Brigadier (United Kingdom)

For other countries' use of this rank, see brigadier and brigadier general.
British Army insignia
Royal Marines insignia
The Brigadier insignia of the St Edward's Crown above three Order of Bath stars (or pips).
Country  United Kingdom
Service branch
Abbreviation Brig
Rank One-star
NATO rank OF 6
Next higher rank Major-general
Next lower rank Colonel
Equivalent ranks

Brigadier (abbreviated as Brig) is a senior rank in the British Army and the Royal Marines. Brigadier is the superior rank to colonel, but subordinate to major-general. While the corresponding rank of brigadier general in many other nations is a general officer rank, the British Army considers it a field officer rank.

The rank has a NATO rank code of OF-6, placing it equivalent to the Royal Navy commodore and the Royal Air Force air commodore ranks and the brigadier general (1-star general) rank of the United States military and numerous other NATO nations.


The rank insignia for a brigadier is a St Edward's Crown over three "pips" ("Bath" stars). The rank insignia for a brigadier-general was crossed sword and baton.


In 1921 the appointment of brigadier-general was replaced in the Army by those of colonel-commandant and colonel on the staff and abolished entirely in the Royal Marines, which already had a substantive rank of colonel-commandant of equivalent status. These appointments, although reflecting its modern role in the British Army as a senior colonel rather than a junior general, were not well received and were both replaced with brigadier (which was also adopted in the Marines for colonel-commandants in certain posts) from 1 June 1928.[1]

Brigadier was originally an appointment conferred on colonels (as commodore was an appointment conferred on naval captains) rather than a substantive rank.[1] However, from 1 November 1947 it became a substantive rank in the British Army.[2] The Royal Marines, however, retained it as an acting rank only until 1997, when both commodore and brigadier became substantive ranks.[3]

Junior officer rank

Historically, brigadier and sub-brigadier were the junior officer ranks in the Troops of Horse Guards. This corresponded to French practice, where a brigadier was the cavalry equivalent of a corporal. To reflect the status of the Horse Guards as Household Troops, brigadiers ranked with lieutenants and sub-brigadiers with cornets in other cavalry regiments. When the Horse Guards were disbanded in 1788, the brigadiers and sub-brigadiers of the 1st and 2nd Troops became lieutenants and cornets in the 1st and 2nd Regiments of Life Guards, respectively.[4]

Brigadier remains the lowest officer rank in the Royal Company of Archers, the Queen's Bodyguard for Scotland. There are twelve brigadiers on the establishment, ranking after ensigns.[5]


  1. 1 2 "New Army Rank of Brigadier", The Times, 23 December 1927
  2. "Rank of Brigadier", The Times, 24 March 1948
  3. Debrett's
  4. The London Gazette: no. 13005. p. 325. 5—8 July 1788.
  5. Royal Company of Archers, Accessed 1 July 2012

External links

This article is issued from Wikipedia - version of the 9/20/2016. The text is available under the Creative Commons Attribution/Share Alike but additional terms may apply for the media files.