Alliance Rank Structure

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Alliance Ranks
Alliance Rank Structure.jpg

Alliance Rank Structure
Military rank structure of the Alliance to Restore the Republic, and the Alliance of Free Planets

Despite being relatively young as an institution, the military of the Alliance of Free Planets - and it's predecessor, the Alliance to Restore the Republic - is a complex and often confusing tangle, that began simple and straight forward, but was forced to evolve to fit the changing needs of the growing Rebellion.


Alliance to Restore the Republic

When the Alliance to Restore the Republic was first formed, it began as an alliance of militia groups, and as a result it's ranks were heavily biased towards an army rank structure. Given their mandate to Restore the Republic, the Alliance (loosely) based the ranks for their ground units on the ranks of the Grand Army of the Republic. As with the Republic, a General had unilateral control over all fleet and army assets; a Commander oversaw outposts and commanded Regiments; a Captain commanded Companies; and a Lieutenant led squads and platoons. Each regional resistance cell became a Sector Force, each one commanded by a General.

RR5.png - General
RR3.png - Commander
RR2.png - Captain
RR1.png - Lieutenant

The Alliance's fleet resources were limited to whatever the Rebellion could steal, and a slowly growing number of defectors. Each ship was a valuable asset in and of itself, and in the early days each commanding officer had a considerable amount of authority. Captain was the highest rank among the Alliance Fleet for quite some time, and the Rebellion's naval ranks mirrored the Sector Force ranks, utilising Commander, Lieutenant, and Sub-Lieutenant for it's officers. As with most army-navy comparisons, the ranks of Captain and Lieutenant were not equivalent between the two branches.

RB5.png - Captain
RB3.png - Commander
RB2.png - Lieutenant
RB1.png - Sub-Lieutenant

Because it lacked a [i]bona fide[/i] navy, and thus had no way to deploy sublight fighters between star systems, the Alliance Starfighter Corps was established to coordinate long range strike missions using hyperspace-capable starfighters: something that became a signature of the Rebellion, and gave them a crucial edge over the Imperial TIE Fighters. Based at the same Sector Force outposts as their ground compatriots, the Starfighter Corps mimicked the red insignia of the Sector Forces, but with it's own rank titles. The Corps was commanded centrally by a General, with each Squadron led by a Commander, each Flight led by a Lieutenant, and each fighter flown by a Flight Officer. To differentiate a General in the Starfighter Corps from one in a Sector Force, the central pip on the Starfighter insignia was coloured blue, representative of the way starfighters blurred the line between army and navy.

RB5x.png - General
RR3.png - Commander
RR2.png - Lieutenant
RR1.png - Flight Officer

However, by the time of the Battle of Yavin the Rebellion had grown in size to such an extent that larger units were required; the rank structure needed to adapt to accommodate. The Starfighter Corps began to field multiple Squadrons as part of a Wing, and required a way to distinguish between it's Wing Commanders and Squadron Commanders. For the sake of convenience, the Starfighter Corps "borrowed" the Commander insignia from the Alliance Fleet to represent Wing Commander, Luke Skywalker being one of the first. Alliance also found themselves needing more mid-level officers, to be junior to battalion, starship, and wing commanders, but have seniority over subordinate units: Executive Officers, and similar. To achieve this, the existing Commander insignia was inverted so that it "pointed downwards"; the new rank was known as Lieutenant Commander to the Alliance Fleet and Starfighter Corps; and as Major within the Sector Forces.

Alliance Fleet Sector Forces Starfighter Corps
RB5.png - Captain RR5.png - General RB5x.png - General
RB3.png - Commander RR3.png - Commander RB3.png - Wing Commander
RR3.png - Commander
RB3x.png - Lieutenant Commander RR3x.png - Major RR3x.png - Lieutenant Commander
RB2.png - Lieutenant RR2.png - Captain RR2.png - Lieutenant
RB1.png - Sub-Lieutenant RR1.png - Lieutenant RR1.png - Flight Officer

After Yavin, the Rebellion's victory-via-starfighter against the Death Star created an influx of new pilots, all wanting to be the next Luke Skywalker. Free-standing squadrons became an increasingly significant part of the Sector Forces, and as a result the Starfighter ranks were modified to more closely fit with the Sector Force ranks. Flight Officer became an entry level rank for anyone who could fly, and the promotion criteria for Lieutenants were relaxed so that Flight Leader status was not necessary.

