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MrDodger

Military Rank

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Well, it might in the color section of the book. We have no idea what that section contains.

 

The ranks are outlined in the old WEG book the Rebel Sourcebook. You might try and track down a copy of that for your browsing.

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The WotC Rebellion Era campaign guide had this:

 

Rebel Alliance military 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 ranks. The simplified structure allows for more leeway in integrating newly recruited combat forces into the Alliance military command organization. It also discourages Alliance personnel from worrying too much about their career rank, especially since the Alliance expects the military to be dissolved or substantially reorganized upon victory over the Empire.

 

Local commanding officers are expected to clarify any ambiguities in their own chain of command and sometimes create unofficial temporary designations; occasionally, a newly recruited organization retains its own rank structure. Additionally, as the Alliance frequently deploys units with mixed forces, command hierarchies between specific officers of equivalent rank but from different branches are established in the planning stages of a mission. Temporary or role-specific titles can be utilized within a given unit, base, or task force. The title of "commander" is used to designate the commanding officer of a given unit or mission, despite the actual rank of the individual.

 

Navy

  • Admiral
  • Captain
  • Commander
  • Lieutenant
  • Ensign
  • Chief Petty Officer
  • Petty Officer
  • Senior Deckman
  • Deckman

 

Army

  • General
  • Colonel
  • Major
  • Captain
  • Lieutenant
  • Sergeant Major
  • Sergeant
  • Senior Trooper
  • Trooper

 

SpecForce

  • General
  • Colonel
  • Major
  • Captain
  • Senior Lieutenant
  • Lieutenant
  • Master Sergeant
  • Sergeant
  • Senior Trooper
  • Trooper

 

Starfighter Command

  • General
  • Colonel
  • Commander
  • Captain
  • Lieutenant
  • Flight Officer
  • Flight Cadet

 

Wookieepedia is probably "hazy" because over the decades various sources inserted conflicting information on such details (rank in particular, because it is often thrown in as part of the background, but rarely explained as a system). And since WP is a wiki with lots of fans trying to make sense out of it, in such cases you often end up with a weird article somewhere between a bunch of opinions and contradictory facts, simply because stuff has been interpreted in a dozen different ways.

 

You could either run with the last thoroughly explained system released (which I believe would be the one above), or choose one from an earlier source (the WEG sourcebooks are generally nicely written), or even try to bring the conflicting statements into something you think resembles an orderly organization yourself. For what it's worth, the explanation in the WotC book regarding the leeway and unofficial designations serves as a nice cop-out for why some local cell may have one or two ranks that are different from some other source!

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I always liked WEG's old midshipman system for Alliance naval officer training. The Alliance didn't have an academy so officer candidates  would be made midshipman on an Alliance ship spending time in various positions plus studying battles the ship had fought in and asking the officers about the decisions they made and why they made them than when the Captain felt they were ready the midshipman would be promoted to Ensign. Reminds me of Age of Sail officer training in some ways.

Edited by RogueCorona

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It's worth noting that MANY nations use only one set of ranks, with no clear Navy/Army distinction.

 

So the "traditional" star wars unified system used by flight and ground staff

  • Admiral/General (several grades)
  • Colonel
  • Commander
  • Captain
  • Lieutenant
  • Midshipsman/Officer Candidate

 

Isn't  terribly untoward. Also note that commander exceeding captain is common in scandinavia.

 

(Truth is, it's probably simply due to ignorance on the part of Lucas and co, but it's not far enough afield to be an issue)

 

And, for what it's worth Commander in ground forces has been used in a bunch of settings, including Traveller's OTU (Imperial Marines have the rank Force Commander instead of Major)

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This is certainly unofficial, but I have taken a crack at Alliance military ranks here, in my blog:

 

http://tierfoncampaign.blogspot.com/p/alliance-military-structure.html

 

 

I tried to account for all known rank insignia and variations, but much had to be interpolated. I used a great series of pages from Star Wars Technical Commentaries on theforce.net as a guide, as well as the old WEG stuff. Even then I had to fill in a lot of gaps, so take it for what it's worth.

 

 

 

Sources
Star Wars Rebel Alliance Sourcebook, Second Edition, WEG, 1994 (Murphy, Schweighofer)
Star Wars Technical Commentaries: Rebel Alliance Insignia, theforce.net, 2000 (Saxton)
Star Wars Rules of Engagement, WEG, 1997 (O'Brien)

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This is certainly unofficial, but I have taken a crack at Alliance military ranks here, in my blog:

 

http://tierfoncampaign.blogspot.com/p/alliance-military-structure.html

 

 

I tried to account for all known rank insignia and variations, but much had to be interpolated. I used a great series of pages from Star Wars Technical Commentaries on theforce.net as a guide, as well as the old WEG stuff. Even then I had to fill in a lot of gaps, so take it for what it's worth.

 

 

 

Sources

Star Wars Rebel Alliance Sourcebook, Second Edition, WEG, 1994 (Murphy, Schweighofer)

Star Wars Technical Commentaries: Rebel Alliance Insignia, theforce.net, 2000 (Saxton)

Star Wars Rules of Engagement, WEG, 1997 (O'Brien)

 

The comics show one square for Imp/Republic midshipmen, not two.

