Major was a rank used within a number of military organizations throughout the galaxy. In the Galactic Civil War both the Galactic Empire and the Alliance to Restore the Republic used the rank, with Newland and Bren Derlin holding the title in the two organizations respectively.
The military rank of major was an army and Starfighter Corps officer rank that was used by various militaries throughout galactic history. Majors had the capability of leading ground soldiers, starfighter squadrons, and intelligence units, and to assist higher-ranking officers.
Alliance to Restore the Republic
The Alliance to Restore the Republic utilized the rank of major in the Alliance Military, specifically the Alliance Army, the Rebel Alliance Starfighter Corps, the Rebel Alliance Intelligence Service, the Rebel Alliance Corps of Engineers, and the Rebel Alliance Special Forces. In the Alliance, the rank of major was above the military rank of captain but below commander. It was denoted on the rebel command insignia with three red pips on a square plaque, with two pips on a top row and the third at the center bottom.
The First Order's armed forces continued the use of the rank of major. Members of its Starfighter Corps used the rank, as did the First Order army. A major in the Starfighter Corps could lead their own squadron, while a major in the ground forces of the First Order had the capability of serving as the commanding officer of an entire brigade.
The Galactic Empire widely utilized the rank of major during the Imperial Era in various organizations. The Imperial Security Bureau utilized major within their rank structure, as did the Imperial Starfighter Corps, the ground troops of the Imperial Navy, and the Imperial Army. Majors could serve as the overall Stormtrooper Commander aboard an Imperial-class Star Destroyer, as well as serve as the commanding officer of a fighter wing or as the wing's second-in-command.
The rank insignia plaque denoting the rank greatly varied. One version had six tiles, with four yellow and two red on the left side. This was the same plaque used by generals, though the general rank was differentiated with two code cylinders, one on each side of the uniform, whereas a major would have no cylinders. Another version used by officers in the Imperial Starfighter Corps had eight tiles divided into two rows, with the top rows being red tiles and the bottom containing blue tiles. A major in the Imperial Army could also have eight tiles divided into two rows, albeit only containing red tiles.
Other majors with black Imperial uniforms used a rank plaque with four red tiles, while others used the standard uniform and had six tiles divided into two rows. Both rows had a single red tile on their right side, and the rest were blue tiles.
The New Republic and its New Republic Defense Force continued the use of major as a military rank. The New Republic army utilized the rank, with a major being able to serve as the commanding officer of a contingent of reconnaissance forces. Additionally, a major could serve as the subordinate of a general within a battle group, and had the capability of commanding a group of two carriers. Majors also could be responsible for briefing squadron pilots after missions.
The Resistance made use of major as an army rank, however, it also adapted it for use in its fleet forces. The Resistance rank badge denoted the army major in red symbols on a plated badge, and the same symbols in blue for a naval major. Similar to the Rebel Alliance, a major was ranked above a captain but below a commander. A medical doctor in the Resistance army could hold the rank of major.
Notes and references
- Star Wars: Card Trader
- Star Wars: Episode V The Empire Strikes Back
- Before the Awakening
- Victory's Price
- Moving Target: A Princess Leia Adventure
- Poe Dameron 16
- Star Wars: Rogue One: The Ultimate Visual Guide
- Star Wars Battlefront II
- Star Wars: The Rebel Files
- Star Wars Resistance – "No Escape: Part 2"
- Thrawn: Treason
- Star Wars: On the Front Lines
- Lords of the Sith
- Star Wars: Episode IV A New Hope
- TIE Fighter 3
- Solo: A Star Wars Story Adaptation 1
- Darth Vader (2017) 13
- Star Wars: Uprising
- "Blade Squadron: Jakku"—Star Wars Insider 172
- Before the Awakening
- Star Wars: The Force Awakens: The Visual Dictionary