Viceroy's Commissioned Officer


Viceroy's Commissioned Officer

A Viceroy's Commissioned Officer (VCO) was a senior Indian member of the British Indian Army. VCOs held appointments approximately equivalent to Warrant Officers in the British Army, but held a commission issued by the Viceroy. Also known as Indian Officers or Native Officers, they were treated in almost all respects as commissioned officers, but only had authority over Indian troops and were subordinate to all British King's (and Queen's) Commissioned Officers and King's Commissioned Indian Officers.

These ranks were created to facilitate effective liaison between the British officers and their native troops. The soldiers who were promoted to VCO rank had long service and good service records, spoke reasonably fluent English, and could act as a common liaison point between officers and men and as advisers to the British officers on Indian affairs.

VCOs were always treated and addressed with respect. Even a British officer would address a VCO as, for instance, "Subedar Sahib" or "Sahib".

Ranks held by VCOs were:

*Cavalry regiments
**Jemadar
**Risaldar (or Ressaidar)
**Risaldar-Major (also called Ressaidar-Major or Wordi-Major)

*Infantry regiments and other arms
**Jemadar
**Subedar
**Subedar-Major

Similar ranks are retained in the Indian Army and Pakistan Army, where they are known as Junior Commissioned Officers (JCOs).


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