Rear admiral was a flag officer rank used by naval organizations, traditionally between the grades of commodore and vice admiral. This rank was used by the Federation Starfleet, as well as its predecessor the United Earth Starfleet. Some systems instead used two tiers of rear admiral rank, "rear admiral upper half" and "rear admiral lower half." Officers of the lower half were equal in grade to commodores.

In the Earth organization, rear admirals, such as Daniel Leonard, were denoted by two rank insignia enclosed in a rectangular frame, worn on both sides of a uniform jacket. These officers also had a series of rank stripes on their sleeve, a group of four stripes (three in a group, and one separate towards the cuff). (ENT: "Broken Bow")

In the subsequent Federation fleets, rear admirals, such as James T. Kirk, were again denoted by sleeve stripes, this time signified by a similar insignia, one solid band of braid, and an additional stripe separate. Rear admiral's shoulder insignia, for epaulet uniforms, was a single eight pointed star. (Star Trek: The Motion Picture)

By the Starfleet uniform design of the 2280s, Kirk, and all other officers, wore their insignia as a pin device attached to the shoulder on the jacket clasp. The rear admiral pin was a small round field with four gold arrowheads arranged pointing towards the center, and was accompanied by an embroidered sleeve stripe. (Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan)

24th century Starfleet ranks changed the system slightly, deprecating the commodore grade, and dividing rear admiral into two separate grades. The lower grade rear admirals, such as Gregory Quinn and Mark Jameson, wore one triangular admiral braid on their shoulders, while the senior grade rear admirals wore one triangular braid and one rank pip beneath it, as Savar did. (TNG: "Too Short a Season", "Conspiracy")

Another redesign, in the 2360s, made rear admirals, like Starfleet Academy superintendent Brand, denoted by two gold rank pips surrounded by a square frame. (TNG: "The First Duty")

Presumably, the lower half rear admirals would wear one pip in a flag officer frame. A rear admiral pip from the early seasons of Star Trek: The Next Generation was featured as one of many ornaments on the costume of Fennim in "Think Tank".

Starfleet rear admirals

This chart shows only general equivalencies based on the ranks used by many governments on Earth, as well as the rest of the galaxy.

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