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    Barbarian in the Playground
     
    Lheticus's Avatar

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    Default "Champion" as a fictional military rank

    Have you ever thought that the various badasses, protagonists or not, associated with military organizations both fantastic and science fictional, should have a rank that befits their unique role of basically getting stuff done against odds that no one in their position should be able to defy? Well I sure do! I think hypothetically, a military organization in fiction should include a "Champion" rank, for those who vastly distinguish themselves in the line of duty with peerless field work. What I have NO idea about is where such a rank would possibly fall in the pecking order. Opening suggestions...now!
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    Default Re: "Champion" as a fictional military rank

    Quote Originally Posted by Lheticus View Post
    Have you ever thought that the various badasses, protagonists or not, associated with military organizations both fantastic and science fictional, should have a rank that befits their unique role of basically getting stuff done against odds that no one in their position should be able to defy? Well I sure do! I think hypothetically, a military organization in fiction should include a "Champion" rank, for those who vastly distinguish themselves in the line of duty with peerless field work. What I have NO idea about is where such a rank would possibly fall in the pecking order. Opening suggestions...now!
    Might look to Exalted for this... Alchemical Exalted are in fact called champions. When placed in military positions, they answer only to the highest authorities available (the Tripartite Council) and are presumed to outrank anyone present short of a general, but have no permanent command and cannot usually issue orders without the permission of the highest ranking non-exalt present. That said... People usually defer to the magical cyborg with superhuman genius who jumped into their trench waving a lightsaber and shouts "I'm commandeering this unit, we need to save the world. For Maker and Country, follow me over the top!"
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    SwashbucklerGuy

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    Default Re: "Champion" as a fictional military rank

    It doesn't fit into what military ranks mean, since it's something anybody could do, from a private to a general.

    The rank doesn't tell you how impressive she is, but who is expected to follow her orders, and whose orders she is expected to follow.

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    OrcBarbarianGirl

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    Default Re: "Champion" as a fictional military rank

    I recently had a similar question for the "Got a Real-World Weapon, Armor or Tactics Question?" thread. It might be a good idea to ask there, but I can give an answer of my own based off of what they told me.

    From what I have read, a few things would affect the rank of a "champion". The most important thing is whether or not they are actually in the military. If they don't have any real rank, I guess they would be a "consultant" like Iron Man. The movies about that character are where I got that title and probably don't reflect reality at all. For the rest of the response, I'm going to assume that this person prioritizes being able to fight heroically and promotion in the army in that order.

    Next, you should determine if the person is an officer or not. I'm not exactly certain how one becomes an officer, but I think it has more to do with background than distinction, so it is possible that a "champion" might not be an officer. If they aren't an officer, they are probably some form of Sergeant, likely a Sergeant-Major, as I believe that's the highest rank a non-officer may have. They are usually the most experienced in the dirtiest work of war and if the enemy is bearing down, even Generals may defer to them. This is based on a joke and might not reflect reality. I like the joke, though.

    If the "champion" is an officer, they might be a Colonel. Someone in that thread I mentioned before said that these are usually the highest ranking people who actually see fighting in wars these days. You want to get more information than that. Reality and whatnot.

    Where this gets interesting is if the army the "champion" is in is not a modern army. Armies in the past had very different ideas about rank and even ranks with the same name were on different levels of authority. I think the basis of modern ranks appeared in Spain during the Renaissance. Go back any further than that and "champion" would probably be what this hypothetical person would be called. I think Roman armies had complex ranks, but I don't know what those are. Those ranks might also be influenced by background rather than distinction, but again I am not sure.

    Hope this helps.
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    RedWizardGuy

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    Default Re: "Champion" as a fictional military rank

    Quote Originally Posted by Jay R View Post
    It doesn't fit into what military ranks mean, since it's something anybody could do, from a private to a general.

    The rank doesn't tell you how impressive she is, but who is expected to follow her orders, and whose orders she is expected to follow.
    Pretty much this. Modern military groups tend to handle this designation with awards.

