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What rank are pilots?


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#1 Viceroy Bolda

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Posted 06 April 2014 - 03:57 PM

So yeah, Captain Solo is a captain because he has the Millenium Falcon.  What is the rank structure for pilots?  What is the group structure?  Commander Skywalker commands how many men? 

 

So what would a typical rank be for Red squadron or gold squadron pilots? 

 

How is rank identified on flight suits?

 

Thanks.


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#2 Crabbok

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Posted 06 April 2014 - 04:21 PM

Pilots are generally officers.  That being said they don't usually command troops.  Star Wars generally uses Naval rank for it's pilots, and Army Rank for Ground Troops, hence General Veers was in the AT-AT, while Admirals command the Star Destroyers.  

 

  The rebels on the other hand, seem to just make up random ranks all the time.  You can't go from Commander to General in any of our existing rank structures.  


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#3 swimmingordy

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Posted 06 April 2014 - 04:33 PM

Most pilots are Lieutenants with the red1 or gold1 probably a commander position.

#4 Crabbok

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Posted 06 April 2014 - 05:50 PM

Some pilots are also Warrant Officers, which have their own internal rank structure, typically just numbered 1, 2, 3, etc.  The higher the better. 



#5 swimmingordy

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Posted 06 April 2014 - 06:06 PM

True - in the navy (assuming they keep with the naval structure) most, nearly all pilots are officers. The US Army has 'flying warrants', in fact that's the mainstay of their aviation force.
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#6 Drakhan Valane

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Posted 06 April 2014 - 06:46 PM

In the US, keep in mind that all warrant officers are also commissioned, so they're basically lower paid officers. They are considered officers for all honors, so the distinction between warrants and "full" officers isn't much. All pilots are officers. Enlisted cannot be pilots. The Air Force doesn't even have warrants anymore.


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#7 Chris Maes

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Posted 06 April 2014 - 07:29 PM

On the contrary, many Air Forces have had, in the past, large numbers of non-commissioned pilots, that is... enlisted servicemen (and women).  This most often occurred during wartime, when there was a need for as many qualified pilots as possible.  It wasn't until after WWII (1948, specifically) that the US discontinued its enlisted pilot program.  Apparently, despite the success of enlisted pilots, someone (likely an officer) felt that they were uneducated (i.e. did not possess a college degree) and thus unsuitable as pilots and leaders.  As if most pilots are called upon to do any kind of leading.  Most NCOs have lots more leadership experience than most pilots.  Just sayin'.

 

So, the Rebellion, being forced to take any qualified pilot they can get (even uneducated farm boys from the ass end of the universe) probably has enlisted pilots.  That or they immediately "commission" anyone who can pilot a ship.



#8 Slugrage

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Posted 06 April 2014 - 08:48 PM

Don't confuse being the Master of a vessel with the rank of Captain, or with the rank of the actual person in mind. The commander of a modern aircraft carrier, for example, may be an Admiral in Navy rank, but will be considered the "Captain" of the vessel. Of course, this varies by country too. And this being a long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away, none of that may even apply. :)


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#9 LeoHowler

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Posted 06 April 2014 - 09:14 PM

All I know is the rank structure from the Rogue Squadron series of games (this is for a Rebel player, obviously).

Trainee, Cadet, Ensign, Officer, Lieutenant, Flight Leader, Captain, Squad Leader, Gold Leader (huh...), Major, Commander, Colonel, General, Line Admiral, Fleet Admiral, Supreme Allied Commander


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#10 Silver Crane

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Posted 06 April 2014 - 11:53 PM

Pilots are generally officers.  That being said they don't usually command troops.  Star Wars generally uses Naval rank for it's pilots, and Army Rank for Ground Troops, hence General Veers was in the AT-AT, while Admirals command the Star Destroyers.  

 

  The rebels on the other hand, seem to just make up random ranks all the time.  You can't go from Commander to General in any of our existing rank structures.  

 

 

All I know is the rank structure from the Rogue Squadron series of games (this is for a Rebel player, obviously).

