Ranks are are graded titles used by military organizations to establish a heirarchy of command and responsibility.
Ambiguous and possibly indicative of the confusion mentioned above.
Something like "Military ranks are designations denoting military members' superiority or inferiority (such as in terms of status, authority and privilege) in relation to other members" would be an improvement.
The Earth forces use a unique set of ranks drawn from the traditions of the several nations that now constitute the United Earth Government.
Governments govern nations; they do not consist of nations. Something like "...the numerous nations that are now governed by the United Earth Government" would be an improvement.
Captain (in the list of ranks)
The list doesn't include the junior rank of captain (in the sense of army captain as opposed to naval captain) separately, which may be misleading. (Sean Phillips holds this version of captain, which is very different from that held by Gloval, Hayes and Hunter.) The two can be listed separately and link to the same place.
Chief (in the list of ranks)
A note should be added to the effect that this is either the short form of a rank that is not mentioned in full or not a reference to a rank at all (we can't rule out either possibility).
Something like "referred to" would be an improvement. This clumsy pseudo-word pops up throughout these articles and should be replaced wherever it appears.
Chief of Staff (sometimes addressed simply as "Chief") is an appointment to the most senior position in the staff of a general officer or command.
Though "Chief of Staff" is normally associated with staffs in commands headed by general officers or equivalents, technically there's no strict impediment to it being used in the earth forces for any staff officer in charge of a whole staff. It is also used to refer to chiefs of military services (which may not have general officers, e.g. navies).
"General officer or command" doesn't make any sense. Many general officers don't have a chief of staff because they themselves are staff members or hold other non-command positions. A "command" can be any organizational entity that has a commander, and most do not include general officers.
Something like "Chief of Staff (sometimes addressed simply as 'Chief' in Robotech) is an officer who is in charge of the entirety of a staff organization."
"Ship-of-the-line" refers to certain types of warship and the term has been effectively obsolete in the real world since naval guns were superseded by more advanced weaponry. What is meant here is that the rank of captain that is mentioned is the rank in the tradition of navy ranks rather than army ranks. A naval captain or army captain doesn't become, or cease to be, equivalent to a colonel by reason of being aboard or not being aboard a ship, or a member of her crew. The former is equivalent to a colonel in all situations and the latter is several ranks lower in all situations.
Admiral is one of the highest officer ranks in the Earth's forces, commonly used by officers with fleet command (flotilla or larger).
'Admiral' is used by all English-speaking, German-speaking, Russian-speaking, etc., people (including the author of this article) when addressing or referring to officers holding admiral ranks, not just by admirals themselves.
Admiral ranks are held by officers in high-level command positions, but many officers who hold admiral ranks do not command anything. They may be deputy commanders, staff officers, or hold other positions altogether.
A flotilla is not a fleet. Depending on the service, something that is called a flotilla may be commanded by a more junior officer.
In practice, "Admiral" can be used as a form of address for anyone bearing a rank containing that designation (Fleet Admiral, Rear Admiral, Vice Admiral, Flotilla Admiral, etc.); variations on the rank are not referenced in the series. Donald Hayes, Henry Gloval and Rick Hunter are all addressed and/or referenced as "Admiral."
Poorly worded. Also, vice-admiral should precede rear admiral in the list to avoid misleading.
Something like "Admiral is a form of address for anyone who holds a rank that includes the word admiral (e.g. admiral of the fleet, fleet admiral, vice-admiral, rear admiral, flotilla admiral, etc.) Donald Hayes, Henry Gloval and Rick Hunter are addressed or referred to by rank only as 'Admiral' though they may hold different admiral ranks." would be an improvement.
Brigadier General (or Brigadier-General) is the lowest of the General officers in the Earth forces, historically commanding a brigade or equivalent. It is the only such variation used in the original series, held by an officer named Emerson (whether this is Rolf Emerson or another is uncertain). Typically, a Brigadier General is addressed as "General."
Poorly worded. Something like "Brigadier-General is the lowest general rank in the earth forces. It is traditionally held by brigade commanders. As with other general officers, a brigadier-general may be addressed or referred to simply as 'general'. 'Brigadier-General Emerson' is mentioned in the TV series, somewhat problematically as it seems too junior a rank for someone in Rolf Emerson's position."
