Guardians of the Stars
Guide to Classic and Modern Military Ranks
Military ranks are a system of hierarchical relationships in armed forces, police, intelligence agencies or other institutions organized along military lines. Usually, uniforms denote the bearer’s rank by particular insignia affixed to the uniforms. Ranking systems have been known for most of military history to be advantageous for military operations, in particular with regards to logistics, command, and coordination; as time continued and military operations became larger and more complex, military ranks increased and ranking systems themselves became more complex.
Permanent rank is the fully paid and confirmed rank. This is the normal system of rank all others are deviations from this.
War substantive or theater rank is a confirmed rank only held for the duration of that war.
Temporary rank is usually granted for a specific task or mission. The holder holds the rank while occupying that position. Despite the name, temporary rank may be held for a considerable period of time, perhaps even years. In wartime, temporary ranks are often common.
Retired rank is that usually that granted to those Officers who have reached the end of their service obligation and have not been dishonorably discharged. A retired rank is usually kept for life, if the Officer so concerned wishes.
Acting rank is where the holder assumes the pay and allowances appropriate to the acting rank, but a higher commanding officer may revert the holder to previous rank held. This is normally for a short period of time while the permanent occupant of the office is absent.
Brevet rank is a temporary rank, often honorary, without the pay and allowances appropriate to the rank.
Ranks are usually split into sections, these typically include: Enlisted, Non-Commissioned Officers, Warrant Officers, Commissioned Officers, and Flag Officers.