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Old August 8 2009, 07:56 PM   #1
Crewman47
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Why no half ranks?

I realise that Enterprise only had around 80 officers and crew but why do you suppose we never had a lieutenant commander or junior lieutenant on board? Given her position I think it's been mentioned before that Hoshi should've been junior lieutenant. Also, am I right in assuming that even in a crew of 80 with the officer to crewman ratio, should there have been more full lieutenants on board as I think all we see at least Reed as the only lieutenant on board then maybe a dozen ensigns where everyone else is a crewman?
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Old August 8 2009, 07:58 PM   #2
Ghouleddie74
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Re: Why no half ranks?

I imagine the mid-22nd century Earth Starfleet HAD plenty of men and women with "half ranks" but Enterprise just didn't have them. Or if she did, they were serving on the lower decks and we never saw them up close to where we could make out the rank squares on their jumpsuits.
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Old August 8 2009, 11:06 PM   #3
TheOriginalGuru
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Re: Why no half ranks?

I think I read somewhere, originally, Malcolm Reed was actually written as a Lieutenant Commander, but it was changed just prior to shooting "Broken Bow". Don't know why it was changed though...
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Old August 8 2009, 11:13 PM   #4
clint g
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Re: Why no half ranks?

They probably had the rank, they just never showed them since the powers that be were feeling cheep and didnt have any blacked out rectangles made

Something interesting is that the Ent was originally supposed to have alot of enlisted and NCOs on board, but for some reason they never followed through
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Old August 9 2009, 10:44 AM   #5
apenpaap
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Re: Why no half ranks?

These ranks probably just didn't exist in the 22nd century.

Also, am I right in assuming that even in a crew of 80 with the officer to crewman ratio, should there have been more full lieutenants on board as I think all we see at least Reed as the only lieutenant on board then maybe a dozen ensigns where everyone else is a crewman?
There was Commander Kelby. He was probably promoted from a Liuteneant (Though we never saw him before "Affliction").
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Old August 9 2009, 11:01 AM   #6
Jar Jar Binks
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Re: Why no half ranks?

apenpaap wrote: View Post
These ranks probably just didn't exist in the 22nd century.
They probably did, we just never saw any on screen.
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Old August 9 2009, 02:26 PM   #7
Ensign_Redshirt
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Re: Why no half ranks?

It's possible that Starfleet's rank system changed over time. After all, we're talking about a span of two centuries here. Weren't there no Lieutenant junior grades in TOS too?


ENT: no Lieutenant junior grade or Lieutenant Commander

TOS: Lieutenant Commander rank re-established

TNG etc.: Lieutenant junior grade rank re-established, Commodore rank abolished
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Old August 10 2009, 07:37 AM   #8
Timo
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Re: Why no half ranks?

Weren't there no Lieutenant junior grades in TOS too?
Naah. There was even a specific rank braid for Lt(jg) in TOS: a single broken braid, when Lt was solid braid and LtCmdr was solid and broken. Lieutenant Joe Tormolen in "The Naked Time" wore the broken braid, even if nobody called him Junior at his face. (Or perhaps somebody did, and that's why he committed suicide?)

It was just that Ensigns in TOS had no rank braid to separate them from assorted enlisted personnel. So in ST:TMP, it was decided to assign the one broken braid to Ensigns - a silly decision that in theory banished Lt(jg) from existence. But happily, nobody in TMP came out and said to the camera "Ensigns now wear broken braid and there are no Junior Lieutenants". At worst, we got a single line where a person wearing broken braid was referred to as Ensign - and, as with so many little incidents in TOS, we can claim that the person speaking was making a mistake, forgetting the other guy's recent promotion...

It would be rather odd for Starfleet (UFP or UE) to suddenly go and abolish a rank for a period of a few decades, then reinstate it, when the Starfleet rank system otherwise is based on the USN one and would seem to have a very stable and continuous history. It's much easier to believe that we just failed to meet the wearers of some specific rank.

Say, the Mercury astronauts were all officers from USAF, USN or USMC. Of the Navy guys, Shepard and Schirra were LtCmdrs but Carpenter was a Lieutenant; all the USAF pilots were Captains (the same as LtCmdr); Glenn, the only Marine, was a LtCol (the same as Commander). Since they were all hired to do the same job, we might speculate that USAF doesn't have any Lieutenants since their guys don't show the variety the USN guys do. Or we might decide the USMC skips Captain (that is, LtCmdr) rank because why else would Glenn be justified in being higher-ranked than the rest of the bunch? But a selection of seven heroes isn't statistically enough to make such conclusions - and seven heroes is what we generally get in Star Trek shows, too...

Timo Saloniemi
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Old August 10 2009, 10:31 AM   #9
Cr031k
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Re: Why no half ranks?

OOOh lets not forget... IN JJ trek if your a woman, you can claim youre an Ensign or even a Captain and still get no rank on your shirt. Sad sad.

