Kill System, Ranks and Sig Badges Explained!

Okay, here you will find the explanation behind our squads ranking system, how we award kills, and how we display this information on our signature badges.

First of all, rank is something that we use mainly for organisational purposes rather than leadership purposes but there are designations for C-O. and X-O. and Training Officer who are responsible for the running of the squad, and rule setting, etc.

Now, as I am sure you have noticed, we use a lot of russian and german terms for certain things. Of course, not everyone knows what these are so to help you understand some of the terms that we use in the squad here is a basic list of those which will probably appear most often:

  • Voyenno-Vozdushnye Sily (VVS) – Soviet Military Air Force
  • Protivo-Vozdushnaya Oborona (PVO) - Soviet Air Defence
  • Diviziya - Aviation Wing/Division
  • Polk - Regiment
  • Eskadrillya - Squadron
  • Aviatsionnaya Diviziya (AD) - Aviation Division
  • Gvardeyskiy Istrebiteniy Aviatsionniy Polk (GIAP or Gv.IAP) – Guards Fighter Aviation Regiment
  • Gvardeyskiy Shturmovoy Aviatsionniy Polk (GShAP or Gv.ShAP) - Guards Ground Assault Aviation Regiment
  • Gvardeyskiy Bombardirovochnii Aviatsionniy Polk (GBAP or Gv.BAP) - Guards Bomber Aviation Regiment
  • Komandir Polka (Kompolka) – Regiment Commander
  • Komandir Eskadrillya (Komesk) – Squadron Commander
  • Zampolit - Political Officer/Commissar
  • Narodnyy Kommissariat Vnutrennikh Del (NKVD)– Soviet People’s Commissariat for Internal Affairs (forerunners of the KGB)

And here are some of the german terms that are commonly used:

  • Luftwaffe - German Air Force
  • Oberkommando der Luftwaffe (OKL) - German Air Force High Command
  • Staffel - Aviation Squadron
  • Gruppe - Aviation Group
  • Geschwader - Aviation Wing
  • Jagdgeschwader (JG) - Fighter Aviation Wing
  • Kampfgeschwader (KG) - Bomber Aviation Wing

Next, we go over the military ranks that we use in the squad. We use russian terms for these also, so instead of Captain or Lieutenant, you will see "Kapitan" and "Starshiy Leytenant", and so on.
Full list of VVS Army ranks with German and US equivalents.

These are the military ranks we use:

polkovnik

Polkovnik
(Colonel/Group Captain)

 
podpolkovnik

Podpolkovnik
(Lieutenant Colonel / Wing Commander)

major

Mayor
(Major/Squadron Leader)

kaptain

Kapitan
(Captain/Flight Lieutenant)

Minimum rank to hold position of Kompolka

Starshiy Leytenant.

Starshiy Leytenant
(Lieutenant/Flying Officer)

Leytnant

Leytenant
(Second Lieutenant/Pilot Officer

Minimum rank to hold position of Komesk/Zampolit

Mladshiy Leytenant

Mladshiy Leytenant
(Acting Pilot Officer)

Starshina

Starshina
(Sergeant Major)

Minimum rank to hold position of Training Officer

Starshiy Serzhant

Starshiy Serzhant
(Senior Sergeant)

Serzhant

Serzhant
(Flight Sergeant)

Kadet

Kadet
(Cadet)

Probationary rank

And just in case you are not phamiliar with some of the terms we use above like "Kompolka" and "Komesk", etc, it is explained below:

The current command structure is as follows:

Organisation

This shows how our squadron chain of command is arranged. We have the Regimental Commander (Kompolka) at the top of the chain, and then the Executive Officer (X.O. - "Komandir" is the russian term) who is normally one of the Squadron Commanders, although it could be any pilot within the squad. The Squadron Commanders (Komesk) are each responsible for one of the squadrons in the Regiment and deal with recruitment and training of their pilots. The Training Officer and Political Officer (Zampolit) are of equal status with Squadron Commanders, but they don't really fall into the structure above as the pilots holding these positions could be a pilot assigned to any of the squadrons within the regiment.

