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Löjtnant (Sweden)

Kapten (Kapteeni in Finnish) (From the Latin word capitaneus meaning head man or chief) is a professional and conscripted military rank in Sweden obtained by employed military personnel after one year as löjtnannt and completing a 40-week course (Note. It is no longer possible for conscripts to obtain the rank); Finland and Estonia, immediately above Löjtnant in Sweden and Yliluutnantti in Finland and just below Major in the Army ranks. In the Navy, the rank is immediately above Löjtnant and just below Örlogskapten.

Finnish Defence Forces rank of Kapteeni is comparable to Ranks of NATO armies officers as OF-2.

Obtaining the rank in Sweden

One year as Löjtnant and a 40-week course.

History and related ranks


The basic military unit during the Middle Ages was the company raised by a vassal lord on behalf of his lord usually the King. The lord was commissioned by the king as Kapten to lead the unit. As the number of companies grew, one captain was granted overall (general) authority and named captain general, which was shortened to general.


Until 1750, a rank above Löjtnant and below Kapten to command the life guard company on behalf of its formal commander - a Överste.


The rank Kaptenlöjtnant changed to Stabskapten (Staff Captain) in 1750.


An obsolete rank in the cavalry that corresponded to Kapten.

Reform 1972

Kapten with more than eleven years of service were elevated to Major.

Holders of the following ranks were elevated to Kapten

Reform 1972 - Rank inflation phase I

Prior to 1972, military personnel were divided into three categories Underbefäl (non-commissioned officers), Underofficerare (warrant officers) and Officerare (commissioned officers). The reform established a four-career-path system with four categories as described below and carried out major promotions of most personnel below the rank Överstelöjtnant.

The Underbefäl category was split into two categories

  • gruppbefäl to include
korpral - former vicekorpral
furir - former korpral
överfurir - former furir
  • plutonsofficerare to include
sergeant - former överfurir
fanjunkare - former elderly överfurir and rustmästare

The Underofficer category was renamed kompaniofficerare to include

fänrik - former sergeant and fanjunkare with less than 3 years of service
löjtnant - former sergeant and fanjunkare with 3-7 years of service
kapten - former sergeant, fanjunkare with a minimum of 7 years of serviceand and förvaltare

The Officer category was renamed regementsofficerare to include

löjtnant - Löjtnant with less than 3 years of service and former fänrik
kapten - kapten with less than 11 years of service and former Löjtnant with 3-11 years of service
major - former kapten and löjtnant with a minimum of 11 years of service
överstelöjtnant - överstelöjtnant and former major
higher ranks

Reform 1983 - Rank inflation phase II

All categories were merged into one professional officer category with the lowest rank set to fänrik. Furir, överfurir, sergeant and fanjunkare were removed as a professional ranks. Holders of the rank fanjunkare were promoted to löjtnant and the rest to fänrik.


In peacetime training, a kapteeni is the commander of a company. (Majors can also be in this role, but usually majors work in command staff rather than in individual companies.) The rank requires additional training to obtain, in addition to the preexisting military university degree.

It is also possible for reservists to obtain the reserve rank of kapteeni.

See also


External links

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