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Imperial Navy Rank Confusions Explained
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Mamatried
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PostPosted: Wed Apr 11, 2018 10:49 am    Post subject: Imperial Navy Rank Confusions Explained Reply with quote

Like many I have sometimes wondered how can an admiral answer to a commander, and how can a lieutenant be a captain, or a captain be an admiral.
All of this is things we have seen, Like Adm Needa, he is actually a line/senior captain, a rank junior to commodore, rear and vice admirals, yet he is is in charge....how can this be?

I have tried to explain this, just in case I am not the only one confused about the use of the ranks in the empire.

In general, there were three different categories for Imperial ranks:

POSITION: Dealing with current assignments to a specific ship or unit

LINE RANK-ACTUAL RANK: This is held by line officers or the men who command the bridge crew, captain ships, and hoist their flag over fleets

SPECIALIST RANKS: Is for personnel of the Flight, Support, and Engineering branches.

The line rank and position generally shared the same placard, but the specialist ranks had their own plaques.

If we look at the above attempt at an explaination then we may understand some of the seemingly strange discrepencies in star wars regarding
ranks.
We can easily explain how a commander can be higher than a captain, even though captain is a higher rank, or how an admiral can actully be a lieutenant
and a lieutenanat be a captain.
Wierd and confusing I know but is is easy to picture.

The commanding officer of a starship, regardless of his actual (line) rank holds the position(rank) of captain.
All other officers of the starship holds the position(rank) of lieutenant, again regardless of their actual (line) rank.

Senior Commander Dren is a Lieutenant on the Star Destroyer "Brasher"

Junior Lieutenant Braxon is the Captain of the Raider Corvette "Ravenant"

What we see here is that the Position and the actual rank may be different.
In a formal setting the lieutenant would be adressed as captain, and the senior commander be addressed as lieutenant.

Commander is one of the Positions that share it's name with a ine rank, but can be given to any rank that "qualifies"
Admiral, Commodore, Captain and Lieutenant are liekewise.

I hope this is not too confusing.

Wookiepedia is great here on the picture, but not so much in the text.
here is the link.

https://vignette.wikia.nocookie.net/starwars/images/5/52/Essential-Guide-To-Warefare-Imperial-Ranks.png/revision/latest?cb=20130710215216
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Falconer
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PostPosted: Wed Apr 11, 2018 4:47 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

It is too complicated. It seems preferable to devise a simple system that works, and just adhere to it in-game.
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Mamatried
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PostPosted: Wed Apr 11, 2018 5:38 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

you may be right.

But I find at least that link very useful in explaining how a commander can "outrank" an admiral etc.

I found the whole system almost identical to the ol royal navy one
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Naaman
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PostPosted: Thu Apr 12, 2018 3:33 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

It seems to me that when a higher ranking officer is assigned to a ship, he would become the new commander, while the previous one would default down to an executive officer/second in command.

Assuming imperial troops get paid, it makes sense that the higher paid ones would be required to work commensurate with their salary, rather than getting paid a premium to do "schlep" work.
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Mamatried
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PostPosted: Thu Apr 12, 2018 4:48 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Naaman wrote:
It seems to me that when a higher ranking officer is assigned to a ship, he would become the new commander, while the previous one would default down to an executive officer/second in command.

Assuming imperial troops get paid, it makes sense that the higher paid ones would be required to work commensurate with their salary, rather than getting paid a premium to do "schlep" work.


Indeed this makes sense.
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Raven Redstar
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PostPosted: Thu Apr 12, 2018 6:32 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Naaman wrote:
It seems to me that when a higher ranking officer is assigned to a ship, he would become the new commander, while the previous one would default down to an executive officer/second in command.

Assuming imperial troops get paid, it makes sense that the higher paid ones would be required to work commensurate with their salary, rather than getting paid a premium to do "schlep" work.


It seems to me it'd be the higher ranked officer's prerogative. If he wanted to take command of the ship, he'd be able. If not, he could leave things in the hands of a lower ranked officer until the mood swept him.
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Naaman
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PostPosted: Fri Apr 13, 2018 1:55 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

That does seem appropriate for an imperial officer who is visiting a ship. But one on orders to actually serve a tour of duty, I would think, would be required to command (and held accountable for the performance/actions of the crew).
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Zarn
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PostPosted: Fri Apr 13, 2018 2:53 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

A higher ranked officer isn't necessarily in the chain of command of any given ship. To avoid confusion, a captain on board a wet navy ship, will usually get a courtesy promotion - there's only one captain on a ship.

So even if I'm, say, an Admiral (my rank), I may not be part of any given ship's chain of command - and even if I'm commanding the task group the ship's I'm on is part of, I still have a captain of the ship (my flag ship - an admiral has a 'flag' if they have an active command) that I give commands to. Technically, I cannot order my flag ship to fire or otherwise maneuver a ship even if I'm an admiral, as I can instruct any captain under my command but cannot override their command of their ship - but woe betide the sailor that doesn't respect my rank.

Here's another example, but from the Army.

A major outranks a lieutenant, in the sense that a major has a higher rank than a lieutenant. But that doesn't mean that a major can command any lieutenant out there. If I have a special forces team, most on that team will be the equal of at least sergeant, with a captain or other officer commanding them. That does NOT mean that any given major can start giving orders to a special forces team, even though the major outranks the special forces team's commanding officer.

The chain of command CAN mean that the major can pass along an order that eventually ends up being the orders that the special forces team is tasked with - but that's a different story.

Of course, this is (roughly) the Royal Navy structure, as used (also) by the Honorverse, or Hornblower, Warhammer 40k, and so on. However, there's also other structures, such as the roughly Communist Havenite fleets of the Honorverse.
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Mamatried
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PostPosted: Fri Apr 13, 2018 6:47 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Zarn wrote:
A higher ranked officer isn't necessarily in the chain of command of any given ship. To avoid confusion, a captain on board a wet navy ship, will usually get a courtesy promotion - there's only one captain on a ship.

So even if I'm, say, an Admiral (my rank), I may not be part of any given ship's chain of command - and even if I'm commanding the task group the ship's I'm on is part of, I still have a captain of the ship (my flag ship - an admiral has a 'flag' if they have an active command) that I give commands to. Technically, I cannot order my flag ship to fire or otherwise maneuver a ship even if I'm an admiral, as I can instruct any captain under my command but cannot override their command of their ship - but woe betide the sailor that doesn't respect my rank.

Here's another example, but from the Army.

A major outranks a lieutenant, in the sense that a major has a higher rank than a lieutenant. But that doesn't mean that a major can command any lieutenant out there. If I have a special forces team, most on that team will be the equal of at least sergeant, with a captain or other officer commanding them. That does NOT mean that any given major can start giving orders to a special forces team, even though the major outranks the special forces team's commanding officer.

The chain of command CAN mean that the major can pass along an order that eventually ends up being the orders that the special forces team is tasked with - but that's a different story.

Of course, this is (roughly) the Royal Navy structure, as used (also) by the Honorverse, or Hornblower, Warhammer 40k, and so on. However, there's also other structures, such as the roughly Communist Havenite fleets of the Honorverse.


I think the best exmple is with (ww2) seeing how junior officers, lieutenants and captains and majors being promoted in the field to regiment commanders.

As a regiment commander, usually a lt. colonel/colonel position can and have been awarded to lower ranks, like captains.

A captain being given a regiment command, will be a major in a few days, but other than this he will by position outrank every other officer in the regiment. including battalion commanders who are generally majors.
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