Thread: Starfleeters?
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Old October 8 2013, 04:36 PM   #63
Use of Time
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Re: Starfleeters?

C.E. Evans wrote: View Post
Use of Time wrote: View Post
C.E. Evans wrote: View Post
Which doesn't change at all what I said above. The term "officer" is not exclusive to commissioned personnel nor even to military personnel.
Fine, but Occam's Razor has to come into play at some point here.
No, it doesn't. It's simply a case that the term "officer" isn't limited to just one definition. It's just a term used to describe either people or an occupation. And that's really all there is to it.

Now, one could argue the specifics of commissioned and noncommissioned officers, but that still falls under the category of the term having more than one actual definition.
Starfleet is obviously modeled after the Navy.
But is obviously not exactly like the U.S. Navy, and does deviate from it here and there. If anything, one can accurately say it's loosely modeled after the USN and cherry picks what aspects it wants to observe.
I have no interest in arguing over such a trivial thing but it comes down to the writer's muddling their way through enlisted terminology on the show. Their job is to write compelling stories for television so I'm not going to hold that against them but that is where the rank confusion stems from.
But from an "in-universe" perspective, there is a case to be made that Starfleet just isn't uptight about using the term "officer" in a generic sense for its personnel since it still allows specifics when necessary.
What do you think is more likely? My comparison to the Navy or your comparison to a police force?

From "Family"

SERGEY: Don't call me sir. I used to work for a living.
HELENA: He's joking. The proudest day of his life was when Worf earned his commission.
SERGEY: Can you imagine an old enlisted man like me raising a boy to be an officer?

That is an example of Sergey referencing a commissioned officer while at the same time taking comical umbrage at being addressed as an officer. So when I hear the term "Starfleet Officer" it really doesn't seem to be this catch all term. We rarely see any enlisted personnel in Star Trek except for Chief O'Brien. The references to him being called an officer are usually when he is part of a group or filling a role that would designate him as an officer.

So yeah, the term "officer" has a lot of meanings by definition but when used in Star Trek it seems pretty obvious to me that they aren't referring to a cop or a fortune 500 CEO.
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