The most significant changes came with the restructuring of SpecForce under General Crix Madine, and the liberation of the Mon Calamari which allowed the Alliance's starships to be organised as a bona fide fleet. The Alliance headquarters was moved to the Home Fleet, and the old Captain insignia was repurposed for the new rank of Admiral. A new set of four-pip insignia was devised, and came to represent Captain for the Alliance Fleet, and Colonel for the Starfighter and Sector Forces. Like the Starfighter Corps, the new SpecForce was centralised and organised into Regiments of a particular specialism, with a Colonel commanding each.

Alliance Fleet Sector Forces Starfighter Corps
RB5.png - Admiral RR5.png - General RB5x.png - General
RB4.png - Captain RR4.png - Colonel RR4.png - Colonel
RB3.png - Commander RR3.png - Major RB3.png - Wing Commander
RR3.png - Commander
RB3x.png - Lieutenant Commander RR3x.png - Major RR3x.png - Lieutenant Commander
RB2.png - Lieutenant RR2.png - Captain RR2.png - Captain
RB1.png - Sub-Lieutenant RR1.png - Lieutenant RR1.png - Lieutenant
RR0.png - Midshipman RR0.png - Flight Officer

The last significant upheaval to the Alliance rank structure came following the devastating losses at the Battle of Endor, but also the subsequent liberation and defection of entire worlds and territories to the Rebel Alliance. After the Liberation of Bothawui, the Alliance Fleet adopted a new system whereby both blue and red rank insignia would be used, with blue denoting seniority. The Fleet adopted the Sector Force General insignia, using it to represent Rear Admiral. The blue Captain insignia was applied to the rank of Commodore. Both of these allowed the Alliance Fleet a much more comprehensive leadership hierarchy, allowing the fleet to operate with greater autonomy across a broader area.

With the Alliance Fleet increasing in variety as well as in size, additional tiers of leadership were needed to command different scales of vessel. The Fleet split the rank of Lieutenant Commander into two grades: the more senior, represented by three downward pips, was awarded to Lieutenant Commanders who had been placed in command of their own corvette. Frigates were typically commanded by a Commander, Cruisers by a Captain; and large carriers and Star Destroyers were used as flagships by Commodores and members of the Admiralty. The lower grade of Lieutenant Commander, represented by three upwards pips, was reserved for non-commanding officers. The Fleet also added the rank of Senior Lieutenant.

Because Starfighter operations had begun to migrate away from Sector Forces outposts and towards Alliance Fleet carriers, the Starfighter ranks were adapted to match the Fleet's dual red/blue system. This allowed the Corps to distinguish via rank between a Lieutenant who was a senior pilot, and a Flight Lieutenant who commanded a Flight.

Alliance Fleet Sector Forces Starfighter Corps
RB5.png - Admiral
RR5.png - Rear Admiral RR5.png - General RB5x.png - General
RB4.png - Commodore
RR4.png - Captain RR4.png - Colonel RR4.png - Colonel
RB3.png - Commander RB3.png - Wing Commander
RB3x.png - Lieutenant Commander (CO)
RR3.png - Lieutenant Commander RR3.png - Commander RR3.png - Commander
RR3.png - Senior Lieutenant RR3x.png - Major RR3x.png - Lieutenant Commander
RB2.png - Lieutenant RB2.png - Captain RR2.png - Captain
RR2.png - Sub-Lieutenant RR2.png - Flight Lieutenant
RB1.png - Ensign RR1.png - Lieutenant RB1.png - Lieutenant
RR1.png - Midshipman RR1.png - Flight Officer

The Alliance's current rank system was not implemented until after the formation of the Alliance of Free Planets. Notable changes included inverting the ranks of Major and Commander within the Sector Forces, Starfighter Corps, and the new Alliance Marine Corps (making Major the senior of the two), and the addition of ranks such as Vice Admiral and Major General.

(see below)

Alliance of Free Planets

Jump to: Comparative Rank Chart

Officer Ranks

O5 - Admirals and Generals

Within the Alliance Fleet, the rank of Admiral is held by any individual commanding one of the Alliance's numbered fleets (eg. Alliance 4th Fleet). Each Admiral is assisted by a Vice Admiral as their second in command; officers with this rank also command other divisions and agencies within the Fleet, such as the Office of Fleet Intelligence. The rank of Rear Admiral is reserved for the commanders of Task Forces.

