General (Australia)

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Australian general's rank insignia
See General for other countries which use this rank

General (abbreviated GEN) is the second highest rank, and the highest active rank, of the Australian Army and was created as a direct equivalent of the British military rank of general; it is also considered a four-star rank.

Prior to 1958, generals (and field marshals) were only appointed in exceptional circumstances. In 1958, the position which is currently called Chief of the Defence Force was created, and since 1966, the rank of general has been held when an army officer is appointed to that position.

General is a higher rank than lieutenant general, but is lower than field marshal. General is the equivalent of admiral in the Royal Australian Navy and air chief marshal in the Royal Australian Air Force.

A general's insignia is St Edward's Crown above a star of the Order of the Bath (or 'pip') above a crossed sword and baton, with the word 'Australia' at the bottom.1

Australian generals

The following have held the rank of general in the Australian Army:

Since 1966, the rank of general has been held when an army officer is appointed to the position currently called Chief of the Defence Force:

Although he was a British Army officer, General William Birdwood, 1st Baron Birdwood held the rank of general in the First Australian Imperial Force (1st AIF) from 1917, and in the Australian Army from 1920.3 Further, General Sir John Hackett was an Australian-born general of the British Army.

See also

Notes

  1. ^ Australian Army officer rank insignia are identical to British Army officer rank insignia, with the difference that Australian Army insignia have the word "Australia" below them.
  2. ^ Blamey was subsequently promoted to field marshal in 1951. He was the first (and to date only) Australian born field marshal.
  3. ^ When "Birdy" was promoted to field marshal in the British Army in 1925, he was given the honorary rank of field marshal in the Australian Army. He is one of only three Australian field marshals.







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