The Structure of the Romulan Legion

written and illustrated by Steven K. Dixon
originally published in Orion 28, June 1989

Organization and communication are needed by any effective military unit. Since the advent of armies thousands of years ago, many have tried to find the most effective formation to employ against an enemy. Pharoah had the charioteers, Alexander had the phalanx, Caesar had the legion, Nelson had the fleet, and Patton had the armored division. The Romulans are no different. Just like the Federation and the Klingons, the Romulans must field a space fleet capable of handling many emergencies at once.

The purpose of this article is to examine the structure of the Romulan legion which is strikingly similar to that of the Roman legion, as extrapolated from the following episodes: "Balance of Terror," "The Deadly Years," "The Enterprise Incident" and "The Practical Joker." "Balance of Terror" was the first episode in which the Romulans were introduced. In this episode, references are made to the "Praetor." We are also introduced to a character known as "Centurion." Both Praetor and Centurion are Latin terms used to denote rank and/or position. The other episodes reinforce this and provide a continuity between seasons.

The size of the Romulan fleet is unknown. It is not necessary that we know the size. The structure will be the same no matter if there are three fleets or one hundred fleets.

Let's assume that the Klingons are giving the Romulans problems. Numerous Klingon raids over a piece of disputed space near the two empires have weakened Romulan forces in the area. As reports reach the ruler of the Romulan Empire, who is known as the Praetor, he beckons his advisors. He announces that he will launch a campaign and use one legion for this great attack. The selected person is known as the legion commander and is given the rank of Admiral. The admiral is responsible for the direct outcome of the campaign. To be sure that the admiral obeys the praetor and does not exceed his mandate, the praetor appoints a personal envoy and gives him the rank of Quaestor. The admiral must then choose members of his staff. This are given the rank of Consul. The admiral and his staff would be located in a designated flagship and are broken down as in this chart:

Members of the Admiral's Staff

Department Section Code Rank
Intelligence IA Consul
Counter-Intelligence IB Consul
Logistics IC Consul
Propaganda ID Consul
Security IE Consul
Inspector-General IF Consul

Each legion is composed of two task forces. To command these task forces, the admiral appoints the individual who will command them. They are given the rank of Legate. It is then up to the legates to fill their staff positions. These individuals receive the rank of Tribune, and are broken down as in this chart:

Members of the Legate's Staff

Department Section Code Rank
Intelligence IIA Tribune
Counter-Intelligence IIB Tribune
Logistics IIC Tribune
Propaganda IID Tribune
Security IIE Tribune
Ground Attack Forces IIF Tribune

Each task force is divided into ten Cohorts. To command these cohorts, the legates appoint the new leaders. They are given the rank of Primus. Each cohort is then broken down into three Maniple. Maniple commanders are chosen by the Primus and are given the rank of Primi. Each maniple is composed of two Century. Each century is commanded by a Commander who is appointed by a Primi. The century is the smallest tactical unit of the legion and is composed of three ships. Ship captains are given the rank of Sub-Commander. They are appointed by the commanders. Officers subordinate to the Sub-Commander have the rank of Centurion. Below the centurions are Lieutenants and Sub-Lieutenants, who are basically junior officers. Legionnaires do the dirty work aboard Romulan ships. Legionnaires, also known as Uhlans, are comparable to the enlisted personnel in Starfleet. Cadets known as Tirones also serve aboard Romulan vessels.

As a result, we have a system where friends and family make all the difference for the success of one's career. While some individuals may be promoted for their skill, they had better known someone in power to assure their climb up the military ladder. Political appointments are far more likely to get one promoted than skill in combat or tactics.


legion_structure.jpg (12079 bytes)


chain_of_command.jpg (20702 bytes)

The above chart on the left gives the breakdown of the Romulan legion. The above chart on the right shows the chain of command. The chart below gives the rank, position and Federation equivalent, if any, of Romulan ranks.

Rank Position Federation Equivalent
Praetor Emperor Federation Council President
Quaestor Assistant to Praetor Advisors to President
Admiral Legion Commander Commander-Starfleet
Consul Assistant to Admiral Admiralty Staff
Legate Task Force Commander Admiral
Tribune Assistant to Legate Vice Admiral
Primus Cohort Commander Rear Admiral
Primi Maniple Commander Commodore
Commander Century Commander Fleet Captain
Sub-Commander Ship Commander Captain
Centurion Senior Ship Officer Commander/Lieutenant Commander
Lieutenant Junior Ship Officer Lieutenant
Sub-Lieutenant Most Junior Ship Officer Ensign
Legionnaire (Uhlan) Enlisted Personnel Petty Officers, Technicians
Cadet (Tirone) Recruit Cadet

The following illustration and chart shows a Romulan in uniform, along with denotations of rank. The upper tunic is silver and black. The lower kilt matches the sash color. The sash color is an indication of division of services: Red is the command division. Blue is the technical division. Green is the security division known as Tal Shiar. Gold is the exploration division. Rarely are officers with gold sashes and kilts seen. The Praetor himself wears an unadorned purple sash. Legionnaires wear no sash; sashes are for those of officers' rank only. Cadets wear a sash only at formal services. Helmets are generally worn by all with rank less than centurian, but some exceptions occur. Some commanders themselves wear the combat helmets; others do not require them of the lowliest legionnaire.

romulan_sashes.JPG (801278 bytes)
  1 Praetor
  2 Quaestor
  3 Admiral
  4 Consul

  5 Legate
  6 Tribune
  7 Primus
  8 Primi

  9 Commander
10 Sub-Commander
11 Centurion
12 Lieutenant

13 Sub-Lieutenant
14 Legionnaire (no sash)
15 Cadet (Tirone)

Cadets wear their sashes only at formal ceremonies.

main.gif (11611 bytes)

Free counters provided by Andale.

banner.gif (2815 bytes)

Click here to return to the Articles Page.
Click here to return to the Main Index Page.