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Second lieutenant is a junior commissioned officer military rank in many armed forces.


For further information, you may refer to Israel Defense Forces ranks.
IDF Rank: (סגן-משנה (סג"מ segen mishne (sagam)

Since 1951 in the Israel Defense Forces (סגן-משנה (סג"מ segen mishne (sagam) has been equivalent to a second lieutenant (NATO OF-1). From 1948 - 1951 the corresponding rank was that of a (סגן) segen, which since 1951 has been equivalent to lieutenant. Segen mishne means "junior lieutenant" and segen literally translates as "assistant". Typically it is the rank of a platoon commander. Note that the IDF uses this rank across all three of its services.

Israel Defense Forces ranks : נגדים

Ktzinim - junior officers or company grade Officers

NATO  OF-1 OF-1 OF-2
Abbreviation סג"מ
- -
Second lieutenant Lieutenant Captain
Insignia IAF segen mishne.svg IAF segen.svg IAF seren.svg
More details at Israel Defense Forces ranks & IDF 2012 - Ranks (, english)

United Kingdom and Commonwealth

The rank second lieutenant (abbr: 2LT; coll: "one-pip") was introduced throughout the British Army in 1871 to replace the rank of ensign (cornet in the cavalry), 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 (now commonly referred to as a pip) 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 second lieutenants at the end of their commissioning course at RMA Sandhurst, and continue with specific training with their units, often with mentoring from senior NCOs. Progression to lieutenant rank usually occurs after about a year.

In the Royal Air Force the comparable rank is pilot officer. The Royal Navy has no exact equivalent rank, and a second lieutenant is senior to a Royal Navy midshipman but junior to a sub-lieutenant. The Royal New Zealand Navy – breaking with Royal Navy tradition – uses the ensign grade for this rank equivalent. The Royal Australian Navy also breaks tradition in the sense that it has the equivalent rank of ensign, but it is titled "acting sub lieutenant."

The Canadian Forces adopted the rank with insignia of a single gold ring around the service dress uniform cuff for both army and air personnel upon unification in 1968. For a time, naval personnel used this rank but reverted to the Royal Canadian Navy rank of acting sub-lieutenant, though the CF green uniform was retained until the mid-1980s.

United States

In the United States, second lieutenant is the normal entry-level rank for most commissioned officers in the Army, Air Force and Marine Corps and is equivalent to the rank of ensign in the Navy and Coast Guard.

In the Army and Marine Corps, a second lieutenant typically commands a platoon-size element (16 to 44 soldiers or marines). In the army, until December 1917 the rank bore no insignia other than a brown sleeve braid on blouses and an officer's cap device and hat cord. In December 1917, a gold bar similar to the silver bar of a first lieutenant was introduced.

In the Air Force, depending upon the career field, a second lieutenant (2d Lt) may supervise flights (of varying sizes) as a flight commander or deputy flight commander, or may work in a variety of administrative positions at the squadron, group, or wing level. A significant number of Air Force second lieutenants are full-time flight students in training for eventual designation as USAF Pilots, combat systems officers or air battle managers.


The equivalent rank in Norway (O-1) is "fenrik", but the function of the rank differs drastically from other armies. Although it is an officer rank, it strongly resembles an NCO-rank in practice. The ranking system in Norway is quite different, while they do not have a professional army, fenriks are usually former experienced sergeants but to become a sergeant one has to go through officer's training and education. Though they still fill such roles as squad leaders and platoon sergeants while at the rank of fenrik, in some cases fenriks are executive officers. Most fenriks have finished the War Academy as well, and are fully trained officers. This is due to the lack of an NCO-corps in the Norwegian army.


Pakistan Army follows British pattern of ranks. A second lieutenant is represented by one metal pip on each shoulder in case of "khaki uniform" and one four quadric[Clarification needed] printed star on the chest in case of camouflage combat dress. However a second lieutenant in the Pakistan Army is usually promoted to lieutenant 6 months after commissioning.


The following are a selection of second lieutenant rank insignia, attempting to illustrate the range of variation (and similarity) between the insignia. Note that although many air forces use the rank of second lieutenant, in most Commonwealth air forces the equivalent rank of pilot officer is used. Very few navies use the rank "second lieutenant".

Army Australian-Army-2LT-Shoulder.png Rank insignia of Лейтенант of the Bulgarian Army.png CDN-Army-2Lt.svg Rank insignia of løjtnant of the Royal Danish Army.svg Army-FRA-OF-01b.svg 211-Leutnant.png Army-GRE-OF-01b.svg File:IE-Army-OF1b.png IDF segen mishne.svg Rank insignia of sottotenete of the Army of Italy (1973).svg Mexican Military Subteniente.gif Army-NOR-OF-01b.svg Army-POL-OF-01b.svg RO-Army-OF1b.png Russia-army-leytenant.gif Slovenska vojska cast poroc.jpg UK Army OF1a-2.png Army-USA-OF-01b.svg
Australia Bulgaria Canada Denmark France Germany Greece Ireland Israel Italy Mexico Norway Poland Romania Russia Slovenia UK US
Rank insignia of Лейтенант of the Bulgarian Air forces.png CDN-Air Force-2Lt.svg RDAF 2nd Lt.svg French Air Force-sous-lieutenant.svg Luftwaffe-211-Leutnant.png Hellenic Air Force OF-1B.svg File:IE-Aircorps-OF1.png IAF segen mishne.svg IT-Airforce-OF1.png Subteniente FAM.gif FenrikOF1.png Rank insignia of podporucznik of the Air Force of Poland.svg RO-Airforce-OF-1s.PNG RFAF - Lieutenant - Every day blue.png UK-Air-OF1B.svg US Air Force O1 shoulderboard.svg
Australia Bulgaria Canada Denmark France Germany Greece Ireland Israel Italy Mexico Norway Poland Romania Russia Slovenia UK US
Navy Acting
Danish-Navy-OF1B Enseigne
de 2e
Simaioforos IDF Navy segen mishne.svg Guardia-
Generic-Navy-O1.svg POL PMW pagon1 podporucznik marynarki.svg RO-Navy-OF-1s.png RFNAVYSH-LTN.png No

See also


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