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Military ranks

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Non-commissioned officer

A non-commissioned officer (NCO) is a military officer who has not earned a commission. Non-commissioned officers usually obtain their position of authority by promotion through the enlisted ranks. In contrast, commissioned officers hold higher ranks than NCOs, have more legal responsibilities, are paid more, and often have more non-military training such as a university diploma. Commissioned officers usually earn their commissions without having risen through the enlisted ranks.

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General of the Army (United States)

General of the Army is a five-star general officer and the second highest possible rank in the United States Army. A General of the Army ranks immediately above a general and is equivalent to a Fleet Admiral and a General of the Air Force. There is no established equivalent five-star rank in the other federal uniformed services. Often called a "five-star general", the rank of General of the Army has historically been reserved for wartime use and is not currently active in the U.S. military. The General of the Army insignia consisted of five 3/8th inch stars in a pentagonal pattern, with points touching. The insignia is paired with the gold and enameled United States Coat of Arms on service coat shoulder loops. The silver colored five-star metal insignia alone would be worn for use as a collar insignia of grade and on the garrison cap. Soft shoulder epaulettes with five 7/16th inch stars in silver thread and gold-threaded United States Coat of Arms on green cloth were worn with shirts and sweaters.

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Knight

A knight is a person granted an honorary title of knighthood by a monarch, bishop or other political leader for service to the monarch or a Christian Church, especially in a military capacity. Historically, in Europe, knighthood was conferred upon mounted warriors. During the High Middle Ages, knighthood was considered a class of lower nobility. By the Late Middle Ages, the rank had become associated with the ideals of chivalry, a code of conduct for the perfect courtly Christian warrior. Often, a knight was a vassal who served as an elite fighter, a bodyguard or a mercenary for a lord, with payment in the form of land holdings. The lords trusted the knights, who were skilled in battle on horseback.

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Sergeant

"Sergeant" is a rank in many uniformed organizations, principally military and policing forces. The alternate spelling, "serjeant", is used in The Rifles and other units that draw their heritage from the British Light Infantry. Its origin is the Latin "serviens", "one who serves", through the French term "sergent".

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Lieutenant

A lieutenant is a junior commissioned officer in the armed forces, fire services, police and other organizations of many nations.

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General (United States)

In the United States Army, United States Marine Corps, and United States Air Force, general is a four-star general officer rank, with the pay grade of O-10. General ranks above lieutenant general and below General of the Army or General of the Air Force; the Marine Corps does not have an established grade above general. General is equivalent to the rank of admiral in the other uniformed services. Since the grades of General of the Army and General of the Air Force are reserved for wartime use only, and since the Marine Corps has no five-star equivalent, the grade of general is currently considered to be the highest appointment an officer can achieve in these three services.

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Colonel

Colonel is a senior military officer rank below the brigadier and general officer ranks. However, in some small military forces, such as those of Monaco or the Vatican, colonel is the highest rank. It is also used in some police forces and paramilitary organizations.

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General of the Armies

The General of the Armies of the United States, or more commonly referred to as General of the Armies, is the highest possible rank in the United States Army. The rank is informally equated to that of a six-star general or Generalissimo and is currently one of the two highest possible operational ranks in the United States Armed Forces. Promotion to this rank requires congressional legislation, approval by the President, and an order from the Secretary of the Army.

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Corporal

Corporal is a military rank in use in some form by many militaries and by some police forces or other uniformed organizations. Within NATO, each member nation's corresponding military rank of corporal is combined under the NATO-standard rank scale code OR-4. However, there are often differences in how each nation employs corporals. Some militaries don't have corporals, but may instead have a Junior Sergeant.

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Fleet admiral (United States)

Fleet admiral, officially known as "Fleet Admiral of the United States Navy", is a five-star flag officer rank in the United States Navy. Fleet admiral ranks immediately above admiral and is equivalent to General of the Army and General of the Air Force. Although it is a current and authorized rank, no U.S. Navy officer presently holds it, with the last living U.S. Navy fleet admiral being Chester W. Nimitz, who died in 1966.

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Colonel (United States)

In the United States Army, Marine Corps, and Air Force, colonel is the most senior field grade military officer rank, immediately above the rank of lieutenant colonel and immediately below the rank of brigadier general. It is equivalent to the naval rank of captain in the other uniformed services. The pay grade for colonel is O-6.

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Lieutenant colonel (United States)

In the United States Army, U.S. Marine Corps, and U.S. Air Force, a lieutenant colonel is a field grade military officer rank just above the rank of major and just below the rank of colonel. It is equivalent to the naval rank of commander in the other uniformed services.

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Warrant officer

A warrant officer (WO) is an officer in a military organisation who is designated an officer by a warrant, as distinguished from a commissioned officer who is designated an officer by a commission, and a non-commissioned officer who is designated an officer, often by virtue of seniority.

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Obergruppenführer

Obergruppenführer was one of the Third Reich's paramilitary rank that was first created in 1932 as a rank of the Sturmabteilung (SA), and adopted by the Schutzstaffel (SS) one year later. Until April 1942, it was the highest commissioned SS rank, inferior only to Reichsführer-SS Translated as "senior group leader", the rank of Obergruppenführer was senior to Gruppenführer. A similarly named rank of Untergruppenführer existed in the SA from 1929 to 1930 and as a title until 1933. In April 1942, the new rank of SS-Oberst-Gruppenführer was created which was above Obergruppenführer and below Reichsführer-SS.

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Lieutenant (navy)

Lieutenant is a commissioned officer rank in many nations' navies. It is typically the most senior of junior officer ranks. The rank's insignia usually consists of two medium gold braid stripes and often the uppermost stripe features an executive curl.