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Old October 10 2012, 04:12 PM   #76
CorporalCaptain
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Re: does a starfleet ship always have a CO with the rank of captain?

Timo wrote: View Post
In both Borg incursions into Federation space, Admirals were in command of ships that flagged larger battle groups.
What evidence do we have for this? In neither instance was the Admiral seen sitting in the center chair of the starship, nor was there proof that a CO of Captain rank would have been absent.

It is quite possible and even likely that the Admirals were commanding from abroad the ships, not commanding the ships themselves.

Timo Saloniemi
I'm sure it's open to interpretation, but it sure looks to me like Admiral Hanson is in a center seat at Wolf 359: http://tng.trekcore.com/gallery/thum...lbum=74&page=6. Is that a bridge railing behind him?
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Old October 10 2012, 04:27 PM   #77
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Re: does a starfleet ship always have a CO with the rank of captain?

I don't have any problem with admirals commanding starships. It suited the story of TMP (and Khan) to have the rank associated with deskjob duty, but it doesn't necessarily mean every admiral HAS to be relegated purely to deskjob duty.

The idea was that Kirk was a victim of his own reputation and the powers that be wanted him to pump out cadets in his own image. Other captains that rose up to the admiralty might have been allowed a more active role than that, because you can only have one person in Kirk's capacity.

One thing Gene wanted to do in TOS was flatten out the org chart. That's why there's no ranking braid for ensign. We also never saw a lt. jg. in TOS although I think the single dashed braid is canon.

The admiralty in Star Trek wasn't shown that often because it made Starfleet feel too bureaucratic. It suits the universe for the higher-ups to be more active. It's boring to watch orders cascade their way down through the chain of command.

The captain going on away missions is something that wouldn't happen in the real world, for instance, and the attempt to address that with a stronger first-officer in TNG failed. Picard was supposed to lead more from the conn. Frakes was supposed to be the swashbuckler. However, since Patrick Stewart had more charisma, he wound up going down to the planet surface as much as Kirk.
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Old October 10 2012, 04:28 PM   #78
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Re: does a starfleet ship always have a CO with the rank of captain?

Conscious Circuits wrote: View Post
Timo wrote: View Post
In both Borg incursions into Federation space, Admirals were in command of ships that flagged larger battle groups.
What evidence do we have for this? In neither instance was the Admiral seen sitting in the center chair of the starship, nor was there proof that a CO of Captain rank would have been absent.

It is quite possible and even likely that the Admirals were commanding from abroad the ships, not commanding the ships themselves.

Timo Saloniemi
I'm sure it's open to interpretation, but it sure looks to me like Admiral Hanson is in a center seat at Wolf 359: http://tng.trekcore.com/gallery/thum...lbum=74&page=6. Is that a bridge railing behind him?
Looks like Hanson was in the center seat to me as well.
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Old October 10 2012, 04:28 PM   #79
J.T.B.
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Re: does a starfleet ship always have a CO with the rank of captain?

I'd think a movie and a TV show would be fundamentally different in the above respect. A movie doesn't need a followership - people come to see it once and won't get their money back even if they can't figure out who outranks whom. But if a TV show is too weird for the audience, it won't develop a following, except on those rare occasions where Dada is the word and things like consistency or story logic would ruin the charm of the concept.
OTOH, the TV show will have much more time to clarify or explain the relationships between the characters, if they need explaining. But who outranks whom should be pretty obvious based on character interactions, regardless of titles.

During WWII, Admirals did command ships, but they were always flagships of battle groups and task forces - it's probably considered a purely wartime TDY posting, as it appears to be in Trek. I don't know if they still do it today with our carrier fleets. I'm inclined to say it is a super-rarity, if it's even done at all any more.
It's definitely still done and not uncommon, but to be clear, the admiral does not command a ship. The admiral commands a group of ships (carrier or expeditionary strike group now, task group/force in WW2, battle squadron in WW1 etc.) The ships each have their own captain, and even though the admiral lives and works on one of the ships, his relationship with that captain is in theory supposed to be no different from the captains of the other ships.

