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The Halo Story


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November 7, 2003

And the Bungie fans come through (at least, one fan does). Less than four hours later, we've got a comprehensive (if a tad opinionated ;-)) description of military rank and insignia.

Alex Maggard (maggaram@muohio.edu) writes:

Just had a few comments in response to Weasle's post on the HSP on Nov. 7. I've never noticed that Keyes is wearing two silver bars in game. Technically, the rank insignia would be correct if the Halo Universe was using Army, Air Force, or Marine rank structure. In TFoR, however, Admiral Stanforth gives Keyes the four stripes and a star of a Naval Captain. The Admiral is also sporting admiral's stars later on in the book.

The way it works in today's military is just how Weasle had it in his post. In everything but the Navy (and Coast Guard), rank goes 2nd Lt. (O-1), 1st Lt. (O-2), and Captain (O-3) which is two silver bars. In the Navy, you have to start as an Ensign, then up Lt. (junior grade, or J.G.), full Lieutenant (which is also two silver bars), Lt. Commander, Commander, then Captain (O-6).

Having more sense than the Navy, the other service branches (including the Air Force ;) ) only have the one group of rank insignia. The Navy has those goofy gold stripes in attempt to confuse the otherwise brilliant civilians at Bungie. Those stripes go on dress uniforms, and are what Stanforth gave to Keyes on the Iroquois at Sigma Octanus. The more common insignia of gold and silver bars, oak leaves, eagles, and stars are used by everyone else, hence the minor screwup I've spent too much time talking about.

Too conclude, Captain Keyes should have a little silver eagle on the shoulders of his flight suit to designate Captain. But Bungie blew it. Not a big deal. It all goes to show they should have asked me how Halo should have been done before they went and did it all by themselves.

Here's a visual breakdown of today's rank insignia. Go here.

Well, I don't know if I'd classify it as "blowing it." I'm sure it can be chalked up to "creative differences." ;-)

Nice job, Alex!

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