Fo1 BoS Paladin Insignia

Sigil found on Head Paladin Rhombus' power armor.

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 castes, each with a function of their own. The actual organization of the classes themselves and the ranks varies to some extent, typically by geographic region. Most follow the original regime for ranking.

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 example, 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, 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]

Ranks have been separated by type of organization, using descriptive names.

Ranking systemsEdit

Formative yearsEdit

Senior knight

The early years saw the implementation of a provisional rank system, including a completely new ideology to replace the old loyalties of Brotherhood's members. Maxson's goals in inventing a new tradition and mythology for the Brotherhood were two-fold: First, they would ensure that members of the Brotherhood would be stripped of their ties to the pre-War military and government, ensuring that any surviving general or politician would not be able to invoke their oaths and use them to, for example, unleash nuclear devastation on the world again (as was the case with Col. Ellen Santiago and Sec. Thomas Eckhart in Appalachia). Second, it would give the survivors an idea to believe in, something they could dedicate themselves to and fining meaning in their lives after nuclear fires burned away their families, friends, everything. Inspiration came from the fall of the Western Roman Empire, when knights and scribes kept the fire of civilization going after the empire imploded.[4] By June 20, 2082, all members under his command had switched over to using Brotherhood ranks and practices, both in New California and Appalachia.[5][6]

As the initial founders of the Brotherhood were predominantly military personnel, the Brotherhood used Army ranks for several years, and even once the new ranks were implemented, civilian auxiliaries were treated with a certain degree of patronizing contempt. It was not until Maxson formulated the doctrine of preserving human progress that civilians were accepted as equal members of the order, with the provisional rank of scribe formalized as a distinct, separate class.[7]

One of the unique parts of this early model was the rank of a squire, granted to new recruits regardless of age. Overall, the response to the new system was mostly positive[8], though there were some reservations within the organization, especially among veterans of elite units like the Rangers[9]. To some, ranking grown men and women using the term "squire" - one that traditionally referred to young nobles no older than children - was considered insulting by ranking members. Senior Knight Ted Wilson persuaded Maxson to change it, although the modifications were mostly not introduced by the time Appalachia was cut off from the west.[10]

Lost Hills modelEdit

Senior initiate
Apprentice scribe
Apprentice knight
Journeyman scribe
Journeyman knight
Junior paladin
Senior scribe
Senior knight
Senior paladin
Head scribe
Head knight
Head paladin
High elder

The structure of the early years was modified and expanded to accommodate the growing numbers of the Brotherhood, culminating in the creation of what is best termed the old or classic model. It is the oldest stable 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.[11] After completing their training, apprentices are promoted to journeyman knights or scribes.[12]
  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 rare).[13][14][15] 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.[16]
  3. Knights are the craftsmen and foot soldiers of the Brotherhood. They maintain the Brotherhood's stockpile of technology, repairing 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.[16][17][18][19][20][21]
  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 warriors in the wasteland.[16][22] The ranks of the paladins are reinforced by promoting exceptional knights and[19] it is highly improbable to become a paladin any other way.[23] While power armor was reserved for paladin use in the first century of the Brotherhood's existence,[24] 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).[25]
  5. Elders are the highest-ranking members of the Brotherhood, its leaders and decision-makers, determining everything from meals to the course of campaigns.[26] Typically, only paladins are eligible to become elders, but exceptions can be made for extraordinary members of other branches.[27] Regardless of their branch of service, elders are elected into the council by its members, with its head, the high elder, also elected by the council.[28] The candidate can turn down the offer.[29] 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.[30][31]

Lyons modelEdit

Knight sergeant
Knight captain
Senior scribe
Head scribe
Star paladin

The Lyons model was introduced in the D.C. bunker known as the Citadel in response to the challenges encountered in the Capital Wasteland and opening up the ranks once more to local recruitment. Lyons' representatives regularly made recruitment runs in the Capital Wasteland,[32] sponsoring volunteers for induction into the Brotherhood ranks.[33] 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.[34]

  1. Squires are children born into the Brotherhood of Steel, who begin their training, and indoctrination, as squires. Under Lyons' command, the only squire at the Citadel was the young Arthur Maxson.[35]
  2. Initiates are the newest 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,[12] manpower shortages forced Lyons to deploy them in combat roles - with predictably disastrous results.[34]
  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).[16][14][15] 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).[36][13] One major difference from the Lost Hills model is that scribes are also responsible for manufacturing and engineering activities of the Brotherhood, a function originally reserved for knights.[37]
  4. Knights and paladins are responsible for security, logistics and combat operations, forming a single, continuous hierarchy, which reflects Lyons' professed proactive focus.[38] While power armor was reserved for paladin use in the first century of the Brotherhood's existence,[24] 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).[25]
  5. Elder is the highest-ranking member of the chapter, its leader and decision-maker, determining everything from meals to the course of campaigns.[26] Elder Owyn Lyons (Star Paladin at the time) 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. His daughter Sentinel Sarah Lyons was promoted to elder after.

