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Starfleet Ranks & Rates
2278-2350

Commissioned officers

Fleet Admiral
FADM Morrow
Image courtesy of The IDIC Page
Admiral
nameless ADM
Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home
Vice Admiral
nameless VADM
Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home
Rear Admiral
RADM James T. Kirk
Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan
Commodore
nameless CDRE
Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home
Captain
CAPT Clark Terrell
Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan
Commander
CDR Uhura
Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country
Lieutenant Commander
LCDR Dmitri Valtane
VOY Flashback
Lieutenant
LT Ian Andrew Troi
TNG The Dark Page
Lieutenant Junior Grade
LTJG Richard Castillo
TNG Yesterday's Enterprise
Ensign
ENS Marta Batanides
TNG Tapestry

Enlisted personnel

Master Chief Petty Officer
nameless MCPO
Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country
Senior Chief Petty Officer
nameless SCPO
Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country
Chief Petty Officer
nameless CPO
Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country
Petty Officer 1st class  
Petty Officer 2nd class  
Able Seaman
AB Samno
Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country

Flag rank stripes

In the early 2280s, all flag officers wore the same flag rank stripe. It was later replaced by a more complex system.
RADM James T. Kirk
Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan
 
Commodore
3/8 wide multicoloured braid
No lozenge
 
Rear Admiral
3/4 wide metallic gold base braid
3/8 wide multicoloured braid
One black and silver lozenge

RADM James T. Kirk
Star Trek III: The Search for Spock
Vice Admiral
3/4 wide metallic gold base braid
3/8 wide multicoloured braid
Two black and silver lozenges

nameless Andorian VADM
Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home
Admiral
1 wide dark red base braid
3/4 wide metallic gold braid
3/8 wide multicoloured braid
Three black and silver lozenges
 
Fleet Admiral
1 1/4 wide bordered base braid
1 wide dark red braid
3/4 wide metallic gold braid
3/8 wide multicoloured braid
Bordered base braid with dark red braid, gold braid and narrow
Four black and silver lozenges

FADM Morrow
Image courtesy of The IDIC Page
Fleet Admiral serving as Starfleet Commander-in-Chief
1 1/4 wide bordered base braid
1 wide dark red braid
2x 3/8 wide multicoloured braid
Five black and silver lozenges
 

Jacket Flap

Ensign - Captain
Commodore - Admiral
Fleet Admiral
Fleet Admiral serving as Starfleet Commander-in-Chief

Pants Stripe

Enlisted personnel

2 wide black stripe from armpit to pants cuff.

Commissioned officers

wide stripe colour of division set on 2 wide black up to rank of Commodore. Command officers do not have a white stripe but a tunic red one.
Commodore to rank of Admiral wear a 1 wide tunic red stripe with a narrow gold soutache in middle set on a 2 wide black self band.
Fleet Admiral adds one more narrow gold soutache.
A Fleet Admiral serving as Starfleet Commander-in-Chief has three narrow gold soutaches.

 

Annotations & Trivia:

  • Admiral's rank insignia are worn on shoulder strap and above flag rank stripe. Officer's rank insignia are worn on shoulder strap and above division band. Enlisted rate insignia are also worn above division band. Flag rank emblems may vary in size according to use. This can be observed in Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country, where the C-in-C's sleeve rank insignia is by far bigger than the shoulder strap insignia.


FADM Cartwright
Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home


CDR Uhura
Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country


CDR Leonard McCoy
Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country


nameless MCPO
Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country


Starfleet C-in-C
Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country

  • This rank system is infamous for spawning at least eight different (and incorrect) variants, including rank schemes by Trek capacities such as Shane Johnson and Mike Okuda. Up to this date, no printed official reference material managed to reproduce them correctly.
  • Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country introduced a distinction between normal fleet admirals and the fleet admiral serving as Starfleet Commander-in-Chief (sometimes also refered to as Starfleet Chief of Staff or Starfleet Commander):
    1. The C-in-C wears a different flag rank stripe. Most notable is the addition of a fifth lozenge.
    2. There is a gap between the two gold soutaches seaming the black wool border of the jacket flap on the C-in-C's uniform.
    3. The C-in-C's pants stripe features 3 instead of 2 gold soutaches.
    4. The piece of cloth on which the sleeve rank insignia is set on top has gold seaming on the C-in-C's uniform.
  • Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home marked the last confirmed appearance of Starfleet commodores. Of course, it is very well within the realms of possibility that commodores attended the Starfleet Command meeting in Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country, however, no visual evidence has emerged up to now to back this up.


nameless Caitian CDRE
Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home


nameless Andorian CDRE
Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home

  • Initially, Robert Flechter either forgot or found it unnecessary to create a rank insignia for lieutenant commanders. Later, he corrected this oversight and a rank insigna was introduced for the first time in Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home. The insignia gained notoriety when it was incorrectly used for Lt. Valeris in Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country and for Lt. JG Janice Rand in VOY Flashback.

nameless LCDR
Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home

LCDR Dmitri Valtane
VOY Flashback

Lt. Valeris
Lt. Valeris
Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country

Lt. JG Janice Rand
LTJG Janice Rand
VOY Flashback
  • There's an urban legend circling the net claiming that the ensign pin was specifically created for the TNG episode "Tapestry". However, this is not true as the pin design was included in Robert Flechter's original notes and was used on some extras in the TOS movies.


nameless ENS

  • Robert Fletcher specifically stated in his notes, that warrant ranks do not exist in this time period.
  • This was the first and only time in Trek's history that a complete set of rate pins for enlisted personnel was devised and introduced.
  • It's quite difficult to discern whether a petty officer is 1st or 2nd class, hence the lack of illustrative material.
  • Some fans have complained about the term "Able Seaman" for the lowest enlisted rate as being anachronistic for a space-going organisation. However, the term "Rear Admiral" has also managed to survive into the modern age, even though the term dates back to a time when a rear admiral was commanding ships in the rear of a naval squadron, which no longer applies for today. The term "Able Seaman" is borrowed from the 18th century Royal Navy and is still used by Commonwealth navies such as the Royal Australian Navy and the Royal Canadian Navy.
  • Unclear is what Robert Fletcher had in mind for officer cadets (midshipmen). Saavik and other officer cadets appeared in Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan with the rank insignia of Lieutenant JG and Ensign. This can be interpreted as them being either Cadet-Lieutenants JG/Ensigns or already graduated officers, who had enrolled at the Academy for additional command/engineering training. On a related, yet ultimately irrelevant, side note, the Interplay PC game "Starfleet Academy" featured officer cadets wearing a number of squeaks, ranging from one to four mirroring their Academy years, on their collars similar to cadets of the 24th century. Unfortunately, those cadets wore enlisted jumpsuits and the squeaks appear to be silver enlisted commendation markers.


LTJG Saavik
Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan


nameless ENS


Cadet David Forester
Interplay's Starfleet Academy

  • Yet another mystery is the nature of the rate pin worn by enlisted trainees.


nameless enlisted trainee
The Art of Star Trek

  • The flag rank stripe is a distinctive band of braid worn on the left sleeve of the uniform above the division band and below the rank insignia.
  • The flag rank stripe used in Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan for Kirk's uniform is actually uniform braid from the original Battlestar Galactica TV show.


RADM James T. Kirk
Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan


Battlestar Galactica uniform
Image courtesy of wegottafindearth.com

 

 

Last updated: November 13, 2006
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