Talk:Military ranks of the Free Planets Alliance

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Lower ranks

I am concerned about the lower ranks. I obtained them from a mix of watching fan subs and reading this site, and consequently i've added the two lower ones here as 'ensign' followed by 'sub-lieutenant'. However, the characters for what the aforementioned site (and now our site) calls an ensign do not correspond to the classification of that rank. Wikipedia says that this is a warrant officer, and that what we call 'sub-lieutenant' is actually the rank of ensign. This would certainly make a lot of sense, for the following reasons:

1. No military ranking system i've read about online has three lieutenant classes — they all have two.

2. The design of the insignia would make more sense if we bumped out sub-lieutenant (or used it to replace lieutenant JG, which is what i personally prefer) and put ensign in its spot, because then the pattern of dashes and dots is consistent with the next level of ranks above. Since a warrant officer is not a class of officer, it is (or should be, seemingly) outside of the pattern.

All that said, i'm reluctant to unilaterally change this. Need more feedback first. Update: I did ultimately change this as detailed above. :) kine

The reference site you posted is correct. You're wrong because you don't understand the rank systems nor the historic background of ranks or japanese ranks for that matter. Sub-lieutenant was once used instead of ensign by the british navy. The japanese had been taken over many british conventions... So this is a relict. Also the Kanji names used are a simplification (for both navy and army) in this case leaning to the army system. You have listed the navy side only. There are only three errors on the reference site, though. I have my doubts about the differentiation between Alliance Army and Marines. IMHO they are probably one and the same in the future. The Staff Sergeant and Master Sergeant rank insignia is not quite the same as in the anime. In the anime they are not wholly filled. Also the Field Marshal rank is probably wrong for the Alliance, but it fits the Empire. For the Alliance it should be General of the Army. For this article to be complete a similar table listing is desired. Also divisions of rank groups are needed. There is no problem to fill-in the missing Kanjis. ;) Almael 21:10, 5 September 2011 (UTC)
I vote to change "Sub-LT" to "LT Junior Grade" (O-3)...not sure where the "sub LT" business comes from -mellytan, 8/9/2012
Sub-lieutenant is a rank used in various Commonwealth navies and is equivalent to OF-1 or O-2. (Pretty sure lieutenant, jg is also O-2, not O-3.) Since Commonwealth is the rule here (and it fits in well given the presence of the commodore rank, which is not used in the US Navy) i decided it'd be more suitable than Ltjg. It is an accurate equivalent to the Japanese rank 中尉, used in the series.
If there is any problem, it would be the simultaneous use of ensign, which the Royal Navy doesn't have. Their equivalent rank is midshipman. (New Zealand does use ensign in that slot, though, whilst Canada and Australia use acting sub-lieutenant.)
I also don't think Almael is correct about the reference site, since SLT and LTJG have never co-existed in any military, and Wikipedia confirms the typical order of lower ranks given for the JSDF as ensign/midshipman (少尉) -> sub-lieutenant/lieutenant, jg (中尉) -> lieutenant (大尉).
What would be ideal is if we could find references to the English rank names in the series itself. I know that for example we do see the English ranks of Julian and Karin in their personnel files about mid-way through the series, but unfortunately they are air-force rather than navy, so that's not helpful in this case.
PS: If you type four tildes (~~~~) it will fill in your signature and date for you.  ♥ kine @ 10:10, 10 August 2012 (UTC)
I was talking about the background of ranks and how the names have been used. I didn't say which naming is correct because it's pointless, otherwise I would have edited it. ;) All these names are western names applied to what names the japanese have ever used. It's not a true translation just a comparable ordering. Of course the japanese have adjusted their system to something similar to the rest of the world. But keep in mind that originally the asian grouping order is 4 and not 3. Logh is based on modern japanese military, so the modern name used is rather 2nd Lt than the imperial sub-lt. The japanese today lean more toward the american system than the british because of closer relations than in the past, as well as doing together military exercises. Therefore, the english naming is rather american than british. The japanese name stays the same, of course, just a different translation used. If we get a japanese military rule book on english military terms to use by their personnel that would solve the problem until the next print comes out. Almael 13:25, 10 August 2012 (UTC)
I don't think that the ranks in LOGH are based on the Japanese military at all, modern or otherwise — the presence of the commodore rank and (more importantly) the overall culture of both the Alliance and the Empire being based on Western/European societies is indicative of that. So i don't think any real-world analogy with Japanese forces is very relevant, except as background like we've already done. In the absence of English usage given in the series itself, all we can do is just pick one.  ♥ kine @ 14:24, 10 August 2012 (UTC)
Actually, that's were you are wrong. In the novels the alliance and the empire share the same rank names in japanese except for (Marshal) High Admiral. And they are derived from the army, and before the reorganization in 1990/2000(?) which added some ranks. Btw. wikipedia is incorrect...confirmed via IDF airforce & marine manual. Obviously, the decision was made out of convenience by the creator. The difference in naming comes from translation and the wish to differentiate the parties by others. Another difference, is that the novels lacks a lot of lower enlistment ranks compared to the anime. Only three or so are ever mentioned. My guess is the animation staff filled them out but not necessary used them all. I don't know if different western military culture ranks have any specific terms in japanese. I kind of doubt it. It's difficult to look for without knowing where to start. So it's probably really a translation problem. Almael 23:24, 26 September 2012 (UTC)
I'm not certain of the point that's being argued any more. Obviously the ranks are the same in Japanese, that's not really a question. They use the Japanese words for ranks because it's a Japanese series done in the Japanese language. But the militaries in the series are not based on the Japanese military — the anime and many of the licensed works (not sure about the novels) make it very clear that the characters are living in non-Japanese cultures, speaking non-Japanese languages, and using non-Japanese terminology to describe their military structure. So within the context of the series, it's obvious that, for the benefit of the audience, the creators have applied Japanese words to distinctly non-Japanese concepts, rather than the other way around.
The only problem we face is that, since there are no one-to-one translations from Japanese rank names to Western equivalents, and since they don't differentiate by branch of service, we are left to basically guess at the creators' intent regarding the usage of certain English-language terminology  ♥ kine @ 01:01, 27 September 2012 (UTC)

