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Military History/Definitions of officer


Dear Bob

1/ What exactly is an "officer" in the armed forces?
2/ What is a "commision"?
3/ What is a "commisioned officer"?
4/ What is a "non-commisioned officer?
5/ Is there a name for someone who is neither a commisioned officer nor a non-commisioned officer? Or do those terms cover everyone in the armed forces?

By the way, sorry for resubmitting my previous question about Hitler in the newsreels. I'm still a bit new to this site and I hadn't scrolled down the page far enough to see your earlier answers. Thanks again,


Dear Paul,
        Here are the answers to your questions:

1. An officer is a member of an armed force or uniformed service who holds a position of authority.

2. and 3. A commissioned officer derives his authority directly from a sovereign power and, as such, holds a commission charging him with the duties and responsibilities of a specific office or position. They are ensigns and lieutenants that goes up to general.

4. NCOs in position of authority can be said to have control or charge rather than command per se (although the word "command" is often used unofficially to describe any use of authority).

5. NCO is one not given a commission and they are corporals and sergeants. They usually obtain their position of authority by promotion through the enlisted ranks.

6. That is a warrant officer who is designated as an officer by warrant.

May God Bless-Colonel Robert A. Lynn, Florida Guard  

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LTC Robert A. Lynn, Florida Guard


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