It can take many years to become a made member in the Mafia, but In order to become a "Made Man" which is a fully initiated member in the Mafia, you have to commit a murder or in some cases many murders. Once you become a made man or fully initiated member of the Mafia, you are in it for life, the only way out is death.
Associates are not made members of the Mafia, but they work for the Mafia. Associates cannot turn down an order from the Mafia. If the Mafia gives them an order they have to follow it, and they can never refuse or they may be killed. Associates are employed as drivers, bodyguards, hitmen, enforcers, errand boys, or money collectors for high-ranking members of the Mafia. Associates are either good money-makers or good hitmen for the Mafia. Associates must give at least 30% of their weekly earnings to the Captains. Associates can be of any ethnicity, but those not of Italian descent cannot advance any further and actually be inducted into a Mafia family. A notable exception is the Chicago Outfit, which has had soldiers and Made Men that were of German, Japanese, Chinese, Russian, Jewish, Polish, Irish, English, or Hispanic descent. Nevertheless, non-Italian associates such as Meyer Lansky can still be very influential.
The Soldiers, Wiseguy's, Men of Honor, Untouchables, or Made men are lowest-ranking members of the Mafia, the grunts of the organization, generally sticking out their neck in the hope of making a name for themselves by demonstrating their loyalty to the organization and boss and protecting the organization at all costs. Soldiers are used to commit murder, beatings, torture, assassinations, bombing, arson, kidnapping, extortion, death threats, blackmailing, bribery, witness intimidation, jury intimidation, and extortion. They are the workers for the organization that work the streets making a lot of money and killing a lot of people for the bosses and the organization. They only have two jobs which is make a'lot of money and kill a'lot of people for the boss and the organization. It could take years to become a made man or soldier in a crime family, but to do it you must be full-blooded Italian, you must be a great moneymaker, you have to be able to commit murder with ease, you have to have honor, respect and loyalty to the organization and your fellow members, and you have to live by a code of silence, honor, and secrecy. To become a made man or soldier you must commit a murder or several murders, you have to be full-blooded Italian, and you must be vouched for by at least two high-ranking members of the crime family. The initiation ceremony involves significant ritual, oaths, blood and agreement is made to follow the rules, policies and traditions of the Mafia as presented to the inductee. takes place by all of the captains, the underboss, the consigliere and the boss present wearing tuxedos. You have to rub together with your hands a picture of a burning saint and vow to never betray the organization or your fellow members, your must take an Oath of Omerta ("May i burn in hell for all eternity if i betray the organization or my friends"), which is Italian for an Oath of silence and secrecy to never admit the existence of the Mafia, never betray the organization or your fellow members, always be loyal to the organization and your fellow members, kill for the organization, and be willing to die for the organization, always be willing to protect the organization and your fellow members at all costs, and always put the organization first above everything, including god and your own family. As a soldier you must be willing to always put the crime family above everything and anything, even if your wife is about to give birth, or you mother, father, wife, or children is on their deathbeds, or your at the funerals, you must drop everything to serve the boss and the crime family. Once you become a made man you are a member for life and the only way out is death.
El Capitan, Capo, Caporegime, or Captain, the Caporegime is a captain of a large crew of soldiers, hitmen and associates. The captain heads a large crew of anywhere from 15 to 3,000 soldiers, hitmen and associates and can order them to do absolutely anything, The captains report directly to the boss or underboss who hands down the orders, directions and instructions. He is very powerful and has the power to order his crew to do anything and everything he desires. The Captains only has to answer to the boss, consigliere, or underboss, the captain has total power and control over his crew of soldiers and associates, who does absolutely anything the Captain commands. The Captain must receive at least 30% to 40% of his soldiers and associates weekly earnings, and the Captains kicks up 15% to 25% depending on how lucrative the operation, scheme or business is, he kicks up to the bosses and keeps the rest for himself. Most Captains are very rich and powerful men due to their soldiers and associates making them so much money and a daily basis. The Captains job is too keep the soldiers, hitmen and associates in line, keep the money flowing to the boss on a weekly basis, and bribe politicians, law enforcement and government officials so they can run their operations and businesses freely without any interference from federal agencies. The Captains have to report directly to the underboss twice a week, and to the boss once a month to inform them on the operations, businesses and the soldiers, hitmen and associates. The Captain is in charge of keeping his crew under control and in line. If any of the soldiers, hitmen or associates were to cause any kind of problems for the organization then the captain must report to the underboss. Most Captains are multi-millionaires and some are even billionaires. In cases like Paul Vario and Michael Franzese they became multi-billionaires, and were two of the wealthiest and most powerful captains in American Mafia history.
