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RANK INSIGNIA IN THE SHADOW CHRONICLES



Back to Rank Insignia of the Armed Forces of the World Government


Note: For information concerning rank structure, titles and original series dialogue references see Ranks of the Armed Forces of the World Government.



RANKS IN THE SHADOW CHRONICLES FILM


Thankfully only these ranks are mentioned in The Shadow Chronicles (TSC) film:
    - admiral;
    - general;
    - captain (navy-style);
    - commander;
    - lieutenant-commander; and
    - lieutenant.

So there is no conflict with the post-TMS rank structure in the TV series as far as rank titles alone are concerned.



INSIGNIA IN THE SHADOW CHRONICLES FILM


Robotech's tradition of godawful uniforms is continued, and the creation of uniforms that do not closely resemble the post-TMS uniforms of the TV series was stupid (not to mention the fact that female personnel seem to be required to glue them to their conspicuously fake breasts). This is just one of a number of gratuitous inconsistencies in relation to the original series.

The new uniforms are silly enough but not one but several possible styles of rank insignia are included, which are not depicted consistently. About the only thing HG got right in The Sentinels was using a style of rank insignia that actually appeared in the TV series. Logically this rank insignia scheme should apply to all parts of the UEF. Instead, with TSC they have exerted a great deal of unnecessary effort to make a huge mess of it. There are yellow/gold stripes on the shoulders, yellow/gold stripes on the forearms, and yellow/gold bars on the collar. None of these seems to apply to non-commissioned ranks, so this page shall deal with commissioned officer ranks only.

The shoulder and sleeve stripes of dress uniforms and the collar bars seem to match most of the time. The stripes on the forearms of the tight-fitting combat uniforms were depicted very inconsistently and don't always match those on the shoulders, and sometimes they don't appear at all. Hence, we have little choice but to ignore these altogether, which is hardly a problem as they are superfluous anyway.

The fact that collar bars in the original TV series don't seem to correlate with ranks means that if TSC collar insignia refer to rank, they are incompatible with the same style of collar insignia in the series. Only some characters wear them and they are superfluous.

The following combinations exist in TSC, excluding forearm stripes on the combat uniform:

Admiral Hunter: 2 narrow stripes and 1 broad stripe on each shoulder.

General Reinhardt: 2 narrow stripes and 1 broad stripe on each shoulder; 2 narrow stripes and 1 broad stripe on each forearm; 4 bars on each side of the collar.

Unnamed officer wearing cap: 2 narrow stripes and 1 broad stripe on each shoulder.

Captain Grant: 4 narrow stripes on each shoulder, 4 narrow stripes on each forearm.

Bridge officer: 3 narrow stripes on each shoulder, 3 bars on each side of the collar.

Lieutenant-Commander Sterling: 3 narrow stripes on each shoulder.

Nichols: 3 narrow stripes on each shoulder.

Female officer at briefing: 3 narrow stripes on each shoulder, 3 narrow stripes on the forearm.

Male officer leaving briefing: 3 narrow stripes on the forearm.

Officers at briefing: 3 narrow stripes on each shoulder.

Lieutenant-Commander Scott Bernard: 2 narrow stripes on the shoulder. Scott also retains the stripe above the zigzag on the black triangular badge from TNG.

Female bridge officer with spectacles: 2 narrow stripes on each shoulder, 2 bars on each side of the collar.

Jean Grant: 2 narrow stripes on each shoulder.

Ship's commanding officer: 2 narrow stripes on each shoulder.

Lieutenants Romero and Rush: 1 medium stripe on each shoulder.

Male bridge officer: 1 narrow stripe on each shoulder, 1 bar on each side of the collar.



Hunter

Reinhardt

Reinhardt


Unnamed officer wearing cap

Vince Grant

Vince Grant


Sterling

Female officer at briefing ...

... same female officer at briefing


Bernard

Romero and Rush

Female bridge officer with spectacles



REAL-WORLD OFFICER RANK INSIGNIA


The method of representing commissioned officer ranks using stripes is very common. There are a number of different ways of doing it.

This is the usual version in the English-speaking world (there are minor differences in stripe widths and differences in colour between various services and garments), shown in ascending order:



Some services have a different arrangement for junior officer ranks:



Some services have a 3½-stripe rank either with all the others or without one of the others:



Some have a different sequence altogether, such as:




DEDUCTIVE INTERPRETATION OF SHOULDER AND SLEEVE INSIGNIA IN T.S.C.


Note: The distances between multiple stripes in the images below have been standardised for presentation purposes.

If Hunter is a vice-admiral, Reinhardt is a lieutenant-general and Grant is a navy-style captain then their shoulder and sleeve insignia conform to the usual system of the English-speaking world:


Captain:
Grant
Vice-adm/lt-gen:
Hunter,
Reinhardt


Though lieutenant-commander is a 2½-stripe rank in the real world, lieutenant-commander Sterling has three stripes of equal width:


?
Lt-cdr:
Sterling
Commander
Captain:
Grant


Lieutenant-Commander Bernard has only two stripes despite holding the rank of the same name as Sterling, who has three. This indicates that there are two grades of lieutenant-commander. (This conclusion is also supported by evidence in the TV series.)


?
Lt-cdr2:
Bernard
Lt-cdr1:
Sterling
Commander
Captain:
Grant


This arrangement implies that commander and lieutenant-colonel have 3½ stripes. However, in episode 68 of the TV series Wolfe wears two stripes on his sleeve in a flashback scene in which he is either a 'full' colonel or a lieutenant-colonel:



This isn't the same arrangement as Captain Grant's insignia (the navy-style rank of captain being equivalent to colonel) so this must be for lieutenant-colonel. Lieutenant-colonel has to be higher than any grade of lieutenant-commander so Wolfe's stripes must be wider than Sterling's and Bernard's, which is implied by the animation:


Lt-cdr2:
Bernard
Lt-cdr1:
Sterling
Cdr/lt-col:
Wolfe
Captain:
Grant


Lieutenants Romero and Rush each wear a single stripe that is clearly wider than those worn by Sterling and others, but not as wide as the broad stripes worn by Hunter and Reinhardt. Romero and Rush rank below lieutenant-commander and above the servicemen who wear a single narrower stripe:


"Lt":
Romero,
Rush
Lt-cdr2:
Bernard
Lt-cdr1:
Sterling
Cdr/lt-col:
Wolfe
Captain:
Grant


Result:


1st Lt

Romero,
Rush

Lt-cdr2/
capt

Bernard,
Grant (J)

Lt-cdr1/
major

Sterling,
Nichols

Cdr/
lt-col

Wolfe

Captain/
colonel

Grant (V)

Vice-adm/
lt-gen

Hunter,
Reinhardt


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