Fleet captain

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Hierarchy of naval officer ranks
Flag officers:

Admiral of the navy
Admiral of the fleetFleet admiralGrand admiral
AdmiralGeneral admiral
Lieutenant admiralVice admiral
Counter admiralRear admiralSchout-bij-nacht
Commodore admiralFlotilla admiral
Admiral-superintendentPort admiral

Senior officers:

CommodoreFleet captain
Post captainCaptainCaptain at sea
Captain of sea and warShip-of-the-line captain
CommanderFrigate captain
Captain of the port

Junior officers:

Corvette captainLieutenant commander
Captain lieutenantLieutenantShip-of-the-line lieutenant
Frigate lieutenantLieutenant (junior grade)Sub-lieutenant
Corvette lieutenantEnsign
Flag lieutenant

Officers in training:

Passed midshipmanMidshipman
Naval cadet

Fleet captain is a historic military title that was bestowed upon a naval officer who served as chief of staff to a flag officer.

Historical background[edit]

In the Royal Navy, during the 18th and 19th centuries, an admiral's flagship might have a "captain of the fleet", who would be ranked between the admiral and the ship's captain (or "flag captain"). The "captain of the fleet" would be listed as the ship's "first captain"[citation needed] and would serve as the admiral's chief-of staff. The "flag captain" would be listed as the ship's "second captain"[citation needed] and retain actual command of the vessel.

The United States Navy had a similar position in the nineteenth century, but used the title "fleet captain" instead of "captain of the fleet." The fleet captain was not always actually a captain in rank, for instance Henry H. Bell was a commander when he served as David G. Farragut's fleet captain in the Civil War. In 1869 the Secretary of the Navy ordered that the title of fleet captain be changed to "chief of staff."[1]

Science fiction[edit]

Fleet captain has appeared in several science fiction sources, the most notable of which is Star Trek. As a Starfleet officer rank, there have only been two fleet captains shown in the entirety of Star Trek, both from Star Trek: The Original Series: Garth of Izar and Christopher Pike. In Deep Space 9 Season 6 Ep. 18 Internal Affairs Officer- Deputy Director Luther Sloan posed as a Fleet Captain, but is discovered to have been an operative of Section 31.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ U. S. Navy Department,General Orders and Circulars Issued by the Navy Department from 1863 to 1887, Government Printing Office, 1887, p. 77.