Ranks in Wing Commander IV

Welcome to the third part of our practical Wing Commander ranks guide! The ranks in Wing Commander IV are most familiar to fans owing to the fact that the game's credits clearly identify many characters' full ranks and the DVD quality videos have allowed them to be carefully observed. But our review found some interesting notes - including a Navy rank not called out before and the fact that some of these are quite different from those seen in Wing Commander III!

Wing Commander IV uses the same rank scheme established in Victory Streak, but it shows a different subset of them. The Union of Border Worlds seems to use the same system as the Confederation. We also see the first Marine rank to appear in the games! Let's have a look...

Space Force

Second Lieutenant (O-1): The Space Force Second Lieutenant insignia is a single gold square. Catscratch wears this insignia in Wing Commander IV. It differs from the version used in Wing Commander III.

First Lieutenant (O-2) or Captain (O3): This Space Force insignia is two gold vertical squares. Since it is not worn by any named characters, it is not clear which rank it represents. This was used as the Major insignia in Wing Commander III, which has changed for Wing Commander IV. Many of the pilots aboard the Lexington wear this rank. Whichever rank it is not is not seen in the game.

Major (O-4): The Space Force Major insignia is a gold rectangle with a vertical part on the right side. This is different from Wing Commander III. Maniac wears a Major's pin.

Lieutenant Colonel (O-5): The Lieutenant Colonel insignia is not seen in Wing Commander IV.

Colonel (O-6): The Space Force Colonel insignia is a gold rectangle with a horizontal part below. This is the same as Wing Commander III. Blair, Seether, Panther and Hawk all wear Colonel insignias.

Flag Ranks: No Space Force flag ranks are seen in Wing Commander IV.

Navy

Ensign, Second Class (O-1) & Ensign (O-2): These ranks do not appear on-screen.

Second Lieutenant (O-3): The Navy Second Lieutenant pin is identical to the Space Force Second Lieutenant insignia, though it represents a different grade. Naismith and a variety of background characters wear the Second Lieutenant rank.

First Lieutenant (O-3): The Navy First Lieutenant pin is identical to the Space Force First Lieutenant or Captain insignia, though it represents a different grade. Sosa and the Intrepid's helmswoman wear the First Lieutenant rank.

Lieutenant Commander (O-4) or Commander (O-5): This Navy insignia is visible on one of the Vesuvius' bridge officers. It is the same design as the Space Force Major (O-4) insignia in silver.

Captain (O-6): The Navy Captain insignia is a solid silver retangle. It is the same as the Captain insignia used in Wing Commander III. Eisen and Paulsen both wear this insignia.

Commodore (O-7) or Rear Admiral (O-8): These ranks are not seen on-screen.

Vice Admiral (O-9): Vice Admiral Wilford wears a rank insignia which seems to be identical to the five squares worn by Admiral (O-10) Tolwyn.

Admiral (O-10): Admiral Tolwyn wears the five silver squares of an Admiral. As with Wing Commander III, the game's production seems to have intended him to be a full Admiral (O-10) while the novel does mention that he is a Rear Admiral (O-8.) Note that this rank insignia is different from that used in Wing Commander III, which was a square with four rectangles rather than five squares.

Space Marshal (O-11): When Admiral Tolwyn is promoted to Space Marshal, he is awarded the medal which he wears around his neck.

Marines

Lieutenant Colonel (O-5): Dekker wears the only Marine rank seen in the game, which seems to be identical to the Space Force Colonel insignia.

Unfortunately, Chris Roberts' Black Lance uniform has no rank insignia! But Wing Commander IV has many extras who wear all varieties of rank pins - so you'll be able to enjoy recognizing what they mean… especially when watched on the higher quality DVD version!


Wing Commander CIC - Visit the front page

Official news, fan projects and topics of particular interest to Wing Commander fans. Recent updates:


Waterloo Prepares For Battle
2017-10-22 -- Klavs has taken a well earned break from designing real space ships to further expand his Wing Commander fleet. Today's addition is the powerful Waterloo cruiser. We don't get to admire this ship as much as we'd like in WC2, so it's nice to see how fans have taken a liking to it.

WC3 Memory Glitch Got A Clever Cover Up
2017-10-21 -- There’s a well known anecdote from the development of WC1 that talks about how an error message when quitting the game was changed to “Thank you for playing Wing Commander.” That story now has a sequel thanks to a tweet by WC3 programmer Robin Todd! In this case, there was a random crash that was changed to resemble a CD-ROM error.

Academy Concept Art Shows Off WC3 Roots
2017-10-20 -- Renowned comic and storyboard artist Tim Eldred has posted a couple of neat pictures to his Instagram. They feature concept sketch work that he did for Wing Commander Academy before the show was made. These were done early in his professional life and ended up influencing the rest of his career.

Delve Deeper Into FM Towns Wing Commander
2017-10-19 -- The amazing Pix of Pix's Origin Adventures is back with a second look at Wing Commander for the Japanese FM Towns system. If you missed his first look, it's worth a read so you can get a better understanding of the hardware and software package that goes into this. Now that he's played the game a bit, he's summarized some of the pros and cons inherent in this fairly advanced port.

