Rank Guide

Commissioned Officers

Often simply referred to as an “officer,” the Commissioned Officer is one who will have attended Starfleet Academy on Earth. A commissioned officer holds superiority over the enlisted ranks, and generally hold department head positions. Entry into Starfleet Academy is extremely competitive and selective, and only the best and brightest are allowed to join the ranks of officers. For general studies or less technical fields, a character may not need a degree before joining the Academy. However, for science and medical fields, and more advanced engineering, it may be more realistic if the character has some advanced education prior to applying to the Academy. This can make a graduating Ensign range from 21 years old to 27 years old, based on educational needs and/or a late entry.

Flag Officers

TITLE RANK ABBREVIATION NOTES
Fleet Admiral FADM The Fleet Admiral is the absolute top-ranked officer in Starfleet, generally referred to as the Commander-In-Chief. They are appointed by the Federation Council, and take their orders directly from the Council and the President of the Federation.
Admiral ADM Superior to a Vice Admiral but subordinate to a Fleet Admiral. Generally command very large fleets.
Vice Admiral VADM Superior to a Rear Admiral but subordinate to an Admiral. Can command fleets of various sized.
Rear Admiral RADM Superior to a Commodore but subordinate to a Vice Admiral. Commands large spacedock facilities, small fleets, and task forces.
Commodore COM Superior to a Captain, subordinate to Rear Admiral. This rank is the first step of the flag officer ranks, and is generally awarded to a commanding officer who has held the rank of Captain for some time. Can be assigned fleet command duties, though generally used more for large facility command roles or colonies. Only the Commanding Officer of the Nogura may achieve flag officer ranks.

Officers

TITLE RANK ABBREVIATION NOTES
Captain CAPT The most senior officer rank beneath the flag officer levels. This is the most significant rank increase in any officer’s career, as it is the first level at which all command decisions run through the officer for the entirety of a base of operations, such as a starship, starbase, or colony. Other roles include executive positions on an flag officer’s staff, adjutants and JAG officers. In very rare cases, some officers have achieved the rank of captain while serving as subordinate roles (Captain Montgomery Scott, Captain Spock). These would be rare cases of officers of extended years, whose seniority and service has earned the next step. Generally, this rank is achieved after 25+ years of service, but exceptions have been made.
Commander CMDR The officer rank immediately inferior to the Captain. Officers who hold this rank are generally assigned as executive officers of large starships, or given command of a smaller vessel. On rare occasions, a commander may be asked to command a facility such as a space station in non-vital, strategically nominal regions. One requirement of achieving this rank is to take and pass the bridge officer’s exam. This tests the officer’s decision making and judgement under pressure. Without passing this exam, an officer cannot achieve this rank. However, once this exam has been passed, the officer is expected to serve in the rotation of shift commanders, as well as being expected to be able to take command of the ship if the need arises. Generally, an officer will have serve 15+ years before achieving this rank.
Lieutenant Commander LT CMDR A Lieutenant Commander is an officer who has demonstrated an above-and-beyond approach and true leadership qualities. They can hold positions from department heads to executive officer. On very rare occasions when there is a need, they can be placed in the role of commanding officer. In order to achieve this rank, an officer must serve at least 12 years.
Lieutenant LT A Lieutenant is an officer who has served at least 5+ years. They may hold up to department head positions. In rare case, they may serve as second officers or executive officers. This is the first rank of the “senior commissioned officers.”
Lieutenant Junior Grade LTJG A Lieutenant JG is considered a Junior Commissioned Officer. They may hold department leadership positions. In some cases, they may hold department head positions. They are not command-level officers. An officer will have serve for 2+ years before achieving this rank.
Ensign ENS An Ensign is the beginning rank of a Starfleet Academy graduate. They may hold department leadership positions up to department assitant head. In rare cases, they may be given a department head position. An Academy graduate will have attended the Academy at least 3 years, and graduated will full accreditation.

Cadets

TITLE RANK ABBREVIATION NOTES
Cadet Senior Grade CDT Fourth and final year Cadet.
Cadet Junior Grade CDT Third year Cadet.
Cadet Sophomore Grade CDT Second year Cadet.
Cadet Freshman Grade CDT First year Cadet.

