Memory Alpha
Advertisement
Memory Alpha
Multiple realities
(covers information from several alternate timelines)

The rank insignia of a Starfleet captain in the late 23rd century

Cristóbal Rios' rank pip collection from his Starfleet career

Tom Paris has his rank demoted to ensign for disobeying orders

For the mirror universe counterpart, please see Starfleet ranks (mirror).

Starfleet ranks were identifying titles of rank for the officers and enlisted members of Starfleet denoting the chain of command under both United Earth and the United Federation of Planets. These titles were generally adapted from earlier Earth naval forces. (TOS: "The City on the Edge of Forever", ENT: "Storm Front")

Early usage

By the development of the NX-Alpha in 2143, Starfleet rank structure had at least three enlisted positions, four officer ranks, and three ranks for use by flag officers. Rank was displayed on the right breast of the Starfleet uniforms, above a colored shoulder trim denoting what department the crew member was assigned to (command gold, operations red, or sciences blue.) (ENT: "First Flight", et al.) This insignia and system was still in place in 2161. (ENT: "These Are the Voyages...")

Starfleet 3rd crewman insignia
Crewman 3rd class
Starfleet 2nd crewman insignia
Crewman 2nd class
Starfleet 1st crewman insignia
Crewman 1st class
Starfleet ensign insignia
Ensign pip
Starfleet lieutenant insignia
Lieutenant pips
Starfleet commander insignia
Commander pips
Starfleet captain insignia
Captain pips
Starfleet commodore insignia
Commodore pip
Starfleet rear admiral insignia
Rear admiral pips
Starfleet vice admiral insignia
Vice admiral pips

23rd century

Early 23rd century

By the 2230s, the Starfleet uniform used a sleeve stripe system instead of pips to denote rank. (Star Trek)

No insignia
(Enlisted ranks)
Lieutenant insignia
Lieutenant
Lieutenant Commander insignia
Lieutenant commander
Captain insignia
Captain
The rank of lieutenant commander was not seen on Star Trek: Enterprise or depicted prior to 2233.

Early-mid 23rd century

Gold shoulder trim of a flag officer, captain, and officer (left to right)

By 2239, Starfleet had adopted a uniform where officer rank was denoted by the number of raised or indented pips on a delta shield badge of the Starfleet insignia, featuring an icon representing their division. (ST: "The Brightest Star") Command wore a golden shield with a five-point star, operations wore a bronze shield with an angular swirl, sciences wore a silver shield with a circular insignia, and medical wore a silver shield with a cross insignia. A captain's uniform also featured additional golden trim between the shoulders and the collar. (DIS: "The Vulcan Hello", et al.)

Command
Command
Operations
Operations
Sciences
Sciences
Medical
Medical

The Admiralty wore a Starfleet insignia surrounded by a wreath made up of smaller golden Starfleet insignias on a dark disc, with more insignia indicating a higher rank. (DIS: "The Vulcan Hello", "The Butcher's Knife Cares Not for the Lamb's Cry")

Cadet
Cadet
Ensign
Ensign
Lt. Junior Grade
Lieutenant junior grade
Lieutenant
Lieutenant
Lieutenant Commander
Lieutenant commander
Commander
Commander
Captain
Captain
Rear Admiral
Rear admiral
Vice Admiral
Vice admiral
Admiral
Admiral

Another variation of this uniform introduced alongside this uniform in the 2250s changed the rank system back to a sleeve stripe system. (DIS: "Brother")

Lieutenant insignia
Lieutenant
Lieutenant Commander insignia
Lieutenant commander
Commander insignia
Commander
Captain insignia
Captain
Some USS Cabot crewmembers wore uniforms without rank insignia, though it wasn't established what this represented. (ST: "The Trouble with Edward")

Another uniform used around this time had a much simpler rank and insignia system, in which enlisted personnel wore no rank insignia while the rank of chief petty officer was denoted by a special sleeve stripe. Commissioned officers wore a solid gold stripe. This system would be in use concurrently with other rank insignia systems for at least fifteen years, with only a slight modification in the early 2260s, when those holding the rank of captain were authorized to wear two gold stripes whereas other officers wore one. (TOS: "The Cage")

By 2265, the rank system included another variety of sleeve stripes. (TOS: "Where No Man Has Gone Before")

No insignia
(Enlisted ranks)
Chief petty officer insignia
Chief petty officer
Commissioned officer insignia
Commissioned officer
Captain insignia
Captain

