Brotherhood of Steel ranks

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As a military-born organization, the Brotherhood of Steel uses ranks to distinguish its various and deserving members. The different localized sub-factions use ranking systems which differ to some extent from that of the original Brotherhood, but most follow the original regime for ranking.

Ranking systems

West Coast

Knights Scribes Paladins
  • Apprentice Knight
  • Journeyman Knight
  • Senior Knight
  • Head Knight
  • Apprentice Scribe
  • Journeyman Scribe
  • Senior Scribe
  • Head Scribe
  • Junior Paladin
  • Paladin
  • Senior Paladin
  • Head Paladin

Initiates are trainees and amateurs of BoS who are expected to perform well enough in the training process to be promoted to Senior Initiates, and later to Apprentices. After proving themselves, Apprentices are promoted to Journeyman Knights or Scribes. The next rank is Senior Knight/Scribe, and finally the leader of each of these orders is the Head Knight and Head Scribe. The initiates must prove the BoS training is well-developed and that it can make the weak into soldiers, and that the BoS has superior soldiers with enough training via utilizing their skills.

Scribes are responsible for copying the ancient technologies, maintaining the current technology and even experimenting with new weapons and other useful devices to be used on the field by he Knights and Paladins. Scribes rarely leave the safety of the BoS bunkers, but they are sometimes called into the field to examine a piece of technology or perform a task beyond the skills of the Brotherhood soldiers. They can be used as medics if need be, to test medic advances, but usually the brotherhood has specialized medic units for that.

Knights are trained soldiers of war that know their enemy well enough to show their progression on the battlefield. They take part in maintaining strategical advancing in the battlefield and support their fellow soldiers with the utmost honor and respect, taking their own lives, even, to save their comrades. It is this courage that shows that many have the heart of a true lion. The ranks of Knight are: Apprentice Knight, Journeyman Knight, Senior Knight, Head Knight and then Onto Paladin.

Paladins are in charge of all security and outside activities. The Paladin ranks are Junior Paladin, Paladin, Senior Paladin, and Head Paladin.

Elders are the most senior members of the Brotherhood, responsible for setting its course. They must go through all ranks before reaching Elder, and must have many years of experience. The only exception is when one dies and the next Elder is "coronated". The leader of the council and the Brotherhood itself is the High Elder, usually descended from the Maxson family.

Capital Wasteland

Military Civilian
  • Initiate
  • Squire
  • Knight
  • Knight Sergeant
  • Knight Captain
  • Paladin
  • Star Paladin
  • Sentinel
  • Elder
  • Scribe
  • High Scribe
  • Head Scribe

The Capital Wasteland detachment utilizes a slightly different system than the original Brotherhood out west, for instance, the Paladins are not a separate caste but a rank. Paladins are leaders of squads and are elite warriors who must earn their rank. Knight Sergeants are in command of larger groups of knights, or in command of a base like Knight Sergeant Wilks. The next rank, Knight Captain, is given to veteran soldiers who command their own base and troops, but only in some cases: 3 of the 4 known Knight Captains are in Lyons Pride. The fourth, Knight Captain Durga, is head of supply. In this splinter faction, the Head Paladin is instead titled "Star Paladin". The scribes are responsible for researching and manufacturing technology, weapons and armor for the knights and paladins. They are split into three distinct "orders", the order of the sword, the order of the shield and the order of the quill, which are responsible for weapons, armor and history/record keeping/non combat tech respectively. Each order is lead by a "proctor" who consults with the head scribe and elder on certain issues.


Military Civilian
  • Initiate Initiate
  • SeniorInitiate Senior Initiate
  • Squire Squire
  • SeniorSquire Senior Squire
  • JuniorKnight Junior Knight
  • Knight Knight
  • SeniorKnight Senior Knight
  • KnightCommander Knight Commander
  • JuniorPaladin Junior Paladin
  • Paladin Paladin
  • PaladinCommander Paladin Commander
  • PaladinLord Paladin Lord
  • General General
  • Commanding officer
  • Elder
  • Civilian
  • Scribe
  • Elder
Mini-FOT LogoThe following is based on Fallout Tactics and some details might contradict canon.

