Navy Rank Chart

The chart below is offered as a roleplay aid only. It shows what ranks between Navy, Marines and Merchant Navy are equivalent, how many NPCs you can roleplay commanding, what kind of ship, etc. It is not an exhaustive list of all positions, and notably does not include a great many posts involved with support and logistics and various harbor functions. Also, naval ranks sometimes cause confusion because any officer who commands a ship is called 'Captain' on board his own vessel. This is in addition to whatever title he may regularly hold.

Amber's naval officers are, in the vast majority, nobles who have purchased their commissions (though many, of course, purchased commissions below their current rank and have been promoted in service). It is possible for non-nobles to work their way up through the ranks but it is significantly more difficult. More than the army, even, commissions are a very real source of income for the Navy and are vital to continued operations.

The Lord Admiral has authority to offer Letters of Marque, and thus Amber also retains privateers in times of war. It is primarily by this avenue that officers from the Golden Circle join the Royal Navy.

Some tips:

  • A capital ship is any ship of First, Second or Third rate.
  • The highest useful command in the Navy is, really, Commodore. It gives the most flexibility in being able to GM Navy events.
  • No member of the Merchant Navy will be able to outrank a Naval Captain.
  • Some of the ranks between the Marines and Navy have the same name, but are not equivalent.
  • Flotillas are the best to call a group of ships you're out GMing with, as it can include all manner of ships, including Merchant Navy folks.
Royal Marines Commands Royal Navy Commands Merchant Navy MN Ships
n/a n/a Admiral of the Fleet Navy (2+ Fleets) n/a n/a
n/a n/a Admiral (ADM) Fleet (2+ Task Forces) n/a n/a
n/a n/a Vice-Admiral (VAdm) Task Force (2+ Task Groups) n/a n/a
n/a n/a Rear-Admiral (RAdm) Task Group (2+ Squadrons, usually capital ships) n/a n/a
Brigadier (Brig) Brigade (2+ Regiments, 2k-5k) Commodore (Cdre) Flotilla (not capital ships) n/a n/a
Colonel (Col) Regiment (2+ Battalions, 2k-3k) Captain (Capt) A single vessel n/a n/a
Lieutenant-Colonel (LtCol) Battalion (2-6 Companies, 300-1000) Commander (Cdr) serves as second-in-command on a vessel Master First Class First Rate
Major (Maj) Company (2-8 Platoons, 70-250) Lieutenant-Commander (LtCdr) n/a Master Second Class Second Rate
Captain (Capt) Platoon (2+ Sections, 25-60) Lieutenant (Lt) n/a Master Third Class Third Rate
Lieutenant (Lt) Section (8-16 men) Sub-Lieutenant (SLt) n/a Certified Master Fourth Rate
Second Lieutenant (2Lt) Section (8-16 men) Warrant Officer n/a Certified Master Second Class Fifth Rate
n/a n/a Midshipman (Mid) n/a Certified Mate Sixth Rate
Officer Cadet (OCdt) n/a Petty Officer n/a Seaman n/a

Naval Warrant Officers

Naval Warrant Officers hold a set of ranks unique to the Navy and occupy a space between classic NCOs and commissioned officers. They are not to be confused with the Army's Warrant Officers, of course. They often have specialized duties on ships and possess titles to match. There are three categories of Warrant Officers.

Wardroom Warrant Officers: These ranks represent specialists and experts of such vital skill that they are given the recognition normally reserved for commissioned officers. They include:

  • Sailing Master: Often shortened to just 'Master'. Navigator and helmsman for the ship.
  • Surgeon: Self-explanatory. Assisted by Surgeon's Mates.
  • Purser: Responsible for provisioning and pay on the ship. Often serves as something of a "gray market" for non-sanctioned goods for the crew.
  • Chaplain: Chaplains do not serve on every ship in the fleet and, in fact, this is not a particularly common rank as Amber is not a deeply religious land. However, should a priest of the Unicorn seek a position on a ship, this is most likely the rank he would be afforded.

Lower-grade Warrant Officers:

  • Master at Arms: Disciplinary officer for the ship
  • Armorer: Technically in charge of keeping the crew and marine's weapons in good repair. More practically, also in charge of keeping catapults, ballista and other deck artillery in fighting condition.

Lower Ranks

Petty Officer: This is the naval equivalent of the true NCO, or what would be a Sergeant in the Army.

Able Seaman, Seaman, Landsman: The equivalent of unpromoted troops or low-level NCOs in the army.

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