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

Commissioned Officers

A Commissioned Officer in a general sense is a member of a military service holding a position of responsibility.

Commissioned officers in the Canadian Army derived their authority directly by royal decree, or a "commission" from the sovereign power.

As a group, commissioned officers ranked above all Non-Commissioned Members, including Warrant Officers, Non-Commissioned Officers, and Men.

Commissioned Officers have also been grouped into categories:

  • General Officers (at various times Colonels and Brigadiers were in a separate group)

  • Senior Officers (sometimes referred to as "field grade")

  • Junior Officers (sometimes referred to as "company grade", more commonly Lieutenants and Second Lieutenants were referred to as Subalterns.)

  • Officer Cadets


A Subaltern in the Canadian Army was a Commissioned Officer ranked as either a Lieutenant or 2nd Lieutenant. The term was merely a descriptive way of grouping junior officers, literally meaning "subordinate."

While the meaning of the word remained constant during the 20th Century, there were several other grades of rank previous to 1900 that were also encompassed by the term subaltern, including captain-lieutenant (abolished in the 1700s), cornet, and ensign (both officially abolished by the British Army in 1871).


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