Second Lieutenant

Second Lieutenant

Second Lieutenant is the lowest commissioned officer military rank in many armed forces.

In British English the rank is pronounced second /lɛf'tɛnənt/ (lef-tenent), while in American English it is pronounced second /lu'tɛnənt/ (loo-tenent).

United Kingdom and Commonwealth

The rank Second Lieutenant was introduced throughout the British Army in 1871 to replace the rank of Ensign (Cornet in the cavalry), although it had long been used in the Royal Artillery, Royal Engineers and Fusilier regiments. At first the rank bore no distinct insignia. In 1902 a single bath star (now commonly referred to as a "pip") was introduced; the ranks of Lieutenant and Captain had their number of stars increased by one to (respectively) two and three. The rank is also used by the Royal Marines.

In the Royal Air Force the comparable rank is Pilot Officer. The Royal Navy has no exactly equivalent rank, and a Second Lieutenant is senior to a Royal Navy Midshipman but junior to a Sub-Lieutenant. The Royal New Zealand Navy - breaking with Royal Navy tradition - uses the Ensign grade for this rank equivalent. The Royal Australian Navy also breaks tradition in the sense that it has the equivalent rank of Ensign, but it is titled "Acting Sub Lieutenant."

The Canadian Forces adopted the rank with insignia of a single gold ring around the service dress uniform cuff for both army and air personnel upon unification in 1968. For a time, naval personnel used this rank but reverted to the Royal Canadian Navy rank of Acting Sub-Lieutenant, though the CF Green uniform was retained until the mid-1980s.

United States

In the United States, second lieutenant is typically the entry-level rank for most commissioned officers.

In the U.S. Army and the U.S. Marine Corps, a second lieutenant typically leads a platoon-size element (16 to 44 soldiers or Marines). In the Army, the rank bore no insignia until December 1917, when a gold bar was introduced to contrast with the silver bar of a first lieutenant.

In the U.S. Air Force, a second lieutenant may supervise flights of varying sizes, depending upon the career field, as a flight commander or assistant flight commander or may work in a variety of administrative positions at the squadron, group, or wing level.

As a result of the gold color of the bars, second lieutenants are often Military s _co. ensign.


The equivalent rank in Norway(O-1) is "Fenrik", but the function of the rank differs drastically from other armies. Although it is an officer rank, it strongly resembles an NCO-rank in practice. Fenriks are usually former experienced sergeants without officer education, and usually fill such roles as squad leaders and platoon sergeants. This is due to the lack of an NCO-corps in the Norwegian army.

Non-English speaking countries

*Afghanistan: "Dvahom Baridman"
*Albania: "Nëntoger"
*Arabic-speaking countries except Bahrain, Oman, Sudan, Yemen and former French colonies in North Africa: ملازم ("Mulazim")
*Argentina, Cuba, Nicaragua and Peru: "Teniente"
*Armenia: լեյտենանտ ("Leytenant")
*Azerbaijan and Uzbekistan: "Leytenant"
*Bahrain, Oman, Sudan and Yemen: ملازم ثان ("Mulazim Thani")
*Belgium: "Sous-Lieutenant" (French); "Onderluitenant" (Dutch)
*Bhutan: "Deda Wom"
*Bolivia, Chile, Colombia, Ecuador, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Panama and Paraguay: "Subteniente"
*Bosnia and Herzegovina: "Podporucnik"
*Brazil and Angola: "Segundo Tenente"
*Cambodia: "Ak-no-say-ney-trey"
*Cape Verde and Guinea-Bissau: "Tenente"
*People's Republic of China: 少尉 ("Shào wèi")
*Imperial China (Qing Dynasty): 協軍校 ("Xié jūn xiào")
*Croatia: "Poručnik"
*Czech Republic, Slovakia and Czechoslovakia: "Podporučík"
*Denmark: "Løjtnant"
*Dominican Republic: "Segundo Teniente"
*Estonia: "Nooremleitnant"
*Finland: "Vänrikki"
*France and all French-speaking non-European countries: "Sous-Lieutenant"
*Georgia: ლეიტენანტი ("Leytenanti")
*Germany and Austria: "Leutnant"
*Greece and Cyprus: "Anthypolokhagos" (army); "Anthyposminagos" (air force)
*Hungary: "Hadnagy"
*Honduras: "Segundo Teniente"
*Indonesia: "Letnan Dua"
*Iran: ستوان دوم ("Setvan Dovom")
*Republic of Ireland: Second Lieutenant (English); "Dara-Lefteanant" (Irish)
*Israel: סגן משנה ("Segen mishne")
*Italy: "Sottotenente"
*Japan: "Santō Rikui" (or "San'i") (modern); "Shōi" (historical)
*North Korea and South Korea: 소위 ("Sowi")
*Laos: "Roitrïäkäd"
*Latvia: "Leitnants"
*Lithuania: "Leitenantas"
*Luxembourg: "Lieutenant"
*Malaysia: "Leftenan Muda"
*Myanmar: "Du Bo"
*Nepal: "Sahayak-Senani"
*Netherlands and Suriname: "Tweede-Luitenant"
*Norway: "Fenrik"
*Ottoman Empire: "Mülazım"
*Philippines: "Magat","Tenyente"
*Poland: "Podporucznik"
*Portugal and Mozambique: "Alferes"
*Romania: "Sublocotenent" (modern); "Locotenent" (former)
*Russia, Belarus, Bulgaria, Kazakhstan, Ukraine and Soviet Union: Лейтенант ("Leytenant)"
*Russian Empire: Подпоручик ("Podporuchik"); Kорнет ("Kornet") (cavalry)
*Saudi Arabia: ملازم
*Serbia, Republic of Macedonia and Yugoslavia: Потпоручник ("Potporucnik")
*Slovenia: "Poročnik"
*Spain and Equatorial Guinea: "Alférez"
*Sweden: "Fänrik"
*Switzerland: "Leutnant" (German); "Lieutenant" (French); "Tenente" (Italian)
*Republic of China(Taiwan): 少尉 ("Shào wèi")
*Thailand: "Roi Tri"
*Turkey: "Teğmen"
*Uruguay: "Teniente Segundo"
*Venezuela: Subteniente (army); Subteniente (air force); Alférez (Navy)
*Vietnam: "Thieu Uy"

ee also

*Comparative military ranks
*British Army officer rank insignia
*U.S. Army officer rank insignia
*Cornet (military rank)

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