1. kitsune4
    Offline

    kitsune4 Member

    Joined:
    Sep 12, 2012
    Messages:
    24
    Likes Received:
    3

    Military rank help?

    Discussion in 'Research' started by kitsune4, Sep 12, 2012.

    Hi,

    So my novel starts out with a group of soldiers from a different country attempting to take over a small village where one of protagonists live. I have four significant characters who lead these soldiers but i can't think of ranks to give them. I was researching military ranks for ideas but I don't want to rank my characters too high or low. Its a fictional fantasy world so I'm not exactly tied to the official rules but I still want some realism.

    Basically one of the four character's oversees all three of them. The second one over sees the last two who are basically on par with each other and they oversee the rest of the soldiers, who are among the lowest ranking members of the overall army. Would it make sense then to have these characters as a Captain, Lieutenant and the other two Sergeants?
     
  2. shadowwalker
    Offline

    shadowwalker Contributing Member Contributor

    Joined:
    Jul 27, 2011
    Messages:
    3,299
    Likes Received:
    851
    Or you could go with lieutenant, high-ranking sergeant and two lower-ranking sergeants (like master sergeant and staff sergeant). That would put them all a bit closer together, 'rank-wise', which could lead to some conflicts (if you wanted).
     
  3. James Berkley
    Offline

    James Berkley Banned

    Joined:
    Oct 1, 2011
    Messages:
    448
    Likes Received:
    10
    Location:
    NYC
    how many soldiers are we talking about total?
    is it a squad?
    a platoon?
    a company?
    something different?
     
  4. kitsune4
    Offline

    kitsune4 Member

    Joined:
    Sep 12, 2012
    Messages:
    24
    Likes Received:
    3
    Thank you for the replies!

    The Master and Staff Sergeant could help. I don't imagine those three as being very far apart in rank. Its the highest ranking one who is ultimately the most significant and dangerous character to my protagonist.

    I imagine that in this particular unit, there's maybe 50 soldiers. Google tells me that's more of a Platoon. That's what I want to be taking over this town. So if I have multiple Platoon's in the area taking over several towns, but this is the only one we actually see, then I guess my highest ranking character could run the Company but the three underlings would oversee this specific Platoon. Does that make more sense?
     
  5. Anthrax
    Offline

    Anthrax Member

    Joined:
    Sep 10, 2012
    Messages:
    25
    Likes Received:
    0
    Master Sergeants don’t usually lead a small group of soldiers into the field. However, with your scenario where there are several platoons in the area there would be either a Master or First Sergeant somewhere and he could have attached himself to this particular squad. I’ve been reading a lot of military sci-fi lately and Master Sergeants seem to be all the rage. Also, with the scenario you describe you probably wouldn’t find an officer above the rank of 1LT unless the captain attached himself to the squad which might also be the reason the Master/First did as well. Occasionally a Major will lead men into battle (not so rare in WWII or Vietnam). Anything higher than that starts to stretch credibility (unless its sci-fi).
     
  6. AgonyDrum
    Offline

    AgonyDrum Member

    Joined:
    Aug 10, 2012
    Messages:
    24
    Likes Received:
    1
    Location:
    Ohio
    it would really depend on the country the soldiers are from, i was in the military for four years and i can say from experience many countries have far fewer ranks than america. an american (specifically a marine) infantry platoon would be headed by a platoon sergeant who would likely either be a sergeant or a staff sergeant and they would answer to a 1st or 2nd Lt. however if the platoon was on an important mission it is likely that the company commander (usually a captain) would go with them and possibly bring the company 1st sergeant or company gunnery sergeant with him. Majors and above usually only work at the battalion level and would almost definitley travel with more than a platoon. but like i said many countries have a more condensed rank structure two examples being the australians and the afghani army.
     
  7. kitsune4
    Offline

    kitsune4 Member

    Joined:
    Sep 12, 2012
    Messages:
    24
    Likes Received:
    3
    The master-sergeant description sounds like it could be a good rank then for the top character, as he sort of oversees the whole procedure in this area and doesn't really become involved in the plot until the actual conflict starts, when he is forced to.

    Very helpful information, this gives me a good idea of where to focus my research for the rest. Thank you!

    Well its set in a fictional world so thats why I was having a hard time because I was seeing different countries have different names and even different factions of the military has variations. The top character in my novel becomes involved when this town turns out to be more than they were expecting so I suppose he could be of Captain or Master-Sergeant rank, depending how I want to expand his role beyond this initial plot.
     

Share This Page