Brigadier General

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Brigadier General (sometimes known as a one-star general from the United States insignia) is the lowest rank of general officer in some countries, usually ranking just above Colonel and just below Major General. It is often a rank used in those militaries which do not maintain the rank a Colonel General (in those countries which do, Major General is normally the first general rank.

Brigadier General can trace its origins to the militaries of Europe where a Brigadier General, or simply a Brigadier, would command a Brigade in the field. The rank spread throughout the world after being adopted in the 18th century by the United States with simultaneous spreading of the rank by the British Empire.

In many navies, a Brigadier General is equal to a Commodore although some navies compare the rank as a Rear Admiral equivalent to demonstrate that the rank is considered a flag officer (or general officer) equivalent.


[edit] Brigadier General ranks by country

[edit] Argentina

The rank of Brigadier General (with some local variations) is used on both the Argentine Army and the Argentine Air Force. In both cases, the use of the rank is different from that of other military forces of the world.

The Army's rank of General de Brigada can be translated as Brigadier General, although the more correct translation would be "Brigade General". It should be noted that General de Brigada is actually a two-star general rank, as the one-star rank in the Argentine Army is the rank of Coronel Mayor (Senior Colonel).

Unlike other armed forces, the rank of Brigadier General is actually the highest rank in the Argentine Air Force, roughly equal to a four-star General in other services. This is due to the use of the rank of Brigadier and its derivatives to designate general-rank officers in the Air Force. The rank of Brigadier General is reserved to the Chief of the General Staff of the Air Force, as well as the Chief of the Joint General Staff if he should be an Air Force officer.

[edit] Australia

In the Australian Imperial Force during World War I, the rank of Brigadier-General was always temporary and held only while the officer was posted to a particular task, typically the command of a brigade. When posted elsewhere, the rank would be relinquished and the former rank resumed. This policy prevented an accumulation of high-ranking general officers brought about by the relatively high turnover of brigade commanders.

As in the United Kingdom, the rank was later replaced by Brigadier.

[edit] Belgium

The Belgian Army uses the rank of Général de brigade (French) and Brigadegeneraal (Dutch). However, in this small military there are no permanent promotions to this rank, and it is only awarded as a temporary promotion to a full Colonel who assumes a post requiring the rank, notably in an international context (e.g. as Military Attaché in a major embassy such as Washington, D.C.).

[edit] Canada

In the Canadian Forces, the rank of Brigadier-General (BGen) (Brigadier-général or Bgén in French) is an Army or Air Force rank equal to a Commodore of the Navy. A Brigadier-General is the lowest rank of General Officer, the Army and Air Force equivalent of a Naval Flag Officer. A Brigadier-General is senior to a Colonel or Naval Captain, and junior to a Major-General or Rear-Admiral.

The rank title "brigadier-general" is still used notwithstanding that brigades in the army are now commanded by Colonels. Until the late 1990's brigades were commanded by brigadier-generals. In the air force context, brigadier-generals used to command air force "Groups" until these bodies were abolished in the late 1990's.

The rank insignia for a brigadier-general is a single gold maple leaf beneath crossed sword and baton, all surmounted by St. Edward's Crown, worn on the shoulder straps of the Service Dress jacket, and on slip-ons on other uniforms. The Service Dress jacket also features a wide strip of gold braid around the cuff. On the visor of the service cap are two rows of gold oak leaves; the air force wedge cap features gold braid on the edges of the ear flaps. The cap insignia for a general officer is a modified version of the Canadian Forces insignia; the collar insignia (Army generals only) is two crossed sabres. Some brigadier-generals, by nature of holding a branch-specific appointment, may continue to wear the insignia of their personnel branch; for example, the Chaplain-General[1] wears the insignia of the Chaplain Branch, while the Surgeon-General[2] continues to wear the collar insignia of the Canadian Forces Medical Service.

Brigadier-Generals are addressed by rank and name; thereafter by subordinates as "Sir" or "Ma'am". Brigadier-Generals are normally entitled to staff cars.

Note: Before unification in 1968 of the Royal Canadian Air Force, Canadian Army, and the Royal Canadian Navy, rank structure and insignia followed the British pattern. In army usage, the term "Brigadier" was used to denote what is now known as a Brigadier-General while the air force used the term "Air Commodore".

[edit] Germany

The equivalent modern German rank is Brigadegeneral. The concept of a Brigadier General rank is relatively new, as prior to 1950 the lowest German General Officer rank was Generalmajor, which was often considered equivalent to Brigadier General in other armies.

[edit] Greece

Main article: Taxiarkhos

[edit] Israel

In the Israel Defense Forces, the rank of Brigadier General is called Tat Aluf and is the third highest rank, below Aluf (Major General) and Rav Aluf (Lieutenant General or General), and above Aluf Mishne (Colonel).

[edit] Korea

The rank of Brigadier General is known in South Korea as Chunjang and is a direct equivalent to the United States one star rank, with very similar insignia. The military of North Korea does not technically maintain a Brigadier General rank, but the first rank of Major General (Sojang) displays one star as its insignia and is the effective equivalent.

