First Wing Commander game, Naval and Army ranks....

Discussion in 'General Wing Commander Chat' started by FredDude32, Oct 17, 2016.

  1. FredDude32

    FredDude32 Captain

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    Sorry for often asked question, but...reasons!

    The WC games features pilot ranks accordingly: 2nd LT, 1st LT, Captain, Major, LT Colonel and Colonel.
    However, In Wing Commander Prophecy, Blair is a Commodore..Which is, as I understand it, a Navy rank.

    So with that in mind: What branch of the service does the pilots, as portrayed being on carries of the TC Navy, belong to exactly?
     
  2. FredDude32

    FredDude32 Captain

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    ...and I'm totaly okay with being totally ignorant & wrong & buttmunch!
    I admit I have no idea how this stuff works!
     
  3. capi3101

    capi3101 Rear Admiral

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    They are part of the Terran Confederation Space Force, an analog to the Air Force. It's mentioned in that he changed his commission over to Navy for the Midway project (specifically the "megacarrier project") for administrative reasons in The Official Strategy Guide for Wing Commander Prophecy, though I don't know if that counts as canon or not.

    Curiously enough, in the WC2 intro, Tolwyn tells Blair that "as far as I'm concerned, your career in the Navy is..." (and it's either 'finished' or 'over', I don't recall which).
     
  4. Quarto

    Quarto Unknown Enemy

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    The short and simple explanation of Blair's commodore rank is as capi3101 said above - he moved to the Navy for the Midway project.

    The deeper and far more challenging issue just beneath the surface, though, is that Blair and others moved back and forth between Space Force and Navy ranks on a couple of occasions - in particular, the movie has all the pilots with Navy ranks. Afterwards, IIRC, the KSaga version of the WC2 manual has Blair in a Navy rank again. My impression is that this is something that caused a bit of debate at Origin, and never really got anywhere. Presumably, when they were first making WC1, they either overlooked, or chose to ignore the fact that normally, carrier pilots are Navy. But then WC2 references to Blair as a Navy officer in spite of having a Space Force rank, WC3 makes it clear that yes, there are separate Navy and Space Force ranks, and yes, Blair has a Space Force rank (which presumably would mean he is in the Space Force), but then Kilrathi Saga comes along and for no particular reason Navalises Blair's rank in the manual. WC4 just plain ignored the issue (or did it? I don't recall if the "middle" ending has Blair referred to as a general or an admiral?), and then WCP officially made Blair into a commodore, and officially explained in the strategy guide that yes, this meant him moving from Space Force to Navy. Oh, and yes, then the movie came along and said that as a matter of fact, Blair was a Navy pilot - the movie having the freedom to reinvent things that they felt needed reinventing (which caused no controversy whatsoever ;) ).

    I suppose one way of looking at it would be to consider the Space Force as a sub-division of the Navy, which gets its own distinct ranks and such. But that doesn't actually explain any of the back-and-forth between one type of rank to the other.

    I should add, it would be very unusual, but not absolutely unheard of, for the Space Force to be operating squadrons onboard Navy ships. This was, for instance, the German plan for their own carrier(s) in WWII - Kriegsmarine crews, Luftwaffe pilots. But then again, maybe that's one reason why the Germans never got anywhere with that :).
     
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  5. Whistler

    Whistler Commodore

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    Tolwyn says that Blair's career in the navy is, "over." To the point of his secretary already having, "drawn-up your resignation."

    @FredDude32 - The rank hierarchy is listed on page 8 of Victory Streak pictured here:
    IMAG0122.jpg

    Sorry about the rotation angle. I keep flipping it portrait style but everytime I attach it here it tries to 'fix' it.
     
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  6. capi3101

    capi3101 Rear Admiral

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    Pretty sure it was a general. At least, that's what happened in the WC4 novelization...at the same time in the book, Maniac was promoted to Colonel IIRC. We all know what became of that (he's Major Marshall once again when Prophecy rolls around), so who knows how much stock you can put in it.
     
