Learn more about Major General
Major General or Major-General is a military rank used in many countries. It is derived from the older rank of Sergeant Major General. A major general is a high-ranking officer normally subordinate to a Lieutenant General and senior to a Brigadier General. In countries that do not maintain the rank of Brigadier General, including much of Eastern Europe, Major General normally serves as the lowest General Officer rank.
In the Canadian Forces, the rank of Major-General (MGen) (Major-général or Mgén in French) is an Army or Air Force rank equal to a Rear-Admiral of the Navy. A Major-General is a General Officer, the equivalent of a Naval Flag Officer. A Major-General is senior to a Brigadier-General or Commodore, and junior to a Lieutenant-General or Vice-Admiral.
The rank insignia for a Major-General is two gold maple leaves beneath crossed sword and baton, all surmounted by St. Edward's Crown, worn on the shoulder straps of the Service Dress tunic, and on slip-ons on other uniforms. The Service Dress tunic 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.
Major-Generals are initially addressed by rank and name; thereafter by subordinates as "Sir" or "Ma'am", as applicable. Major-Generals are normally entitled to staff cars.
In the French military, Major général is not a rank but an appointment conferred on some generals, usually of Général de corps d'armée rank, acting as head of staff of a branch of service. This sould not be confused with the chief of staff, who is usually a Général d'armée, and the true commander of each service. There are five Major Generals: the Major General of the Armies, head of the General Staff, the Major General of the Army, the Major General of the Navy, the Major General of the Gendarmerie and the Major General of the Air Force.
The French equivalent to the rank of Major General is Général de division.
The German Army and Luftwaffe refer to the rank as Generalmajor. It was the lowest general officer rank until 1950, when the rank of Brigadegeneral was introduced below it. Before that time, it was often equated with Brigadier General, and Generalleutnant was considered to be equivalent to Major General..
The rank of Sojang is also used in North Korea, where it is the lowest general officer and flag officer rank, equivalent to both Brigadier General and Rear Admiral. The actual equivalent to Major General is Jungjang, which roughly translates as Lieutenant General.
 New Zealand
In the New Zealand Army, Major-General is the rank held by the Chief of General Staff. The more senior rank of Lieutenant-General is reserved for the Chief of Defence Staff, who commands all New Zealand's armed forces. This position is subject to rotation between the heads of the Air Force, Army, and Navy.
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||Major General (2-Star)|
|Uniform Insignia||Image:Pak major general.gif|
Major General in Pakistan Army is equivalent to Rear Admiral in Pakistan Navy and Air Vice Marshal in Pakistan Air Force. Major General is also called two star General. It is the lowest rank in the general officer ranks. Like other armies, this rank is higher than Brigadier and lower than Lieutenant 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|
|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|
 United Kingdom
In the British Army and Royal Marines, Major-General ranks below Lieutenant-General and above Brigadier, and is thus the lowest of the general officer ranks, although always considered equivalent to Major General in other countries. Divisions are usually commanded by Major-Generals and they also hold a variety of staff positions. The professional head of the Royal Marines currently holds the rank of Major-General
|Royal Navy:||O/C||Mid||SLt||Lt||Lt Cdr||Cdr||Capt||Cdre||RAdm||VAdm||Adm||Adm of the Fleet|
|Royal Marines:||OCdt||2Lt||Lt||Capt||Maj||Lt Col||Col||Brig||Maj Gen||Lt Gen||Gen|
|Army:||OCdt||2Lt||Lt||Capt||Maj||Lt Col||Col||Brig||Maj Gen||Lt Gen||Gen||FM|
|Royal Air Force:||OC / SO||APO / PO||Fg Off||Flt Lt||Sqn Ldr||Wg Cdr||Gp Capt||ACdre||AVM||AM||ACM||MRAF|
 United States
In the United States Army, United States Marine Corps and United States Air Force, a Major General ranks immediately below a Lieutenant General and above a Brigadier General. An American Major General is also called a two-star general because of the insignia. A Major General is equivalent to a Rear Admiral (Upper Half) in the United States Navy. In the Army and Marine Corps, division-sized combat units are commanded by Major Generals, while in the United States Air Force, Major Generals command Numbered Air Forces. Two-star generals of all services also serve as high level staff officers at major commands and The Pentagon.
In the Civil Air Patrol (the United States Air Force Auxilary), the National Commander holds the rank of Major General. He or she has the distinction of holding the highest rank in the organization of nearly 60,000 members.
Until Ulysses S. Grant was appointed Lieutenant General in 1864 when he took command of the Union forces during the American Civil War, Major General was the highest rank that could be attained by an officer in the U.S. army, though Winfield Scott had been given the brevet (honorary) rank of Lieutenant General in 1855. This was a consequence of the fact that at his death George Washington was officially listed as holding the rank of Lieutenant General, rather than full general, and it was regarded as improper for an officer to hold a rank equal to or superior to Washington's. To address this anomaly, Washington was posthumously promoted by Congress to the rank of General of the Armies ("six star general") in 1976.
|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|
|United States Navy:||MIDN/OC||ENS||LTJG||LT||LCDR||CDR||CAPT||RDML||RADM||VADM||ADM||FADM|| Admiral of|
|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|
|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
|United States Coast Guard:||CDT||ENS||LTJG||LT||LCDR||CDR||CAPT||RDML||RADM||VADM||ADM||(no equivalent)||(no equivalent)|
 Fictional references
- Major-General Stanley is the "modern major general" from Gilbert and Sullivan's 1879 comic operetta, The Pirates of Penzance. Stanley is a satire of the aristocratic, learned officers in the British army of the day. He sings the immortal Major General's Song.
- In the science-fiction television series Stargate SG-1, the commanding officer of Stargate Command from seasons 1 to 7 is Major General George Hammond (played by Don S. Davis). From season 9, the position is taken up by Major General Hank Landry.
- Bartholomew Bandy, the air ace from Donald Jack's Bandy Papers series, ends the First World War as a Major General at the age of only 26.
- In the anime movie Robotech II: The Sentinels, the lead character, Rick Hunter, holds the rank of Major General.
- Con-artist Private Harry Frigg, played by Academy Award-winning actor Paul Newman, is promoted overnight to Major General in the 1968 war comedy, The Secret War of Harry Frigg.
- The second commandant of the show "JAG" (1995-2005) is a Major General: Major General Gordon "Biff" Cresswell portrayed by David Andrews.