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Old August 24 2009, 01:15 PM   #16
Timo
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Re: Why no half ranks?

Whoops, my mistake!

^It was also actually set shortly after Terra Prime
The episode dialogue makes multiple references to "These Are the Voyages" being 10 years after "Broken Bow". These include Archer meeting Shran 10 years prior (during S1 "Andorian Incident"), Archer taking command 10 years prior, and Shran faking his death 3 years prior (after S4 "The Aenar"), in order to protect a child he had five years prior with Jhamel whom he met in "The Aenar"...

Some of these could be explained away, or taken as innocuous mistakes in the writing of the holoprogram. Not all, though. So the only way one could have "These Are the Voyages" soon after "Terra Prime" is if the holoprogram is part of an extensive conspiracy - which is what the novels rather pitifully try to claim.

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Old August 24 2009, 03:46 PM   #17
Chaos Descending
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Re: Why no half ranks?

Timo wrote: View Post
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...

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Minor nitpick, the bolded part is incorrect. Army/Marine/Air Force Captains are the same rank as Navy Lieutenants, not Lieutenant Commanders.

EDIT: Ah, someone beat me to it!
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Old August 24 2009, 03:47 PM   #18
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Re: Why no half ranks?

Mr. Laser Beam wrote: View Post
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).
LCDR, not LTCDR.

I'm on a serious pedantics kick today!
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Old August 26 2009, 07:12 AM   #19
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Re: Why no half ranks?

I'm assuming Starfleet uses US Navy/Coast Guard officer ranks, so here they are with Army, Air Force, Marine Corp equivalents:

Ensign = Second Lieutenant
Lt. Junior Grade = First Lieutenant
Lieutenant = Captain
Lieutenant Commander = Major
Commander = Lieutenant Colonel
Captain = Colonel
Rear Admiral Lower Half = Brigadier General
Rear Admiral Upper Half = Major General
Vice Admiral = Lieutenant General
Admiral = General
Fleet Admiral = General of the Army, General of the Air Force ( used only in wartime and no Marine Corp equivalent)
Starfleet has the rank of Commodore- above a Captain but below a Rear Admiral Lower Half. The US Navy discontinued the rank of Commodore but I think uses the title for senior captains who commands a task force, squadrons, special ops, etc.

I served in the military and get irritated when the movies and tv can't get the ranks right, Reed was a Lieutenant but he outranked Major Hayes?!? Malcolm should've been a Lieutenant Commander equivalent in rank to Major Hayes BUT his "seniority" would make him higher in the chain of command or something to that affect. Gene Roddenberry served in WW2 and some of the sixties era writers and actors did time in the service due to WW2, Korea and the draft so TOS didn't mess up the rank structure. In the TNG, Deep Space 9, Voyager, Enterprise Era of Trek, I'm guessing that neither Rick Berman or Brannon Braga- or any other writer, showrunner, etc- did time in the military, so they didn't know or care about keeping the ranks accurate.

Last edited by joncreed; August 26 2009 at 07:21 AM. Reason: spacing
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Old August 26 2009, 07:37 AM   #20
Timo
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Re: Why no half ranks?

Starfleet has the rank of Commodore- above a Captain but below a Rear Admiral Lower Half.
Umm, as of today, Commodore is the same thing as Rear Admiral Lower Half (RDML). Or at least the last time Commodore was used in the USN, it was just a different name for RDML. (There are several other meanings for the word Commodore, too, as you say.) The Wikipedia has the dirt on this; basically, Commodore has been an actual rank grade every now and then, a temporary title at other times, and there has always been a bit of congestion at the lowest flag ranks or highest line ranks, with the navies trying to cheapskate their way through employing these experienced senior officers even when there aren't enough Admiralty jobs for them. Usually, hilarity and confusion has ensued.

The last time Commodore was made an actual grade in the USN, in the 1980s, people with said rank basically raised a stink because their title didn't contain the word "Admiral" - so "Rear Admiral, Lower Half" (RDML) was chosen as the more palatable name, to fit between Captain and Rear Admiral (RADM).

