|Marine Rank||Starfleet Rank|
Starfleet ranks are the identifying titles for the officers and enlisted members of Starfleet, under both United Earth and the United Federation of Planets. These ranks use the titles and positions adopted from earlier Earth naval forces.
Creation and early usage
Starfleet ranks were first created sometime in the mid 22nd century due to the expansion of the United Earth Starfleet. These early Starfleet ranks had at least three enlisted positions, four officer ranks, and three ranks for use by flag officers.
Starfleet uniforms of this period were mainly worn as single fitting jumpsuits with a colored shoulder trim denoting what field a particular officer or crewman specialized in (command, security/engineering, or science/medical).
The 23rd Century
In the 2230s, the Starfleet uniform was using a sleeve stripe system to denote rank instead of pips. The rank of lieutenant commander had also been added. (Star Trek)
By the mid 2250s, Starfleet had changed its uniforms and had adopted a much simpler rank and insignia system. Enlisted personnel wore no rank insignia while the rank of Chief Petty Officer was denoted by a special sleeve stripe. Commissioned officers wore a solid gold stripe. This system would stay in place for at least fifteen years, with only a slight modification in the early 2260s, when those holding the rank of Captain were authorized two gold stripes whereas other officers wore one.
The 2260s and 2270s
By 2266, Starfleet had again changed its uniforms and, while still using the sleeve stripe system to denote rank, the rank stripes had been modified to show more detail for each particular rank. An exception was that enlisted personnel, chief petty officers included, now had no insignia whatsoever with most enlisted personnel also wearing Starfleet jumpsuits instead of the standard tunic uniforms worn by the officers.
Starfleet flag officers wore a thicker braid insignia than regular officers and the rank of cadet and midshipman were both apparently in use at Starfleet Academy.
In the mid 2270s, Starfleet changed its uniforms again, although mainly in appearance only. The rank insignia of officers remained relatively the same, with the exception that the rank of Lieutenant junior grade was apparently done away with. Enlisted personnel also adopted a style of their own rank insignia and both officers and admirals could now wear a short sleeve "Class B" uniform which displayed rank insignia on shoulder tabs.
Late 23rd - Mid 24th century
By the year 2278, Starfleet had again changed its uniforms, abandoning the previous sleeve stripe system and adopting a totally new insignia design which incorporated a series of rank pins worn on a shoulder strap with the color of the strap determining the bearer's branch within Starfleet.
The shoulder strap system also matched with a cuff strap which could display various citation and years-of-service pins. Finally, in the case of admirals, another series of cuff straps denoted the particular rank of the Admiral.
Enlisted uniforms were also completely revamped from previous versions and now were worn as jumpsuits with rank pins worn on the lower right sleeve. Enlisted ranks themselves were expanded, encompassing several grades of Petty Officer and Chief Petty Officer.
With the exception of some minor cosmetic changes to officer uniforms, including the introduction of a standard communicator pin around 2344, the uniforms and insignia of the late 23rd century would remain unchanged until approximately the year 2355.
The 24th century
By the year 2355, Starfleet had introduced a new uniform design with the manner of insignia returning to the pip system used by the United Earth Starfleet more than two hundred years earlier. The 24th century pip system introduced a generic "hollow pip" insignia to denote Chief Petty Officers.(citation needed • edit)
The pip system used introduced in the mid 24th century would remain relatively unchanged and by 2379 was still the standard insignia system used by Starfleet, although the uniforms themselves had undergone a change.
The insignia for flag officers had a slightly different history than those of the regular officer and enlisted corps. In the 2360s, Admirals wore a type of triangular insignia on a special flag officer uniform. By 2366, this insignia had been replaced by a "boxed pip" system worn vertically on the flag uniform collar. The very next year the Admiral insignia changed again, this time worn flat against the collar in the same way as the insignia worn by other grades.
By the mid 2370s, Starfleet had made a further change to its insignia, this change pertaining to enlisted personnel. Replacing the "hollow pip" generic insignia was a new chevron system, worn as pins on the collar of the enlisted personnel's uniform. The chevron system displayed rank for the petty officer and chief petty office grades.