Brotherhood of Steel hierarchy

From The Vault - Fallout Wiki
Jump to: navigation, search

The Brotherhood of Steel relies on a strict hierarchy, where orders flow through the ranks and are carried out without hesitation. The Chain that Binds doctrine is traditionally intended to ensure obedience and conformity among the members of the Brotherhood, maximizing the efficiency of the Brotherhood as a war machine.Members of the Brotherhood are divided into distinct classes, each with a function of their own. The actual organization of the classes themselves and the ranks varies, typically by geographic region.

All members are subject to the same body of laws, at least in theory. Even Elders may be dismissed for violating the Brotherhood's charter or laws, such as destroying technological devices without due cause, violating the Chain that Binds, or murdering a fellow member. Due to the requirement for Elders to set an examples, Elders may also be stripped of their position if allowing them to retain it would compromise the morale or integrity of a given chapter.[1] In practice, the law is selective and for example, High Elder John Maxson could issue direct orders to the Vault Dweller, an Initiate, without consequences.[2] Elder McNamara's violation of the Chain that Binds have also gone unnoticed, due to chapter ignorance of large parts of the doctrine.[3]

Old Model[edit | edit source]

Old model
Senior Initiate
Apprentice Scribe
Apprentice Knight
Junior Paladin
Journeyman Scribe
Journeyman Knight
Senior Scribe
Senior Knight
Senior Paladin
Master Scribe
Master Knight
Head Paladin

The old model structure of the Brotherhood in the West is the oldest type of organization, followed by the founding chapter at Lost Hills and affiliated chapters, such as the Mojave chapter.

  1. Initiates are the youngest and/or least experienced members of the Brotherhood, whose sole purpose is training and learning to become a valued member of either the Knights or the Scribes. Initiates are first promoted to senior initiates, and later to Apprentices in their chosen Order: Knights or Scribes.[4] After completing their training, Apprentices are promoted to Journeyman Knights or Scribes.[5]
  2. Scribes are scientists, responsible for researching and reverse engineering recovered technologies, maintaining the Brotherhood's scientific knowledge, and even experimenting with new ones (though the Brotherhood's focus on preservation means this is rather rare).[6][7][8] There are three Scribe orders within the Brotherhood, focusing on different types of technology: the Order of the Sword (offensive), the Shield (defensive), and the Quill (civilian).[9] Scribes rarely leave the safety of the 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. Due to their stationary duties, Scribes typically staff medical facilities, responsible for intensive and long-term care of Brotherhood members.[10]
  3. Knights are the craftsmen and foot soldiers of the Brotherhood. They maintain the Brotherhood's stockpile of technology, repair and providing technical services where they are needed, as well as producing new weapons to replenish stocks and provide trading goods. Knights also perform patrols, scouting assignments, and support Paladins in offensive operations. Those that focus on combat training may be eligible to become Paladins, the protectors of the Brotherhood.[10][11][12][13][14][15]
  4. Paladins are the primary combat force of the Brotherhood, in charge of all security and outside activities. Equipped with the best military technology the Brotherhood has to offer, they are some of the most fearsome foes in the wasteland.[10][16] The ranks of the Paladins are reinforced by promoting exceptional Knights and[13] it's generally impossible to become a Paladin any other way.[17] Notably, while power armor was reserved for Paladin use in the first century of the Brotherhood's existence,[18] the restrictions were relaxed over the decades, allowing Knights and in extreme cases even Initiates to use power armor (usually older models, such as the T-45).[19]
  5. Elders are the highest ranking members of the Brotherhood, its leaders and decision makers, determining everything from meals to the course of campaigns.[20] Typically, only Paladins are eligible to become Elders, but exceptions can be made for extraordinary members of other branches.[21] Regardless of their branch of service, Elders are elected into the council by its members,[17] with its head, the High Elder, also elected by the council. The candidate can turn down the offer:[22] Out of the first four High Elders, three belonged to the Maxson lineage, but there is no requirement for the council to propose the position to a member of the bloodline.[23]

Lyons Model[edit | edit source]

Lyons model
Journeyman Scribe
Knight Sergeant
Knight Captain
Senior Scribe
Star Paladin

