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As a modern, structured and complex military, the Imperial Service maintains a fixed rank structure, in order to easily assign tasks, duties and responsibilities within its organization. Being a combined service since 2904-2906 great reforms, the Barrayaran rank structure has some its own particularities. Barrayar retains all the names of the various ranks when it went to a combined service: the name of the rank interchanges depending on his assignment of the moment: however, some departments merge the ground ranks and the spaceborne ones, such as ImpSec or Ops.
It is keen to note that the shape or placement of the functional designator is more important than the rank denomination. So an junior officer could be rather more prestigious than a senior officer, if that is assigned to a low level service, although this occurrence is very rare and ranks tend to coincide with the importance of the tasks assigned.
By definition, the Imperial Service is under the overall command of the reigning Emperor or Regent as commander-in-chief. Consequently, in his role as the Emperor's Voice, any Imperial Auditor can command military forces as he sees fit. Only the Emperor (or Regent) could override him.
All the ranks are gridded to a strict numerical ranking with seniority rates factored in. The rank insignia (collar tabs) reflect the equivalence between various ranks. The military hierarchy was reformed several times: the last reform was conducted by the Military Hierarchy Reform Act, of 2999.

Military rank Edit

The legal status and the employment relationship of the military personnel are two distinct concepts. However, the two concepts are closely related and the same ratio of use of the military is not conceivable outside the concept of legal status. While the termination of employment does not negate the legal status, the causes which terminate the legal status interrupt the employment relationship. There is no uniform legal status for all categories of military personnel, but it differs according the category: officers, non-commissioned officers or enlisted men. It is therefore necessary to distinguish the status of Officer, the status of NCO and the status of enlisted man.
Together with the notion of legal status, there is the concept of employment relationship, which is called "permanent service" within the military. The permanent service implies a legal position that is not found in all the military, but it has a beginning, a middle and an end. These circumstances usually do not coincide with the principal moments of the legal status. The legal status is acquired or because there are restrictions or obligations to the provision of military service or because the subject chooses to pursue a particular occupation and career. Permanent service is accessed only by voluntary act. As for access to the permanent service is relevant entry in the role, for the acquisition of legal status conferral of the military rank is relevant, that is, the placement of the subject in a precise position in the hierarchy.
Access to permanent service necessarily involves the award of the initial rank; for the legal status is essential the moment of the transfer of military rank. Therefore, events connected with the rank (the conferment, loss, reintegration) affect the events relating to the legal status.
The acquisition of legal status as an officer, non-commissioned officer and enlisted man takes place with the legitimate contribution of the initial rank of their careers. In order for the conferment of the rank is legitimate, an oath before assuming the service is to be taken. The rank, once conferred, places the military in a precise position in the hierarchy that is natural is for the military, representing a level that allows you to determine with certainty the relationships essential to the Imperial Service.
The rank, however, sometimes it is not enough to solve the issues related to the hierarchical relationships, which in all circumstances must be certain and unambiguous. For this reason, even the seniority in grade is governed aimed precisely to settle any conflict. The appointing instrument also marks the seniority in rank, which differs in absolute seniority and relative seniority. The absolute seniority identifies the elapsed time from the military in rank held, duration which begins from the date of notice of the appointment or the promotion and may be made higher or may be reduced pursuant to the legislation. The relative seniority identifies the order of precedence among the same grade in the same role with the same seniority absolute: the order of precedence is determined by the place in the ranking list achieved at the end of the training courses, depending on the various provisions.
Seniority has a legal significance in the areas of discipline and promotion.

Degradation and loss of the rank Edit

The degradation is the end of the military legal status which the subject belonged to. The soldier who loses his position, losing the legal status of the category, is to miss an essential requirement for the continuation of the permanent service. The cases of degradation are strictly defined by law. The law includes the causes of loss of the rank in five groups: voluntary resignation, the mandatory resignation, cancellations form roles, disciplinary cases and criminal cases.
Voluntary resignations from the rank are admitted exclusively for officers with particular conditions. The officer can not resign from the rank until he turned 40. Similarly, the officer cannot resign from the rank if he has a retirement pension, as long as, even on leave, he keeps the fitness for reserve duty. The resignation is irrevocable from the moment the administration has accepted them. In addition, the faculty may be suspended in the event of mobilization. The law is without prejudice to exceptional circumstances or special derogations authorized by the Emperor. The mandatory resignation from the rank incur for judicial interdiction or civil incapacitation, permanent unavailability to serve, serious immorality, social dangerousness. Causes for a cancellation from roles consist in the loss of citizenship or taking service in the armed forces of foreign states. If the military is a Vor, in the latter case is also accused of high treason. The disciplinary loss the rank only incurs as a result of a disciplinary sanction of extreme gravity. The loss of the rank for criminal conviction is when the military criminal law also provides for the penalty of removal and for intentional crimes against the State, against the Empire or the Emperor.

