:"This article refers to the military rank. For the Doctor Who character known as the Brigadier, see Brigadier Lethbridge-Stewart. There is also a commercial truck produced by Chevrolet called the Brigadier."

Brigadier (pronEng|brɪgəˈdɪər) is a military rank, the meaning of which has a considerable variation.

Officer rank

In many countries, especially those formerly part of the former British Empire, a Brigadier is either the highest field rank or most junior General appointment, nominally commanding a brigade. It ranks above a full Colonel and below a Major General.

The rank is used by the British Army, the Royal Marines, Australian Army, New Zealand Army, Pakistan Army, Indian Army and several others. Although it is not always considered a general officer rank, it is always considered equivalent to the Brigadier General or Brigade General of other countries. In NATO forces, Brigadier is OF-6 on the rank scale.

The title is derived from the equivalent former British rank of Brigadier-General used until 1922, and still used in many countries. "Brigadier" was already in use as a generic term for a commander of a brigade irrespective of their specific rank.

From 1922 to 1928 the British rank title used was that of Colonel-Commandant, which, although reflecting its modern role in the British Army as a senior colonel rather than a junior general, was not well received and was replaced with Brigadier after only six years. Colonel-Commandant was only ever used for officers commanding brigades, depots or training establishments. Officers holding equivalent rank in administrative appointments were known as "Colonels on the Staff", also replaced by Brigadier in 1928. Colonel-Commandants and Colonels on the Staff wore the same rank badge later adopted by Brigadiers."New Army Rank of Brigadier", "The Times", 23 December 1997]

Until shortly after World War II, Brigadier was only an appointment conferred on Colonels (as Commodore was an appointment conferred on naval Captains) and not a substantive rank.

In Commonwealth and most Arabic-speaking countries (in which the rank is called "Amid") the rank insignia comprises a crown (or national/presidential emblem in republics) with three stars (sometimes called "pips"), which are, in the Commonwealth, arranged in a triangle. A Brigadier's uniform may also have red collar flashes. It is otherwise similar to that of a Colonel (Colonels have a crown/emblem with two stars).

Until 1788, a rank of "Brigadier des armées" ("Brigadier of the Armies") existed in the French Army, which could be described as a senior colonel or junior brigade commander. The normal brigade command rank was Field Marshal ("Maréchal de camp") (which elsewhere is a more senior rank). During the French Revolution, the ranks of "Brigadier des armées" and "Maréchal de camp" were replaced by Brigade General. In common with many countries, France now uses the officer rank of Brigade General instead of a "brigadier" rank - this was the rank held by Charles de Gaulle.

Officer rank in the former Spanish empire

The rank of a "brigadier" [Cañete Paez, Francisco Angel : El brigadier. Empleo atípico en el generalato español de los siglos XVIII Y XIX : Revista Arbil: nº 105: ] was established by Felipe V in 1702 as an intermediate rank between colonel and true generals. In some iberoamerican republics ("see below") the rank survived after their independence. In Spain, it was not till 1871 when they were considered full generals, and in 1889 they were renamed general de brigada.

The name has survived as a cadet rank at the Spanish Naval Academy.

The historical rank is not to be confused with the actual NCO rank of "brigada", although common translation usage does.

Officer rank in Latin America

Brigadier (-General) is used in Latin America, in the normal sense of brigade commander rank (e.g. Colombia, Chile), although most Latin American nations instead use the rank of Brigade General. In Mexico, Brigadier General is the rank below Brigade General (both ranks falling between Colonel and Divisional General.)

However, both the Argentine Air Force and Brazilian Air Force use a curious system of variations on Brigadier for all (Argentina) or most (Brazil) general officers. The origin of this system is not entirely clear, but in the case of Argentina may be linked to the fact that previous to the establishment of the Air Force as an independent armed force, it was commanded within the Army by Brigade Generals.

In the Argentine Air Force these ranks are (most senior first):
*"Brigadier-General" (the highest rank, equivalent to the army's Lieutenant-General and the navy's Admiral)
*"Brigadier-Mayor" ("Brigadier-Major" equivalent to the army's Divisional General and the navy's Vice-Admiral)
*"Brigadier" (equivalent to the army's Brigade General and the navy's Rear-Admiral)

In the Brazilian Air Force these ranks are (most senior first):
*"Tenente-Brigadeiro" ("Brigadier-Lieutenant") is equivalent to "Almirante-de-Esquadra" (Admiral of Squadron) and "General de Exército" (General of Army).
*"Major-Brigadeiro" ("Brigadier-Major") is equivalent to "Vice-Almirante" (Vice Admiral) and "General de Divisão" (General of Division)
*"Brigadeiro" ("Brigadier") is equivalent to "Contra-Almirante" (Rear Admiral) and "General de Brigada" (General of Brigade)Above these is the highest Brazilian Air force rank of Marshal of the Air, reserved for wartime.

Non-commissioned rank

Brigadier also exists as a non-commissioned rank.Fact|date=August 2008 This usages derive from the use of "brigade" to denote a squad or team of cavalrymen, similar to the occasional English civilian usage "work brigade".


In the Estonian military, the brigadier is called "Brigaadikindral" which stands for the general of the brigade. [Estonian Army ranks]


In France, and some countries whose forces were structured based on the method used in France, some branches of the army and the gendarmerie use "brigadier" for a rank equivalent to "caporal" (Corporal), and "brigadier-chef" for a rank equivalent to "caporal-chef". Brigadier is used by arms of the army which are by tradition considered "mounted" arms such as logistics or cavalry units. A similar usage exists elsewhere.