The Lyons model was introduced in the D.C. Bunker (the Citadel) in response to the challenges encountered in the Capital Wasteland and opening up the ranks to local recruitment. Lyons' representativesregularly made recruitment runs in the Capital Wasteland,[24] sponsoring volunteers for induction into the Brotherhood ranks.[25] The formation of the Outcasts in 2276 forced Lyons to suspend the sponsorship program and accept recruits as they came, leading to an influx of unskilled, but overzealous soldiers into the ranks.[26]

  1. Squires are children born into the Brotherhood of Steel begin their training, and indoctrination, as Squires. Under Lyons' command, the only Squire at the Citadel was the young Arthur Maxson.[27]
  2. Initiates are the youngest and/or least experienced members of the Brotherhood. Although their usual purpose is training and learning to become a valued member of either the Knights or the Scribes,[5] manpower shortages forced Lyons to deploy them in combat roles - with predictably disastrous results.[26]
  3. Scribes are scientists, responsible for researching and reverse engineering recovered technologies, maintaining the Brotherhood's scientific knowledge, and even experimenting with new ones (though the Brotherhood's focus on preservation means this is rather rare).[10][7][8] There are three Scribe orders within the Brotherhood, focusing on different types of technology: the Order of the Sword (offensive), the Shield (defensive), and the Quill (civilian).[9][6] One major difference from the Old Model is that Scribes are also responsible for research and engineering activities of the Brotherhood.[28]
  4. Knights and Paladins are responsible for security, logistics, and combat operations, forming a single, continuous hierarchy, which reflects Lyons' professed proactive focus.[29] While power armor was reserved for Paladin use in the first century of the Brotherhood's existence,[18] the restrictions were relaxed over the decades, allowing Knights and in Lyons' case, even Initiates to use power armor (usually older models, such as the T-45).[19]
  5. Elder is the highest ranking member of the chapter, its leader and decision maker, determining everything from meals to the course of campaigns.[20] Elder Owyn Lyons received a field promotion to the rank of Elder and remained at the head of the chapter for over twenty years, until his death circa 2278.

Maxson Model[edit | edit source]

Maxson model
Rank 1 Initiate.png
Rank 1 Initiate.png
Rank 2 Knight.png
Rank 2 Knight.png
Rank 2 Knight Sergeant.png
Rank 2 Knight Sergeant.png
Senior Scribe
Rank 4 Knight Captain.png
Rank 4 Knight Captain.png
Rank 5 Paladin.png
Rank 5 Plus Paladin Commander.png
Star Paladin
Rank 6 Sentinel.png
Rank 4 Knight Captain.png
Lancer-Captain (Prydwen)
Rank 7 Elder.png
The Eastern division represents an evolution of the Lyons Model, adapted to the greatly expanded reach and power of the Brotherhood in the East.

First of all, the Brotherhood actively recruits wastelanders, in stark contrast to western chapters. Elder Arthur Maxson continued Lyons' practice, including and expanding sponsorship: All adult recruits have to be sponsored by existing Brotherhood members (usually Paladins), who would travel with them and teach them the ideals of the Brotherhood and train them in combat.[31] To this end, active members can field promote recruits to Initiate rank, but the rank and subsequent promotions have to be confirmed by the Elder at the earliest possible opportunity.[32] However, while the member can retract their sponsorship,[33] once the rank is confirmed by the Elder, only the Elder can dismiss the sponsored party from the organization.[34] Those born into the Brotherhood receive the rank of Squire and on becoming an Initiate will then join one of the services, much like those who have been sponsored and recruited.[27]

There are 3 main paths an initiate can take: Ground combat (Knights and Paladins), air combat (Lancers), or research and engineering (Scribes).