Reduction in rank Edit

A reduction in rank - or demotion - is a compulsory reduction in an soldier's rank within the hierarchy of the Imperial Service. A soldier can be demoted for violating military rules of the organization by a behaviour such as misconduct or negligence. A demotion falls in the middle range of severity. Minor violations of rules, or the first violation of a regulation results in a verbal or written warning or a suspension. At the other extreme, for severe violations of military regulations a soldier incurs in degradation and loss of the rank and dishonourably discharged with the loss of any pay or benefit.
Corps commanding officers, in addition to or in lieu of admonition or reprimand, can impose the reduction to the next inferior rank, if the grade from which demoted is within the promotion authority of the officer imposing the reduction or any officer subordinate to the him.
The most famous case of reduction in rank within the Barrayaran military is without any doubt the reduction from Admiral to Captain imposed to then-future Regent Aral Vorkosigan following the Solstice Massacre.

Ranks wages Edit

The regular pay is known as Service Pay for professional soldiers and War Pay for non-professional soldiers; the war service pay is paid to all members of the Imperial Service, regardless of whether they receive regular pay or not. This is also tax free.

Rank Monthly pay (Imperial Marks) Wartime additional monthly pay (Imperial Marks)
General/Admiral 11200 5600
Lieutenant General/Vice Admiral 10080 5040
Major General/Rear Admiral 7720 3860
Brigadier General/Commodore 7060 3530
Colonel/Captain (Naval) 5600 2800
Major/Commander 4680 2340
Ground Captain/Lieutenant Commander 3720 1860
Lieutenant 2840 1420
Warrant Officer 2 2380 1190
Warrant Officer 1 1720 860
Chief Petty Officer/Master Sergeant Major 1100 550
Petty Officer Ist Class/Sergeant Major 800 400
Petty Officer/Sergeant 700 350
Leading Spaceman/Corporal 680 340
Able Spaceman/Tech 640 320
Spaceman/Soldier 640 320

Honorary promotion Edit

The officers, non-commissioned officers and troops of the Imperial Service placed on absolute retirement are granted a promotion to a higher rank, in an honorary capacity. They achieve the promotion to the next higher rank in an honorary capacity, provided that they have left the service for age reasons, they have been judged by the qualification of not less than "above average" in the last ten years of service and have never reported in all the years of service qualify as 'below average' or 'insufficient' or judgements of unfitness for career advancement, they have not been convicted by final judgement.
The promotion is required by the person concerned to the Minister of War, by means of a formal petition in which he declares the possession of requirements. The Minister by decree provides for the granting of promotion.

Enlisted men Edit

The enlisted men are the basic category of all military personnel. The mixed military instrument requires a partially voluntary component of enlisted men. The enlisted men on active duty performing clerical duties on the basis of the degree possessed, category, specification of belonging and engagement, and may also perform duties of command in respect of one or more soldiers. The conscripts are primarily employed in operational and training units. The law distinguishes between hierarchical levels of conscripts from those of enlisted men on active duty. In particular, it is planned for the military troop the following sequence of ranks:

  • Able Spaceman/Tech, which can be achieved by all the military, not before the end of the third month from the incorporation and is conferred by the corps commander;
  • Leading Spaceman/Corporal, which cannot be achieved before the age of eighteen months from the incorporation and is conferred by the corps commander;
  • Petty Officer/Sergeant, which can only be given to enlisted men on active duty;
  • Petty Officer Ist Class/Sergeant Major;
  • Chief Petty Officer/Master Sergeant Major.

In the Imperial Service, although there are three ranks of sergeant, the lowest carries the title of Petty Officer/Sergeant. Sergeants in the infantry, for example, lead fire teams of four men. There are two fire teams in a 9-man rifle squad, which is led by a Sergeant Major. Drill sergeants are typically addressed as "drill sergeant" regardless of rank, though this term is used depending on post policy. Enlisted ranks may be assigned to different branches of service during their career.

