To make this wikia easier to navigate, a few guidelines should be respected:
Page Name Edit
The name of the page should be the official long name in english (if it exist) or a direct translation. If the name doesn't contain a specific place name or if more then one entity of the same name exist, some sort of specifier (country, province, city, movie title, etc...) should be put in parenthesis afterward.
ex: National Guard (United States of America)
an infobox should be included
It should first contain the full name in the original language. If it is in a language other then english, a translation should be included afterward. If possible this should be a literal rather then an equivalent one as different countries, even english speaking ones, can often have different meaning ascribed to a given term (such as a sheriff in the USA versus those in some commonwealth countries). This mean that for example "Service des Incendies" used in Quebec should be translated as "Conflagrations Service" and not "fire Department". The point of the literal translation is mainly to help people understand the significance of the name in the original language which in some base might have historical or symbol meaning. In case the entity purpose would be left unclear, an explanation should be included in the main text.
If the name is in a language that use a script other then latin, the name in the original script should be written first, followed by a transliteration then the literal translation.
If a current official logo exist, it can be included below the name. If the entity doe not exist anymore, the last officialy adopted should be use with a note to that effect.
Official or semi-official nicknames can then be included if they exist. Note that while nicknames used by people not related to the entity can be included if widespread enough, purely generic (especially derogative) terms should be avoided.
Date of founding of the entity should be included. If the entity is defunct, the end date should also be included. If the entity is fictional, an entry called "first appearance" should be used instead and any fictional biographical details explained within the text.
If possible, successive version of an entity should be treated on the same page in chronological order unless there was a catastrophic break (such as regime change) that would warrant the entity during different periods being treated as distinct entities.
Fictional entities that are clearly intended to be part of the same continuity (such as being present in successive seasons of a given show) should be treated on the same page while those that deviate from one another, especially if acknowledged as such (as in a movie said to be "freely adapted" from a book) should be treated on different pages and identified as such: [Entity X [title] (book)] vs [Entity X [title] (movie)]. This will prevent having to decide what is or isn't canonical.
As this is a wikia, images for inclusions should have been made by you or be in the public domain. As copyrights laws are different from one country to another and works with the same age can have different copyright status, it is probably better to avoid using previously made images unless they come from work published in the 19th century or before and represent defunct entities.
Ideally, images should try to be made so that using images from different pages (such as when comparing them) do not look too odd. As such, do not hesitate to reuse previous posted ones.
Insignias should be presented by themselves if possible. If appearance of the uniform varies widely between ranks to the point that no single element can be considered *the* insignia, all ranks should be presented in a standardized pose and avoid adding non-standard elements.
Context and speculation Edit
This should be seen as a perpetual work in progress. As such, posting partial facts is acceptable as long as they are put in context. If, for example, a single specimen of rank insignia is known to exist for a given entity, it would be acceptable to display it but it should be clearly indicated that as it is the only example available it might not be standard.
Speculations as to what the other ones might looks like should be kept to a minimum and on the talk page as while French, Russian and British rank systems have been used by many countries and would seem to offer a template for missing insignias, most former colonies have adapted them to their own need and esthetic so that equivalent ranks might not look identical and that some ranks might have been omitted or added by the respective armies as was needed.
Lastly, sources should be given for information. While those that are available online are preferable as they can be verified by others, offline sources and first hand observations are acceptable as long as they are identified as such.
The reason is not so much that the later type are always of lesser value then the first but rather that some sources, such as written ones or casual observations, can lead to interpretation and also that there can be a difference between the official regulation and the reality in the field. This is particularly true when an entity with limited means might use ad hoc rank and group visual recognition during a civil war or when a group is in transition with uniforms actually worn and official regulations not yet in sync.
For that reason, it is preferable to present multiple version of a given insignia or uniform if there are conflicting reports with the context given of each:
Army Colonel insignia (as per official regulation)
Army Colonel (seen worn by [name or title] in a photography published in [newspaper name, date and page #])
Speculation should be kept on the talk page and only if a reason is eventually found that *officially* (and not speculatively) explain the difference (i.e. one being active, the other reserve), the double entries should be deleted and the table updated.