General-in-Chief

General-in-Chief

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General-in-Chief has been a military rank
Military rank
Military rank is a system of hierarchical relationships in armed forces or civil institutions organized along military lines. Usually, uniforms denote the bearer's rank by particular insignia affixed to the uniforms...

 or title in various armed forces around the world.

France


In France, General-in-Chief (général en chef) was first an informal title for the lieutenant-general commanding over others lieutenant-generals, or even for some marshals
Marshal of France
The Marshal of France is a military distinction in contemporary France, not a military rank. It is granted to generals for exceptional achievements...

 in charge of an army. During the Revolution
French Revolution
The French Revolution , sometimes distinguished as the 'Great French Revolution' , was a period of radical social and political upheaval in France and Europe. The absolute monarchy that had ruled France for centuries collapsed in three years...

, it became a title given to officers of général de division rank commanding an army
Army
An army An army An army (from Latin arma "arms, weapons" via Old French armée, "armed" (feminine), in the broadest sense, is the land-based military of a nation or state. It may also include other branches of the military such as the air force via means of aviation corps...

. The généraux en chef wore four stars on their shoulders boards opposed to the three of a mere général de division. The title of général en chef was abolished in 1812, re-established during the Restoration
Bourbon Restoration
The Bourbon Restoration is the name given to the period following the successive events of the French Revolution , the end of the First Republic , and then the forcible end of the First French Empire under Napoleon  – when a coalition of European powers restored by arms the monarchy to the...

 and ultimately abolished in 1848.

Russia


In Russia, General-in-Chief , was a full General
General
A general officer is an officer of high military rank, usually in the army, and in some nations, the air force. The term is widely used by many nations of the world, and when a country uses a different term, there is an equivalent title given....

 rank in the Russian Imperial
Russian Empire
The Russian Empire was a state that existed from 1721 until the Russian Revolution of 1917. It was the successor to the Tsardom of Russia and the predecessor of the Soviet Union...

 army, the second top in Russian military ranks (the 2nd grade of Table of Ranks). It was created in 1698 by Peter the Great
Peter I of Russia
Peter the Great, Peter I or Pyotr Alexeyevich Romanov Dates indicated by the letters "O.S." are Old Style. All other dates in this article are New Style. ruled the Tsardom of Russia and later the Russian Empire from until his death, jointly ruling before 1696 with his half-brother, Ivan V...

. In 1798, the rank was divided into three equivalent ranks of General of the Infantry, General of the Cavalry and General of the Artillery
General of the Artillery (Imperial Russia)
In the Imperial Russian army, General of the Artillery was the second-highest possible rank, below Generalissimo of Russia or General-Fieldmarshal, produced by splitting General-in-Chief into service branches....

.

USA


In the United States, the term "general
General (United States)
In the United States Army, United States Air Force, and United States Marine Corps, 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...

 in chief" was used to refer to the Commanding General of the United States Army
Commanding General of the United States Army
Prior to the institution of the Chief of Staff of the United States Army in 1903, there was generally a single senior-most officer in the army. From 1783, he was known simply as the Senior Officer of the United States Army, but in 1821, the title was changed to Commanding General of the United...

, who was the ground force's senior-most officer. Famous generals in chief were George Washington
George Washington
George Washington was the dominant military and political leader of the new United States of America from 1775 to 1799. He led the American victory over Great Britain in the American Revolutionary War as commander-in-chief of the Continental Army from 1775 to 1783, and presided over the writing of...

, Winfield Scott
Winfield Scott
Winfield Scott was a United States Army general, and unsuccessful presidential candidate of the Whig Party in 1852....

, Henry Halleck and Ulysses S. Grant
Ulysses S. Grant
Ulysses S. Grant was the 18th President of the United States as well as military commander during the Civil War and post-war Reconstruction periods. Under Grant's command, the Union Army defeated the Confederate military and ended the Confederate States of America...

. During the American Civil War
American Civil War
The American Civil War was a civil war fought in the United States of America. In response to the election of Abraham Lincoln as President of the United States, 11 southern slave states declared their secession from the United States and formed the Confederate States of America ; the other 25...

, General
General
A general officer is an officer of high military rank, usually in the army, and in some nations, the air force. The term is widely used by many nations of the world, and when a country uses a different term, there is an equivalent title given....

 Robert E. Lee
Robert E. Lee
Robert Edward Lee was a career military officer who is best known for having commanded the Confederate Army of Northern Virginia in the American Civil War....

 was appointed "General in chief of the Armies of the Confederate States" [Approved 6 February 1865]. The position of Commanding General of the United States Army
Commanding General of the United States Army
Prior to the institution of the Chief of Staff of the United States Army in 1903, there was generally a single senior-most officer in the army. From 1783, he was known simply as the Senior Officer of the United States Army, but in 1821, the title was changed to Commanding General of the United...

 was abolished with the creation of the General Staff
General Staff
A military staff, often referred to as General Staff, Army Staff, Navy Staff or Air Staff within the individual services, is a group of officers and enlisted personnel that provides a bi-directional flow of information between a commanding officer and subordinate military units...

 in 1903 — the Chief of Staff of the United States Army
Chief of Staff of the United States Army
The Chief of Staff of the Army is a statutory office held by a four-star general in the United States Army, and is the most senior uniformed officer assigned to serve in the Department of the Army, and as such is the principal military advisor and a deputy to the Secretary of the Army; and is in...

can perhaps be seen as the modern day equivalent, although the current position is not responsible for commanding military forces in the field, as the generals in chief did in the 19th century.

Venezuela


From the age of the independence war, to the present time, in Venezuela the highest degree is designated, like General-in-Chief (General en Jefe). From its creation its standard of degree was represented by three suns (equivalent to three stars), but from the creation in 2008 of the degree of General Major, four suns (equivalent to four stars) are used.

From the decade of the 40, the degree was unutilised, to year 2001, when then, general of division (two suns; equivalent to two stars) Lucas Rincon Romero was promoted to General-In-Chief. At the moment there are two commanders in chief in activity situation: minister of defense Carlos Mata Figueroa, and the chief of CEOFANB (Comando Estrategico Operacional de la FANB; Strategic Commando Operacional of the FANB) Henry Rangel Silva.