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Major is a military rank of commissioned officer status, with corresponding ranks existing in many military forces throughout the world.


When used unhyphenated, in conjunction with no other indicators, major is one rank senior to that of an army captain, and one rank subordinate or below the rank of lieutenant colonel. It is considered the most junior of the field officer ranks.[1]

Majors are typically assigned as specialised executive or operations officers for battalion-sized units of 300 to 1,200 soldiers[citation needed] while in other nations, like Germany,[2] majors are often in command of a company.

When used in hyphenated or combined fashion, the term can also imply seniority at other levels of rank, including general-major or major general, denoting a low-level general officer, and sergeant major, denoting the most senior non-commissioned officer (NCO) of a military unit.[disputed ][citation needed] The term major can also be used with a hyphen to denote the leader of a military band such as in pipe-major or drum-major.

Historically, the rank designation develops in English in the 1640s, taken from French majeur, in turn a shortening of sergent-majeur, which at the time designated a higher rank than at present.[citation needed] The term Mayor for the head of a municipal government can also be traced to the same French word.

The rank of major is also used in some police forces and other paramilitary rank structures, such as the Pennsylvania State Police, New York State Police, New Jersey State Police, and several others.[citation needed] As with a military major, this rank is most commonly the next rank above captain. The rank is equivalent to an inspector or commander in other large police departments or to the UK rank of superintendent.[citation needed]

Links to major ranks by country

Alphabetically sorted by name of country:


Insignia of army majors.

Insignia of air force majors

Insignia of naval infantry majors

Ranks equivalent to major by country

Alphabetically sorted by name of country or sovereign state

  • Jagran (جګړن) (Afghanistan)
  • China
    • 少校 (Shao xiao) (Peoples Republic of China/Mainland china)
    • 少校 (Shaoxiao) (Republic of China/Taiwan)
  • Bojnik (Croatia)
  • Ra'Ed (رائد) (Egypt and most Arab League member countries)
  • Commandant (France)
  • Germany:
  • Tagmatarchis (Ταγματάρχης) (Greece and Cyprus)
  • Őrnagy (Hungary)
  • Mayor (Indonesia)
  • Sargord (سرگرد) (Iran)
  • Commandant (Ireland)
  • Rav seren (רב סרן) (Israel)
  • 少佐 (Shousa) (Japan)
  • Mejar (Malaysia)
  • Хошууч (Mongolia)
  • 소좌 (North Korea)
  • Magat (Philippines)
  • Mayor (Russia)
  • Major (Serbia)
  • Gaashaanle (Somalia)
  • Shelaqa (Ethiopia)
  • 소령 (South Korea)
  • Comandante (Spain)
  • Binbaşı (Turkey)
  • Ukraine — Майор (Mayor)
  • Thiếu tá (Vietnam)

See also


  1. ^ "Army Major". Military-Ranks. Retrieved 27 July 2016.
  2. ^