General officer

From information database, the free resource
  (Redirected from General)
Jump to navigation Jump to search
Military rank
"General" and "Generals" redirect here. For other uses, see General (disambiguation).
This article needs additional citations for verification. Please help improve this article by adding citations to reliable sources. Unsourced material may be challenged and removed.
Find sources: "General officer" – news · newspapers · books · scholar · JSTOR
(June 2011) (Learn how and when to remove this template message)
Comparative military ranks in English
Armies Navies Air forces
Commissioned officers
Field marshal or
General of the army
Admiral of
the fleet
Marshal of
the air force
General Admiral Air chief marshal
Lieutenant general Vice admiral Air marshal
Major general Rear admiral Air vice-marshal
Brigadier or
brigadier general
Commodore Air commodore
Colonel Captain Group captain
Lieutenant colonel Commander Wing commander
Major or
Squadron leader
Captain Lieutenant Flight lieutenant
Lieutenant or
first lieutenant
junior grade or
Flying officer
Second lieutenant Ensign or
Pilot officer
Officer cadet Officer cadet Flight cadet
Enlisted grades
Warrant officer or
sergeant major
Warrant officer or
chief petty officer
Warrant officer
Sergeant Petty officer Sergeant
Corporal or
Leading seaman Corporal
Private or
gunner or
Seaman Aircraftman or
  • v
  • t
  • e

A general officer is an officer of high rank in the army, and in some nations' air forces or marines.[a]

The term general is used in two ways: as the generic title for all grades of general officer and as a specific rank. It originates in the 16th century, as a shortening of captain general, which rank was taken from Middle French capitaine général. The adjective general had been affixed to officer designations since the late medieval period to indicate relative superiority or an extended jurisdiction.

Today, the title of general is known in some countries as a four-star rank. However, different countries use different systems of stars or other insignia for senior ranks. It has a NATO code of OF-9 and is the highest rank currently in use in a number of armies, air forces, and marine organizations.