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Rebel Alliance: Enlisted Ranks
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Thread: Rebel Alliance: Enlisted Ranks

  1. #1
    Moderator boccelounge's Avatar
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    Default Rebel Alliance: Enlisted Ranks

    When I needed enlisted ranks for an ongoing SW Rebellion-era campaign, I discovered there really isn't much background available. There are lots of references for officers, including the rank badge system for this site, but little for enlisted troops. So had to do it myself.

    I'd appreciate input and comment. I'll lay out what I came up with and how I came up with it.

    I started with the "Rebel Alliance Insignia" section of Saxton's Star Wars Technical Commentaries:
    http://www.theforce.net/swtc/domino.html

    (Yeah yeah, I know Saxton is not exactly loved by all, but for this purpose, his stuff was useful. No anti-SWTC flames, please. )

    From here I got some visual references from the Hoth Rebel uniforms, and set the basic rank-badge principles behind my design:

    1. First, all Rebel badges are based on four small rectangles, arrayed horizontally, and worn over the left breast. I call them "pips." For reference, here's the badge I'm talking about, as worn by some unnamed Rebel Officer:



    2. Officers have blue and red pips; enlisted have grey and red.

    3. No one seems to have monchrome badges (all-red, all-grey, or all-blue).

    4. The "value" of the badges seem to go from left-to-right, just like English writing.

    Using these assumptions, I simply gave blue a value of 2, red a value of 1, and grey pips a value of zero. Then I arrayed them as if they badges represented 4-digit numerals. That gives us the following values for enlisted (grey/red) badges:

    0000
    0001
    0010
    0011
    0100
    0101
    0110
    0111
    1000
    1001
    1010
    1011
    1100
    1101
    1110
    1111

    (Note: Solo's badge, shown above, would have a value of 2122. Whatever that means... )

    Throwing out 0000 and 1111, we have 14 ranks.

    Now, for the real deal. I used a combination of US Army and US Marine ranks, with slight revisions to fit my vision of the Alliance rank structure. I drew up this master list:




    The "E-" codes are reference to real-world US military pay grades; I included them here to show equivalent ranks. In my system, there are two tracks: command and specialist. At grade E-6, for example, you have Staff Sergeant (command) and Gunnery Sergeant (specialist). In my campaigns, I usually require characters to have some "command" experience (as shown by skills or classes) to take the command track; other characters can advance along the "specialist" track by demonstrating ability in their chosen fields.

    This is intended for use with both Alliance Sector Forces and Special Forces. I use the system found in the WEG supplements (and elsewhere), of having all Rebel infantry units split between the various Sector Commands (Sector Forces), and a small force that's attached directly to Alliance High Comand (Special Forces). Also note, I don't use "Special Forces" to mean "Special Ops." They're just "special" because they aren't permanently assigned to a Sector/Theatre, as most Rebel infantry is. I also assume that the two other major branches, Fighter Command and Navy, would use different rank names. Maybe someday I'll work on those too...


    So, what do we think about this?
    "Half the fun of God's forgiveness is having reasons to ask for it."

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    Nice work, I really think this helps ID what 'Spades' is. Thanks for this, and keep up the good work. Can't wait to see/read the next installment in ONE.
    Peace is a lie
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    Through passion I gain strength
    Through strength I gain power
    Through power I gain victory
    Through victory my chains are broken
    The Force shall set me free


    ~The Code of the Sith~

    View my games HERE

    Currently working on - Imperial Sourcebook: Marching Orders

  3. #3

    Default Re: Rebel Alliance: Enlisted Ranks

    Originally posted by boccelounge
    2. Officers have blue and red pips; enlisted have grey and red.

    3. No one seems to have monchrome badges (all-red, all-grey, or all-blue).

    4. The "value" of the badges seem to go from left-to-right, just like English writing.

    Using these assumptions, I simply gave blue a value of 2, red a value of 1, and grey pips a value of zero. Then I arrayed them as if they badges represented 4-digit numerals. That gives us the following values for enlisted (grey/red) badges:

    0000
    0001
    0010
    0011
    0100
    0101
    0110
    0111
    1000
    1001
    1010
    1011
    1100
    1101
    1110
    1111

    (Note: Solo's badge, shown above, would have a value of 2122. Whatever that means... )

    Throwing out 0000 and 1111, we have 14 ranks.

