To simplify matters, both the Union and the Confederacy use the same ranks.
12 - Commander In Chief (NPC only)
11 - Military Council Chief (Not Appable)
10 - Field Marshal
9 - General / Admiral
8 - Brigadier General / Rear Admiral
7 - Colonel / Captain
6 - Major / Commander
5 - Lieutenant
4 - Ensign
3 - Master Sergeant
2 - Sergeant
1 - Private 2nd Class
0 - Private 1st Class
SA - Senior Ally
A - Non-Ranked Ally
PA - Provisional Ally
C - Cadet
P - Punishment detail
The naval ranks (Admiral, Rear Admiral, Captain and Commander) are issued to those who specialize in naval operations, space-operations or technical operations, to delineate their area of expertise and command.
Most characters start out either in the enlisted ranks, a low officer, or as an Ally.
Unaffiliated characters have several possible rank designations. The most common ones are as follows:
U - Union Civilian. A citizen of the Union that is not affiliated directly with the Union military in any way.
C - Confed Civilian. A citizen of the Confederation that is not affiliated directly with the Confed military in any way. Usually these guys get the short end of many sticks and are subject to travel restrictions and propaganda, as they live well within a dictatorship.
CM - Cirrus-Marine Civilian. A citizen of the group of neutral territories largely referred to as "Cirrus-Marine". Many of them live within Cirrus City or Marine City, either of which is run by a largely democratic government. Citizens of Cirrus-Marine Territories are ill-advised to participate in Union or Confederate conflicts -- their defensive force, though formidable enough that no one world has a ghost of a chance of overruning them without support, is not sufficient to protect everyone all the time, and even their Capitol Cities are not half as well defended as New Washington or New Pyonyang. More than a few meddlesome citizens have met a sticky end because of consistent meddling in the affairs of the Confederacy.
X - No civilian ranking. These are characters who are not citizens of the Union or Confederacy, although they can be citizens of other areas and nations.
There are other ranks that are situation specific, but in general these are the only ones used for unaligned characters.
MERCENARIES & ALLIES:
M - Mercenary
These ranks are intended to be used for Mercenaries who are on extremely long term contracts with a faction. They have limited access to the factional resources and no access to the major military use IC channel for each faction. Under these contracts they work explicitly for that faction without helping the other, under whatever plan they're on.
Ally ranks are typically those who are part of the cause but not formally assigned to the military, yet want to help. Though allies are not quite so directly ordered about, they may still be bound by orders by virtue of being involved in military operations. If not otherwise specified, an Ally must obey the orders of officers while in battle or on operations; if no officer is present, then the highest-ranking enlisted is their commander. However, an Ally can hash out a different plan with the faction commander.
SA - Senior Ally: Senior Allies are pretty much just that. They've been around in their respective faction for quite some time, exhibited reasonable behavioral tendencies, and would most likely be able to attain an officer rank (or held an officer rank and resigned from it) with fair ease if they wished to. Unlike other ranks of allies, however, they are granted exceptional authority and are much more difficult for ranked individuals to claim authority over.
They are generally given authority roughly equivalent to that of a Lieutenant or Major. However, this is not a position given out lightly.
(Note: This rank GENERALLY cannot be applied for. It must be earned in due course ICly. You /may/ request it in the application process if you are reapping a previously played character who held an officer rank, or who was promoted to Senior Ally in the course of prior RP. This isn't guaranteed, and may be denied to you. It is also possible to apply for it with a character who would already likely have significant rank/status and would have been around a while, but this is even harder.)
A - Ally: Standard unranked Ally. Not much to say about it. This is where most allies are.
PA - Provisional Ally: Provisional Allies are allies who, while still having many of the freedoms and access of standard Allies, are pointedly trusted much less. Individuals who have proven themselves to be chronic troublemakers usually fall under this rank, as do individuals who defected from other factions -- most noteably, the Confederacy. The Confederacy is likely to be much more lenient about this sort of thing, but generally they'll treat people defecting to them similarly to the Union, if not worse. Standard Allies can exercise authority over them as necessary, as can enlisted men. (Note: This rank can be applied for, but may be placed on you for any number of reasons. Confederates who have defected to the Union hold this rank and, barring truly extraordinary circumstances, cannot exceed it.)
This is an unusual rank for the Confederacy only.
A informal and secret ally. Much more limited in terms of factional support. The Wraith are basically the meglomaniacal DESTROY ALL IN MY PATH villains, those who would admantly NEVER accept a order from someone else, villains so evil and twisted a mere alliance with them would wreck havoc on public opinion, and villains who would prefer to be largely left to their own devices.
The Wraith is basically a very very loose and quiet alliance which more or less can be summarized 'You don't mess with us, we don't mess with you, and we'll even give you some of our junk we don't really need, within reason.'
Wraiths will have access to Confederate territories unmolested as long as they behave, sans military bases and Confederate HQ. Like Mercenaries they'll have access to the boards (except for posts that state they're locked in the post itself), chatter frequencies, and OOC channel. Also they'll be given limited support in terms of materials/equipment that the Confederacy doesn't need and can't be traced back to the Confederacy in likely controlled quantities.
We urge you to consider Ally or Enlisting long before you consider the Wraith rank, but if all else fails, rather then going Unaffiliated standalone megavillian, consider this.
W - Wraith