Late-mid 23rd century

By 2266, Starfleet had once again changed its uniforms and, while still using the sleeve stripe system to denote rank, the rank stripes had been modified to show more detail for each particular rank. An exception was that enlisted personnel, chief petty officers included, now had no insignia whatsoever with most enlisted personnel also wearing Starfleet jumpsuits instead of the standard tunic uniforms worn by the officers. (TOS: "The Corbomite Maneuver")

Starfleet flag officers wore a thicker braid insignia than regular officers. (TOS: "Court Martial")

The rank of cadet and midshipman were both in use at Starfleet Academy. (TOS: "Shore Leave", "Court Martial")

The 2266 rank and insignia pattern was as follows:

No insignia
Enlisted &
Ensign
Lieutenant junior grade insignia
Lieutenant junior grade
Lieutenant insignia
Lieutenant
Lieutenant commander insignia.
Lieutenant commander
Commander insignia
Commander
Captain insignia
Captain
Commodore insignia
Commodore
Vice admiral insignia
Vice admiral
The only admiral ranking higher than commodore seen wearing insignia in the The Original Series was Admiral Fitzpatrick in TOS: "The Trouble with Tribbles".
The rank of fleet admiral was mentioned in dialogue in "Space Seed".

In the mid 2270s, Starfleet changed its uniforms again, although mainly in appearance only. The rank insignia of officers remained relatively the same, though the lieutenant junior grade braid was now used to indicate ensign. Enlisted personnel adopted a style of their own rank insignia and both officers and admirals could now wear a short sleeve "Class B" uniform which displayed rank insignia on shoulder tabs. (Star Trek: The Motion Picture)

Sleeve insignia
Ensign and lieutenant junior grade sleeve stripe
Ensign
Lieutenant sleeve stripe
Lieutenant
Lieutenant commander sleeve stripes
Lieutenant commander
Commander sleeve stripes
Commander
Captain sleeve stripes
Captain

Rear admiral sleeve stripes.
Rear admiral
Epaulet insignia
Triangle insignia
Triangle insignia
Chief petty officer epaulet
Chief petty officer
Thin insignia
Thin epaulet insignia
Lieutenant epaulet
Lieutenant
Commander epaulet
Commander
Captain epaulet
Captain
Rear admiral epaulet
Rear admiral

Late 23rd century

By the year 2278, Starfleet had again changed its uniforms, abandoning the previous sleeve stripe system and adopting a totally new insignia design which incorporated a series of rank pins worn on a shoulder strap with the color of the strap determining the bearer's branch within Starfleet. At this point, the lieutenant junior grade rank had also been re-established.

The shoulder strap system also matched with a cuff strap which could display various citation and years-of-service pins. Finally, in the case of admirals, another series of cuff straps denoted the particular rank of the admiral.

Enlisted uniforms were also completely revamped from previous versions and now were worn as jumpsuits with rank pins worn on the lower right sleeve. Enlisted ranks themselves were expanded, encompassing several grades of petty officer and chief petty officer. (Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan)

With the exception of some minor cosmetic changes to officer uniforms, including the introduction of a standard communicator pin by 2344. (TNG: "Yesterday's Enterprise") The uniforms and insignia of the late 23rd century remained unchanged until the late 2340s. (TNG: "Family")

A captain rank badge was among the items which were sold off on the It's A Wrap! sale and auction on eBay. [1]

The insignia pattern was as follows:

Crewman insignia
Crewman
petty officer, 2nd class insignia
Petty officer, 2nd class
petty officer, 1st class insignia
Petty officer, 1st class
Chief petty officer insignia
Chief petty officer
Senior chief petty officer insignia
Senior chief petty officer
Master chief petty officer insignia
Master chief petty officer
Ensign insignia
Ensign
Lieutenant junior grade insignia
Lieutenant junior grade
Lieutenant insignia
Lieutenant
Lieutenant commander insignia
Lieutenant Commander
Commander insignia
Commander
Captain insignia
Captain
Commodore insignia
Commodore sleeve stripe (past 2285)
Commodore
Rear admiral insignia
Rear admiral sleeve stripe (past 2285)
Rear admiral
Vice admiral insignia
Vice admiral sleeve stripe (past 2285)
Vice admiral
Admiral insignia
Admiral sleeve stripe (past 2285)
Admiral
Fleet admiral insignia
Fleet admiral sleeve stripe (past 2285)
Fleet admiral
 

Concept art by Robert Fletcher

The ranking system for enlisted officers introduced in
Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan was designed by Robert Fletcher.


