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Military Terminology

civvy_SJM2

Midshipman
Hi all,
I hope you're all doing well. I've got a few questions around military terminology. The questions are similar to those written here: https://www.navy-net.co.uk/community/threads/flags-and-pennants.187914/

Question 1:
Why is it that some official documents use the word military as if it only applies to the British Army, and not the other Services? One example is this partial quote taken from Chapter 92 of the QRRN: "...if wearing the uniform of his naval, military or air force rank..." Surely the Royal Navy an Royal Air Force must be part of "the military" too, sentences like this make no sense.

Question 2:
Is Star Officer(s) an officially recognised term for Senior Officers who hold one of the "star" ranks (Commodore and above -- Brigadier and above -- and Air Commodore and above)? A category term of Star Officer would really be useful for Commodores and Brigadiers, because they're in the awkward position of being in the "star club", and yet being outside of the more widely recognised groups of Flag Officers and General Officers. If Star Officer is indeed an officially recognised term, I think Her Majesty's Armed Forces should use it more often. A section of Chapter 92 of the QRRN is titled "Officers of Flag Rank and Commodores", in my opinion it would be less cumbersome to simply title that section as "Star Officers".

Question 3:
I know that Lieutenant Commander's in the RN can't be referred to as Commander for short (unlike their counterparts in the USN). Due to that fact, I had always assumed that the same rule applied to Rear Admirals and Vice Admirals. However, someone told me recently that "Admirals" are different somehow. That person was making a very brief passing comment, so I'm not exactly sure what he meant. So to confirm one way or another, can Rear Admirals and Vice Admirals be referred to as Admiral for short?

Thank you all very much for your time.

Cheers,
civvy_SJM2 :)
 
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huwshpis

War Hero
I think you've been captured by Americanisms. We do not refer to our Armed Forces as "the military" as, in the Queen's English, "military" = "Army". Secondly, the star system is something we've adopted from the Americans, mainly to simplify things in joint operations and NATO taskings, and has caused a change in the rank markings on senior officers' shoulder boards. Rear Admirals originally had one large star, this is now a Commodore's rank insignia, while Rear Admirals have 2 stars, etc. I don't believe the star ranking system is necessarily of practical use in the British Armed Forces. Finally, the original rank denoted by two rings with a half-ring between them was "Lieutenant with 8 years' seniority", that is a kind of Lieutenant and definitely not the next rank up, "Master and Commander". Admirals are Admirals, just as Generals are Generals.
 
D

Deleted 58790

Guest
Recently there was concern that a female OOW doing something improper behind Bridge black out curtains should not have been court-martialled at Bulford army camp on Salisbury plain .
But isnt a military establishment the right place to conduct court martials--martial being a military word?
 

WreckerL

War Hero
Super Moderator
Recently there was concern that a female OOW doing something improper behind Bridge black out curtains should not have been court-martialled at Bulford army camp on Salisbury plain .
But isnt a military establishment the right place to conduct court martials--martial being a military word?
You use of the word improper has connotations, she was preparing an entering harbour brief, the courts martial, I have learned, is because the building in pompey that was used before hand has been demolished and Guzz is no longer used.

Martial relates to fighting, or war so you are correct in one sense.
 

Waspie

War Hero
Q1. My read is it would depend on when and who wrote the documentation! (As already mentioned - Americanisms creeping into everyday parlance especially in the Armed Forces). My view, it's only a word!!!

Q2, Even higher level civil servants use the star system. One tried to pull rank on me pontificating he was a 2 star!!! As if at my lowly grade I gave a f***!!!

Q3, Lt Cdrs being referred to as Commanders!!! - Americanism. When in Rome do as the Romans do. I have to admit after 25 years, I have never heard anyone call a Lt Cdr by his rank!!!! Many of my bosses were 2 & ½'s but always 'Sir' ' Boss' even Pete, Bob or Sid but never Lieutenant Commander Smith/Jones /Brown* (Delete as applicable).
 

Dusty70

War Hero
Q1. My read is it would depend on when and who wrote the documentation! (As already mentioned - Americanisms creeping into everyday parlance especially in the Armed Forces). My view, it's only a word!!!

Q2, Even higher level civil servants use the star system. One tried to pull rank on me pontificating he was a 2 star!!! As if at my lowly grade I gave a f***!!!

Q3, Lt Cdrs being referred to as Commanders!!! - Americanism. When in Rome do as the Romans do. I have to admit after 25 years, I have never heard anyone call a Lt Cdr by his rank!!!! Many of my bosses were 2 & ½'s but always 'Sir' ' Boss' even Pete, Bob or Sid but never Lieutenant Commander Smith/Jones /Brown* (Delete as applicable).
Or in my experience No 1.................
 

Chris P

Lantern Swinger
Q2, Even higher level civil servants use the star system. One tried to pull rank on me pontificating he was a 2 star!!! As if at my lowly grade I gave a f***!!

Surely Waspie as an ex Wafu that should be 'a flying f***!!'

I always thought some civvy employees thought they were above their station anyway..:(:rolleyes:
 

Waspie

War Hero
Q2, Even higher level civil servants use the star system. One tried to pull rank on me pontificating he was a 2 star!!! As if at my lowly grade I gave a f***!!

Surely Waspie as an ex Wafu that should be 'a flying f***!!'

