In France, a brevet is a very broad-meaning word which includes every document giving a capacity to a person. For instance, the various military speciality courses, such as military parachutism, are ended by the award of a brevet.
The more important brevet in the French military is the one of the École de guerre, the French Staff College. Between 1870 and 1940, an officier breveté was a graduate of the École supérieure de guerre. Nowadays, while many officers still attend the école de guerre, they do not use the terme officier breveté.
The French military does not use brevets to give officers a higher standing. It uses instead temporary commissions. As an example, Charles de Gaulle was promoted "provisional brigadier general" (général de brigade à titre provisoire) in 1940 when he was commander of an armoured division.
In the Prussian and German army and navy, it was possible to bestow a Charakter rank on officers that was in many respects similar to a brevet rank. For example, an Oberst could receive the Charakter als Generalmajor. Very often, German officers would be promoted to the next higher Charakter rank on the day of their retirement.