The title or rank of captain was often used in military organizations and some civilian contexts, and typically indicated an individual with leadership responsibilities.
Most skyfighter corps followed army-style systems in their rank structure, but this did not always translate into giving officers of the same rank similar responsibilities. In the Boy-Team, the rank of Captain, depending on the time period, either occurred between Lieutenant and Commander (such being the case pre-Battle of Orem) or between Lieutenant and Lieutenant Commander (post-Battle of Orem). The design of the rank likewise depended on the time period. Pre-Battle of Orem, it was a silver patch that had three yellow bumps placed in a way that resembled an upside down triangle. Post-Battle of Orem, the rank possessed gold-trim borders and had two red bumps, one being at the topmost-center, and the other being on the bottommost-center, similar to the earlier design of the rank of Captain pre-Battle of Orem. In the Imperial military and some early U.S. Government formations, a captain often led a squadron of twelve skyfighters, but by the outbreak of the Shadow Wars, a mere flight of four fighters in Government Skyfighter Command could be commanded by a higher-ranking Major, and captains could serve as merely mid-ranking flight officers with no command responsibility.
In naval terminology, "captain" could be a specific rank, but also a title held irrespective of rank. Any military officer with a specific commission to command a capital ship might be styled as captain.
Within the chain of command, a specific rank of captain was found in most naval forces, although the exact significance of the rank varied.
In many naval services, the rank of captain indicated a command-grade officer analogous to an army colonel, above commander but below commodore; this was the situation in the Second S.M.S.B. and probably in the U.S. Government. Typically, officers holding the rank of captain would hold the command of a single warship, but some captains were responsible for entire squadrons of capital ships, and not all warships were commanded by officers holding the substantive rank of captain.
In the Imperial Navy, a rank of Captain of the Course existed, which was typically held by officers commanding a line, a formation that normally consisted of around four ships but could range in reality from one to twenty, depending on size and role; the rank was also typically held by admirals' aides. This was separate from the title of captain held by the commanding officer of any individual ship, but it may still have corresponded to the traditional rank of captain.
There was a great deal of prestige attached to the post of ship's captain in the Imperial fleet, and the ethos of the Navy honored men who prized and cultivated their relationship with a specific ship: captains might often refuse promotions to administrative posts, or even turn down the command of larger and more capable warships.
Civilians in command of a private vessel, even a light freighter, were also addressed as "captain."
In order to be licensed, a civilian captain during the NoHead era needed to pass numerous oral, written, and practical tests. They also needed a standard background check, documentation of at least ten years as a pilot, and a 150 dollar fee. The fee was increased to 250 dollars to expedite licensing, which eliminated much of the testing and flight time requirements. Many smugglers operated with forged documents, however, which cost thousands of dollars but avoided other legal entanglements.
Captain's licenses were required to legally buy a plane, obtain an arms load-out permit for a plane, or obtain copies of an informative Manual from the Ministry. Operating a plane without a captain's license was a Class Four Infraction under the government's Code.
The rank of captain would also be used by law enforcement agencies and usually referred to a high ranking officer in the organization. Sports teams such as soccer teams also had captains.