I always thought some civvy employees thought they were above their station anyway..:(:rolleyes:
I was keeping it polite for the GS Chris!!! We know how their sensibilities can be upset by WAFU phraseology!!! :D:D:D

INCOMING!!!!!!!!!!
 

civvy_SJM2

Midshipman
Hi again,
My thanks to all of you for your responses. Sorry for my late reply, I've had a very busy week. I'll respond to each of your comments below.

EDIT: I'll continue writing either later tonight or tomorrow (NZDT), I've run out of time right now.

2ND EDIT: Sorry that my replies took even longer than I said they would in the 1st edit. I'm a very slow typer (see here for details: https://www.navy-net.co.uk/community/threads/saved-post-drafts.188882/#post-1489931) and I ended up being busy with family during a holiday. Thankfully I've posted them all now.
 
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civvy_SJM2

Midshipman
Hi @huwshpis,
I think you've been captured by Americanisms. We do not refer to our Armed Forces as "the military" as, in the Queen's English, "military" = "Army". Secondly, the star system is something we've adopted from the Americans, mainly to simplify things in joint operations and NATO taskings, and has caused a change in the rank markings on senior officers' shoulder boards. Rear Admirals originally had one large star, this is now a Commodore's rank insignia, while Rear Admirals have 2 stars, etc. I don't believe the star ranking system is necessarily of practical use in the British Armed Forces. Finally, the original rank denoted by two rings with a half-ring between them was "Lieutenant with 8 years' seniority", that is a kind of Lieutenant and definitely not the next rank up, "Master and Commander". Admirals are Admirals, just as Generals are Generals.
Thanks for explaining. I apologise, I honestly had no idea that using the word military to refer to *all* of a country's armed forces was an Americanism, I thought every English speaking country in the world used it that way. Likewise, I had no idea that the star system was an Americanism, I honestly thought that the U.K. had the star system first.

I'm embarrassed that, as you put it, I have "...been captured by Americanisms." My country takes after the U.K. in many respects, and I get sick of Americanisms here too. I get particularly irritated when people say or write the date back to front, instead of using the proper British method. I hope you don't judge me too harshly for the mistakes discussed above.
Finally, the original rank denoted by two rings with a half-ring between them was "Lieutenant with 8 years' seniority", that is a kind of Lieutenant and definitely not the next rank up, "Master and Commander". Admirals are Admirals, just as Generals are Generals.
I know that in the R.N. a Lieutenant Commander's rank is never shortened. The only reason I mentioned that rank was to find out whether the ranks with the word "Admiral" in them have the same non-shortening rule. On that point, I'm still a little uncertain (sorry). I apologise for essentially asking this question twice, it's just that I don't know how to interpret your phrase "Admirals are Admirals, just as Generals are Generals". It seems to me that your phrase could be interpreted in two ways. Did you mean that *full* Admirals (with no prefix) are Admirals, and *full* Generals (with no prefix) are Generals and that the lower ranks that have the words "Admiral" or "General" in them along with prefixes (such as Rear Admiral), can't be shortened; because they're not Admirals in their own right? Or did you mean that (in this context) the prefixes don't matter, they're all Admirals and Generals at the end of the day, so they can all be referred to as Admiral or General for short?

I look forward to your clarification. :)
 
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civvy_SJM2

Midshipman
Hi @Branch-Hopper,
Q1:
Military did, for a while mean Army, but that was before the Johnny-come-Lately flyboys appeared on the scene; hence the Naval & Military Club (https://theinandout.co.uk/web/pages/club-history). As Huwships says, some Americanisation has been adopted into the service jargon.
Thanks, I stand corrected. :)
I'm not sure why you referred me to your answer in the Flags and Pennants thread. Although the two threads are very similar, the answer you gave me in the Flags and Pennants thread doesn't directly apply to Question 2 of this thread (since I didn't ask about the star system in the Flags and Pennants thread). Don't get me wrong, I still appreciate you replying to this thread. :) Perhaps you could clarify what you meant? In any case, now that @huwshpis has informed me that the star system is an Americanism rather than a British invention, I no longer consider it relevant (and don't care about it anymore).
 
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civvy_SJM2

Midshipman
Hi @Waspie,
My view, it's only a word!!!
Fair enough. :)
Q2, Even higher level civil servants use the star system. One tried to pull rank on me pontificating he was a 2 star!!! As if at my lowly grade I gave a f***!!!
Sigh, I agree with you, civil servant's use of the star system seems totally inappropriate!
Q3, Lt Cdrs being referred to as Commanders!!! - Americanism. When in Rome do as the Romans do. I have to admit after 25 years, I have never heard anyone call a Lt Cdr by his rank!!!! Many of my bosses were 2 & ½'s but always 'Sir' ' Boss' even Pete, Bob or Sid but never Lieutenant Commander Smith/Jones /Brown* (Delete as applicable).
I think you've misunderstood what I meant in Question 3, I still appreciate your reply though. :) I'll explain what I meant: Firstly, I know that Lieutenant Commanders can't have their ranks shortened. I was just using that rank as an example to see if the ranks with the word 'Admiral' in them have the same non-shortening rule. Secondly, I know that subordinates wouldn't address them by their rank, my question was more from a superior's point of view. For example, after a Vice Admiral reports to an Admiral, would the Admiral say "Take a seat Vice Admiral" or "Take a seat Admiral."?
 

janner

MIA
Book Reviewer
Most likely at that level to be "Take a seat Tarquin." other Christian names are available. :oops: :oops: :oops: ;)
 
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