Warrant Officers Edit

The category of Warrant Officers have a legal status different from the enlisted men. The Warrant Officers is the stage of evolution of military systems and technological development of the armed forces, acquiring its own military-technical configuration: the category of warrant officers has no autonomous characteristics.
The oath is taken in solemn form, in the presence of the flag and the corps commander and the officers and warrant officers take the oath individually. The warrant officer who takes a command as the head of a service is presented to subordinates in the same way an Officer: the non commissioned officer destined for a unit, command, or a service, is normally presented to its subordinates by his direct superior. The disciplinary sanction of a written reprimand may also be imposed by the non commissioned officer commander of detachment, if he is also conferred the powers of unit commander.
Warrant Officers have also certain functional characteristics that distinguish them from Sergeants.

  • The tasks of direct collaboration with the officers, or with the direct superiors, with the consequent possibility of replacing them;
  • The command of minor units;
  • The tasks of training, education, supervision and guidance of subordinates;
  • The specialized tasks in different fields of duty.

Warrant Officers and Officers cannot be assigned to different branches of service during their career.

Officers Edit

Officers-saber-Barrayar

Ordnance officer's sword. Following a major court ruling, the non-Vor officer is authorized to purchase his own sabre or sword and Imperial Service uniform regulations strongly encourage officers to purchase privately-owned officer's swords, in order to keep traditions of warrior individualism.

Officers are the top category of the military personnel: they are the directive element of the Imperial Service, whose typical function is the exercise of command. Officers are also entrusted with complementary functions, directive powers in the technical, logistical and administrative support.
The role of Officers is operationally characterized by a wide freedom of action. According to the official doctrine, too wordy orders should be avoided in preparation for battle. The commander in chief has to explain in a few words what he wants and needs to allow his commanders to take sides as they see fit. The doctrine provides that the instructions should guide the commander in the process of his self-education, and should be a basic framework on which to build the decisions to be taken in individual autonomy. Therefore, the commonly used method is to impart "mission orders" extremely laced with the only indication of the objectives, the forces available and the time constraints, delegating to the entire chain of command up to the lower platoon commander concerning the manner of performance for each micro-objective. The higher commands only intervene when looming external factors that can not be aware of the subordinate commands This method assumes a spirit of initiative, decision-making autonomy for a great deal different from those assumed operational situations without waiting for orders above, collaboration between executives, mutual trust and high level of professional preparation. The diversity and complexity of military leadership in an organization the size of the Imperial Service requires the allocation of specific-types of tasks to various levels in the military hierarchy. A clear understanding of these responsibilities is essential to permit each leader to discharge his assigned tasks. Such an understanding is also crucial so that each leader can avoid interfering with the accomplishments, responsibilities, and duties of other leaders.
The feudal system of the Time of Isolation made officers the true expression and even identification of the Vor warrior hereditary caste. The traditional Vor officer figure is the faithful liege-man linked to his lord by ties of oaths of allegiance and fidelity. With the development of military science, the acquisition of new instruments of war, such as artillery and especially with the Cetagandan Invasion, the professionalism of the profession of arms was accentuated, and caste and aristocratic features of the officer figure were diminished. The Escobaran War, the Civil War of Vordarian the Pretender and the Regency reforms all represent the definitive watershed between the traditional, warrior and aristocratic conception of the officership and the modern conception of the officer as military commander who builds his fortune and his career exclusively on the battlefield. Nowadays Officers have a large social homogeneity: almost all are of town and a significant majority are of the middle and upper class, and their distinctive feature is their being imbued with the sense of honour and loyalty to the Emperor.
Officers hold almost exclusively the major sanctioning and awarding powers. In addition, only officers can be part of the councils or committees of discipline, formed by the competent military authorities, which express their opinion about the condition, if any military is worthy or not to retain the rank. On the occasion of this particular disciplinary proceedings, moreover, the accused can be defended only by an officer.
Although they have a responsibility positions and an higher pay than the troops, officers do not get compensations granted to the troops: for example, they do not get an uniform maintenance allowance, and they also have to pay for their own meals, whereas the enlisted sailors are fed on board their ships, or if they live ashore (i.e. on planet), are given a basic allowance for subsistence.

