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General
Armed Forces

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Equivalent Ranks
Ranks
Conscription in the UK
Individual Servicemen
Other

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Armed Forces

Equivalent Ranks

Officers

Navy Army Air Force
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Ranks

  Navy   Army   Air Force
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Ranks

Highest non–commissioned rank in the British army Click to show or hide the answer
Lowest commissioned rank in the British army Click to show or hide the answer
Highest rank in the Royal Marines Click to show or hide the answer
Between Ordinary and Leading Seaman Click to show or hide the answer

Conscription in the UK

World War I

Military Service Act comes into force, making single men aged 18 to 41 liable to be called up Click for more information Click to show or hide the answer

World War II and After

Military Training Act makes single men aged 20 to 22 liable to be called up as "militiamen" Click to show or hide the answer
National Service (Armed Forces) Act makes all males aged between 18 and 41 liable for conscription into the armed forces Click for more information Click to show or hide the answer
National Service Act extends conscription into peace–time Click for more information Click to show or hide the answer
Conscription formally ends Click for more information Click to show or hide the answer

Individual Servicemen

First person to be awarded the VC (1856, for action in 1854) Click to show or hide the answer
The two youngest recipients of the VC Aged 15 yrs 3 months 8 days, 15 yrs 100 days Click to show or hide the answer
Approximately the same age, exact d.o.b. not known) Click to show or hide the answer
Awarded a posthumous VC for his action in the Battle of Jutland, 1916 (aged 16, but not the youngest recipient) Click to show or hide the answer
Surgeon Captain Arthur Martin–Leake (South African Constabulary), Captain Noel G. Chavasse (Royal Army Medical Corps), and Charles H. Upham (2nd NZ Expeditionary Force – Canterbury Regiment) are the only three men to be awarded Click to show or hide the answer
VCs in the Falkland Islands campaign, 1982 (both posthumous) Click to show or hide the answer
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Awarded the VC for two incidents in Iraq, 2004 (Grenada–born) Click to show or hide the answer
Awarded a posthumous VC for action in Afghanistan, 2006 Click to show or hide the answer