Enlisted Personnel

These are the lowest ranking personnel on any ship or station in Starfleet. Enlisted personnel who join begin at the rank of recruit, and a put through basic physical training and basic technical training in a Starfleet basic training course that can take a year to complete. They enter this course as a Crewman Recruit. When they have graduated from this course, they are then sent to serve in a technical capacity on a colony or starbase in order to apprentice in their assigned field of study.

An apprenticeship can take up to five years to complete, depending on the complexity of the field of study. For example, a security officer may take a much shorter amount of time than a transporter technician. In the final year of their apprenticeship, a Crewman Apprentice is assigned to a starship for real-time, in-the-field application of their assigned area of study.

Their final assessment is given by their department head and the ship’s Executive Officer. Once the Crewman Apprentice has passed all expected standards, then the Executive Officer will bestow upon them the rank of Crewman. The Commanding Officer rarely deals with the enlisted ranks, leaving that to the purview of the officers and NCOs.

A non-commissioned officer, or NCO, is an enlisted status that may be achieved through years of service and merit-based achievement. In order to achieve this rank, an NCO will have attended the Starfleet Technical Academy on Mars, a school for enlisted personnel that wish to become an NCO. Enlisted personnel will have achieved the rank of Crewman and served for at least five years in Starfleet, or hold an equivalent technical education before becoming a Petty Officer.

TITLE RANK ABBREVIATION NOTES
Master Chief Petty Officer MCPO Master Chief Petty Officer, or MCPO, is the highest achieved rank by an enlisted personnel without attending Warrant Officer School or Starfleet Academy, or special appointment. Generally, these SNCO’s have served 20+ years if they started at Crewman Recruit, and 15+ years if they had an education equivalent that allowed them to become a Petty Officer when enlisting. They may hold up to department head positions. In rare cases, they may serve as XO’s until such time as a commissioned officer can be found to take the position. They are qualified, if needed, to take command of a ship. Due to their long standing record of service, they are generally treated with deference by young officers, even though they are technically outranked.
Senior Chief Petty Officer SCPO A Senior Chief Petty Officer, or SCPO, may hold up to a department head position. They have served at least 15+ years in Starfleet. In emergencies, they may serve in positions up to Second Officer until such time as a commissioned officer can take the position. They are qualified to take command of a ship, if need be.
Chief Petty Officer CPO This is the first of the Senior Non-Commissioned Officer ranks, and is achieved through years of service, seniority, and technical training. They may hold up to department head positions, but are not qualified for command positions. An enlisted personnel must serve at least 10 years to achieve this rank. Technical mastery and education may advance an enlisted to CPO faster.
Petty Officer, 1st Class PO1 The PO1 is a technically proficient NCO. They may hold up to department assistant head positions, but never command positions. An enlisted must serve 8 years to achieve this rank, or have an equivalent educational background.
Petty Officer, 2nd Class PO2 PO2 is achieved through 6+ years of service and technical training, or educational equivalent. Can hold up to department assistant head positions.
Petty Officer, 3rd Class PO3 PO3 is achieved by a crewman who has served 5+ years or completed educational equivalent. They may hold team leadership roles, but never department leadership roles.
Crewman CN Crewman make up the bulk of Starfleet’s labor force. They are generally five or more years experienced in their technical field before being assigned to a ship or station. They do not hold proficiency in multiple fields, but rather master one field, then continue to train in others during tours of service. For example, a crewman may be a transporter technician, but might not know how to fix the turbolift systems. He masters one field, and is given hands-on training in others in the field. An enlisted will, generally, have five years of technical training before achieving this rank.
Crewman Apprentice CA Crewman Apprentice is a Technical Academy graduate who has completed one year of field experience. An apprenticeship can last 2-5 years, depending on the field.
Crewman Recruit CR The lowest possible enlisted rank. Held by enlisted while attending Starfleet Technical Academy. Inexperienced enlistees will spend two years in technical school before one year of field experience on a station or large starship for a total of three years of education. Generally not found on smaller starships, where technical proficiency is more necessary to accomodate for small crews.