  • The ground combat path begins with the rank of Initiate, who then becomes an Aspirant. After completing their training (or initiation), the Aspirant becomes a full Knight and receives the right to wear power armor.[35] The Knight then continues their work and training to attain Knight command ranks and then become a Paladin. Knights comprise the bulk of the Eastern division's ground force and are the backbone of their military. Paladins are veterans who represent the most powerful ground soldiers the Brotherhood has at its disposal. They are also expected to be a symbol of integrity and set an example for other troops.[36] Paladins are usually deployed as field commanders or head special operations in the field, such as reconnaissance or delicate tech recovery.[37] The eastern division of the Brotherhood also retains a special rank: Sentinel. It is is a rare and illustrious rank given to the east coast brotherhoods most distinguished and experienced soldiers. Those who posses this rank do not require orders and usually conduct operations at their own discretion, answering directly to the Elder.[38]
  • The air combat path is a new addition to the Brotherhood hierarchy. Its members are granted Lancer ranks, and are responsible for piloting the Prydwen and the Brotherhood's fleet of VB-01 and VB-02 Vertibird gunships. The ranking structure is similar to that of the ground combat path knights, although the rank of Lancer-Captain is the highest rank. Several Lancer-Captains are stationed in the Commonwealth and can be found aboard the Prydwen or piloting Vertibirds, but they report to Lancer-Captain Kells who is the second in command to Elder Arthur Maxson and captain of the Prydwen.[39][40]
  • The research and engineering path consists of those who pursue the path of a Scribe. Scribes 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 the research and maintenance of weapons, the research and maintenance of armor and for history, record keeping and non-combat technology respectively. Each order is led by a Proctor who consults with the Head Scribe and the Elder on certain issues.[9] Unlike the western chapters or Lyons, the Eastern division also assigns Scribes to field operations. Field Scribes are trained in rudimentary combat to bolster their skill set and make them a powerful asset to any Brotherhood unit in the field.[41]

All members of the Brotherhood answer to the Elder. An Elder is either voted in by the chapter or promoted by the Elder council from Lost Hills.[42] As of 2283 the elder of the East Coast Chapter of the Brotherhood of Steel is Elder Arthur Maxson, descendant of Roger Maxson, the founder of the Brotherhood.

Gallery[edit | edit source]


