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The Romulan ranking system was a hierarchical collective command structure used within the Romulan Star Empire, seemingly descended from the ancient Vulcan ranking system which was also used by the Vulcan military forces until the mid-22nd century. Both the Tal Shiar and Romulan military had shared but separate ranking system, and their rank insignia shared many of the same physical elements, and appeared in the colors of silver, bronze, and gold.

In 2266, after the commander of the Praetor's flagship learned that one of his officers, Decius, had transmitted a coded message back to Romulus, the commander informed his officer that he was "reduced two steps in rank" on account of "your carelessness might have ended this glorious mission." Following the interaction, the commander's centurion advisor warned that Decius "has friends, and friends of his kind mean power. And power is danger." (TOS: "Balance of Terror")

Military and Tal Shiar


Romulan military general

A general was a flag officer rank reserved for senior members of both the military and Tal Shiar. During the 2360s and 2370s, their place in the hierarchy was unclear, as one answered to a commander, while another was promoted to general from subcommander. (TNG: "Redemption", "Redemption II"; DS9: "Inter Arma Enim Silent Leges", "When It Rains...")

By the 2390s, the rank reserved for senior members of the Tal Shiar. A general could command a fleet of Tal Shiar starships. (PIC: "Et in Arcadia Ego, Part 2")

According to the script notes for "Redemption", the intention of the rank was described the with Movar being described as "smooth, polished… a political general rather than a combat veteran."
The odd case of the general, he mentioned initially as a subcommander, then addressed as general, then described in the script of his final appearance as the "Romulan Commander".
The Star Trek: The Next Generation Companion (2nd ed., p. 169) noted that "Movar's title, "general"– first ever non-naval rank used for a Romulan."


An admiral was a flag officer rank and position known to be held by field commanders and ex-senators serving in the military. (TNG: "The Defector"; ENT: "United")


Commander insignia
(2369 and 2370)

Commander insignia

A commander was equivalent to a Starfleet captain. (TNG: "Face of the Enemy")

According to The Making of Star Trek (p. 256), the Romulan rank of commander was the rank of someone who commands a fleet of ships. This would imply it to be equal to the Federation Starfleet rank of fleet captain, commodore or rear admiral.
A deleted line from "Face of the Enemy" further explained the comparison between the Starfleet and Romulan ranks, when a former ex-patriot reminded himself, "Captains, not Commanders... it's been so long since I've... I'll remember," after mistakenly addressing Jean-Luc Picard as "Commander".


Sub-commander insignia

Sub-commander insignia

A sub-commander was shared by military and Tal Shiar alike, it was immediately below the rank of a commander. (TOS: "The Enterprise Incident"; TNG: "The Neutral Zone", et al.; VOY: "Message in a Bottle")

According to The Making of Star Trek (p. 256), the Romulan rank of sub-commander is fully equal to a Federation Starfleet captain.
The name used first, and most often, in Star Trek scripts was "Sub-Commander", but it is also common to see it spelled as "Subcommander".


Insignia worn by Tal Shiar colonel

A colonel was a rank reserved for senior members of the Tal Shiar. A colonel could command a fleet of Tal Shiar starships. (DS9: "The Die is Cast")


A centurion was a general officer's rank. (TOS: "Balance of Terror"; TNG: "The Enemy")

While posing as a centurion during his attempting to infiltrate Tal's flagship in 2268, Captain James T. Kirk commended a guard on his alertness, and offered, "I shall remember to mention your alertness to [the sub-commander]," before instructing the guard to "[r]eturn to your duty." (TOS: "The Enterprise Incident")

According to The Making of Star Trek (p. 256) the Romulan rank of centurion is the generic rank of all officers.
According to deleted scene from the script for "The Enemy", in a bit of sarcastic banter, Lieutenant Commander Geordi La Forge, upon learning the identity of the soldier, Centurion Bochra, who he was otherwise calling "commodore", he stated, "And you're a centurion. Well, stay with it, you'll be a commodore someday." Bochra, catching on to La Forge's sarcasm, fired back with, "I'm not certain of the equivalent Federation rank… but I do know it's higher than lieutenant commander." Since centurion is an approximate equivalent to a colonel, Bochra's statement would have been true.


Insignia worn by Tal Shiar major

A major was a rank in the Tal Shiar that may be held by an intelligence officer. A commander will answer to a major, as long as they were not pushed too hard. According to Deanna Troi, who was disguised as a Tal Shiar major, she stated that she had only been an intelligence officer for several months. (TNG: "Face of the Enemy")


A sublieutenant was a low ranking military rank. Positions known to be held by this rank include logistics officers. (TNG: "The Defector")


An uhlan was, perhaps, the lowest ranking member of the Romulan Guard.

The Romulan Proconsul claimed, in 2368, that he had never liked titles, ever since he had been a "lowly uhlan". (TNG: "Unification II")



Though not part of the Romulan rank hierarchy, the title captain has been used in the Empire, but not in terms of rank. Doctor Telek R'Mor, a low ranking scientist and minor functionary from the Romulan Astrophysical Academy, initially referred to himself as "captain of the cargo vessel Talvath." (VOY: "Eye of the Needle")

Political titles


See also

Background information

The ranks of centurion and uhlan are ancient Earth ranks (Roman and Polish respectively) not known to be used by any other Star Trek cultures.

Given the rank of sublieutenant, there is presumably a lieutenant rank at some point in the Romulan military history. No Romulan has been referred to as a "Lieutenant" in Star Trek.

In Star Trek, Ayel refers to Nero as "Prod Nero." In a deleted scene in which the Narada is surround by Klingon warbirds, the subtitles created by the filmmakers for the Romulan dialogue translate Prod as "commander." However, according to a DVD audio commentary for the film, "Prod" was intended to mean "Praetor."