Lieutenant General is a military rank used in many countries. The rank traces its origins to the Middle Ages where the title of lieutenant general was held by the second in command on the battlefield, who was normally subordinate to a captain general.
In modern armies, lieutenant general normally ranks immediately below general and above major general; it is equivalent to the navy rank of vice admiral, and in air forces with a separate rank structure, it is equivalent to air marshal. A lieutenant general heads up an army corps, made up of typically three army divisions, and consisting of around 60,000 soldiers.
The term major general is a shortened version of the previous term sergeant major general, which was also subordinate to lieutenant general. This is why a lieutenant general outranks a major general, whereas a major is senior to a lieutenant.
In many countries, the rank of corps general has replaced the earlier rank of lieutenant general (e.g. France, Italy). (The ranks of corps general and lieutenant colonel general are intended to solve the apparent lieutenant general / major general anomaly). However, for convenience, this is often translated into English as lieutenant general.
In Argentina, lieutenant general is the highest army rank in use. The highest rank is theoretically captain-general, but it is not used in deference of liberator José de San Martín, the first and only captain general of the Argentine army.
The Irish defence forces Chief of Staff is a lieutenant general as the force is too small to require a higher rank
Famous quotes containing the word general:
“We have seen over and over that white male historians in general have tended to dismiss any history they didnt themselves write, on the grounds that it is unserious, unscholarly, a fad, too political, merely oral and thus unreliable.”
—Adrienne Rich (b. 1929)