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Old August 11 2009, 11:15 AM   #10
Ensign_Redshirt
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Re: Why no half ranks?

Timo wrote: View Post
Weren't there no Lieutenant junior grades in TOS too?
Naah. There was even a specific rank braid for Lt(jg) in TOS: a single broken braid, when Lt was solid braid and LtCmdr was solid and broken. Lieutenant Joe Tormolen in "The Naked Time" wore the broken braid, even if nobody called him Junior at his face. (Or perhaps somebody did, and that's why he committed suicide?)

It was just that Ensigns in TOS had no rank braid to separate them from assorted enlisted personnel. So in ST:TMP, it was decided to assign the one broken braid to Ensigns - a silly decision that in theory banished Lt(jg) from existence. But happily, nobody in TMP came out and said to the camera "Ensigns now wear broken braid and there are no Junior Lieutenants". At worst, we got a single line where a person wearing broken braid was referred to as Ensign - and, as with so many little incidents in TOS, we can claim that the person speaking was making a mistake, forgetting the other guy's recent promotion...

It would be rather odd for Starfleet (UFP or UE) to suddenly go and abolish a rank for a period of a few decades, then reinstate it, when the Starfleet rank system otherwise is based on the USN one and would seem to have a very stable and continuous history. It's much easier to believe that we just failed to meet the wearers of some specific rank.

Say, the Mercury astronauts were all officers from USAF, USN or USMC. Of the Navy guys, Shepard and Schirra were LtCmdrs but Carpenter was a Lieutenant; all the USAF pilots were Captains (the same as LtCmdr); Glenn, the only Marine, was a LtCol (the same as Commander). Since they were all hired to do the same job, we might speculate that USAF doesn't have any Lieutenants since their guys don't show the variety the USN guys do. Or we might decide the USMC skips Captain (that is, LtCmdr) rank because why else would Glenn be justified in being higher-ranked than the rest of the bunch? But a selection of seven heroes isn't statistically enough to make such conclusions - and seven heroes is what we generally get in Star Trek shows, too...

Timo Saloniemi
Well, even the ranks of the US Navy have changed over time... in the case of the flag officers they even have jumped back and forth.


Ensign: Replaced the rank of "Passed Midshipman" in 1862.

Lieutenant (junior grade): Replaced the rank of "Master" in 1883.

Commander: Replaced the rank of "Master Commandant" in 1838.

Commodore: Was abolished and re-established several times throughout the 19th and 20th centuries. Replacements include the ranks of "Commodore Admiral" and "Rear Admiral (lower half)". Often the rank was abolished altogether. First established as a rank in 1862, last abolished (or replaced) in 1983.

Rear Admiral, Vice Admiral, and Admiral: Gradually established as ranks between 1862 and 1866. The admiral ranks subsequently fell into disuse after the civil war and were not re-established until the two world wars.

Fleet Admiral: Established in 1944, fell into disuse after World War II.


Originally, there was no naval rank between "Captain" and "Lieutenant" at all. Lieutenants were usually promoted to Captain right away.

The general rule seems to be: The fewer the ships and the smaller the navy, the fewer the ranks. So you could make indeed make an argument that there no "Lieutenant junior grade" and "Lieutenant commander" ranks in the 22nd century. In the beginning there was only a single (later two) warp 5 ship and a number of smaller ships like the Intrepid.
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Old August 13 2009, 01:10 AM   #11
BlueWolf
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I did find it quite amusing that after 10 years exploring, both Hoshi and Travis were still only Ensigns, though.
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Old August 22 2009, 04:24 AM   #12
Red Ranger
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Re: Why no half ranks?

BlueWolf wrote: View Post
I did find it quite amusing that after 10 years exploring, both Hoshi and Travis were still only Ensigns, though.
Even worse than Harry Kim, bless his heart! Sato and Mayweather should have at least been up to lieutenant, junior grade, if not full lieutenant, while Reed should've been lieutenant commander by that time. Silly! Let's not forget that TATV was mainly a holodeck simulation, so Riker screwed up when he programmed it -- forgot to press the button that would've updated the characters' ranks! -- RR
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Old August 22 2009, 09:52 AM   #13
apenpaap
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Re: Why no half ranks?

^It was also actually set shortly after Terra Prime. I hope they'll get that promotion in The Romulan War.
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Old August 22 2009, 06:46 PM   #14
Ghouleddie74
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Re: Why no half ranks?

It was just one more peanut in the turd that was "TATV" that the ranks didn't change. It was laughable. I mean, I can see not EVERYONE getting a wartime promotion...but not a single officer? Even Tom Paris on VOYAGER got demoted.
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Old August 23 2009, 01:25 AM   #15
George Steinbrenner
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Re: Why no half ranks?

Timo wrote: View Post
all the USAF pilots were Captains (the same as LtCmdr)
Actually, a USAF Captain = a Navy Lieutenant (Major is the rank that corresponds to LTCDR).
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