R. Star wrote:
Even Reg Barclay, with all his flaws, made commander in Endgame's future. The only exception to this is really Picard's alternate life that Q presented with him being a lieutenant junior grade for 30+ years. Which just isn't realistic and I think was just a case of Q taking an exaggerated liberty to rub a little more salt into the wound.
I felt that episode would have been more interesting if Picard had found out being a Lieutenant Junior Grade with an area of special concern (say, cosmic dust) allowed him to have a family and Mediocre Picard was actually fairly happy.
It makes sense in an integrated NASA-like group that the posts normally held by civilians get ranks.