View Full Version : Imperial/Rebel Orginization Questions

19 July 2002, 12:38 PM
I have questions and requests:

1. I know the Stormtroopers are independent of the Imperial Army and Navy but does the armyhave any actuall foot soldiers or are they on;y using AT-AT's and the like?
2. Tell me if I am right: Commanders command fighter squadrons/wings, Generals Command Ground Troops , and Admiral Command Capital Ship Fleets? I am confused byt this.
3. Does anyone know a chain of command for the Rebellion and Empire, or a list of their rank (from least to greatest).

19 July 2002, 12:53 PM
In order of your questions:

1) I would assume that the Imperial Army has regular infantry. I'm not sure there's much evidence in the films to back this up, but the various gaming references have always suggested this to be so.

2) Generals would command large units of ground forces (be they infantry, mechanized, armor, or what-have-you). Admirals would indeed command squadrons or fleets of capital ships. 'Commanders', however, are a different question. In the SW films, the word 'commander' gets thrown around a lot in odd places; most likely, they seem to be using it as a generic title for a commanding officer of a given unit, regardless of actual ranks. Depending on how you look at it, fighter squadrons/wings would be commanded by officers of varying ranks. One idea that has been suggested is that fighter forces in the SW universe use British RAF-style ranks; in that case, a squadron would probably be commanded by a Squadron Leader, a wing by a Wing Commander, a group by a Group Captain, and so forth. The RAF rank which corresponds to Admirals and Generals would be 'Air Marshal' (of which, like Admirals and Generals, there are different grades). If this was the case, then Luke being referred to as 'Commander Skywalker' would probably be a case of abbreviating his full title of "Wing Commander Skywalker'.

3) The best reference for Rebel/Imperial ranks and chains-of-command I could suggest would be located here:


This site is created by Dr. Curtis Saxton (author of Episode II Incredible Cross-Sections) and has a lot of worthwhile information. I recommend it highly.

The Admiral
20 July 2002, 03:27 AM
1. Yes, they are extensively detailed in the ISB, and Rules of Engagement. We see Imperial Army footsoldiers in RotJ, there are a few in the reinforcements that Han cons out of the bunker. In addition, the pilots of the AT-STs are Army Soldiers.

2&3. Imperial Ranks are covered in the ISB, Alliance ranks in the RASB. Saxtons are more cohesive than the Official listings, though.

Emperor Xanderich II
20 July 2002, 03:54 AM
We spent hours deciding on the best rank structure for our campaign and this is what we came up with, with rough numbers of ships/troops controlled

Imperial Navy

Acting Sub-Lieutenant
Lieutenant Commander- up to small starship
Commander- up to light cruiser
Captain- any ship
Line Captain- Line (4)
Commodore- Squadron (16)
Rear Admiral (Senior Commodore)- Squadron (16)
Vice Admiral- Systems Force (64)
Admiral- Battle Group (250)
Fleet Admiral- Fleet (300-500)
High Admiral- Sector Group (1000)
Moff- Sector Group (1000)
Grand Moff- Sector Groups
Grand Admiral- Task Force

Imperial Army

Second Lieutenant
Lieutenant, Platoon, 30 men
Major, Company, 120 men
Lieutenant Colonel, Battalion, 480 men
High Colonel, Regiment, 4800 men
Major General, Division, 20000 men
Lieutenant General, Corps, 48000 men
General, Army, 200000 men
High General, Systems Army
Surface Marshall, Sector Army
Moff, Sector Army
Grand Moff

Starfighter Command

Pilot Officer
Flight Lieutenant, Flight Leader (4)
Captain, Squadron 2IC, Flight Leader (4)
Squadron Commander, Squadron (12)
Wing Commander, Wing (72)
Group Captain, Group (144)
General, Flotilla (144+)

It seems to work well

Grim Fantango
20 July 2002, 08:13 AM
That's excelent Xanderich, though i can never get used to such large numbers of Cap. Ships, i perfer a small fleet of like, 30, not 1000s and 1000s...

20 July 2002, 11:13 AM
from everything I have read, the Imperial and Alliance navies loosly follow a modern navy rank structure. Problem is, me never being in the Navy (I might try it next :P ) I cannot say what their exact officer rank structure is. All I know is Admirals are the navies equivalent of the army and Air Forces Generals (by american system, not RAF). Basically the Imperial Navy (as well as Republic (new and old) and alliance navies) uses one rank structure with varying grades of admiral being at the top of the 'food chain'. Commanders would fit in there since fighter squadrons are considered part of the navy. I think commander is just below Captain. Commanders also dont just command fighter squadrons, honestly anyone can depending on the circumstances. commanders could serve as an XO to a ship captain, or even as the captain of a ship (with the honorary title of captain, without the pay) etc etc.

