Tales from the Endless Sea
Organization of the Navy
The Navy has a tightly organized structure, with a rigid hierarchy that clearly identifies ranks and areas of authority. At the top is High Command, answerable only to the governments in the World Federation. High Command is made up of Fleet Admirals, who have authority over their own region of the world. From there, command is delegated to Admirals, Vice Admirals, Rear Admirals, Commodores, and finally Captains.
The command structure is largely dedicated to the strategic use of Navy ships. The exact number of ships under Navy control is unknown, with estimates varying wildly.
The Navy also has considerable land holdings across the world. These are either leased to civilian organizations or kept under the command of a high ranking officer, depending on the value of the land. Private military groups have at times been hired to maintain military assets of lesser strategic value, such as prisons or more distant outposts. These mercenaries are considered to be out of normal Navy control.
As important as the overall naval command structure is the command structure of individual ships. Like the Navy itself, it is strictly hierarchical, with duties and ranks clearly delineated.
Enlisted Men: Calling the enlisted men a singular group is a bit of an oversimplification. The sailors of the Navy take on many distinct roles that have their own ranks and authority, such as the lowly Cook or Sailmaker, or the highly ranked Purser or Boatswain, whose take of prize money is just short of the senior officers.
The enlisted men are frequently pressed into service, though as many joined willingly, especially the more skilled focused seamen. Some are former pirates, captured and put to work to avoid the rope. Given the opportunity, many would happily join pirate crews instead of Navy ones, and there is a distinct lack of loyalty to the Navy as an institution, though this is not always true.
Midshipman: Officers in training. They often start as early as 14, and it is one of the obligations of the senior officers to complete their education. This is not to say that all midshipman are young, however. As with any rank, it is absolutely possible for a midshipman to remain so for years if they are not deemed worthy of promotion.
Despite their young age, midshipman are higher ranked than most enlisted men, putting them in the frequently awkward position of giving orders to men many years their senior, both in age and experience.
Lieutenant: The senior officers. Can be broken down further into First Lieutenant, Second Lieutenant, and Third Lieutenant, in descending order. The First Lieutenant is second in command, and can become an Acting Captain if the Captain is incapacitated or dies.
Captain: The Captain has almost complete control of his ship. While they receive orders from their superiors, it is largely to their discretion as to how these orders are carried out. Because of their relative autonomy, there is some variation on how ships are run (this is especially true with between cultures).
Surgeon: The ship’s surgeon is not technically an enlisted man or an officer. They have the power to remove a Captain if they are unfit for command, though doing so would trigger a serious investigation from Naval Justice.
The marines are the Navy’s land forces, known for being disciplined fighters and their distinct red coats. They are typically found manning forts, performing some kind of landing action or extended land campaign, or as a ships compliment.
Marines have their own ranking system that runs parallel and occasionally intersects with the Navy one. While ship bound the ship’s captain still had command, while divisions not assigned to a ship will have their own commanders.
Sergeant: The lowest ranking marine. Often called regulars, red coats, or, by their enemies, bloods.
Lieutenant: Squad leaders, they are still outranked by Navy Lieutenants.
Captain: Division leaders. The highest ranking marine that will be assigned to a ship. Somewhat a specialized Lieutenant, they are still under the command of the ship’s captain.
Commander: The highest rank a marine can achieve. Commanders are quite frequently in charge of forts or other land based fortifications.
While much of this structure is standard through out the Navy, there are parts of the world that have a slightly different structure. Khashin’s contribution to the Navy puts greater emphasis on the autonomy of the Captain than on the authority of higher ranks, to cite one instance. Other regions have larger variations based on cultural norms, but it should be stressed that what has been given here is the standard organizing structure of the Navy.
In addition to the normal naval operations, the Navy also has several departments that have specialized fields of operation. They are not necessarily combat oriented and can sometimes operate completely outside the normal command structure.