What is the order of rank in all branches of the Military? Is a captain higher than a private? Do different branches have unique titles? And which branch would be in charge of space travel? Navy, air force or army?


closed as off-topic by Mołot, nzaman, sphennings, kingledion, Separatrix Dec 28 '17 at 13:13

This question appears to be off-topic. The users who voted to close gave this specific reason:

  • "This question does not appear to be about worldbuilding, within the scope defined in the help center." – Mołot, nzaman, sphennings, kingledion, Separatrix
If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

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    $\begingroup$ en.wikipedia.org/wiki/… $\endgroup$ – Ray O'Kalahjan Dec 28 '17 at 12:20
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    $\begingroup$ en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Comparative_army_officer_ranks_of_Europe $\endgroup$ – Ray O'Kalahjan Dec 28 '17 at 12:20
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    $\begingroup$ Those two links where a quick Google search. Please do not ask questions easily answered by Google. $\endgroup$ – Ray O'Kalahjan Dec 28 '17 at 12:21
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    $\begingroup$ As far as which branch would be in charge, that's a matter of opinion (of the executive or legislature of the country whose space forces you're considering). A common trope in SF is to consider the space forces as a navy-like service, but there's no reason that this will necessarily be so in the real world. $\endgroup$ – Jeff Zeitlin Dec 28 '17 at 12:36
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    $\begingroup$ This question is not about worldbuilding, so I voted to close as 'off-topic.' $\endgroup$ – kingledion Dec 28 '17 at 13:02

When you build a fictional world, that is your decision. But it makes some sense to keep your fictional world recognizable.

  • Military forces have long been divided into officers and enlisted men. That used to be a class distinction, with nobility and other upper classes giving orders and peasants and other lower classes taking orders. Read about mustangs and gentleman rankers.
  • These days it is more an education issue than a class issue (even if class affects education). Think of officer training as the equivalent of an university degree -- even an entry-level officer outranks a long-service private.

Consider the use and history of the title captain. The rank/title of captain has evolved over the years, from "boss of a band or a ship" to more specialized uses.

  • Captain is a military rank in the army and the navy. But these days the captain of a navy ship does not always have the rank of captain. The captain of a frigate may be a commander, a smaller ship might be commanded by a lieutenant commander or commander.
  • You also have captains on civilian ships.
  • Then there are captains of sports teams, police departments, and for flowery writers there are even captains of industry.

The deputy of the captain is the lieutenant.

  • It used to be that a captain in charge of an army company had a lieutenant, and a captain in charge of a navy ship had several.
  • On a ship, there was a first lieutenant, second lieutenant, and so on. As ships got bigger and types started to differ, the navy introduced the Commander and Lieutenant Commander between Captain and Lieutenant. Army companies stayed roughly the same size, so this didn't happen.
  • But the army has colonels in charge of regiments, with lieutenant colonels as deputy, and generals in charge of armies, with lieutenant generals as deputy.

So, find a word that means "boss" and a word that means "deputy boss", and build your fictional officer ranks around it.

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    $\begingroup$ I also love the story behind the rank of rear admiral. The "real" admiral had to lead a bunch of ships in the ship at very front, so all others can copy its movements. Should he be killed or the ship badly damaged, others would need a backup.So, place a helper admiral, inferior to the "real" one on the last ship as backup. That's a rear admiral. $\endgroup$ – Oleg Lobachev Dec 28 '17 at 15:50

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