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Old September 16 2012, 09:12 AM   #1
Bry_Sinclair
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The Sagittarius - Officer Overload?

Ok, I'll start by saying I've never read the Vanguard series, but I have looked into it. When I learned of the Archer-Class I thought it was a genius idea, after all it makes sense to have small scouts going about the place in place of larger ships that would be easier to spot.

One thing I have found odd though for a ship with 14 people onboard, is the high proportion of officers: 9 officers to just 5 non-coms/enlisted.

Also for such a small ship, does it not seem weird to have a Captain and a Commander and a Lieutenant Commander onboard? I would think that such a small ship would be given to a Lieutenant Commander to command, but that's just me.
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Old September 16 2012, 10:58 AM   #2
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Re: The Sagittarius - Officer Overload?

Not to sure if the amount if officers to noncoms is to big, I have no idea what the ratio of officers/noncoms is in real life navy.

As for a captain actually commanding... regarding the sensitivity of Operation Vanguard, and the nature of the missions that Sagittarius was being sent on, I think you need someone with a lot more experience then a lt.commander.
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Old September 16 2012, 11:33 AM   #3
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Re: The Sagittarius - Officer Overload?

Honestly, I think all of the ships in Starfleet horribly disproportionate (by U.S. Navy standards), although I never realized how badly until I joined the Navy. That being said, Starfleet isn't the U.S. Navy or another navy. It's structured differently and therefore has different officer-to-enlisted ratio.
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Old September 16 2012, 12:42 PM   #4
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Re: The Sagittarius - Officer Overload?

I posted elsewhere I thought it odd only having 14 crew members and to run 24 hour operations a month to 3 months at a time. Especially, when its along the Romulan border, unknown borders etc.

I'll even buy into the fact that the ship can be very automated. That's fine if I'm going from Earth to Vulcan, but would I want to depend on automation running the ship along the border of possible adversaries.

Guess being in the military, and running 24 hours ops working 12 hours shifts (and then gettin rocket attacked on the 12 hours that you were off makes for a long day, let along a long month. I can tell you at times I wasn't at my best.

Thought it would be better to have a few more folks in the complement for the Sagittarius.

That being said, I love the Archer class concept, read the Vanguard series twice, Vanguard is one of the best series out there, so my beef with the crew complement size is just my nitpik.
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Old September 19 2012, 11:34 AM   #5
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Re: The Sagittarius - Officer Overload?

The officer-heavy contingent is probably well in line with the tiny ship's top secret mission. A "normal" Archer class scout might have a more balanced crew, but this one deals with issues requiring experts sworn to a high level of secrecy. Frankly, I think something similar was going on with the smallish USS Grissom in ST3: the extremely sensitive Genesis affair was best handled by a small and unoffensive vessel, but a veteran officer of unusually high rank was stationed aboard that wussy little ship.

It's standard fare in this sort of drama, really: the humble mechanic is in secret a high-ranking intelligence officer, his Greaser's Mate 3rd Class a highly trained assassin, the ship's cook a scientific genius in disguise. Only, what happens inside the hull of a starship stays inside the hull of a starship, so the masquerade would not have to involve fake ranks and uniforms and false moustaches and other such nonsense...

For all we know, the Sagittarius was an exceptional Archer also in terms of the mission lengths and operations ranges she was supposed to cope with. A "normal" ship would do well with the dozen people aboard because the missions would be shorter and less demanding. Or alternately, there would be two dozen people aboard, again because the short missions would not yet make the accommodation unbearably cramped.

In terms of pseudo-realistic pseudo-military drama, I would have appreciated if the stories made it clearer the Sagittarius was a much less capable vessel than a full starship. It would have been fascinating to see her rely heavily on outside sources of supplies, ammo and perhaps even fuel, there being a constant worry about making the next rendezvous with the Starfleet tender, purchasing the needed goods from the local merchants, or just plain reaching safety before the resources of the small ship were exhausted.

