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An Imperial Lieutenant Colonel

The rank of Lieutenant Colonel was a rank used by a number of military hierarchies, including ground forces and some starfighter forces. Typically, it was placed between Major and Colonel.

During the Clone Wars, the rank of Lieutenant Colonel was held by senior field officers among the non-clone troops attached to the Grand Army of the Republic, such as Colonel Ejai and Colonel Kreen, the latter being the commander of an engineering battalion.

The rank of Lieutenant Colonel was relatively rare in the Galactic Civil War, but the title was normally used in the Imperial Army for the officers commanding Regiments of up to 4,000 soldiers, as well as the Stormtrooper Corps, also for officers commanding a regiment. It was also borne by some Rebel Alliance officers, such as commando leader Palpatine Essex Yerac and Beryl Chiffonage, the tactician who developed the "Rogue Doctrine" for airspeeder tactics. Due to the often improvised nature of the Rebel military, however, there does not seem to be much consistency.

The rank became more common during the Yuuzhan Vong War, however. It was the rank to which New Republic Intelligence officer Belindi Kalenda was demoted following the fake defection attempt of Elan, and by the time that the Galactic Alliance was formed, it was held by many starfighter squadron leaders, including Jaina Solo.

Behind the scenes[edit | edit source]

It hardly seems necessary to say that the rank of Lieutenant Colonel (NATO Code OF-4) is common in real-world army and air force organizations. In Star Wars, it appears in the section of the Imperial Sourcebook relating to the Army order-of-battle, but is otherwise rare in canon material until the New Jedi Order series.

Many novels, comics and RPG resources make no mention of Lieutenant Colonels, and add a rank of Commander between Captain and Major. Although anomalous in terms of modern Anglo-American military, this corresponds, at least implicitly, to the system of the Napoleonic Grande Armée, in which major replaced lieutenant-colonel; following this model, it is possible that the rank of Major in Star Wars often denotes the equivalent of a real-world Lieutenant Colonel.

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