Maxson modelEdit

Scribe initiate
Rank 1 Initiate
Rank 1 Initiate
Lancer initiate
Rank 2 Knight
Rank 2 Knight
Lancer knight
Rank 2 Knight Sergeant
Knight sergeant
Rank 2 Knight Sergeant
Lancer sergeant
Senior scribe
Rank 4 Knight Captain
Knight captain
Rank 4 Knight Captain
Lancer captain
Knight commander
Rank 5 Paladin
Rank 5 Plus Paladin Commander
Paladin commander[39]
Star paladin
Head scribe
Rank 6 Sentinel
Rank 4 Knight Captain
Lancer captain (The Prydwen)
Rank 7 Elder

The Eastern division represents an evolution of the Lyons model, adapted to the greatly expanded reach and power of the Brotherhood in the East.

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.[40] To this end, active members can promote recruits to initiate rank in the field, but the rank and subsequent promotions have to be confirmed by the elder at the earliest possible opportunity.[41] However, while the member can retract their sponsorship,[42] once the rank is confirmed by the elder, only the elder can dismiss the sponsored party from the organization.[43] 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.[35]

There are three 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 an 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.[44] 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 skilled 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.[45] Paladins are usually deployed as field commanders or head special operations in the field, such as reconnaissance or delicate tech recovery.[46] The eastern division of the Brotherhood also retains a special rank: sentinel. It is a rare and illustrious rank given to the east coast brotherhoods most distinguished and experienced soldiers. Those who possess this rank do not require orders and usually conduct operations at their own discretion, answering directly to the elder. The rank was rarely awarded; by October 2287 no sentinels had existed in the Brotherhood for many years.[47]
  • The air combat path the newest addition to the Brotherhood hierarchy. Its members are granted lancer ranks, and are responsible for piloting The Prydwen and the Brotherhood's fleet of vertibirds. 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.[48][49]
  • 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.[36] 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.[50]

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.[51] As of 2287 the elder of the East Coast Chapter of the Brotherhood of Steel is Arthur Maxson, the last known descendant of Roger Maxson, the founder of the Brotherhood.


Mini-FOT LogoThe following is based on Fallout Tactics and some details might contradict canon.
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
  • Elder
  • Civilian
  • Scribe
  • Elder
FOT Rank

In Pip-Boy

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 and are not allowed to use power armor. The inquisitors are the Brotherhood's law enforcement and intelligence. 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 one rank 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 assignment into a commanding officer is done by the elders and only a general can become a commanding officer. Like all Brotherhood of Steel, the Midwestern elders are the leaders and the thinkers of all decisions.

Mini-FOT LogoEnd of information based on Fallout Tactics.


High elderEdit

The high elder is the leader of the entire Brotherhood of Steel and the other elders. High elders may also be addressed as generals, as an honorary title.[52][53][54]

Known high elders:


Rank 7 Elder

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.[27]


Rank 6 Sentinel

Sentinel is a rank used by the East Coast division, ranking between star paladin and elder. Sentinels do not require specific orders and usually conduct operations at their own discretion, with the elder issuing only standing, high-level orders. Sentinels are rarely appointed for this reason.[56]

  • In Fallout 3, the only sentinel is Sarah Lyons, who leads the Lyons' Pride elite unit.
  • In Fallout 4, the Sole Survivor can also attain this rank if they complete the Brotherhood main questline. Based on dialogue with Elder Maxson, the Sole Survivor would be the only member of the Brotherhood of Steel that currently holds the title and it has been some years since the last sentinel served under him.

Head paladinEdit

The main commander of the paladins, responsible for overseeing their operations and training them.[57] The head paladin may induct other members of the Brotherhood into the paladins at their discretion, depending on their aptitude.[58]

Senior paladinEdit

Senior paladins are paladins that show promise to become paladin commanders, paladin lords, or head paladins. They are well respected among other paladins and knights and can increase the morale of soldiers greatly.