Take special note of the Kompolka America and Komandir America positions. As the sun never sets on our glorious Soviet we have officers in charge of our activity in the American timezone so that we can strike fear into the hearts of our enemies round the clock!

Konstitution

It should be noted that this is both a military organisation and a Soviet organisation. We do not vote. There is freedom of speech and opinion which may or may not be taken into account when orders are given. However, sensitive issues and controversy are kept to the private forums to avoid one pilot’s opinion being interpreted as squad policy.

So how do decisions get made?

In a Soviet it is the workers that make the day to day decisions and everybody has the right to work!

In order for the squad to function we have to maintain and update a squad website with forums which runs on donated server space. We voluntarily finance a high speed games server which is in a commercial data centre with high speed internet lines. This is managed by an appointed team of administrators who manage the software access and running of wars and games. Individual pilots will propose campaigns; find opponents, set up teams of mission planners who will build the final missions and skin-sets where necessary. Finally at the end of all that everybody gets a chance to book a seat in the mission briefing tool and fly the missions. While this is going on there are other workers, running recruitment, running induction and running training.

So the pilot that says “I’m building a Manchurian 1938 campaign running at 05:30 GMT starting next Monday night” will get the right to do most of the work and at the same time take most of the decisions. At the same time the pilots who are not involved in the building may be listened to or not and may choose to fly or not.
The officer chain of command does set a direction and minimum standards for official squad activities. These have changed very little since the establishment of the squadron several years ago and are part of the reason for its longevity and success.

How do you get promotion and climb up the chain of command?

Reread the section about “everyone has the right to work!”

For squad activities like training and missions there is a defined chain of command which is seperate from the organisational chain we have above. Because of the fact we have a dedicated ground assault unit, we often fly on bombing missions with the fighter unit in escort, and during these missions the flight leader of the ground assault unit has operational command of the mission regardless of his rank within the squad. Once the assault part of a mission is complete (i.e. on the way home) the flight lead of the fighter unit will normally take command and coordinate the escort effort back to base. In these situations, it is the role of the individual pilots within the flights which is important, not their military rank. If the flight leader of the assault unit is a Mladshiy Leytenant, and a Kapitan is present within the flight, this has no consequence; the Mladshiy Leytenant has operational command until the assault part of the mission is concluded.

Where do you start in the ranks??

First off, when joining the squad you go through a probation period of at least 1 month, and you are given the rank of Kadet. During this month, you are required to complete a series of qualification missions which the training officer/squadron C.O. should provide you with. Upon successful completion of these missions and confirmation that you are able to take off, fly, and land without killing yerself, then you are given your pilot's wings.

Once your probation is completed, and you have earned your pilot's wings, you are then promoted to the rank of Serzhant. Promotion beyond the rank of Serzhant is at the discretion of your Squadron C.O. or the Regiment C.O. Promotion can be achieved by completing a series of advanced qualification missions which are specific to your role within the regiment (i.e. 69th GIAP pilots will complete fighter based missions, 69th GShAP pilots will complete ground attack/bomber based missions). Promotion can also be achieved through service to the regiment, and is at the discretion of your C.O.

Within the regiment itself, there are three squadrons: the 69th GIAP, the 69th GShAP, and the 69th GBAP.

The 69th GIAP is the fighter squadron. The main function of this squadron is fighter escort, and interception. The qualification missions you will complete will reflect this.

The 69th GShAP is the Ground Attack squadron. The main function of this squadron is the gratuitous destruction of tanks, trucks, ships, buildings, and whatever else they feel like blowing up. The qualification missions you will complete will reflect this.

The 69th GvBAP is the bomber squadron. The main function is level-bombing, dive-bombing and carpet-bombing of enemy targets (factories, bunkers, ships)

Signature Badges (and what they display)

Every pilot in the regiment has his own personalised signature badge. Upon these badges are displayed various things such as the pilot's rank, their operational status, how many kills they have achieved, and what type of kills these were, and a couple of other things.

Here are a few examples to give you an idea of what we use:

badge example1.jpg badge example2 badge example3

What you see on these badges are what will be on your badge once you receive it.

