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Old October 3 2012, 03:33 PM   #37
The Wormhole
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Re: does a starfleet ship always have a CO with the rank of captain?

137th Gebirg wrote: View Post
I was always curious about the presence of "Commodore" Decker on the Constellation. Even though the grade of Commodore is no longer used in today's Navy (having been replaced by the absurdly-named Rear Admiral Lower Half), IIRC that title was usually given to a battlegroup commander (Fleet Captains were also referred to in a similar fashion). Commodore Leslie in "The Ultimate Computer" fit this tradition much more accurately, having been the flag commander of a battlegroup of 4 Connies against the Enterprise. Decker was just floating around out there on his own, in what could arguably be a much older not-so-ship-of-the-line Connie or Connie variant (don't want to engage in a debate on registry numbers, though). I wonder if he was like Adama in NuBSG - too tied to the service to retire and Starfleet didn't want to completely embarrass him, so they sent him out to pasture in a broken down older ship in a region where (they thought) he wouldn't get into much trouble.
Registry numbers aside, I see no reason to assume the Constellation was older or less advance than other Constitution ships. While your idea about Decker being someone Starfleet simply shoved aside to let him finish his career on his terms is interesting, I think ultimately what it all comes down to is that for dramatic purposes, the episode needed a starship commander that Kirk couldn't pull rank on, and so a Commodore was chosen. I suppose we could assume that Constellation was the flagship of a task force of smaller ships which were either destroyed by the Machine (and not mentioned) or left behind at a starbase while Constellation checked out something which turned out to be more serious than they orignially believed.
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Last edited by The Wormhole; October 4 2012 at 02:37 AM.
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