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Go Back   The Trek BBS > Star Trek TV Series > The Next Generation

The Next Generation All Good Things come to an end...but not here.

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Old December 6 2011, 02:41 AM   #16
Mr. Laser Beam
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Re: Can Data only receive order from Riker (& up) ?

TheSeeker wrote: View Post
That raises an interesting question. Do officers in the military who are doctors get referred to by their rank or simply as Dr.?
"Doctor," most of the time. My dad was a Major in the Army Medical Corps and he said that he was never referred to by his rank, always Doctor.

I'm sure there are certain unusual situations where the rank might be used, but he never encountered any in his time of service. And (unlike in Starfleet, apparently) he would not be in the chain of command, and would not normally be able to give orders to more junior officers. For example if he'd been a Navy doctor and serving on a ship, he would not be in that ship's chain of command. Not even if an emergency happened and all the senior officers were incapacitated - he'd have to take orders from even the greenest Ensign on board. Only line officers can give orders - doctors can't. Except when medicine/health issues are involved. Apparently Starfleet differs from this, since we've seen Crusher and Troi (and even Bashir) give orders that have nothing to do with their medical roles.
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Old December 6 2011, 04:04 AM   #17
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Re: Can Data only receive order from Riker (& up) ?

TNG itself is a little unclear on this point, as Troi had to take a test to become qualified as a bridge officer, but during "Disaster" is deferred to by the far more qualified (in military terms) Ro and O'Brien ... so it's a little unclear what she gains when she passes the test in "Thine Own Self," besides the rank of commander.

It's interesting that in M*A*S*H, a fictionalized and extremely un-military medical corps, even the most un-military character are usually referred to as Captains Pierce and McIntyre (or Captains Pierce and Hunnicutt, depending on the season).
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Old December 6 2011, 04:07 AM   #18
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Re: Can Data only receive order from Riker (& up) ?

Troi deferred to O'Brien and Ro because of their experience in such matters, but when all was said and done during that crisis, she was still in command. Both O'Brien and Ro still followed her orders and her authority until the crisis was over.
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Old December 6 2011, 04:09 AM   #19
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Re: Can Data only receive order from Riker (& up) ?

tafkats wrote: View Post
TNG itself is a little unclear on this point, as Troi had to take a test to become qualified as a bridge officer, but during "Disaster" is deferred to by the far more qualified (in military terms) Ro and O'Brien ... so it's a little unclear what she gains when she passes the test in "Thine Own Self," besides the rank of commander..
AFAIK, the test wasn't simply to qualify for bridge duty - Troi already had that. It was so she could *command* a bridge watch.
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Old December 6 2011, 05:14 AM   #20
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Re: Can Data only receive order from Riker (& up) ?

^ Was Troi sitting to Picard's left considered "bridge duty"?
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Old December 6 2011, 05:20 AM   #21
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Re: Can Data only receive order from Riker (& up) ?

^ Technically, yes. The ship's counselor needed to be available for the captain to consult, and to observe things like first contact situations. Guess it makes sense that she'd be on the bridge.

And "Disaster" establishes that Troi had authority in the chain of command.
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Old December 7 2011, 03:37 AM   #22
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Re: Can Data only receive order from Riker (& up) ?

7thsealord wrote: View Post
Would also depend on the Doctor's actual position or job within the organization as well.
Yes, rank and position are two seperate things. Data is the second officer, third in command of the Enterprise, even though Crusher outranks him and he and Geordi share the same rank.

Troi having to assume command of the bridge in "Disaster" simply because of her rank was ridiculous.
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Old December 7 2011, 04:26 AM   #23
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Re: Can Data only receive order from Riker (& up) ?

Hober Mallow wrote: View Post
Yes, rank and position are two seperate things. Data is the second officer, third in command of the Enterprise, even though Crusher outranks him and he and Geordi share the same rank.
so... position overrule rank?
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Old December 7 2011, 04:49 AM   #24
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Re: Can Data only receive order from Riker (& up) ?

DynV wrote: View Post
Hober Mallow wrote: View Post
Yes, rank and position are two seperate things. Data is the second officer, third in command of the Enterprise, even though Crusher outranks him and he and Geordi share the same rank.
so... position overrule rank?
Yep. A Second officer has more authority over the ship than a doctor, engineer or counselor no matter what rank they may hold.
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Old December 7 2011, 03:45 PM   #25
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Re: Can Data only receive order from Riker (& up) ?

Santa Kang wrote: View Post
DynV wrote: View Post
Hober Mallow wrote: View Post
Yes, rank and position are two seperate things. Data is the second officer, third in command of the Enterprise, even though Crusher outranks him and he and Geordi share the same rank.
so... position overrule rank?
Yep. A Second officer has more authority over the ship than a doctor, engineer or counselor no matter what rank they may hold.
Meh...depends. If it's related to medical then the CMO pretty much has total authority, rank be damned.