    Now, for the real deal. I used a combination of US Army and US Marine ranks, with slight revisions to fit my vision of the Alliance rank structure. I drew up this master list:


    So, what do we think about this?
    We think you erred. Solo's rank eqautes to either 0100 or 1011 on the Officer's Scale depending on the red/blue values. Placing him at O-4 or O-11.

    Using Naval officer ranks (SW is pretty consistent with US/UK on this excepting the odd "Commander" Convarion in X-Wing: Bacta War), Solo rates out as Lieutenant Commander (Major for groundpounders) or Commander in Chief (The US has had only one O-11 in it's entire history, 5-star General Douglas MacArthur during WW2).

    Since there's no way Solo'd outrank even Adm. Ackbar, even tho he's called Captain (which is the proper way to address the commander of a ship) his actual rank/rating is a Lt Cmdr.


    Now SW Rebel Officer Ranks tend to be a 5-step system. Navy - Ens, Lt, Cmdr, Capt, Adm. Starfighter Command - FltOff, Lt, Capt, Cmdr, Gen. Army - Lt, Capt, Maj, Col, Gen.

    If we allow 0000 (4 red blocks) to be the most junior Offcer, that places Solo at a regular Ship Capatin's rank. Otherwise his rank is Cmdr, equivalent to a Wing Commander's, but the Title when addressing him remains Captain as he is in charge of a ship.


    Later NR tends to confuse things by adding Major to Starfighter Command (when Wedge accepts promotion to General and his 5th Rank Pip) as well as apparently either phasing out Cmdr or making it roughly equivalent to Col.

    Naturally, YMMV.
    Last edited by Vanger Chevane; 18 October 2005 at 07:16 PM.
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    Moderator boccelounge's Avatar
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    Default Re: Rebel Alliance: Enlisted Ranks

    Originally posted by Vanger Chevane
    We think you erred. Solo's rank eqautes to either 0100 or 1011 on the Officer's Scale depending on the red/blue values. Placing him at O-4 or O-11.
    Thanks for the feedback, djas and Vanger. I did make a mistake; by my calculations, Solo's badge would be 1211, not 2122. Note what I typed:

    Originally posted by boccelounge
    Using these assumptions, I simply gave blue a value of 2, red a value of 1, and grey pips a value of zero. Then I arrayed them as if they badges represented 4-digit numerals... Solo's badge, shown above, would have a value of 2122.
    It should be 1211, given the values I was arbitrarily using. I think I wrote that "2122" bit while eating Szechuan Chicken... got my reds and blues confused.

    To put it more plainly, if we assume that blue has a higher value than red, Solo's badge is the 5th of 16 possible Officer ranks, nestled between 1122 and 1212. And now I've confused things even more...



    Originally posted by Vanger Chevane
    Using Naval officer ranks (SW is pretty consistent with US/UK on this excepting the odd "Commander" Convarion in X-Wing: Bacta War), Solo rates out as Lieutenant Commander (Major for groundpounders) or Commander in Chief (The US has had only one O-11 in it's entire history, 5-star General Douglas MacArthur during WW2)... Naturally, YMMV.
    Thanks for the officer info, but the real point of my post is Enlisted ranks. The officer stuff is, as you point out, pretty well-established, and in my experience easy to find references for.

    I hadn't mean to confuse the issue with the Solo example. Just meant to use his picture as an example of translating the 4-square, binary color scheme into a 4-digit number.

    But... since we're talking officer ranks... O-11 traces it origins to "General of the Army" which was created for Ulysses S. Grant. 12 men have held the equivalent rank-- 4 Navy, 1 Air Force, 7 Army. The "Five-Star" designation was created in 1944; I don't think the pay-grade "O-11" was created until the late 50's Pentagon re-org... but don't quote me on that.



