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Starfleet follows a simple system. All department are equal in authority.. and the only characteristic difference is the Rank of the individuals in each department, even if those Ranks are named differently.
Medical, Engineering, Science, Diplomatic, and Command, inherited the use of the original Earth Naval Rank system, where as the Marines have adopted the old Earth Army Ranks. But needless to say, the Marine Ranks, whilst different in name and design, hold the same weight as there corresponding Naval Rank.
e.g. A Naval Cdr. has the same authority as the corresponding Marine Rank, in this case Lt. Colonel. As such a Naval Cdr. can give orders to a Marine Major, because the Naval rank of Cdr. is higher than the Marine Rank of Major. This system works both ways, a Marine Lt. Colonel can give orders to a Naval Lt. Cdr.
This is a good point to note that Naval ranks are used in all of the following departments;

Click here to see the Enlisted Rates

Rank Command
Lieutenant (JG)
Lieutenant Commander
Rear Admiral
Vice Admiral
Fleet Admiral


Rank Marines Starfleet Rank
Second Lieutenant Ensign
First Lieutenant Lieutenant (JG)
Captain Lieutenant
Major Lieutenant Commander
Lieutenant Colonel Commander
Colonel Captain
Brigadier General Commodore
Major General Rear Admiral
Lieutenant General Vice Admiral
General Admiral
General of the Marine Corps Fleet Admiral


Rank Starfleet Marine
First Year Cadet
Second Year Cadet
Third Year Cadet
Forth Year Cadet

The rank pips graphics on this page where created by Brian Minosh. Please do not copy these images, simply e-mail Brian Minosh for permission for use. Brian will happily pass along the files to anyone who takes the time to ask him for the files