[edit] Myanmar (Burma)

The rank of Brigadier General is known in Myanmar as Du Bo Mhu Gyoke and is often the commander of one of Myanmar's Regional Military Commands (RMC), commander of the light infantry division (LID) or Military Operation Commands (MOC). In civil service, Brigadier General often hold the office of deputy minister or director general of certain ministries.

[edit] Pakistan

Pakistan Army has followed British Army rank system since its independence from British Empire in 1947. However, crown in the ranks has been replaced with a star and crescent, which symbolizes the sovereignty of Government of Pakistan.

Rank Brigadier (1-Star)
NATO Equivalent OF-6
Uniform Insignia Image:Pak brigadier1.gif

Brigadier General is equivalent to Brigadier in the Pakistan army, Commodore in Pakistan Navy and Air Commodore in Pakistan Air Force. Brigadier is also called a one star General. Like other armies, this rank is higher than Colonel and lower than Major General.

Pakistani Officer Ranks
Rank Field Marshal (6-Star) General (4-Star) Lieutenant General (3-Star) Major General (2-Star) Brigadier (1-Star) Colonel Lieutenant Colonel Major Captain Lieutenant 2nd Lieutenant
NATO Equivalent OF-10 OF-9 OF-8 OF-7 OF-6 OF-5 OF-4 OF-3 OF-2 OF-1 OF-1
Uniform Insignia Image:Pak field marshal.gif Image:Pak general.gif Image:Pak lieutenant general.gif Image:Pak major general.gif Image:Pak brigadier1.gif Image:Pak colonel.gif Image:Pak lieutenant colonel.gif Image:Pak major.gif Image:Pak captain.gif Image:Pak lieutenant.gif Image:Pak 2ndlieutenant.gif

[edit] Poland

Prior to 2002, the Polish rank of Generał brygady was equivalent to both the ranks of Major General and Brigadier General.

[edit] Portugal

In the Portuguese Army and Air Force, Brigadier-General (Brigadeiro-General) is a temporary general rank for the Colonels that have to exerce a special command. It's the equivalent of the Commodore rank in the Portuguese Navy.

[edit] United Kingdom

The rank of Brigadier-General was abolished in the British Army and Royal Marines in 1922. It was replaced initially by the appointment of Colonel-Commandant, but this was seen as unsatisfactory and in 1928 was replaced by the appointment of Brigadier (which became a conventional rank after World War II). The old rank of Brigadier General has since been reintroduced in Canada and some other Commonwealth countries.

Brigadier is the highest field officer rank (hence absence of the word "general"), whereas Brigadier-General was the lowest general officer rank. However, the two ranks are considered equal.

The equivalent naval rank is Commodore and the equivalent Air Force rank is Air Commodore.

[edit] United States

US Brigadier General insignia

The rank of Brigadier General has existed in the United States armed forces since the American Revolutionary War. A Brigadier General was at first strictly an infantry officer who commanded a brigade, but the responsibilities of the rank drastically expanded throughout the 19th and 20th century.

The rank was the equivalent to the United States Navy rank of Commodore, which later became known as Rear Admiral (Lower Half). The insignia for a Brigadier General is one silver star worn on the shoulder or collar, with the insignia unchanged dating back to the creation of the rank some two centuries ago.

Since the Mexican-American War, however, the lower rank of Colonel has been the normal rank appointed to command a brigade.

Today, an Army or Marine Corps Brigadier General typically serves as Deputy Commander to the Commanding General of a division or division-sized units and assists in overseeing the planning and coordination of a mission. An Air Force Brigadier General typically commands a large wing. Additionally, one-star generals of all services may serve as high-level staff officers in large military organizations.

U.S. commissioned officer ranks
  Student Officer O-1 O-2 O-3 O-4 O-5 O-6 O-7 O-8 O-9 O-10 O-11 (wartime only) Special Grade
the Navy
United States Marine Corps: Midn 2ndLt 1stLt Capt Maj LtCol Col BGen MajGen LtGen Gen (no equivalent) (no equivalent)
United States Army: CDT/OC 2LT 1LT CPT MAJ LTC COL BG MG LTG GEN General of
the Army
General of the Armies
United States Air Force: Cadet 2nd Lt 1st Lt Capt Maj Lt Col Col Brig Gen Maj Gen Lt Gen Gen General of
the Air Force
(no equivalent)
United States Coast Guard: CDT ENS LTJG LT LCDR CDR CAPT RDML RADM VADM ADM (no equivalent) (no equivalent)


[edit] List of notable Brigadier Generals

* Yeager was promoted to Major General on the retired list in 2005.

[edit] See also

da:Brigadegeneral de:Brigadegeneral et:Brigaadikindral eo:Brigada generalo fr:Général de brigade it:Brigadier Generale ja:准将 no:Brigadegeneral sl:Brigadni general vi:Chuẩn tướng

Brigadier General

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