Chaos Descending wrote:
Third Nacelle wrote:
"Command division" doesn't necessarily mean they're in command of anyone. It means they're in line to eventually be in a command position as they rise through the ranks - an officer in Engineering or Sciences is not. Similar to "line officers" in the modern US Navy.
Except that in the modern US Navy the Engineering officers are most certainly what Star Trek would call "Command Division" officers.
It's one of the differences between Starfleet and the modern US Navy.
As far as the OP, every department needs dedicated specialists. I would gather that the helm department is a fairly small one that rotate various duty shifts, with some called upon to fly shuttles and any other auxiliary craft (such as those little construction/repair workbees seen during the TOS movies) when necessary, IMO.