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Thread: Company commander - captain or major?

  1. #16
    Seņor Contributor Senior Contributor BD1's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jaehkimx View Post
    Hey lighten up man. All that anger bottled up inside, you're going to die of a heart attack or hypertension real soon (I hope). And the German army has fielded the finest troops for the last 3 hundred years. And wipe your arse with that.......... You sound like a lifer NCO, strutting his life upon a stage, full of sound and fury, signyfing nothing
    I think this is the appropriate time to say good-bye to you , since we probably will not meet again.
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  2. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by Simullacrum View Post
    300 years I dont think so, as 'the' finest, again no..... Napolean wiped the floor of the austio-german army on a number of ocassions, due to the fact of there rigid formations and mentality in military affairs. [Dave has brought up a valid point] Read up on history before you shoot your drivle.

    oh by the way, you sound like an ignorant philistine, with a mental capacity of a two year old, that is inept of understing ones demeanor on these posts,
    and are incapable of responding with a sound and informative responsce.
    There was this little known fella called Von Blucher who defeated this chap called Bonaparte at this obscure place called Waterloo. For ignorant, uneducated trailer trash such as yourself, Von Blucher was a Prussian. BTW what is austio, is that your mothers privates?

  3. #18
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    Take a 30 day holiday and be advised that most here are combat vets.

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    Quote Originally Posted by jaehkimx View Post
    There was this little known fella called Von Blucher who defeated this chap called Bonaparte at this obscure place called Waterloo. For ignorant, uneducated trailer trash such as yourself, Von Blucher was a Prussian. BTW what is austio, is that your mothers privates?
    you have just proven to me what an ignorant t'wat you really are,
    that hasent a clue with history or military affairs.
    you are a waste of space on these forums.... Go back to sucking on your lolipop, and reading your comics.
    Last edited by Simullacrum; 04 Jul 07, at 14:45.

  5. #20
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    Gentlemen please calm down, I believe that people have a right to air their views without being insulted. I believe that if Germany did not invade to many places at once the Second World War would have been a different result. America were not interested in entering the Second World War, until the incident at Pearl Harbour. I do not expect to be insulted on my remarks.

  6. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cornishchunky View Post
    Gentlemen please calm down, I believe that people have a right to air their views without being insulted. I believe that if Germany did not invade to many places at once the Second World War would have been a different result. America were not interested in entering the Second World War, until the incident at Pearl Harbour. I do not expect to be insulted on my remarks.
    you might not be insulted, but you might be greeted with a 'WTF?'

    you obviously haven't read the thread, the person who started the insulting has... err... left, with the gracious aid of the Colonels' size nines....

    its not our fault if he wasn't very good at insulting people, or indeed that he picked a fight with people much better at insulting people than he was - indeed Sim has one of the better lines in vitriol that its been my good fortune not to be the target of.
    Last edited by dave angel; 04 Jul 07, at 23:07.
    before criticizing someone, walk a mile in their shoes.................... then when you do criticize them, you're a mile away and you have their shoes.

  7. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by dave angel View Post
    i think - and i believe that this is OoE's views as well - that its an accident of the colonial policing role that was the BA's bread and butter for several hundred years. relatively small forces could be responsible for quite large areas in an age where comms are either bad or non-existant, ergo the commander of that unit might need almost plenipotentary powers to make peace and war (particularly as 'divide and rule' is one of the best ways to secure influence when you don't have great numbers), obviously this isn't a job for a twenty-five year old... there are two other reasons that spring to mind, firstly that the US Army was built on a 'Prussian model', one of very strict discipline and a very 'top-down' operational model, whereas the BA has a somewhat different approach of not just allowing initiative at a very junior level, but requiring it - you can imagine that local initiative (and effectively self-sufficiency of command) is a requirement for a rifle company on the North-West frontier where the next level of command might be a weeks march away.
    In fact, the US experienced much the same in "Indian country" where Majors and LCols were in command of company size garrisons. However, the effects of the Civil War is what accounts for much of their command ranking. Just look at the size of engagements. Company level actions mean very little in the scheme of things and hence, the few officers who were able to do battalion and above retained effective operational control.

  8. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by dave angel View Post
    six different ranks of Sergeant (excluding the Three Seargent Major ranks)
    Here lies the answer to Shek's question!

    Basically American and other Prussian-model mid-level NCOs (i.e. the ones instrumental in running the infantry coy) are lot more secure in their positions and share a greater deal of responsibility with their officers. Military law and tradition gives them lot more protection (from officers) but expects them to bear lot more responsibility in return. Strong NCOs means that you can let relatively younger officers try their hand at large commands.

    Conversely mid-level NCO appointments in British-style armies were at the discretion of the officers. So first of all the NCOs were reluctant to bear too much responsibility because of liabilities (yes sorr, no sorr, three bags full sorr!), so you needed a stronger and more experienced officer to take up the bigger portion of responsibilities. Then not only was maturity needed to handle the ranks, but also extra maturity was now needed to handle NCOs because the officer could easily make or break NCOs (since many NCO appointments are discretionary). That atleast was how it evolved unti 1940s. As I understand the mid-level NCOs in British Armies became much more assertive in late 1940s (to the point of almost forming a union!), but the legacy of Majors commanding inf coys lives on.

    =====

    Don't kow how much impact colonial operations had on the this legacy at all: For example the biggest of all colonial armies, the British Indian Army, operated on a completely different system of command. All officers were, by default, Staff Officers. A completely different rung of Indian commanders called "Viceroy's Commissioned Officers" held between NCOs and COs, but unlike WOs held full command (usually upto company level, but sometimes batt. level too). So on and so forth. The British Army tried its best not to pick up anything from the colonial armies unless forced to by developments in Europe (ex. camouflage, staff schools, fixed logistics - all pioneered by the BIA and latd frced upon the BA).

