Commodore Second Class

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Commodore Second Class
Commodore 2nd class command flag RN from 1864.png
Flag of a commodore second class (1864-1958)
Commodore 2nd Class Sleeve from 1918.png
Sleeve lace
Commodore 2nd Class Shoulder Board from 1918.png
Shoulder board
Country United Kingdom
Service branchRoyal Navy
AbbreviationCdre 2c
NATO rankShoulder board
Next higher rankCommodore First Class
Next lower rankCaptain

Commodore Second Class (Cdre) was a former rank of the Royal Navy above Captain and below Commodore First Class. The rank was established in 1826 to distinguish responsibility. The commodore second class was defined as (those commanding ships themselves) whilst the higher ranked commodore first class was defined as (those with subordinate line captains). The rank was abolished in 1958.


The rank of commodore was introduced during the 17th century in 1663 (though not legally established until 1806). In 1684 the navy introduced two classes of commodore, the first known as a Commodore Distinction and the other a Commodore Ordinary; these would later evolve into commodores first and second class. In 1734 the title of commodore was formally approved by an order in council.[1] They were formally separated into first class (those with subordinate line captains) and second class (those commanding ships themselves) in 1826. The previous broad red and blue pennants were abolished in 1864 along with the coloured squadrons, the commodore of the white's broad pennant with the Cross of St George remained as the command flag for commodores first class, who wore the same sleeve lace as rear admirals. The white broad pennant with a red ball was introduced as the command flag for commodores second class. The appointment of commodore second class has been in abeyance since 1958, leaving the pennant with a single red ball to cover all Royal Navy commodores.

Modern commodores wear the sleeve lace previously worn by commodores second class. Commodore has only been a substantive rank in the Royal Navy since 1997. Before then it continued to be an appointment conferred on senior captains holding certain positions. For example, the senior commander of destroyers within a fleet in the Royal Navy could carry the title of "Commodore (D)", while the fleet's senior commander of submarines could carry the title of "Commodore (S)", although in both cases as an appointment rather than a rank. During World War I the title of "Commodore (T)" was the officer who commanded torpedo boat flotillas.[2][3]

Former Rank Insignia


  1. Perrin, W. G. (William Gordon) (1922). "IV:Flags of Command: Pendants of Command, Commodores". British flags, their early history, and their development at sea; with an account of the origin of the flag as a national device. Cambridge, England: Cambridge : The University Press. p. 102.
  2. Grimes, Shawn. "War planning and strategic development in the Royal Navy, 1887–1918" (PDF). London, England: Kings College, University of London. p. abbreviations v. Retrieved 15 October 2018.
  3. Mace, Martin (2014). The Royal Navy and the War at Sea 1914–1919. Barnsley, England: Pen and Sword. p. 1. ISBN 9781473846562.