24th century

Ranks in the 2360s

A captain's rank pips

By the year 2355, Starfleet had introduced a new uniform design, with a pip system of golden pin insignia worn on the collar. (TNG: "The Battle")

The 24th century pip system included a black pip insignia to denote chief petty officers. (TNG: "Realm of Fear")

The pip system used in the mid-to-late 24th century remained relatively unchanged through 2385, having been kept across several uniform design changes. (PIC: "Maps and Legends")

Chief petty officer pip
Chief petty officer
Ensign pip
Ensign
Lieutenant junior grade pips
Lieutenant junior grade
Lieutenant pips
Lieutenant
Lieutenant commander pips
Lieutenant commander
Commander pips
Commander
Captain pips
Captain

In the 2360s, admirals wore a triangular insignia on a special flag officer uniform. (TNG: "Too Short a Season")

Admiral Jameson's insignia (2364)
Admirals Jameson and Quinn's insignia
Admiral Savar's insignia (2364)
Admiral Savar's insignia
Admiral Aaron's insignia (2364)
Admiral Aaron's insignia
All of the admirals seen with this style of insignia (Savar, Aaron, Gregory Quinn, and Mark Jameson) were only referred to as "admiral" (Jameson) or "senior admirals" (Quinn, Savar, and Aaron) in dialogue and the episode scripts. [2] [3]
These pins were later reused as Kes decorations in TNG: "Attached", Data's belt clasps in TNG: "All Good Things...", and ornaments on Fennim's costume in VOY: "Think Tank". [4]

Admiral insignia worn in the vertical fashion

By 2365, this insignia had been replaced by a "boxed pip" system worn vertically on the flag uniform collar. (TNG: "The Measure Of A Man") By 2366, the admiral insignia was commonly worn horizontally against the collar in the same way as the insignia worn by other grades. (TNG: "The Defector")

An alien appearing as Vice Admiral Janeway wore boxed pips in the Star Trek: Voyager episode "Coda"; he died in 2358.


Rear admiral upper half pips
Rear admiral
Vice admiral pips
Vice admiral
Admiral pips
Admiral

Chief petty officer

By the mid-2370s, Starfleet had changed the chief petty officer rank insignia, replacing the hollow pip with chevrons and dots. (DS9: "Hippocratic Oath")

In the 2390s, Starfleet's familiar pip design for was now located on the right breast of the uniform instead of the collar, and the pips were now hemisphere-shaped and silver. (PIC: "Remembrance") The pips of flag officers were placed on a dark gray isosceles trapezoid with a silver border. (PIC: "Maps and Legends")

Ensign pip
Ensign
Lieutenant pips
Lieutenant
Commander pips
Commander
Captain pips
Captain
Commodore pips
Commodore
Fleet admiral pips
Fleet admiral

32nd century

By the 32nd century, Starfleet had passed through a number of rank insignia systems. (DIS: "Forget Me Not", "Su'Kal")

By 3189, rank was indicated on an officer's tricom badge and collar. (DIS: "Die Trying")

Crewmen
Crewman
Ensign
Ensign
Lt. Junior Grade
Lieutenant junior grade
Lieutenant
Lieutenant
Lieutenant Commander
Lieutenant commander
Commander
Commander
Captain
Captain
Commodore
Commodore
Fleet Admiral
Fleet Admiral

Tricom badge concept art

Concept art laying out the 32nd century rank system was revealed in TRR: "Scavengers".


Alternate timelines

Mirror universe

Alternate reality

By 2258 in the alternate reality, Starfleet had adopted uniforms and an insignia pattern reminiscent of the mid 2250s in the prime reality. These new insignia consisted of silver bands worn on the lower sleeves of the uniform. Ensigns and certain skirt uniforms displayed no rank insignia. (Star Trek)

No insignia
Ensign
Lieutenant insignia
Lieutenant
Lieutenant Commander insignia
Lieutenant commander
Commander insignia
Commander
Captain insignia
Captain
unidentified Admiral insignia
Admiral

Alternate universe

In an alternate universe observed during a quantum fissure, Starfleet had adopted an additional form of insignia which was incorporated directly into the design of the Starfleet combadge. The insignia appeared as black, gold, and silver bars behind the Starfleet delta, designed to show the rank of the wearer and along with collar pips. (TNG: "Parallels")

The same insignia was also used by the alien Barash during a holographic simulation of the USS Enterprise-D, designed to trick Commander William T. Riker into thinking he was in the future. Barash's simulation did not include the collar pips. (TNG: "Future Imperfect")

Crewmen
Crewman
Ensign
Ensign
Lieutenant
Lieutenant
Lieutenant Commander
Lieutenant commander
Commander
Commander
Captain
Captain
Admiral
Admiral
The insignia from "Parallels" was obviously reused to represent the same ranks "Future Imperfect", though the lieutenant insignia was only seen in "Parallels", and the crewman and admiral insignia were only seen in "Future Imperfect".

