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

Also note:
    - commissioned Army officers up to and including captains are company officers;
    - general officers are those whose rank includes the word 'general';
    - field officers are those who rank between company and general officers;
    - flag officers are those whose rank includes the word 'admiral'; and
    - there may be either two or three enlisted ranks above the sergeant rank held by Angelo Dante.


To my knowledge there are only three things in TMS that could be interpreted as United Earth Forces rank insignia.

The only definite example is the badge Rick Hunter is given in episode 8 on being commissioned as a third lieutenant. Hunter is instructed to wear it next to his medal. This design bears a strong resemblance to Belgian military collar badges.

Third lieutenant

Examples of Belgian Army collar badges.
L: major/majoor (major), Light Regiment.
R: sous-lieutenant/onderluitenant (second lieutenant), Carabiniers.

The devices depicted in the following chart would be displayed on the type of badge that Hunter is given, but may be displayed in other ways on different garments.

lowest >> highest

Officer cadet

Company officer ranks and their equivalents

Field officer ranks and their equivalents

Flag and general officer ranks

A split star appears on the sides of Gloval's ceremonial 'wrap' in the motorcade scene of episode 1. This is replicated on the rear of the car in the same scene in much the same way as real-world flag/general officers display their rank insignia on vehicles. However, this design does not appear on the wrap in other scenes. Given that Gloval (unlike his Macross counterpart) does not hold a 'one-star' rank at this point, and that the star itself is split, this device is better explained as something other than rank insignia or even ignored altogether due to its absence in other scenes.

Captain Gloval

There is only one example of enlisted rank insignia in TMS (episode 27) and though it's definitely rank insignia it's not certain that the wearer is a member of the UEF. It consists of three yellow/gold downward-pointing chevrons, which is recognised throughout the English-speaking world as the insignia of the rank of sergeant. There is also a red upward-pointing chevron or similar device of unknown significance (perhaps it fulfils the same function as the chevron on Hunter's third lieutenant badge). The possibility that it is UEF rank insignia should be disregarded due to the lack of evidence that the wearer is a member of the UEF and the fact that the design does not fit with what we know to be UEF rank insignia.



The rank-specific insignia designs shown below have been derived from those that appear in TRM and in the animation of Robotech II: The Sentinels that was completed before The Sentinels was aborted. However, their application in both productions was not entirely consistent.

Insignia for enlisted ranks up to the lowest sergeant rank (Angelo Dante's rank) and several company officer ranks appear in the TV series. The elements of the designs that are distinctive to field and general officer ranks appear in The Sentinels animation. I have extrapolated all other designs from these.

It seems that it was intended that each design be derived from an equilateral triangle. For example:

Usually they appear on the piece of body armour that covers the side of the shoulder (below, left). Major Carpenter and his crew presumably wear theirs on the left side of the chest (below, right), though these badges were not depicted with any clarity (but they are shown to be vaguely the same shape).

Clear appearances in the animation include the insignia of:
    - Second Lieutenant Dana Sterling;
    - Sergeant Angelo Dante;
    - Lance Corporal Louie Nichols.

Because of the absence of UEF enlisted rank insignia in TMS's animation the enlisted insignia of this scheme should be regarded as existing during the TMS era as well.

lowest >> highest

Private third class
and equivalents
Private first class,
private second class
and their equivalents

Lance corporal, corporal, sergeant
and their equivalents

Enlisted ranks above sergeant level

* It would have been better if privates' rank-specific insignia were limited to private first
class, but Private Second Class Sean Phillips wears the same design as other privates.

** This design is applicable only if there are three enlisted rank levels above sergeant.

lowest >> highest

Officer cadet

Company officer ranks and their equivalents

Field officer ranks and their equivalents

Flag and general officer ranks

There is a possibility that a rank insignia scheme based on the arrangement of bars worn on the collar and chest can be devised. However, the result is unlikely to be completely consistent with the dialogue and would require inventing subtle differences in the designs.

Though not rank insignia, the body armour (specifically helmet) designs differ conspicuously according to rank as follows:
    - commissioned officers (and presumably officer cadets);
    - sergeant ranks and equivalents; and
    - corporal ranks and equivalents, and below.


In TNG only rank class insignia are visible to the audience. The designs feature a black triangle with a white zigzag, which replaced the arrowhead-on-disc symbol seen in TMS as the emblem of whole of the world government's armed forces. (See Flags and Emblems.)

Commissioned officer rank classes are supposed to be distinguished by one or more stripes above the zigzag. However, the animators were a bit careless and some commissioned officers in TNG appear to wear the enlisted version in either some or all shots in which they appear.

Note that Scott Bernard is a lieutenant-commander and he wears the one-stripe version. His rank is the lower of two grades of lieutenant-commander (which is indicated by insignia in TSC).




Colonel or lieutenant-colonel

Enlisted ranks

Officer cadet

Company officer ranks
and their equivalents

Field officer ranks
and their equivalents

Flag and general
officer ranks

There is a possibility (except that it would now contradict the design of uniforms in The Shadow Chronicles film) of the stripes on the triangular badge corresponding with stripes on the cuffs of certain ceremonial uniforms, as may be the case with Colonel Wolfe (episode 68). This has no relevance to forearm stripes in TMS, which are not related to rank.

Colonel or lieutenant-colonel


See Rank Insignia In The Shadow Chronicles.

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