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Earthforce Ranks & Insignias

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Earthforce's rank and insignia draws from a number of predecessor militaries in several member states from across the Earth Alliance, without being directly based on any single one in particular. The in fact combine the structures from traditionally separate services - army, navy and air force - into a single cohesive command structure.[1]

OverviewEdit

EF insig EA badge

Earth Alliance Badge

The Earthforce uniforms a color coded according to the branch of the service: blue for fleet, grey for security, and brown for marines. The rank insignia is usually displayed on the shoulder epaulets, with the exception of non-comm EF Marine Corps BDUs on which the rank insignia is displayed on the upper sleeve. Stat bars are worn by Earthforce officers and enlisted on the left breast, directly underneath the stylised Earth Alliance Badge and denote the wearer's branch of the service. Flag officers wear an irregular star over their stat bar; also, while most Generals are by definition in command positions, not all of them wear the gold command bar.[2]

The division badge is worn on the upper left shoulder and denotes the wearer's speciality. The exception being the Marine Command patch which is worn on both shoulders of an officer in Marine BDUs.[3][4] Pilots wear their division patch on the right breast, as the left shoulder is reserved for their squadron patch. The flight wings patch is worn on the upper right shoulder of the standard duty uniform, or incorporated into the upper left breast name patch on the flight suit. The patch itself denotes that an officer is a qualified pilot and the extent of their qualification.

Commissioned Officer Ranks and InsigniaEdit

Rank Description Insignia
Joint Chief of Staff Part of a group comprising the Chiefs of service of each major branch of Earthforce. EF rank FO-JCoS
Admiral High ranking career military officers, of equal standing to Generals. Admirals serve as commanders of large strategic fleets and are not often seen by front line personnel.
General High ranking career military officers, of equal standing to Admirals. Generals serve as commanders of tactical fleets or infantry divisions. EF rank FO-Gen
Vice Admiral High ranking career military officers, of equal standing to Lieutenant Generals. Sometimes found in command of Earthforce destroyers with a Commander serving as XO.
Lieutenant General High ranking career military officers, usually serving as a General's second in command.
Colonel High ranking career military officers, usually in command of bases or military installations. EF rank CO-Col
Lieutenant Colonel High ranking career military officers.
Captain Career military officers, usually in command of single capital ships, bases or military installations. EF rank CO-Capt
Commander Career military officers, usually Executive Officers on single capital ships, or in command of small bases, military installations or EA colony governors. EF rank CO-Cmdr
Lieutenant Commander Career military officers, usually Executive Officers on single capital ships, small bases or military installations. EF rank CO-LtCmdr
Major Career military officers, usually in support roles or as adjutants to higher-ranking officers, usually Generals. EF rank CO-Maj
Lieutenant Junior officers, usually in support roles, as seconds to mid-level or Executive Officers, or as senior pilots/squadron leaders. EF rank CO-LtCmdr
Lieutenant Junior Grade Junior officers, usually in support roles or as seconds to mid-level or Executive Officers. EF rank CO-Ens
Ensign Junior officers, usually in support roles or bridge officers on Starships. Sometimes leading a Marine squad or EVA team.[5] EF rank CO-Ens


Non-Commissioned Ranks and InsigniaEdit

Rank Description Insignia
Chief Warrant Officer Non-commissioned rank that has all the authority and responsibilities of a commissioned officer, but restricted to a single speciality or discipline. Warrant officers are placed in authority over enlisted personnel, but answerable to senior officers. EF rank nco-WO
Sergeant Major Senior Non-commissioned rank most often held by Marines. EF rank nco-SgtMaj
Sergeant Non-commissioned rank held by both Marines and non-military peace officers in Earthforce Security. EF rank enl-Sgt
Private First Class Non-commissioned rank most often held by Marines. No Insignia
Private Low non-commissioned rank most often held by Marines. No Insignia


Other InsigniaEdit

Stat Bars
EF stat FlagOfficer EF stat Command EF stat ExecutiveOfficer EF stat Telepath
Flag Officer Commanding Officer Executive Officer Executive Officer
(Telepath - Circa 2267)
EF stat Commandstaff EF stat Medical EF stat Science EF stat Security
Command Staff Medical Science Security


Flight Wings
EF insig Wings-MstPilot EF insig Wings-SnrPilot EF insig Wings-JrPilot EF insig Wings-Pilot
Master Pilot Senior Pilot Junior Pilot Pilot


