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The title of Supreme Commander was one of the highest ranks accorded in the militaries of the Alliance to Restore the Republic, the Alliance of Free Planets, the New Republic, and the Galactic Federation of Free Alliances alike; but the usage of the title varied considerably over time.
Alliance to Restore the RepublicEdit
- See also: Commander-in-Chief
The military High Command of the Alliance to Restore the Republic was led by the Chief of State in the ex officio capacity of Allied Forces Commander-in-Chief, assisted by the Alliance Minister of War, the Alliance Chief of Staff, and a council of Supreme Allied Commanders, each with responsibility for a distinct aspect of the Alliance military:
- Fleet Command (Fleet)—the Alliance's armada of combat warships, and attached support units.
- Ordnance and Supply (OaS)—weapons, equipment and supply procurement, and also R&D.
- Starfighter Command (StarCom)—administrative oversight of starfighter forces and pilot training; only a few "rogue" squadrons are under the direct operational control of StarCom.
- Support Services (Support)—supply ships, safeworlds and hospital ships.
- Intelligence (Intell)—espionage and analysis.
- Special Forces (SpecForces)—the Alliance's ground troops.
- Sector Command (SecCom)—oversight over the semi-autonomous Sector Forces controlled by governments and resistance groups that pledged allegiance to the Alliance.
Although often referred to as "Chief of Intelligence", "Chief of Sector Command", etc., these officers were known collectively as the "Supreme Allied Commanders" or simply "Supreme Commanders", and it appears that this was part of their full formal title; for instance, the titles of "Supreme Allied Commander for Intelligence" and "Supreme Allied Commander for Special Forces" survived until c. 12 ABY, although by then these two posts had effectively been amalgamated into a single office.
By far the most important of the Supreme Allied Commanders was the head of Fleet Command, with the rank of Admiral of the Fleet—Admiral Gial Ackbar. Ackbar's command incorporated not just the Rebellion's major combat warships, but also its own Fleet Intelligence, Starfighter Command and Ordnance and Support departments, essentially duplicating much of the structure of the high command. In many respects, the Fleet was a fully-functional and self-contained armed forces within the Alliance military organization, with Ackbar exercising complete control from his flagship, Home One, and regularly delegating his place on the high command to a subordinate; but the devolved hierarchy can also be compared to those of Sector Forces, and seen as a reflection of the Alliance ideology.
After the victory at Endor, major reforms occurred: the increase in ground troops led to a new bilateral division into Army and Navy, and a cumbersome bureaucratic superstructure was imposed: the Ministry of War was renamed the Ministry of Defense, and additional Ministries of the Army and the Navy were formed, creating three Council-level political appointments with overlapping jurisdictions. Yet in terms of operational control, what happened was that the Fleet simply gobbled up the other commands: Ackbar—still normally commanding on the front line from Home One—became Commander-in-Chief of the entire New Republic military (though still subordinate to the Chief of State). The old high command ceased to function as a council of state, but security forces acquired a new definition, with General Crix Madine becoming Supreme Allied Commander for both SpecForces and Intelligence.
About ten years after Endor, the entire cumbersome political apparatus was swept away, and military authority was concentrated in a new post of Supreme Commander. Officially, this post replaced the Minister of Defense, but with the office filled by the Admiral of the Fleet, and no civilian ministries to get in the way, it represented in practice the apotheosis of the process of concentration of military authority in Fleet Command that can be observed in earlier developments.
The independence of the other Supreme Allied Commanders was ended, their former agencies subordinated to the Supreme Commander: in effect, Fleet Command's preexisting Starfighter Command, Ordnance and Support and Fleet Intelligence departments absorbed StarCom, OaS and Support, and much of the combined Intel/SpecForces hierarchy. In the twenty years or so between Admiral Ackbar's initial appointment as Supreme Allied Commander for the Fleet and his retirement as Supreme Commander of the New Republic Defense Force, the only changes in the actual organizational superstructure of his command were thus as follows: subordinate field commands passed from a flexible group of Line Admirals to five Fleet commanders; Ordnance and Support was renamed Quartermaster; and the Fleet absorbed the rest of the military.
Of the former commands, only Intelligence survived as an independent department—in fact, it was totally separated within the constitutional hierarchy, under a Director rather than a Supreme Commander, and more-militarized elements of the former SpecForces, such as the Katarn Commandos, were absorbed by Fleet Intelligence.
By the time the Yuuzhan Vong invasion began, Ackbar had retired, and the Supreme Commander was the Sullustan Fleet Admiral Sien Sovv, an able administrator and determined organizer. Although a hero on Sullust, Sovv did not inspire the same awe in many of his personnel as Ackbar, and he was not a famous battlefleet commander. He further differed from Ackbar in his willingness to participate openly in the New Republic's political scrum—and he accordingly conducted the war from a desk on Coruscant, rather than the command deck of a battleship. Nor was he perhaps the most compassionate, tactically flexible or surgically deft operational commander—but then, it cannot have been easy for him to follow a legend like Ackbar, and he shared with his celebrated predecessor a doughty determination to win, and an understated capability to deploy ships, personnel and infrastructure to that end.
Galactic Federation of Free AlliancesEdit
Cal Omas' constitutional reforms following the Yuuzhan Vong conquest of Coruscant were largely theoretical. In practice, the Galactic Alliance consisted of the Councilors, Senators and Defense Force command elements that had regrouped on Mon Calamari, and Sien Sovv remained as Supreme Commander, although now commanding the war from the Super Star Destroyer Guardian. After leading the Alliance to victory, Sovv was briefly replaced by Fleet Admiral Traest Kre'fey, but he soon returned, and held office until his death in 36 ABY. At this point, as a conflict between Killiks and Chiss threatened to become a galaxywide war, Cal Omas called Imperial Grand Admiral Gilad Pellaeon out of retirement to serve as Alliance Supreme Commander. He remained in that position for the next four years, until the start of the Second Galactic Civil War, resigning over disagreements about the Galactic Alliance Guard. He was replaced by the politically ambitious Cha Niathal. After Niathal defected from the Galactic Alliance Chief of State Darth Caedus did not appoint a new Supreme Commander. It is unknown who Chief of State Daala appointed after Niathal went MIA during the Second Battle of Roche in 41 ABY.
Constitutionally, the Supreme Commander was appointed by the Chief of State; under the mature New Republic constitution, the Senate confirmed the appointment, and could also recall the Supreme Commander by a Vote of No Confidence. In practice, the Supreme Commander seems to have always been, by rank, the most senior serving Admiral answerable to the government he served, but it is unknown if this was a requirement for appointment.
List of Supreme CommandersEdit
- Sien Sovv (23–29 ABY)
- Traest Kre'fey (29 ABY)
- Sien Sovv (29–36 ABY)
- Gilad Pellaeon (36–40 ABY)
- Cha Niathal (40–41 ABY)
- Nek Bwua'tu (41 ABY—)
- Gar Stazi (130 ABY—)
- Imperial Sourcebook (First mentioned) (As "Alliance Supreme Commander")
- The Movie Trilogy Sourcebook (As "Supreme Commander of the Alliance")
- Rebel Alliance Sourcebook, Second Edition
- Imperial Sourcebook, Second Edition