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Field Marshal

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Serious version:

Field Marshal was once the ultimate rank in the British Army. The last officer to hold the rank was Sir Peter Inge, who was promoted to the rank in 1992, on appointment as Chief of the Defence Staff, a post held until 1997. It was he who decreed that, in recognition of the small size of the post-cold war Army, there was no justification for continuing to promote officers to the rank.

On appointment to this rank the holder is given a golden baton, which is the symbol of the office. This appointment is for life, with the holder never retiring.

In war a Field Marshal is responsible for the command of a group of armies (a formation in the same way as Bde and Div etc are formations).

Tongue-in-Cheek version:

The highest rank in the British Army and once reached you are there for life. As the Army is now so small, there is no requirement for any Field Marshals (see serious version above: in 1997 you could almost hear the remaining Generals on the greasy pole muttering, as one "Curse you - you Smug Git!".

In the First World War Generals were promoted to Field Marshal for expending thousands of Squaddies lives to enable them to move their Drinks Cabinets 20 feet nearer to Berlin.

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