Bashar was a military rank of the Sardaukar comparable to the Old Earth rank of Colonel, a fractional point above the standardized military classification of Colonel, several ranks below Supreme Bashar and Burseg.
Behind the scenes[edit | edit source]
Bashar (بشار) is an Arabic proper name, it means "bringer of glad tidings". It is not known if the rank title is related to the name. If so, then by the time when Dune takes place, it may have become implicit that "good tidings" here referred to winning a battle.
Other cognates include Turkic "pasha, paşa, başa" which means "lord, governor, general, great chief." Therefore, the usage "Colonel Bashar," very strongly suggests the Eastern Bloc military rank "Colonel-General" -- it does not have an exact Western equivalent, but is roughly "three-star general of ground forces," between a two-star Major General and a four-star General. The rank would thus be "a fractional point above Colonel" just as described.
Nations that have histories of using the rank of "Colonel-General" and continue to do so as of the 21st century include China, the former Soviet Union, North Korea, Vietnam, and others.