The Midwestern branch has a rank system that differs from the original Brotherhood ranks. In the Midwest, the Scribes act as both scientists and engineers, taking the place of both Western Scribes and Knights. Midwestern Knights are just a military rank lower in the hierarchy than Paladins (even lower one being Squire) and are not allowed to use power armors. The Inquisitors are the Brotherhood's law enforcement and intelligence. This branch demands more ranks. The "General" rank seems to be made from the real life General rank, and the "commanding officer" is the military leader of the Midwestern Brotherhood of Steel and also the only higher than generals, responsible for giving mission orders to everyone, and also the only one that can give their opinion on the elders' politics. Also, the assignement into commanding officer is done by the elders and only a general can become commanding officer. Like all Brotherhood of Steel, the Midwestern elders are the leader and the thinkers of all decision.

Brotherhood of Steel chain of command

High Elder

The High Elder is the leader of the entire Brotherhood of Steel and the other Elders. Since all other known High Elders came from the Maxson family, it has been speculated that Rhombus was descended from Roger Maxson as well. There were most likely some High Elders between Rhombus and Jeremy Maxson.

Known High Elders:


The Elders form the Brotherhood's ruling council. Individual Elders are occasionally leaders of localized splinter chapters of the Brotherhood. Under normal circumstances, the ability to become an elder is reserved for Paladins, although there are exceptions, such as Elder Elijah, who was a scribe.


Generals control all of the Brotherhood's military. They report to the High Elder and the Elder Council and will only make a move if it's approved by them. They obtain the title of General by showing outstanding performance in military tactics and combat. They help decide the titles of the most promising recruits from Initiates and Squires all the way up to the Head Paladin and Head Knight.


Sentinel is a rank used by the Capital Wasteland division, ranking between Paladin and Elder. The only member of the Brotherhood to have achieved this rank at the time of Fallout 3 is Sarah Lyons, who leads the Lyons' Pride elite unit.

Head Paladin

The Head Paladin is responsible for dealing with the paladins in the same way the Head Knight does, but the Head Paladin chooses which paladins should lead each knight squad and which areas would be useful for a new base of operations. The Head Paladin has meetings with the High Elder, Elders, Head Scribe, Generals and Head Knight and both the Head Knight and Head Paladin report to the High Elder and Generals, no one else. The Head Paladin and Knight don't tend to go out into the field of battle, although they may in critical circumstances. When they do enter a battle it is almost certain that they will have a huge army protecting them and will very rarely be seen on the front line, they normally sit back with the Generals and give strategic orders to the soldiers.

Head Knight

The Head Knight is responsible for dealing with which knights should be sent on missions, to defend bases or to secure areas of interest and to report all incidents involving the knights to the Generals, Elders or High Elder depending on the severity of the situation. The Head Knights also are a part of meetings with the High Elder, Elders, Head Scribe, Generals and Head Paladin like Knight Commanders and Knight Captains in the Midwestern and Capital Wasteland branches.


Mini-FOT LogoThe following is based on Fallout Tactics and some details might contradict canon.

The highest rank that is still occupied by several battle-hardened soldiers. An Inquisitor is a special rank of the Midwest Brotherhood, and they are usually extremely sadistic. They're in charge of interrogation and intelligence within the Brotherhood, and are not restricted by very many of the Brotherhood's code when it comes to their job.

Mini-FOT LogoEnd of information based on Fallout Tactics.

Paladin Commander

Paladin Commanders control squads of paladins and group together in the A ring to discuss battle plans, they also report directly to the Head Paladin.

Knight Commander

Knight Commanders control groups of knights in the brotherhood and group up inside the A ring to discuss battle plans and such at a round table area. They report to the Head Knight.

Star Paladin

Star Paladin is a rank held in the Capital Wasteland division. It is ranked below Sentinel, but above Paladin. Star Paladin Cross, who can be recruited by the player, is presumed to be the only holder of this rank in Fallout 3. The rank of Star Paladin appears to be very similar to the Paladin Lord rank in other Brotherhood of Steel cells, due to what Star Paladin Cross says about Elder Lyons allowing her to pursue separate projects (like following the Lone Wanderer).

Paladin Lord

Paladin Lords are paladins which lead special operations outside of the army. They only report to the High Elder and Head Paladin. Their operations are sometimes kept secret from the Generals, because they can go against brotherhood military regulations. They are given specially selected squads that will follow the Paladin Lords without question and are forbidden to talk about their missions to other members of the Brotherhood.

