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Old January 31 2013, 04:19 AM   #58
C.E. Evans
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Re: Geordi's Authority

USS KG5 wrote: View Post
C.E. Evans wrote: View Post
Then again, there is the issue of Starfleet having a different billet system than today's navies, with a greater emphasis on position rather than rank.
Well quite, the only time the two are really ever related in Trek seem to be: -

1. In "Thine Own Self" where passing a command test means an automatic third full pip.
I think the bridge officer's test is for blue shirts wishing to advance beyond the rank of lieutenant commander.
2. The idea that the Captain of any ship gets the rank of Captain (not just the honorary title, the full four-pips).
In a way, that makes sense because a starship--even a small one like the Nova-class USS Equinox--may be called upon to determine the fate of entire worlds, if not entire star systems at times, during the course of its mission. Starfleet policy may require a full captain for command of all frontline starships, except for those assigned to a starbase or a special taskforce.
There might be others, I can't really think of any.

Trek also seems to have the "default" rank of Lt. Cmdr for long serving average officers, though again in "Tapestry", the long-serving Picard is only a Lt. jg (which really makes no sense).
That version of Picard only did the bare minimum to get by and nothing more. He played it safe and never stood out from the crowd. Starfleet may have no problem with a blue-shirt spending his entire career as a junior officer if his primary duty is that as a lab assistant or something like that. I think that's one of the ways that Starfleet differs from today's navy.
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