Officers' duties Edit

The officer in the Imperial Services has three primary areas of duty he must fulfil: a duty to the Emperor and to his superiors, a duty to his subordinates, and a duty to himself. All three duties are equally important and the true measure of the successful officer lies in how well he manages to balance them and still meet his responsibilities as outlined above.
An officer’s duty to the Emperor and to his superiors are primarily to the Emperor, and his superiors are mere Emperor's deputies. The duty involves more than simply following orders and showing proper respect as required. The officer must also be ready to offer advice and suggestions if he sees a better of doing things or potential pitfalls in orders and objectives presented to the officer. This duty includes the questioning of any order the officer feels is treacherous, immoral or goes against the overall mission objective. The only time an Officer is free to disobey an order is when the order given is patently unlawful on its face and when it is not issued during a combat. If the Officer feels the need to disobey an order that is not obviously unlawful, he must contact higher headquarters, voice concern and then do as told by the higher headquarters staff.
An officer’s duty to his subordinates is possibly the simplest duty of the three aspects of duty. The duties owed by every officer to those entrusted to his command are to ensure they are trained to proper standards to meet whatever mission they may be given, that they understand their mission objectives and are given the tools to meet that objective. In essence, the duty of an officer to his subordinates is to give them the knowledge, training and tools needed to complete the mission and to survive.
One of the most important responsibilities shared by both Enlisted ranks and officers is the requirement to further the professional development of their subordinates. The execution of this responsibility varies as the officer rotates subordinates among different positions and assigns tasks which are themselves a growth experience; while the NCO participates in the development of subordinates through the actual accomplishment of training and direct supervision of the middle enlisted soldiers in the accomplishment of their tasks. This development is based on the logical requirement for investment in the future of the Service: such investment necessitates the provision to subordinates of opportunities for self-development, under conditions which allow them to learn by doing, without over supervision or the excessive restrictions which results when leaders are so overly fearful of mistakes that they in effect do the subordinate’s duty for him in order to attain higher quality short term results. Development of subordinates also entails the shared Warrant Officers and officer responsibility to set a proper example for subordinates in all aspects of leadership: ethics and self discipline, determination in their approach to mission accomplishment, and demonstrated concern for the dignity and welfare of the subordinate.
A caring and effective officer may very well subjugate his needs and health for the other duties and responsibilities he faces in carrying out his mission. This should be done only if it is the very only method possible, mainly because an officer serves as an example to those under his command.

Imperial Assent Edit

The Imperial Assent is the authorization to marry that Officer must obtain. The Imperial Assent is granted only if the bride is pleasing to the institutions and the dowry in government bonds or estates the amount of which goes to make up the necessary contribution to a standard appropriate social, as it is believed that the officer's remuneration was just enough for its maintenance.

Careers Edit

To be promoted to the higher rank, the officer must possess the physical, moral, intellectual, cultural and professional requirements necessary for good discharge of the functions of the new rank. Having disengaged functions well on its rank is a necessary condition, but not sufficient, condition for promotion to the next rank. For the promotion of the various ranks of general or admiral requirements must be possessed in an eminent way, in relation to the functions exercised in the new rank.
Officers differ from the other categories to the need to meet the prescribed requirements to a level higher than ordinary, otherwise the lack of promotion. In addition, Officers cannot be assigned to different branches of service during their career. A good but not so extraordinary Ensign could expect to be promoted to Lieutenant at the age of 24, three years after commissioning, and to wait about six years to receive his second promotion, both ground and space ranks (or others). During his career, the good and somewhat brilliant officer could expect to gain Captain rank at the age of 41-42, few years later than his once-twenty-years service. However, promotion ages could be retarded or anticipated for particularly brilliant (or infamously stupid) officers. At the end of career, a good, reliable senior officer with strong connections could be promoted to Commodore at the age of about 50, almost 30 years after his commissioning. After this rank, promotions could wait also 10 years, as well as be granted in a shorter time.
For exceptionally brilliant officers promotions tend to be faster and closer between themselves.
However, as a general rule, promotions in the Service for officers are based on a review of performance after a certain length of time. Failure to get promoted is often, and from Commodore/Brigadier General rank mandatory, a cause for retirement/termination.
The major turning point of an Officer career is the end of his first twenty-years term. If after 20 years an officer has reached a medium point, such as Captain (naval)/Colonel, has two serious possibilities: or he chooses early retirement or he retakes his military oaths and gets serious about tracking for high command. The general way is to discourage medium officers who are not so motivated to compete for most senior ranks and appointments.
Among other ranks, the rank of Lieutenant is somewhat peculiar: up to the 10% of Ensigns are promoted to lieutenant after a year of service. The major stance is the time between the promotion to lieutenant and the promotion to Captain, especially within the ground-based hierarchy: it is not very unusual for a Lieutenant to be promoted directly to Captain after approximately ten years as an officer. Lieutenants could linger in grade without being promoted for a very long time. This very elastic period is adopted in order to obtain enough time to train extensively officers who are deemed having a very high potential. Subsequent promotions would be fast and sure. However, there are also lieutenants who linger in grade just because they are not worth enough.

