To un-initiated individuals, the Empire may seem to be a bewildering array of
crossed authorities... But to the trained eye of an Imperial officer, it is seen
in its true light of an intricate system: one composed of many diverse and
colourful parts, but based on the same fundamental principles throughout.
This chapter serves to describe the basic philosophy & design behind the
structure of The Galactic Empire...
...Graphical represenation of The Galactic Empire organizational structure...
The Galactic Empire is composed of many varied sections, in
which officers serve in countless capacities. These "sections" are not islands
unto themselves, but rather, represent groups of officers that serve and share
the resources of the single, unified Galactic Empire organisation.
As a member of the GE ... regardless of whether a Navy officer, a diplomat, a
Stormtrooper or otherwise ... you are &ndash at the most fundamental level &ndash
an Imperial officer, striving alongside others for the common cause of
restoring law & order to a chaotic galaxy.
However, only the title of Emperor is said to exist solely within The
Galactic Empire itself... All Imperial officers serve the Empire
from within one of its subordinate sections. The largest such sections are
Divisions and Institutions. (Further defined in
About Divisions and
Officers serving within a given section of the Empire report to their own
commanding officer(s), and/or the section's commanding body. In turn, the
overall commanders of all "major sections" of The Galactic Empire report to the
Supreme Commander, and collectively form its
The Supreme Commander is at the top of the Imperial
hierarchy. Were His Majesty The Emperor still alive, he would be the sole proxy to His Majesty, who is considered to reside on a plane above the structure of the Empire...
Order of Precedence
Dictates within the Empire &ndash be they spoken orders or written
policies &ndash come from a variety of sources. Understanding their order of
precedence is important to understanding The Galactic Empire's structure,
as it determines which dictates are lawful in any given situation.
The four recognised sources of official dictates, listed by precedence in
descending order, are as follows:
- Dictates of the Supreme Commander
- Dictates of Imperial Law
- Dictates of formal manuals/documents
- Dictates of superior officers
Simply put, higher–listed authorities supersede lower–listed authorities...
For example, an order from one's superior is invalid if it commands a violation
against Imperial Law. In the same vein, policies of
Imperial Law would override any conflicting policies
found in official GE manuals.
In subscription to the Imperial model, the dictates of the
Supreme Commander override all other sources, as it is the
prerogative of Supreme Command to create, approve changes to, and modify overall
Imperial policy at the highest levels.
A fifth source also exists as a special case: the dictates of the
Emperor's Court are second only to
those of the Supreme Commander and
Imperial Law when presiding over a court–martial.
Components of Authority
There are two chief components that contribute to an Imperial officer's
overall authority: ranks and positions... A different type
of authority is provided by each.
The entire purpose of ranks within The Galactic Empire is to determine an
officer's seniority; both within their section of the Empire, and within
the GE as a whole. Ranks therefore govern officer conduct, in that senior
officers must always be regarded with respect appropriate to their
elevated rank &ndash regardless of whether that superior is one's own commander, or
serving in an entirely different section of the Empire.
Ranks are usually directly related to positions: almost always increasing or
decreasing as a direct result of accepting or resigning positions of higher
Further information on the ranks of the Empire is contained within the
Ranks & Address chapter of this manual.
Positions & Titles
Although ranks alone determine an officer's seniority, the Empire
would soon turn into a chaotic flow of conflicting orders if any senior
officer could issue any order to any junior officer. For this
reason, it is command positions & titles &ndash not ranks &ndash which give
officers jurisdiction over various matters & areas within the Empire.
For example, the title of Imperial Academy
Commandant gives its holder jurisdiction over all
Imperial Academy matters.
Jurisdiction is, simply, the authority to make a final decision on a certain
matter. An officer's jurisdiction can only be overridden by their direct
superior(s), not just any senior officer in the Empire.
As another example, an Army General cannot normally dictate to a Navy Captain
how he is to run his vessel... Although the General outranks the Captain, the
ship is within the jurisdiction of the Navy. The Captain need still regard the
General with the same respect as his own naval superiors, but may state
that he is "not disposed to execute the order".
By default, the highest ranking officer on deck assumes command of any
general situation where no single officer present has clear jurisdiction.
One of the most noticeable cornerstones of GE structure is that Supreme
Command lies with a naval Fleet
Admiral, who has been charged with the duty of acting as the Empire's
political leader in addition to commanding its military forces.
It is well known that in the pre–Endor Galactic Empire, high civil
authorities such as Moffs held direct
military jurisdiction over the officers of the Empire's armed forces... Solely
free of the political structure were the roaming Grand
Admirals: a rank created senior to the Moffs' through the Emperor's
foreseeing that the ultimate, future security of the Empire would rest with its
best military minds.
Five years post–Endor, despite the collapse of the Empire's official
policy–making machines and there being little consensus between Imperial
fragments on fundamental issues, the emergence of Grand Admiral Thrawn
willingly reuninted them behind a single leader: one that demonstrated
unprecedented potential to reclaim the New Order's galactic rule. The
un–orthodox &ndash yet unquestionable &ndash reign of Thrawn laid the
military–centric groundwork that was to become policy for the next Imperial
On the posession of simple seniority, this finally and officially secured
jurisdiction over all Imperial resources to Grand Admiral Daemon as the new
Supreme Commander for the Empire. The Grand Admiral declared
a state of Martial Law, allowing the Imperial Military to supersede normal civil authority.
In turn, the Grand Admiral passed the torch to Fleet Admiral Polanski, who in turn has given
the leadership of the Empire to Fleet Admiral Tiberius Fel, who has assumed the
authority in accordance with Imperial Law, with every intention of continuing Grand
Admiral Daemon's mission...
Moreover, the standing Declaration &ndash made amidst a war–torn galaxy and
feuding Imperial remnants &ndash has fully reversed the official civil/military
balance within the modern Empire, and continues to shape & re–shape the
principles upon which its structure is based...