Rank and Responsibility

Table of Ranks & Responsibilities

Table of Ranks & Appointments

Staff Officers

Rank & Appt Abbreviations

Ranks

Generals
►►
General

►►Lieutenant General

►►Major General

►►Brigadier General
Officers

►►Brigadier (1928-1968)

►►Col.-Commandant (1922-1928)

►►Colonel

►►Lieutenant Colonel

►►Major

►►Captain

►►Lieutenant

►►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)

►►Sergeant

►►Lance Sergeant (1900-1968)

►►Master Corporal (1968-2000+)

►►Corporal

►►Lance Corporal  (1900-1968)

Non-Commissioned Mbrs (Men)

►►Private

Appointments

Conductor

Master Gunner

Platoon Sergeant Major

Honorary Ranks

Colonel-in-Chief

Colonel of the Regiment

Honorary Colonel

Colonel Commandant

Major

Major has been a military rank in the Canadian Army throughout the 20th Century.

History

The rank of Major was originally, in English, a term used to suffix to other military positions, in order to denote a more senior status than others of the same position. The term appears to have been in use as early as 1643, when the term "Sergeant Major" was used to identify the third in command of a regiment. The term was previously in use in other European militaries, however, particularly naval services, with a "Pilot Major" being the senior deck officer of a vessel (in contrast to the "Captain General", usually an Army officer with no seafaring knowledge, who commanded the mission a ship was on but not the ship itself).

Major became a separate rank in the Army by the time of the English Civil War, generally held by mid-level staff officers tasked as aides-de-camp to generals.

The term Major was also used in the rank of Major-General during the 1700s, itself a shortening of the rank Sergeant Major General.

By the 1800s, the rank of Major was commonly used in modern European armies, having developed into both a senior staff rank, the first such rank to occupy the ground between battalion command and the company (or "company grade") ranks of 2nd Lieutenant, Lieutenant and Captain.

The term Major was used as a suffix for many ranks and appointments in the Canadian Army from before 1900 and through the 20th Century, such as Drum Major, Pipe Major, etc.

Insignia

From November 1902 until Unification the rank of Major was designated by a single crown. After unification, the rank was designated by two thick rows of rank braid, with a thin row of braid in the middle.

Pre-Unification

Post-Unification

Battle Dress

Service Dress

Combat Clothing
Slip-On

Garrison Dress
Jacket


Responsibilities

The rank of Major was commonly held by both staff officers and field officers, generally by those commanding company sized sub-units or acting as second in command of battalion sized units. Some units have actually had Major as the prescribed rank for their command.

Forms of Address

Majors were addressed by rank and name; thereafter by subordinates as "Sir" or "Ma'am".

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

1900-1915 

1915-1968

1968-2000

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

 


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