Other

RAF: squadrons in a wing (normally) Click to show or hide the answer
Headquarters of the French Foreign Legion, until 1962 (when they were moved to Aubagne, near Marseilles) Click to show or hide the answer
US naval academy Click to show or hide the answer
First unit of the British army to be granted the prefix Royal Click to show or hide the answer
Name on specimen forms, became a nickname for the British private soldier Click to show or hide the answer
Women's branch of the British army during World War II Click to show or hide the answer
Name given to the independent companies of militia that were raised from loyalist Highland clans for policing and peacekeeping duties, following the first Jacobite Rebellion (1715); formally titled the 42nd (Highland) Regiment of Foot in 1751; wore kilts as part of its everyday uniform until 1940; became part of the Royal Regiment of Scotland in 2006 Click to show or hide the answer
Nickname of UN peacekeeping troops Click to show or hide the answer
Informal name of the Royal Horse Guards and 1st Dragoons, formed 1969 by the amalgamation of the Royal Horse Guards and Royal Dragoons Click to show or hide the answer
Royal Artillery: equivalent of Corporal Click to show or hide the answer
Temporary promotion (term mainly used in the 19th century – especially during the US Civil War, but also in Britain) Click to show or hide the answer
Nickname (attributed to the Native Americans, possibly in reference to the texture of their hair) given to the regiments of African–American men who served in the so–called Indian Wars following the American Civil War Click for more information Click to show or hide the answer
The oldest regiment in the British army: first recruited on the Tweed by General Monk in 1650 Click to show or hide the answer
German airmen sent by Hitler to help Franco in the Spanish Civil War Click to show or hide the answer
Common name for the warrior-peasants of Slavonic descent, who lived mainly in Ukraine and served as cavalry under the Russian tsars Click to show or hide the answer
RAF College (often described as "the RAF's equivalent of Sandhurst") Click to show or hide the answer
The Royal Navy's Officer Training School Click to show or hide the answer
HQ of the British Army's Royal Logistic Corps (RLC), near Camberley, Surrey: subject of controversy following the suicides of four trainees, 1995–2002; scheduled to close 2013 Click to show or hide the answer
First Special Forces Operational Department of the US Army – the USA's prime counter–terrorist unit – modelled on Britain's SAS; established 1977, based at Fort Bragg, North Carolina (common name used by the public and media) Click to show or hide the answer
Nickname for a US soldier in World War I Click to show or hide the answer
Commander of Britain's only private army Click to show or hide the answer
Founded in 1831 by Louis Philippe, with headquarters at Sidi Bel Abbès in Algeria, to protect French colonies (foreigners being forbidden to enlist in the French army after the 1830 revolution); moved to Aubagne, near Marseilles, in 1962; one of its nine regiments is based at Calvi, Corsica Click to show or hide the answer
Withdrew from NATO's integrated military structure in 1966 (while remaining committed to the organisation's aims, contributing resources to its campaigns, and remaining part of its political arm); rejoined in 2009 Click to show or hide the answer
US elite force formed at Fort Bragg, 1957 Click to show or hide the answer
60th Regiment, Rifle Brigade: nickname Click to show or hide the answer
Oldest regiment of the British army – founded 1660; senior regiment of the Guards division of the Infantry Click to show or hide the answer
The USA's oldest military establishment outside US territory, and the only one on Communist soil Click to show or hide the answer
"Better to die than to live a coward" is the English translation of the motto of the Click to show or hide the answer
RAF Museum (North London) Click to show or hide the answer
Lifeguards & Blues & Royals Click to show or hide the answer
Infantry units that formed the sultan's bodyguard and household troops in the Ottoman Empire – from the Turkish for "new soldier" Click to show or hide the answer
Queen's Own Buffs: part of the regiment of Click to show or hide the answer
Nickname, probably derived from the wearing of a certain style of collar, used for American soldiers in general, and particularly for members of the US Marine Corps Click to show or hide the answer
Hussar Click to show or hide the answer
British army regiment formed in 2007 by the merger of the Cheshire, Worcestershire & Sherwood Foresters, Staffordshire and West Midlands (TA) regiments Click to show or hide the answer
Identified in the British army by their red berets Click to show or hide the answer
Citizens' militia in the American Revolutionary War, pledged to be ready 'at a moment's notice' Click to show or hide the answer
England's first professional army, formed by Cromwell 1645 Click to show or hide the answer
Last navy to issue a tot of rum (1990) Click to show or hide the answer
Nickname of the British Expeditionary Force to France, 1914 Click to show or hide the answer
Lowest commissioned rank in the RAF Click to show or hide the answer
Only person to be Admiral of the Fleet, Field Marshal and Marshal of RAF Click to show or hide the answer
Code of conduct for the British armed forces Click to show or hide the answer
The Thunderbirds in the USA, the Roulettes in Australia, the Black Knights in Singapore, the Silver Falcons in South Africa, and the Blue Diamonds in the Philippines, are the equivalent of the UK's Click to show or hide the answer
The Fleet Air Arm's Black Cats and the Army Air Corps's Blue Eagles are the equivalent of the RAF's
Regiment that has won most VCs Click to show or hide the answer
Sovereign's bodyguard in Scotland Click to show or hide the answer
Civilian-manned fleet owned by the UK Ministry of Defence: provides fuel, ammunition and supplies for Royal Navy ships at sea Click to show or hide the answer
Merged with the Royal Naval Air Service, 1918, to form the RAF Click to show or hide the answer
Formed 2006 by the merger of the Royal Scots and the King's Own Scottish Borderers Click to show or hide the answer
Oldest infantry regiment in the British army, when amalgamated with the Scottish Borderers in 2006 – nicknamed "Pontius Pilate's Bodyguard" Click to show or hide the answer
Baton round Click to show or hide the answer
Long–standing Royal Navy tradition, discontinued 1970 (31 July 1970 is known in the Navy as Black Tot Day, for that reason) Click to show or hide the answer
Japanese warrior class, 12th – 19th centuries Click to show or hide the answer
Royal Military Academy (Berkshire town) Click to show or hide the answer
Private soldier in the Royal Engineers Click to show or hide the answer
Local troops in the British Indian Army – derived from a local word for horseman Click to show or hide the answer
Acronym of NATO's European command centre, near Mons in Belgium (standing for Supreme Headquarters Allied Powers Europe) Click to show or hide the answer
Regiment formed in 1941 by Colonel David Stirling; its headquarters are at Credenhill, near Hereford (formerly RAF Hereford) Click to show or hide the answer
The Navy's equivalent of the SAS Click to show or hide the answer
Military force in the Vatican City, and bodyguards to the Pope (all members are single, catholic males of Swiss origin) Click to show or hide the answer
Private soldier in a cavalry regiment Click to show or hide the answer
Second–largest army in NATO Click to show or hide the answer
US military academy (New York State) Click to show or hide the answer
Volunteer cavalry force organised in 1761 for home defence and merged with the Territorial Army in 1907 Click to show or hide the answer

© Haydn Thompson 2017–18