The rank of General is held by the commander of the Alliance Marine Corps, and the commander of Alliance Special Forces, utilising the same rank insignia as a Rear Admiral. The commander of the Alliance Starfighter Corps also holds the rank of General, though it utilises the same rank insignia as Vice Admiral. Major commands such as Divisions or Brigades are commanded by a Major General. Sometimes, the title of Brigadier is applied to a Brigade Commander as an honorific, but Major General remains their substansive rank.

O4 - Captains and Colonels

The rank of Commodore is awarded to the commanders of Task Groups, and to the commanders of strategically significant starships, such as Fleet Carriers and Star Destroyers. The rank of Captain can be awarded to any starship commander, but is especially applied to the commanders of Alliance Cruisers.

Within the Marine Corps and SpecForce, the rank of Colonel applies to Regiment Commanders, either in command of a SpecForce specialism, or a unit of mobile/mechanised infantry. In the Starfighter Corps, a Colonel typically commands a strategic outpost, or a strategically important fighter unit.

O3 - Commanders and Majors

Within the Fleet, the rank of Commander is usually held by either the starship commander of a Frigate or Light Cruiser, or an Executive Officer serving under a more senior officer. When represented with blue insignia, the rank of Lieutenant Commander applies to the commander of a Corvette or Gunship; when represented in red, it applies to a senior officer such as an Executive Officer or Chief Engineer. A Senior Lieutenant is usually the supervisor of a key department aboard the ship, or alternatively the Executive Officer on a small vessel.

Unlike the Alliance to Restore the Republic the ground forces and starfighter forces of the Alliance of Free Planets place the rank of Major directly below Colonel, representing senior commanders of units such as wings and battalions. In these forces, Commander applies to battalion and regimental executive officers, squadron leaders, and other mid-level unit commanders. The Starfighter Corps also has a junior variation of Commander (sometimes referred to as Lieutenant Commander) to distinguish "non-commanding" Commanders such as executive officers, flight instructors, and logistics staff.

O2 - Senior Commissioned Officers

The rank of Lieutenant in the Alliance Fleet represents a mid-level officer, and is often held by bridge personnel such as helmsmen and communications officers who do not have seniority over a department, but have noteworthy skills, training, and experience in their specialism. Sub-Lieutenant (sometimes called Lieutenant Junior Grade) denotes an officer with a particular field of specialism, but with limited in-service experience, such as a newly graduated engineering officer.

A Captain in the Marine Corps and SpecForce is usually a Company Commander, or the commander of an elite Squad or Platoon. Within the Starfighter Corps, it is the typical rank of a Squadron's executive officer, and is also often held by the squadron leaders of training squadrons, who are not experienced enough for a more senior rank. The subordinate rank of Flight Lieutenant denotes a senior Lieutenant who is also a flight leader.

O1 - Junior Commissioned Officers

In the Fleet, the rank of Ensign refers to any non-specialised graduate officer, such as a clerk, aide, or other administrative officer. A Midshipman is any Fleet officer still undergoing training. Those who have qualified for a specialism, such as helm control, communications, or engineering, usually skip the rank of Ensign entirely and progress directly from Midshipman to Sub-Lieutenant.

A Lieutenant in the Starfighter Corps denotes a senior pilot, while a Flight Officer is any newly/recently qualified pilot. In the Marine Forces and SpecForce, a Lieutenant commands a Platoon, or is a junior and recently graduated officer in an administrative role as part of a larger unit.

Enlisted Ranks

E4 - Master Non-Commissioned Officers

A Master Chief Petty Officer is usually the senior NCO in a particular division or department aboard a large vessel, or the senior NCO among the crew aboard a smaller vessel.

In both the Marine Corps and SpecForce, a Sergeant Major is the senior NCO within a Regiment, while a Master Sergeant has a similar role in a Battalion-sized unit or at an Outpost. Within SpecForce, Regiments are representative of a particular specialism, and the Sergeant Major is typically responsible for training within that field.

A Chief Technician of Chief of the Deck is the senior starfighter mechanic of any given outpost, carrier, or starship, and is typically responsible for units of Wing size or larger.

