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Star Trek - Original Series The one that started it all...

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Old September 30 2012, 09:43 PM   #151
Christopher
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Re: Did Kirk captain any ship before Enterprise?

CoveTom wrote: View Post
First off, the Enterprise is not a naval vessel. It is a Starfleet vessel. Regardless of some of the similarities, Starfleet is not the modern military. They could certainly use terms differently in the 24th century.
Yes, they could, but this is a case where I wish they wouldn't. I'm not saying it's impossible, since clearly canon shows that it is used that way. I'm saying it was a bad idea on the part of those writers who chose to incorporate the concept. The whole "Enterprise as flagship" notion is one of those things that started in fandom and then got injected into later productions, and I don't think it should've been, partly because it's too fannish and partly because it's an awkward use of the word "flagship."
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Old September 30 2012, 09:59 PM   #152
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Re: Did Kirk captain any ship before Enterprise?

^ That's probably a fair assessment. But, as you say, canon has shown us that Starfleet did start using the term that way, so I think we're stuck with it.

Now, interestingly, I'm not sure we ever heard the term "flagship" applied to any version of the Enterprise other than the D. It certainly was never used in TOS or even the TOS movies that I recall. When a new ship was christened the Enterprise-A was, I believe, the point at which it seems that there began to be a special reverence attached. But I don't recall any others but the D actually being called that.

Which makes me wonder if Starfleet considered the B, or the C, or the E to be their flagship?
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Old September 30 2012, 10:10 PM   #153
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Re: Did Kirk captain any ship before Enterprise?

CoveTom wrote: View Post
Now, interestingly, I'm not sure we ever heard the term "flagship" applied to any version of the Enterprise other than the D. It certainly was never used in TOS or even the TOS movies that I recall.
Actually, Pike did call the Enterprise "our newest flagship" in the 2009 movie. Then again, this was the same guy who called the Federation an armada...

Also, the Mirror Universe NX-01 was called "the Terran flagship" in "In a Mirror, Darkly." Archer subsequently called the captured Defiant "my flagship," but he was thinking of himself as an emperor-to-be at that point. That implies that both conflicting uses of "flagship" were in use there. Although I think the mirror NX-01 was seen as part of larger battle groups here and there, and it was engaged in an active war, so maybe it was the "Terran flagship" in the sense that it was the command ship of the armada in joint operations.

Which makes me wonder if Starfleet considered the B, or the C, or the E to be their flagship?
First Contact has comm chatter referring to a ship other than the E-E as the flagship, but that's during the battle with the Borg cube so it's probably being used in the sense of the command ship of the battle group.
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Old September 30 2012, 10:34 PM   #154
J.T.B.
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Re: Did Kirk captain any ship before Enterprise?

I don't think any of that rules out the possibility, though. Sure, it's open to interpretation, but more than one way of looking at it is really my point.
That's fair enough.

Certainly the flagship of that task force or cruiser group or whatever you prefer. But I don't see how that extends to a flagship for the whole of Starfleet. Shirley that would involve a higher-ranking officer than a commodore, and the best evidence indicates that Starfleet's top officer is based in San Francisco, not aboard a starship somewhere.
Indeed, I don't think the idea of a "flagship for the whole of Starfleet" is even meaningful. A flagship is the command ship for a jointly operating group of ships, and most Starfleet vessels operate alone.
And even when they operate in groups it's been far from the whole service.

While some navies have historically concentrated almost their entire strength into one big fleet, wireless communications allowed the topmost military command to be located permanently near the nation's governmental leadership where it really needs to be. Plus the numbers of staff needed to run such complex organizations isn't limited by the number of bunks on a flagship. So while Jellicoe aboard Iron Duke or Yamamoto in Nagato or Yamato had great power and responsibility, the overall wartime strategy was being decided in London or Tokyo.

BTW, it could be said the US Navy did technically have a flagship during World War II: the little-known "gunboat" USS Dauntless (PG-61). A trim and pretty luxury yacht, she had been requisitioned by the Navy after Pearl Harbor and was snatched up by Admiral Ernest King. A somewhat self-important gentleman, his dual position as Commander-in-Chief US Fleet and Chief of Naval Operations allowed him a flagship (as CinC) and an official residence (as CNO) and he took both. So he visited his family at the Admiral's House (where the Vice President lives now) on weekends but slept most weeknights in his cabin aboard Dauntless pierside at the Washington Navy Yard, where she stayed for the duration of her wartime service:



And don't call me Surely.