Origin Heroes Profiled In New Sketches
2017-10-18 -- Denis Loubet has drawn a new pair of images based on some of his early work at Origin. They depict the twin stars of Ultima and Wing Commander reflecting on the struggles they face. Wingnuts at the CIC Forums helped provide reference material and recommendations on Bluehair's look.

High Quality Orca Pods Make A Splash
2017-10-17 -- The Secret Ops Model Upgrade Pack has another fearsome addition. DefianceIndustries has successfully implemented Dark Sentinel's Orca destroyer. It looks great in the Vision Engine with a blend of distinctive details and elements that shimmer into the starry blackness.

WC Solar Empire Game Now Available To Try
2017-10-16 -- The first playable test release of the Wing Commander Mod for Sins of a Solar Empire has been released! Nomada_Firefox cautions that there are likely to be issues that players encounter, but feedback at this stage is quite valuable and it looks like a pretty cool fleet battle game. Obviously the SoaSE base game is required, and fans can download the files after registering here.

Wing Commander Available Via Movies Anywhere
2017-10-15 -- Five of the biggest movie studios have surprisingly banded together to fix an annoying aspect of the digital age. As we accumulate movies across different platforms, our library gets scattered and we have to utilize a wide variety of services to see what we own. But now, movies that that were produced by 20th Century Fox, Warner Brothers, Universal, Disney and Sony Pictures and are owned within iTunes, Amazon Video, Vudu or Google Play can now be interlinked under an umbrella called Movies Anywhere.

Homeworld Mod Adds Confed Light Cruiser
2017-10-14 -- The Homeworld Remastered mod has been looking at how to fill a gap in the Confed fleet lineup, and L.I.F.

Games Within Games
2017-10-13 -- Mainstream gaming news site Kotaku has an article that promises a hidden, text-based adventure game hidden inside Wing Commander: Privateer. And it's true! The original Privateer shipped with a small file called TABTNE.

Scim Milk
2017-10-12 -- Here's one that goes back a bit: DefianceIndustries, master of the Vision Engine visual Upgrade Pack, happened across a Wing Commander-inspired ship design he'd worked on some years ago: a 'movie' version of the CF-105 Scimitar! It's a pretty neat concept, mixing the classic Scimitar with the look of the movie's Rapier. Scimitars were mentioned as precursors to the movie's Rapiers in the Confederation Handbook's Joan's Fighting Ships section...

Not News: Space Battleship Yamato
2017-10-11 -- Okay, we're going to level with you on this one: our site's CMS has a section called 'skeleton' where we put ideas for future Wing Commander updates. If we don't have time to write up an article or find screenshots, we'll leave notes for other CIC staff members. We update every day, so we work together to make sure there's something interesting.

Will it Blender?
2017-10-10 -- Here's a surprise treat for anyone interested in learning to make their own 3D spaceships: a two-part, 24-minute tutorial showing how to build a Union of Border Worlds Banshee using Blender! These excellent videos were created by a user named 백선모 and it's unclear where they were intended to be published.

Aren't You a Little Star Wars to Blow Up a Fralthra?
2017-10-09 -- In addition to being an extremely talented artist, Howard Day is a man who knows his explosions! Wing Commander II has two sets of 'ship killed' sprites, one for fighters and one for capital ships. As it turns out, both of them were taken straight from the Endor battle in the third Star Wars film, Return of the Jedi.

Grin and Behr It
2017-10-08 -- Well before Alexa and Siri, before even Merlin there was... Dani! One of the selling points of Privateer 2: The Darkening was that your ship's computer was voiced by British actress and presenter Dani Behr.

Ranks in Wing Commander IV
2017-10-07 -- Welcome to the third part of our practical Wing Commander ranks guide! The ranks in Wing Commander IV are most familiar to fans owing to the fact that the game's credits clearly identify many characters' full ranks and the DVD quality videos have allowed them to be carefully observed. But our review found some interesting notes - including a Navy rank not called out before and the fact that some of these are quite different from those seen in Wing Commander III!

Ranks in Wing Commander III
2017-10-06 -- After learning the rank system for the Wing Commander movie, we decided to take a look back at the full motion video games. We were surprised to find that what we thought we knew wasn't accurate: as it turns out, the ranks used in Wing Commander III are different from those seen in the later games! The ranks in WC3 are harder to track because of the lower quality video, but a careful review can determine them for every character.

Ranks in the Wing Commander Movie
2017-10-05 -- I was disappointed in myself recently when I realized I had never bothered to learn the rank insignias used in the Wing Commander movie. Just like the full motion video games, Chris Roberts' team developed an entire system of rank insignias that was never explained… just shown in action! AD was kind enough to grab some screenshots and as a result we have created this guide to identifying officers and enlisted men in the film.

Wing Commander Academy in Arabic
2017-10-04 -- Some time ago we reported that Wing Commander Academy had been translated and broadcast on TV in Arabic. Now streaming service Star Dima has the episodes available for viewing online! You can access the series here.

Back to the Shack
2017-10-03 -- RadioShackCatalogs is an excellent resource for nostalgia-craving tech fans! The site offers high quality scans of 66 years worth of Radio Shack catalog. We've done the hard work for you, though, and have located the one listing for a Wing Commander game: Wing Commander III in the 1996 catalog!

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