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Imperial Navy Hierarchy

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Imperial Navy Officer

The Imperial Navy has a rigid command structure, seemingly unified across the whole organisation unlike the Imperial Guard which has no standard organization.

Admiralty Ranks

Lord High Admiral of the Imperial Navy

The Lord High Admiral of the Imperial Navy is the highest rank of the imperial Navy. Most often selected from the Lord High Admiral of Segmentum Solar, the Lord High Admiral of the Navy oversees his forces interests on the Senatorum Imperialis and Terra while the five Segmentum Lord High Admirals manage fleet affairs.[18][8]

Known Lord High Admirals of the Imperial Navy

Lord High Admiral

Lord High Admiral (also referred to as Lord Militant Commander or Lord Commander) is the highest command rank in the Imperial Navy. There are five Lord High Admirals, each one controlling a fleet of the five Segmentae Majoris. Although all five are ranked equally, command of the Segmentum Solar is considered the most prestigious office.[8]

Known Lord High Admirals:

Lord Admirals

Lord Admiral Kranswar

A Lord Admiral commands a Battlefleet[3], and is in charge of all naval forces in a particular sector.

Solar Admiral is a prospective sector commander, awaiting assignment to take command of a particular Battlefleet.[10a]

Known Lord Admirals:


Admiral Parol

A High Admiral commands a Crusade or collection of Battlegroups.[17]

Known High Admirals:

An Admiral sees command of a Battlegroup, which is an assigned grouping of ships to handle certain situations.[3]

Known Admirals:

Main article: List of Admirals

Vice-Admiral is traditionally in charge of a vanguard, and as such is usually placed in command of scouting forces of light cruisers and destroyers[10b].

Known Vice Admirals:

Rear-Admiral is usually an administrative post, based around logistics and planning.[10b]

Known Rear Admirals:

Battlefleet Ranks

Senior Officers

Commodore or Commodore-Captain is a rank held by personnel such as the adjutant to an Admiral or the commander of a battle-squadron.[7]

Known Commodores:

Lord High Captain ranks between a Lord Captain and a Commodore.[20]

Lord-Captain or Flag-Captain is the rank given to the Captain of a vessel on detached duty.[10b]

Known Lord-Captains:

Captain: in the Imperial Navy the rank of captain implies that the bearer has command of a ship. On board his ship, his word is law, above that of any other, save the Emperor's own. An Imperial Navy captain receives orders from a Rear-Admiral. He would then interpret these orders, and have them carried out by delegating tasks to his command staff.[Needs Citation]

Known Captains

Commander is a senior officer rank within the Imperial Navy held, for example, by the First Officer of an Imperial Cruiser or the captain of an escort vessel.[4]

Known Commanders:

Lieutenant Commander is a senior officer rank within the Imperial Navy.[4]


Known Lieutenant Heraldus:

Junior Officers

The bulk of officers on a ship are the Lieutenants. In the early days of the Navy, these were were ranked in accordance with seniority going as far as Twelfth Lieutenant and possibly beyond.[19] The modern Navy uses numbered Lieutenants as three distinct ranks.[10c]

  • Flag-Lieutenant or Lord-Lieutenant is the highest Lieutenant rank in the Navy, and may be the second in command of a ship.[10c]
  • First Lieutenant[10c]
  • Second Lieutenant[10c]
  • Third Lieutenant[10c]
  • Sub-Lieutenant or Ensign is the most junior Lieutenant rank.[10c]
  • Midshipman is the rank given to 'trainee' officers, who have to pass extensive examinations before becoming a Lieutenant.[10c]

Non-Commissioned Officers

Non-commissioned ranks within the Imperial Navy include:

  • Warrant Officer[5]
  • Master Chief Petty Officer[4]
  • Senior Chief Petty Officer is a senior NCO rank, denoted by a gold-fringed red rank sash.[7]
  • Chief Petty Officer[4]
  • Sergeant-at-Arms[10c] or Senior Armsman is often in charge of squad of armsmen.[4]
  • Crewboss is often in charge of a shift on convicts.[4]


  • A Voidsman-at-Arms, or Armsman is tasked with maintaining security, boarding enemy vessels and repelling boarders.[6]
  • A Trusted Crewman, Voidsman or Shipman (archaic)[10d] is a rank held by the skilled crew of the vessel[4]

Attack Craft Ranks

The ranks of personnel assigned to Attack Craft differ from regular Naval ranks:

  • Wing Commander — The commander of all attack craft on board a carrier ship.[10b]
  • Wing Captain — The commander of a long-range patrol attack craft such as a Faustus Class Interceptor.[5]
  • Squadron Commander — The commander of a squadron consisting of attack craft such as a Starhawk Bomber.[6]
  • Squadron Sergeant — A pilot who has demonstrated skill and tactical leadership.[20]

Naval Security Ranks

Naval Security also have ranks differing from regular Naval ranks:

Indomitus Crusade Ranks


A high-level rank which commands Indomitus Crusade Battlefleets.[26]


A rank below Fleetmaster[26], Groupmasters command the self-sufficient Battlegroups that are formed from the Indomitus Crusade battlefleets. They also have the ability to requisition what they need to recover any losses the Battlegroups have suffered. Such is their power, that Groupmasters are only answerable to their battlefleet's Fleetmaster and Lord Commander Roboute Guilliman, who has assigned each Indomitus Crusade battlefleet with a grand strategic mission.[32]

Great Crusade Ranks

Grand Admiral

During the Great Crusade in the Imperialis Armada there was a rank named Grand Admiral. At least one of the Grand Admirals is known: Constansa Suati-Falkan.[21]

Badges of Rank

The Imperial Navy uses the following badges for senior officers:[20]


See also