The Military in the Empire of Humanity - Rank Structure of the Common Ranks

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The Common Ranks

What our military calls 'enlisted' or 'non-commissioned officers' are called common ranks in the Empire. The etymology for the three brackets is analogous to our words for 'private' 'corporal' and 'sergeant', so that is the translation. Each of the three brackets has various grades or ranks within it, graduated by color of the insignia

Privates wear a single disc or 'pip' of rank, 2 isixths (a little under an inch) in diameter. As with all ranks, they are backed in black epaulets for line troops, in white epaulets for staff troops. There are explicit staff grades scattered throughout the rank structure, out of the line of command regardless of seniority. The Empire does things in this manner to require senior personnel to fill staff grades on their way up the ladder, and as one preventative measure to keep staff from taking over the organization - staff that want a promotion have to earn their way through several command grades to reach the next staff level. In general, the hardest promotions to get are the ones from staff grade to command. All line of command ranks are explicitly attached to specific line of command assignments. In Planetary Surface, you're not a team private unless you're in charge of a team of eight - you revert to Senior Private or Trained Private as appropriate. Everybody starts as a Trained Private - there are no officer candidate schools as we use the term. Nobody is put in command of troops without having been one of those troops, at least briefly.

Trained Privates wear a Black pip
Senior Privates wear a purple pip. In Planetary Surface, they are the second and third in command of a team of eight. In Tactical and Strategic Space, there are too many possible assignments to mention.
Team Privates wear a green pip. In Planetary Surface, they are in command of a team of 8, making them roughly equivalent to a US Army Sergeant or Staff Sergeant. All future assignments and grade equivalents are for Planetary Surface Troops, as space forbids description of the possibilities in Tactical or Strategic Space
Squad Privates wear a red pip. Command a squad of four teams, making them roughly equivalent to a 2nd Lieutenant.
Section Privates wear a gold pip, and command a section of three squads, making them roughly equal to a 1st Lieutenant
Staff Privates wear a white pip. The rank is between Section and Platoon Private, but out of the line of command. A Staff Private commands no one. An order given by a Staff Private has no legal authority except what is given to it by troops in the line of command.
Platoon Privates wear a blue pip, and command a platoon of four sections, making them roughly equal to a US Army major (400 combat troops). (Platoons are also the smallest unit with attached staff)

Corporals wear two discs or pips of rank

Troop Corporals wear purple pips, and command a troop of three platoons. Roughly equivalent to a lieutenant colonel (1200 combat troops)
Staff Corporals wear white pips and are staff
Executive Corporals wear green pips, and are generally executive or operations officers for a company (it's the same job)
Company Corporals wear red pips, and command companies of three troops (3600 combat troops). Roughly equivalent to a full colonel or brigadier
First Staff Corporals wear quartered white pips, and are staff
First Corporals wear gold pips, and are executive or operations officers for a squadron
Squadron Corporals wear blue pips, and are commanders of a squadron of four companies (14400 combat troops), making them equivalent to a major general

Sergeants wear three discs or pips of rank.

Sergeant wears three gray pips, and is executive/operations of a battalion
Battalion Sergeant wears three purple pips, and is commander of a battalion of three companies (43,200 combat troops)
Staff Sergeant wears three white pips, and is a staff grade
First Sergeant wears three green pips and is exeutive/operations of a regiment
Regiment Sergeant wears three red pips, and is commander of a regiment of five battalions (216,000 combat troops)
Master Sergeant wears three gold pips, and is executive/operations of a group of four battalions
Group Sergeant wears three blue pips, and is commander of a group, consisting of four battalions (864,000 combat troops)

Above Group Sergeant, the System Officer grades start, about which more in the next article. Guardian Class, the very largest class of military capital ship is commanded by a Group Sergeant, meaning that everything above this point in the Tactical and Strategic Space branches are fleet commanders. It is worth mentioning that the Guardian class of ships are damned few in terms of numbers as compared to all other classes, and pretty much always serve as the flagship for a significantly larger unit of troops.

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This page contains a single entry by Dan Melson published on March 16, 2018 10:00 AM.

Excerpt from Book Two of Politics of Empire was the previous entry in this blog.

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