KD - Koku Daisa (Captain)
KC - Koku Cho (Commander)
KT - Koku Taicho (Lt. Commander)
KTA - Koku Taii (Lieutenant)
KCH - Koku Chui (Lieutenant, JG)
KH - Koku Heisocho (Warrant Officer)
KJH - Koku Joto Heiso (Chief Petty Officer)
KIH - Koku Itto Heiso (Petty Officer, 1c)
KNH - Koku Nito Heiso (Petty Officer, 2c)
KHC - Koku Heicho (Assistant Petty Officer)
JH - Koku Joto Hei (Chief Airman)
IH - Koku Itto Hei (Airman, 1c)
NH - Koku Nito Hei (Airman, 2c)
SH - Koku Santo Hei (Airman, 3c - recruit)
Once a pilot passes carrier qualifications for his wing (fighter or bomber), he replaces the "Koku" with "Hiko" and his rank abbreviation uses the "H-" prefix instead of the "K-" prefix.
All pilots begin their careers as Koku Santo Hei, but can be promoted as high as Koku Joto Hei on the spot by Hiko Daisa Muto if pilot performance merits such rank. Promotions thereafter are determined according to the scoring system for both fighter and bomber wings as provided by the C.O.
AWARDS OF "THE LAST SAMURAIS"
THE TANKEN DAGGER AWARD - Awarded to a pilot for achieving his first kill in aerial combat.
SPECIAL CONDUCT BADGE - Granted to a pilot who gets at least one aerial kill after receiving heavy damage to his aircraft (heavy damage defined as destroyed wingtip(s), sputtering engine, flames, or black smoke). Can be awarded multiple times to a pilot.
THE KAIGUNTOU SWORD - Awarded ONLY to Naval Aviators for meritorious action after a recommendation from another pilot in his Shotai. Such actions include one or more kills after being wounded or heavily damaged, or shooting down enemies on the tail of another pilot to ensure their survival. Can be awarded multiple times to a pilot.
THE ORDER OF THE GOLDEN KITE - Awarded to a pilot for achieving ACE status with 5 kills in aerial combat. Awarded only once to a pilot.
THE ORDER OF THE RISING SUN - A pilot with at least five kills is granted this award by the C.O. for multiple actions and long-term conduct which greatly enhance the standing, effectiveness, reputation and viability of the Kokutai. Such actions include recruiting high-caliber pilots, effective training of pilots and use of teamwork, devising successful strategies and tactics for combat. Can be awarded multiple times to a pilot.
THE ORDER OF THE SACRED TREASURE - A pilot only receives this award by a 3/4s vote of all Kokutai pilots after the C.O. has nominated him for the award. To be nominated, a pilot must demonstrate unparalleled skill, superior tactical prowess and exceptional teamwork in fighting an extremely challenging opponent successfully. Awarded only once to a pilot.