  • Senior Paladin Talus, Lost Hills, 2161
  • Senior Paladin Ramos, Mojave, 2281
  • Edgar Hardin was a senior paladin during Elder Elijah's reign.[59]

Head knightEdit

The commander of the knights, in charge of all their operations. The Brotherhood allows for positions to be combined, and one person can be both head knight and head paladin.[60]

  • In Fallout, Rhombus is the head knight.

Star paladinEdit

Star paladins are paladins who have been recognized by the Brotherhood for their honor, loyalty, and tenacity in battle. They are given far more freedom (similar to sentinel) in how they conduct operations, although not as much as a sentinel would.

  • In Fallout 3, there is only Star Paladin Cross, appointed by Elder Lyons. Lyons himself was a star paladin before he was promoted to elder.[61]
  • In Fallout 4, star paladins can be seen guarding Liberty Prime's construction platform, and they can be seen out in the field at checkpoints in the southern area of the Commonwealth if the Sole Survivor has completed Ad Victoriam. Star paladins continuously level with the player character.

Paladin commanderEdit

Rank 5 Plus Paladin Commander

Paladin commanders are unit leaders in the Eastern Division and are well respected among the Brotherhood's ranks. They are scarcely found in the field, often planning with the other commanders in the Brotherhood, but when they are, they are a force to be reckoned with, often found with powerful energy weapons and leading huge forces. They rank only below star paladin, sentinel, and elder.


Rank 5 Paladin

Paladins are a class of members of the Brotherhood of Steel. They are likened to the scribes 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.

Junior paladinEdit

Not much is known about this rank only that it is higher than a knight, and appears as a rank for the Warrior in Fallout Tactics.

Knight commanderEdit

Knight commanders are often seen in the field leading shock troopers dropped off of vertibirds, or in charge of a command post in the Commonwealth, leading lower ranking knights into battle. They are the highest ranking knights in the Brotherhood. It appears as a rank for the Warrior in Fallout Tactics.

Knight captainEdit

Rank 4 Knight Captain

Knight captain is a rank used by the East Coast division.

Knight sergeantEdit

Rank 2 Knight Sergeant

Knight sergeant is a rank used by the East Coast chapter, denoting a position below knight captain. The rank gives command of one or two squads of knights, as well as the command of a base or outpost like the GNR building plaza,

  • In Fallout 3, Knight Sergeant Wilks is the only knight sergeant.
  • In Fallout 4, knight sergeants are numerous, but unnamed, with the exception of Knight Sergeant Gavil who is in charge at the Boston Airport supply depot, and the mentioned-only character Knight Sergeant Dawes.

Senior knightEdit

Experienced knights may be promoted to a position of seniority, overseeing the activities of their juniors.

  • In Fallout: New Vegas, Senior Knight Lorenzo is the head of the knights at the Mojave chapter and answers directly to the Elder.

Operations officerEdit

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


Icon disambig
For the NPCs in Fallout 3, see Knight (Fallout 3).
Rank 2 Knight

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 of the order is the head knight. Knights wear mostly power armor. The large gear in the Brotherhood of Steel symbol represents the knights.

In the East Coast 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 junior non-commissioned officers (corporal or sergeant).

  • Knights appear in every game in some form or another..
  • In the Broken Steel add-on for Fallout 3, The Lone Wanderer becomes a knight after the quest Take it Back! is completed Although knights are typically required to train as initiates, it appears that this can be waived at the elder's discretion as Elder Lyons directly appoints the Lone Wanderer as a knight. Lyons even states that he will "circumvent our standard recruitment procedures" in the Lone Wanderer's case.

Journeyman knightEdit

Journeyman knight is the one small step rank before becoming a full-fledged knight. It is where an initiate decides after their advancement whether to continue as a knight or scribe. It is an important step in advancement as they continue to serve the Brotherhood.


The rank of aspirant was created by the East Coast Chapter of the Brotherhood some time between 2277 and 2287, denoting an initiate who has entered training under a superior officer, such as a paladin or knight-commander, in order to be promoted to a full-fledged knight.

Senior squireEdit

Senior squires are squires which are ready to become knights and are taught all the requirements and oaths to be a knight of the Brotherhood of Steel.


In the early years of the Brotherhood, squire is a title that ranked above initiate, similar in function to the East Coast's later aspirant rank. However, by 2277, the rank appears to have changed its purpose, as the only member of the Brotherhood known to hold it is the young Arthur Maxson of the East Coast chapter.

