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Lieutenant Commander

Lieutenant Commander

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Lieutenant Commander is a commissioned officer 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...

 in many navies
Navy
A navy is the branch of a nation's armed forces principally designated for naval and amphibious warfare; namely, lake- or ocean-borne combat operations and related functions...

. The rank is superior
Superior (hierarchy)
In a hierarchy or tree structure of any kind, a superior is an individual or position at a higher level in the hierarchy than another , and thus closer to the apex. It is often used in business terminology to refer to people who are supervisors and in the military to people who are higher in the...

 to a lieutenant
Lieutenant
A lieutenant is a junior commissioned officer in many nations' armed forces. Typically, the rank of lieutenant in naval usage, while still a junior officer rank, is senior to the army rank...

 and subordinate to a commander
Commander
Commander is a naval rank which is also sometimes used as a military title depending on the individual customs of a given military service. Commander is also used as a rank or title in some organizations outside of the armed forces, particularly in police and law enforcement.-Commander as a naval...

. The corresponding rank in most armies
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...

  (armed services) and air force
Air force
An air force, also known in some countries as an air army, is in the broadest sense, the national military organization that primarily conducts aerial warfare. More specifically, it is the branch of a nation's armed services that is responsible for aerial warfare as distinct from an army, navy or...

s is major
Major
Major is a rank of commissioned officer, with corresponding ranks existing in almost every military in the world.When used unhyphenated, in conjunction with no other indicator of rank, the term refers to the rank just senior to that of an Army captain and just below the rank of lieutenant colonel. ...

, and in the Royal Air Force
Royal Air Force
The Royal Air Force is the aerial warfare service branch of the British Armed Forces. Formed on 1 April 1918, it is the oldest independent air force in the world...

 and other Commonwealth
Commonwealth of Nations
The Commonwealth of Nations, normally referred to as the Commonwealth and formerly known as the British Commonwealth, is an intergovernmental organisation of fifty-four independent member states...

 air forces is squadron leader
Squadron Leader
Squadron Leader is a commissioned rank in the Royal Air Force and the air forces of many countries which have historical British influence. It is also sometimes used as the English translation of an equivalent rank in countries which have a non-English air force-specific rank structure. In these...

.
The NATO rank code is OF-3.

A lieutenant commander is a senior department officer on a large ship
Ship
Since the end of the age of sail a ship has been any large buoyant marine vessel. Ships are generally distinguished from boats based on size and cargo or passenger capacity. Ships are used on lakes, seas, and rivers for a variety of activities, such as the transport of people or goods, fishing,...

 or shore installation. He or she may also be commanding officer
Commanding officer
The commanding officer is the officer in command of a military unit. Typically, the commanding officer has ultimate authority over the unit, and is usually given wide latitude to run the unit as he sees fit, within the bounds of military law...

 or executive officer
Executive officer
An executive officer is generally a person responsible for running an organization, although the exact nature of the role varies depending on the organization.-Administrative law:...

 (second-in-command
Second-in-command
The Second-in-Command is the deputy commander of any British Army or Royal Marines unit, from battalion or regiment downwards. He or she is thus the equivalent of an Executive Officer in the United States Army...

) of a smaller ship or installation.

Origins


Lieutenants were commonly put in command of smaller vessels not warranting a Commander or captain
Captain (naval)
Captain is the name most often given in English-speaking navies to the rank corresponding to command of the largest ships. The NATO rank code is OF-5, equivalent to an army full colonel....

: such a lieutenant was called a "lieutenant commanding" or "lieutenant commandant" in the United States Navy
United States Navy
The United States Navy is the naval warfare service branch of the United States Armed Forces and one of the seven uniformed services of the United States. The U.S. Navy is the largest in the world; its battle fleet tonnage is greater than that of the next 13 largest navies combined. The U.S...

, and a "lieutenant in command", "lieutenant and commander", or "senior lieutenant" in the Royal Navy
Royal Navy
The Royal Navy is the naval warfare service branch of the British Armed Forces. Founded in the 16th century, it is the oldest service branch and is known as the Senior Service...

. The USN settled on "lieutenant commander" in 1862, and made it a distinct rank; the RN followed suit in March 1914.

Royal Navy



The insignia worn by a Royal Navy
Royal Navy
The Royal Navy is the naval warfare service branch of the British Armed Forces. Founded in the 16th century, it is the oldest service branch and is known as the Senior Service...

 Lieutenant Commander (Lt Cdr) is two medium gold braid stripes with one thin gold stripe running in between, placed upon a navy blue/black background. The top stripe has the ubiquitous loop used in all RN officer rank insignia. The RAF follows this pattern with its equivalent rank of squadron leader
Squadron Leader
Squadron Leader is a commissioned rank in the Royal Air Force and the air forces of many countries which have historical British influence. It is also sometimes used as the English translation of an equivalent rank in countries which have a non-English air force-specific rank structure. In these...

.

Having fewer officer ranks than the army, the RN previously split some of its ranks by seniority (time in rank) to provide equivalence: hence a Lieutenant with fewer than eight years seniority wore two stripes, and ranked with an army Captain; a Lieutenant of eight years or more wore two stripes with a thinner one in between, and ranked with a Major. This distinction was abolished when the rank of Lieutenant Commander was introduced.

