We are the hard core of the Glorious Armada. Our hulls are our bodies, our turbolasers our fists. We are the strong hand Queen Rin reaches out to crush the enemies of our people. We are the Royal Navy.
—Royal Navy recruiting holo
The Royal Navy of the Golden Empire was the largest subdivision of the Glorious Armada of the Golden Empire in manpower and budget, representing the space-based forces of the Empire's war machine. The Navy was part of the larger Royal Starfleet, which also incorporated the Royal Starfighter Corps. The Navy and the RSC had separate command structures, with the exception that the highest-ranked Starfighter officer aboard a capital ship answered to the ship's captain.
The Royal Navy was often the first line of combat in the military operations of the Golden Empire, engaging and destroying enemy fleets as a precursor to surface bombardment of hostile worlds, which would be followed by ground invasion by the Royal Army if necessary. In conjunction with the Starfighter Corps, the Navy also took primary responsibility for eradicating pirate threats, smuggling, and other forms of organized crime within the Empire itself.
Given Queen Rin Sakaros's unusual approach of having the "capital" of the Empire aboard her personal flagship, the Sith Star, in a sense the Navy served as a symbol of the Queen herself. Along with the rest of the Armada, it was often used as a symbol of the might of the Empire.
Operating forces and establishments
The Royal Navy boasted thousands of heavily armed capital ships, as well as thousands more smaller craft such as escort ships, troop delivery vehicles, and boarding craft. Usually these vessels would only be grouped together for specific, short-term purposes, although some long-term groupings existed for defensive purposes around strategically important systems.
The Navy maintained few surface bases, other than its training institutions. However, it did control strategically placed space stations, some of which were attached to (and guarding) shipyards. In such cases, the commander of the station would usually be an Army Colonel. If a defensive force of ships was attached to the station, the ships would be under a single commander who would work with the station's commander, though neither reported to the other.
Relationship with other branches of service
The Navy worked very closely with the Royal Starfighter Corps, though they were separate for administrative purposes until the level of High Command and for command until the ship level. The captain of a capital ship had command of the entire fighter complement of his vessel, but the commanding officer of the RSC aboard otherwise exercised sole command over his subordinates. In limited circumstances, some RSC officers were cross-commissioned as Captains in the Navy, usually in command of fighter carriers.
Large enough Navy ships also carried detachments of the Royal Army, but a ship captain's command over this element was much slighter. If a ship was boarded in battle, command of the Army element transferred to the ship's captain, but all elements of ground combat, including initial landing and invasion, were the province of the Army commanding officer. Indeed, Army officers could even requisition and command Navy troops transports and require fighter escorts for this purpose.
Subdivisions of forces
A single ship of any size began with the smallest organizing unit, a station. A station might be a single input console, which would be staffed by a single being, or a single turbolaser battery, which might require a crew of three or four beings to operate efficiently. Nearly all stations were manned by junior enlisted personnel.
The next largest element was a unit, which was technically defined as "a group of two or more stations devoted to the same task", although many units included far more than two stations. Examples would be a bank of consoles or a set of turbolaser batteries in a row, but in the same general area. Units were usually commanded by NCOs.
Larger than a unit was a section, comprised of two or more units, though again, sections tended to incorporate more than two. Sections were generally commanded by a junior officer with an experienced NCO as aide and mentor.
Two or more sections were a division, which was usually commanded by a low- to middle-ranked officer.
Two or more divisions were a department, commanded by a middle-grade officer.
On larger ships, two or more related departments could be grouped into a sector, which was usually commanded by a Lieutenant Commander or a full Commander.
On the very largest of warships, such as the Sith Star, related sectors could be grouped into supersectors. These enormous elements were commanded by Lieutenant Commanders, Commanders, or even Captains.
Not all capital ships incorporated all elements of organization, given their vast range in size (a capital ship was defined as any ship of at least 100 meters in length; the Sith Star was 6,500). On the smallest capital ships, Weapons was usually only a division; on the Sith Star, Weapons had an entire supersector devoted to it.
Due to the Legate system of command used in the Empire, groupings of multiple ships were uncommon unless they had a clear purpose or were assigned as a sector's fleet under the command of a Sector Magister.