Trainee, Cadet, Ensign, Officer, Lieutenant, Flight Leader, Captain, Squad Leader, Gold Leader (huh...), Major, Commander, Colonel, General, Line Admiral, Fleet Admiral, Supreme Allied Commander

Actually neither of these are accurate.  The Alliance/New Republic does have a fairly systematic rank system.  Now my explanations are going to be based on the most typical squadron.  There are, of course squads that are comprise of maily higher ranking officer (Rogue Squadron comes to mind).

 

It's also important to make sure we separate rank from role.  Certainly one would expect positions of leadership to go to someone who has rank appropriate to the position, but it's important to differentiate the two.

 

Flight Leader:  A squadron is comprised of 12 fighters.  The squadron is then typically broke into 3 flights of 4 fighters each.

Executive Officer: The XO typically is in charge management of day-to-day squadron activities. The XO typically is also the second in command for a squadron, though this is not always the case.

Squadron Leader: Pretty self explanatory.  The squadron leader also will typically lead one of the flights for the squadron.

Flight Group Leader: Commands 3 squadrons

Wing Leader: Commands 6 squadrons.

 

 

 

Flight Officer is the lowest ranking pilot.  A typical squadron would be comprise of mainly flight officers.  (Rookie Pilots and the like in terms of the game)

 

Lieutenant is the next rank.  Typically a Lieutenants serve as flight leaders and one would serve as squadron executive officer.  So all in all about 3 to a squad.  Corran Horn and Wes Janson  are prime examples.(In game terms Red Squadron Pilots and Grey Squadron Pilots)

 

Captains typically fill the billet of squadron leader or in the event the squad is commanded by a higher ranking office, the executive officer. Tycho Celchu and Garik Loran are good examples.

 

Majors would then tend to be more senior squadron commanders.  Wes Janson and Hobbie Klivan hold the rank in the later X-Wing Novels.

 

Commander:  Commanders tend to command larger organizations such a a flight group (3 squadrons) or wing (6 squadrons).  Examples would be Luke Skywalker or Wedge Antilles.

 

Colonel: Colonels almost exclusively tend to command wings.  Horton Salm would be a good example during the Battle of Endor. 

 

General:  Generals would also tend to command a wing or more.  Horton Salm, Atton Crespin would be great examples.


Edited by Silver Crane, 06 April 2014 - 11:56 PM.

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#11 Silver Crane

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Posted 07 April 2014 - 12:02 AM

In the US, keep in mind that all warrant officers are also commissioned, so they're basically lower paid officers. They are considered officers for all honors, so the distinction between warrants and "full" officers isn't much. All pilots are officers. Enlisted cannot be pilots. The Air Force doesn't even have warrants anymore.

This isn't exactly accurate either.  Warrant Officers are commissioned, but as far as ranks go fall between enlisted and officer grade.   The most junior warrant officer is superior to the highest enlisted grade, whereas the opposite is true of officer grade.  Pay scale is a whole other matter.  Warrant Officers have pay in line with the first four or so officer grades.



#12 oneway

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Posted 07 April 2014 - 12:23 AM

Remember in Return of the Jedi, it was... General.. Solo... 


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#13 TheRealStarkiller

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Posted 07 April 2014 - 12:38 AM

What rank had Luke when he joined the Rebellion? Flight Officer? But wait ... Luke had the rank of a moisture farmer ...

So basically you just have to join the rebels and say like "Yes I can fly a X-Wing" ...

Smugglers and scroundel like Solo and Lando are promoted to the rank of a general without any proper military career...

At least Solo had some imperial navy training, I don't know which rank he had when he defected.

So, the rebels are more a para-military organisation just like partisans - but with some decent equipment.


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#14 CheesyRobMan

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Posted 07 April 2014 - 02:06 AM

As if most pilots are called upon to do any kind of leading.


I'm a commercial pilot IRL, leadership is trained into us from day one. Airline captains exercise it every day, and military pilots probably a lot more so.

#15 Magnus Grendel

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Posted 07 April 2014 - 04:41 AM

 

As if most pilots are called upon to do any kind of leading.


I'm a commercial pilot IRL, leadership is trained into us from day one. Airline captains exercise it every day, and military pilots probably a lot more so.