Star Trek has never been quite as messy about the issue: in TOS, Commodores were obvious flag officers with an easily identifiable rank braid of their own, and were seen commanding both starbases and ships or formations of ships, as well as handling assorted desk jobs. The rank has not been mentioned much in later Trek, and it could be argued it has been renamed or removed, but there's no solid proof on that.

Whether the United Earth Starfleet in ENT had the rank of Commodore is not in question, either. Max Forrest explicitly held that rank in the flashback episode "First Flight".

Reed was a Lieutenant but he outranked Major Hayes?!?
Well, Hayes was but a guest aboard the ship. The lowest ablespaceman would probably have outranked the Major in certain issues concerning the ship... Only the internal security tasks of the ship would have been a bit of a grey area, and there Archer might have made the useful clarification that Reed would be in charge and Hayes would only command the MACOs in landing or boarding missions.

Apparently, the use of units from the Military Assault Command aboard ships of Starfleet Command was a novel or rare practice during the third season of ENT. Various special arrangements would then only be natural; also, Archer would have personal leeway in organizing his ship, and in reorganizing and re-reorganizing it as best befitted the important mission where he couldn't contact his own superiors for permission.

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Old August 26 2009, 09:05 AM   #21
apenpaap
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Re: Why no half ranks?

joncreed wrote: View Post
Ensign = Second Lieutenant
Lt. Junior Grade = First Lieutenant
Lieutenant = Captain
Lieutenant Commander = Major
Commander = Lieutenant Colonel
Captain = Colonel
Rear Admiral Lower Half = Brigadier General
Rear Admiral Upper Half = Major General
Vice Admiral = Lieutenant General
Admiral = General
Fleet Admiral = General of the Army, General of the Air Force ( used only in wartime and no Marine Corp equivalent)
Interesting, that list indicates Kira was double-promoted when she made Colonel. Never knew that, as my knowledge of army ranks stems entirely from Stratego.
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Old August 26 2009, 01:36 PM   #22
Timo
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Re: Why no half ranks?

But was she made Colonel - or Lieutenant Colonel?

The latter sounds much more likely, for no less than four reasons.

1) It would only be a single step of promotion, therefore not unusual.

2) It would also match the Starfleet rank of Commander that Kira carried when working for the Cardassian underground; it would make no sense to give Kira a Starfleet rank that was lower than her real Bajoran rank.

3) It would keep Kira one step below Sisko in rank, which is not only dramatically satisfying in its simplicity, but makes sense in the organizational setup of the space station.

4) Kira's rank insignia are different from those worn by Colonel Day in "The Siege". This at the very least proves that the Bajoran militia has two ranks that both are addressed as "Colonel". A closer look at the rank pins also suggests that Day's brass diverges more from the Major pin than Kira's does, thus suggesting that Kira is the Lieutenant Colonel and Day is the "full" Colonel.

Naturally, anybody holding the rank of Lieutenant Colonel would still be addressed as "Colonel" in most situations.

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Old August 26 2009, 02:09 PM   #23
apenpaap
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Re: Why no half ranks?

I did a search on Memory Alpha, and it says the guy in "The Siege" was a Lieutenant Colonel. Kira also makes Captain in "Unity" (Though that could be another promotion), suggesting she did in fact become a full Colonel.
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Old August 26 2009, 02:17 PM   #24
Timo
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Re: Why no half ranks?

But Memory Alpha is just bullshitting its way through the ranks without any sort of evidence. All that was ever said was that Colonel Day was a Colonel, and Colonel Kira was a Colonel, and all that was ever shown was that they wore different pins. Colonel Kira also wore the three pins of a Starfleet Commander, making her the likelier candidate for Lieutenant Colonel than Day.

Of course, it might be that there are other sorts of Colonel in the Bajoran militia, to confuse the issue. But I don't see why we should dream up such fictional ranks when the system so far seems to correspond to the familiar US Army system exactly. Memory Alpha has some sort of a crazy fixation about a Bajoran rank they call "Field Colonel". It's completely baseless - it's not part of the episode dialogue, and has no proper real-world equivalent. But in theory, alien militaries might have alien ranks. In which case one wonders why anybody would even try to pretend that those ranks could be translated into English and shoehorned into the US Army or Navy systems with a few dangling ends.