29th century

The uniforms worn by the Starfleet crew of the USS Relativity during the 29th century displayed rank insignia on the right collar. (VOY: "Future's End", "Relativity")

Earth Starfleet ensign insignia
Ensign
Earth Starfleet lieutenant insignia
Lieutenant
Starfleet captain insignia
Captain

Comparative rank tables

Flag officers

Admirals in Starfleet were described as the flag officers, a term held over from naval tradition. These ranks constituted the highest authorities of Starfleet Command. (TOS: "The Deadly Years")

Fleet admiral
In 2293, 2399, and 3189, the commanders in chief of Starfleet held this rank. (Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country, PIC: "Maps and Legends", DIS: "Die Trying")
Admiral
Next below fleet admiral, above vice admiral. (DS9: "Rapture")
Vice admiral
Next below admiral, above rear admiral. (ENT: "Broken Bow")
Rear admiral
Next below vice admiral, above commodore. (ENT: "Broken Bow")
Commodore
Superior to captain, inferior to rear admiral. (TOS: "The Deadly Years")
Starfleet flag ranks and insignia
2140s-early 2160s 2230s Late 2230s-2250s 2250s 2260s 2270s 2280s-2350s 2350s-mid 2380s 2390s 32nd century
--- --- --- --- --- --- 2280s fleet admiral insignia
Fleet admiral pin
2280s Starfleet fleet admiral sleeve stripe insignia
Sleeve stripe
--- 2390s fleet admiral insignia
Fleet admiral
3180s fleet admiral insignia
Fleet admiral
--- --- Admiral
Admiral
--- --- --- 2280s admiral insignia
Admiral pin
2290s Starfleet admiral sleeve stripe insignia
Sleeve stripe
2360s admiral insignia
Admiral
--- ---
2140s-Early 2160s vice admiral insignia
Vice admiral pips
--- Vice Admiral
Vice admiral
--- 2260s vice admiral insignia
Vice admiral
--- 2280s vice admiral insignia
Vice admiral pin
2290s Starfleet vice admiral sleeve stripe insignia
Sleeve stripe
2360s vice admiral insignia
Vice admiral (2370s)
--- ---
2140s-Early 2160s rear admiral insignia
Rear admiral pips
--- Rear Admiral
Rear admiral
--- --- 2270s rear admiral epaulet insignia
Rear admiral epaulet
2270s Starfleet rear admiral sleeve stripe insignia
Sleeve stripe
2280s rear admiral insignia
Rear admiral pin
2280s Starfleet rear admiral sleeve stripe insignia
Sleeve stripe
2360s rear admiral insignia
Rear admiral (2370s)
--- ---
2140s-Early 2160s commodore insignia
Commodore pips
2140s-Early 2160s commodore sleeve stripe insignia
Sleeve stripe
--- --- --- 2260s commodore insignia
Commodore
--- 2280s commodore insignia
Commodore pin
2280s Starfleet commodore sleeve stripe insignia
Sleeve stripe
--- 2390s commodore insignia
Commodore
3180s commodore insignia
Commodore

