Major General


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.

Gallery


Aluf

Australia

Austria

In the old Austro-Hungarian Army, the major general was called a "Generalmajor". [Bowden & Tarbox, p 24. The authors write that FML (Field-Marshal-Lieutenant) is the same as Lieutenant-General and General-Feldwachtmeister the same as Major-General. But they list no equivalent rank to Brigadier-General. Nevertheless, the page cited is an excellent source of Austro-Hungarian ranks.] Today's Austrian Federal Army still uses the same term. (Collar insignias)

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. It is 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.;Links
Canadian Forces ranks and insignia

Estonia

In the Estonian military, the major general is called "Kindralmajor". [Estonian Army ranks]

Finland

The Finnish military equivalent is "Kenraalimajuri" or "Generalmajor" in Swedish.

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 should not be confused with the chief of staff, who is usually a "Général d'armée", and the true commander of each service. The position of "major général" can be considered the equivalent of a deputy chief of Staff. 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.

Historically, the French army had some "sergent-majors généraux", also called "sergents de bataille", whose task was to prepare the disposition of the army on the field before a battle. These "sergents-majors généraux" became a new rank, the "maréchal de camp" (not the same as a Field Marshal, in the French Army from antiquity called a Maréchal de France), which was the equivalent of the rank of major general. However the term of "major général" was not forgotten and used to describe the appointment of armies chiefs of staff. 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".

Germany

The German Army and Luftwaffe refer to the rank as "Generalmajor". It was the lowest general officer rank used in German armies until the remilitarization of Germany in 1955 with West Germany's admission to NATO, when the rank of "Brigadegeneral" was introduced as the lowest rank for the Bundeswehr of West Germany and the former highest rank of "Generaloberst" was not used. The change was likely made to avoid confusion over relative rank in NATO forces. The Nationale Volksarmee of East Germany continued the use Generalmajor as the lowest general officer rank until reunification.

Iran

In Iranian army and air force, a Major General is called a Sar-Lashkar. He is outranked by a Sepah-Bod (Lieutenant General) or an Artesh-Bod (General or General of the Army). It is practically the highest rank in Iran at the moment. All senior officers of Iranian armed forces are Major Generals.

Ireland

In the Irish Defence Forces there are 4 Major Generals, each Commanding a Brigade. These are the 1st Southern Brigade, 2nd Eastern Brigade, the 4th Southern Brigade and the Defence Forces Training Centre (DFTC)

Israel

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.

Italy

In Italy exists the Army rank of "Generale di Divisione". In the army the Generale di Divisione is the commander of a division or as other duties in the various national or international staff, in the Carabinieri or Guardia di Finanza. He/she is usually the commander of the units in a zone of the country.

Korea

The rank of Major General is known as "Sojang" (Hangul: 소장, Hanja: 少將) 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 a one star General and Admiral. The North Korean equivalent to a two star 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 Army (formerly the Chief of General Staff). The more senior rank of Lieutenant-General is reserved for when an Army officer holds the position of Chief of Defence Force, 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

Major General in the Pakistan Army is equivalent to Rear Admiral in the Pakistan Navy and Air Vice Marshal in the Pakistan Air Force and is the lowest of the general officer ranks, ranking between Brigadier and Lieutenant General. The Pakistan Army has two female Major Generals, and is one of the few countries in the world that has promoted women to such a high post. Fact|date=January 2008

Sweden

In Sweden the rank of Generalmajor (Genmj) is used in the Army, the Amphibious Corps and the Airforce. It is the equivalent to Konteramiral (Counter Admiral) in the navy. It is typically held by the Inspector Generals of the three service branches and the head of the Swedish Military Intelligence and Security Service.

Turkey

The Turkish Army and Turkish Air Force refer to the rank as Tümgeneral. The Turkish Navy equivalent is Tümamiral. The name is derived from "tümen", the Turkish word for a military division ("tümen" itself is an older Turkish word meaning "10,000"). Thus, linguistically, it is similar to the French equivalent for a Major General, "Général de division".

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.

From 1 April 1918 to 31 July 1919, the Royal Air Force maintained the rank of Major-General. It was superseded by the rank of Air Vice-Marshal on the following day.

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

United States

In the United States army, a Major General commands a division of 10,000 to 20,000 soldiers and is capable of fully independent field operation.

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" ("I am the very model of a modern major-general, I've information vegetable, animal and mineral...")
* 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 third Judge Adovocate General of the show "JAG" (1995-2005) is a Major General: Major General Gordon "Biff" Cresswell USMC portrayed by David Andrews.
* The U.S. Army forces sent to occupy Brooklyn, New York in "The Siege" are commanded by Major General William Deveraux, portrayed by Bruce Willis.

See also

* Comparative military ranks
* Rule of the Major-Generals (1655-1657), a period of direct military government during Oliver Cromwell's Protectorate

References

* Boatner, Mark M. III. "The Civil War Dictionary." New York: David McKay, 1959. ISBN 0-679-50013-8
* Bowden, Scotty & Tarbox, Charlie. "Armies on the Danube 1809." Arlington, TX: Empire Games Press, 1980.
* Foote, Shelby. "The Civil War: A Narrative. Vol. 2" New York: Random House, 1986. ISBN 0-394-74621-X

Footnotes


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Look at other dictionaries:

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