  1. Hidden Valley bunker terminals; Terminal, Elder Dismissal Incidents
  2. Interactions with John Maxson in Fallout.
  3. Still In The Dark
  4. The Courier: "What do you mean decide for yourself?"
    Melissa Watkins: "I'm currently an Apprentice in the Brotherhood, and recently became eligible for Journeyman status. But first, I have to decide which Order I want to join - the Knights or the Scribes."
    (Melissa Watkins' dialogue)
  5. 5.0 5.1 The Vault Dweller: "{1008}{}{Initiates}"
    John Maxson: "{1108}{Gen_60}{Well that's what you are. Initiates train and learn to become knights or scribes.}"
  6. 6.0 6.1 The Courier: "Tell me about the Scribes."
    Melissa Watkins: "The Scribes are responsible for discovering how all the old tech we recover actually works and sometimes even work on inventing new things. Without them, the Brotherhood could never fulfill its mission. Or at least, that's what my dad always used to say."
    (Melissa Watkins' dialogue)
  7. 7.0 7.1 The Vault Dweller: "{1009}{}{Scribes}"
    John Maxson: "{1109}{Gen_61}{Well, Scribes copy down the weapon specs. We've got information all the way back to my granddad. Sometimes a scribe comes up with a new idea for a weapon. Hehehe. Doesn't happen too often. They all answer to Vree.}"
  8. 8.0 8.1 The Vault Dweller: "{1005}{}{Scribes}"
    Cabbot: "{1105}{Cab_58}{OK, well, scribes are the keepers of all the histories and the blueprints for the weapons we make. I just love books; that's why I want to be one . . . a Scribe, that is.}"
  9. 9.0 9.1 9.2 Fallout 3 scribes
  10. 10.0 10.1 10.2 10.3 Fallout Bible 6: "The Brotherhood of Steel: The Brotherhood of Steel (BOS) is a techno-religious organization, with roots in the US military and government-sponsored scientific community from before the war. The BOS is mostly composed of the descendents of those military officers, soldiers, and scientists, but aside from some outlanders among their ranks, the BOS is as close to pure strain humanity (prime normals) as you're going to find outside of a Vault."
    "The ranks of the BOS is generally recognized as being composed of the best and the brightest... which means the BOS is a really small organization, at least compared to NCR. They make up for this with their frightening arsenal of pre-war and post-war technology: They have laser weapons, power armor, surgical enhancements, combat implants, and a squad of Brotherhood Knights have the ability to erase an entire town from a map without a scratch."
    "The Brotherhood are generally good guys, but they have their faults - (1) they don't care for mutants, (2) they worship technology, and in many cases, put it above human life, and (3) they don't like to share their choicest technological bits, despite the obvious benefits their technology could bring to the wasteland. It's commonly accepted within the Brotherhood that the people of the wasteland are not responsible enough to use (and maintain) all of the technology the BOS has at their disposal. They are known trade some of their technologies with frontier communities and NCR states, but they keep the more sensitive technologies to themselves."
    "It is believed that the current HQ of the BOS is the Lost Hills bunker in Fallout 1, but at the time of Fallout 2, the BOS is spread across the wastes in small bunkers and installations hidden from the eyes of common folk – finding them all and wiping them out would be a difficult and dangerous task."
    "The BOS is divided into different ranks: Initiates are trainees who are expected to perform well enough in the training process to be promoted to Squires. After proving themselves, Squires are promoted to Knights. After many years of service and experience, the best Knights are promoted to Paladins - the pinnacle of the Brotherhood military. Paladins who survive to their later years become Elders, and they number among the Brotherhood ruling council.""It is also possible to serve the Brotherhood as a Scribe. Scribes are responsible for copying the ancient technologies, maintaining the current technology and even experimenting with new weapons and other useful devices. 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.""It is said that the BOS symbol, broken down, represents each of these orders. The sword represents the Paladins, the wings represent the Elders (the "wings" control the movement of the sword), the large gear represents the Knights, and the two smaller gears represent the Scribes and the Squires, whose services keep the Knights supplied with the information and the manpower to get their jobs done. No one is sure what the circle means, however."
  11. The Vault Dweller: "{345}{}{What is the Brotherhood's main purpose?}"
    John Maxson: "{172}{Gen_21}{Our main goal is to survive. The Scribes copy old plans for weapons or design new ones, and the Knights make the guns from 'em. Most guns come from us.}"
  12. The Vault Dweller: "{173}{}{You trade the weapons to the Hub?}"
    John Maxson: "{176}{Gen_22}{That's the way we get our supplies.}"
  13. 13.0 13.1 The Vault Dweller: "{1010}{}{Knights}"
    John Maxson: "{1110}{Gen_62}{The Knights make the weapons. And when he's good enough, a Knight can advance to become a Paladin and then an Elder and so forth. Right now Rhombus is the head of the Knights.}"
  14. The Vault Dweller: "{1006}{}{Knights}"
    Cabbot: "{221}{Cab_59}{Well, you see, they're the ones who want to become protectors of the Brotherhood. There's not many of them, but they train their whole lives to become Paladins.}"
  15. The Courier: "Tell me about the Knights."
    Melissa Watkins: "Knights are in charge of all of our equipment. Power armor, gatling lasers, you name it. All of it built and maintained by Knights. Knights also get to go out on patrols, scouting assignments, and support the Paladins in offensive operations. Being a Knight would mean getting to see more of the world, fight the Brotherhood's enemies, and possibly someday become a Paladin like my mother."
    (Melissa Watkins' dialogue)
