Major General

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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.


[edit] Canada

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.

[edit] France

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.

One well-known French Major général was Marshal Berthier, Major General of Napoléon's Grande armée.

The French equivalent to the rank of Major General is Général de division.

[edit] Germany

German Generalmajor Insignia

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..

[edit] Israel

Image:Idf maj-gen.gif
Israel aluf insignia

In the Israel Defence Forces, a Major General is called an Aluf and is the second highest rank, only outranked by Rav Aluf (Lieutenant General or General), who is also the Chief of Staff.

[edit] Korea

South Korean Sojang insignia

The rank of Major General is known as Sojang (소장) in South Korea.

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.

[edit] 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.

[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 Major General (2-Star)
NATO Equivalent OF-7
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
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] 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

Major-General is equivalent to Rear-Admiral in the Royal Navy and Air Vice-Marshal in the Royal Air Force.

British officer ranks

  Student Officer OF(D) OF-1 OF-2 OF-3 OF-4 OF-5 OF-6 OF-7 OF-8 OF-9 OF-10
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

[edit] United States

Image:Major General insignia.png
US Major General insignia

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
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] Fictional references

[edit] See also

de:Generalmajor fr:Général de division it:Maggior Generale ja:少将 ru:Генерал-майор sl:Generalmajor sv:Generalmajor vi:Thiếu tướng zh:少将

Major General

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