Rank and Responsibility

Table of Ranks & Responsibilities

Table of Ranks & Appointments

Staff Officers

Rank & Appt Abbreviations



►►Lieutenant General

►►Major General

►►Brigadier General

►►Brigadier (1928-1968)

►►Col.-Commandant (1922-1928)


►►Lieutenant Colonel




►►2nd Lieutenant

►►Officer Cadet

Warrant Officers

►►Chief Warrant Officer (1968-)

►►W.O. Class I (1915-1968)

►►Master Warrant Officer (1968-)

►►W.O. Class II (1915-1968)

►►Warrant Officer (1968-)

►►W.O. Class III (1939-1945)

Non-Commissioned Officers

►►Staff Sergeant (1900-1968)


►►Lance Sergeant (1900-1968)

►►Master Corporal (1968-2000+)


►►Lance Corporal  (1900-1968)

Non-Commissioned Mbrs (Men)




Master Gunner

Platoon Sergeant Major

Honorary Ranks


Colonel of the Regiment

Honorary Colonel

Colonel Commandant

Brigadier General

The rank of Brigadier General predated the 20th Century and was considered the most junior of the general officer ranks. This rank was considered the appropriate appointment for an officer in command of a brigade and officers commanding brigades were almost always promoted to this rank.

The insignia for a Brigadier General also included a set of gorget patches.

Following the First World War, the rank of Brigadier General was briefly abolished in the British (and consequently, Canadian) Army in favour of a rank called "Colonel Commandant". This rank persisted from 1922 until 1928, when it was renamed as Brigadier. Officers holding the new rank after 1928 were not considered General officers, reflected by the fact that their insignia deleted the crossed baton and sabre in favour of conventional officer's rank stars.


It was extremely common for a Lieutenant Colonel to be promoted directly to Brigadier General in the field, then, as the rank of Colonel was not normally held by field officers.




Canadian Forces Slip-On


After Unification in 1968, the rank of Brigadier General replaced that of Brigadier, and the rank was again considered a general officer. The crossed baton and sabre were reintroduced to the epaulette rank, surmounted by the crown and a single maple leaf replacing the rank star. The number of maple leaves matched the number of stars an American General employed in his rank insignia, and the rank was sometimes referred to colloquially as a "One Leaf General" in emulation of US colloquialisms such as "One Star General".

In the late 1990s, the standard rank for an Army brigade commander became Colonel, a decision by the Chief of the Land Staff in line with a decision in the early 1990s to downgrade Land Force Areas from a Major General commander to a Brigadier General. Brigade commanders were rolled back in rank to conform to this practice, from Brigadier General to Colonel. A common concern in the early 1990s was the number of general officers in the Canadian military.


Canadian Army Ranks/Appointments
Non-Commissioned Ranks
Private  | Lance Corporal | Corporal | Master Corporal | Lance Sergeant | Sergeant | Staff Sergeant
Warrant Officers




Warrant Officer | Warrant Officer Class III | Warrant Officer Class II Warrant Officer Class I |  Warrant Officer | Master Warrant Officer | Chief Warrant Officer
Officer Cadet  | 2nd Lieutenant | Lieutenant | Captain | Major | Lieutenant Colonel | Colonel | Colonel Commandant | Brigadier
 Brigadier General | Major General | Lieutenant General | General


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