Is Sergeant E5 a real rank

Military ranks (RDM)

The rank structure for the new edition of Battlestar Galactica derives from the rank structure of the original series, as mentioned on Ronald D. Moore's blog.

Order of precedence

Many aspects of the following table are speculative. The list has also been expanded so that a better comparison can be made with the United States Navy.
In real life, rank comparisons are usually only introduced when two organizations with different rank structures work together to indicate who is above who. Since this is obviously not the case between the Colonial Fleet and the United States Military, the following table exists primarily to facilitate understanding of Colonial Ranks for those familiar with ranks in the United States Military or similarly structured organizations. However, the focus is on assigning the ranks in the appropriate place in the BSG universe. Therefore, they do not fit perfectly with the modern ranks. The officer ranks of the Colonial Marine Corps have yet to be announced in the series or by official bodies and are not listed here.

Order of precedenceBSG military ranksBSG Marine RanksU.S. Navy ranksBSG examples
[O-10] admiraladmiral Nagala, Corman[1]
[O-9] Vice AdmiralVice Admiral
[O-7/8] Rear admiralRear admiral Helena Cain, William Adama (Season 2.5+) [2]
[O-6] CommanderCaptain William Adama (Miniseries - Season 2.5) [3]
[O-5] ColonelCommander Saul Tigh, Jack Fisk
N / A majorLieutenant Commander Jackson Spencer, Doctor Cottle, Lee Adama (Season 3+)
[O-4] CaptainN / A Lee Adama (Miniseries - Season 2.5), Kara Thrace (Season 2.5+), Aaron Kelly, Karl Agathon (Season 3+)
[O-3] LieutenantLieutenant Kara Thrace (miniseries - season 2.5), Karl Agathon (seasons 1 - 2) [4]
[O-2] Lieutenant Junior GradeLieutenant Junior Grade Sharon Valerii, Felix Gaeta, Louanne Katraine (Seasons 1 - 2)
[O-1] EnsignEnsign Davis, Diana Seelix (Season 3+)
[E-9] Master Chief Petty OfficerSergeant Major Master Chief Petty Officer
[E-8] Senior Chief Petty Officer[5]Master Sergeant Senior Chief Petty Officer
[E-7] Chief Petty OfficerGunnery Sergeant Chief Petty Officer Galen Tyrol, Erin Mathias (CMC)
[E-6] Petty Officer 1st ClassStaff sergeant Petty Officer 1st Class Hadrian (CMC) [6]
[E-5] Petty Officer 2nd Classsergeant Petty Officer 2nd Class Anastasia Dualla (Miniseries - Season 2), Cally Henderson (Season 3+)
[E-4] Petty Officer 3rd Class[5]Corporal Petty Officer 3rd Class Venner (CMC)
[E-3] Crewman SpecialistCorporal Seaman Cally Henderson (Miniseries - Season 3), Socinus, Prosna
[E-2] DeckhandPrivate 1st class Seaman Apprentice Scott Kelso (CMC)
[E-1] recruitPrivate Seaman Recruit Sykes, Stewart Jaffee (both CMC)


Badge of rank

These pictures were taken from Jim Stevenson a.k.a. "137th Mountain" created. Badges for the remaining ranks have not yet been shown on-screen and are therefore not listed here. The officer ranks from admiral to colonel can also be identified by the color of the piping on their uniforms.

Official Notes

  • In a blog entry on February 19, 2005, Ronald D. Moore gave some insight into the rank structure of Battlestar Galactica:

"What's the rank structure like? It doesn't seem to match that of the Navy."

"The rank structure is derived from the original series. I didn't want to change Commander Adama to Captain Adama or Colonel Tigh to Commander Tigh, so I decided to just keep the original mixed rank structure. For our internal affairs, we decided that the ranks would be a mixture Navy and army designations are and reads as follows:


  • admiral
  • Commander
  • Colonel
  • major
  • Captain
  • Lieutenant
  • Lieutenant (junior grade)
  • Ensign

Simple soldiers:

  • Master Chief Petty Officer
  • Chief Petty Officer
  • Petty Officer (1st, 2nd class)
  • Specialist
  • Deckhand
  • recruit

To complicate matters, there are also marines on board Galactica, which are more oriented towards the traditional rank structure of naval non-commissioned officers, with sergeant, sergeant-major, etc. The unresolved question is whether the naval officers maintain this mixed rank structure ( which sounds strange), or whether they are strictly army equivalents (which makes no sense, however, since the "Navy" ranks do not make such a distinction). Aren't you glad you asked? "

See also


  1. 1,01,1admiral: Corman wears the same Admiral insignia as Adama and Cain, but his have a thick gold border on the uniform.
  2. 2,02,1Rear admiral:
    • In the Extended Version of the episode "Pegasus", Adama states "The fleet appointed you rear admiral for over half of the commanders on this list." This could suggest that Commander is not a Flagg Officer rank in the BSG universe.
    • A still image of Galactica 's Dradis shows two stars next to the Pegasus. That suggests that Cain is a two star admiral.
    • When Adama was promoted to Admiral in The Resurrection, Part II, his new rank insignia was identical to that of Cain. They also have two golden bars on the sides that could be the equivalent of a Rear Admiral's stars today.
    • Cain seems to be commanding both her battlestar and the entire battlestar group. Nowadays a captain commands his ship, while a counter (rear) admiral is responsible for an aircraft carrier combat group.
  3. Commander:
    • The rank of commander is somewhat unclear and includes the duties of a modern admiral and a captain. It could also be analogous to the rank of "Commodore", which is no longer used in the US Navy.
    • In "The Resurrection, Part II", Roslin notes that "someone who commands more than one ship is called an admiral". While it simplifies matters, it also suggests where the Colonials draw the distinction between a commander and an admiral.
  4. ↑ Helo names his rank as "Lieutenant, Junior Grade" in "Lack of Water", but he wears the badge of rank of a full lieutenant.
  5. 5,05,1According to Ron Moore, the rank of Senior Chief Petty Officer and 3rd Class Petty Officer does not exist in the colonial military, but is included here for reasons of equivalence.
  6. 6,06,1 In "The Tribunal" Sergeant Hadrian wears the badges of rank listed here as 'Petty Officer, 1st Class'. Since she is a Marine, some badges of rank may be used in both divisions.
    Your rank is probably the 'Staff Sergeant' which is equated with the 'Petty Officer, 1st Class'. If you were to raise or lower your rank, you would come to a conflict with the badges of the 'Petty Officer, 2nd Class' and the 'Chief Petty Officer'.
  7. ↑ The use of Lt.jg badges for the rank of Ensign in episodes such as "The best hunter of the Cylons" and "Dirty Hands" is probably only for reasons of costume technology. While the costume department does not appear to have produced any Ensign badges yet, the Colonial Military likely uses different badges to express the difference in rank.