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
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...")
- Commander Donatra
- Commander Konsab
- Commander Rekar
- Commander Sela
- Commander Sirol
- Commander Surak
- Commander Tebok
- Commander Tomalak
- Commander Toreth
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")
- Sub-Commander Almak (Tal Shiar)
- Sub-Commander N'Vek
- Sub-Commander Selok
- Sub-Commander Tal
- Sub-Commander Taris
- Sub-Commander Thei
- Sub-Commander T'Rul
- Sub-Commander Ustard
- Sub-Commander Velal
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")
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")
- Major Rakal
- Sublieutenant Setal
- Uhlan Neral
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")
|Enlisted personnel||Commissioned officers||Generals and flag officers|
|ENS||LT JG||LT||LT CMDR||CMDR||CAPT||FCAPT||CDORE||RADM||VADM||ADM||FADM|
|2nd LT||1st LT||CAPT||MAJ||LT COL||COL||BRIG||MAJ GEN||LT GEN||GEN||MARSHAL|
|Positions:||Boatswain • Chief • Corpsman • Engineer's mate • Specialist • Technician • Yeoman||TAC • SO • 3rd • 2nd • 1st • CO • DD||Portmaster • Chief of Staff • CinC|
|Services:||Andorian • Bajoran • Cardassian • Ferengi • Jem'Hadar • Klingon • Romulan • SS • United Earth MACO • United Earth/Federation Starfleet • United States • Vulcan|
Mirror universe: Terran Empire Starfleet • Terran Empire MACO
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."
Modern Romulan rank insignia were not introduced until the TNG Season 6 episode "Face of the Enemy" – establishing insignia for commander, sub-commander, and major. The same episode took further strides, both in dialogue and script notes, in establishing distinctions in Romulan uniforms, ranks, and protocol. Of note, the differences between the Tal Shiar and military uniforms, and, in the case of DeSeve, it states that "[h]e wears the unadorned uniform of an enlisted Romulan soldier."
Rank insignia only appeared sporadically thereafter, and in subsequent episodes featuring Romulan officers that season, including "The Chase" and "Timescape", no officers or crewmen wore insignia. The two Romulan commanders appearing in TNG Season 7 episodes "The Pegasus" and "All Good Things..." did, however, notably wear the same insignia that had been established the previous season.
The DS9 Season 3 openers, "The Search, Part I" and "The Search, Part II", established a new sub-commander insignia, and while all of the officers who appeared in "Visionary" wore no insignia, "The Die is Cast" introduced the insignia for colonel.
DS9 Season 7 introduced a new, unspecified Tal Shiar rank insignia worn in "Inter Arma Enim Silent Leges" – consisting of a new burr pin with two crescent pins worn in the reverse position – and was worn by the Chairman of the Tal Shiar.
Finally, both "When It Rains..." and "The Dogs of War" featured the insignia for a general, which actually had one less crescent than a commander wore. Of note, General Velal was previously referenced as a sub-commander, which would explain the seemingly lower representation in rank insignia, but also matched neither of the previously established sub-commander insignias.