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Mass Effect/AEC: ANN News- Alliance Reforms Rank Structure (p.2)


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ANN News Desk
April 6, 2196

Alliance Military Reforms Rank Structure

By Amita Quita

PRESIDIUM, CITADEL– The shakeup in the Alliance Military ranks system continues. The Alliance Navy has also revised its rank system to fit the growth in recruitment. However, as befitting the senior service, all flag/general ranks will follow the “naval” system, even those officers assigned to command Alliance Marine units at the division or higher levels.  Fears of inter-service rivalries have no materialized, although naval personnel often refer to their marine  counterparts by such unflattering terms as, “rock apes”, “mud movers”, and “dirt eaters” while the marines have answered with terms like, “nebula brains”, “arm chair warriors”, “console drivers” and the ever popular acronym, “REMF” which due to ANN‘s editorial rules can not be re-printed here in full:

Alliance Navy Rates Ranks:

  • Crewman-Recruit: Junior enlisted naval rating. This is the rank achieved on recruitment. Unlike their marine counterparts, initial training is six months long and includes basic weapons training/close quarter combat,  cross training in the areas of basic first aid, fire fighting and basic ship maintenance as well as the area of specialization assigned to when entering the navy.
  • Crewman-Apprentice: Rank achieved at the end of Basic Training/Specialist school. Training continues at the post under the direction of sections chiefs (senior NCOs) with an emphasis on hands on experience.
  • Able Crewman: A fully trained crewman in the area of their choice. Often referred to by their specialization such as Comm Specialist, Fireman, Gunner or Corpsman. They form the nucleus of a ship’s section/department such as engineering, gunnery, med-bay or cyber warfare/sensors.

Alliance Navy Non-Commissioned Officer Ranks:

  • Petty Officer: Junior NCO in charge of a department shift.
  • Petty Officer 1st Class: Often put in charge of on post training and drills.
  • Chief Petty Officer: Executive Officer or Senior NCO in a department/section of a ship.
  • Master Chief Petty Officer: The senior NCO aboard any ship or space station. Often reports to the Captain or commanding officer of the ship or space station.

Alliance Navy Commissioned Officer Ranks:

  • Ensign: Rank given to recruits going through officer candidate school. Since most officer candidates do not come through the ranks, OCS can be as long as eighteen months from recruitment to graduation, not counting dedicated naval academies across the globe such as Annapolis, Portsmouth or St. Petersburg among others.
  • Sub-Lieutenant: Rank achieved upon graduation from OCS. Upon graduation they become executive officers of  a ship’s department or section under the direction of a “full” lieutenant.
  • Lieutenant/Flight Lieutenant: Commanding officer of a ship’s section or department. Flight lieutenants are graduates from Flight School (pre-war school was based at Acturus Station, dozens of flights schools have proliferated across human space to accommodate the influx of recruits) and serve as helmsmen, fighter/gunship pilots and shuttle pilots.  Fighter pilots tend to refer to helmsmen and shuttle pilots as “bus drivers” and gunship pilots as “mud movers”. They in turn call fighter pilots “vapor trails”  or “chunky salsa” in reference to what happens when a fighter craft is destroyed by a GARDIAN laser battery. Lieutenants can also serve as Navigators/Executive Officers in frigates, corvettes or command military transports.
  • Lieutenant Commander: Usually serve as Navigators/Executive Officers of larger ships (often cruisers) or command frigates.
  • Commander: Usually command frigates or serve as executive officers on carriers and dreadnaughts.
  • Captain: Captains command individual vessels from frigate to dreadnaughts. Even if the individual vessel is the flagship of a task force or fleet under the command of a “flag” officer, the ship itself is still under the command of the captain. Naval tradition also holds that the commander of any vessel will be refereed to as “captain” regardless of actual rank, and be accorded the privileges and the responsibilities of the position. The marine equivalent is the rank of Colonel.

Alliance Military Flag/General Ranks: All officers, regardless of whether they came up through the marine or naval rank system switch to the naval rank system when reaching the “flag” or general rank status. The Alliance top brass has fought to keep the system intact even if it causes confusion among allied military forces citing tradition and unity of command. Critics within the military (and supporters of the Alliance Marines outside the system) counter that this is a way to remind the marines of their status as the “junior” service.

  • Rear Admiral: The junior flag officer often in charge of reconnaissance flotillas (made up of frigate wolf packs of between 3-6 frigates), or command rear area depots, space stations and training facilities.
  • Vice Admiral: Officers in charge of cruiser squadrons or marine divisions (such as the 103rd Marine Division) or Naval Offices such as the Alliance Office of Naval Intelligence (AONI), Alliance Office for Research and Development (OR&D), or logistics for key sectors/fleets.
  • Admiral: Officers in charge of entire fleets, such as the Fifth Fleet (Acturus Station).
  • Fleet Admiral (of the Alliance): The top officer in the Alliance reporting directly to the Alliance Prime Minister and/or the Alliance Defense Council.

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