Grand Marshal
Grand Marshal is a ceremonial, military
Military rank
Military rank is a system of hierarchical relationships in armed forces or civil institutions organized along military lines. Usually, uniforms denote the bearer's rank by particular insignia affixed to the uniforms...

, or political office of very high rank. The term has its origins with the word "Marshal
Marshal , is a word used in several official titles of various branches of society. The word is an ancient loan word from Old French, cf...

" with the first usage of the term "Grand Marshal" as a ceremonial title for certain religious orders. The following are some additional usages of the term Grand Marshal:


As a court
A court is a form of tribunal, often a governmental institution, with the authority to adjudicate legal disputes between parties and carry out the administration of justice in civil, criminal, and administrative matters in accordance with the rule of law...

 title, a Grand Marshal is normally the supreme court official in a government legislative branch. Some examples include:
  • Grootmaarschalk (in Dutch) : The highest civilian official (NOT in the 'Military House') at the courts of the kingdoms of Belgium
    Belgium , officially the Kingdom of Belgium, is a federal state in Western Europe. It is a founding member of the European Union and hosts the EU's headquarters, and those of several other major international organisations such as NATO.Belgium is also a member of, or affiliated to, many...

     (also Grand maréchal in French).
  • Marszalek wielki: Grand Marshal (at the court) of Poland
    Poland , officially the Republic of Poland , is a country in Central Europe bordered by Germany to the west; the Czech Republic and Slovakia to the south; Ukraine, Belarus and Lithuania to the east; and the Baltic Sea and Kaliningrad Oblast, a Russian exclave, to the north...

     or of Lithuania


  • Grand Marshal: One of the highest offices within the military Order of Teutonic Knights
  • Grand Marshal
    Grand Marshal (RPI)
    The Grand Marshal is the highest elected student leader of Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. The position has been in existence since shortly after the American Civil War....

    : Highest elected student leader of Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute
    Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute
    Stephen Van Rensselaer established the Rensselaer School on November 5, 1824 with a letter to the Rev. Dr. Samuel Blatchford, in which van Rensselaer asked Blatchford to serve as the first president. Within the letter he set down several orders of business. He appointed Amos Eaton as the school's...

  • Grand Marshal: A parade
    A parade is a procession of people, usually organized along a street, often in costume, and often accompanied by marching bands, floats or sometimes large balloons. Parades are held for a wide range of reasons, but are usually celebrations of some kind...

     dignitary (for example, Grand Marshal of the Tournament of Roses Parade
    Grand Marshals of the Tournament of Roses Parade
    The following is a list of Grand Marshals of the Tournament of Roses Parade.The Disney family is the only family to have more than one member serve as Grand Marshal: Walt Disney was the 1966 Grand Marshal, then his nephew Roy E. Disney held the post in 2000....

  • Grand Marshal: A person selected at an automobile race (NASCAR
    The National Association for Stock Car Auto Racing is a family-owned and -operated business venture that sanctions and governs multiple auto racing sports events. It was founded by Bill France Sr. in 1947–48. As of 2009, the CEO for the company is Brian France, grandson of the late Bill France Sr...

    , IndyCar
    IndyCar is the trade name of an American-based open-wheel auto racing sanctioning body. IndyCar sanctions three racing series, the premier IZOD IndyCar Series with its centerpiece Indianapolis 500, and developmental series Firestone Indy Lights and the U.S...

    , etc.) by the track owner or race sponsor to be the public leader of events on race day or throughout the race weekend. They may have ceremonial duties such as giving the command to start engines, driving the pace car, waving the green flag to start the race, or presenting the trophy to the race winner.


The military rank of Grand Marshal is considered a rank senior to that of Field Marshal
Field Marshal
Field Marshal is a military rank. Traditionally, it is the highest military rank in an army.-Etymology:The origin of the rank of field marshal dates to the early Middle Ages, originally meaning the keeper of the king's horses , from the time of the early Frankish kings.-Usage and hierarchical...

