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:
“There are three major offenses against filial piety of which not producing an heir is the worst.”
“Staff has a genius for sitting on its brains and coming up with perfect hindsight.”
—Leo V. Gordon, U.S. screenwriter, and Arthur Hiller. Major Craig (Rock Hudson)
“When I see that the nineteenth century has crowned the idolatry of Art with the deification of Love, so that every poet is supposed to have pierced to the holy of holies when he has announced that Love is the Supreme, or the Enough, or the All, I feel that Art was safer in the hands of the most fanatical of Cromwells major generals than it will be if ever it gets into mine.”
—George Bernard Shaw (18561950)