The consigliere, or chief advisor, or counselor, is the Bosses right-hand man and trusted confidant. The Consigliere is very powerful in the organization, and he plays one of the most important roles in a crime family. He is a close and trusted friend and confidant of the family boss for strategic information, diplomatic counsel, and sound advice. The Consigliere is the mediator of disputes within the crime family and often acts as a representative or aide for the organization in meetings with other crime families, rival crime families, and important business associates. The Consigliere's job is too bribe politicians, law enforcement and government officials to protect the organization, and to be a consultant to the crime family, and use his diplomacy to keep the underlings, such as the captains, soldiers, and associates in line. The Consigliere is someone who the Boss trusts and goes to for advice, counsel or information regarding the organization, finances, operations, politics, rules, grievances, disputes, or businesses. The Consigliere is meant to offer unbiased information based on what he sees as best for the crime family. He’s normally incredibly intelligent, clever, diplomatic, intuitive, ruthlessly efficient, sophisticated, rational, resourceful, perceptive, and astute, and he is normally a clever talker, resourceful thinker, and diplomatic advisor. Unlike the underboss, the consigliere is chosen solely for his abilities and the amount of vast knowledge and intellect, and incredible intelligence he possesses. Generally, only the boss and underboss have more authority than the consigliere in a crime family. The Consigliere is very powerful in the command hierarchy, he is the third in command.
The Underboss is the second-in-command in the empire and the organizational hierarchy of the crime family. His level of authority varies, but he is ready to stand in for the boss at any given moment. He is the second most powerful man in the crime family, he has power and control over the captains, soldiers and associates, and he runs the bosses and the organizations day-to-day operations and businesses, and keeps all of the capos, soldiers, hit squads, and associates in line, and makes sure that everyone within the crime family does their jobs and follows the bosses commands, and is in makes sure the empire runs smoothly for the boss, and is in charge of keeping track of the organizations finances, operations and businesses, including keeping the money flowing to the boss, and protecting him at all costs. The Boss is the only one that has complete power and authority over the Underboss. If the Boss dies, normally the Underboss would take the reigns as Boss of the crime family, but there have been exceptions. There are normally only one Underboss per crime family, however, in some cases, there are two or even three underbosses, but very rarely are there more than one Underboss in a crime family. During Carlo Gambino's regime as head of the Commission and as boss of the Gambino crime family he had three Underbosses, Aniello Dellacroce, Paul Castellano, and Carmine Fatico. Gambino wanted three Underbosses becasue at that time the Gambino crime family was so massive, the largest criminal organization in the world, with over 100 capos, and hundreds of thousands of soldiers and associates nationwide.
The Boss, the Don, the King, the Emperor, the Caesar, the Dictator, is the head of the organization, the boss is a dictator or king and has the power to order anything and everything from anyone in the entire organization. The Boss rules the organization with an iron fist, he makes all the important decisions, much like a CEO or Chairman of a company would. Although each mafia boss may run his crime family in a different way, they have one thing in common: they are billionaires, multi-billionaires, or mega-billionaires, and they are incredibly powerful, ruthless, extremely dangerous, intelligent, clever, astute, resourceful, greatly respected and widely feared by their subordinates and others. His Underboss, Consigliere, and all of his captains, soldiers, and associates in his organization pay him a tribute, obey any of his orders, and kill for him. They also use the Roman salute and say “Hail (boss’s name)” in order to honor the boss. The same rule also applies to any lower ranks towards higher ranks.