Viceroy's commissioned officer
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A viceroy's commissioned officer (VCO) was a senior Indian member of the British Indian Army. VCOs were senior in rank to warrant officers in the British Army, and held a commission issued by the viceroy. Also known as "Indian officers" or "native officers", they were treated in almost all respects as commissioned officers, but had authority only over Indian troops and were subordinate to all British King's (and Queen's) commissioned officers and King's commissioned Indian officers.
These ranks were created to facilitate effective liaison between the British officers and their native troops. The soldiers who were promoted to VCO rank had long service and good service records, spoke reasonably fluent English, and could act as a common liaison point between officers and men and as advisers to the British officers on Indian affairs.
VCOs were treated and addressed with respect. Even a British officer would address a VCO as, for instance, "subedar sahib" or <name> "sahib".
Ranks held by VCOs were:
- Cavalry regiments
- Infantry regiments and other arms