The Army uses Generals (of varying grades) and has lesser ranks, but no commanders in the chain. In their place they have captains (oh sweet irony!) with majors then Lt Cols then Cols (LT's coming before captain).

The army does have their own troopers in the films as Admiral mentioned. However he was wrong on one thing. The navy troopers uniforms are black (as in the case of the reinforcements from the bunker) with the army troopers being a brown (as in the AT ST pilots). Of coarse, Lucas could have had a different idea about this so don't hold much faith in anything<G>

Xanderichs rank structure isn't bad, however I was always lead to believe that Moffs where a political figure with military authority. Especially since they can command both the army and navy. Also he has a few to many ranks in for the army and possibly for the navy. But as he said, that is for his campaign and seems to work, so it can't be all bad. You can probably find a modern rank structure for any military on the internet. As I have said, I cannot give the Navy's, but I do know the Army and Air Forces by heart (it is basically the same, only the enlisted ranks are different)

Sorry for rambling, hope this was of some help and I can give the rundown on the modern army and AF structure to anyone that is interested.

The Admiral
20 July 2002, 02:08 PM
Admiral mentioned. However he was wrong on one thing. The navy troopers uniforms are black
I think if you re-read my post you might observe that I was specifically mentioning Imperial Army troopers. I didn't mention the black uniformed troopers because it is impossible to tell in RotJ whether they are Naval Troopers or Stormtroopers, (Both wear standard Imperial Uniforms in black)

20 July 2002, 04:07 PM
From what I have read only the Naval troopers wore black uniforms. Army was a brown color.

After Checking the Imperial SB, I found I am partially right. Army is a grey colored uniform (page 45). Naval troopers are black though (page 43). As for why naval troopers are at Endor, probably needed every soldier they could muster into the area, besides the 'imperial legion' or to help fill it out into a full legion. They had a huge fleet in orbit, ripe with naval troopers and stormtroopers (and easily some army troopers for ground assaults). Now that I think about it, I bet that is where the imperial legion (or whatever they called it in RotJ) came from, was the black squadron. It would explain how they could get the forces there so easily and without any more notice then the Black squadron being gone from wherever it was normally supposed to be.

I need to learn to stop being so lazy in these discussions and actually check my info before, or while, I am posting...

Emperor Xanderich II
21 July 2002, 07:41 AM
I think that Moffs do have military rank for several reasons. First they wear a military uniform with a rank badge on it. Secondly it makes sense for the Emperor. The Moffs were generally people he 'trusted' and would want to make sure they were the ones controlling what kept his Empire together - his armed forces.

It saying what number of ships/troops controlled, this is when the officer is in the front line. Most of the officers in the army will not control, say squadrons of ships, but will work in admin, logistics etc

The extra ranks are for the fact that we are talking about larger scales that on Earth, a sector army will involve millions of men. Of course they won't be grouped together, but spread out over the various planets.

21 July 2002, 11:29 AM
With as much power as the emperor gave the moffs, and grand moffs, they could afford to wear whatever they pleased. From everything I have read they are not directly linked to the military in an officer type sense. They do have military power, and more then likely had their own rank insignia to distinquish them, however this does not make them true officers. They didn't just order their sector fleets around, they had to govern their sectors citizens as well, and that can take up more time then military matters can, which is why you would have a sector fleet/army commander (admiral and general respectively). I know the Imperial SB backs me up on this, since I read it not to long ago.

As for the additional ranks, again, you said it worked for you, and I cannot deny that since I am not playing in your games. If it aint broke, don't fix it (or "you aren't trying hard enough", depending on who you ask). But again, from what I read they use a more standard modern day approach to ranks. There are currently five different grades of General (Brigadier, major, Lieutenant, general, and general of the army/Air force) and I am more then certain as many forms of admiral. there is no general of the army currently (the last one was gen. Bradley after WWII) With that many forms of generals/admirals, you can probably take care of a galactic scale military. Even generals of the same rank can be subordinate to one another. Through the moffs in there (who, again, are not attached to one specific service) and you have enough rank structure to handle it. Especially when you consider that whoever controls the space in a system pretty much owns the system. Ground wars don't generally last nearly as long as they do in real life because of this. In addition, the navy doesn't have so many more vessals that they need additional ranks to handle it. you get things organized into taskforces/squadrons, then to fleets and fleet groups, and you pretty much have all the control you more or less need. there are a few more hoops commands have to jump through (sector command (moff) quadruant or regional command (grand moff) then high command and the emperor). but that is where time in service comes into play. basically instead of seeing the galaxy as a whole bunch of planets that require a massive army each to conquer, see it as each planet is more of a city. You need to get there and hold the area around it (Navy's job) then land and strike those targets that will have the most dramatic affect in crushing the planets resistance (the planetary capital and any other major cities, spaceports, industries or military bases). Most planets will capitulate after that. Others you will still have resistance, but it will be similar to the vietnam war or the russian occupation of Aghganistan back in the day. guerrilla strikes by local resistance with the occasional major strike, but for the most part the occupiers have greater firepower, and, unlike those real world examples, the occupiers have a major advantage in being able to spot ground targets from space and bombard them to death. (even if they don't talk about that sort of tech in SW, they should have it if we can do it today. the spotting, not the bombarding).