Knight Captain

Knight Captain is a rank used by the Capital Wasteland division. In Fallout 3, there are four known members of the brotherhood who have achieved this rank, which are Knight Captain Dusk, Gallows and Colvin from Lyons' Pride as well as Knight Captain Durga. They have full command of a company of knights and paladins under their command, taking orders only from a Sentinel or Elder. As leader, a Knight Captain is free to take part in major operations or a large field of leadership.

Knight Sergeant

Knight Sergeant is a rank used by the Capital Wasteland branch, denoting a position above Paladin and below Knight Captain. The rank gives a command of two to three squads of knights and paladins, as well as the command of a base or outpost like the GNR Building Plaza. Knight Sergeant Wilks is the only Brotherhood of Steel soldier to acquire this rank.

Senior Paladin

Senior Paladins are Paladins which show promise to become Paladin Commanders, Paladin Lords or Sentinels. They are very well respected among other Paladins and Knights, and can increase the morale of soldiers greatly.

Senior Knight

Senior Knights are Knights which show promise to move up to be Paladins, Knight Commanders or Knight Captains. They are very well respected among the other Knights, and in the western Brotherhood of Steel they are some of the top mechanics and engineers. An example of a senior knight is Lorenzo from Fallout New Vegas


Fo1 BoS Paladin Insignia

Insignia of the Western Paladin Caste.

Paladins are a class of members of the Brotherhood of Steel. They are likened to the Scribes and Knights of the Brotherhood as being on the same level, but with a different purpose. They are the protectors of the Brotherhood, fighting and protecting its interests across the wasteland, equipped with power armor and an array of lethal weapons.

As mentioned in Chris Avellone's Fallout Bible 8, "the scribes develop technology, the knights build it, and the paladins use it."

Contrary to the original Brotherhood, Owyn Lyons has changed the rank system - Paladins are no longer a separate caste, but a rank (albeit a high one) instead.

Operations Officer

The only known person of this rank is Operations Officer Edwards in Fallout 3.


Knights are responsible for manufacturing and repairing the weapons and other pieces of technology. After many years of service and experience, the best Knights are promoted to Paladins - the pinnacle of the Brotherhood military. The next rank is Senior Knight, and finally the leader the order is the Head Knight. As all Paladins are also Knights, the Head Paladin is usually also the Head Knight. Knights wear mostly power armor. The large gear in the Brotherhood of Steel symbol represents the Knights.

In the Capital Wasteland and Midwestern divisions, "Knight" is a strictly military rank and the Scribes are the ones responsible for manufacturing technology there. This rank is most likely the equivalent of real-life non-commissioned officers (corporal to sergeant). The Lone Wanderer becomes a Knight after the quest "Take it Back" is completed if the Broken Steel add-on is installed for Fallout 3.

Icon disambig
For the NPCs in Fallout 3, see Knight (Fallout 3).

Junior Knight

Not much is known about this rank only that it is higher than Journeyman Knight.

Journeyman Knight

Journeymen Knight is the one small step rank before becoming a full fledged knight. It is where an initiate decides after his/her advancement whether to continue as a knight or scribe. It is an important step in advancement as they continue to serve the Brotherhood.

Senior Squire

Senior Squires are Squires which are ready to become Knights and are taught all the requirements and oaths to be a Knight of the BoS.


The only member of the Capital Wasteland branch who holds this rank in 2277 is Arthur Maxson, which would imply that the rank is reserved for children and is lower than Initiate. It is possible that this rank is used similarly in the original Lost Hills Brotherhood. Squire was originally a title which ranked above Initiates and were to receive training out in the field unlike the Initiates.

Mini-FOT LogoThe following is based on Fallout Tactics and some details might contradict canon.

In the Midwestern Brotherhood, Squires are one step above Initiates and are the least experienced and trained of the Brotherhood active military.

Mini-FOT LogoEnd of information based on Fallout Tactics.

Senior Initiate

Senior Initiates are Initiates which have completed basic training and move on to more advanced training.


Initiate is one of the lowest ranks in the Brotherhood of Steel's rank system. The precise definition of the rank appears to vary between the regional chapters.

The West Coast division uses the term to indicate a mere trainee as having been initiated into the Brotherhood, whereas the other two reserve that title until the recruit has completed initial training. The most plausible explanation lies in the fact that the West Coast division is significantly more insular than the others; the bulk of its new recruits are the offspring of existing members, and only rarely are outsiders accepted into the organization. By contrast, circumstances have forced the other two divisions to actively recruit from among the local population.

Both the West Coast and Midwestern divisions divide the rank into "buck" Initiate and Senior Initiate. It is not known whether the East Coast division follows this practice.

