Captain (naval)

A Royal Navy captain's rank insignia during Divisions conducted at HMNB Clyde in January 2013
Captains from different Navies

Captain is the name most often given in English-speaking navies to the rank corresponding to command of the largest ships.[1][2][3] The rank is equal to the army rank of colonel.

Equivalent ranks worldwide include "ship-of-the-line captain" (e.g. France, Argentina, Spain), "captain of sea and war" (e.g. Portugal), "captain at sea" (e.g. Germany, Netherlands) and "captain of the first rank" (Russia).

The NATO rank code is OF-5, although the United States of America uses the code O-6 for the equivalent rank (as they do for all OF-5 ranks).


Any naval officer who commands a ship is addressed by naval custom as "captain" while aboard in command, regardless of his or her actual rank, even though technically an officer of below the rank of captain is more correctly titled the commanding officer, or C.O. Officers with the rank of captain travelling aboard a vessel they do not command should be addressed by their rank and name (e.g., "Captain Smith"), but they should not be referred to as "the captain" to avoid confusion with the vessel's captain.[4] The naval rank should not be confused with the army, air force, or marine ranks of captain, which all have the NATO code of OF-2.[Note 1]

Other Languages
العربية: عقيد (بحري)
dansk: Kommandør
Ελληνικά: Πλοίαρχος
latviešu: Jūras kapteinis
lietuvių: Jūrų kapitonas
Bahasa Melayu: Kepten
norsk: Kommandør
norsk nynorsk: Kommandør
polski: Komandor
srpskohrvatski / српскохрватски: Kapetan (mornarica)
suomi: Kommodori
svenska: Kommendör