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Old September 19 2012, 05:02 PM   #6
Scout101
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Re: The Sagittarius - Officer Overload?

Officer ratio (and high ranks) IS really off there. For something that small, you really wouldn't have anything higher than Lt Cmdr at most running that, I'd expect. Unless it was a dead-end job for a bad Captain.

On a Navy sub, for example, you've got around 10% officers, maybe? Something like a dozen or so out of around 150.

As for shifts, you'd be unlikely to run 12 on/12 off, as well. People have to eat, bathroom breaks, move around to not get sluggish, etc. More likely you'd have 2 teams of 7, and they'd run on 6 hour rotations. At least, suspect that's how the Navy would handle that.

And then for emergencies or heavy lifting, it's all hands on deck...
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Old September 20 2012, 10:34 PM   #7
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Re: The Sagittarius - Officer Overload?

I am inclined to agree with Timo on this one. Unusual mission profile requires unusual crew assignments. Most Archer-class ships were likely more "balanced" in officer/rating ratios.
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Old September 20 2012, 10:46 PM   #8
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Re: The Sagittarius - Officer Overload?

^That's my take on it as well. All of the stuff in the Taurus Reach was supposed to be one of Starfleet's biggest top secret operations at that time, so IMO it makes sense that they might crew the ships with some higher ranked personnel than normal.
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Old September 21 2012, 11:50 AM   #9
Scout101
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Re: The Sagittarius - Officer Overload?

That, and Starfleet doesn't do enlisted ranks very well. Most of the stuff we see officers doing would be handled by enlisted personnel.
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Old September 21 2012, 04:22 PM   #10
Bry_Sinclair
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Re: The Sagittarius - Officer Overload?

JD wrote: View Post
^That's my take on it as well. All of the stuff in the Taurus Reach was supposed to be one of Starfleet's biggest top secret operations at that time, so IMO it makes sense that they might crew the ships with some higher ranked personnel than normal.
Ok, that makes sense. Ranking officers with appropriate clearance would make sense.

Scout101 wrote: View Post
That, and Starfleet doesn't do enlisted ranks very well. Most of the stuff we see officers doing would be handled by enlisted personnel.
True.

I could be imagining this, but in Mr Roddenberry's creation of Star Trek, did he not have that everyone would go through the Academy and therefore be an officer?

In one of the tech specs books (for Constitution, Saladin, Hermes and Ptolemy classes) it gives department breakdowns and has no enlisted ranks, only Ensign and above.
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Old September 21 2012, 05:10 PM   #11
Mike Winters
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Re: The Sagittarius - Officer Overload?

Bry_Sinclair wrote: View Post
JD wrote: View Post
^That's my take on it as well. All of the stuff in the Taurus Reach was supposed to be one of Starfleet's biggest top secret operations at that time, so IMO it makes sense that they might crew the ships with some higher ranked personnel than normal.
Ok, that makes sense. Ranking officers with appropriate clearance would make sense.

Scout101 wrote: View Post
That, and Starfleet doesn't do enlisted ranks very well. Most of the stuff we see officers doing would be handled by enlisted personnel.
True.

I could be imagining this, but in Mr Roddenberry's creation of Star Trek, did he not have that everyone would go through the Academy and therefore be an officer?

In one of the tech specs books (for Constitution, Saladin, Hermes and Ptolemy classes) it gives department breakdowns and has no enlisted ranks, only Ensign and above.
But that obviously did not survive to TOS itself as there were numerous references to crewmen and crewwomen.

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Old September 21 2012, 05:21 PM   #12
Christopher
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Re: The Sagittarius - Officer Overload?

Bry_Sinclair wrote: View Post
I could be imagining this, but in Mr Roddenberry's creation of Star Trek, did he not have that everyone would go through the Academy and therefore be an officer?
I think that was his view by the TNG era, which may be why Wesley was made an "acting ensign" instead of just a "crewman." But we did see occasional enlisted personnel in TNG, although it took them a while to settle on whether Chief O'Brien was actually a chief petty officer or a lieutenant who just happened to be the transporter chief. He was still wearing lieutenant's pips long after he was established as an enlisted man.


