Starfleet Rank Index
|Academy Library series|
Ranks in Starfleet follow a specific order, and are of three types: Flag Officer, Officer, and Enlisted. Enlisted crewmen are not trained in any command fields, and fulfill the mundane duties of a starship. Officers are trained for command, and it is assumed that some will someday reach the ranks of captain or above. Flag officers often fulfill administrative duties, and sometimes command task forces of ships. Promotions are awarded for quality of service, not for length of time served.
A flag officer is both a historic naval and military rank and a modern Starfleet title. It generally refers to all officers of Fleet Captain rank or higher. The term traditionally denotes any officer that commands a squadron of vessels, possibly in addition to one under their direct command.
In the Federation Starfleet, an officer or commissioned officer is an individual who has attended, and graduated from the four-year Cadet program of Starfleet Academy. Per their Academy education, they are granted a commission, which allows them to function as officers in Starfleet. With their Academy education comes a four-year degree (Bachelor's) in their major field of study, which can range from the Arts, Sciences, Medical, Military Science, etc.
Commissioned officers are distinguished from non-commissioned officers and other crewmembers through the use of a rank structure.
Although considered a commissioned officer, Warrant Officers ranks are drawn exclusively from the ranks of enlisted personnel. CPO or higher may advance directly to WO (skipping other ranks) provided they attend Officer Candidate School.
In Starfleet, an enlisted crewperson is one who has not completed the four-year Starfleet Academy course. In most cases, enlisted crewmen sign up directly to a ship or posting, and receive basic training, as well as any specific courses required for their position.
Its predecessor, the Earth Starfleet, also had a hierarchy of enlisted positions. Other force structures, such as the Klingon Defense Force and the Bajoran Militia, have enlisted men in their ranks, but it is unclear as to how they differ from their standard officer ranks.
As with commissioned officers, there is a rank structure amongst enlisted crew. In naval systems, these are referred to as "rates", in military systems these are called "grades". The term "non-commissioned officer" refers specifically to any enlisted personnel given authority over other personnel. In Starfleet, this could refer to any petty officer (up to master chief).
All commissioned officer ranks, from ensign upward, outrank all enlisted in the chain of command. However, in certain cases, noncommissioned officers can exercise authority over commissioned officers. (Miles O'Brien is one such case, in his position as chief of operations aboard Deep Space 9). Additionally, chief petty officers such as O'Brien wield influence far beyond their place in the rank structure due to their extensive experience and skill, and are expected to mentor junior officers as well as other noncommissioned officers.
Enlisted personnel may be promoted to receive a commission, but must pass necessary examinations and/or attend the Academy.
Starfleet's Marine Corps uses an entirely different rank system than the rest of Starfleet. The Marine Corps has the same number of ranks as Starfleet's Naval system, but draws its ranks from military traditions such as that of the United States Marine Corps.
Forms of Address
Note: The information refers to addressing an officer directly. When referring to an officer in the third person, however, you would always use the full rank name. The information found here was found at StarBase Sigma.
(Fleet Captain and above) Commodores are addressed and referred to as 'Commodore.' All admirals, regardless of their rank, are directly addressed as 'Admiral,' not 'Vice Admiral', 'Rear Admiral', etc. A 'Fleet Captain' is directly address as 'Captain'.
(Lt.Cmdr - Captain) Captains and full commanders are addressed as 'Captain' and 'Commander', respectively. A lieutenant commander is addressed as 'Commander.' At his pleasure, a captain and above may address a LtCmdr. as 'Mister' but he should know that he is giving offense to the officer, by implying that he is a junior officer.
The Captain of a vessel is called 'Captain' in direct address, regardless of grade. Some smaller ships have captains which are not actually of the captain rank; however, while on their vessels they are addressed as 'Captain.'
(Ensign to Lt.) Junior officers are addressed either by their ranks or as 'Mister Smith'. They should refer to each other in this manner. At the pleasure of senior officers, female junior officers may be called 'Ms. Smith.' Officers with the rank Lt.JG are addressed as 'Lieutenant' when addressed by their rank.
Cadets are addressed as 'Mr./Ms. Smith'.
Starfleet Marine Protocol
Marines are addressed by their rank. They are not called 'Mister'. All generals, regardless of their rank, are addressed as 'General', not 'Major General', 'Brigadier General', etc. In direct address, Lt.Col's are called 'Colonel' and 2 Lt.'s are called 'Lieutenant'.
Enlisted crewmen are addressed solely by their rank. Enlisted crewman can be called by last names, without 'Mister' attached. All 'Crewmen' and 'Privates' are called such, regardless of their grades.
may have come partially, or
entirely from Memory Alpha