Several times I've been in a squad with no one marked as squad leader, i.e., there's no star next to the name at the top of the squad list. According to previous questions (one, two, three) the SL should be assigned automatically.
At first I assumed this was a server setting. But today I saw it happen inconsistently: on the same server and map, at one point there was no leader, and at another point there was.
Does anyone know what's happening? My theories:
Display glitch. The top person actually is the SL but just doesn't appear that way. However, I'm 95% sure I was in this situation once when I was at the top of the squad list, and yet I was unable to set objectives.
Server setting. There's server setting I don't understand, for example, a delay in appointing the SL.
Volunteer leaders. There's some way for people to request assignment as a SL. I wish this were true, but previous questions suggest it's not.