On the Warhammer Community site around the end of last month there was an article about a new unit, the canid.

In the article there was one detail that jumped out at me and I have not been able to find anything explaining it. There is an image detailing the typical guardsman's chain of command but one spot on the chart is identified as 'Classified'.

I am not as knowledgable to the Imperial Guard so I don't know if this is only hidden in-universe and known to us or if it is something else entirely. Does anyone know who or what 'Classified' is referring to?

chain of command

  • I don't know if this is what you are looking for but this is where you find the ranking. Upon the "Astra Militarum Rank Hierarchy". Oct 20, 2018 at 18:24
  • @Schneejäger - Not really. That only shows the chain of command within the Guard itself. The chart above goes all the way to the top. From the chart there is clearly a link in the chain between the High Lords and the highest ranking senior officers.
    – Odin1806
    Oct 20, 2018 at 21:19
  • Well, the leader of the Astra Militarum is a High Lord, so it still applies. It comes as a chain of command since the High Lords of Terra (one being the leader of Astra MIlitarum) commands Classified (Warmaster as described by the wiki) and other members of the Guard. Oct 22, 2018 at 10:09
  • @Schneejäger - Again, not really. It is perfectly acceptable for a member of one organization to be a member of another. Just because the Lord Commander Militant. The chart above and the 'chart' for the chain of command within the guard are completely seperate, though extremely similar. For example, now that there are canids in the mix there is no change in the chain of command above the Lord Commander Militant, and as such no one would notice a difference if they were not in the Guard. Of course the chain still applies, but it is different from what I am asking. Hopefully that makes sense...
    – Odin1806
    Oct 23, 2018 at 13:52

2 Answers 2


The caption that describes the redaction "for the sake of discretion, brevity, and decency" leads me to believe that they're talking about His Divine Majesty's Most Holy Inquisition. The Inquisition deals primarily with heretical cults, demons, and aliens - things that the average Guardsman is not supposed to concern himself with, save for an appropriate level of hate and fear. Therefore, discussing the Inquisition in any sort of detail is generally taboo.

"Brevity" also points to the Inquisition, as its internal structure is loose and rather complicated. Inquisitors don't have ranks and what organization they have tends to be fairly ad hoc, a matter of assigning resources to the places where they're most needed. Too, the Inquisition is subdivided into Ordos based on their specialty (principally the Ordo Hereticus, which deals with heretics, the Ordo Malleus, which deals with demons, and the Ordo Xenos, which deals with aliens). Obviously the internal structure of the Inquisition is not something a Guardsman needs worry about.

Finally, it's worth noting that the chart is necessarily simplified for the benefit of the poor bloody Guardsman in question. Neither Inquisitors nor Commissars are technically in the chain of command. (Colonel-Commissar Ibram Gaunt being the exception that proves the rule: his dual rank gives him command authority and any number of political and administrative headaches that indicate why that's not usually done.) Of course from the perspective of an ordinary Guardsman, or even an officer, disregarding the "requests" of a Commissar or Inquisitor is likely to end badly, possibly even in summary execution, so as a practical matter the chart is correct.

  • The Inquisition is not ruled or ordered by The High Lords of Terra. The Inquisition is a secret organization that exists outside the standard administrative hierarchy of the Imperium of Man. Oct 22, 2018 at 10:11
  • 1
    @Schneejäger Given that one of the High Lords is the official representative of the Inquisition, I think it's safe to say there's some oversight. And the Inquisition is "secret" in the sense that secret police are secret: membership is hidden, but their existence is very much known.
    – Cadence
    Oct 22, 2018 at 22:00
  • Some institutions and organisations within the Imperium are so powerful that their leaders can be considered a de facto High Lord. The nine offices are almost always represented as High Lords. And it is a representative, not a High Lord in common sense. The idea of "secret organization' is taken from the wiki, the main point is "outside the standard administrative hierarchy". None has power over the Inquisition save The Emperor and The Imperial Regent (Bobby G). Oct 22, 2018 at 22:46
  • @Cadence - The Inquisition was my first thought as well, but I disregarded that when I remembered that technically in the organization of the Imperium the Inquisition 'reported' directly to the Emperor as well as the fact that they (as well as commissars) are not 'classified' and it is well known that if you meet one it is probably not a good thing... I didn't put two and two together from the caption as you did however, I think you might be right...
    – Odin1806
    Oct 23, 2018 at 14:08

the important thing to note here are 2 things. It has a mark that notes "For the sake of discretion, brevity, and decency." And the fact that its specifically the chain of command for a imperial guardsman.

In between the "Senior officers and commissars" and the High lords of terra. There are a lot of different people and organisations.

I'll try to list them in rough order:
Adeptus Terra:

And thats not even dealing with all the different ranks within each of them. so thats brevity tackled for sure.

I also doubt that it wont be the Holy inquisition, as they do not fall below the high twelve but are more besides them. Note that it is a representative of the inquisition in the high twelve and not a leader or something.

Discretion could also be of the other branches of hierarchy Will also consist of organisations or people of which the common guardsman would have no clearance to know about.

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