Lyran Commonwealth Military Ranks
This article describes the military ranks used by the Lyran Commonwealth during its history. The Lyran Commonwealth Armed Forces (LCAF) are responsible for offensive and defensive operations within the Commonwealth.
2413 to 3028
Ranks in the LCAF are adapted from those used by the Federal Republic of Germany in the 20th century. The Brandenberg Edicts of 2413 provided by Archon Katherine Steiner laid out the military ranks and structure used by the LCAF from that period until the merging of the LCAF and the Armed Forces of the Federated Suns (AFFS) in the creation of the Federated Commonwealth. This section describes the ranks used by the LCAF during that period.
There is no difference in rank names for naval forces except for senior officers. On uniforms, the navy uses gold piping and stripes on the uniforms as opposed to the blue piping and stripes for the ground forces.
Enlisted personnel wear their rank insignias on their shoulders and are stitched to uniforms against a black rectangle. Colors are reversed for dress uniforms.
- Private: Rank denoted by an arrow with a black line dividing it. New recruits enter military service as Privates.
- Private First Class: Privates that attain six months of duty are usually promoted to this rank. It is denoted by an arrow with half of the Private's arrow marked black.
- Corporal: The first rank at which a soldier has leadership responsibilities. This rank is denoted by a blue arrow with a pointed tip (also called a Hunter's Point).
- Senior Corporal: Senior Corporals begin to get more intensive training in leadership by a Sergeant who mentors them. This rank is denoted by the Hunter's Point with a black triangle at its center.
Non-Commissioned Officers (NCOs)
Sergeants form the backbone of the LCAF unit structures. The most experienced soldiers, Sergeants provide the primary training for new recruits.
- Sergeant: Denoted by a Hunter's Point with a black circle in the center.
All soldiers from the rank of Staff Sergeant up to and including Hauptmann-Kommandant are worn on the upper arms of the uniform and they wear a blue stripe down the outside of their pants legs.
- Staff Sergeant: Rank is denoted by a large, downward pointing triangle containing two other triangles, one fitting within the other called a Spear Point. All of the triangles share a common edge along the upper side.
- Sergeant Major: Rank is denoted by the Spear Point with a horizontal blue bar above it.
- Staff Sergeant Major: This rank is denoted by adding a second horizontal blue bar above the Sergeant Major's rank insignia.
- Senior Sergeant Major: This is the highest rank a non-commissioned officer can attain. Normally, there is a single Senior Sergeant Major per regiment. They are responsible for representing all of the enlisted and NCOs of the unit. The rank insignia is that of the Staff Sergeant Major with the addition of a golden triangle across its center, called the Tharkan Spear Point.
These ranks are generally reserved for specialists, including techs, engineers, sail-riggers for jumpships, and mechanical specialists. Ranks are a series of horizontal bars worn on the collar or shoulder called Fletchings.
- Warrant Officer: Rank is denoted by one Fletching.
- Warrant Officer First Class: Rank is denoted by two Fletchings.
- Senior Warrant Officer: Rank is denoted by three Fletchings.
- Chief Warrant Officer: Rank is denoted by four Fletchings.
Junior officers are the regular battlefield commanders, usually of a lance or a company. They are generally recent graduates of military academies or training battalions.
- Leutnant: Unlike other houses, the grade of Leutnant is not a true officer in the normal sense as they have not yet been given a command. They are normally addressed by their function in the unit ("MechWarrior", "Pilot", etc.) rather than by rank. Most will remain at this rank for their careers. The more ambitious and competent officers will be given temporary commands of their lance or platoon as a means to test their leadership skills. Leutnants wear a Spear Point similar to that of a Staff Sergeant, but with the innermost triangle blackened.
- First Leutnant: Once a Leutnant has shown the requisite leadership skills to advance, they are given a commission to First Leutnant and given command of a lance or platoon. This rank is denoted by a horizontal blue bar above the Leutnant's Spear Point.
- Hauptmann: Hauptmann, or Captain, is normally a company commander. Hauptmanns are usually the highest rank that will see combat on a day-to-day basis. The rank is denoted by blackening the inner two triangles of the Leutnant Spear Point.
- Kommandant: Kommandants are the commanders of a battalion. The rank is denoted by adding a horizontal blue bar above the Hauptmann rank.
- Hauptmann-Kommandant: This rank is reserved for senior battalion officers within a regiment. The Hauptmann-Kommandant often acts as a liaison between the regimental commanders and the regimental forces, ensuring that commanders are aware of tactical and strategic information while insuring that the regiment carries out the regimental commander orders. The rank is denoted by an all-black Spear Point.
Senior officers are normally involved with more than a single unit and are instead concerned with defense of a planet, a theatre, or a the entire Commonwealth. All senior officers wear their rank insignia on their collar or epaulets.
- Leutnant-Colonel: This rank is generally reserved for a regiment's second-in-command. They are tasked with insuring that the regiment is properly supplied and supported. In difficult battle scenarios, Leutnant-Colonels may be given direct command of critical unit deployments. The insignia is a single silver pip, an elongated diamond-shaped piece of metal. In the navy, this rank is called Leutnant-Kaptain.
- Colonel: Colonels are commanders of regiments and must be expert not only in strategy and tactics but also in logistics and supply management. Colonels of 'Mech regiments defend entire worlds. The rank is denoted by two silver pips. In the navy, this rank is called Kaptain.
- Leutnant-General: These officers act as aides to the military commanders for one of the four military districts within the Commonwealth. It is the lowest rank at which an officer can assume command of an entire service branch, such as Military Intelligence. The rank is denoted by adding a third silver pip beneath the two pips, forming a "T". In the navy, this rank is called Leutnant-Kommodore.
- Hauptmann-General: Officers of this rank are usually the commanders of one of the four military districts of the Lyran Commonwealth. Their responsibilities include defense of the civilian, industrial, and agricultural targets against enemy attack. It is also their responsibility to blunt major enemy offensives long enough to rally theatre-wide defenses or counter-offensives. The rank is denoted by four silver pips forming what is called the First Steiner Cross. In the navy, this rank is called Kommodore.
- Kommandant-General: This rank is given to the aide of a Margrave in one of the military districts. They are responsible for ensuring that all units in the theatre are well-supplied. They also command all of the reserve and garrison units on planets in the theatre. The rank is called the Second Steiner Cross, which is denoted by adding a black pearl to the center of the First Steiner Cross. In the navy, this rank is called Hauptmann-Kommodore.
- General: Officers holding this rank are responsible for major theatres of operation along the Lyran border. They also hold the title of Margrave, a political title related to the theatre and not the individual. Officers of this rank wear the Third Steiner Cross, which is similar to the Second Steiner Cross with the addition of an "orbit", or silver disc, beneath the pearl in the center of the cross. In the navy, this rank is called Admiral.
- General of the Armies: This is the highest rank in the LCAF other than Archon. Officers holding this rank are responsible for planning major operations within and without the Commonwealth. They form the LCAF High Command and are some of the military's most experienced and respected officers. The rank is denoted by the Fourth Steiner Cross, which differs from the Third in that it adds a second "orbit" of obsidian under the silver orbit. In the navy, this rank is called Fleet Admiral.
- Archon: The Archon is the commander of the LCAF and usually plays an active role in its actions. The rank is denoted by the Final Steiner Cross, which is distinct from the other senior officers by dividing the four pips of the cross into halves and filling the space between them with gold. In certain situations where the Archon is unable to make vital military decisions, a Pro Tem may be selected. The Pro Tem is authorized to wear the Final Steiner Cross to denote that they act with the authority of the Archon.
House Steiner Book - 1987, FASA