados Hungary

Taewi (대위) South Korea

Taii (大尉), Ichii (一尉) Japan

Yüzbaşı Turkey

Đại Úy Vietnam

Капетан (Kapetan) Macedonia

Insignia[edit] A variety of images illustrative of different forces' insignia for captain (or captain-equivalents) are shown below:

Australian Army

Bangladesh Army

Belgian Land Component

Brazilian Army
Brazilian Army

Brazilian Air Force
Brazilian Air Force

Brazilian Military Police
Brazilian Military Police

British Army/Royal Marines

Canadian Army

Colombian Army

Chinese army

Kapitán Czech Republic Army

Egyptian Army

Kapteeni Finnish Defence Force

Capitaine French Army

Capitaine des Eaux et Forêts French Forests Office

კაპიტანი (kapitani) Georgian Army

Hauptmann German Army

Lochagos Hellenic Army

Százados Hungarian Defence Force

Indian Army

Kapten Indonesian Army

Kapten Indonesian Navy
Indonesian Navy
and Indonesian Marine Corps

Kapten Indonesian Air Force

Captaen Irish Army

Seren Israel Defense Forces

Seren Israel Air Force

Seren Israeli Navy

Capitano Italian Army

Kapitonas Lithuanian Land Force

Капетан (Kapetan) Macedonian Army

Capitán Mexican Army

대위 (Daewi) North Korean army

Kapitein Royal Netherlands Army

Kaptan Pakistan Army

Capitán (Spanish) Kapitán (Tagalog) Philippine Army

Kapitan Polish Army

Căpitan Romanian Armed Forces

капита́н (kapitán) Russian army

Kaptein South African Army

대위 (Daewi) South Korean army

Sri Lanka

Kapten Swedish Air Force

Kapten Swedish Army

Hauptmann Swiss Armed Forces

上尉 (Shàngwèi) Taiwanese army

Roi Ek (ร้อยเอก) Royal Thai Army

Yüzbaşı Turkish Armed Forces

Bo Gyi Myanmar Army

U.S. Air Force[N 1]

U.S. Army (dress, garrison)

U.S. Army (field, combat)

U.S. Army (field, combat)

U.S. Marine Corps[3] (dress, garrison)

U.S. Marine Corps[3] (field, combat)


Hauptmann German Army
German Army
(1935 to 1945)

Hauptmann German Waffen-SS (1935 to 1945)

Kaptein South African Defence Force

капита́н (kapitán) Soviet Army

U.S. Army (September 1959 to October 2015)[4]

U.S. Army (1861 to 1865)

C.S. Army (1861 to 1865)

See also[edit]

Captain (United Kingdom) Captain (United States) Senior captain Staff captain


^ The U.S. Marine Corps insignia for captain is slightly different from the USA / USAF insignia depicted above in that it lacks beveled edges and the cross-bars are further towards the ends. See collar insignia for U.S. Navy lieutenant.


^ Non-Commonwealth air forces using an air force-specific rank structure include the Egyptian Air Force, Hellenic Air Force, Royal Air Force of Oman, Royal Thai Air Force
Royal Thai Air Force
and the Air Force of Zimbabwe. ^ Force, Government of Canada, National Defence, Royal Canadian Air. "Article - Royal Canadian Air Force
Royal Canadian Air Force
- Backgrounder - New insignia for the Royal Canadian Air Force". www.rcaf-arc.forces.gc.ca.  ^ a b Defense Logistics Agency (27 May 2016). "Insignia, Rank, Lieutenant, U.S. Navy and Captain, U.S. Marine Corps". Quick Search Assist. Building 4/D, 700 Robbins Avenue, Philadelphia, PA 19111-5094: DLA Document Services. Retrieved 13 November 2017.  ^ Jahner, Kyle (1 October 2015). "The end of the Green Service Uniform: 1954-2015". Army Times. Military Times. 

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