    PS: Do WOs hold command in some units?
    Last edited by Cactus; 07 Aug 07, at 14:47. Reason: Interesting afterthought

  9. #24
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    question if i am passing a junior captain how can i tell the differance between a junior captain and a senior captain ,in the SADF Captains had 3 pips ,a junior leutenant had 1 pip he was classified as a 2nd leut and a first leut has 2 pips ,as an infantry soldier we had one rule if it moves salute it if it does,nt paint it

  10. #25
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    If I read question 1 of page 1 of this thread correctly, I believe it was asked if a Lieutenant or a Captain is a COMPANY commander.

    In some outfits, companies are also called troops and battalions are called squadrons. I often saw rotations of company commanders where one year it was a Lieutenant and the next year a Captain.

    Traditionally, a Captain would command a company if its size is 100 or more soldiers. The word "Captain" comes from ancient Roman "Centurian" of which the prefix denoted he was in charge of 100 men. Too often the movies show a Centurian as a solitary elite soldier or with some sort of political influence. In reality, a Centurian was merely a company commander. He still had to report to Legion (Battalion) commander.
    Able to leap tall tales in a single groan.

  11. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by RustyBattleship View Post
    If I read question 1 of page 1 of this thread correctly, I believe it was asked if a Lieutenant or a Captain is a COMPANY commander.

    In some outfits, companies are also called troops and battalions are called squadrons. I often saw rotations of company commanders where one year it was a Lieutenant and the next year a Captain.

    Traditionally, a Captain would command a company if its size is 100 or more soldiers. The word "Captain" comes from ancient Roman "Centurian" of which the prefix denoted he was in charge of 100 men. Too often the movies show a Centurian as a solitary elite soldier or with some sort of political influence. In reality, a Centurian was merely a company commander. He still had to report to Legion (Battalion) commander.
    No, the question is more about differences of having a Captain or a Major as a company commander. Implicitly traditional infantry - no troops, squadrons etc.

    An LT commanding a company is usually a sign of officer shortage/unavilability; I know of an instance of a Major commanding a brigade in WWII!

    A centurion usually commanded only 80 legionaires, as incidentally did captains during Napoleonic Wars. Movies would somewhat be correct in showing a centurion as a solitary elite soldier because a legionaire rose to rank of a centurion through exceptional, personal bravery in the two ranks in between (optio tempore, optio). Romans believed that leadership is leading from the front - atleast for the lower-classes, who were always a bit semi-tribal. A centurion, because of his extensive experience prior to command, would probably identify himself with Indian JCOs or Western WOs (who have command responsibilities) than with comissioned officers.

    The centurions who went up with influential legates and tribunes, no doubt had the enormous political influence - especially when the legions were doing the politics. You need only to look at Third World military dictatorships born just after end of colonial empires to see how much political influence senior NCOs and WOs could pick up (Idi Amin, anyone?).

  12. #27
    Defense Professional RustyBattleship's Avatar
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    Cactus:
    Very good response. Your research on ancient Roman military chain of command is much more detailed and more accurate than mine.

    I was only interested in battle formations but the teachers insisted on studying Plato or Socrates. So I missed the "right" books.

    However, in the (late) 111th Armored Reconnaisance Battalion, we were made up of 5 companies. Either a Lt. or a Captain would be company commander depending upon command rotations. Later we were redesignated as 3rd Armored Reconnaisance Squadron and the companies were called troops.

    Our company was limited to 118 men total but the army would not issue a tank to a company with less than 125 men. We still kept our tank (couldn't find anybody who wanted it?) and our company commander (a Captain) found two tanks in Camp Pendleton used as aggressor tanks. So we would do some of our training on the Marine Base and had three tanks instead of one.
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  13. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by soutie View Post
    question if i am passing a junior captain how can i tell the differance between a junior captain and a senior captain ,in the SADF Captains had 3 pips ,a junior leutenant had 1 pip he was classified as a 2nd leut and a first leut has 2 pips ,as an infantry soldier we had one rule if it moves salute it if it does,nt paint it
    In this instance junior or senior Captain refers to time in grade in order to determine who would be "senior". I believe the Soviet army had junior and senior Captains as separate ranks.

    In the SADF most of the time my company commander was a Captain although I did serve under a Lieutenant for a while. My CO was promoted to Major at the same time I promoted to Sergeant. He still retained command of the company but he also assumed another "hat" as assistant commandant of the Sapper school.
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  14. #29
    Senior Reader Senior Contributor entropy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by RustyBattleship View Post
    I was only interested in battle formations but the teachers insisted on studying Plato or Socrates. So I missed the "right" books.
    Had the same problem in high school. Rome is basically it's army, then engineering, and THEN poetry and art. I told the teacher I wanted to read about Roman conquest, army, logistics, problems in conquered provinces, leadership, you know, the fun stuff.

    But no, we were reading about how Orpheus' trip to Hell, the Daedalus vs Aerodynamics case and how Cicero wrote an entire rhetoric to call his political opponent (Antonius) a whore, being a whore himself, having picked up the soap for a safe pass through the Bosporus. 6 years of Latin for nothing.

    Edit: it was Caesar who went bareback for naval affairs, not Cicero. Entropy is currently in a state of alcoholic intoxication and all the Roman names sound pretty much the same to him.
    Last edited by entropy; 07 Aug 07, at 23:16. Reason: terrible mistake

  15. #30
    Senior Reader Senior Contributor entropy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sappersgt View Post
    In this instance junior or senior Captain refers to time in grade in order to determine who would be "senior". I believe the Soviet army had junior and senior Captains as separate ranks.
    The rank of captain was only one, sir. There was a junior and senior Lieutenant, as well as an Undercolonel and a Colonel.

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