Royal Observer Corps



Throughout much of its existence, the British Royal Observer Corps
Royal Observer Corps
The Royal Observer Corps was a civil defence organisation operating in the United Kingdom between 29 October 1925 and 31 December 1995, when the Corps' civilian volunteers were stood down....

 (ROC) maintained a rank of observer lieutenant commander (Obs Lt Cdr). The ROC wore a Royal Air Force
Royal Air Force
The Royal Air Force is the aerial warfare service branch of the British Armed Forces. Formed on 1 April 1918, it is the oldest independent air force in the world...

 uniform and their rank insignia appeared similar to that of an RAF squadron leader
Squadron Leader
Squadron Leader is a commissioned rank in the Royal Air Force and the air forces of many countries which have historical British influence. It is also sometimes used as the English translation of an equivalent rank in countries which have a non-English air force-specific rank structure. In these...

 except that the stripes were shown entirely in black. Prior to the renaming, the rank had been known as observer lieutenant (first class).

Ireland


The rank of lieutenant commander is also used in the Irish Naval Service, having a similar implication to the RN rank. (It should noted that the majority of vessel commanders in the INS hold the rank of LCDR, with a Commander being a senior, shore-based position)

Other countries


The corresponding rank in the German Navy
German Navy
The German Navy is the navy of Germany and is part of the unified Bundeswehr .The German Navy traces its roots back to the Imperial Fleet of the revolutionary era of 1848 – 52 and more directly to the Prussian Navy, which later evolved into the Northern German Federal Navy...

, Italian Navy
Italian Navy
Italian Navy may refer to:* Pre-unitarian navies of the Italian states* Regia Marina, the Royal Navy of the Kingdom of Italy * Italian Navy , the navy of the Italian Republic...

, Brazilian Navy
Brazilian Navy
The Brazilian Navy is a branch of the Brazilian Armed Forces responsible for conducting naval operations. It is the largest navy in Latin America...

, French Navy
French Navy
The French Navy, officially the Marine nationale and often called La Royale is the maritime arm of the French military. It includes a full range of fighting vessels, from patrol boats to a nuclear powered aircraft carrier and 10 nuclear-powered submarines, four of which are capable of launching...

, Spanish Navy
Spanish Navy
The Spanish Navy is the maritime branch of the Spanish Armed Forces, one of the oldest active naval forces in the world. The Armada is responsible for notable achievements in world history such as the discovery of Americas, the first world circumnavigation, and the discovery of a maritime path...

 and most other French and Spanish-speaking countries is corvette captain
Corvette Captain
Corvette captain is a rank in many navies which theoretically corresponds to command of a corvette . The equivalent rank in the United Kingdom, Commonwealth and USA is lieutenant commander...

. The corresponding rank in the Portuguese Navy
Portuguese Navy
The Portuguese Navy is the naval branch of the Portuguese Armed Forces which, in cooperation and integrated with the other branches of the Portuguese military, is charged with the military defence of Portugal....

 is captain lieutenant
Captain Lieutenant
Captain lieutenant or captain-lieutenant is a military rank, used in a number of different navies worldwide.It is generally equivalent to the Commonwealth or US rank of lieutenant, and has the NATO rank code of OF-2, though this can vary....

, in the Russian Navy it is "captain of the third rank" (Капитан 3-го ранга), and in the Polish Navy
Polish Navy
The Marynarka Wojenna Rzeczypospolitej Polskiej - MW RP Polish Navy, is the branch of Republic of Poland Armed Forces responsible for naval operations...

 it is komandor podporucznik.

Insignia


Insignia similar to that of the Royal Navy's is worn by lieutenants-commander in other Commonwealth
Commonwealth of Nations
The Commonwealth of Nations, normally referred to as the Commonwealth and formerly known as the British Commonwealth, is an intergovernmental organisation of fifty-four independent member states...

 navies, such as the Royal Australian Navy
Royal Australian Navy
The Royal Australian Navy is the naval branch of the Australian Defence Force. Following the Federation of Australia in 1901, the ships and resources of the separate colonial navies were integrated into a national force: the Commonwealth Naval Forces...

 (which uses the abbreviation "LCDR"), the Royal New Zealand Navy
Royal New Zealand Navy
The Royal New Zealand Navy is the maritime arm of the New Zealand Defence Force...

 and the Royal Canadian Navy
Royal Canadian Navy
The history of the Royal Canadian Navy goes back to 1910, when the naval force was created as the Naval Service of Canada and renamed a year later by King George V. The Royal Canadian Navy is one of the three environmental commands of the Canadian Forces...

, and which uses the abbreviation "LCdr").

Address


The United States Navy always addresses officers using the higher grade of the rank; as an example, a lieutenant junior grade is referred to simply as "lieutenant", and a lieutenant commander is referred to as a "commander". If either a commander or lieutenant commander have screened for and are in command of a naval vessel or installation, they are called "captain", as the commanding officer of any warship is entitled to be, regardless of rank, and casually referred to as "the skipper".

Unlike the United States Navy, personnel in the Royal Navy
Royal Navy
The Royal Navy is the naval warfare service branch of the British Armed Forces. Founded in the 16th century, it is the oldest service branch and is known as the Senior Service...

and other Commonwealth navies addressing a lieutenant commander do not abbreviate the rank to "commander".