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Lieutenant colonel, also referred to as an obersturmbannführer in the Nazi-SS, or field colonel in the Bajoran Militia, was a military rank, usually found in air and ground fighting forces (as opposed to naval services). It was superior to major and subordinate to colonel. On Earth, this rank was used by various armies, by various units of Marines (naval ground forces), and by various air forces. Lieutenant colonels of the US Army and US Marine Corps commonly commanded regiments, which were composed of a variable number (but never less than two) of companies, batteries, or similar smaller units, along with necessary headquarters personnel. Lieutenant colonels of the US Air Force typically commanded a group of two or more squadrons that had their own captains or majors in command.

The lieutenant colonel rank was equivalent to the naval or Starfleet rank of commander. A lieutenant colonel was informally addressed as colonel.

In the United States armed forces, the insignia of a lieutenant colonel was a silver oak leaf. (TOS: "Tomorrow is Yesterday")

In Germany, this rank was translated as Oberstleutnant. During World War II, when Germany was under reign of the Nazis, these officers wore silver shoulder knots with a single metal pip. In the SS, Oberstleutnant were referred to by a different nomenclature, Obersturmbannführer (senior storm-unit leader), these officers wore on their collar four metal pips in a square, with two thin silver stripes beneath on a square field which was bordered by another silver stripe. (ENT: "Storm Front")

The Bajoran Militia insignia for field colonel in 2369 was a gold Bajoran insignia pin worn on the collar, with one side painted black. (DS9: "The Siege")

Worn by Bajoran officers in DS9 Season 2, this colonel pin is subordinate in design to the whole silver Bajoran symbol worn by Colonel Kira Nerys in later episodes. This suggests that Kira was promoted two steps in rank, from major directly to full colonel. (On the other hand, when Kira donned a Starfleet uniform to assist the Cardassian Resistance, she wore the rank insignia of a Starfleet commander, equivalent to a lieutenant colonel, not of a captain, which would equate to a full colonel.)

Noted lieutenant colonels

Fellini (left) a 20th century lieutenant colonel from the United States Air Force Air Police


Background information

According to the Star Trek Encyclopedia (4th ed., vol. 2, p. 9), lieutenant colonel was a rank in the Military Assault Command Operations in the 2150s. The insignia for this rank was on display in a diagram of MACO rank and insignia.

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