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Second lieutenant

Second lieutenant is a junior commissioned officer military rank in many armed forces.



In the Israel Defense Forces (IDF), since 1951, ( - ( " Segen mishne (Sagam) is equivalent to a Second Lieutenant (NATO OF-1). From 1948 - 1951 the corresponding rank was that of a ( ) Segen, which today (since 1951) is a Lieutenant. Segen mishne means "Junior Lieutenant" and Segen literally translates as "Assistant". Typically it is the rank of a Platoon commander. The rank above Second Lieutenant is simply Lieutenant. Note that the IDF uses this rank across all three of its services.

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, Fusilier and Rifle 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 exact 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 the normal entry-level rank for most commissioned officers.

In the Army and Marine Corps, a second lieutenant typically commands a platoon-size element (16 to 44 soldiers or Marines). In the Army, until December 1917 the rank bore no insignia other than a brown sleeve braid on blouses and an officer's cap device and hat cord. In December 1917, a gold bar similar to the silver bar of a first lieutenant was introduced.

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

The corresponding Navy and Coast Guard rank is ensign.

As a result of the gold color of the bars and their usual inexperience as officers, second lieutenants are often colloquially referred to as "Butterbars". Other colloquialisms include "Nuggets" and "2nd Luey."


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. The ranking system in Norway is quite different, while they do not have a professional army, Fenriks are usually former experienced sergeants but to become a sergeant one has to go through officer's training and education. Though they still fill such roles as squad leaders and platoon sergeants while at the rank Fenrik, in some cases Fenriks are Executive Officers (XOs). Most Fenriks have finished the War Academy as well, and are fully trained officers. This is due to the lack of an NCO-corps in the Norwegian army.


Pakistan Army follows British pattern of ranks. A 2nd Lieutenant is represented by one metal pip on each shoulder in case of "Khaki Uniform" and one four quadric printed star on the chest in case of Camouflage Combat Dress (CCD). However a 2nd lieutenant in Pakistan Army last for only 6 months after commission from PMA Kakul and promoted to a Lieutenant.


The following are a selection of second lieutenant rank insignia, attempting to illustrate the range of variation (and similarity) between the insignia. Note that although many air forces use the rank of second lieutenant, in most Commonwealth air forces the equivalent rank of pilot officer is used. Very few navies use the rank "second lieutenant".

Army 50x100px 50x100px 50x100px 50x100px 50x100px 50x100px 50x100px 50x100px
50px 50x100px 50x100px 50x100px 50x100px 50x100px 50x100px 50x100px 50x100px
Australia Bulgaria Canada Denmark France Germany Greece India Ireland Israel Italy Mexico Norway Romania Russia Slovenia UK Bangladesh US
50x100px 50x100px 50x100px 50x100px 50x100px 50x100px pilot
50x100px 50px 50x100px 50x100px 50x100px 50x100px pilot
Australia Bulgaria Canada Denmark France Germany Greece India Ireland Israel Italy Mexico Norway Romania Russia Slovenia UK US
Navy acting
L jtnant Enseigne
de 2e
Simaioforos 50px guardia-marina Teniente
50px no

Other countries

  • : Dvahom Baridman
  • : N ntoger
  • Arabic-speaking countries except Bahrain, Oman, Sudan, Yemen: (Mulazim)
  • , , and : Teniente
  • : (Leytenant)
  • and : Leytenant
  • , , and : (Mulazim Thani)
  • : Second Lieutenant
  • : Sous-Lieutenant (French); Onderluitenant (Dutch); Unterleutnant (German)
  • : Deda Wom
  • , , , , , , and : Subteniente
  • : Podporu nik
  • and : Segundo Tenente
  • : Ak-no-say-ney-trey
  • and : Tenente
  • : (Sh o w i)
  • Imperial China (Qing Dynasty): (Xi j n xi o)
  • : Poru nik
  • and ex: Poru k
  • : L jtnant
  • : Segundo Teniente
  • : Nooremleitnant
  • : V nrikki (Finnish) or F nrik (Swedish) (army and air force); Aliluutnantti (Finnish) or Underl jtnant (Swedish) (navy)
  • and all French-speaking non-European countries: Sous-Lieutenant
  • : (Leytenanti)
  • and : Leutnant
  • and : Anthypolokhagos (army); Anthyposminagos (air force)
  • : Hadnagy
  • : Segundo Teniente
  • : Letnan Dua
  • : (Setvan Dovom)
  • Second Lieutenant (English); Dara-Lefteanant (Irish)
  • : (Segen mishne)
  • : Sottotenente
  • : (Sant Rikui) or 3 (San'i) (modern); (Sh i) (historical)
  • and : (Sowi)
  • : Roitr k d
  • : Leitnants
  • : Leitenantas
  • : Lieutenant
  • : Leftenan Muda
  • : Subteniente
  • : Du Bo
  • : (Deslegch)
  • : Sahayak-Senani
  • and : Tweede-Luitenant
  • : Fenrik
  • Ottoman Empire: M laz m
  • Philippines: Second Lieutenant (English); Magat, Tenyente, Ikalawang Tenyente, Alperes; Segundo Teniente and Alferez (Spanish)
  • : Podporucznik
  • and Mozambique: Alferes
  • : Sublocotenent (modern); Locotenent (former)
  • , , , , and : (Leytenant)
  • : (Podporuchik); K (Kornet) (cavalry)
  • :
  • : Sottotenente
  • , and : (Potporu nik)
  • : Poru k
  • : Poro nik
  • and : Alf rez
  • : F nrik
  • : Leutnant (German); Lieutenant (French); Tenente (Italian)
  • (Taiwan): (Sh o w i)
  • :
  • : Te men
  • : Teniente Segundo
  • : Subteniente (army); Subteniente (air force); Alf rez (Navy)
  • : Thi u U

See also


ar: bn: el: et:Nooremleitnant fi:V nrikki fr:Sous-lieutenant it:Sottotenente ja: nl:Tweede luitenant no:Sekondl ytnant nn:Sekondl ytnant pl:Podporucznik pt:Segundo-tenente ru: sr: tr:Te men vi:Thi u y zh:

Source: Wikipedia | The above article is available under the GNU FDL. | Edit this article

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