1. Lasherman
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    Lasherman New Member

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    Help regarding military rankings

    Discussion in 'Research' started by Lasherman, Aug 3, 2010.

    This is my first time posting anything here, so hello everybody! Anyway, I recently came up with an idea for a screenplay, and I don't want to divulge too much about it, but it is a sci-fi series that involves a large military space station. I've never really written much before, so this is mostly just for fun, but I'm trying to make it as realistic as possible.

    My problem is that I don't have a very in-depth knowledge of military ranking, so I have a few questions about the titles of some of my characters.

    First, I have the actual leader of the station. He commands the 2200 assorted military personnel aboard. I figured he would either be "Commander", or "Captain", but I'm not sure which.

    Second is a character who acts as a secondary pilot of the station. However, the character is new and inexperienced so I don't know what I would call him.

    And, finally, a character who leads the actual infantry aboard the vessel. She is only in charge of the crew who go out on combat missions, seeing as there are also many non-combatants aboard the ship. If I had to guess, I'd call her a Sergeant, but I have no clue if that's right or not.

    Thanks in advance to anyone who can help.
     
  2. Wreybies
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    Wreybies The Ops Pops Operations Manager Staff Contest Administrator Supporter Contributor

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    Your Sergeant needs a higher rank. She should be an officer if the duties you mention are in her job description.

    Also, Captain and Commander are bother words that have the unusual duplicity of being both rank designations and also designation of position on board a ship or other vessel.
     
  3. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    You should also decide what branch of the military to base your rank structure upon, and even what country's military rank hierarchy.

    Google will help.
     
  4. Laser Sailor
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    Laser Sailor Member

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    This is my first time posting anything here, so hello everybody! Anyway, I recently came up with an idea for a screenplay, and I don't want to divulge too much about it, but it is a sci-fi series that involves a large military space station. I've never really written much before, so this is mostly just for fun, but I'm trying to make it as realistic as possible.

    My problem is that I don't have a very in-depth knowledge of military ranking, so I have a few questions about the titles of some of my characters.

    Since you describe two type of personnel on your station, I'm giving Navy ranks for the people who run the station and Army ranks to the troops

    First, I have the actual leader of the station. He commands the 2200 assorted military personnel aboard. I figured he would either be "Commander", or "Captain", but I'm not sure which

    Captain would be an approprate rank if you go by modern naval standards. A captain is a rank and a title, someone can hold the rank of commander (technically lower than captian, but if they are in command of a ship or station then they are called captain by default) Remember that a captain is the rank just below admiral, admirals command fleets and captains command individual large ships or stations, a commander could command a smaller ship. 2200 personnel would make this a very small station (there are typically 5500 on one aircraft carrier alone), so your really could go with either captian or commander for his rank, either way his subordinates would call him captain, as it the approprate title.

    Second is a character who acts as a secondary pilot of the station. However, the character is new and inexperienced so I don't know what I would call him.

    Ensign is the lowest naval officer rank, but perhaps Lieutenant Junior Grade (second lowest) is what you're looking for?

    And, finally, a character who leads the actual infantry aboard the vessel. She is only in charge of the crew who go out on combat missions, seeing as there are also many non-combatants aboard the ship. If I had to guess, I'd call her a Sergeant, but I have no clue if that's right or not.

    Now we switch to Army ranks. How many troops does she command? She could be a sergeant if she's in charge of only 10-15 people, her position would be considered a squad leader. Any more than that and you have an officer position. If it's a platoon (50 -100 men) then she'd be a 1st or 2nd Lieutenant, if she's in charge of a company (200-500 men) then she'd be a Captain ( don't let the title captain fool you, a captain in the army is equal to a lieutanant in the navy.) Higher than that you have Lt Colonel, Colonel, or General. Army Ranks are usually different from Navy ranks, but being as it's sci fi why not try to make up your own ranks?

    Thanks in advance to anyone who can help.

    You're welcome! Please let me know if I can clarify, having served in the military this is all easy stuff for me, I forget it can become quite confusing if you're not part of the system.
     
  5. Lasherman
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    Lasherman New Member

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    Thanks Laser Sailor, that was a huge help. You've saved me alot of time trying to figure it out myself. I had been able to find plenty of sites that listed ranks, but nothing that actually summarized the responsibilities of those ranks. Also, I actually thought 2200 people was alot of crew. I think I'll change that to a higher number since it's supposed to be a huge station.
     
  6. Laser Sailor
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    Laser Sailor Member

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    You're welcome. I would think a "huge" station would have about 5,000 - 10,000 personnel not including those assigned aboard the various ships attached to the station (assuming you want it organized like the Navy). I can only speak to my own experience, Naval Base Guam and NS Guantanamo Bay were home to about 5000-7000 people each, they are large bases.
     

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