Businesses have flagship stores, much bigger than their standard outlets, possessing greater stocks of inventory, and often found in prestigious shopping districts.

Auto manufacturers have flagship cars. Like the Chevy Corvette, an expensive signature vehicle with looks and power. when Chevy displays a company commercial, the Corvette is prominently featured.
What stores and automobile lines (and hotel chains and publishing companies and on and on) don't have is actual flag officers in actual ships playing important roles. Navies do, and Starfleet does. The possibility of confusion or at least imprecision seems obvious and undesirable.

Justin
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Old September 30 2012, 11:12 PM   #155
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Re: Did Kirk captain any ship before Enterprise?

Duncan MacLeod wrote: View Post
The closest we got to this in TOS was in "The Immunity Syndrome" when Spock called the Enterprise the finest starship in the fleet.
I might be misremembering, but i don't think he said that. The closest the TOS Enterprise ever came to being the best of anything was when Kirk remarked that Spock was considered the best first officer in the fleet.

Far from being the "finest starship in the fleet," a lot of times the Enterprise seemed to be getting the little shit jobs. yes they did some first contacts, but they also checked up on one, two or six person science missions, hailed around a bride, and other grunt work.

Of all the hero ships of the five series, the TOS Enterprise was the only one that wasn't newly launched, I really think that it was more of a "old workhorse."

J.T.B. wrote: View Post
... actual flag officers in actual ships [snip] and Starfleet does.
When was any Starfleet Admiral referred to as a "flag officer?"

I don't believe Starfleet uses that term.

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Old September 30 2012, 11:25 PM   #156
J.T.B.
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Re: Did Kirk captain any ship before Enterprise?

T'Girl wrote: View Post
When was any Starfleet Admiral referred to as a "flag officer?"

I don't believe Starfleet uses that term.
Como. George Stocker, "The Deadly Years": "Mr. Spock, I do not like what I'm about to say, but regulations demand it. And as a Starfleet flag officer, I must follow regulations."

Lt. Saavik, The Wrath of Khan: "General Order Fifteen, 'No flag officer shall beam into a hazardous area without armed escort.'"

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Old September 30 2012, 11:32 PM   #157
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Re: Did Kirk captain any ship before Enterprise?

The Wormhole wrote: View Post
A beaker full of death wrote: View Post
Captaindemotion wrote: View Post
captain of the flagship of the fleet.
The what now?
There were no flag officers on Enterprise.
Although I agree there is no reason to believe the original Enterprise 1701 was Starfleet's flagship, the term flagship does not just apply to ships carrying flag officers, even if that's where it originated.

In fact this site has a quote from someone from the US Navy describing the actual USS Enterprise as the flagship of the Navy.

Said another, "Every Navy needs a flagship, and the U.S.S. Enterprise should be ours! There must and will always be a ship named Enterprise."
Actually, that quote is not from the navy. In naval parlance, there is no such thing as a flagship of the navy. A flagship of a particular fleet or group is whatever ship the flag officer uses as his HQ.
One might justifiably argue that such terminology will change in the future. On the other hand, navies and their men tend to be extremely traditional.
Let's face it, the usage in modern Trek stems from the ignorance of the writers.
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Old September 30 2012, 11:53 PM   #158
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Re: Did Kirk captain any ship before Enterprise?

A beaker full of death wrote: View Post
Let's face it, the usage in modern Trek stems from the ignorance of the writers.
Or, as has been discussed here, from the deliberate choice of the writers to use the commonly used civilian connotation of the term as a way of indicating that the Enterprise was the best of the best, on the basis that Starfleet is not our navy or any navy and that by the 24th century, things change. Things the writers do differently from the way we would do them do not have to flow from ignorance. They can simply be choices.
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Old October 1 2012, 02:07 AM   #159
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Re: Did Kirk captain any ship before Enterprise?

The Canadian Coast Guard uses the term flagship in the "civilian" sense. Check it out. Also, this. And this press release about the Coast Guard's plans for a new flag ship.
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Old October 1 2012, 04:57 AM   #160
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Re: Did Kirk captain any ship before Enterprise?