Anyway, I think somewhere in there my point is it is not necessary to over complicate things. I will try to stop rambling now...

The Admiral
21 July 2002, 12:32 PM
From what I have read only the Naval troopers wore black uniforms.
Check the Star Wars Visual Dictionary, page 35. Stormtrooper officers specifically wear black uniforms, I can see no reason to assume that off duty enlisted Stormtroopers don't wear black too.

On the subject of Moffs, my position has always been this;

Moffs are a civillian title. They are in direct command of the military forces within their purview. In the case of a standard Moff this is all military resources within a sector, for Grand Moffs this could be any amount of materiel.
This is analogous to most circumstances on earth where the upper level of command is civillian, not military.
However, the Moff title can be given to a serving military officer if the situation warrants it. This ia nalogous to the practice in Elizabethan through Victorian time of assigning serving military officers to the governorships of trouble spots. (Such as Clive of India, simultaeneously Governor of India, and CinC of all military forces within the continant.)

So. IMHO, both Tarkin and Jerjerrod were Moffs, but also both were serving military officers, and hence, wore uniform and rank markings accordingly.

21 July 2002, 02:05 PM
*picks up another clump of mud*

Lol, I don't have the SW visual dictionary. And I outright said Naval troopers had black uniforms. I never said anything about stormtrooper off duty uniforms. I could care less what they where off duty, as long as they where their nice shiny white armor when the PC's come acalling! Honestly I have always seen stormtroopers as the marines of the IMperial Navy. The Navy just happens to be so big that they also need Naval Troopers to pick up the slack for the limited numbers of Stormies. Them wearing black doesn't surprise me. That says nothing about the Army wearing Grey however :P

Anyway, I agree with you on the Moffs and Grand Moffs. I think they even say in Ep IV that moffs are sector governers or some such (I don't feel like watching the movie again right now)

21 July 2002, 04:49 PM
stormtroopers are with the Army and not the Navy :) even thou they have been known to be in such seats (mostly for protection, otherwise the Navy got its own forces to protect)

i may be wrong, but "commander" is not only a rank, but also refering to the highest ranking officer at any site/location/ship/whatever

The Admiral
21 July 2002, 05:20 PM
No no, the Stormtrooper Legions are very specifically and totally a separate entity from both the Imperial Army and the Imperial Navy. They may function as part of AN army, but they are not IN the Army.

I'd quote source but the list would be extensive and take a while to compile, but off the top of my head;

Star Wars Encyclopaedia, Imperial Sourcebook, SW Visual Dictionary, Rules of Engagement, Essential Guide to Characters, The Imperial Sourcebook, the Rebel Alliance Sourcebook, the Guide to the SW Universe, Star Wars: The Roleplaying Game, Star Wars: The Roleplaying Game 2nd Ed, and Star Wars: The Roleplaying Game 2nd Ed R&E all are agreed on that.

On the Commander thing, yes, the term can be used to refer to the commanding officer of a given 'thing'

21 July 2002, 08:00 PM
I still see them as a sorta marine force, since most people somehow think the marines are not a part of the navy. I knew they aren't part of either, it is just interesting to think of them that way. :P

Commander is sorta the same title thing as captain, but on a larger scale. I think that is why the Army/Air Force (and more then likely Marines) don't have an actual rank of Commander.

*looks from side to side with some anxiaty and nervousness*

*looks at the rest of you, then looks to the side and taps his fingers on the table quickly*

I still say you are all wrong


just kidding

Emperor Xanderich II
22 July 2002, 02:22 PM
I see the Stormies as a Praetorian Guard, who answer only to the Emperor himself.

The rank commander is below captain in the navy. In everything else it can mean anything.