1911 Encyclopædia Britannica/Brevet
BREVET (a diminutive of the Fr. bref), a short writing, originally an official writing or letter, with the particular meaning of a papal indulgence. The use of the word is mainly confined to a commission, or official document, giving to an officer in the army a permanent, as opposed to a local and temporary, rank in the service higher than that he holds substantively in his corps. In the British army “brevet rank” exists only above the rank of captain, but in the United States army it is possible to obtain a brevet as first lieutenant. In France the term breveté is particularly used with respect to the General Staff, to express the equivalent of the English “passed Staff College” (p.s.c.).