 

 

True, and I would never suggest you don't. But an airline captain (or cargo aircraft captain) has a multi-person team for whom he or she holds ultimate responsibility. Even with (as people love to point out about modern airliners) autopilot and/or instrument landing system taking some of the flying out of human hands, the captain still remains the accountable person for the crew and passengers, which is a sizeable management and leadership role and more than justifies needing an extremely carefully trained and selected individual.

 

 

I'm not sure that necessarily holds true for the pilot of a single-seat snubfighter with no subordinate pilots, though. The original concept for officers doing the flying was that the officer would fly and his 'command' would be his ground-side maintenance team, but that got canned pretty swiftly in the life of military aviation after it was realised that a centralised flight, squadron or wing maintenance group was a far better use of time and manpower.


Edited by Magnus Grendel, 07 April 2014 - 04:43 AM.

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#16 Chris Maes

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Posted 07 April 2014 - 10:19 AM

Don't confuse being the Master of a vessel with the rank of Captain, or with the rank of the actual person in mind. The commander of a modern aircraft carrier, for example, may be an Admiral in Navy rank, but will be considered the "Captain" of the vessel. Of course, this varies by country too. And this being a long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away, none of that may even apply. :)

Actually, the Admiral is probably the commander of the entire Task Force and the carrier is his flagship,  The carrier itself is likely still commanded by a Captain, who is responsible for running/fighting his ship.  Many times, flagships are commanded by junior Captains, as they always have their boss looking over their shoulder.  Not an enviable position; in charge but not really... but still responsible and accountable.



#17 Rakky Wistol

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Posted 07 April 2014 - 10:43 AM

Pilots are generally officers.  That being said they don't usually command troops.  Star Wars generally uses Naval rank for it's pilots, and Army Rank for Ground Troops, hence General Veers was in the AT-AT, while Admirals command the Star Destroyers.  

 

  The rebels on the other hand, seem to just make up random ranks all the time.  You can't go from Commander to General in any of our existing rank structures.  

They are even rebeling against their own choices!



#18 Black Knight Leader

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Posted 07 April 2014 - 11:08 AM

So yeah, Captain Solo is a captain because he has the Millenium Falcon.  What is the rank structure for pilots?  What is the group structure?  Commander Skywalker commands how many men? 

 

So what would a typical rank be for Red squadron or gold squadron pilots? 

 

How is rank identified on flight suits?

 

Thanks.

 

If you want just the Rebel Allaince Pilots then the system works like this.  Take note The Allaince Navy is seperate from StarFighter Command.

 

Starfighter Command oversees the Alliance's extensive starfighter fleet.  It trains pilots and assigns wings to Fllet Command and Secotr Command and provides operational orders for wings without permanet assignments, such as RogueSquadron.  Star fighter Command can find itself at odds with Sector Command when scarce starfighter wings are pulled away from sector defense to cover operational duties.

 

The lost rank in Starfighter Command is Flight Cadet.  They don't have a equv rank of Senior Deckman, Pettry Officer, nor Chief Petty Officer which are Alliance NAVY ranks.  Next Starfighter Command has Flight Officer, Lieutenant, Captain, Commander, Colonel (Wing Commander) and General.

 

Rebel Allianc emilitary ranks are primarily divided between army and navy ranks, with variation within SpecForce and Starfighter Command.  Compared with the galaxy's major military forces, the Alliance features fewer formal officers and enlisted personnel ransk.  The simplified structure allows for more leeway in intergrating newly recruited combat forces into the Alliance military command orgainizatio.  It also discourgages Alliance personnel from worrying to much about their career rank, espeically since the Alliance espects the military to be dissovled or substantially reorgainzed upon victory over the Empire.

 

Local commanding officers are expected to clarify and ambiguities in their own chain of command and sometimes creat unofficoal or temperoray designations: occasionally, a newly recrutied organizization retians its own rank structure.  Additionally, as the Alliance frequently deplys units with mixed forces, command hierarchies between specific officers of equivalent rank but from different branches are estabilshed in the planning stages of mission.  Temperoray or role-specific titles can be utiltzed with an given unit, base, or task force. The tile of "commander" is used to designate the commanding officer of a given unite or mission, despite the actual rank of the individual.

