...We may also consider that the Rutledge
may have been a ship no larger than the Voyager
(as backstage sources associate her with the New Orleans
class design that looks like a half-scale E-D). O'Brien's story from "Paradise" involves a large number of top officers beaming down at Setlik III, in classic Trek fashion, and being ambushed; perhaps the ship suffered debilitating casualties there, necessitating the temporary use of NCOs in positions normally calling for commissioned officers? And perhaps the Setlik III incident stranded the ship away from crew rotation opportunities for a while, despite apparently not immediately evolving into the full-blown Cardassian Wars?