  7. Quarto

    Quarto Unknown Enemy

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    Ah. I just checked, and it seems the confusion continues :). Here's a basic breakdown of WC4's stance:
    1. Good ending - Blair is an instructor. "Not a general, or a senator" says Paladin, implying, quite naturally, that the next step up from colonel would be general.
    2. Middle ending - Blair is an admiral. And evil.
    3. Book ending - Blair s a general, and commanding a fleet like some admiral! And yes, Maniac is a colonel, and commanding a carrier, like a Navy captain might do.

    Setting aside the Space Force/Navy confusion, I'm starting to wonder if there isn't some cachet of evilness about the rank of "admiral", given how people of this rank are presented in science fiction. Yes, occasionally you get an un-evil admiral (e.g. Wilford is a vice admiral in WC4... but then he drops to captain for WCP), but certainly evil ones seem prevalent. Noticeably, it's rare for rear or vice admirals to be evil, but full admirals - evil practically guaranteed. Is it the word itself? Or just a sci-fi tradition?
     
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  8. Sharpshooter

    Sharpshooter Rear Admiral

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    I agree that using Lances to scare Logo VI into not rebelling seems to be pretty evil, but I find it interesting that Blair isn't necessarily a very good person in the good ending : it's perfectly possible to get the good ending even if you use the Flash-Pak on the Ella superbase (and it's also possible to get the middle ending if you don't, which would make Evil Blair... slightly less evil, I guess? :p ).
     
  9. TankGunner

    TankGunner Rear Admiral

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    Anywhere the Army wants me at....
    You mean, like the US Marine Corps? Subordinate to the Navy, own rank structure, flies aircraft, goes to the same Academy, and even flies off of carriers- every Carrier Air Wing has a Marine Squadron attached.

    There's precedent in history for separate force in Wing Commander.
     
  10. capi3101

    capi3101 Rear Admiral

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    Well, there's also canonically a Confederation Marine Corps, which we see in End Run and Fleet Action; they're the guys that plant the suicide charges on the Hakagas, if you'll recall. Duke Grecko was a Marine.
     
  11. Whistler

    Whistler Commodore

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    ...and so is "Gash" Dekker, a Colonel in the Confederation Marines by Prophecy, same rank structure; Duke himself a General at the end.

    From the novels and games there is an inference that they are an independent corps. Does Confed have an Army or do the fleeties operate on the ground with marine support? They may also be like the Spaceforces, a subsidiary of the Navy. Or the TCMC could have gained true independence what with Grecko being so easily elected Joint Chiefs of Staff.

    From the rather colored way the Repleetah vet speaks of the TCSF I'd wager they are all 3 separate entities and possible both subordinate to the first.
     
  12. -danr-

    -danr- Rear Admiral

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    "I don't have a career. Not in the navy."

    "I haven't been in this man's navy all these years without making a few friends in high places"
     
  13. Quarto

    Quarto Unknown Enemy

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    Hehe, you know, all these years, I never really got the connotation that those Dragons are only being used to intimidate until you pointed that out? :) I think it's because of the word "blanket", which I immediately mentally connect with carpet bombing, without noticing the word "recon". But that having been said, what the heck is "blanket recon" supposed to mean, anyway? I've certainly not heard this term used in real military parlance, so it might actually be meant to imply something worse that cannot be more officially conveyed. Nonetheless, the point remains, we have no reason to believe as a certainty that Blair has gone quite as evil as Tolwyn had been, particularly given that it's possible to get the middle ending while being ultimately pretty mild.

    Very good point! Yes, marines could be a reasonable analogy. We also know that In-System Security (the equivalent of the Coast Guard?) is at least connected enough to the Navy that Blair can be transferred there and back without any special fuss.

    Mind you, none of that ever really resolves the most basic issue, which is the way people talk about it, as though the Navy was all they were. I don't imagine a US Marine officer talking about himself as a US Navy officer, even though technically he is.
     
  14. AD

    AD Finder of things, Doer of stuff

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    In the movie at least, Maniac specifically shouts at Rosie at one point calling her a Marine... right before she dies.
     
  15. ChrisReid

    ChrisReid Super Soaker Collector / Administrator

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    Yes, there is also an army. From Fleet Action: "Nearly everyone who frequented the place now were either the few still serving with the fleet or ex-service, easily identified by the gold star of the army, fleet pin, or fouled anchor pin of a Marine on his collar."
     
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