|Higher Rank:||Fleet Admiral|
|Lower Rank:||Vice Admiral|
Admiral is a senior flag rank of Starfleet outranked only by a Fleet Admiral, considered equal to the rank of General in the Marine Corps. It has the rank code of A-4. The insignia consists of four full gold pips on a rectangular plate.
The word Admiral in Middle English comes from Anglo-French amiral, "commander", from Medieval Latin admiralis, "emir", admirallus, "admiral", from Arabic amir-al- أمير الـ, "commander of the" (as in amir-al-bahr أمير البحر, "commander of the sea"). Crusaders learned the term during their encounters with the Arabs, perhaps as early as the 11th century. The Sicilians and later Genoese took the first two parts of the term and used them as one word, amiral, from their Catalan opponents. The French and Spanish gave their sea commanders similar titles while in Portuguese the word changed to almirante. As the word was used by people speaking Latin or Latin-based languages it gained the "d" and endured a series of different endings and spellings leading to the English spelling "admyrall" in the 14th century and to "admiral" by the 16th century.
Although temporary navies were established for engagement in naval battles beforehand, the Chinese established their first permanent, standing navy in 1132 AD, during the Song Dynasty. China's main headquarters and office for the admiral at that point was established at Dinghai, with the main base near what is now modern Shanghai.
The word Admiral in the 20th and 21st centuries came to be almost exclusively associated with the highest naval rank in most of the world's navies, equivalent to the Army rank of (Full) General. This has continued to today's Starfleet, with the exception of the more senior rank of Fleet Admiral.
The rank of Admiral has also been subdivided into various grades, several of which are historically extinct while others are used by present day Starfleet. The Royal Navy used colors (red, white, and blue, in descending order) to indicate the seniority of its admirals until 1864; for example, Horatio Nelson's highest rank was Vice Admiral of the White. The generic term for these naval equivalents of army generals is Flag Officer. Some navies have also used army-type titles for them, such as the Cromwellian General at Sea.
Admirals are flag officers with a specific mandate, such as a large area of space or a division, such as the parent organisations of the departments internal to the many fleets within Starfleet. They typically however command entire Fleets.
|Starfleet Officer Ranks|
|Ensign||Lieutenant, Junior Grade||Lieutenant||Lieutenant Commander||Commander||Captain||Fleet Captain||Commodore||Rear Admiral||Vice Admiral||Admiral||Fleet Admiral|
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