In one of the tech specs books (for Constitution, Saladin, Hermes and Ptolemy classes) it gives department breakdowns and has no enlisted ranks, only Ensign and above.
That would've been Franz Joseph's Star Fleet Technical Manual, which was not created by any of the actual show's creative staff, and which Roddenberry came to think poorly of later in life.
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Old September 21 2012, 05:46 PM   #13
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Re: The Sagittarius - Officer Overload?

Small ships (especially) with very specific mission profiles would necessitate a lot of cross training and specialisation. It wouldn't be unlikely to find that all crew were certified to some level for piloting, navigation, tactical, communications and probably have some engineering skills too. Add in science specialists in various disciplines, medics and so on, and you are automatically looking at older more experienced personnel, and this will likely mean that they have advanced in rank also...
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Old September 21 2012, 05:52 PM   #14
EmperorKalan
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Re: The Sagittarius - Officer Overload?

Christopher wrote: View Post
Bry_Sinclair wrote: View Post
I could be imagining this, but in Mr Roddenberry's creation of Star Trek, did he not have that everyone would go through the Academy and therefore be an officer?
I think that was his view by the TNG era, which may be why Wesley was made an "acting ensign" instead of just a "crewman." But we did see occasional enlisted personnel in TNG, although it took them a while to settle on whether Chief O'Brien was actually a chief petty officer or a lieutenant who just happened to be the transporter chief. He was still wearing lieutenant's pips long after he was established as an enlisted man.
It's been a long time since I've read it, but I recall something in The Making of Star Trek to the effect that Rodenberry (at least originally) envisioned everyone as equivalent to astronauts and therefore as officers. They slid around that with "crewman" and "crewwoman" for various roles that (in a real-life navy) would have been done by enlisted personnel, without ever being explicit about ranks outside of ensigns and the sleeve decoration brigade. Certainly there was never any explicit rank insignia for crewmen/women.

In one of the tech specs books (for Constitution, Saladin, Hermes and Ptolemy classes) it gives department breakdowns and has no enlisted ranks, only Ensign and above.
That would've been Franz Joseph's Star Fleet Technical Manual, which was not created by any of the actual show's creative staff, and which Roddenberry came to think poorly of later in life.
Yes, but very likely he was taking his cue from the early "everybody the equivalent of an officer" concept, if taking it too literally. I remember noting that as odd way back when it first came out.
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Old September 21 2012, 10:56 PM   #15
Mark_Nguyen
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Re: The Sagittarius - Officer Overload?

Okay, exercise time. From Memory Beta: http://memory-beta.wikia.com/wiki/US...rius_(NCC-1894)

Assume that the Archer-class scout NEEDS to have the list of crew below aboard under normal circumstances:

Commanding Officer
First Officer
Navigator / Helmsman
Security Chief
Tactical officer
Science officer
Chief Medical Officer
Medical technician
Chief Engineer
Senior Engineer's Mate
Engineer
Field Scout x 3

There was the position of second officer, but in the history of Starfleet I'm almost certain that this was never an independent position aboard ship under regular circumstances, but rather a title that was combined with another position (i.e. Scotty, Data, Tuvok, etc.). So I've removed it and kept the overall crew count at 14 per other references. As it stands, for the most part in the TOS era even a first officer generally doubles as something else. Similarly, the Sagittarius obstensibly had three "field scouts" aboard, though later on a "recon scout" was assigned, perhaps replacing one of the others, so we'll just keep the over scout count at three for the purposes of this exercise.

Assign a fitting rank to each of the above positions. Feel free to assign a crewman to an officer's position or vice versa, but the overall positions or number thereof should remain the same. Discuss.

Mark
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