The most important aspect of this badge is your name, and your regiment (=69.GIAP=) which can be seen in the middle of the badge beside the picture of the pilot. The pilot pictures we use are authentic WWII russian air force personnel, and you can choose which one you would like to have if you have a suitable picture, or one will simply be given to you.

Your name is also your own choice. Normally we do encourage the use of a russian name, or at least something associated with russia (for example, Akula is the russian for shark) but it is not strictly necessary. The only real restriction that can be put onto your name is that it shouldn't exceed 6 characters. This is due to a character restriction of your callsign when you register to use the Hyperlobby client interface which we use to meet up for missions, and such like.

You can also see on the badges above the difference between being a Kadet and being a "qualified" pilot in one of the squadrons.

On the far right of the badge you will see a set of wings; these are your pilot's wings and they denote your operational status:

piwings

Golden Wings with a "glow" around them denotes an operational pilot who is also a Flight Instructor. These are pilots who you can go to for advice on flying tactics, or training.

pwings

Golden wings denote an operational pilot. These are pilots who have passed all necessary qualification missions and are active within the regiment.

kwing

Grey wings denote a non-operational pilot. Normally these are what will be on your badge for your duration as a Kadet until you pass the necessary qualification missions. Upon completion of these missions, you will be given golden wings.

You will also notice that on some of the sig badges there are large red letters in the bottom right of the badge, below the pilot's wings. These denote positions of organizational rankings.

kompolka komesk training_officer political_officer

K-P

is the abbreviation we use for Komandir Polka (Kompolka) which is translated as Regiment Commander. Whoever has these letters on their sig badge has overall command of the Regiment.

X-O

is the abbreviation we use for Executive Officer who surprisingly enough organises everything while the other officers loaf around in the bar telling wide boy stories.

K-E

is the abbreviation we use for Komandir Eskadrillya (Komesk) which is translated as Squadron Commander. Whoever has these letters on their sig has command over one of the squadrons (either the 69.GIAP or 69.GShAP) in the regiment.

T-O

is the abbreviation we use for Training Officer. Whoever has these letters on their sig is responsible for setting down training curriculum for the regiment, and works with the squadron commanders to coordinate training of Kadets, and developing advanced training for the pilots.

P-O

is the abbreviation we use for Political Officer (Zampolit). As we model ourselves after a soviet regiment during WWII then we kinda need to have a political officer!! Whoever has these letters on their sig is responsible for spreading propaganda about the regiment's deeds of derring do, and aid in recruitment, and the general glorification of our pilots.

The last thing about ranking can be seen in the upper right corner of your badge, above the pilot's wings. This is fairly self explanatory, and as you can see, it is simply your military rank within the regiment.

How we award kills, and how they are displayed on our badges

Well, as with any fighter or ground attack squadron, we like to keep a count of what we have killed, and proudly display the results on our badges.

As a squad, we participate in various online wars, this is where we get our tallies which are counted and displayed on our badges. There are many online wars that we fly in, but it is only in wars validated by the CO that scores are counted (subject to authenticated evidence and witnesses). Currently, the wars in which scores can be counted are the Crimea and the Spanish Civil War Scorched Earth Campaigns.
The way it works is fairly simple; in any war, or campaign, when you fly you are given a "pilot persona". This is like a "life" within the war. If you fly a mission and you return safely, then your persona has 1 mission recorded in the war stats. If you complete a further 3 missions, then your persona has a total of 4 missions completed in the war stats. If, however, on your 5th mission you are killed, then your persona is reset and you begin anew, so your 6th mission would be the 1st for your new persona.

To indicate kills we have achieved in a war, we have three categories of markers on our badges.

These are as follows:

This mark is a bomb, which shows the number of successful sorties you have made flying in a bomber aircraft (either a level bomber or dive bomber) within one lifetime or "persona".

bomb_mark

This mark is an aerial kill star which denotes how many aircraft you have shot down either in a fighter aircraft, or as a gunner in a multi-cockpit aircraft, within one persona.

aerial_kill_mark

This is a tank which denotes the number of ground kills you have achieved within one life span, or persona. How we calculate these is slightly more complicated than the previous two credit markers, but is easy to do.

ground_kill_mark

(NOTE: In regard to flying in a bomber aircraft, or ground attack aircraft where you have AI gunners; if these gunners down an enemy aircraft in a mission, then you will receive credit for the kill, and a star may be added to your aerial kills tally.)

