Real World Definition Edit
Rear Admiral is a naval commissioned officer rank above that of a Commodore and Captain, and below that of a Vice Admiral. It is generally regarded as the lowest of the "Admiral" ranks, which are also sometimes referred to as "Flag officers" and/or "Flag ranks". In many armed forces it is referred to as a two-star rank.
It originated from the days of Naval Sailing Squadrons and can trace its origins to the Royal Navy. Each Naval Squadron would be assigned an admiral as its head, who would command from the centre vessel and direct the activities of the squadron. The admiral would in turn be assisted by a vice admiral, who commanded the lead ships which would bear the brunt of a naval battle. In the rear of the Naval Squadron, a third admiral would command the remaining ships and, as this section of the squadron was considered to be in the least danger, the admiral in command of the rear would typically be the most junior of the squadron admirals. This has survived into the modern age, with the rank of rear admiral the most-junior of the admiralty ranks of many navies.
In some European navies (e.g., that of France), and in the Canadian Forces French rank translations, the rank of rear admiral is known as counter admiral. In the Royal Netherlands Navy, this rank is known as schout-bij-nacht, (lit.: supervisor during night), denoting the role junior to the squadron admiral, and fleet admiral.
Definition in the Star Trek Universe Edit
Rear admiral was a flag officer rank used by naval organizations, traditionally between the grades of commodore and vice admiral. This rank was used by the Federation Starfleet (as well as its predecessor the Earth Starfleet). Some systems instead used two tiers of rear admiral rank, "rear admiral upper half" and "rear admiral lower half." Officers of the lower half were equal in grade to commodores.
In the Earth organization, rear admirals (such as Daniel Leonard) were denoted by two rank insignia enclosed in a rectangular frame, worn on both sides of a uniform jacket. These officers also had a series of rank stripes on their sleeve, a group of four stripes (three in a group, and one separate towards the cuff). (ENT: "Broken Bow")
In the subsequent Federation fleets, rear admirals (such as James T. Kirk) were again denoted by sleeve stripes, this time signified by a similar insignia, one solid band of braid, and an additional stripe separate. Rear admiral's shoulder insignia, for epaulet uniforms, was a single eight pointed star. (Star Trek: The Motion Picture)
By the Starfleet uniform design of the 2280s, Kirk (and all other officers) wore their insignia as a pin device attached to the shoulder on the jacket clasp. The rear admiral pin was a small round field with four gold arrowheads arranged pointing towards the center, and was accompanied by an embroidered sleeve stripe. (Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan)
24th century Starfleet ranks changed the system slightly, deprecating the commodore grade, instead calling officers of that standing "rear admiral lower half." The lower half rear admirals (such as Gregory Quinn and Mark Jameson) wore one triangular admiral braid on their shoulders, while upper half rear admirals wore one triangular braid and one rank pip beneath it (as Savar did). (TNG: "Too Short a Season", "Conspiracy")
Use of the rank in Star Trek: Second Fleet Online Edit
The rank of Rear Admiral in Star Trek: Second Fleet Online would be used when a full Tactical Wing has been established (16 ships, 125-250 members). Rear Admirals will typically serve (when feasible for the RP) as Brigade Commanders and possibly the Executive Officer of the fleet and/or Starbase for the fleet. This rank will be offered in both the Command and Academy Divisions of ST: SFO. Please note that the academy division is non-canon to Star Trek and is only in use for this RP.
Rank Insignia History Edit