Second Lieutenant (rank)

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Second Lieutenant, also 2nd Lieutenant and sometimes abbreviated to 2nd Lieut. and 2Lt., was introduced throughout the British Army in 1877 to replace the short-lived rank of sub-lieutenant, although it had long been used in the Royal Artillery, Royal Engineers, Fusilier and Rifle regiments. At first the rank bore no distinct insignia. In 1902, a single Bath star was introduced; the ranks of lieutenant and captain had their number of stars increased by one to (respectively) two and three. The rank is also used by the Royal Marines.

New British Army officers are normally commissioned as 2nd lieutenants at the end of their commissioning course at RMA Sandhurst, and continue with specific training with their units. Progression to lieutenant rank usually occurs after about a year. In the British armed forces, second lieutenant is a rank which is not used as a form of address. Instead a 2nd lieutenant named, for example, Smith is addressed and referred to as Mr Smith, with the exception that the alternative titles ensign (Foot Guards) and cornet (in the Blues and Royals and Queen's Royal Hussars) are still used.

In the Royal Air Force, the comparable rank is pilot officer. The Royal Navy has no exact equivalent rank, and a 2nd lieutenant is senior to a Royal Navy midshipman but junior to a sub-lieutenant.[1]

References / notes[edit]

  1. Second lieutenant. Wikipedia: The free encyclopedia. Accessed 4 April, 2020.

Glossary of words and phrases[edit]

The above term is listed in our glossary of words and phrases of the Armed Forces of the United Kingdom of Great Britain during the Great War, which also includes: technicalities, trench slang, expressions in everyday use, nicknames, sobriquets, the titles and origins of British and Commonwealth Regiments, and warfare in general. These words and phrases are contemporary to the war, which is reflected in the language used, and have been transcribed from three primary sources (see contents). Feel free to help improve this content.
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