Capital ships formed the basis for nomenclature relating to multi-ship elements; a single capital ship with a thousand escort craft was still only a task squad. The organization was:
- Task Squad: 1 capital ship and various escort, picket, and boarding craft. Used mostly by the Exploration Corps, though sometimes system patrols used this unit. The captain of the capital ship commanded the entire element.
- Flotilla: 2-9 capital ships of the same model, sometimes including smaller craft. A flotilla was usually a subset of some larger, more diverse unit. Under a Legate, a single captain from among the capital ships was designated commanding officer and styled Commodore; on the rare occasions that a flotilla was a freestanding unit, command rotated among the captains daily.
- Task Force: 2-9 capital ships of different models, plus smaller craft. A task force was usually a free-standing element with a specific purpose in mind. Task forces were almost always assigned Legates to command the entire element.
- Battle Group: 10-24 capital ships of any composition (though it was usually several classes), plus smaller craft. Usually brought together only during wartime. Battle groups were always assigned Legates, who might designate Commodores to command smaller elements of the battle group.
- Fleet: 25 or more capital ships, plus smaller craft. Full fleets were rarely brought together, and then only for war. Fleets were always commanded by Legates, who might create Commodores or even lesser Legates to command elements of the fleet. The only permanent fleet was the Prime Fleet of the Golden Empire.
Over half the Glorious Armada's roughly 100,000,000 personnel as of 140 ABY served in the Royal Navy, given the enormous crew demands of larger warships. Of these, officers (including officer trainees and cadets at military academies) comprised roughly 25% of operating forces, with the remaining 75% being enlisted.
The proper general noun for members of the Royal Navy was "spaceman".
Regular commissioned officers
Standard command grades in the Royal Navy ranged from OF-1 to OF-10. Not all who achieved the rank of Captain were in command of vessels; some commanded space stations or ground installations, while others were subordinate officers on the largest warships in the Empire. Conversely, some officers carried the title of Captain (the commanding officer of a ship) but had not achieved the OF-6 grade; Commanders, Lieutenant Commanders, and even Lieutenants might be the captains of small capital ships, and still junior officers could serve as the captains of non-capital ships.
In the Royal Army, grades above OF-6 were initially restricted to High Command officers who had no field authority; the Royal Navy followed suit except for the OF-7 grade of Commodore, which was a usually temporary battle designation, though some officers (including Breek Zagrev and Tarse Medrego) were permanently promoted to Commodore. After the 65 Reforms in 151 ABY and the creation of sector-level defense fleets, the Prime Legate authorized the Royal Navy to reclassify the grades of Counter Admiral, Vice Admiral, and Admiral for field command as well as administration. Conversely, the grade of Commodore (now a normal permanent rank) could also be administrative, rather than strictly command.
Alone among the service branches of the Armada, Royal Navy officers had rank insignia distinctly patterned on those of the Imperial Navy.
|Commodore||Counter Admiral||Vice Admiral||Admiral|
Enlisted personnel in the Royal Navy carried both a rank and a rating, until the level of Petty Officer. Rank referred to a spaceman's general title, while his rating (job) specified the title. For example, a Crewman First Class might be a Turbolaser Gunner, in which case his full rate would be expressed TG1C, or Turbolaser Gunner First Class. Similarly, a Section Chief of the same specialty would be a Turbolaser Section Chief.
Informally, Chief Crewmen of grades E-4 through E-6 were addressed simply as "Chief" by both superiors and subordinates.
|Petty Officer||Chief Petty
|Service Chief |
|No insignia||No insignia|
Uniforms and appearance
The Royal Navy service uniform was black and dull blue, with the color schemes reversed for enlisted personnel and officers. Enlisted spacemen wore their rank insignia on their upper arms; officers wore rank insignia and code cylinders on the left breast of their shirts.
The Royal Navy dress uniform had a dark blue tunic with black shoulder pads over black pants and boots.
The Royal Navy was a relatively austere branch of service, given that space was at a premium aboard ships and personal effects were kept to the minimum necessary. Simplicity in personal life was prized, order expected, and self-discipline and restraint mandatory. As a consequence, Navy personnel were sometimes viewed as stiffer than those of other branches of service, both by the general populace of the Empire and the servicemen of other branches themselves.
For ceremonial and symbolic purposes, the captain of the Sith Star was always considered the most senior captain of the Navy, regardless of time in service.
The Royal Navy motto was "Honor and Empire".