By 2287, the East Coast chapter of the Brotherhood has adopted the rank of squire as a title for children who have been recruited by the Brotherhood, making it the lowest rank in the chapter. These children are not permitted to take part in combat. Instead, they perform errands and menial labor for the Brotherhood's military and are provided with training and education in return. They also appear to be heavily conditioned by propaganda, with those aboard the Prydwen claiming not to fear death and possessing an almost religious devotion to the Brotherhood. Upon reaching adulthood, squires become initiates and begin active duty.

Squires are occasionally taken out as observers on a sweep and clean mission led by high ranking members of the Brotherhood. Lancer Captain Kells bestows such a responsibility upon the Sole Survivor in the radiant quest Leading by Example. The squire that accompanies the player character does not take part in the fighting and is merely there to observe and study combat techniques.

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 initiateEdit

Senior initiates are initiates who have completed basic training and move on to more advanced training.


Rank 1 Initiate

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 promoted to apprentice, like Apprentice Watkins. Apprentices who are at the stage of choosing their career path then becomes a journeyman, but must choose which order of training they wish to receive; either scribe or knight.[63]

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 Brotherhood 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. However, since their arrival in the Commonwealth, initiates are never seen wearing power armor and are instead seen with uniforms (referred to as "fatigues") made from some sort of light ballistic fiber that offers small protection from small arms fire and shrapnel.

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

Midwest rank variantsEdit


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.

Paladin lordEdit

Paladin lords are paladins who lead special operations outside of the main Brotherhood of Steel military. They only report to the high elder and head paladin. Their operations are sometimes kept secret from the generals because they often clash with 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.

Junior knightEdit

Not much is known about this rank only that it is higher than journeyman knight, and appears as a rank for the Warrior in Fallout Tactics.


Officially not members of the Brotherhood proper, recruits must first complete initial training. Upon completion, they are immediately promoted to Initiate.

Mini-FOT LogoEnd of information based on Fallout Tactics.

Special ranksEdit


Gametitle-FOT A characteristic element of the Eastern Brotherhood of Steel, inquisitors are roughly equivalent to a secret police unit. Feared even by members in good standing,[64] inquisitors are in charge of processing prisoners of war, captives,[65] and even people liberated by squads in the field, to identify and isolate threats to the Brotherhood. If someone is found to be an asset, they are released into Brotherhood service, though they seldom retain pleasant memories of their time with the inquisitors.[66]

The inquisitors are also charged with silencing dissidents and suppressing embarrassments to the Brotherhood. This includes rounding up friends and families of anyone who challenges the Brotherhood's autocratic rule, for the purposes of internment, interrogation, and eventually hard labor or execution.[67]

The inquisitors are mentioned in Fallout Tactics and were to appear in Fallout Tactics 2, the canceled sequel.


Head scribeEdit

The head scribe is the highest ranking civilian class of the Brotherhood of Steel. 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.


Proctors are in charge of the Orders. There are three Proctors: 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 proctor must report to the head scribe on each project and to get approval to move ahead with a new project. The proctors often work on their own projects, which are usually completed very quickly because they can prioritize them and assign senior scribes to them. In some cases, proctors have been called to meetings with the high elder and the elder council; The East Coast Brotherhood of Steel tend to have their three proctors (Peabody, Jameson, and Bowditch) in every meeting with Elder Lyons.

In 2287 when Elder Maxson brings the Prydwen to the Commonwealth he brings three proctors with him. They are Proctor Teagan of the Sword, Proctor Ingram of the Shield and Proctor Quinlan of the Quill.

Senior scribeEdit

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. Two examples of senior scribes are Linda Schuler, from the Mojave Brotherhood of Steel and Neriah from the East Coast 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.

It is implied by the Fallout Tactics manual that some scribes, at least in the Midwest chapter, organize themselves into unions similarly named to American labor unions.[68]

Journeyman scribeEdit

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 don't initially belong to an order but will either pick one for themselves, or their master may choose for them.

Scribe initiateEdit

These are scribes in training. Serving in the East Coast Brotherhood.


An archivist is a position introduced within the Maxson model. Little is known of their role inside the Brotherhood of Steel other than they can work with and directly report to the elder on matters assigned to them, and have a highly scientific skill set, capable of parsing energy readings and determining the source and possible purpose.

