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Midshipmen were trainees onboard capital ships. The captain of the ship would often spend a short time with them each day for instruction.[source?] The midshipmen were ranked higher than enlisted men, such as stormtroopers, but below regular officers.[source?] When the captain felt the midshipman was ready, they would be promoted to ensign.[source?] As an ensign, they would begin a road eventually, hopefully leading to command of their own captaincy and ship someday.[source?]
Within the Imperial Navy, the position of midshipman was the lowest rank. The specific rank, depending on whether the officer in the Navy was a line officer or a specialist officer, was an Ensign or simply an Officer, respectively.
In the Alliance Fleet most of the advanced training for naval officer candidates was part of their time served as midshipmen on active vessels with the midshipmen serving in a variety of roles, receiving training from the ship's officers, and studying engagements the vessel had fought in. They often asked the ship's officers questions about the decisions they made during prior battles and why those decisions were made as well.