- Lance Corporal
Lance Corporal is a
military rank, used by many armed forces worldwide, and also by some policeforces and other uniformed organizations. It is below the rank of Corporal, and is typically the lowest non-commissioned or enlisted rank, usually equivalent to the NATO Rank Grade OR-3.
The presumed origin of the rank of Lance Corporal derives from an amalgamation of "
corporal" with the now-archaic "lancepesade", formerly a non-commissioned officerof the lowest rank. This in turn derives from the Italian "lancia spezzata", which literally means "broken lance" or "broken spear", but which was used to denote a seasoned soldier, as the broken spear was a metaphor for combat experience, where such an occurrence was very likely.
Lance Corporal is the lowest of the non-commissioned officer ranks in the
Australian Army, falling between Private and Corporal. It is the only appointed rank, and thus demotion is easier than with other ranks. It is also the only rank for which a soldier does not have to pass a specified series of tests. A Lance Corporal is usually the second in command of a Section (2IC), and is in control of the gun group in an infantry section. The same rank within artilleryunits is known as Lance-Bombardier. There is no equivalent rank within the Royal Australian Air Forceor Royal Australian Navy.
World War I, the rank of 2nd Corporal (equivalent to Lance Corporal) was used in Engineer units, particularly Railway units. This rank, however, is no longer used. [cite web
title =Badges of Rank; Australian Navy, Army, Air Force.
publisher =Digger History
accessdate = 2007-03-28 ]
A common nickname for a Lance Corporal is a "Lance Jack".
Canadian Forcesabolished the appointment of Lance Corporal on their creation as a unified force in 1968. The rank of Trained Private equates to OR-3 and wears the single chevron, but has no command authority. In terms of actual authority, the current appointment of Master Corporalequates most directly to the pre-Unification appointment of Lance Corporal as in both cases, this appointment was granted to soldier second-in-command of an infantry section, for example.
The equivalent of a Lance Corporal in the
French Armyis a "soldat de premiere classe" (soldier first class). Historically this rank was distinguished by a diagonal lace stripe on the lower sleeve in branch colour. Since World War II this insignia has been replaced by a small single inverted chevron worn higher on the arm.
India and Pakistan
The equivalent to Lance-Corporal in the
British Indian Armywas Acting Lance-Daffadar in cavalry regiments and Lance-Naik in other units. These ranks are still used in the Indian Armyand Pakistan Army.
The rank of Lance-Corporal (LCP) in the
Singapore Armed Forcesranks between Private First Class (PFC) and Corporal (CPL).
Like the rank of Corporal, it is not considered a Specialist rank, and the Lance-Corporal has absolutely no command authority by virtue of his rank. However, Lance-Corporals who are appointed second-in-command of a
section (military unit)do have the authority to command the rest of the section. National Servicemen in such appointments are usually promoted to this rank in the middle of their two-year enlistment.
A Lance-Corporal wears rank insignia of a single point down chevron with an arc above it (similar to an upside down US Army PFC rank badge).
Lance-Corporal (LCpl or formerly L/Cpl) is the lowest ranking
non-commissioned officerin the British Armyand Royal Marines, between private and corporal. The badge of rank is a 1-bar chevron worn on both sleeves, or on an epaulette on the front of the Combat Soldier 95 dress standard (although lance-corporals in the Foot Guards1st The Queen's Dragoon Guards and The Queen's Royal Hussarswear 2-bar chevrons and in the Household Cavalrya 2-bar chevron surmounted by the crown). The Royal Artilleryuses the term Lance Bombardier instead. The designation "Chosen Man", used during the Napoleonic Wars, was a precursor to the rank. A common nickname for a lance-corporal is "lance jack".
Until 1961, lance-corporal was only an appointment rather than a rank, given to privates who were acting NCOs, and could be taken away by the soldier's commanding officer (whereas a full corporal could only be demoted by
court martial). The Royal Engineersand Army Ordnance Corps also used the similar rank of Second Corporal, which was a substantive rank (also wearing one chevron), until 1920. Until 1920, Bombardiers in the Royal Artillery were equivalent to Second Corporals and Acting Bombardiers were equivalent to Lance-Corporals (both wearing one chevron).
infantry, a Lance-Corporal usually serves as second-in-commandof a section and commander of its delta fire team. It is also a rank commonly held by specialists such as clerks, drivers, signallers, machine-gunners, and mortarmen.
There is no equivalent
Royal Air Forcerank except in the RAF sections of Combined Cadet Forces seen in some British Schools. The CCF rank of Cadet Junior Corporal (also bearing one chevron) is used in order that NCOs can be ranked on parity with the Cadet Lance-Corporals in the Army Sections.
Lance Corporal (LCpl) is the third lowest
enlisted rankin the U.S. Marine Corps, just above Private First Classand below Corporal. It is not a non-commissioned officerrank. The Marines are the only component of the U.S. Armed Forces to have Lance Corporals.
From the earliest years of the Corps, the ranks of lance corporal and lance sergeant were in common usage. Marines were appointed temporarily from the next lower rank to the higher grade but were still paid at the lower rank. As the rank structure became more firmly defined, the rank of lance sergeant fell out of use. Lance corporals served in the Corps into the 1930s but this unofficial rank became redundant when the rank of private first class was established in 1917. The lance corporal fell out of usage prior to World War II, before it was permanently established in the sweeping rank restructuring of 1958.
Because it is not a NCO status, only ranks equal to or above call a Lance Corporal by last name. Four common Marine nicknames for a Lance Corporal are "Lance Coolie", "Lance Coconut", "Lance Colonel", or "Lance Criminal." It can also stand for the acronym "Last Chance to Play Lost"(L Cpl.) or also "Last Cleaning Person Left" indicating the expected mistakes a Lance Corporal would make in the hopes of becoming a Corporal.
Comparative military ranks
* [http://www.lancecorporalofmarines.com Lance Corporal of Marines Association]
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