    Originally posted by Vanger Chevane
    Later NR tends to confuse things by adding Major to Starfighter Command (when Wedge accepts promotion to General and his 5th Rank Pip) as well as apparently either phasing out Cmdr or making it roughly equivalent to Col.
    By "fifth pip," I think you refer to what some call the "Alderaanian-style" officer badges. These are the kind used in the user profiles for this website. I'm not talking about those badges-- I should have made a clearer distinction: I'm talking about the rectangular, horizontal badges worn on the left breast, not the round-pip badges officers wear on the right. It seems (according to the Hoth costuming) that officers wear both styles, while enlisted wear only the left-side bar.

    So I take the reference to Wedge's "fifth pip" means his badge looks like, well, yours or mine, with an extra dot. From all available evidence, the rectangular bar is always 4 boxes, no more, no less.
    "Half the fun of God's forgiveness is having reasons to ask for it."

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    Using Naval officer ranks (SW is pretty consistent with US/UK on this excepting the odd "Commander" Convarion in X-Wing: Bacta War), Solo rates out as Lieutenant Commander (Major for groundpounders) or Commander in Chief (The US has had only one O-11 in it's entire history, 5-star General Douglas MacArthur during WW2).
    Actually, I'm pretty sure that Eisenhower was 5 star in WW2. I'm just sayin....(I might be wrong, I'll have to check)
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  6. #6

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    Originally posted by Skywalker


    Actually, I'm pretty sure that Eisenhower was 5 star in WW2. I'm just sayin....(I might be wrong, I'll have to check)
    Ike only had 4, appropriate to a Theater Commander.

    Brigadier General (Brigadier UK, O-7) - That one star sez you run a Brigade.
    Major General (O-8) - Two stars, you command a Division.
    Lieutenant General (O-9) - Three Stars, Corps (/Regiment?) Commander.
    General (O-10) - Four Stars, you command an entire Army/Theater.
    Commander-in-Chief (O-11) - Those 5 little stars tells ppl you run The Whole Frickin Show...Army, Navy, Air Force, and Marines at all levels jump when you say so unless the President/Congress directly and explicitly instruct otherwise.
    Last edited by Vanger Chevane; 21 October 2005 at 01:52 PM.
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    Moderator boccelounge's Avatar
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    Sorry, Vanger... there were several 5-Star Generals in the Army, during and after WWII. Here are the names, and the dates they got the 5-star.

    George C. Marshall 16 December 1944
    Douglas MacArthur 18 December 1944
    Dwight D. Eisenhower 20 December 1944
    Henry H. Arnold 21 December 1944
    Omar Bradley 20 September 1950


    And 5-star does NOT mean "Commander-in-Chief." That title has always been reserved solely for the President, as per Article One of the Constitiution.

    We should also point out that the 5-star rank does NOT confer an officer authority over multiple branches of service. The above list is just Army; the Navy had its own 5-stars.

    The 5-star/O-11 rank is strictly for times of formal war (i.e. Congressionally-declared); no one has held the rank since Bradley.

    There are some decent refences to all of this on Wikipedia:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/General...Army_%28USA%29

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of...eaders_by_rank


    Not sure how any of this helps me figure Alliance enlisted ranks... but it sure is good conversation.


    EDIT: And here's what the Army itself has to say on the 5-Star rank:

    http://www.army.mil/cmh-pg/faq/FAQ-5star.htm
    Last edited by boccelounge; 21 October 2005 at 02:14 PM.
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    Wikipedia can be edited by anyone, regardless of how unreliable/unfounded their info is, so I regard it as an unofficial & unreliable source to be consulted only when completely desperate.

    Odd I've never seen any pictures of the above sporting that 5th star except MacArthur, nor run across info they received it.

    MacArthur did give orders to Adm. "Bull" Halsey & had them carried out as he did have one more star in the Pacific Theater.
    Last edited by Vanger Chevane; 24 October 2005 at 03:38 PM.
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    Wisdom is a lot like the Blues. You have to suffer to get it right.

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    Moderator boccelounge's Avatar
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    Originally posted by Vanger Chevane
    Wikipedia can be edited by anyone, regardless of how unreliable/unfounded their info is, so I regard it as an unofficial & unreliable source to be consulted only when completely desperate.