Division Badges
EF insig Div Command EF insig Div Command-M EF insig Div Security EF insig Div Security-P
Command Division Command Division
(Marine BDUs)
Security Division Presidential
Security Division
EF insig Div Eyes EF insig Div Medical EF insig Div Eng EF insig Div EFCommand
EF Internal Affairs Division Medical Division Engineering and
Maintenance Division
Earth Central Division
(Security & NCO)
EF insig Div Mars EFComm wiki EF-OffWorld wiki B5StrFor wiki
Mars Command
(Security & NCO)
Earthforce Command
(Starfury Pilots)
Earth Forces
Off World
(Starfury Pilots)
Babylon 5
Strategic Forces
(Starfury Pilots, 2260 onwards)
EFSci wiki
Earthforce Science team
(Pilots)

NotesEdit

  • This article includes only those ranks seen or mentioned on the show or from other canon sources, as such there are some gaps where other ranks might logically be.
  • Some ranks, such as CWO and LtJG don't appear to have any specific insignia at all, while some ranks have seemingly identical insignia to one another. For example, there doesn't appear to be any noticeable difference between the insignia for LtCmd and Lt. While the addition of a stat bar can help identify an officer's status, it is not directly linked to rank.
  • Though no characters with the rank of Admiral were ever named or depicted, the existence of the rank was mentioned twice, in ("And the Sky Full of Stars") and ("Points of Departure"). In addition, though the footage has never been released, Wayne Alexander portrayed Admiral Hudgins in the cancelled video game Into the Fire.[6] Interestingly, his insignia appears to been identical to a that of a JCoS.[7]

Behind the ScenesEdit

Commander Epaulets

Commander rank insignia from "The Gathering".

Prior to Babylon 5 entering full production, a very different set of EF rank insignia and significantly different uniform was used in the feature length pilot ("The Gathering"). Rather than being an alternate set that fell out of use and superseded by the more familiar insignias used throughout the series, later productions that included flashbacks to events prior to 2257 showing second set of insignias and uniforms in use as early as the Earth-Minbari War, effectively retconned the originals out of continuity (just like Delenn's original make-up design and bar tending gorillas.)

What appears to be at least one iteration of an original defunct scheme was described in the Babylon 5 Security Manual, though the descriptions don't exactly match what was seen in ("The Gathering"), further confusing matters.[8] Curiously it lists two separate Insignias for Captains in what an appears to be a delineation between fleet and marine ranks while few insignias (JCoS, Colonel & Major) appear to have been retained in the "new" scheme: -

B5 Security Manual Ranks
Rank Insignia Description
General (Joint Chiefs) Five "stars" in a circle
General Polygon, one bronze bar, two stylised stars
Colonel Silver bird
Major Three diamond shapes
Captain Two diamond shapes
Lieutenant One diamond shape
Chief Warrant Officer One diamond shape with oblique black stripe areas
Admiral Polygon and three bronze stars
Captain Polygon and two bronze stars
Commander Polygon and one bronze star
Lt. Commander Polygon and one silver bar
Ensign Bronze star


Another curiosity appears in the memos printed in the first volume of the Babylon 5 Scripts. It appears as if the stat bars were at one early stage conceived as being specific indicators of rank and also indicates some ranks that were never used: -

Over the lest breast of a uniform (pocket or otherwise) is a thin horizontal metal bar -- say, 3" to 4" inches long, about 1/4" to 1/3rd" wide -- color-coded to specific ranks. (the color would be an enamel overlay.) For some hyphenated ranks, two colors, evenly divided on the bar, would be displayed.

Major-General: Gold and Red
Commander: Gold
Lt. Commander: Gold and Silver
Captain: Silver
Corporal: Blue
Sergeant: Green
All other NCOs: Brown

– Babylon 5 Scripts: Volume 1

GalleryEdit

Unidentified Rank InsigniasEdit

See alsoEdit

ReferencesEdit

  1. The Official Babylon 5 Magazine: Issue 17, p.58
  2. General Stephen Franklin is seen in Sleeping in Light wearing the brass star over his usual red medical stat bar.
  3. Earthforce Officer in "Endgame" wore patches on both shoulders
  4. Ensign Gideon has the patch on left shoulder in "The Path of Sorrows"
  5. The Path of Sorrows
  6. gallery on Wayne Alexander's Official Website
  7. autographed photos on Wayne Alexander's Official Website
  8. Babylon 5 Security Manual - (p.50)

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