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Commodore James Norrington.

"Captain Norrington's promotion ceremony."
"I knew it."
Commodore Norrington, as he's about to become."
Weatherby Swann and Elizabeth Swann[src]

Commodore, or Commodore of the Fleet, was a rank in the British Royal Navy, French Royal Navy and Spanish Royal Navy, used to indicate an officer of higher status than that of a Captain, but less than that of a flag officer or Rear-Admiral. The appointment of Commodore in the British Navy first began at some point in the mid-17th Century.


Captain James Norrington achieved the position of Commodore while stationed at Port Royal in Jamaica. A formal promotion ceremony to mark the occasion was held at Fort Charles.[1] However, after letting Jack Sparrow go free, and subsequently failing to capture him and his ship, the Black Pearl, Norrington was disgraced and he denied his commission.[2]

Pirates often refer to those in charge/owners of two or more ships as "Commodore." Shortly before the Battle of the Isla de Muerta, Jack Sparrow offered to command the Black Pearl under "Commodore" Barbossa's colours. Barbossa demanded 50% of the Black Pearl's plunder, but he accepted 25%.[1]

Behind the scenes[]

  • In Pirates of the Caribbean Online, there is a weapon called Commodore's Cutlass.
  • Commodore is one of the ranks a player can earn in Pirates of the Caribbean: Master of the Seas.
  • The legitimate rank of Commodore during the 18th century was very uncommon. Commodore usually referred to a captain given command of more than one ship at a time for a certain ammount of time or a certain mission. From 1690 on, the English Admiralty would give the title of Commodore to the senior Captain of a small squadron, or a Commander in Chief of a small station, when no flag officer was present and therefore involved extra responsibilities. It was considered as a temporary rank which once the circumstances had passed meant reversion to Captain and officers retained their seniority position in the Captain’s list.



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