The rank system of the Cardassian military is hierarchical in nature, as the Cardassian culture is extremely authority-driven, but it bears only minor resemblance to Earth-inspired ranking systems, and many of their ranks do not have direct translations outside of the Cardassian language.
Though this is not the case with the majority of the more junior ranks, the more senior and command-level ranks within the Cardassian military, such as Gul and Legate, are directly tied to the position that the individual holds, and as such ranks are often granted automatically when an individual is assigned to a command-level posting.
Many of the Cardassian ranks share the same title, but are distributed by a 'grade' - for example, there are four 'grades' of Legate, each rising in seniority from Legate, 1st Grade up to Legate, 4th Grade in a similar manner as Starfleet's hierarchy from Commodore to Admiral, but all grades are the rank are simply addressed as "Legate", both in formal and informal settings. All officers of the same rank 'title' are afforded the same respect and authority regardless of their grade, but an individual's specific grade will determine the level of their authority over their lower-graded compatriots.
Cardassian ranks are unilateral, with a singular force for both space-bound and ground-based forces, and the Cardassian uniforms offer little in way of variation for each individual. A Cardassian's rank is rarely displayed on their uniforms until they obtain the rank of Legate, at which point they begin displaying their rank insignia as a large device as a part of their uniform, on the left-hand side of the armoured chest-piece. On the opposite side of the chest piece is the individual's rate and assignment designation, written in Cardassian script, though this is often and addition to the uniform rather than a part of it, enabling it to be exchanged as per reassignment orders or promotion.
Current Rank Charts
As Cardassian ranks are so different to Federation or Klingon ranks, an attempt to compare them would be misleading. However, a Gul (of any grade) is often considered roughly equivalent to a Starfleet Captain, as the title is used for all officers in command of starships, ground installations and space stations. A Legate is most often in command of at least an entire Order of the Cardassian military, and is roughly equivalent to the varying grades of Starfleet Admiral.
At present, there is currently no known titles or names for the Cardassian enlisted ranks, though it is known that there are six distinct ranks. In all known instances, Cardassian officers have referred to enlisted personnel by either their function, or by generic terms such as "serviceman" or "crewman".
|Rank Name||Rank Insignia||Rank Name||Rank Insignia|