Kirk is just too seasoned for it to be his first command, but it is possible. I think writer's bible is pretty powerful evidence since Gene is the creator of the show, it's his show, his universe.
On the other hand, if you discount that, I can stil see Enterprise as Kirk's first command. You're talking about a freaking medal of honor recepient and a few other high awards (if he got them before Court Martial). If he has shown tremendous aptitude, why hold him back? Also, Kirk loves Enterprise a little too much. You don't get the impression that he would ever leave her, he's the loyal type - but if some destoroyer was his first command, why did he leave? More oportunities?

I tend to lean towards him heaving a command earlier, but it was so insignificant, that Enterprise is his first real command. He might have done a patrol or two before getting the new assignment. It was like an internship.

BTW, according to background info, Kirk was an ensign while at the academy, and as soon as he graduated, he was promoted to LT.
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Old October 1 2012, 05:04 AM   #161
J.T.B.
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Re: Did Kirk captain any ship before Enterprise?

The Wormhole wrote: View Post
The Canadian Coast Guard uses the term flagship in the "civilian" sense.
Not surprising as it is a civilian organization, the ships' officers don't hold commissions and there are no flag or flag-equivalent officers.

Justin
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Old October 1 2012, 01:09 PM   #162
Robert Comsol
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Re: Did Kirk captain any ship before Enterprise?

Duncan MacLeod wrote: View Post
"The naval term would be "the pride of the fleet" or "the pride of the navy". The ship that wins all the awards for excellence and has for many years. I believe HMS Hood was considered the pride of the Royal Navy throughout the 20s and 30s.

The closest we got to this in TOS was in "The Immunity Syndrome" when Spock called the Enterprise the finest starship in the fleet."
Which then could explain that the title of "pride of the fleet" passed from Lexington to Enterprise prior to TMP where Starfleet uniforms (e.g. Admiral Kirk) now wear the insignia of the Enterprise placed in front of a circular insignia (another fine starship?). By the time of WOK it's again the insignia of Enterprise placed in front of what could be a rectangular insignia.

Bob
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Old October 1 2012, 02:45 PM   #163
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Re: Did Kirk captain any ship before Enterprise?

It wouldn't stretch credibility too much if we assume that Kirk "merely" served as a first officer somewhere prior to assuming command of the Enterprise IMO. Remember that most first officers on Star Trek are depicted as quite competent and seemingly capable of commanding a ship on their own already.

Was Spock ever depicted as any less competent as a commander in comparison to Kirk? I wouldn't think so, Spock just wasn't interested in commanding a ship. Given their age difference, Riker was probably less exprienced than Picard, but he was nonetheless qualified to command a ship (he had actually turned down a command of his own in order to serve as Enterprise's first officer). There was also no evidence whatsoever to support the assumption that Chakotay may have been in over his head as captain of Voyager.

The command capabilities of first officers are usually depicted as being on par with or almost equal to actual captains. So maybe Kirk has served as first officer of a starship for a couple of years before becoming captain of the Enterprise. This doesn't neccesarily mean that he was an inexperienced or even inept officer when assuming command of the ship.

Last edited by Ensign_Redshirt; October 2 2012 at 11:42 AM.
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Old October 1 2012, 05:43 PM   #164
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Re: Did Kirk captain any ship before Enterprise?

Ensign_Redshirt wrote: View Post
Was Spock ever depicted as any less competent as a commander in comparison to Kirk? I wouldn't think so, Spock just wasn't interested in commanding a ship.
Well, it varies depending on the depiction but, yes, he was at times portrayed as less competent as a commander than Kirk. The first example of that which comes to mind is "The Galileo Seven," when Spock is in command of a shuttle mission rather than the ship, but shows extreme limitations of his command abilities owing to his insistence on a "strictly logical" philosophy.
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Old October 1 2012, 07:01 PM   #165
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Re: Did Kirk captain any ship before Enterprise?

^But "The Galileo Seven" made a big deal about it being Spock's first command experience, and he did surmount that limitation at the end of the episode. So I don't think it's fair to say he was portrayed as less competent throughout the series. He just had a learning curve early on.
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