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Captain (abbr Capt) is the highest subaltern rank.

It is the military rank above Lieutenant and below Major.

Normally second in command of a company or a Battalion level staff officer. Insignia is three 'Pips'

This is the make or break rank for Regular Officers in the British Army . . . consequently there tend to be four types:

  1. The very good, destined for real command who make their OC (Major) look good whilst looking after the careers of the men and letting the Troop Staffy/Company CSgt run the day to day stuff. These are like gold dust.
  2. The very good, who make their OC (Major) look good whilst looking after the careers of the men and letting the Troop Staffy/Company CSgt run the day to day stuff, but who have no intention of getting stressed about promotion. Party animals, great mates, real characters,they leave early, to the great disappointment of their peers and subordinates, and the relief of RHQ.
  3. The thrusting little military shit, with his head dangerously, yet permanently, far up the CO's arrse. Apparently unembarrassed about taking credit for the work of others, generally disloyal to, and distrusted by peers and subordinates alike, but with a glossy Teflon finish that would make Tony Blair look positively cloddish. Such as these are destined for rapid advancement - their limitations are somehow utterly invisible from above. Peter Principle applies.
  4. The waiting-for-the-letter, stating services no longer required. Tend to be bitter/full of self-importance and shout a lot for no apparent reason. Mercifully likely to be filtered out quite quickly . . . . . but there are ALWAYS exceptions! (No names, no pack drill! or indeed an Interview Without Coffee)


  • the naval officer in command of a military ship
  • master: an officer who is licensed to command a merchant ship
  • the leader of a group of people; "a captain of industry"
  • the pilot in charge of an airship
  • a dining room attendant who is in charge of the waiters and the seating of customers
  • be the captain of a sports team
  • not so secret agent for Spectrum ... unless you are of black extraction and therefore only get to be a Lieutenant.

Factoid: Captain is an album by Scottish band Idlewild. Recorded 1st-7th October 1997 at River Studios, London. It was produced by Paul Tipler under the label, Deceptive Records.

ukFlag.jpg   British Army rank structure   36px-Flag_of_the_British_Army.svg.png
Commissioned Officer ranks
Second LieutenantLieutenantCaptainMajorLieutenant ColonelColonel
BrigadierMajor GeneralLieutenant GeneralGeneralField Marshal
Junior & Non-Commissioned ranks
PrivateLance CorporalCorporal
SergeantStaff SergeantWarrant Officer Class 2Warrant Officer Class 1