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Old February 1 2013, 10:34 AM   #64
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Re: Geordi's Authority

C.E. Evans wrote: View Post
I think the bridge officer's test is for blue shirts wishing to advance beyond the rank of lieutenant commander.
Quite possibly - though this isn't stated explicitly on screen.

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.
Yes, that's a pretty good rationalisation for it.

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.
Yes indeed. The principle differences probably come from the massive size of Starfleet compared to any modern navy, even the massive US Navy.

In Starfleet, except for prime assignments, like Riker's job in BoBW, it is unlikely there will ever be shortage of opportunities for the young and brilliant. While Starfleet officers are generally supposed to be brilliant, there are bound to be a top ten percent as in any organisation, and a bottom 10 percent who are competent but just plod along.

This is covered a lot in books about the (huge) 19th century Royal Navy, where the ambitious young Hornblower often encounters and quickly surpasses also rans, who will never make the higher ranks but make perfectly competent junior officers.
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