    Well... be that as it may, the facts are the facts. I presented the Wikipedia link simply as a good reference point and because, in this case at least, the wiki articles are correct.

    Unless... we think there's a massive worldwide conspiracy, and EVERY history book EVER written about WW2 is purposely lying about the 5-Stars.... ????


    "Half the fun of God's forgiveness is having reasons to ask for it."

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    Me being in the US Navy can list all four 5 Star Admirals:
    • Admiral William D. Leahy
    • Admiral Ernest J. King
    • Admiral Chester Nimitz
    • Admiral William F. "Bull" Halsey

    here is were I got my information regarding the Five Star Admirals.

    Nimitz was equal rank to MacArthur and so was the rest of the Admirals. Just remember it was the Navy that transported the Army accross the Pacific and across the Atlantic. From that we have this great rivalry between the two services. The Army vs Navy football game is were we see how is the better service. Granted the Air Force also plays football, but they don't count.

    The Army had four 5 Star Generals
    • George C. Marshall
    • Douglas MacArthur
    • Dwight D. Eisenhower
    • Omar N. Bradley

    The Army Air Corps, aka Air Force, had only one 5 Star General
    • Henry H. Arnold

    The Marine Corps doesn't have the rank O-11 or 5 Star General of the Marine Corps. I don't think that they ever will either.

    I'm a history buff, my minor is in History. I also know were to look on the military web sites to find info about who held what ranks and the what not. If you ever need more info about the Navy feel free to drop me a line.
    Last edited by djas_puhr; 25 October 2005 at 10:28 AM.
    Peace is a lie
    There is only passion
    Through passion I gain strength
    Through strength I gain power
    Through power I gain victory
    Through victory my chains are broken
    The Force shall set me free


    ~The Code of the Sith~

    View my games HERE

    Currently working on - Imperial Sourcebook: Marching Orders

  11. #11

    Default Re: Re: Rebel Alliance: Enlisted Ranks

    Originally posted by boccelounge

    From all available evidence, the rectangular bar is always 4 boxes, no more, no less.
    'Four shall be the number of thine pips, and the number of the pips shall be four. Five shalt thou not have, neither have thou three, excepting that thou then proceed to four. Six is right out.' - Alliance Code of Courtesy and Conduct, 3rd Revised Edition

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    Default Re: Re: Re: Rebel Alliance: Enlisted Ranks

    Originally posted by JoJohnJohansen


    'Four shall be the number of thine pips, and the number of the pips shall be four. Five shalt thou not have, neither have thou three, excepting that thou then proceed to four. Six is right out.' - Alliance Code of Courtesy and Conduct, 3rd Revised Edition
    LOL, that was awsome! Tears came to my eyes!
    Peace is a lie
    There is only passion
    Through passion I gain strength
    Through strength I gain power
    Through power I gain victory
    Through victory my chains are broken
    The Force shall set me free


    ~The Code of the Sith~

    View my games HERE

    Currently working on - Imperial Sourcebook: Marching Orders

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    Djas, the Army Air Force 5 star was Henry "Hap" Arnold, not Omar Bradley. Bradley was Army.
    <<<<<

    They that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles... Isaiah 40:31

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    Default flag of surrender...

    Originally posted by Sarge
    Djas, the Army Air Force 5 star was Henry "Hap" Arnold, not Omar Bradley. Bradley was Army.
    Ah, give him a break... he's just a Navy man, after all.


    And *sigh*... I see that it's hopeless trying to get any dialogue going about the poor, ignored Alliance Enlisted man... it's all "General this" and "Admiral that"...
    "Half the fun of God's forgiveness is having reasons to ask for it."

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    :Shrugsshoulders:

    I'm a squid first and formost! As for the *cough* chair force *cough* I mean Air Force, I'm sorry for the error will correct it.

    ...

    Should be done now. My bad.
    Peace is a lie
    There is only passion
    Through passion I gain strength
    Through strength I gain power
    Through power I gain victory
    Through victory my chains are broken
    The Force shall set me free


    ~The Code of the Sith~

    View my games HERE

    Currently working on - Imperial Sourcebook: Marching Orders

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