The Second Great War and other stories
Hobgoblins are descended from those goblins who followed Hob the Goblin and were magically changed. Unlike normal goblins, they have not fallen into barbarism, instead remaining regimented and far more dangerous. While Hob himself never returned to the Savage North, his descendants did, and hobgoblins now control most of the North.
A hobgoblin captain is effectively equivalent to a goblin clan chief, except the “clan” is a much more flexible construct and can be changed on short notice. Commanding a group of captains is a major, who tends to be in charge of a single army maneuver or the defense of a single city. (And yes, the hobgoblins do have cities out beyond the Borderlands.) Above them are a group of colonels, each of whom cares for a specific region. The Colonel Council governs the hobgoblins effectively in the absence of a great leader. Normally, that’s as far as it goes, but on occasion there will be a General (like Hob the Goblin or the Firelord Tulak Azuri)…and in those cases, Bad Things Happen.