It’s not just a smell, rank in the Guard is a matter of fun, characterization, and determining who has the pain-in-the-ass responsibility for leading the Unit or sub-elements of the Unit in combat. No one is required to salute, kowtow, or otherwise suck up to “higher-ranking officers” — but you’re welcome to make up your own silly salute and (ab)use it as much as you wish!
Promotion to the next higher rank happens as soon as you reach the new level, and Promotions are officially recognized at Feasts and camp-outs (generally 6-8 times a year).
Each time a member is promoted, the date and rank of promotion shall be noted in The Book of the Guard, and the member being promoted shall enter a new Regulation into The Book.
Guard rank is based on service to the Guard and to Dagorhir, including running activities, volunteering time to help build and maintain Guard equipment, training new members, and recruiting new meat…er, MEMBERS (without a constant influx of new people, the Guard and Dagorhir would perish from attrition). We’re like a pyramid scheme…with swords.