The Situdel Fleet is comprised of Enlisted Crew and Commissioned Officers. For civilians enlisting in the Fleet and serving a five year mission (after training is completed) is one way to earn citizenship in the galactic Situdel Confederacy. For people who already have citizenship and who join the Fleet, they are granted officer status and receive command training at the Fleet Academy.
Roughly 80% of the people serving in the Situdel Fleet are enlisted “crewpers” (short for crew-person). The most common reason for a civilian to enlist in the service is to work a 5-year tour of duty to earn citizen status.
Crew receive their training at the Academy, or at one of the training outposts. It is not uncommon for the enlisted and commissioned cadets to butt heads. Enlisted often feel as if they are treated as second-class personnel since commissioned cadets receive more in-depth training, have better living facilities and garner greater social respect. Enlisted often feel it is patently unfair that officers are granted command status merely by virtue of their pre-established citizenship.
Rank insignia for enlisted crew are designated with triangular pips. As they gain higher rank a new pip is illuminated on their rank badge.
COMMISSIONED OFFICER CORPS
A person who joins Fleet service who is already a citizen of the Situdel Confederacy is automatically placed in officer training at the Academy. The officer corps is responsible for overseeing the enlisted ranks in their departments and are given command training in order to serve as mission leaders and commanders aboard starships and space stations.
Every away mission is overseen by an officer. They are expected to utilize their expertise to efficiently and professionally make sure that the mission goals are accomplished to the benefit of the Fleet and the people of the galaxy.
Officer rank insignia are designated with pentagon-shaped pips. As they gain higher rank a new pip is illuminated on their rank badge.
For enlisted crewpers that choose to make a career of their Fleet service, they may be granted a warrant to receive training to operate as officers.
Once an enlisted crew member earns promotion beyond the rank of Sergeant Major, they are given command training similar to that of commissioned cadets in the Academy. Warrant Officers are allowed to serve in command positions, lead away missions, operate as officers-of-the-watch and manage departments as directors and executives.
Functionally, a warrant officer is outranked even by the newest ensign, but if they are serving in a command position, it is expected that all present officers respect the command structure, even if they don’t like it. In the nearly 300 years that Warrant Officer ranks have been in use, never has one been granted command of a ship bigger than a Cutter Class vessel. It is not uncommon for Corvette Class ships to be commanded by a Major.
Rank insignia for Warrant Officers are designated with diamond-shaped pips. As they gain higher rank a new pip is illuminated on their rank badge.
The entire fleet is overseen by the admiralty who are appointed their positions from within the experienced officer corps by the Situdel Congress. A council of 7 flag rank admirals, the “five pepper pot”, are in over all command of the entire fleet. Each of the seven oversees one of the divisions.
The rank of Commodore is granted to individuals deserving of Admiralty but who are tasked with field command of flotillas, capitol ships such as the CSS Valiant Venture, and grand stations.
Admiral rank pips are hexagons.
Officers of rank Lieutenant Commander and higher qualify to hold positions of Commanding Officer. If they command a starship they are granted the title of CAPTAIN. If they command a base or outpost they are given the title of COMMANDANT. They retain their current rank but the pips of their rank insignia badge are replaced with circles. MATE is a title granted to one or more officers serving as adjutants-in-command just below the titles of Captain or Commandant.
Captain and Commandant uniforms are designated with white gloves, boots and pants. They wear white shirts and black jackets with white stripe.
Major Warrant Officers can be granted C.O. positions of small vessels (Cutter and Corvette class only) and outposts.
Other titles not necessarily reflective of rank include:
EXECUTIVE: Very large ships and bases require additional management and oversight of crew. High-ranking officers and warrants can be assigned oversight of vast divisions, each with a department Director who is in charge of multiple deputies within their department. They might even have full-time skippers of specific duties, tasks and teams. Executive uniforms are designated by a white shirt under black jacket with division-colored stripes on white boots and white gloves.
DIRECTOR: This title is granted to one or more high level managers of a department. On small and medium ships/stations this crewper is the senior overseer of a division. On large ships/bases there may be multiple directors in any given department who all answer to an Executive. Director uniforms are designated with two white bars on each glove and boot and white shirt under black jacket with division-colored stripe. Protocol on smaller vessels might be for a director, especially one serving as a Mate, to retain their regular Division uniform but with a white stripe designating their command status.
DEPUTY: Can be a temporary title granted to a shift leader in a department, or on larger stations and vessels the title is a permanent position for multiple mid-level managers of a department. Deputy uniforms are designated with two white bars on each glove and boot.
SKIPPER: Usually a temporary title granted to the warrant or commissioned officer in charge of a team for the duration of a specific mission or assignment. Skipper uniforms are designated with one white bar on each glove and boot.