At the middle-management levels of the Mafia, there is the caporegime. He is the equivalent of a lieutenant in the crime family. Usually called capo for short, he controls a crew of about ten or so underlings. Capo is also sometimes the diminutive of capodecina, which literally means “captain of ten.” These crews commit the crimes and report the results and surrender the lion's share of the loot to the capo. He sees that it flows upward to the boss.
Below the capos are the soldiers. These are the grunts who get their hands dirty. The crews carry out the heists, hijackings, and hits that make up the day-to-day workings of a typical Mafia family. The soldiers are all “made” men, meaning they have been officially indoctrinated into the family, taken the vow of Omerta, and have committed at least one murder, though the last requirement seems to be more folklore than fact.
There have been relatively few father-to-son transfers of power in the Mafia. One of the earliest was the ascension of Santo Trafficante Jr., who took over for his father in 1954. Some transfers were not so successful. John Gotti Jr. was appointed to run the Gambino family by his imprisoned father, but he was arrested only a few years later.