In 2287, the only known archivist was Archivist Knox who identified energy readings from the Commonwealth as originating from the Institute. Elder Maxson reviewed his findings and they both agreed on the possibility of weapon or other device development, and prompted his expedition into the Commonwealth.[69]



Rank 4 Knight Captain

Lancer-captains are the highest ranking members of the lancers, being the head of the branch as a whole. Lancer-Captain Kells is the only known named member of this rank.


Rank 2 Knight Sergeant

Lancer-sergeants are the officers of the lancer branch.


Lancer-knights are veteran pilots and crewmembers of the Prydwen.


Rank 2 Knight

Lancers are fully qualified pilots who have completed their training.


Rank 1 Initiate

Lancer-initiates are the lowest caste of the lancers. They are however still capable of piloting Vertibirds by themselves.


In Fallout 3, proctors are not actually ranks but rather roles taken on by senior scribes. During the events of Fallout 4 however, proctors have become a rank of their own, superior to senior scribes.



  1. Hidden Valley bunker terminals; terminal, Elder Dismissal Incidents
  2. Interactions with John Maxson in Fallout.
  3. Still in the Dark
  4. About the Brotherhood
  5. Camp Venture terminal entries: "JAN-03-81: E Fisher" This entry establishes that Taggerdy is still referred to as lieutenant, indicating the switchover did not yet take place.
  6. Squire Asher's journal
  7. Preservation of technology
  8. I am a knight
  9. Anonymous diary page
  10. Camp Venture terminal entries; Commander's terminal, Squires and Ranks
  11. 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)
  12. 12.0 12.1 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.}"
  13. 13.0 13.1 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)
  14. 14.0 14.1 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.}"
  15. 15.0 15.1 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.}"
  16. 16.0 16.1 16.2 16.3 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."
  17. 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.}"
  18. The Vault Dweller: "{173}{}{You trade the weapons to the Hub?}"
    John Maxson: "{176}{Gen_22}{That's the way we get our supplies.}"
  19. 19.0 19.1 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.}"
  20. 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.}"
  21. 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)
  22. 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.}"
  23. Fallout Bible 8: Dave Sayz: Yes, Knight before you can become a Paladin. Becoming a paladin is special.
  24. 24.0 24.1 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.}"
  25. 25.0 25.1 Both classes employ them in Fallout 3 and Fallout 4.
  26. 26.0 26.1 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.}"
  27. 27.0 27.1 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)
  28. Fallout Bible 8: Dave Sayz: Elected or chosen by the elders, don't recall which, but I don't think specifics were mentioned anywhere so you can do whatever you want I'm sure without running into an inconsistency that the players might find.
    Sebastien - my take is that they're paladins elected to the council, but in the Maxson line, they elevated mostly because of seniority. You're right - the limited number of council members would preclude becoming an Elder because of seniority only - though you could also argue that BOS members don't usually live to get "old."
  29. 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...}"
  30. Maxson II was killed in 2155, but John Maxson only replaced him on the elder council on that date. He only became the high elder in 2159. See Maxson II for details.
  31. 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...}"
  32. 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)
  33. 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)
  34. 34.0 34.1 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)
  35. 35.0 35.1 Fallout 4 loading screens: "Children born into the Brotherhood of Steel begin their training, and indoctrination, as Squires."
  36. 36.0 36.1 Fallout 3 scribe proctors describe the function of each order.
  37. Scribes in Fallout 3 and Fallout 4.
  38. Knights in Fallout 3 and Fallout 4.
  39. Based on the insignia appearance in The Art of Fallout 4 p. 331
  40. 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)
  41. Semper Invicta and Shadow of Steel
  42. Danse: "I've already told you, I'm retracting my sponsorship. You're on your own."
    (Danse's dialogue) Danse's reaction at low loyalty.
  43. Danse: "I don't know why you even bother staying with the Brotherhood."
    (Danse's dialogue) Danse's reaction at low loyalty.
  44. 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)
  45. 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))
  46. Brotherhood paladins typically lead squads in Fallout 4.
  47. Arthur Maxson: "Paladin, I'm pleased you've returned. Captain Kells and I wanted to speak with you. Captain Kells."
