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A first mate, sometimes known as a vice-captain, is the top officer on board a ship after the captain. Mostly, they may fill a number of roles from checking stock to making sure everyone else is doing their job on the ship, leaving their captain to more important duties. They answer only to the captain of the ship.

Role and Duties

Essentially, the first mate is the one officer the captain must put full trust in and pick carefully. They are the captain's right-hand and if the captain is not at hand on the ship or is otherwise incapacitated, the first mate is the next in line to take over the captain's job.[2][3][4]

First Mates

See also the associated category: First Mates.
[v · e · ?]
First Mates
Benn Beckman Mohji Okome Boo Aladine
Silvers Rayleigh  Jango  Sarquiss ?
Zap Pesca Vigaro  Corto Byojack

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  •  *: other relevant information. Hovering the symbol gives further details.

In One Piece

Most pirate crews have a first mate. From the Buggy Pirates to the Red Haired Pirates this crew role is a common sight. While the captain is regarded as the strongest crew member, the first mate is regarded as the captain's champion, or their crew's second strongest, so to speak. Indeed, Rayleigh,[5] Beckman,[6] Mohji,[7] Jango,[8] Sarquiss,[9] and Corto[10] are all considered to be the second most powerful among their respective crews, just under their captains. Okome is the only first mate whose strength cannot be compared due to his captain's absence in the series.[11] On the other hand, Byojack was physically weak compared to anyone else on his crew due to his illness, and apparently got his position as first mate of the World Pirates by being the beloved brother of captain Byrnndi World, and compensates with his intellectual abilities.[12]

Commanders and Officers

There are some cases where larger crews have used other systems of management such as the "Division" Commander (隊長 Taichō?) rank used in the Krieg Pirates and Whitebeard Pirates, likely as a result of the sheer size of the crews.[13] Others, like the Arlong Pirates, New Fish-Man Pirates and Donquixote Pirates, use the rank "Officer" to allow these higher-ranking members to command the lower-ranking ones without the need to separate into "divisions", similar to having multiple first mates. There is also the case that a first mate can be found among the lines of the officers, as is the case with Benn Beckman.

In the case of the Donquixote Pirates, they have four Top Executives (最高幹部 Saikō Kanbu?), ranking over the eleven other officers. Both the Big Mom Pirates and Beasts Pirates also have three executive commanders that hold equal power and rank only below their captain in the crew's hierarchy, jointly acting as second-in-commands. The Big Mom Pirates have the Three Sweet Commanders (スイート3将星 Suīto San Shōsei?) (formerly four until Charlotte Snack got demoted), consisting of Big Mom's strongest children, while the Beasts Pirates have the All-Stars (大看板 Ōkanban?), who were handpicked by Kaidou himself to lead his forces.


  • In One Piece Yellow: Grand Elements, Roronoa Zoro is referred to as "a trustworthy figure, being almost as a second in command".[14] But it can be interpreted as a mention of him as the "right hand" of his captain (being a use for those who are the captains' trusted men), as Queen mentions to him and Sanji.[15]
    • Bartolomeo has also referred to Zoro as the first mate of the Straw Hat Pirates, although, by his own admission, that was just an assumption based on his personal views of the crew.[16]
  • Initially, Usopp was going to be like a "vice-captain" of the Straw Hat Pirates.[17]


  1. One Piece Manga and Anime — Vol. 3 Chapter 19 and Episode 8, Rayleigh is seen in Buggy's flashback.
  2. One Piece Manga and Anime — Vol. 7 Chapter 57, cover story: Buggy's Crew Adventure Chronicles Vol. 16 and Episode 47, Richie fought with Cabaji for captaincy of the Buggy Pirates.
  3. One Piece Manga and Anime — Vol. 5 Chapter 37 and Episode 15, Kuro gives captaincy to Jango.
  4. One Piece Manga and Anime — Vol. 58 Chapter 572 and Episode 481, Newgate names Marco to be in charge with the crew.
  5. SBS One Piece Manga — Vol. 53, Oda reveals that Silvers Rayleigh is the first mate of the Roger Pirates.
  6. SBS One Piece Manga — Vol. 5, Fan question: Does the first mate on Shanks' ship have a name?
  7. One Piece Red: Grand Characters (p. 159), Mohji mentioned as the first mate of Buggy Pirates.
  8. One Piece Red: Grand Characters (p. 165), Jango mentioned as the first mate of Black Cat Pirates.
  9. One Piece Yellow: Grand Elements (p. 177), Sarquiss mentioned as the first mate of Bellamy Pirates.
  10. One Piece Anime — Episode 426, Corto is introduced as the Amigo Pirates' vice captain.
  11. One Piece Blue: Grand Data File (p. 83), Okome mentioned as the first mate of Hokahoka Pirates.
  12. 3D2Y — Byojack is the first mate of the World Pirates.
  13. One Piece Manga — Vol. 96 Chapter 965 (p. 5), Whitebeard creates the division system due to having too many crewmates.
  14. One Piece Yellow: Grand Elements (p. 38), Zoro is referred to as being "like the a second in command".
  15. One Piece Manga — Vol. 99 Chapter 995, Queen mentions that Roronoa Zoro and Sanji are seen as Luffy's "right hand".
  16. One Piece Manga and Anime — Vol. 73 Chapter 723 and Episode 653.
  17. One Piece Green: Secret Pieces, In early concept sketches, the initial position for Usopp is mentioned.

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