Determining your kill totals

Now, how we count our kills in these war scenarios is very similar to the counting of missions. If within one persona you achieve a total of 3 aerial kills, then you will receive 3 aerial kill stars on your badge. If you successfully complete 2 sorties in a level or dive bomber then you receive 2 bomber sortie marks on your badge.

The "rules" we use for these are simple:

Bomber Sorties:

To receive credit for a bomber sortie, you must have flown a mission in a level or dive bomber aircraft, and landed safely (or avoided capture and death) to be given credit on your badge.

Aerial Kills:

To receive credit for aerial kills the kill must be recorded in the missions stats, and you must land safely (or at least avoid being captured or dying), otherwise you do not get the kill (i.e. if you achieve 3 kills in one mission, but you died in that mission, you cannot claim those 3 kills).

Now, the number that is actually displayed on your badge is your best result in one persona. So if you have had a total of 4 personas, and in each of these personas you got a certain amount of kills, here is how you would decide which numbers to claim on your badge:

  • Persona #1 - Bomber Sorties: 0, Aerial Kills: 3
  • Persona #2 - Bomber Sorties: 3, Aerial Kills: 4
  • Persona #3 - Bomber Sorties: 1, Aerial Kills: 0
  • Persona #4 - Bomber Sorties: 6, Aerial Kills: 1

Based on these results, the claims you would have displayed on your badge for aerial kills would be 4 (results from persona #2) because that is the best total you have achieved in one persona; and for bomber sorties, you would claim 6 (persona #4) as that is your best result within one persona. And of course, if in a later persona you improve on these figures then you simply claim the new tally on your badge.

Ground Kills:

Now, ground kills are a little more complicated. Basically, due to the many different types of ground targets that are present in the Forgotten Battles game, we don't give individual totals for each type of ground target destroyed.

Basically, ground kills can be claimed by any pilot flying any aircraft (except for Level and Dive Bombers). We score ground kills on a points system. In the Forgotten Skies war, for example, every ground target has a points value attached, and this could be anything from 20-100 points for one ground target (i.e. a bridge has a value of 20 points, and a tank has a value of 100 points). We give one ground kill for every 100 points achieved within one persona.

This means that if you fly a mission and you destroy 3 tanks (100 points each), and 4 trucks (40 points each), and you have landed safely you will receive a total of 460 points. This means that you will have 4 ground kill marks on your badge.

Also, the score is accumulative, so if you fly your next mission and you destroy only 1 truck (40 points), that is added to the previous total of 460, and gives a new total of 500 points. This would let you claim 5 ground kills on your badge.

Lastly, in order to claim these kills, you must write a post in the public forum giving a brief account of how you achieved the kill(s), when they were achieved, and how many. You must also provide a link in the forum post to the page where the mission stats are recorded (how to do this will be explained).

Leave Of Absence (LOA)

The final thing about our badges that we display is connected to our operational status.

There are times when "Real Life" interferes to such a degree that time cannot be adequately given to the squad's activities, and pilots suffering from such afflictions normaly request to take a Leave of Absence (LOA). Being on LOA excuses you from notifying the squad about being absent from designated training days, and scheduled missions, etc, but it certainly doesn't exclude the pilot from flying. On the contrary, if at all possible, no matter their status, everyone in the squad should turn up whenever possible to fly, simply because we like to have fun, and having a bunch of yer mates (which we generally are) to fly around with is far more fun than flying by yourself!!

Well, that just about describes everything that you would need to know about how we work as a squad, and how to read the information on our sig badges.

If you do have any questions at all, then you can simply go to our public forum and post.

Or, if after reading all of this and the Pravda, you feel like the GeeYap is a place you could fit in, then you can fill out an application and we'll sort ye out!!