[LMB] Barrayar's rank system

Andrew Barton AndrewBarton at compuserve.com
Fri, 14 Nov 2003 18:13:03 -0500


Corrina:
> leaving the subject and wondering if anyone's figured out the ranking in
the
> Imperial Service yet. Because it seems to me Army and Navy ranks are all
> mixed together and I can't sort them out......Miles get a promotion to
> Captain from Lt. but that's an Army rank, yet he started out as an
Ensign,
> which is a Navy rank. And there's generals and colonels (Army ranks) and
> also commanders and admirals...and I can't sort out which branch of the
> service belongs to which ranking.

Some observations, which I haven't attempted to combine into a general
theory ...

When Miles is awaiting his first assignment he's hoping for ship-duty, but
gets posted to an army training base.  My impression from this and other
references is that Barrayar doesn't have an army/navy service split.  Maybe
'Admiral' and 'General' are job titles as well as ranks, like Captain in
some navies.

Ensign is a -US- Navy rank.  In Britain it's not a current rank at all, and
back in the Napoleonic period it was an Army rank in the infantry (the
cavalry equivalent was Cornet).

The British army has several cases where what is essentially the same rank
has different names in different units - sometimes corporal is a higher
rank than sergeant.  I suspect the Barrayarans may do the same.

In CC, when Nikki calls for help the response is led by an ImpSec officer
who introduces himself as 'Ground-Captain' Sphaleros.

Andrew