Officer ranks

Captain
The most senior regular officer rank below flag officer, it was most often held by starship and starbase commanders. (TOS: "The Cage", et al) Captains could also serve as administrative adjutants beneath admirals. (DS9: "Behind the Lines") In rare circumstances, officers with the rank of captain held other positions aboard a starship, such as "Captain of Engineering" Montgomery Scott aboard the USS Excelsior, and later Scott and Spock aboard the Enterprise-A. (Star Trek III: The Search for Spock) Phillipa Louvois held the rank of captain while working as a prosecutor under the office of the Judge Advocate General at Starbase 173. (TNG: "The Measure Of A Man")
Commander
The officer rank immediately above lieutenant commander, and below captain. Typical assignments at this rank included executive officer of larger vessels, space station commander (such as Benjamin Sisko of Deep Space 9). (TNG: "Encounter at Farpoint", DS9: "Emissary") The rank of commander was also available to chief medical officers and ship counselors who passed the Bridge Officer's Test. (TNG: "Thine Own Self")
Lieutenant Commander
The officer rank immediately above lieutenant, and below commander. Officers with this rank could serve as the executive officer of smaller vessels. (TNG: "Redemption II", VOY: "Caretaker", Star Trek) In some cases, a lieutenant commander could also serve as the commanding officer of a smaller vessel, such as Worf or Jadzia Dax of the USS Defiant. (Star Trek: First Contact, DS9: "Behind the Lines")
Lieutenant
The officer rank immediately above lieutenant junior grade, and below lieutenant commander. Some advanced Starfleet training programs, such as Advanced Tactical Training, commissioned their graduates at this rank. (TNG: "Preemptive Strike")
Lieutenant junior grade
The officer rank immediately above ensign, and below lieutenant. It was also the rank bestowed on medical doctors and counselors (but not nurses) upon completion of their studies and training at Starfleet Medical Academy or elsewhere. (citation needededit) This rank acknowledged the additional time required to become commissioned as reflected in Beverly Crusher's service record and Julian Bashir's age as a recent Academy graduate. (DS9: "Emissary") Assistant counselor Ezri Dax skipped her final months of training and was explicitly given "commission as a full counselor with the rank of lieutenant (junior grade)." (DS9: "Afterimage")
Ensign
The most junior officer rank. It was the rank bestowed on newly-commissioned officers when they graduated from Starfleet Academy. (TNG: "Tapestry") Ensigns who had distinguished themselves in their academy class or on duty could be posted as a senior bridge officer, such as Harry Kim. (VOY: "Caretaker") A typical officer spent approximately three years at the rank of ensign. (TNG: "Datalore")
Starfleet officer ranks and insignia
2140s-2160s 2230s 2240s-2250s 2250s 2260s 2270s 2280s-2350s 2350s-2380s 2390s- 3180-
2140s-Early 2160s captain pins
Captain
2230s captain insignia
Captain
Captain
Captain (2240s)
2230s captain insignia
Captain (2250s)
2260s two-stripe captain insignia
Captain (early 2260s)
2260s captain stripes
Captain
2270s captain stripes
Captain sleeve stripes
2270s captain epaulet
2280s captain insignia
Captain
2350s captain insignia
Captain
2390s captain insignia
Captain
3180s captain insignia
Captain
2140s-Early 2160s commander insignia
Commander
unknown Commander
Commander (2240s)
2250s commander insignia
Commander (2250s)
2250s officer stripe
All commissioned grades
2260s commander stripes
Commander
2270s commander stripes
Commander sleeve stripes
2270s commander epaulet
2280s commander insignia
Commander
Starfleet commander insignia (2350s-2380s).png
Commander
Starfleet commander insignia (2390s).png
Commander
3180s commander insignia
Commander
2230s LTCMDR insignia
Lieutenant commander
Lieutenant Commander
Lieutenant commander (2240s)
2250s LTCMDR insignia
Lieutenant commander (2250s)
2260s LTCMDR stripes
Lieutenant commander
2270s LTCMDR stripes
Lieutenant commander sleeve stripes
2270s lieutenant commander epaulet
2280s LTCMDR insignia
Lieutenant commander
2390s LTCMDR insignia
Lieutenant commander
--- 3180s LTCMDR insignia
Lieutenant commander
2140s-Early 2160s lieutenant insignia
Lieutenant
2230s Lieutenant insignia
Lieutenant
Lieutenant
Lieutenant (2240s)
2250s Lieutenant insignia
Lieutenant (2250s)
2260s lieutenant stripe
Lieutenant
2270s lieutenant stripe
Lieutenant sleeve stripes
2270s lieutenant epaulet
2280s lieutenant insignia
Lieutenant
2350s lieutenant insignia
Lieutenant
2390s lieutenant insignia
Lieutenant
3180s lieutenant insignia
Lieutenant
unknown Lt. Junior Grade
Lieutenant junior grade
2260s LTJG stripe
Lieutenant junior grade
2280s LTJG insignia
Lieutenant junior grade
2350s LTJG insignia
Lieutenant junior grade
--- 3180s LTJG insignia
Lieutenant junior grade
2140s-Early 2160s ensign insignia
Ensign
unknown Ensign
Ensign
No insignia 2270s ensign stripe
Ensign sleeve stripe
2270s ensign epaulet
2280s ensign insignia
Ensign
2350s ensign insignia
Ensign
2390s ensign insignia
Ensign
3180s ensign insignia
Ensign

