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In combat, your selected soldier's rank is displayed as an icon at the bottom left corner of the screen. Sometimes a yellow star or a white cross will appear on top of it. What do these icons signify? Are there any others?

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up vote 14 down vote accepted

The yellow star indicates the squad leader, typically the highest ranking or most seasoned soldier in the squad. There's not a lot of in-game indications about what this means, but from experience I believe there's a higher chance of your squad members panicking if this person goes down.

The white cross/plus indicates that the squad member is up for promotion... assuming they survive the mission :)

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No posthumous promotions? Shame, that would've been a nice touch. –  kotekzot Oct 15 '12 at 16:41
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The white cross also means this soldier probably won't gain any more experience this mission no matter how many more aliens he kills. Testing has shown that a unit can only gain at most 1 rank per mission, and there does not seem to be any carry-over (a Rookie with 12 kills gets promoted to Squaddie, next mission only gets 1 but remains Squaddie). –  Elbyron Nov 6 '12 at 23:10
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