    My grandfather retired from the Navy as a Rear Admiral. Back in 1981 he took me on a tour of Norfolk Naval Station.

    While we were there I noticed that there was an older Marine who was obviously a non-com. What I also noticed that I thought was unusual (I was 11 at the time) was that everyone was saluting him first, including people who were obviously officers. When we came upon him my grandfather saluted him first.

    I asked him why, and learned that he was a Medal of Honor recipient from the Vietnam War, and it was customary for them to be saluted first except in certain formal circumstances.

    In short, his medal was his "Champion Rank', and everyone was acknowledging it, even those who outranked him.
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    Firbolg in the Playground
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    Default Re: "Champion" as a fictional military rank

    Well, most ancient armies didn't really have these sort of ranks. I mean, you get exceptions like the Romans who had a fairly detailed military ranks (for awhile, they came and went), but overall, you might have a captain of a mercenary group, and a few sergeants and then everyone else. Or some vague squad leader over a bunch of non-ranking individuals.

    Anyway, there was one group of people who did have a rank like a champion. That would be the vikings and the berserkers. From my understanding, the actual berserkers were basically the specific champions for their jarl who fought in duels for them. Typically right-hand man kind of things. But this would be another military without an organized ranking system. That's about as close as I can get to a historical equivalent.

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    SwashbucklerGuy

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    Default Re: "Champion" as a fictional military rank

    Quote Originally Posted by Dienekes View Post
    Well, most ancient armies didn't really have these sort of ranks. I mean, you get exceptions like the Romans who had a fairly detailed military ranks (for awhile, they came and went), but overall, you might have a captain of a mercenary group, and a few sergeants and then everyone else. Or some vague squad leader over a bunch of non-ranking individuals.

    Anyway, there was one group of people who did have a rank like a champion. That would be the vikings and the berserkers. From my understanding, the actual berserkers were basically the specific champions for their jarl who fought in duels for them. Typically right-hand man kind of things. But this would be another military without an organized ranking system. That's about as close as I can get to a historical equivalent.
    That's right. And that champion might be the captain, or a lieutenant, or a sergeant, or a private soldier.

    "Champion" is not a military rank. It just isn't. It doesn't function as a military rank. It doesn't serve any purpose of a military rank. It's much closer to a job title ("Military Occupational Specialty" in the U.S. Army). A private soldier might be a champion, just as a sergeant might be a typist, a cook, a mechanic, a linguist, a diver, or any number of other things.

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    Default Re: "Champion" as a fictional military rank

    Quote Originally Posted by Jay R View Post
    That's right. And that champion might be the captain, or a lieutenant, or a sergeant, or a private soldier.

    "Champion" is not a military rank. It just isn't. It doesn't function as a military rank. It doesn't serve any purpose of a military rank. It's much closer to a job title ("Military Occupational Specialty" in the U.S. Army). A private soldier might be a champion, just as a sergeant might be a typist, a cook, a mechanic, a linguist, a diver, or any number of other things.
    That makes sense, yes.
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    MonkGuy

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    Default Re: "Champion" as a fictional military rank

    Maybe it would be something comparable to a Warrent Officer, in that it doesn't give you the command roles of rank X, but means that officers below rank X can't order them around.

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    GreenSorcererElf

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    Default Re: "Champion" as a fictional military rank

    I think this can be solved by applying the rules found in some real armies.
    Rank is a used to describe who you can order around and who can order you around as a first estimate. Following on this general rule there are additional rules governing special cases. For example in your specific job you might be allowed to order people with a higher rank around (think guard, military police). In an emergency someone might take command and have everyone else follow his orders regardless of rank because discussing who is in charge would take too long. The champion would than just be someone who takes command in a situation, is followed by those present and as long as no one complains can continue doing that. If the organisation allows for the role of a champion specifically it just has to be made into a job description with the appropriate rules for who can be ordered around.

    I think an example is the Hortator in Morrowind. It was said in the game that you have the highest rank, but don't get to command armies and rather are to do be an example for the troops in combat and do one man raids on enemy territory or something.

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