Captain can be used in several different cases in Earth's forces.
Poorly worded. Something like "Captain has different meanings in military organizations, including those in Robotech." would be an improvement.
Senior officer with command of a ship-of-the-line, equal to a Colonel.
Senior officer with command of a wing or group of fighters, equal to a Colonel.
(See above regarding "ship-of-the-line".)
Extremely misleading confusion between rank and appointment. A ship-of-the-line need not be commanded by an officer who is equivalent to a colonel. A warship that is not a ship-of-the-line may or may not be commanded by someone who is equivalent to a colonel. A wing or group may be commanded by a captain or by an officer of another rank. A captain who is equivalent to a colonel may not command a ship, wing, group or anything at all. All naval (and space counterparts in Robotech) officers who are equivalent to full colonels are captains, regardless of their respective job descriptions.
Something like "the rank immediately above the rank of commander, equivalent to full colonel" would be an improvement.
Senior officer with command of a company of troops, lower than a Major.
Captain in this sense is not a senior officer rank.
Again, confusion between rank and appointment. There are many different things, not just companies, that may be commanded by a captain (which is captain in the army rank sense). Captain Phillips commands a platoon-level organization (which in this case is referred to as a squad and squadron). And, of course, an officer of this rank, as with any other rank, may not command anything at all. (In fact most officers at all but the highest levels don't command anything.)
Something like "the rank immediately below the rank of major" would be an improvement.
Any officer of any rank with command of any vessel.
Vessel' and 'command' may be misinterpreted. The vessel in question is a ship. A small boat, for example, does not have a 'captain'. An officer in command of a ship temporarily is not necessarily her captain.
"The commanding officer of a ship" would be an improvement.
[Possibly] Any officer of any rank with command of a unit of troops.
That's just ridiculous.
Chief is a form of address on Earth traditionally used for high ranking non-comissioned officers (NCO) bearing ranks that include that designation (Chief Warrant Officer, Chief Petty Officer, Senior Chief Petty Officer, Chief Master Sergeant, etc.). Though no named character is addressed or referenced this way, an unnamed character is.
Long-winded, inaccurate (e.g. a senior chief petty officer is called 'senior chief', not 'chief') and doesn't consider the possibility that the term does not refer to a rank.
Something like "There is an instance in the TV series where an unnamed character is addressed as 'chief' (in the manner of a chief petty officer or USAF chief master sergeant). There is no indication in the TV series of what the full title might be, nor is it certain that this is a reference to a rank." would be an improvement.
Colonel is a senior officer in the Earth forces with troop command that is not a General officer; typically commanding a regiment or equivalent.
Bizarrely inaccurate. 'Colonel', as opposed to 'a colonel', is a rank, not a person. A colonel does not command a troop (junior officers do that). A troop is a sub-unit, not a person (high-ranking or otherwise). Regiments are typically commanded by lieutenant-colonels (other than in the less usual sense of multi-battalion regiments). A typical colonel or lieutenant-colonel doesn't command anything.
Something like "Colonel is the rank between brigadier-general and lieutenant-colonel" would be an improvement.
"Colonel" could also be used as a form of address by a Lieutenant-Colonel (commander of a batallion or equivalent).
Colonel', not just could be, but IS used to address and refer to lieutenant-colonels, and BY anyone, not just lieutenant-colonels themselves. A lieutenant-colonel is not necessarily a commander of anything (see above).
Saying that an 'X' is typically commanded by someone of the rank of 'Y' is NOT the same as saying that someone of the rank of 'Y' typically commands an 'X'. And saying that an 'X' is typically commanded by someone of the rank of 'Y' is NOT the same as saying that an 'X' is ALWAYS commanded by someone of the rank of 'Y'.
Commander is a senior officer in the Earth forces who may command a group/wing or frigate.
Nonsensically worded and misleading. Commander is a rank; someone who holds it is a commander. Not every commander may command one of these things, and not many do. Also, circumstances may result in people holding positions that are typically held by more senior people. For example, in Robotech there is obvious variation in the correlation between ranks and appointments of aviation officers due to the high attrition rate. Naval fighter squadrons are TYPICALLY commanded by commanders, but in Robotech Lieutenant Rick Hunter commands one.
Something like "The rank of commander is between the ranks of captain and lieutenant-commander, and is equivalent to lieutenant-colonel" would be an improvement.
