Major is a rank of commissioned officer, with corresponding ranks existing in many military forces.
When used unhyphenated, in conjunction with no other indicator of rank, the term refers to the rank just senior to that of an army captain and just below the rank of lieutenant colonel. It is considered the most junior of the field ranks. In some militaries, notably France, the rank is referred to as commandant, while in others it is known as captain-major. It is also used in some police forces and other paramilitary rank structures, such as the New York State Police, New Jersey State Police and several others. As a police rank, Major roughly corresponds to the UK rank of Superintendent.
When used in hyphenated or combined fashion, the term can also imply seniority at other levels of rank, including general-major or major general, denoting a mid-level general officer, and sergeant major, denoting the most senior NCO of a military unit.
It can also be used with a hyphen to denote the leader of a military band such as in pipe-major or drum-major.
Famous quotes containing the word major:
“The man, or the boy, in his development is psychologically deterred from incorporating serving characteristics by an easily observable fact: there are already people around who are clearly meant to serve and they are girls and women. To perform the activities these people are doing is to risk being, and being thought of, and thinking of oneself, as a woman. This has been made a terrifying prospect and has been made to constitute a major threat to masculine identity.”
—Jean Baker Miller (20th century)
“In the larger view the major forces of the depression now lie outside of the United States, and our recuperation has been retarded by the unwarranted degree of fear and apprehension created by these outside forces.”
—Herbert Hoover (18741964)
“We all drew on the comfort which is given out by the major works of Mozart, which is as real and material as the warmth given up by a glass of brandy.”
—Rebecca West (18921983)