In the French gendamerie, the brigadier ranks are used as in the army, i.e. as junior enlisted ranks ("gradés"), while the French police use brigadier ranks as their sub-officer ("sous-officier") ranks. Since all professional police and gendarmes have sub-officer status in France, the gendarmerie brigadier ranks are rarely used, since they are used only by auxiliaries. On the other hand the police brigadier ranks, used differently to indicate professional ranks, are common.

In the French gendarmerie and in "mounted" arms of the French army the brigadier ranks are:
*"Brigadier" (Brigadier) (OR-3)
*"Brigadier-chef" (Chief brigadier) (OR-4)

In the French National Police, the sub-officer variations are used for non-commissioned officers are:
*"Sous-brigadier" (OR-6, equal to gendarmerie "maréchal-des-logis-chef")
*"Brigadier" (OR-8, equal to gendarmerie "adjudant")
*"Brigadier-chef" (OR-9, equal to gendarmerie "adjudant-chef")
*"Brigadier-major" (OR-9, equal to gendarmerie "major")


In Spain, a "Brigada" has a NATO rank code of OR-8 (and is thus a senior NCO). The Spanish rank "Brigada" is not to be confused with the Spanish "Brigadier (General)" used for officers in Latin America (and historically in Spain).


In the Italian Carabiniers and Guardia di Finanza, the ranks of vice-brigadier ("vice brigadiere"), brigadier ("brigadiere"), and chief brigadier ("brigadiere capo") correspond roughly to the army ranks based on sergeant. The rank of Brigade General ("Generale di Brigata") is used throughout the armed forces as the most junior general rank, and corresponds to the British rank title of brigadier.

alvation Army

Until 1973, the rank of Brigadier was also used in the Salvation Army. It ranked between Major and Lieutenant-Colonel Fact|date=February 2007.

ee also

*Comparative military ranks
*British Army officer rank insignia
*Military ranks of Brazil


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Look at other dictionaries:

  • brigadier — [ brigadje ] n. m. • 1640; de brigade 1 ♦ Milit. Anciennt Celui qui commandait une brigade. Mod. Officier supérieur dans certaines armées. Brigadier général. Fam. Général de brigade. 2 ♦ Celui qui a, dans la cavalerie, l artillerie et le train,… …   Encyclopédie Universelle

  • Brigadier — ist ein militärischer Dienstgrad. Inhaltsverzeichnis 1 Allgemein 2 Schweiz 3 Österreich 4 Großbritannien, Commonwealth und arabische Staaten …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • brigadier — BRIGADIÉR, Ă, brigadieri, e, s.m. şi f. 1. Persoană care face parte dintr o brigadă (2). 2. Tehnician din administraţia pădurilor, care conduce o brigadă silvică. 3. (înv.) General de brigadă. ♦ Caporal de artilerie sau de cavalerie. [pr.: di er] …   Dicționar Român

  • brigadier — BRIGADIER. s. m. Celui qui commande une Brigade. Il est Brigadier dans une telle Compagnie. Un Brigadier de Cavalerie. Un Brigadier d infanterie. Brigadier de Dragons. Brigadier des armées du Roi …   Dictionnaire de l'Académie Française 1798

  • brigadier — general Brig a*dier gen er*al [F. brigadier, fr. brigade.] (Mil.) An officer in rank next above a colonel, and below a major general. He commands a brigade, and is sometimes called, by a shortening of his title, simple a {brigadier}. [1913… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • brigadier — (Del fr. brigadier). 1. m. Oficial general cuya categoría era inmediatamente superior a la de coronel en el Ejército y a la de contraalmirante en la Marina. Hoy ha sido reemplazada esta categoría por la de general de brigada en el Ejército y la… …   Diccionario de la lengua española

  • brigadier — 1670s, officer in command of a brigade, from Fr. brigadier, from brigade (see BRIGADE (Cf. brigade)) …   Etymology dictionary

  • brigadier — [brig΄ə dir′] n. [Fr < BRIGADE] [Informal] 1. short for BRIGADIER GENERAL 2. a British military officer ranking above a colonel and below a major general …   English World dictionary

  • Brigadier — (v. fr., Kriegsw.), 1) so v.w. Brigadecommandeur, s. Brigade 2); 2) sonst bei der französischen Armee eine eigene Charge für diesen Dienst, zwischen dem Maréchal de Camp u. Colonel; bestanden seit 1668–1790; 3) s.u. Brigade 4) …   Pierer's Universal-Lexikon

  • Brigadier — (franz., spr. djē), Führer einer Brigade, veraltete Bezeichnung für Brigadekommandeur. In England und Spanien ist B. eine Rangklasse zwischen Oberst und General, in Deutschland ist die Bezeichnung nur bei der Gendarmerie (s. Gendarmen) in… …   Meyers Großes Konversations-Lexikon

  • Brigadier — (spr. ĭeh), bei der franz. Kavallerie eine Rangstufe zwischen Gemeinem und Unteroffizier; in Deutschland s.v.w. Brigadegeneral, in Preußen auch Oberst, in Sachsen höherer Dienstgrad der Gendarmerie …   Kleines Konversations-Lexikon

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