"Commander" is also used as a form of address used by a Lieutenant-Commander, or even anyone in a command position.
Nonsensically worded and misleading. A lieutenant-commander may be addressed and referred to as 'commander' by anyone, not just lieutenant-commanders themselves. 'Commander' is a form of address applied to General Leonard (as a supreme commander), it may be part of an appointment title for many (not necessarily all) command appointments, and it may be used to describe people (not necessarily all) who hold command positions. However, its usage as a form of address other than in connection with rank is very likely to be very limited given that such a thing is out of the question in real world English-speaking militaries. It certainly would not apply to commanding officers of ships (captain being the right word).
A note pointing out that lieutenant-commanders are sometimes wrongly called 'lieutenant' in the dialogue would be a good idea.
Corporal is a low rank in Earth's forces below that of Sergeant. In the real world, "Corporal" is also used as a form of address for a Lance Corporal (a lower rank); while not referenced in dialog, animation cues may suggest that this lower rank also exists in the Earth forces.
Something like "Corporal is a non-commissioned officer rank immediately below the rank of sergeant. A person holding one of a number of corporal ranks, such as a lance corporal, may be addressed or referred as 'corporal'. Though not mentioned in the TV series, there are animation and organizational cues that suggest that lance corporal (or other corporal rank) exists in the earth forces." would be an improvement.
Should include a note concerning the dialogue error referring to Angelo Dante.
Ensign is a junior officer in the Earth forces, equal to a Second or Third Lieutenant, who assists with command. This rank only seems to be used after the First Robotech War. While the rank is used in dialog, no specific character is named.
Ensign is a rank; AN ensign is a person. 'Equal to a second or third lieutenant' is inviting confusion. 'Assists with command' is strange and ambiguous. Any officer may 'assist with command'. There are many capacities in which ensigns are employed, including occasional command positions.
Something like "Ensign is a rank at the lowest commissioned officer level after the First Robotech War, having suppanted third lieutenant. Though a character is addressed by this rank, his name is not mentioned." would be an improvement.
General is a high officer rank in the Earth forces--either lower than or equal to Admiral--commonly used by officers with troop command (brigade and higher).
Dear oh dear. General is equivalent to admiral. It is HELD by very senior officers. It is USED by anyone who addresses or refers to such an officer. 'Troop command (brigade and higher)' is a contradiction in terms. A troop is well below brigade-level. Again, that people who command certain things have a certain rank doesn't mean all people of the same rank command equivalent things, or anything at all. Brigades don't have to be commanded by general officers. US Army brigade commanders, for example, are typically colonels. British and Australian brigades are typically commanded by brigadiers (a non-general rank equivalent of brigadier-general).
Something like "General is a high rank, equivalent to admiral. There must be several other general ranks (such as lieutenant-general and major-general), but brigadier-general is the only other one specifically mentioned in the TV series." would be an improvement.
In practice, "General" can be used as a form of address for anyone bearing a rank containing that designation (General of the Army, Lieutenant General, Major General, Brigadier General, etc.); only one variation on the rank is referenced in the series (see below). Rolf Emerson, Anatole Leonard and Reinhardt are all addressed and/or referenced as "General."
Something like "An officer who holds any general rank is commonly addressed and referred to as 'general'. Rolf Emerson, Anatole Leonard and Reinhardt are all addressed and/or referred to as 'general'." would be an improvement.
Lieutenants are junior officers in Earth's forces who may assist with command or command smaller units (troop or vessel).
'Assists with command' is strange and ambiguous. Any officer may 'assist with command'. There are many more command positions in which lieutenants are employed than just commanding a troop or vessel, such as Hunter's commanding a section, then a flight, then a squadron of fighters while holding successive lieutenant ranks. In any case, given that Dana Sterling commands one that's called a squad and a squadron, 'troop' doesn't seem to be used in the earth forces.
"Lieutenant" is used as a form of address for anyone with a lieutenant rank (see below).
Lieutenant-commander is a lieutenant rank, but (as is pointed out) it's not correct to call a lieutenant-commander lieutenant.