 

Biggs wears one blue.

Edited by aramis

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Having just come off a long, long binge on the X-Wing novels, here's what I can figure out, at least as far as Starfighter Command is concerned.

 

General

Commander

Colonel

Major

Captain

Lieutenant

Flight Officer

Flight Trainee

 

Keep in mind that as other Rebel/Republic forces enter the battlespace, other leaders from other chains of command may take over. Frequently, we see Navy Admirals commanding and directing starfighter groups. Fighters working in conjunction with or defending ground forces are commonly given orders by ranking Army officers.

 

The question of whether a Colonel or Commander ranks higher is unclear; there is precedent for Commanders jumping straight to General rank (Wedge Antilles), and situations where Colonels have vetoed Commanders, and vice versa (Horton Salm).

 

Command of fighter squadrons is unclear. In several situations detailed throughout the books, lower-ranking officers have assumed command, despite the presence of higher ranking officers even within the Squadron, such as the case with "Face" Loran assuming command of Wraith Squadron over Wes Janson.

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This is certainly unofficial, but I have taken a crack at Alliance military ranks here, in my blog:

 

http://tierfoncampaign.blogspot.com/p/alliance-military-structure.html

 

 

I tried to account for all known rank insignia and variations, but much had to be interpolated. I used a great series of pages from Star Wars Technical Commentaries on theforce.net as a guide, as well as the old WEG stuff. Even then I had to fill in a lot of gaps, so take it for what it's worth.

 

 

 

Sources

Star Wars Rebel Alliance Sourcebook, Second Edition, WEG, 1994 (Murphy, Schweighofer)

Star Wars Technical Commentaries: Rebel Alliance Insignia, theforce.net, 2000 (Saxton)

Star Wars Rules of Engagement, WEG, 1997 (O'Brien)

 

The comics show one square for Imp/Republic midshipmen, not two.

 

Biggs wears one blue.

 

 

Thanks for the info. There are, unfortunately, many discrepancies like this. As I mentioned, I did a fair bit of synthesis of the data, and couldn't account for all variations.

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The WotC Rebellion Era campaign guide had this:

 

Rebel Alliance military 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 ranks. The simplified structure allows for more leeway in integrating newly recruited combat forces into the Alliance military command organization. It also discourages Alliance personnel from worrying too much about their career rank, especially since the Alliance expects the military to be dissolved or substantially reorganized upon victory over the Empire.

 

Local commanding officers are expected to clarify any ambiguities in their own chain of command and sometimes create unofficial temporary designations; occasionally, a newly recruited organization retains its own rank structure. Additionally, as the Alliance frequently deploys units with mixed forces, command hierarchies between specific officers of equivalent rank but from different branches are established in the planning stages of a mission. Temporary or role-specific titles can be utilized within a given unit, base, or task force. The title of "commander" is used to designate the commanding officer of a given unit or mission, despite the actual rank of the individual.

 

Navy

  • Admiral
  • Captain
  • Commander
  • Lieutenant
  • Ensign
  • Chief Petty Officer
  • Petty Officer
  • Senior Deckman
  • Deckman

 

Army

  • General
  • Colonel
  • Major
  • Captain
  • Lieutenant
  • Sergeant Major
  • Sergeant
  • Senior Trooper
  • Trooper

 

SpecForce

  • General
  • Colonel
  • Major
  • Captain
  • Senior Lieutenant
  • Lieutenant
  • Master Sergeant
  • Sergeant
  • Senior Trooper
  • Trooper

 

Starfighter Command

  • General
  • Colonel
  • Commander
  • Captain
  • Lieutenant
  • Flight Officer
  • Flight Cadet

 

Wookieepedia is probably "hazy" because over the decades various sources inserted conflicting information on such details (rank in particular, because it is often thrown in as part of the background, but rarely explained as a system). And since WP is a wiki with lots of fans trying to make sense out of it, in such cases you often end up with a weird article somewhere between a bunch of opinions and contradictory facts, simply because stuff has been interpreted in a dozen different ways.

 

You could either run with the last thoroughly explained system released (which I believe would be the one above), or choose one from an earlier source (the WEG sourcebooks are generally nicely written), or even try to bring the conflicting statements into something you think resembles an orderly organization yourself. For what it's worth, the explanation in the WotC book regarding the leeway and unofficial designations serves as a nice cop-out for why some local cell may have one or two ranks that are different from some other source!

 

One of the problems with these "abbreviated" lists of ranks (with too few ranks in between) is that it doesn't quite line up with the force organization charts seen sometimes in these source materials.

 

Think about the size of unit that each officer rank might lead, along with at least one Executive Officer assisting him/her, whose rank is one below or so the leader, but still one or more above the rank and file.

 

I realize that Star Wars "isn't about answers" (a George Lucas quote I just read recently), but my feeling is many more ranks (both enlisted and officer) need to be wedged in between in order to fill out a more realistic command structure.

