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High Colonel

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High Colonel is the title given in the Imperial Army to the officer commanding a Battlegroup.

A typical High Colonel had four regiments under his command, totaling just over ten thousand front-line troops, with the next highest rank being General. Such a command represented a significant military resource usually deployed for extended campaigns against organized enemies, although Imperial Army strategists did not consider it enough to undertake the conquest or pacification of an entire planet.

One such campaign was fought on Picutorion, under High Colonel Drost in cooperation with Commodore Bevven of the Imperial Navy

Behind the scenesEdit

The rank of High Colonel originates in The Imperial Sourcebook, and appears little, if at all, outside that work. Officers holding this rank are senior to the Lieutenant Colonels in command of Regiments but below the Major Generals in command of Corps; the Battlegroups which High Colonels command are said to be newly-introduced formations analogous to former Divisions.

Beyond this, there is no canon evidence for exactly how the position of High Colonel fits into the fictional hierarchy of the Imperial Army, and a number of options remain possible:

  • A rank equivalent to a real-world Brigadier General (Nato Code OF-6) but treated as a field officer rather than a general officer. Real-life parallels include the British Army rank of Brigadier and its 1922-8 precursor "Colonel-Commandant", and the Swedish Army rank of Överste av första graden, currently being phased out in favor of Brigadgeneral.
  • A full Colonel as opposed to a Lieutenant Colonel.
  • An additional rank grade inserted on a level between Colonel and Brigadier.
  • A title rather than a substantive rank, denoting an officer holding a battlegroup command. With regard to this possibility, it can be observed that in the Lords of the Expanse RPG scenario, Imperial officer Tessala Corvae is described as leading the 1st Tapani Assault Battlegroup, the level of command we might expect to find a High Colonel; although she is said several times to hold the rank of Major General, her RPG stats describe her as wearing a "Colonel's uniform".

Considering that the Battlegroup is said in the source to be a newly-created level of command replacing the Division, it may be that the rank of High Colonel was created along with the formation; also, there is nothing to say that "High Colonel" was any longer-lived than the comparable rank of "Colonel-Commandant" in the British Army.

It is often said that the rank insignia for High Colonel consists of six yellow squares with a code cylinder worn on either side of the badge; but this is merely a popular fanon conjecture, apparently originating on the Imperial Insignia page at the Star Wars Technical Commentaries website.

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