Provisional officers

Insignia worn by warp specialist Kosinski

In 2364, Starfleet propulsion expert Kosinski ran several upgrade experiments on the Enterprise-D. Kosinski wore a unique rank insignia denoting his special position. (TNG: "Where No One Has Gone Before")

Kosinski appeared in a Starfleet uniform with no communicator and does not appear to have a Starfleet rank, as he is referred to throughout the episode as "Mr. Kosinski". His collar features a unique rank insignia: a small silver rectangle, and a darker rectangle of the same size. The Star Trek: The Next Generation Companion (2nd ed., p. 37), makes light of this peculiarity as well, noting, "Kosinski's unexplained square rank pip was never seen again."
In Star Trek Online, this insignia is used to denote specialists, additional black rectangles indicating higher ranks.

The crew of the USS Voyager, which included non-Starfleet Maquis members, was forced to make use of provisional rank appointments as a matter of course since the ship was stranded in the Delta Quadrant and the Maquis members were essential to shipboard operations. (VOY: "Caretaker", et al.)

Provisional crewman insignia
Provisional
Crewman
Provisional ensign insignia
Provisional
Ensign
Provisional LTJG insignia
Provisional
Lieutenant junior grade
Provisional lieutenant insignia
Provisional
Lieutenant
Provisional CMDR insignia
Provisional
Commander

Emblems designed by Madgaleno

The insignia for
Voyager's provisional crewmembers were designed by Jim Magdaleno. He intended for the insignia with a single black line within the lozenge to represent the position of chief warrant officer. (The Official Star Trek: Voyager Magazine issue 1, p. 72)
The insignia for provisional commander followed the pattern of what would be a lieutenant commander, which Jim Magdaleno intended it to be. However, the only character ever seen wearing this insignia – Chakotay – held a rank of provisional commander throughout the series. In "Before and After", Chakotay is promoted to captain and wears the standard Starfleet insignia of four pips. This may indicate that there is no provisional rank insignia for captain – and/or that Starfleet policy simply did not allow a person with a provisional commission to command a starship.


Cadet ranks

Cadet ranks were held by those attending Starfleet Academy during their training to become commissioned officers. (TNG: "The First Duty")

Cadet 1st class
Cadets of this rank were fourth-year students at Starfleet Academy. After graduation, these cadets were granted the rank of ensign. (TNG: "Tapestry", VOY: "Caretaker")
Cadet 2nd class
Cadets of this rank were third-year students at Starfleet Academy. (TNG: "The First Duty")
Cadet 3rd class
Cadets of this rank were second-year students at Starfleet Academy. (TNG: "The First Duty")
Cadet 4th class
Cadets of this rank were first-year students at Starfleet Academy. (TNG: "The First Duty")
The rank of midshipman has occasionally been interchanged with that of cadet, as in TOS: "Court Martial" and Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan.
Starfleet cadet ranks and insignia
4th class 3rd class 2nd class 1st class
2250s --- --- --- Cadet 1st class
2360s
Cadet 4th class
Cadet 3rd class
Cadet 2nd class
Cadet 1st class

Enlisted ranks

Enlisted ranks were achieved by members of Starfleet who had not attended Starfleet Academy. (DS9: "Starship Down")

Non-commissioned officers

Master chief petty officer (citation needededit)
Senior chief petty officer
Also known as "senior chief specialist". (DS9: "Shadowplay")
Chief petty officer
(TNG: "Family", DS9: "Hippocratic Oath", "Valiant")
Petty officer
Starfleet non-commissioned ranks and insignia
2250s 2260s 2270s 2280s-2350s 2350s-2370s Provisional 2370s-later
2250s CPO stripe
Chief petty officer
No known insignia
Chief petty officer
2270s CPO insignia
Chief petty officer
2280s MCPO insignia
Master chief petty officer
2350s CPO insignia
Chief
Provisional Noncom insignia
Noncom
2280s SCPO insignia
Senior chief petty officer
2280s CPO insignia
Chief petty officer
2370s SCPO insignia
Chief petty officer
Petty officer Petty officer 2280s PO1 insignia
Petty officer first class
No insignia
Petty officer
2280s PO2 insignia
Petty officer second class

Crewmen

Crewman
Crewman, 2nd class, was the only class mentioned in dialogue in Star Trek: Enterprise, though insignia representing the three classes were seen on Cutler (1st class) and Michael Rostov (2nd class) in "Strange New World", and Daniels (3rd class) in "Cold Front".