Navy versus Army ranks

Is there a source for the differentiation between characters with Navy versus Army ranks for the FPA? Articles such as Schönkopf appear to reference both and the English translation of the novels as well as the new anime refer to all ranks by their naval equivalents (e.g. Schönkopf is captain and commodore as opposed to colonel and brigadier). Just curious if it was just the policy of Gineipaedia or if there was a source that differentiated with regard to FPA. Obviously with the understanding that translations can be difficult particularly when sometimes the words used for certain ranks are the same in Japanese (i.e. I mean like how taisa without any qualifier could be either colonel or naval captain). SUPCOM0356 21:42, 27 November 2018 (UTC)

As far as I'm aware of, there is actually no distinction between Navy and Army ranks in the original Japanese text. As you said, taisa remains the same regardless of whether that officer is in the Navy or the Army. The distinction we have here in Gineipaedia (which ultimately seems to be derived from the Central Anime subs) is an artificial one, as a way to highlight the differences in the various services. That being said, it is questionable whether the Alliance military (or indeed the Imperial military) had the kind of delineation between the services in real life militaries of today. As far as we know, the Navy is the premier service in LoGH, and only the Commander of the Space Fleet is considered as a member of the highest echelon of the military hierarchy, and no other services. Glacierfairy 00:29, 29 November 2018 (UTC)
Thanks for the clarification. I think the Central Anime subs (while the best out there in most opinions) do have some inconsistencies at times and for the purposes of an encyclopedic reference it would be helpful if there was consistency, as much as is humanly possible, across articles. It's fine if we're interpreting the Alliance to have army ranks as well but just wanted to make sure that that standard is used consistently (again, referencing the difference between the Schönkopf text and the Schönkopf infobox). Just some observations, not intended as criticism.--SUPCOM0356 22:31, 3 December 2018 (UTC)
I can't recall whether we ever see any on-screen evidence for army ranks specifically. But we do see evidence that they distinguish between branches — Karin's file in 'The Plan to Retake Iserlohn' calls her (in English) a 'corporal', which we can assume from context is meant to be an air-force rank.
(Julian's rank is shown in the same episode as 'lieutenant', which isn't strictly accurate because his insignia at the time correspond to a sub-lieutenant / lt (j.g.). But i think a lt (j.g.) is often referred to as 'lieutenant' for short, so that could be confirmation that the navy ranks use the American/JMSDF conventions in-universe. Hard to say for sure, though, since a lot of the on-screen English in the series is nonsense)  ♥ kine @ 09:04, 8 December 2018 (UTC)
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