    Kells: "First and foremost, I wanted to inform you that using the Minutemen to destroy the Institute was a risky venture at best. Using untrained non-military personnel in the operation could have had devastating consequences and resulted in an unnecessary loss of life. In the future, Elder Maxson and I need you to approve any tactical changes before they're executed. As I expect Elder Maxson has already explained, the destruction of the Institute is simply the first stage of our operations in the Commonwealth. There are still Super Mutants and ferals to be dealt with as well as any remaining synths that escaped the blast. It's our hope that you'll continue serving with the Brotherhood and assist us with eradicating these threats."
    The Sole Survivor: "Of course, Captain."
    Kells: "Very good Paladin."
    Arthur Maxson: "In light of your service, Captain Kells and I both feel you deserve unique recognition for your contributions, both past and future. It's with great pleasure, and the utmost respect that you are hereby granted the title of Sentinel. This is the highest honor a Brotherhood soldier can achieve, but we both felt strongly that it was well deserved."
    Kells: "In addition, we'd like to present you with this jetpack modification for your power armor. The Brotherhood has few of these devices in its possession, but we feel you've earned the right to utilize one of them. Congratulations, Sentinel. It's an honor to be serving with you."
    The Sole Survivor: "Would I be the only Sentinel in the Brotherhood?"
    Arthur Maxson: "In our division, yes. There hasn't been a Sentinel serving under me for many years now. It's a position that commands a great deal of honor and respect, so I do not award it lightly."
    The Sole Survivor: "Thank you both. I'm really quite honored."
    Arthur Maxson: "The honor is ours. So, Sentinel... for the first time since we've met, I have no orders for you. From this moment forward, you will decide which missions you undertake and how you will guide us. Captain Kells and the personnel at the Cambridge Police Station still possess numerous operations for you to undertake. Where you go from here is up to you. Ad Victoriam, Sentinel."
    (Arthur Maxson's and Kells' dialogue)
  48. The Prydwen terminal entries; Captain Kells' terminal, Maxson MX-001E CP-05
  49. Fallout 4 loading screens: "Piloted by Lancer-Captain Kells, the Prydwen has traveled extensively along the East Coast... but this is its first journey to the Commonwealth."
  50. Knights and paladins are treated as field combatants, based on their appearances in Fallout 4, while scribes handle all manufacturing and research duties.
  51. Prydwen terminal entries; Proctor Quinlan's terminal, The Rise of Elder Maxson
  52. Vault Dweller: "{142}{}{Maxson? General Maxson?}"
    Kyle: "{143}{}{Not General Maxson, his grandfather, Roger Maxson. I heard you brought back a disk that told what happened to the guys who rebelled against him and went down there to recover the lost technology.}"
  53. MAXSON.MSG: "{100}{}{You see General Maxson.}"
  54. Rhombus: "{186}{Rhom40}{Ah, General Maxson was the finest Head Paladin ever. When he took over as High Elder, I became Head Paladin.}"
  55. 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...}"
  56. Arthur Maxson
  57. Rhombus: "{118}{Rhom7}{I am Rhombus, head of the Paladins. I train those willing to learn.}"
  58. Vault Dweller: "{139}{}{You think I could become a paladin?}"
    Rhombus: "{142}{Rhom14}{Possibly. When the invading army is vanquished, come back to be trained.}"
  59. Edgar Hardin: "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""(Edgar Hardin’s dialogue).
  60. Jennifer: "{217}{}{Have you talked to Rhombus? He's the Head Knight. He's just right over there in that room.}"
  61. Fallout 3 Official Game Guide pp. 43-44
  62. Dialogue differences with Knight Sergeant Gavil in Fallout 4.
  63. 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)
  64. Bunker 03.txt: "B03_Guard02_A05 = { Our Inquisitors scare me. I'm not kidding.}"
  65. Bunker 04.txt: "B04_Brother01_D00 = { Do you think the Reavers like our Inquisitors? Hah hah. }
    B04_Brother01_D01 = { Work camp till you die, baby! }
    B04_Brother01_D02 = { Our laws are the only laws. }"
  66. Dyson: "Your Brotherhood has been wonderful to me... after I finished with your Inquisitors."
    (Bunker 02.txt)
  67. MIS 17 Speech.txt: "The scoundrels' bodies will be displayed in proper crucifixion outside the town of Quincy, along with the guards that were on watch. Our Inquisitors have also rounded up known friends and family of the criminals to an internment camp. If they have information about any weak links in our security, we will find out. If they don't, they will be placed in a labour camp to prevent the spread of rumors and ensure proper security."
  68. Page 1, Fallout Tactics Manual
  69. Captain Kells' terminal; Maxon MX-001E CP-05
Community content is available under CC-BY-SA unless otherwise noted.

Fandom may earn an affiliate commission on sales made from links on this page.

Stream the best stories.

Fandom may earn an affiliate commission on sales made from links on this page.

Get Disney+