The lowest possible rank of recruit, ranked below the crewman grades. (ENT: "Rogue Planet", "Cogenitor")

Starfleet enlsted ranks and insignia
2140s-Early 2160s 2270s-2350s Late 24th century Provisional 32nd century
2140s-early 2160s crewman first class insignia
Crewman first class
late 2270s-2350s Starfleet able seaman insignia
Crewman
No insignia
Crewman
Provisional crewman insignia
Crewman
32nd century crewman insignia
Crewman
2140s-Early 2160s crewman second class insignia
Crewman second class
2140s-Early 2160s crewman third class insignia
(or no insignia)
Crewman third class*

Titles and positions

Fleet captain

Fleet captain was a title bestowed on senior Starfleet captains. It was a rare distinction, held by particularly distinguished captains. The title of fleet captain was held by former Enterprise Captain Christopher Pike in the year 2266. It was also held in the 2260s, by Captain Garth, one of Starfleet's most decorated captains and hero of the Battle of Axanar. (TOS: "The Menagerie, Part I", "Whom Gods Destroy")

Although this title was not used in canon at any point after TOS, fleet captain was assigned a rank pin in the Star Trek Encyclopedia, as part of a movie-era set of ranks established for Star Trek II through Star Trek VI. The pin was the same as the captain's rank pin, but with two additional "flags" attached to the long edges of the pin. In addition, FASA's Star Trek: The Next Generation Officer's Manual carried the idea of a fleet captain insignia into the TNG era, using five solid pips to designate the rank.

Deputy director

Sloan's insignia

Sloan posing as a deputy director with Internal Affairs

While posing as a deputy director with Internal Affairs, Luther Sloan wore captain's pips with a gold bar connecting them beneath. (DS9: "Inquisition")

The exact relationship between the position of deputy director and the rank insignia Sloan wore while posing as a deputy director is unclear. While posing, Sloan did seem to have some command authority over Captain Sisko.
Ronald D. Moore believed that the bar reflected Sloan's alleged position in Internal Affairs. (AOL chat, 1998)


Colonel

Colonel West in 2293

In 2293, Starfleet Colonel West was involved in the Khitomer conspiracy. (Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country)

In the US Armed Forces, the rank of colonel in the Marines, Army, and Air Force is equivalent to a captain in the Navy and Coast Guard; both ranks have the position on the rank charts as "O-6" (O for officer, 6 for the 6th rank up, with ensign/2nd lieutenant being O-1), so it is unclear why Colonel West wore the uniform of a Starfleet vice admiral (vice admirals being O-9). His rank was in fact taken from the real-life Lt. Colonel Oliver North. (Cinefantastique, Vol. 22, no. 5) It was not revealed if there was a special branch of services in Starfleet that colonels served in.

Corporal

In 2154, Starfleet Corporal Askwith perished at the Earth embassy on Vulcan. (ENT: "The Forge")

It is likely that the costuming department was supposed to place the actor in a MACO uniform.

Miscellaneous

The space officer's shoulder epaulets

In 2254, Captain Christopher Pike, while on Talos IV, imagined himself as an Orion trader. He imagined an officer in a dress uniform with him at the Orion colony wearing peculiar shoulder epaulets and of unknown rank. (TOS: "The Cage")

The space officer wore one stripe, indicating he may have been a simple line officer between the ranks of lieutenant and captain. It is possible that the officer represented an admiral.

In 2376, The Doctor aboard Voyager briefly resigned his Starfleet commission. (VOY: "Virtuoso")

The Doctor wore no rank insignia, and this was the only indication that he was a commissioned Starfleet officer. It is likely that The Doctor's unique situation allowed him (and perhaps other Emergency Medical Holograms) to have a Starfleet commission without a rank.
This chart shows only general equivalencies based on the ranks used by many governments on Earth, as well as the rest of the galaxy.

Appendices

See also

Background information

The rank system used during Star Trek: The Original Series was originally designed by William Ware Theiss, with the first versions inspired principally by the insignia of the United States Navy. According to Inside Star Trek: The Real Story [page number?edit], since Gene Roddenberry didn't want an overtly military Starfleet, Theiss toned down his stripe system by giving ensigns no stripe and lieutenants one full stripe, which is what an actual USN ensign wears.