. If the United States Army
United States Army
The United States Army is the main branch of the United States Armed Forces responsible for land-based military operations. It is the largest and oldest established branch of the U.S. military, and is one of seven U.S. uniformed services...

 had a six or seven star General
A general officer is an officer of high military rank, usually in the army, and in some nations, the air force. The term is widely used by many nations of the world, and when a country uses a different term, there is an equivalent title given....

 rank, a Grand Marshal could be considered its equivalent. Grand Marshal is equivalent in some ways to the United States Army rank "General of the Armies
General of the Armies
General of the Armies of the United States, or more commonly referred to as General of the Armies, is the highest possible officer rank of the United States Army.Only two soldiers have been granted the rank of General of the Armies; John J...

". Although Grand Marshals sometimes command smaller forces than lower ranking commanders of other countries, so in that sense they could be said to be inferior to lower ranks of other countries.

While literal translations of the military Grand Marshal rank are rare, the following ranks can be considered equivalent:
  • Dae Wonsu
    Dae Wonsu
    Dae wonsu is the highest possible military rank of North Korea and is intended to be held solely by the nation’s commander-in-chief. The rank is senior to that of wonsu...

     : Grand Marshal of North Korea
    North Korea
    The Democratic People’s Republic of Korea , , is a country in East Asia, occupying the northern half of the Korean Peninsula. Its capital and largest city is Pyongyang. The Korean Demilitarized Zone serves as the buffer zone between North Korea and South Korea...

    Hanja is the Korean name for the Chinese characters hanzi. More specifically, it refers to those Chinese characters borrowed from Chinese and incorporated into the Korean language with Korean pronunciation...

    :大元帥), superior to the Marshal
    Marshal , is a word used in several official titles of various branches of society. The word is an ancient loan word from Old French, cf...

     rank of Wonsu
    Wonsu is a very high military rank of the armed forces of the Republic of Korea and of North Korea.-South Korea:Wonsu, known in English as "General of the Army of the Republic of Korea", is the highest military rank of the Republic of Korea armed forces and is the combined equivalent of a Field...

  • Dai-Gensui : Grand Marshal of the Empire of Japan
    Empire of Japan
    The Empire of Japan is the name of the state of Japan that existed from the Meiji Restoration on 3 January 1868 to the enactment of the post-World War II Constitution of...

    . The highest title in the Imperial Japanese Army
    Imperial Japanese Army
    -Foundation:During the Meiji Restoration, the military forces loyal to the Emperor were samurai drawn primarily from the loyalist feudal domains of Satsuma and Chōshū...

    , held solely by the Emperor of Japan
    Emperor of Japan
    The Emperor of Japan is, according to the 1947 Constitution of Japan, "the symbol of the state and of the unity of the people." He is a ceremonial figurehead under a form of constitutional monarchy and is head of the Japanese Imperial Family with functions as head of state. He is also the highest...

    , the constitutional Commander in chief. The rank was abolished at the end of World War II
    World War II
    World War II, or the Second World War , was a global conflict lasting from 1939 to 1945, involving most of the world's nations—including all of the great powers—eventually forming two opposing military alliances: the Allies and the Axis...

  • Hai Lu Jun Da Yuan Shuai
    Da Yuan Shuai
    Da Yuan Shuai was a Chinese military rank, usually translated as Grand Marshal or Generalissimo.During the early Republic of China, the rank of "Grand Marshal of the Army and Navy" was assumed by Yuan Shikai in 1913, Sun Yat-sen in 1917 and Zhang Zuolin in 1927.The rank was replaced by the...

     : Grand Marshal of the Navy and Army
    Sun Yat-sen
    Sun Yat-sen was a Chinese doctor, revolutionary and political leader. As the foremost pioneer of Nationalist China, Sun is frequently referred to as the "Father of the Nation" , a view agreed upon by both the People's Republic of China and the Republic of China...

     of the Republic of China was first established in Guangzhou
    Guangzhou , known historically as Canton or Kwangchow, is the capital and largest city of the Guangdong province in the People's Republic of China. Located in southern China on the Pearl River, about north-northwest of Hong Kong, Guangzhou is a key national transportation hub and trading port...

     on September 10, 1917.
  • Reichsmarschall
    Reichsmarschall literally in ; was the highest rank in the armed forces of Nazi Germany during World War II after the position of Supreme Commander held by Adolf Hitler....

