Genesis follows standard military protocol, adopted to fit the BSG world. Basic concepts are listed below.


Saluting is not generally done indoors, and the Battlestar is regarded as an indoor area. So there is no saluting in the halls, or upon entering/leaving a room. Saluting is done when reporting for duty, acknowledging an order, or in other situations where it is deemed necessary to show respect. Saluting is not required in times where it would be inappropriate (including off-duty areas like the barracks, mess hall, and rec room), or when it would interfere with vital work. Lower-ranking enlisted do not salute higher-ranking enlisted except in formal ceremonies.

Commander/Officer on Deck

When a senior officer (Major or higher) enters a room, the first person to notice them will shout "Officer on Deck." ("Commander on Deck" for the CO). All present on the deck will then stand at attention until the senior officer has left or issued an "as you were" order. Like saluting, this is not done in designated off-duty areas or when it would interfere with vital work (like the commander walking into sickbay).

Addressing Superiors

Military personnel can refer to others of equal or lesser rank by their name, or by their rank. Crew members referring to officers of greater rank should use the senior officer's rank, unless deemed unnecessary due to circumstances, followed by "sir." Sir is the only address, there is no "Ma'am" like the U.S. armed forces. Senior enlisted personnel are usually addressed by their rank rather than as sir (like, "Yes, Chief" or "Right away, Sergeant".)

Accepting Orders

When accepting an order from an officer, a crew member will stand at attention and issue a salute. The crew member will also say either "Yes, sir!" or "Aye aye, Major!" to acknowledge that they have accepted the order. A lower-ranking enlisted accepting orders from a higher-ranking enlisted does not salute, but acknowledges it such as, "Right away, Chief."

Soldiers must follow orders from all superior officers, unless the orders are unlawful or in contradiction to orders from a higher-ranking officer. However, officers and NCOs should not generally give orders to people outside their chain of command. For more information, see Orders.


Proper military behavior and discipline should be followed at all appropriate times. Poor military conduct is grounds for stripping of rank or commission and placement in the brig.


It is against regulations for an officer and enlisted crew member to have a close relationship. This normally means romantic, but can also be any close friendship that could give the impression (right or wrong) of favoritism. The same goes for supervisors and people under their command. We have made a leniency in the Supervisor and people under their commands. Officer and Enlisted are still subject to Frat — Marriage is the way to curb that one. More info can be found under fraternization.


Enlisted soldiers sign up ("enlist") for a tour of duty - usually 3 years. When it's over, they're done. They can be discharged and return to their civilian lives, or they can re-enlist for another tour. An enlisted soldier's tour can be extended indefinitely in a crisis.


Officers are "commissioned" by the president of the Colonies. Their term is for life, or until they are drummed out of the service or resign/retire. You can become an officer through ROTC (Reserve Officer Training Corps) in college, graduating from the Fleet Academy, being an enlisted soldier and going through Officer Candidate School (OCS), or choosing a specialty (such as pilots or doctors) where everyone is an officer. An officer can be called back to active duty in a crisis.


Non-commissioned officer (NCO) is a term used for senior enlisted personnel (E4 and higher) because they have many of the same leadership duties as officers, but do not hold commissions.


Like most modern militaries, the Colonial military has a reserve corps - soldiers who hold regular jobs most of the time but do the military thing once a month. Fleet reservists often serve on Battlestars to keep their skills sharp. Dualla and Apollo from Galactica were both reservists.

Warrant Officers

Most real militaries have warrant officers - an odd set of ranks that fall between enlisted personnel and commissioned officers. The Battlestar universe doesn't appear to have these.

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