Lieutenant Commander

Lieutenant Commander

Lieutenant Commander (Lieutenant-Commander in the Royal Navy)cite web | title = Uniforms and Badges of Rank | work = | publisher = U.K. Secretary of State for Defence | date = 2006 | url = | format = Web | doi = | accessdate = 2007-07-19 ] is a commissioned officer rank in many navies superior to a Lieutenant and subordinate to a Commander. The corresponding rank in most armies, (armed services) and air forces is Major, and in the Royal Air Force and other Commonwealth air forces is Squadron Leader also.

A Lieutenant Commander is a senior department officer on a large ship or shore installation. They may also be commanding officer or executive officer (second-in-command) of a smaller ship or installation.


Lieutenants were commonly put in command of smaller vessels not warranting a Commander or Captain: such a Lieutenant was called a "Lieutenant Commanding" or "Lieutenant Commandant" in the United States Navy, and a "Lieutenant in Command" or "Lieutenant and Commander" in the Royal Navy. The USN settled on "Lieutenant Commander" in 1862, and made it a distinct rank; the RN followed suit in March 1914.

United Kingdom

Royal Navy

The insignia worn by a Royal Navy 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.

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, the new rank taking the insignia and army equivalence of a senior Lieutenant.

Similar insignia is worn by Lieutenant-Commanders in other Commonwealth navies, such as the Royal Australian Navy (which uses the abbreviation "LCDR"), the Royal New Zealand Navy and the Canadian Forces Maritime Command (formerly the Royal Canadian Navy; which uses the abbreviation "LCdr"). Unlike the United States Navy, personnel in the Royal Navy or other Commonwealth Navies addressing a Lieutenant-Commander do not abbreviate the rank to "Commander."

Royal Observer Corps

Throughout much of its existance, the Royal Observer Corps maintained a rank of Observer Lieutenant Commander. The rank insignia was similar to that of an RAF squadron leader except that the stripes were shown entirely in black.


United States


The corresponding rank to Lieutenant Commander is Captain 3rd Rank.


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Look at other dictionaries:

  • Lieutenant commander — Lieutenant Lieu*ten ant (l[ u]*t[e^]n ant), n. [F., fr. lieu place + tenant holding, p. pr. of tenir to hold, L. tenere. See {Lieu}, and {Tenant}, and cf. {Locum tenens}.] 1. An officer who supplies the place of a superior in his absence; a… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • lieutenant commander — n. U.S. Navy an officer ranking above a lieutenant and below a commander …   English World dictionary

  • lieutenant commander — noun a commissioned officer in the Navy ranking above a lieutenant and below a commander • Topics: ↑military, ↑armed forces, ↑armed services, ↑military machine, ↑war machine • Hypernyms: ↑commissioned naval officer * * * noun …   Useful english dictionary

  • Lieutenant Commander — US Navy Kragen , Schulter und Ärmelabzeichen Lieutenant Commander (Abkürzung: LCdr (USN) oder LtCdr (RN)) ist ein militärischer Dienstgrad vieler Seestreitkräfte im englischen Sprachraum, so insbesondere in der US Navy (USN) und der Royal Navy… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • lieutenant commander — noun Date: 1839 a commissioned officer in the navy or coast guard ranking above a lieutenant and below a commander …   New Collegiate Dictionary

  • lieutenant commander — U.S. Navy. a commissioned officer ranking next below a commander and next above a lieutenant. [1830 40, Amer.] * * * …   Universalium

  • lieutenant commander — noun A naval officer whose rank is higher than a lieutenant and below that of a commander …   Wiktionary

  • lieutenant commander — noun a rank of officer in the navy, above lieutenant and below commander …   English new terms dictionary

  • lieutenant commander — /lətɛnənt kəˈmændə/ (say luhtenuhnt kuh manduh) noun 1. a naval officer ranking below a commander and above a lieutenant. 2. the rank itself …   Australian-English dictionary

  • lieutenant commander — An officer of the United States Navy, in rank immediately below commander and immediately above lieutenant …   Ballentine's law dictionary

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