    : Grand Marshall rank used in the Holy Roman Empire
    Holy Roman Empire
    The Holy Roman Empire was a realm that existed from 962 to 1806 in Central Europe.It was ruled by the Holy Roman Emperor. Its character changed during the Middle Ages and the Early Modern period, when the power of the emperor gradually weakened in favour of the princes...

     and again in Nazi Germany
    Nazi Germany
    Nazi Germany , also known as the Third Reich , but officially called German Reich from 1933 to 1943 and Greater German Reich from 26 June 1943 onward, is the name commonly used to refer to the state of Germany from 1933 to 1945, when it was a totalitarian dictatorship ruled by...

    . Sometimes translated as "Imperial Marshal".
  • Primo Maresciallo dell'Impero d'Italia
    First Marshal of the Empire
    First marshal of the empire was a military rank established by the Italian Parliament on March 30, 1938. The highest rank in the Italian Military, it was only granted to Benito Mussolini and King Victor Emmanuel III...

    : First Marshal of the Empire. The highest rank in the Italian Military. The rank was abolished following World War II.


Grand Marshal often appears as a rank in science fiction
Science fiction
Science fiction is a genre of fiction dealing with imaginary but more or less plausible content such as future settings, futuristic science and technology, space travel, aliens, and paranormal abilities...

 sources, often in space or star fleets whose size requires a rank above such other titles as Surface Marshal and Fleet Admiral. Among Grand Marshal science fiction equivalents include:
  • Grand Marshal: Highest conjectural rank of the TIE fighter
    TIE fighter
    TIE fighters are fictional starfighters in the Star Wars universe. Propelled by Twin Ion Engines , TIE fighters are depicted as fast, fragile starfighters produced by Sienar Fleet Systems for the Galactic Empire...

     forces in the universe of Star Wars
    Star Wars
    Star Wars is an American epic space opera film series created by George Lucas. The first film in the series was originally released on May 25, 1977, under the title Star Wars, by 20th Century Fox, and became a worldwide pop culture phenomenon, followed by two sequels, released at three-year...

    , equivalent to a Grand Admiral
    Grand Admiral
    Grand admiral is a historic naval rank, generally being the highest such rank present in any particular country. Its most notable use was in Germany — the German word is Großadmiral.-France:...

    . This assumes that the TIE fighter forces are a separate branch of service from the Imperial Navy
    Imperial Navy
    The phrase Imperial Navy may refer to:*The Austro-Hungarian Navy*The German Navy between 1872 and 1918*The Imperial Japanese Navy from 1869 until 1947*The Imperial Navy of Imperial Qing government*The Imperial Navy from the fictional Star Wars universe....

  • Grand Marshal: The 14th and highest PvP honor rank of the Alliance in World of Warcraft
    World of Warcraft
    World of Warcraft is a massively multiplayer online role-playing game by Blizzard Entertainment. It is the fourth released game set in the fantasy Warcraft universe, which was first introduced by Warcraft: Orcs & Humans in 1994...

  • Grand Marshal: A rank held by Imperial Guard officers in the Warhammer 40,000
    Warhammer 40,000
    Warhammer 40,000 is a tabletop miniature wargame produced by Games Workshop, set in a dystopian science fantasy universe. Warhammer 40,000 was created by Rick Priestley in 1987 as the futuristic companion to Warhammer Fantasy Battle, sharing many game mechanics...

     universe. It seems to be assigned to officers who command the armed forces of an entire planet. It is inferior to Lord Commander Militant.

See also

  • Marshal
    Marshal , is a word used in several official titles of various branches of society. The word is an ancient loan word from Old French, cf...

  • Field Marshal
    Field Marshal
    Field Marshal is a military rank. Traditionally, it is the highest military rank in an army.-Etymology:The origin of the rank of field marshal dates to the early Middle Ages, originally meaning the keeper of the king's horses , from the time of the early Frankish kings.-Usage and hierarchical...

  • Air Marshal
    Air Marshal
    Air marshal is a three-star air-officer rank which originated in and continues to be used by the Royal Air Force...

  • Generalissimo/Generalissimus
    Generalissimo and Generalissimus are military ranks of the highest degree, superior to Field Marshal and other five-star ranks.-Usage:...

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