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Old September 2 2009, 02:32 AM   #25
T'Girl
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Re: Why no half ranks?

Timo wrote: View Post
Naturally, anybody holding the rank of Lieutenant Colonel would still be addressed as "Colonel" in most situations.

Timo Saloniemi
But on several occasions wasn't Kira introduced was "Colonel Kira?" During a formal introduction Sisco or others would have used lieutenant colonel.

And T'Pol was a SUB-commander.
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Old September 2 2009, 02:46 AM   #26
Major Chord
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Re: Why no half ranks?

It could be that the Vulcans just don't have a rank of commander. Sub commander could be equivalent to SF commander, from there you go to Captain. There are plenty of times in TNG, and DS9 where LCDRs are referred to as "commander"...so the absence of this with T;\'Pol leads me to believe that either the Rank of commander doesn't exist for Vulcans, or the crew was attempting to point out that she was not part of Starfleet (as in, emphasizing her Vulcan rank).
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Old September 2 2009, 03:15 AM   #27
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Re: Why no half ranks?

the_andorian wrote: View Post
It could be that the Vulcans just don't have a rank of commander.
Yes, they do.
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Old September 2 2009, 04:18 AM   #28
ElScoob
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Re: Why no half ranks?

Mr. Laser Beam wrote: View Post
the_andorian wrote: View Post
It could be that the Vulcans just don't have a rank of commander.
Yes, they do.
They'd have to, wouldn't they? It makes absolutely no sense to have a rank named 'subcommander' if you don't have one called 'commander'. Not too logical, if you will.

Plus which, we know the Romulans have the ranks of subcommander and commander. It always seemed to me that the Vulcans having the subcommander rank was kind of a nice touch, drawing a nice little parallel between the two divergent branches of the same culture. You'd want to think that the similar rank structures grew out of the same military traditions of Vulcan antiquity.

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Old September 2 2009, 04:21 AM   #29
Mr. Laser Beam
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Re: Why no half ranks?

Timo wrote: View Post
Memory Alpha has some sort of a crazy fixation about a Bajoran rank they call "Field Colonel". It's completely baseless - it's not part of the episode dialogue, and has no proper real-world equivalent.
Excuse me? Never heard of a Lieutenant Colonel, have we? Not exactly a big deal that the Bajorans might use a slightly different term.
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Old September 2 2009, 09:07 PM   #30
Timo
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Re: Why no half ranks?

But the fact is that they don't use that term ("Field Colonel"). It's not part of the Star Trek universe. So why the hell does MA insist on listing it?

We know Bajorans have a few varieties of Colonel, because two or three different pins have been worn by people addressed as Colonel. The pins worn by Kira and Colonel Lenaris of "Shakaar" fame are almost identical to the Major pin (indeed, Lenaris seems to wear the basic Major pin by wardrobe mistake, which may be why Kira's later pin was designed to look almost like a Major's so that we could pretend "Shakaar" didn't feature a wardrobe mistake). So we could reduce the number of Bajoran pins to two, just like in the real world where there are two Colonel ranks.

Okay, that's an oversimplification - some nations have had different real world systems featuring for example the rank of Colonel General. But those systems have been distinct from the classic US Army one in other respects as well, whereas the Bajoran system seems to remain smack on.

Plus which, we know the Romulans have the ranks of subcommander and commander. It always seemed to me that the Vulcans having the subcommander rank was kind of a nice touch, drawing a nice little parallel between the two divergent branches of the same culture. You'd want to think that the similar rank structures grew out of the same military traditions of Vulcan antiquity.
Agreed. I wouldn't wonder a bit if the Vulcan military also referred to its vessels as Warbirds, Birds of Prey, Raptors, Vultures and so forth... Perhaps it's the Vulcan intelligence on Klingon culture that colored the Earthling views of that culture, too? For example, we know that it was T'Pol who taught to Archer that the torpedo-toting vessel in "Sleeping Dogs" was designated Raptor. That could have been its Vulcan rather than Klingon name...

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