In the West Coast division, Initiate is the base rank of one who has only just been accepted into the Brotherhood as a trainee. After completing initial training, Initiates are slated to become either Scribes or Knights, and are promoted to Apprentice in the appropriate branch. Initiates on the West Coast were also not allowed to leave the Lost Hills Bunker and experience field combat. They would have to be promoted to Squire before they could actually fight.

Unlike in the other BoS divisions, East Coast Initiates may even be issued power armor if their assignment merits it (as in the case of the ill-fated Initiate Reddin of the Lyons' Pride). They were also sent out into the field of battle to experience fighting the mutants for real, because of the low numbers of soldiers.

Mini-FOT LogoThe following is based on Fallout Tactics and some details might contradict canon.

In the Midwestern division, Initiates are members who have completed initial training (and are thus one step above recruits), and the lowest rank that can be assigned to combat duty. Initiates may advance to the rank of Squire.

Mini-FOT LogoEnd of information based on Fallout Tactics.
FOBoSLogoThe following is based on Fallout: Brotherhood of Steel and has not been confirmed by canon sources.

In the Texas division, Initiates are members which are accepted and must prove themselves on the field. They receive basic training in the use of weapons and in combat. Shortly after their training was completed, Initiates were sent on missions to prove their value to the Brotherhood.

FOBoSLogoEnd of information based on Fallout: Brotherhood of Steel.

In the Mojave Wasteland Brotherhood of Steel, the ranks are the same, however there is one unique Mojave rank, Apprentice. The only person with this rank is Apprentice Watkins.

Civilian ranks by level of position

Head Scribe

The Head Scribe is the highest ranking civilian class of the BoS. The Head Scribe is responsible for choosing which Scribes work on which project and which scribes should be assigned to each order. The Head Scribe also chooses the High Scribes or Proctors of each order and must also oversee the projects each order is working on. The Head Scribe is a highly intelligent person who has mastered the orders of the Sword, Shield and Quill, and may also take on a project of their own interest, as Head Scribe Rothchild did with the Liberty Prime Project. The Head Scribe is one of the people who must attend the meetings with the High Elder, Elder Council, Generals, Head Paladin and Head Knight. The Head Scribe Reports to the High Elder and Elder Council only.

High Scribe

The High Scribes are the Proctors of the Orders. There are three High Scribes: one of the Sword, Shield and Quill. They oversee and approve of each project that the Scribes in their order are working on, and assign the proper Scribes to the right projects. Each High Scribe must report to the Head Scribe on each project and to get approval to move ahead with a new project. The High Scribes often work on their own projects, which are usually completed very quickly because the High Scribes can prioritize them and assign Senior Scribes to them. In some cases, High Scribes have been called to meetings with the High Elder and the Elder Council; The Capital Wasteland BoS tend to have their three High Scribes (Peabody, Jameson, and Bowditch) in every meeting with Elder Lyons.

Senior Scribe

Senior Scribes are some of the most advanced Scribes. They are always chosen for the most important projects and are the next in line to become proctors of orders when the old proctor retires or dies. They often take on the most promising Journeyman Scribes to be their apprentices and choose what order they should be in (usually, it is the same order that the Senior Scribe is in). Senior Scribes teach their apprentices everything they know and will continue to teach them until they are nearly Senior Scribes themselves. On rare occasions, the Senior Scribe will be promoted to Head Scribe and their Apprentice to High Scribe. When this occurs, the apprentice will be given special treatment and the Elders usually separate the two to remove any impression of impropriety. One example of a Senior Scribe is Linda Schuler, from the Mojave Wasteland Brotherhood of Steel.


Scribes are tasked with creating and keeping records of the technology used by the Brotherhood. The attitude of many scribes in the Brotherhood can be described as techno-centric. While a great number study history and culture, the majority of scribes focus their studies on subjects related to the acquisition, repair, or creation of technology.

Journeyman Scribe

Journeyman Scribes are Scribes-in-training. They are often taken in by one of the Senior Scribes and made apprentices, where they are then taught to be full Scribes. If they are not apprenticed by a Senior Scribe, they are often chosen to work on projects that are very insignificant. Journeyman Scribes start off in no order but will either pick an order themselves, or their master will choose for them. One example is Veronica Santangelo, a Journeyman Scribe of the Mojave Wasteland Brotherhood of Steel, and a possible companion in Fallout: New Vegas.


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