Officers Ranks Edit

In the Imperial Military Service, there are five ranks below flag/general officers. While rank titles can vary according the individual branch, career progression and duties are substantially identical for all corps.
Ensign is placed in the category of subaltern officers (lieutenants and Ensign) and is not associated with any particular level of command: the stay in this rank is, generally, the period of school attendance application, subsequent to the officer schools.
The higher rank is that of Lieutenant. The first level of command corresponds to the rank of Lieutenant: the operational level is variously called the platoon, section, or commands that are called directly by that rank, such as the Lieutenancy, local command of the Imperial Security.
The rank of Ground-Captain, together with Lieutenant or Ensign, is the category of junior officers and corresponds to Lieutenant Commander. The rank of Ground Captain matches with the operating level of the company, squadron, battery, department, team.
The higher rank is the rank of Major, corresponding to the Commander and to other rank titles. This rank marks the transition to the category of senior officers and is associated with the Battalion, Squadron Group, Group, Territorial Department and smaller and medium ships-of-the-line. Before the promotion, Ground Captains and Lieutenant Commanders attend the "Information Course for Majors", which is a very short course in which the Captains who are to be promoted to senior officers are introduced to new tasks.

Colonel/Captain (Naval) Edit

The next rank is the Colonel, corresponding to the Captain (naval) and to other rank titles. The rank of Colonel is traditionally associated with the figure of the corps commander and with a level variously called regiment, Office, School, or major ship-of-the-line. With the rank of Colonel, an officer has also access to the military management. The rank of Colonel/Captain (Naval) or other titles may also be held by staff officers, such as those assigned to non-frontline corps. Reaching this rank in non-frontline branches of the Imperial Service is generally considered more difficult.
Colonel of His Majesty is an honorific rank in the Imperial Service. Appointment to this rank is a way for the Emperor to show special approval of an officer still too junior for promotion to a general/flag rank. It does not actually give the officer the command authority of a Colonel/Captain (Naval) in the Imperial Service, but he does receive a colonel's full salary in addition to any regular pay. The "Information Session for Colonels" is a course that introduces the duties of the rank and it is aimed to newly promoted personnel.
Captains (Naval) with space commands generally command ships of cruiser size or larger: the more senior the officer, the larger the ship. A Captain (naval) might also command a destroyer flotilla. The rank of Captain (Naval) and the command of a starship very often go together, and it is often the most prestigious rank in space-based branches of Service. On starships, the term captain is also often used as a synonym to commanding officer. The rank of Captain (Naval) may also be held by non-command personnel, such as department heads on larger installations or office heads in space-based staffs.
A Colonel finds his field employment as deputy brigade commander or as commander of a regiment (or equivalent). In ground-based staffs, a Colonel is usually assigned to hold the post of Chief or deputy Chief of Staff (depending on the formation type) or office head in the central bodies. As part of the Imperial Security, a Colonel directs an Office or a Commands Group; traditionally, field offices are paired with ground titles.

Officer titles Edit

Beyond the equivalence between space and ground ranks, similar positions have multiple titles: the lowest Commissioned officer rank is called "Ensign" if assigned to Ground forces or to Space forces, but it is called, for example, "Ops Analyst Grade 1" if in the Operations; a Barrayaran space Captain is titled "Orbital-Captain" for a Space Station command slot, or "Executive Officer" for a flagship's commanding officer, and "Sail-Captain" if he's the actual commander of an independent command.