  16. The Vault Dweller: "{1011}{}{Paladins}"
    John Maxson: "{1111}{Gen_63}{Paladins are in charge of all security and outside activities. I remember tradin' with the Hub, goin' on scouting missions for the Elders. Ah man, those ware a good times.}"
  17. 17.0 17.1 Fallout Bible 8
  18. 18.0 18.1 The Vault Dweller: "{139}{}{What about that metal suit you're wearing?}"
    Talus: "{196}{}{Only Paladins wear Power Armor, someday you may earn the right to wear it.}"
  19. 19.0 19.1 Both classes employ them in Fallout 3 and Fallout 4.
  20. 20.0 20.1 The Vault Dweller: "{1004}{}{Elders}"
    Cabbot: "{1104}{Cab_57}{They make all the decisions around here, from what we eat to what our duties are. And uh, they argue a lot, too. The High Elder seems to have to step in a lot.}"
  21. The Courier: "Tell me about your last Elder."
    Edgar Hardin: "Elijah was a strange one. His even becoming Elder was highly questionable, seeing as how he was a Scribe. Typically, only Paladins are eligible. But an exception was made in his case, on account of him being a genius. Unfortunately, whatever scientific acumen he had didn't extend to tactics. Trying to defend HELIOS was a blunder of the worst kind, and many brothers lost their lives because of it. Many of the senior paladins, myself included, advised him to fight a retreating action, but he refused to budge. Said he almost "had it working". We never did find out exactly what he was talking about. When the perimeter was finally overrun, the Elder had simply vanished."
    (Edgar Hardin's dialogue)
  22. The Vault Dweller: "{1006}{}{Elder}"
    John Maxson: "{1106}{Gen_58}{Hehehe. A fine, handsome, upstanding man. The High Elder position is to mediate the meetings between the Elders. You see, two years ago I got talked into it. If I'd of known then...}"
  23. Maxson II was killed in 2155, but John Maxson only replaced him on the Elder council at that date. He only became High Elder in 2155. See Maxson II for details.
  24. The Sole Survivor: "You're beating around the bush. Is there something you're trying to tell me?"
    Danse: "Is it that obvious? I've... never been very good at these things. Let me start at the beginning. I grew up alone in the Capital Wasteland. Spent most of my childhood picking through the ruins and selling scrap. When I was a bit older, and had a few caps to my name, I moved into Rivet City and opened a junk stand. While I was there, I met a guy named Cutler. We got along pretty well, watched each other's backs and kept each other out of trouble. When the Brotherhood came through on a recruiting run, we felt like it was the best way out of our nowhere lives, so we joined up."
    (Danse's dialogue)
  25. The Sole Survivor: "So there is a human being under all of that power armor after all."
    Danse: "Sometimes I need a reminder, but yes... there is. When I was an Initiate, my sponsor was Paladin Krieg. Toughest squad leader I ever served with. He was a model soldier, embodying the values every trainee was striving to achieve. Fiercely loyal, secure in his beliefs and brave to a fault. From the moment I was assigned to his squad I was singled out... it felt like he was pushing me harder than the rest of the team. I fought by his side for years and we had some seriously close calls, but he never explained to me why I was treated that way."
    (Danse's dialogue)
  26. 26.0 26.1 The Lone Wanderer: "So, you guys looking for new recruits?"
    Sarah Lyons: "That's a negative. We've got too many local conscripts as it is. Most are undertrained and too damned trigger happy for their own good. Our very own Initiate Reddin is a sterling example."
    (Sarah Lyons' dialogue)
  27. 27.0 27.1 Fallout 4 loading screen hints: "Children born into the Brotherhood of Steel begin their training, and indoctrination, as Squires."
  28. Scribes in Fallout 3 and Fallout 4.
  29. Knights in Fallout 3 and Fallout 4.
  30. Based on the insignia appearance in the Fallout 4 Art Book p. 331
  31. The Sole Survivor: "So what's all this about you being my sponsor?"
    Danse: "Elder Maxson is understandably particular when it comes to new recruits. He believes in order to keep the Brotherhood strong, we have to bond as brothers. As your sponsor, it's my duty to travel with you throughout the Commonwealth to ensure that our ideals are being observed. That's why I'm so concerned about your performance in the field."
    (Danse's dialogue)
  32. Semper Invicta and Shadow of Steel
  33. Danse: "I've already told you, I'm retracting my sponsorship. You're on your own."
    (Danse's dialogue) Note: Danse's reaction at low loyalty.
  34. Danse: "I don't know why you even bother staying with the Brotherhood."
    (Danse's dialogue) Note: Danse's reaction at low loyalty.
  35. The Sole Survivor: "Where can I get Power Armor?"
    Danse: "Only Knights are allowed to wear Brotherhood Power Armor. And you're no Knight. Not yet. Until Elder Maxson grants you that title, you'll have to make due with what you've got. Anything else?"
    (Danse's dialogue)
  36. The Sole Survivor: "I won't disappoint you, Elder."
    Arthur Maxson: "Had I even a single doubt in my mind, I wouldn't have awarded you the promotion. Just be aware that a Brotherhood Paladin is expected to be a symbol of integrity to our brothers and sisters."
    (Arthur Maxson's dialogue (Fallout 4))
  37. Brotherhood Paladins in Fallout 4.
  38. Maxson's promotion speech upon attaining the rank.
  39. Prydwen terminals; Captain Kell's Terminal, Maxson MX-001E CP-05
  40. Fallout 4 loading screen hints: "Piloted by Lancer-Captain Kells, the Prydwen has traveled extensively along the East Coast... but this is its first journey to the Commonwealth."
  41. Knights and Paladins are treated as field combatants, based on their appearances in Fallout 4, while Scribes handle all manufacturing and research duties.
  42. Prydwen terminals; Proctor Quinlan's Terminal, The Rise of Elder Maxson
Fo3NV Brotherhood.png
Fo3NV Brotherhood.png
Promotional Content