Commanders and order Captains. Holograms can order Second Officers. Mass hysteria!
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Old December 7 2011, 07:05 PM   #26
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Re: Can Data only receive order from Riker (& up) ?

The Festivus Toad wrote: View Post
Commanders and order Captains. Holograms can order Second Officers. Mass hysteria!
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Old December 7 2011, 10:24 PM   #27
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Re: Can Data only receive order from Riker (& up) ?

In a traditional navy structure there are "line officers" (US term also used in TOS) who are trained for commanding vessel. They are called that because there is a "line" of succession from the most senior to the most junior. On a ship, the captain and executive officer are at the top, and so on down through the ranks by seniority to the lowliest line ensign.

There are others whose training is in more specialized areas and can never command a ship regardless of their rank. These would be supply officers, physicians, nurses, dentists, chaplains, JAG officers, intelligence officers, bandleaders and so on. They generally take command of personnel only in their immediate staffs, but senior officers may take command of activities and installations ashore.

The US Navy counts engineers (in the shipboard propulsion sense) as line officers, the British Royal Navy and many others do not. Starfleet seems to follow more of the US practice, with engineers eligible to attain command of vessels.

A clearly unqualified Troi taking charge in "Disaster" was silly. But when Troi took command on the bridge in "Thine Own Self," it seems she was acting as what the USN would call "Officer of the Deck," who is in charge for that particular watch but is a position that can be filled by even a junior officer if qualified. It doesn't seem to have changed her position in the chain of command, that is, Data was still third in line and a lot of other officers probably ahead of her. Not something that would happen with a psychologist/counselor in the present day, but apparently Starfleet allows more leeway for cross-training in that kind of situation. Really being in charge for a few hours of cruising in a straight line through empty space shouldn't be too demanding; if anything happens the captain and XO are just a minute or two away.



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Old December 7 2011, 11:26 PM   #28
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Re: Can Data only receive order from Riker (& up) ?

TNG itself is a little unclear on this point, as Troi had to take a test to become qualified as a bridge officer, but during "Disaster" is deferred to by the far more qualified (in military terms) Ro and O'Brien
A clearly unqualified Troi taking charge in "Disaster" was silly.
Actually, IMHO, the interaction there is rather different from "Troi takes charge"...

Essentially, Ro takes the initiative and performs a risky engineering procedure that makes O'Brien go apeshit. O'Brien tries to take command because engineering is his field of expertise, at which point Troi cleverly begins to interfere, in all innocence asking Ro what's going on - thus making herself the alpha female, because she's asking Ro to give her a status report (however informally).

Cut to the next scene were Ro (technically in command) and O'Brien continue to bicker about engineering decisions. Troi asks "What do you suggest?", at which point O'Brien starts to brownnose her, calling her "Sir" over Ro's not-quite-dead-yet body. That gives Troi the opening to do the humane thing and stop Ro from killing everybody in the secondary hull; she tells O'Brien to proceed, a not-quite-command which O'Brien eagerly takes for command with an enthusiastic "Yes, Sir!". Yet Ro continues to offer alternate ideas and act regardless of Troi's recommendations; to her, Troi is just "Counselor" throughout the exchange, not a superior officer.

Cut to the third scene. This is where Troi first indicates she "is" in charge; she dresses down Ro for her latest infarction, and even gets a rare "Sir" out of her. But not when giving her a direct order; it's back to "Counselor" there. It remains completely open whether Ro would really hold back ship separation just because Troi tells her to, and unlikely that Ro would consider her a superior officer.

I don't see Troi being in command there, either by protocol or by winner-of-pissing-contest authority. Instead, she is in control -thanks to the insidious ways of an experienced empath, one who knows how to best play the two hotheads against each other and make the superior officer (Ro) do the right thing as defined by the superior engineer (O'Brien).

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Old December 8 2011, 08:53 PM   #29
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Re: Can Data only receive order from Riker (& up) ?

Rank and position are separate concepts.

As Data was second officer, he was higher in the chain of command than either Crusher or Troi. Besides, placing both of them higher is silly, given neither had much engineering/tactical experience. In a crunch situation, such qualities are needed. If I were an E-D/E-E bridge officer, I'd feel more comfortable heading off Romulans with Picard at the helm (or Riker or Data, even Worf) than Troi or Crusher.
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Old December 8 2011, 09:39 PM   #30
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Re: Can Data only receive order from Riker (& up) ?

indolover wrote: View Post
If I were an E-D/E-E bridge officer
what

Not sure about Worf, the death toll would be pretty high, perhaps sufficiently on the enemy but the own ship could do better with another officer.
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