General (United Kingdom)

British Army OF-9.svg British Royal Marines OF-9.svg
Army and Royal Marines insignia
Country United Kingdom
Service branch
Rank groupGeneral officer
RankFour-star rank
NATO rank codeOF-9
Next higher rank
Next lower rankLieutenant-general
Equivalent ranks

General (or full general to distinguish it from the lower general officer ranks) is the highest rank achievable by serving officers of the British Army. The rank can also be held by Royal Marines officers in tri-service posts, for example, General Sir Gordon Messenger the former Vice-Chief of the Defence Staff. It ranks above lieutenant-general and, in the Army, is subordinate to the rank of field marshal, which is now only awarded as an honorary rank. The rank of general has a NATO-code of OF-9, and is a four-star rank.[1] It is equivalent to a full admiral in the Royal Navy or an air chief marshal in the Royal Air Force.

Officers holding the ranks of lieutenant-general and major-general may be generically considered to be generals.


A general's insignia is a crossed sword and baton. This appeared on its own for the now obsolete rank of brigadier-general. A major-general has a pip over this emblem; a lieutenant-general a crown instead of a pip; and a full general both a pip and a crown. The insignia for the highest rank, that of Field Marshal, consists of crossed batons within a wreath and surmounted by a crown.

See also


  1. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2012-08-21. Retrieved 2012-08-19.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)

Media files used on this page

Flag of the United Kingdom.svg
Author/Creator: unknown, Licence: PD
Flag of the British Army.svg
The Army Flag (non-ceremonial): is authorized to be flown at any Army or inter-Service events of a non ceremonial nature, at Army headquarters and recruiting offices. The Army Flag is not to be flown as the principal flag denoting Army participation at any international event where the Union Flag should be flown (Ministry of Defence (1996). The Queen's Regulations for the Army 1975. Government of the United Kingdom p. 227. Retrieved on 14 November 2015.).
A generic U.S. World War II tank, a derivate of Image:TM-9-374-T25E1-1.jpg, background removed (transparent), hue set to steel blue, reduced size and colors.
British Royal Marines OF-9.svg
Author/Creator: Sodacan, Licence: CC BY-SA 4.0
British Royal Marines Rank OF-9 (General)
British Army OF-9.svg
Author/Creator: Sodacan, Licence: CC BY-SA 4.0
British Army Rank OF-9 (General)