For Star Trek: The Motion Picture, Jon Povill sent Fletcher a production memo, dated 3 August 1978, explaining the rank insignia to be used in the film, with no reference to lieutenant junior grade or other flag officers. (The Making of Star Trek: The Motion Picture, p. 126) Robert Fletcher, who designed the Starfleet uniform used in the film, developed a rank system which displayed on straps over both shoulders. These insignia included a circle for "mid shipman", a triangle for "lieut comm jr. grade", a chevron for "lieutenant comm", a single stripe for "commander", two stripes for "captain", two stripes a circle with spines for "admiral" and two spiney circles for "adm of the fleet". (Star Trek: Costumes, p. 45) An unidentified triangular insignia is worn on the epaulets of several crewmembers, but is not identified in any production or background sources. It's A Wrap! sale and auction listed it as representing the rank of petty officer. [5] While an additional epaulet insignia featuring a single thin strip was also used but not identified to a rank. [6]

One version of the flag officer rank insignia sold as part of It's A Wrap! sale and auction

During the production of Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan, Director Nicholas Meyer wanted the uniforms to feel as real as possible, and asked for new rank insignia. Fletcher explained: "There was kind of a complicated arrangement of divisions and ranks expressed by the braid on the sleeves. I made that up. I organized it and produced a little instruction booklet about it for the wardrobe department […]." (citation needededit) On the early version of the uniforms, the insignia was on a band around the upper arm, which was later moved to the cuff. (citation needededit)

The Star Trek Encyclopedia omitted and created insignia, introducing some confusion

The Star Trek Encyclopedia (3rd ed., p. 201), depicted an overview of the rank system used in the Star Trek films, though it omitted the petty officer second class, created the master chief petty officer second class and fleet captain (which had not been used in the films,) and depicted erroneous insignia for lieutenant commander and admiral. The Star Trek Fact Files Part 70 and the Star Trek: The Magazine Volume 2, Issue 10, p. 99, would also include the apocryphal fleet captain and master chief petty officer second class insignia, the erroneous lieutenant commander insignia (with a broken vertical gold stripe, instead of a solid horizontal gold stripe,) and an almost entirely different depiction of flag officer insignia. This system created an insignia with one gold dart to represent commodore, used the commodore insignia for rear admiral, created a three gold dart insignia for vice admiral, and used the rear admiral insignia for admiral. A three gold dart insignia was included in some It's A Wrap! sale and auction flag officer sets, but never seen on screen. [7]

The later pip designs of Star Trek: The Next Generation and Star Trek: Enterprise emulated US Navy insignias almost exactly, although an article on the 2151 uniforms and rank did not mention lieutenant junior grade or lieutenant commander. (Star Trek: The Magazine Volume 3, Issue 11, p. 42) Neither rank is used during Star Trek: Enterprise.

Warrant officers

According to the personal notes of the movie-era Starfleet ranks designer, Robert Fletcher, "there is no warrant rank." (p. 11)

A 2 June 1987 '"Star Trek" Cast Ranks' memo from Rick Berman to Bill Theiss confirms the intention of having warrant ranks, whereas it was stated that the "C.W.O." ("Chief Warrant Officer") was described as having "1 Black Disk" (pip).

According to the Star Trek Encyclopedia (3rd ed., p. 211), the insignia worn by CPO Miles O'Brien in Star Trek: Deep Space Nine's first few years and enlisted Maquis on Star Trek: Voyager was supposed to represent a warrant officer, even though numerous dialogue references and general naval parlance about the ranks of those referred to would seem to contradict this.

Apocrypha

The role-playing game supplement Star Trek: The Next Generation Officer's Manual discusses ranks.

Starfleet officers in the late 2230s

Star Trek: Countdown to Darkness, Issue 2 depicts that a style of uniform was in use by 2239. This would make it seem that a few versions of the prime reality uniform were never adopted in the alternate reality, unless they was used very briefly after 2233.

A rank senior to fleet admiral was first referenced in "The Wormhole Connection". The rank of grand admiral is said to have existed in 2285 and has a special uniform with shoulder boards worn on the red maroon jacket uniform. The rank also appeared in the novel The Sorrows of Empire, held first by the counterpart Garth, then by the counterpart Matt Decker and then by Spock, before he becomes Emperor of the Terran Empire.

A "flag admiral" pin used as one of Data's medals

A "flag admiral" insignia design (a six pointed starburst) from the fan-published Klingon Covert Operations Manual was used as one of Data's medals in "The Most Toys".

External links

Advertisement