Edited by evanger

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One of the problems with these "abbreviated" lists of ranks (with too few ranks in between) is that it doesn't quite line up with the force organization charts seen sometimes in these source materials.

Think about the size of unit that each officer rank might lead, along with at least one Executive Officer assisting him/her, whose rank is one below or so the leader, but still one or more above the rank and file.

 

Isn't this specifically pointed out and explained in the opening paragraph I quoted?  :D

 

It makes sense to me if you consider the stations held by these ranks, or how a unit is made up in terms of who has how many underlings and for what purpose. You don't need a "major general" or a "lieutenant commander" if there is no other general or commander in your unit anyways - and even if there were, a ship or an army unit can always have only one C.O. post, and it matters absolutely nothing which rank its holder bears.

That's really just details for the paper-pushers, with which the Alliance is not concerned.

 

Truth be told, I think we may just be used to bloated and overcomplicated rank structures that are as much about tradition and politics as they are about actual functionality. If not more.

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The Essential guide to warfare lists 3 Alliance naval ranks above captain. Commodore, Line Admiral, and Fleet Admiral but I'm pretty sure from what the book says that Ackbar, and whoever had his role as Supreme Commander of the Alliance Navy before him assuming that someone did precede him in that role, was or were the only Alliance Fleet Admirals.

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The sidebar titled "Rebel Alliance Military Ranks" on page 393 might have some errata. The Navy column and the Army column both have Lieutenant listed twice. I wonder if the Navy column should have Lieutenant Commander listed under Commander and First Lieutenant listed under Captain in the Army column. 

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The WotC Rebellion Era campaign guide had this:

 

Rebel Alliance military 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 ranks. The simplified structure allows for more leeway in integrating newly recruited combat forces into the Alliance military command organization. It also discourages Alliance personnel from worrying too much about their career rank, especially since the Alliance expects the military to be dissolved or substantially reorganized upon victory over the Empire.

 

Local commanding officers are expected to clarify any ambiguities in their own chain of command and sometimes create unofficial temporary designations; occasionally, a newly recruited organization retains its own rank structure. Additionally, as the Alliance frequently deploys units with mixed forces, command hierarchies between specific officers of equivalent rank but from different branches are established in the planning stages of a mission. Temporary or role-specific titles can be utilized within a given unit, base, or task force. The title of "commander" is used to designate the commanding officer of a given unit or mission, despite the actual rank of the individual.

 

Navy

  • Admiral
  • Captain
  • Commander
  • Lieutenant
  • Ensign
  • Chief Petty Officer
  • Petty Officer
  • Senior Deckman
  • Deckman

 

Army

  • General
  • Colonel
  • Major
  • Captain
  • Lieutenant
  • Sergeant Major
  • Sergeant
  • Senior Trooper
  • Trooper

 

SpecForce

  • General
  • Colonel
  • Major
  • Captain
  • Senior Lieutenant
  • Lieutenant
  • Master Sergeant
  • Sergeant
  • Senior Trooper
  • Trooper

 

Starfighter Command

  • General
  • Colonel
  • Commander
  • Captain
  • Lieutenant
  • Flight Officer
  • Flight Cadet

 

Wookieepedia is probably "hazy" because over the decades various sources inserted conflicting information on such details (rank in particular, because it is often thrown in as part of the background, but rarely explained as a system). And since WP is a wiki with lots of fans trying to make sense out of it, in such cases you often end up with a weird article somewhere between a bunch of opinions and contradictory facts, simply because stuff has been interpreted in a dozen different ways.

 

You could either run with the last thoroughly explained system released (which I believe would be the one above), or choose one from an earlier source (the WEG sourcebooks are generally nicely written), or even try to bring the conflicting statements into something you think resembles an orderly organization yourself. For what it's worth, the explanation in the WotC book regarding the leeway and unofficial designations serves as a nice cop-out for why some local cell may have one or two ranks that are different from some other source!

 

One of the problems with these "abbreviated" lists of ranks (with too few ranks in between) is that it doesn't quite line up with the force organization charts seen sometimes in these source materials.

 

Think about the size of unit that each officer rank might lead, along with at least one Executive Officer assisting him/her, whose rank is one below or so the leader, but still one or more above the rank and file.

 

I realize that Star Wars "isn't about answers" (a George Lucas quote I just read recently), but my feeling is many more ranks (both enlisted and officer) need to be wedged in between in order to fill out a more realistic command structure.

 

 

It wasn't uncommon, historically, for a subunit commander to be the same rank as the unit XO. It also wasn't terribly uncommon for the CO and XO to be the same grade as each other. 

 

Then again, in the US, Battalions were formally only ad-hoc units until just before WW I...  but the number of majors as company commanders was due to the stability of the ad-hoc battalions. (Every third or every fourth company was commanded by a major).

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Sidebar & Chart REBEL ALLIANCE MILITARY RANKS are on page 393 of the Age of Rebellion Core Rulebook.

Aye, kind of makes this topic irrelevant now I've got the book ;)

 

 

I would not call it moot since the list seems quite abbreviated - as in missing at least half of the ranks.

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