Star Trek Expanded Universe

Cardassian Guard

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The Cardassian Guard was the formal name for the military of the Cardassian Union. The Guard answered to Cardassia's Central Command headquartered on Cardassia Prime. (DS9: "The Emissary")


Though numerous other Cardassian government agencies that in other governments would answer to other branches of the government, such as the Science Ministry, reported to Central Command, the Cardassian Guard proper is divided into Orders which are subdivided into smaller units sometimes referred to as militias. (DS9: "The Emissary", TNG: "Ensign Ro")

It is unknown whether the Detapa Uprising, in which the Cardassian dissident movement successfully challenged the uncontested rule of Central Command, affected the reporting relationships of non-soldiering agencies.

During the Dominion War Damar assigned a Idrig Jagul and an Idrig Arjagul to oversee the Cardassian's space and ground forces respectively irrespective of order. (The Dominion War Sourcebook: The Fires of Armageddon)

During the alliance with the Dominion, the Cardassian Guard came more and more under the auspices of Dominion leadership, a move which provoked the ire of some of its commanders and ultimately led to rebellion within the ranks. (DS9: "The Changing Face of Evil", Star Trek: Sigils and Unions--The Thirteenth Order)

The OrdersEdit

The Cardassian Union had dozens of orders. They were made up of approximately between 500,000 to a million personnel. Orders were a unified command comprising of both space and ground based forces. Orders would have between 50 to a 1,000 starships under their command. These ships would be grouped into shodaro (fleets) whose commander would report to a supreme jagul or gul in the order. The ground forces were similarly organised with the various jhorgator's reporting to a supreme commanding arjagul in the order. (The Dominion War Sourcebook: The Fires of Armageddon)

Star Trek: Sigils and Unions continuityEdit

In 2375, a joint Cardassian-Starfleet rebel group adopted the name "The Thirteenth Order." Though composed of elements of the Cardassian Guard, this organization was never an official unit. (The Thirteenth Order)

In the Sigils and Unions continuity, the selection of this name is due to the idea that there are only twelve official Orders. That there are no more than twelve, however, is not established in official canon.

Other departmentsEdit

While its canon existence is at least somewhat in doubt given Garak's state of mind and unknown motivations, in the Sigils and Unions continuity, Thouves Daro is established to have served at some time with this unit.
  • Sniper Corps: A unit of specially-trained snipers. (The Thirteenth Order)
  • Science Ministry: Cardassia's main scientific body was known to answer directly to Central Command as of 2371. Accordingly, its scientists sought to avoid projects that might appear too dangerous to Central Command's authority. (DS9: "Destiny")
  • Vigilance Corps: The training command of the Cardassian Guard, responsible for the instruction of recruits as well as the administration of all training facilities. Its main training campus on Cardassia Prime is the Vigilance Inquisitorium. (Star Trek: Sigils and Unions--The Thirteenth Order)


Known ranks within the Cardassian Guard include legate, gul, and glinn, in descending order of seniority.

At least three Cardassian ranking systems have appeared in licensed or fan works--the Fires of Armageddon system, a similar system in the Terok Nor novel series, and the most divergent of the three, the Sigils and Unions system. For more, refer to the main article on Cardassian ranks.

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