Re: Rank & File (Was: [gundam] More help for the contest)

-Z- (
Thu, 04 Feb 1999 15:39:42 -0800

At 17:59 2/3/99 -0800, you wrote:
> So in a way, using army ranks across the board would actually be _less_
>confusing, since you could then reserve the terms "captain" and "commander"
>for job descriptions rather than ranks. Hm...

Just so. "Commandant" is another. It refers to the commanding officer of
a temporary installation, such as a camp or tent city or zone of occupation.

> Meanwhile, the Earth Federation has leaders who are identified in some
>cases as "general" (like Revil) and in other cases as "admiral" (e.g.
>Tianem). So you could make a case for separate branches of both the Zeon
>and Federation military, with army ranks for one and naval ranks for the
>other. The only problem is that, in most cases, the Japanese dialogue
>provides no cues as to which would be appropriate...

I don't think the Japanese had the concept of a navy until the Portuguese
arrived and didn't have a navy of their own until the Meiji Restoration.
The only distinction seems to be whether you command ships or troops, but
even that's obscured by the concept of a "Supreme Allied Commander" in the
form of a five-star General, who commands and coordinates land, sea and air

> Yep, and that's exactly the role of the Mobile Assault Force - at least
>at the start of the war. By the end, of course, they have their own ships.
>And then there's the submarine fleet attached to the Earth Attack Force...
>sigh. Hard to draw the line, but I'm starting to favor army ranks as the
>best across-the-board solution. Saves you from calling all the enlisted men
>"Chief Petty Officer"!

Well, "Sergeant" is the accepted term of address for all non-commissioned
officers ranked E-5 to E-9 in all services except the Navy, where "Petty
Officer" is the generic. CPO is a specific rank (E-7) and "Chief" can be
applied to the upper three ranks: CPO, Senior CPO and Master CPO. These
are high enlisted ranks that usually require decades of service to achieve.
 I could see a young scut like Amuro ranking as a Petty Officer 3rd (E-4)
or 2nd (E-5) and possibly even making PO1 (E-6) through battlefield
promotion, but I never saw him as a CPO.

Warrant Officer, now, that's another story. There are four grades of
Warrant Officer that rank midway between the most-senior non-commissioned
officer and the most-junior commissioned officer. In effect, they are
enlisted people who have earned command, but haven't received or are
ineligible for a commission.

And it just occurred to me that there's a guideline for the appropriate
title of nobility for Zeon military commanders in the field (i.e., on
Earth): the territory they command. If they command an area designated as
a county, then they're Counts. Commanders of towns and municipalities are
Barons. Those who control entire states or provinces are Marquis, those
who command continents or more than one state or province are Dukes.
(There can only be one Archduke, of course.) M'quvie was thus at least a
Marquis and possibly a Duke.

If Garma, for example, only controlled NYC, he'd be serving in the capacity
of Baron of Manhattan, regardless of his other titles back home. If his
authority extended to the entire county, he'd be the Count of Long Island.
If he held the entire state, he'd be the Marquis of New York. If he
commanded the entire eastern seaboard, he'd be the Duke of Appalachia....


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