The levels of Lieutenant referenced in the series are:
First Lieutenant (Dennis Brown, Adam Olson, Dana Sterling, Thomas Watson)
Second Lieutenant (Rick Hunter, Carl Jones, Yan Lu, Marcus Miller, Dana Sterling, Max Sterling) This is the lowest Lieutenant rank used after the First Robotech War.
Third Lieutenant (Justin Black, James Rothra, Max Sterling) This rank is not used after the First Robotech War.
"Lieutenant ranks below lieutenant-commander" would be better than "levels of lieutenant".
"This is the lowest Lieutenant rank used after the First Robotech War" is open to misinterpretation. What apparently happens after the First Robotech War is not that third lieutenant is simply removed but that second and first lieutenant are brought down a level in the army sequence and ensign replaces third lieutenant in the navy sequence (which requires alterations to the ranks between ensign and lieutenant-commander). So clarification is needed on this point.
Other characters addressed or referred to as "Lieutenant" without specifying level, are: Borgnine, Marie Crystal, Claudia Grant, Lucas, Mitchell, Sammy Porter, Nova Satori, and Kim Young.
"...without specifying level..." is clumsy and superfluous.
Lieutenant-Commander is a senior officer in the Earth forces who may command a squadron or corvette.
No, a lieutenant-commander is a junior officer. 'Senior officer rank' is not the same as either 'field officer rank' or 'equivalent of a field officer rank'.
Squadron of ships, tanks, aircraft, what? Aircraft seems to be what's intended, so say so.
Again, the potential for wrongly inferring that someone who holds such an appointment has to have such a rank, that anyone of such a rank can have such an appointment, or that other appointments are not possible.
Major is a senior officer in Earth's forces, equal to a Lieutenant-Commander, who may command a company or equivalent.
'Senior officer rank' is not the same as 'field officer rank'. In most English-speaking armies major is recognized as the lowest field officer rank, and full colonel is the lowest senior officer rank.
Again, the potential for wrongly inferring that someone who holds such an appointment has to have such a rank, that anyone of such a rank can have such an appointment, or that other appointments are not possible. To put it clearly, discounting high-attrition circumstances, company and equivalent commanders are typically either majors or captains. (Which doesn't mean that a typical major or captain is a company commander.)
Private constitutes the lowest set of elisted personnel in Earth's forces.
Something like "Privates are the lowest-ranking members of earth's forces" would be better.
"Private" is used as a form of address for anyone with a Private rank--such as Private Second Class (Sean Phillips). Bowie Grant, Jordan, Rhode and Musica in-cognito are all addressed and/or referenced as "Private" without specifying level.
Something like "A person of any grade of private may be addressed or referred to as 'private'. Musica (when in military disguise), Sean Phillips, Bowie Grant, Jordan and Rhode are all addressed and/or referred to as 'private'. Sean Phillips is also referred to more specifically as a private second class (which implies the existence of private first class)." would be better.
Sergeant is a non-comissioned officer in Earth's forces lower than a Chief NCO.
There are no grounds for assuming that 'chief' is short for 'chief NCO', and the existence of such a weird title is extremely unlikely.
There are several variations of the rank in the real world, but only one referenced in dialog; Staff Sergeant (higher than Sergeant) is referenced in the animation.
'Several variations' is putting it mildly. There are a great many variations. It's correct that only 'sergeant' is mentioned in the dialogue. However, what is mentioned in the animation is 'S/SGT', which is normally the abbreviation of staff sergeant (the rank immediately above sergeant), but it doesn't have to be in this case.
In the real world, "Sergenat" is only used to address servicemen of that rank (not Staff Sergeant); this may not the be case in the United Earth Governemnt (see Lieutenant, above).
In most cases among English-speaking militaries only people whose full rank is sergeant are called 'sergeant'. There are exceptions, such as where sergeant ranks are distinguished using numbers (e.g. a sergeant first class may be called 'sergeant'). The reference to the government is irrelevant. Sergeants are military personnel, not government officials. The note regarding lieutenant is superfluous.
Military ranks are designations denoting military members' superiority or inferiority (such as in terms of status, authority and privilege) in relation to other members.
The Earth forces use a unique set of ranks drawn from the traditions of the numerous states that are now governed by the United Earth Government.
Chief (in the list of ranks)
A note should be added to the effect that this is either the short form of a rank that is not mentioned in full or not referred to a rank at all (we can't rule out either possibility).