Brigardier or Brigadier General


I see from today's coverage of CENTCOM on UK tv that the duty US general is a one-star BG (stag-on, stag-off!!).
I seem to think UK used to have brig-gens (pre-WW1?) but this was later changed to drop the general bit. Hazy memory seems to prompt that this was because brigs did not command general troops.
I'd argue that a fighting bde comd did command general troops (mix of arty, armr, inf, engrs and others) so should brig-gen be reintroduced as a rank.
I realise the counter argument is that many (most?) brigs do not command fighting bdes. Then again most major generals do not comd fighting divs and so hardly command general troops. There would also be arguments over command/control - let's have them....
I would welcome any comments on this - happy to hear all sides. Any views from one-stars who think they should be seen as generals welcome :-* :-* :-*

S  8)
Brigadiers still belong to the "General Staff" which is why they are referred to as "late such and such a regiment" and wear GS mess kit and insignia rather than regimentals.

The reason that Maj Gen comes before Lt Gen is that they were once called Sgt Maj Generals, and the "Sgt" was dropped. They were responsible for what would be the fore-runner of logistics and were so-called because LE officers used to have the letters "QM" after their names as they were referred to as having "Quarter-Master Commissions" even though they weren't necessarily Quarter Masters. QM officers as was would have been responsible for a regiment's logistical effort, and the relevant Maj Gens were responsible for co-ordinating this effort accross the army, which is why they wouldn't have a "general" command as you termed it.

I think the practice of the US calling their Brigs Brig Gen comes from clarifying to the (usually ignorant) public that they are in fact part of the General Staff, and not some unitary commander in the field (hence Field rank) such as a Lt Col.


It is also an indicator, for US and many other nations, that the officer is a GENERAL, as opposed to UK where a Brig is NOT (so I understand) a GENERAL, ie does not get ADC, staff car, etc, which other countries (as BGs) do.  Similar applies to dark & light blue where Cmdre & Air Cdre are the top of the 'below flag/air' ranks as opposed to Flag Officers (Admirals & Air Marshals).

In USN, as they no longer have Commodores, they have replaced the 1* Flag rank with Rear Admiral (Lower Half); proper 2*s are thus Rear Admiral (Upper Half).

Had to explain all this to NATO colleagues who wondered why one of our Brit 1*s signed himself as Brig Gen UK Army on NATO correspondence, but simply as Brigadier on UK correspondence!


War Hero
But a Brigadier is actually a 1* General.  

NATO consider all starred officers as a General and as such the rank of Brigadier is reffered to as Brigadier General in NATO.  

We Brits,  for whatever reason refer to our Brigadiers as Brigadiers.  


following on from Wooperts explanation of General and Field rank, where does the term subaltern come from?

or should I just go and read a fekin dictionary ;D


War Hero
...Comes from the French


Its from the LATIN.

Lets not Gallify anything, please...

Cheese eating surrender monkeys!
Just to pacify CGS (and stop his head exploding), the term Adjutant comes from the Latin "Adjutorium" which means "helper", though it is probable that we got the term from some Gallic Cheese Eating Surrender Monkey bastardisation.

This, of course, shouldn't surprise anyone as the CESMs steal all the best words and ideas, claim them as their own, and then arrogantly pretend that they wish to safeguard the "heritage" (ahem!) of their language by not allowing other words from other languages into their own tongue, unless of course they like those words, in which case they will steal them and pretend that they invented them....


War Hero
Kit Reviewer
Book Reviewer
The reason the UK got rid of the general from the rank brigadier-general was purely cost based as per u-p's post ie if a brigadier is not a general he doesn't need car, ADC, houseman etc.

Did you know that the collective noun for a group of subalterns is a SIMPLICITY!




On a similar note, isn't it weird how a General tends to work in a Private Office, but a Private tends to work in a General Office.

Work that one out...!


I always thought that a group of subalterns was called a cluster ;D



Americans regard 2Lt as a separate grade from Lt.
The rest of NATO doesn't.  Hence the disparity.
In that case how come a Capt is an O3?


Our captains are O-2s, US ones are O-3

Basically from those 2 charts, the US grades are one higher than our equivalent.

I thought the collective noun for subalterns was a CONFUSION.
After consultation with my CSM, the collective noun for a gaggle of subbies is, apparently "a clusterf**k".  There you have it.  ;D


The grade differential between us and our cousins on the other side of the pond confuses me. Has it changed recently.  :-/

I served as LO at Macdill AFB in the late 70s and, as a Captain, I was fed, watered etc as grade O-3.

BTW, in the cheese-eating-surrender-monkey farces, "Un Brigadier" is a corporal. Once had the unedifying task of trying to get my Brigadier at HQ BAOR a room at a French military guest house somewhere. Much gnashing of teeth and wailing until I remembered this. :p

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