Emperor's Own Commission Edit

An Emperor's Own Commission officer is a military officer who has received a commission without the standard prerequisites for achieving a commission, such as the Imperial Military Academy or one of the officer candidate school or officer training school programs.
Civilians who have special skills that are critical to sustaining military and security operations may receive what are called "Emperor's Own Commission". These officers usually occupy leadership positions in the following areas: law, medicine, state security, intelligence and others. Depending on the specialization and duty-status of the officer, officers having an Emperor's Own Commission attend some specific courses.
It is to note that Emperor's Own Commissions are very rare and usually are provided in order to appoint an Emperor's close confident in a responsibility position, and they are not used in order to "civilize" the Imperial Service.

General and Flag officers Edit

A general/flag officer is a commissioned officer in a senior enough to be entitled to fly a flag to mark where the officer exercises command. In the Imperial Military Service, general/flag officers are commissioned officers above the field officer ranks, the highest of which is Captain/Colonel. It is to note that is only the Emperor who chooses and approves and promotions to/for general or flag officers. Therefore, the upper branches are politically encouraged to support the Emperor.
General officer ranks currently used are:

  • Brigadier General and Commodore
  • Major General and Rear Admiral
  • Lieutenant General and Vice Admiral
  • General and Admiral

Above these four general officer ranks is Chief of General Staff, but this rank is a positional one, and Commander-in-Chief, reserved for the Emperor or, in case of his minority, for the Regent. Among General ranks, Lieutenant Generals and Generals exercise specific command-and-control functions, senior management, coordination and control of the departments in their employment, with particular regard to those governed by officers with the rank of colonel and general, making sure that the activities are consistently oriented to institutional effectiveness and efficiency. They also ensure through inspections on the implementation of comprehensive guidelines and establish the criteria for the exercise of functions within the office spaces to their dependencies.

Full General/Admiral Edit

There are currently 65 active duty full General and full Admiral officers in the Imperial Service. Modern day Fourth-level General/Flag officers' ranks are usually referred to as "full general" or "full admiral", the officers themselves being referred to and addressed as 'General' or 'Admiral'. Fourth-level General/Flag officers are ranked in seniority by their time-in-grade or by statute via the position of office they hold. While there are not explicitly limits to the total number of Fourth-level General/Flag officers that may be on active duty at any given time, the total number of active duty general or flag officers is fixed by periodic regulations issued by the Council of Counts. Several of these slots are reserved by statute.
There are several exceptions to the limits allowing more than allotted Fourth-level General/Flag officers within the statute. A Fourth-level General/Flag officer serving as Chief of the General Staff or Deputy Chief of the General Staff does not count against general and flag officer cap, nor it does the Minister of War, who can designate up to 20 additional Fourth-level General/Flag officers, who do not count against any limit, to serve in one of several joint positions. Officers serving in civilian intelligence or police positions are not counted against statutory limit, including the Chief of Imperial Security. Finally, all statutory limits may be waived at the Emperor's full discretion during time of need.
Fourth-level General/Flag officers are appointed by the Emperor from any eligible officers, who also meets the requirements for the position, under the suggestion of the Chief of the General Staff or the Minister of War. Fourth-level General/Flag officers who are under investigation for misconduct typically are not allowed to retire until the investigation completes, so that the Minister of War can decide whether to certify that their performance was satisfactory enough to retire in their highest grade.

Aides-de-camp Edit

Aides-de-camp are specifically appointed to general-grade officers, the Minister of War, Chief of General Staff, Chief of Imperial Security, Regent or Emperor; rank and number determined by the grade. For those general officers with more than one aide, the senior-ranking aide is the senior aide and serves in the capacity of coordinating the other aides and the others of the general's personal staff such as the driver, orderlies, et al. For the majority officers, the maximum tour of duty for aides is generally four years.

  • Brigadier General/Commodore: 1 Lieutenant
  • Major General/Rear Admiral: 1 Lieutenant Commander/Ground-Captain; 1 Lieutenant
  • Lieutenant General/Vice-Admiral: 1 Commander/Major; 1 Lieutenant Commander/Ground-Captain
  • General/Admiral: 1 Captain (naval)/Colonel, 1 Lieutenant Commander/Ground-Captain
  • Chief of General Staff and Minister of War: 1 Captain (naval)/Colonel, 1 Commander/Major, 1 Lieutenant Commander/Ground-Captain

Batmen and further staff Edit

A batman is a soldier assigned to a General officer as a personal servant. A batman's duties include:

  • acting as a "runner" to convey orders from the officer to subordinates
  • maintaining the officer's uniform and personal equipment as a valet
  • driving the officer's vehicle, sometimes under combat conditions
  • acting as the officer's bodyguard
  • other miscellaneous tasks the officer does not have time or inclination to do

Every General officer is assigned a servant, usually chosen by himself from among his men. Batman is usually seen as a desirable position because the soldier is exempted from more onerous duties and often gets favours from his officer. It is not unusual for a former batman to follow the officer into later civilian life as a domestic servant, especially if the General is Vor.
Because a General officer is expected to move quickly and also independently from possible space forces under his own command, every "full" General/Admiral is assigned a further personal staff, consisting of a military physician, a personal inspection team and a security detail; he also has at his disposal a personal shuttle and its crew. The spacecraft assigned to the officer can be a jump pinnace as well as a detached fast courier.
A 600 square meters apartment is granted to all Field Commanders and Component Commanders, completely paid by the Empire.
The Chief of the General Staff, the Chief of the Ground Staff, the Chief of Space Staff, the Chief of Landing Forces Staff and the Chief of the Imperial Security enjoy the "special retirement allowance," which is added to the ordinary pension.

Senior Officers Reserve Edit

The Senior Officers Reserve is the pool of temporarily unoccupied high-ranking military officers waiting for new assignments in the Imperial Service. The officers are required to remain at their assigned stations and be available to their superiors, but they cannot exercise any command function, which is equivalent to a temporary retirement while retaining their previous income. Politically problematic, troublesome, or militarily incompetent officers are assigned to the Senior Officers Reserve.

Officer rank/post corrispondence Edit

Rank Infantry Cavalry and Air Artillery Space Forces Imperial Security (Field Organization) Imperial Security (Central Organization) Other Noncombatant Services
Ensign -
Lieutenant Platoon Troop Section Small crafts Lieutenancy Nucleus Nucleus
Ground Captain/Lieutenant Commander Company Squadron Battery Minor vessels Detachment Unit Detachment/Unit
Major/Commander Battalion Squadron Group Group Smaller ships-of-the-line Territorial Command Section Section
Colonel/Captain (Naval) Regiment / Imperial Service Station Major ships-of-the-line Commands Group Office Office
Brigadier General/Commodore Brigade / Major Imperial Service Station Battle Group / Sector ImpSec Sector Division Division
Major General/Rear Admiral Division / Imperial Service Base Task Force / Segment Major ImpSec Sector Directorate Inspectorate / Directorate
Lieutenant General/Vice Admiral Corps Numbered Fleet Directorate Overall Command
General/Admiral Field Army and higher posts Component Fleet and higher posts Overall Command and higher posts -

Ensigns are rarely given any leadership position, as they are still very much considered as having to learn the ropes

Corps Commander and Unit Commander Edit

The figure of the officer corps commander is particularly important and significant. The corps commander is at the centre of a complex system of formal information, he represents the main military authority.The powers of the corps commander consist of the direct disciplinary operational, organizational and training responsibilities, as well as the responsibility related to conservation of materials supplied and administrative management. Only the corps commander may impose the disciplinary penalty of delivery and only the corps commander can punish minor military crimes trough a disciplinary action.
Also the unit commander has his own importance, especially in the disciplinary matters. The institutional position of the unit commander has almost exclusively internal military importance, with minor powers in the fields of technical, logistical and administrative support.
The operational doctrine provides a method of command and control that is to receive "mission orders" extremely laced with the only indication of the objectives, the forces available and the time limits, delegating to the entire chain of command up to the lower commander platoon or even team how to perform.
The method assumes a great sense of initiative and decision-making autonomy also to cope with different operating conditions from those assumed without waiting for orders above, collaboration between the paintings, mutual trust and high level of professional preparation.
The higher commands only intervene when loomed external factors that could not be aware of the subordinate commands.

Medical officers Edit

Military doctors usually do not hold a commission, unless explicitly stated or they held previous military rank. That means that while they hold the rank for the purpose of pay scale they do not in fact have the authority to order anyone to do anything outside of the authority granted by their position.
Since doctors are relatively rare, those who like the service generally end up getting regular promotions and serving almost as long as they like. Usually only doctors whose posts demand it (i.e. Commander of a major military hospital for example) will ever make general. However, all Barrayaran medicos are versed in combat, because they are required to assist fighting troops and may be involved in a fire or an other combat action.

Related voicesEdit

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