E3 - Senior Non-Commissioned Officers

In the fleet, a Senior Chief Petty Officer may be the senior NCO for a department or division, or may oversee a particular sub-set within that division, such as an engineer responsible for supervising propulsion systems. A Chief Petty Officer is usually a shift supervisor or other NCO management role.

A Staff Sergeant is a Company-level NCO in SpecForce and the Marine Corps, and can be referred to as a Gunnery Sergeant or other variation depending on the unit. A Sergeant has an equivalent role within a Platoon, or may have a less senior role but in a more elite Special Forces unit. Flight Sergeant specifically identifies the technician responsible for the maintenance of all fighters associated with a particular unit, usually a Squadron or Wing.

E2 - Junior Non-Commissioned Officers

Petty Officers are specialist members of a starship crew, who have knowledge and experience working with particular subsystems such as weapons or propulsion.

A Specialist in the Marine Corps or SpecForce is usually an officer who has undergone training for a particular SpecForce Regiment, or is a basic trooper within an elite Special Forces unit. Within the Marine Corps, they may be an AT-TE commander, communications specialists, field medics, or any number of specialisms that might prove useful at Company level or above. The rank is also used to denote a Squad Leader within a larger unit, though such individuals are usually addressed as "Corporal". The rank of Corporal applies usually to individuals with seniority within Platoons, such as those in charge of fire teams.

A Senior Technician is usually the NCO responsible for supervising a particular task, such as refuelling, engine calibrations, or loading ordenance.

E1 - Basic Enlisted Ranks

Crewman is the basic rank within the Alliance Fleet, and denotes any unskilled raw recruit serving aboard a starship. Trooper is the equivalent basic rank within the Marine Corps, but the ranks of Lance Corporal and Junior Technician usually represent an individual with a greater degree of training and experience. Lance Corporals may have trained in a particular specialism beyond basic infantry, such as being a qualified driver or sniper.

Comparative Rank Chart

Alliance Fleet SpecForce & Marine Corps Starfighter Corps Examples of Use

O5 RB5.png Admiral ... RB5.png General ... RB5x.png General ... Fleet Commander
Corps Commander
RB5x.png Vice Admiral
RR5.png Major General
Task Force Commander
Division Commander
Brigade Commander
RR5.png Rear Admiral
O4 RB4.png Commodore
Line Captain
... RR4.png Colonel ... RR4.png Colonel
Group Captain
... Task Group Commander
Outpost Commander
Regiment Commander
Cruiser Commander
RR4.png Captain
O3 RB3.png Commander ... RR3.png Major
... RB3.png Major
Wing Commander
... Wing Commander
Frigate Commander
RB3x.png Lieutenant Commander
RR3.png RR3x.png Commander RR3.png Commander Battalion Commander
Corvette Commander
Squadron Leader
Executive Officer
RR3x.png Senior Lieutenant RR3x.png Commander
Lieutenant Commander
O2 RB2.png Lieutenant ... RR2.png Captain ... RB2.png Captain ... Company Commander
Senior Officer
Flight Leader
RR2.png Sub-Lieutenant
Lieutenant Junior Grade
RR2.png Flight Lieutenant
O1 RB1.png Ensign ... RR1.png Lieutenant ... RB1.png Lieutenant ... Platoon Commander
Junior Officer
RR1.png Midshipman RR1.png Flight Officer

E4 RE4a.gif Master Chief Petty Officer ... RE4a.gif Sergeant Major ... RE4a.gif Chief Technician
Chief of the Deck
... Regiment Sergeant
Battalion Sergeant
Senior NCO
Deck Chief
RE4b.gif Master Sergeant
E3 RE3a.gif Senior Chief Petty Officer ... RE3a.gif Staff Sergeant
Gunnery Sergeant
... RE3a.gif Flight Sergeant
Technical Sergeant
... Company Sergeant
Platoon Sergeant
Junior NCO
Crew Chief
RE3b.gif Chief Petty Officer RE3b.gif Sergeant
E2 RE2b.gif Petty Officer ... RE2a.gif Specialist
Staff Corporal
... RE2a.gif Senior Technician ... Squad Leader
Crew Supervisor
Team Leader
RE2b.gif Corporal
E1 RE1b.gif Crewman ... RE1a.gif Lance Corporal ... RE1a.gif Junior Technician ... Engineer
RE1b.gif Trooper