If we had a reformed criminal on Star Trek, who's to say he went through the Academy? O'Brien was a chief. I like the idea of NCOs involved more, take some of the stuffy elitism out of the show. Tyrol was one of the best characters on BSG. O'Brien was, too, with DS9. At any rate, maybe this isn't even a Starfleet ship? Maybe it's just a freighter, like Cassidy's ship. Maybe starfleet is destroyed or not worth talking about anymore. I mean, how many of our history's great explorers were affiliated with the military? Air Force was involved with lunar missions, but Hillary and Norgay climbed Everest because they could. Just a thought.