 

Starfighter Command

Starfighter Command controls startegic deployment and development of Alliance starfighter forces,  It carries out pilot training and wing assignments to the fleet, Sector Forces, and other commands,  It issues operational orders to those wings not permanetly assinged to the fleet or to specific sectors.  Once a wing is assigned to teh fleet or sector, Starfighter Command relinguishes operational control until the unit is needed elsewhere.

 

Since th efleet is forbidden from engaging Imperial forces in large-scale battles, raids and skirmishes are carried out by starfighters.  A huge percentage of Alliance resources is dedicated to starfighter services.  Alliance forces at all levels rely hevily on starfighter support and fight vigiriously to hold on to it when it is available to them.  Some starfighter squadrons or wings operate from their own dedicated bases.  However, in most cases, starfighter squadrons and wings rely on the commands to which they are attached for supplies and support.

 

Starfighter Wings and Command Structure

 

Whether attached to a crusier, carrier, sector base, or dedicated facility, starfighter wings have the same basic organization. The smallest unit assigned to a specfici command is typically the squadron.  A wing is tyically scattered among several ships or bases of the command to which it is assigned.

 

Element (2 starfighters): The element is the smallest tractial uint in a wing.  It consists of a leader and a wingman.

 

Flight (2 elements): A flight consists of four starfighters, led by a flight commander, the most senior of the flight's pilots (a lieutenant or captain).

 

Squadron (3 flights): A squadron is made up of 12 starfighters, led by the squadron commander.  Each squadron contains only one type of starfighter. which might dictate the squadronds role in battle.  A squadron has a name or color designation and may infromally be referred toa s a group.

 

Wing (3 squadrons): A Wing consists of 36 starfighters plus all necesary support personnel, craft, and equipment.  A wing i normally made up of three squadrons, one of which is a recon squadron.  Each squadron within a wing can use a different fighter type, so A-Wings, X-Wings, and Y-Wings are commonly deployed inthe same wing.  Wings are led by a colonel, called the wing commander, although an officer of lesser rand holding the postion also uses the tile of wing commander.  The wing commander reports directly to the local commander, either a Sector Force officer or a ship's captain.  When assigned to the fleet,a wing also reports to the fleet's Starfighter Command.

 

Group (2 or more wings):  Formally, a group contains tow or more wings.  In Starfighter Command, the group is realy used: smaller deployment of wings or suadrons are more common.  In a rare battles where large numbers of starfighters are deployed, a group is led by the most senior wing commander or by a general.

 

If you want the Imperials I got that to and its more detailed.

 

As for seeing the rank of the people in the Rebel Starfighter command I am not sure if you can, at least with the naked eye.  Imperial Pilots got alot of hud displays in their helmets, in theory the rank and even possiblely personnal markings are displayed on the pilots in their squadron.  The same can be said for the Rebs.  I know that the Y-Wing pilots with the diffrent helmets in ROTJ have a similar set up as Imperial Pilots, I don't see why the others wouldn't if they have the visors.


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#19 Black Knight Leader

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Posted 07 April 2014 - 11:13 AM

True - in the navy (assuming they keep with the naval structure) most, nearly all pilots are officers. The US Army has 'flying warrants', in fact that's the mainstay of their aviation force.

 

Well for the USN they have had test programs for inlisted Sailors to try their hands at getting their brown shoes.  I am happy with this choice because the eliteism structure we have holds back people that belong in jobs that they can't have just because they couldn't go to collage.


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#20 Drakhan Valane

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Posted 07 April 2014 - 11:58 AM

 

True - in the navy (assuming they keep with the naval structure) most, nearly all pilots are officers. The US Army has 'flying warrants', in fact that's the mainstay of their aviation force.

 

Well for the USN they have had test programs for inlisted Sailors to try their hands at getting their brown shoes.  I am happy with this choice because the eliteism structure we have holds back people that belong in jobs that they can't have just because they couldn't go to collage.

 

They also encourage enlisted to go to college while in the service. At least while I was in there was still the Tuition Assistance program where the military pays for your college (or at least part if you go with a more expensive college). Then there is STA-21 and other enlisted commissioning programs (which includes WOs). There's actually a lot of opportunity for a motivated sailor to become an officer.


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