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Old March 23 2009, 07:49 PM   #1
davidant32
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When did O'Brien lose his commission?

If we're to accept onscreen events as canon, then O'Brien clearly wore two pips (lieutenant) while onboard the Enterprise. Yet, by DS9, he is a non-commissioned officer.

What did he do to lose his commission?
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Old March 23 2009, 07:52 PM   #2
CorporalClegg
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Re: When did O'Brien lose his commission?

It was only done that way because the wardrobe department didn't have any non-officer ranks to use.

The is primarily because an Old, deluded GR thought there wouldn't be any enlistees.
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Old March 23 2009, 07:59 PM   #3
Delta1
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Re: When did O'Brien lose his commission?

Just because something is canon doesn't mean it's correct. Star Trek is inspired, not inerrant.

But if O'Brien was an officer, I imagine it was because he lost a bet. Maybe someone outdrank him, so he had to be a lieutenant for a year.
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Old March 23 2009, 08:28 PM   #4
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Re: When did O'Brien lose his commission?

Delta1 wrote: View Post
Just because something is canon doesn't mean it's correct. Star Trek is inspired, not inerrant.

But if O'Brien was an officer, I imagine it was because he lost a bet. Maybe someone outdrank him, so he had to be a lieutenant for a year.

That's the best theory for anything ever. Probably because that would be SO what would happen to O'Brien.
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Old March 23 2009, 08:32 PM   #5
Timo
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Re: When did O'Brien lose his commission?

We only think he was a Lieutenant because he wore two pips - such rank, or indeed a commission, was never really mentioned in dialogue. ("Where Silence Has Lease" features an ambiguous bit where Riker says "Lieutenant" once, but the writer wouldn't have known in advance that Colm Meaney would be in that scene -the script would have called for a random transporter operator - and OTOH Riker could be speaking to Lieutenant Worf in that scene, rather than to the transporter operator).

But perhaps the color of the pips matters? We know that one dark pip makes O'Brien lower in status than the lowest Ensign, in late TNG and in early DS9. We also believed that Colm Meaney's character wore a single bright pip in "Encounter at Farpoint" but the recreation of those scenes in "All Good Things.." proved us wrong - the pip was always dark "in reality"...

So perhaps those two pips were dark, too, "in reality"?

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Old March 23 2009, 08:33 PM   #6
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Re: When did O'Brien lose his commission?

If memory serves it was that episode where Barclay has to overcome his fear of transporters. He gives O'Brien a direct order, pointing to his own insignia to emphasise the fact that he out ranks the Chief.
Up until then O'Brien had been an officer.
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Old March 23 2009, 08:48 PM   #7
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Re: When did O'Brien lose his commission?

I don't care what pips O'Brien wore. It's clear he was not an officer throughout his entire run on TNG and DS9.

Besides, if you're going to go that route, maybe his TNG pips were a different color? Silver instead of gold, for example?
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Old March 23 2009, 08:56 PM   #8
CorporalClegg
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Re: When did O'Brien lose his commission?

Besides, pip malfunctions were pretty common among the 21 collective seasons. If memory serves there was even a few scenes/shots where Data was a full commander.
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Old March 23 2009, 08:58 PM   #9
Mr. Laser Beam
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Re: When did O'Brien lose his commission?

CorporalClegg wrote: View Post
Besides, pip malfunctions were pretty common among the 21 collective seasons. If memory serves there was even a few scenes/shots where Data was a full commander.
Data wore the pips of a LT. JG in "All Good Things" even though he was a LCDR for the entire series. And of course Tuvok's rank pip confusion as well.
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Old March 23 2009, 09:02 PM   #10
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Re: When did O'Brien lose his commission?

Babaganoosh wrote:
Besides, if you're going to go that route, maybe his TNG pips were a different color? Silver instead of gold, for example?
That definitely makes difference in rank in the modern military. Or they could be oval instead of round - I doubt if I'd see a difference - or some other fairly subtle difference, such as dark blue or dark gray, as Timo suggests.

As an alternative, I kind of like Delta's explanation.

Anyway, if you're a mere lieutenant and you get busted for something, they don't bust you down to enlisted - that's not the way it works. Officers are officers and enlisted are enlisted.

If an officer does something so bad that he no longer deserves to be an officer, he gets thrown out of the service, not given an high-level enlisted rank. Some people think that "enlisted" means "has no power," and that's definitely not the way it works. My great uncle was a master gunnery sergeant in the U.S. Marine Corps. You don't reach that rank by screwing up, and I very much doubt if you get to be a chief in Starfleet by screwing up, either.

Last edited by JustKate; March 23 2009 at 10:29 PM. Reason: Quoted Babaganoosh
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Old March 24 2009, 01:50 AM   #11
The Grim Ghost
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Re: When did O'Brien lose his commission?

Perhaps Picard or Starfleet had a rule at the time (that was later thrown out) about only having officers take the major bridge positions...a rule sometimes circumvented by making a qualified non-officer an acting ensign (like Wesley). That is my stab at an answer.

Now as to why O'Brien would be an acting Lt. instead of an ensign..anybody?
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Old March 24 2009, 05:39 AM   #12
Delta1
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Re: When did O'Brien lose his commission?

Senior NCOs are temporarily appointed lieutenants, junior EMs and precocious children are appointed acting ensign?
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Old March 24 2009, 07:22 AM   #13
Wally
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Re: When did O'Brien lose his commission?

Maybe prior to the Enterprise he was enlisted, then got 'mustanged' to an officer position, and following that he decided it wasn't for him so he went back to enlisted?
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Old March 24 2009, 08:10 AM   #14
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Re: When did O'Brien lose his commission?

Maybe it was a complimentary rank, maybe he was the head of all transporter activities and therefore his assigned rank that refleted that to give him authority over other CO's, but his actual rank was something different. Picard seemed to like him, Riker seemed to get along with him fine, so why not grant him special priviledges?

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Old March 24 2009, 08:34 AM   #15
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Re: When did O'Brien lose his commission?

Perhaps his rank as an LT. was just a brevet rank. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Brevet_(military)
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