Military Ranks (TOS)

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Below is a listing of military ranks within the Colonial Warrior hierarchy.

BSG Military Rankings U.S. Air Force Rankings BSG Examples
Commander General Commander Adama [1]
Commander Lieutenant General Commander Cain [2], Commander Kronus [3]
Colonel Colonel Colonel Tigh
Colonel (Jr. or Lt.Col.) Lieutenant Colonel Colonel Tolan [4]
Major[5] Major N/A
Captain Captain Captain Apollo
Lieutenant (1st/Sr. grade) First Lieutenant Boomer, Sheba, Starbuck[6][7], Bojay
Lieutenant (2nd/Jr. grade) 2nd Lieutenant Brie, Deitra, and Zac
Ensign N/A Ensign Greenbean [8]
Senior Flight Sergeant Staff Sergeant Jolly
Flight Sergeant Senior Airman Ortega
Flight Corporal Airman 1st Class Rigel
Petty Officer/Yeoman/Private (1st Class) Airman N/A
Cadets[9] N/A Bow, Cree, Shields
Recruits N/A Borellian Nomen "Recruits" (TOS: "The Man with Nine Lives")

See Also


This information is derived from the defunct Battlestar Galactica InfoSphere; credit for initial corrections of this rank breakdown go to the fan referred to as "Fur".


  1. Under martial law Adama is the Supreme Commander of the remaining Rag-tag Fleet (TOS: "Baltar's Escape").
  2. In "The Living Legend" Commander Cain is believed lost with the Fifth Fleet. However it is never said that Cain was 5th Fleet's Commander. Cain is an independent operator and this would slow his promotions. Cain and Adama are from the same class and Cain finished ahead of Adama. Tigh (likely a sophomore when Cain and Adama graduated) was at the Academy during the same timeframe, but is younger than them.
  3. Commander Kronus was fleet commander of 600 ships including the battlestar Rycon (Fourth Fleet). He was retired, but is re-activated by Commander Adama, himself Kronus's former aide (TOS: "Take the Celestra").
  4. Cain's XO, Colonel Tolan refers to Colonel Tigh as "sir" in "The Living Legend, Part II". Full Colonels do not address one another as "sir". However all Colonels (even Lt. Colonels) are addressed as "Colonel" or "sir" by lower ranking staff. On the other hand, since Tigh had been temporarily installed as commander of Pegasus, Tolen would have to address him as sir—even if they were the same rank (so there may not be a rank of 'Lieutenant Colonel').
  5. The rank of Major is used in the novelizations
  6. In "Saga of a Star World," Starbuck leads the Red Squadron. Further, he is often the right hand man of Apollo, particularly in episodes such as "Lost Planet of the Gods," "The Gun on Ice Planet Zero," "Fire In Space" and "The Hand of God," and afforded responsibilities of a First Lieutenant.
  7. It should also be noted that in the Galactica 1980 episode, "The Return of Starbuck," he is noted as a first lieutenant in the Colonial Fleet.
  8. Zac was probably an Ensign, but listed incorrectly on the credits of "Saga of a Star World". The reasoning is that Zac had never been on a patrol. Lieutenants typically have flight experience and accrued flight time.
  9. Cadets were mentioned to attend the Fleet Academy in "Saga of a Star World".