The rank of lieutenant-colonel is a rank of Senior officer in many countries.
In the Army, the Air force and the gendarmerie, the lieutenant-colonel is a senior officer whose rank is immediately lower than that of Colonel. The lieutenant-colonel carries five gallons of alternate gold and money (for a lieutenant-colonel of the weapons to foot or for a lieutenant-colonel of the weapons to horse). In the Marine the equivalent rank is Commander.
When a subordinate addresses to a lieutenant-colonel, it calls it: “My colonel”.
Old modeThe rank of lieutenant-colonel was creates in 1668. Étymologiquement, it indicates that which " lieu" holds; of colonel, i.e. the officer as a second of a Regiment. With the difference in the ranks of captain and colonel, the rank was not purchasable and transmissible. The lieutenant-colonels were thus promoted by the Secretary of State to the War among the captains deserving and tested, whereas the colonels were very often aristocratic rich person families wire who acquired of a regiment and thus secured promotion with the rank. The figure of the lieutenant-colonel is thus that of the officer of experiment against that of the colonel, inexperienced and often absent. It frequently happened that the lieutenant-colonel ensures the real load of the regiment. The lieutenant-colonel is in the beginning that which can in hold place, i.e. to replace it in his absence of colonel. Like the colonels, the lieutenant-colonels were also captains of a company of their regiment whose real command was ensured by a Captain-lieutenant. To note that the regiments of cavalry had of the lieutenant-colonels, even if they were not ordered by colonels by but mestres of camp.
Revolution and empireThe organization of the revolutionary armies made disappear the rank from lieutenant-colonel with that of colonel, called Chef of brigade. Under the Empire, it will become Major , but finally the label of origin will be restored, and in the French Army, the term of major indicates nowadays a rank of Sous-officier.
SwissThe lieutenant-colonel (in German Oberstleutnant ) is in the Swiss Armée a Senior officer located between the Major and the Colonel. It orders a Bataillon (: 1000 soldiers approximately). Its badge is appeared as two gallons broad gilded (or two black horizontal wide strips on the battle dress).
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