Justin
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Old October 10 2012, 04:32 PM   #80
137th Gebirg
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Re: does a starfleet ship always have a CO with the rank of captain?

Timo wrote: View Post
In both Borg incursions into Federation space, Admirals were in command of ships that flagged larger battle groups.
What evidence do we have for this? In neither instance was the Admiral seen sitting in the center chair of the starship, nor was there proof that a CO of Captain rank would have been absent.

It is quite possible and even likely that the Admirals were commanding from abroad the ships, not commanding the ships themselves.

Timo Saloniemi
Admiral J.P. Hanson (George Murdock) died on the Melbourne at Wolf 359 in 2366 (Best of Both Worlds).

Admiral Hayes (Jack Shearer) was on an unnamed vessel that was destroyed at Sector 001 in 2373, followed by Picard's take-over of the battle group (First Contact). Hayes apparently escaped and survived, as he sent Janeway a message in ST: Voyager a year later in 2374. Kind of irritated by that, as I always thought he was a bit of a douche.
J.T.B. wrote: View Post
During WWII, Admirals did command ships, but they were always flagships of battle groups and task forces - it's probably considered a purely wartime TDY posting, as it appears to be in Trek. I don't know if they still do it today with our carrier fleets. I'm inclined to say it is a super-rarity, if it's even done at all any more.
It's definitely still done and not uncommon, but to be clear, the admiral does not command a ship. The admiral commands a group of ships (carrier or expeditionary strike group now, task group/force in WW2, battle squadron in WW1 etc.) The ships each have their own captain, and even though the admiral lives and works on one of the ships, his relationship with that captain is in theory supposed to be no different from the captains of the other ships.

Justin
Thanks for the clarification. Makes sense.
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Old October 10 2012, 05:27 PM   #81
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Re: does a starfleet ship always have a CO with the rank of captain?

137th Gebirg wrote: View Post
Both Worlds).Admiral Hayes (Jack Shearer) was on an unnamed vessel that was destroyed at Sector 001 in 2373, followed by Picard's take-over of the battle group (First Contact). Hayes apparently escaped and survived, as he sent Janeway a message in ST: Voyager a year later in 2374. Kind of irritated by that, as I always thought he was a bit of a douche.
I'm glad I'm not the only person who feels this way. Perhaps it has something to do with the characters he's played during his acting career. Hayes was a jerk. Ruwon was a jerk, too. He also played the district attorney in The Negotiator, who was a total asshole.
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Old October 10 2012, 07:50 PM   #82
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Re: does a starfleet ship always have a CO with the rank of captain?

^^^ I don't think that was his fault, per se. I think he was just written as one more of those clueless Starfleet bureaucrats who lost sight of what it was about, not having sat on the bridge of a starship, either for a very long time, or not at all. The Captains of the ships we watched every week were the heroes but, having to occasionally answer to authority, were generally given idiots as managers. Happens in real life all the time!
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Old October 10 2012, 08:12 PM   #83
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Re: does a starfleet ship always have a CO with the rank of captain?

So what about a vice admiral what do they do if the actual admirals are at starfleet HQ giving orders. Do they just give the order along to the captains? What about a rear admiral they all can't be in starfeelt HQ doing deskjob duty, some of them have to command ships. Also what if there is a group of starships i.e a fleet you would have a clash of authority with all the captains about you need an admiral to bring them together.
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Old October 10 2012, 09:07 PM   #84
137th Gebirg
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Re: does a starfleet ship always have a CO with the rank of captain?

I'm not entirely sure about the responsibilities of mid-grade admirals. The fleet admirals usually serve on the Joint Chiefs. Perhaps there are some BBS users in the Navy who could answer this more accurately than I, but there are different commands. Surface warfare, submarine command, SEAL deployment, etc., also divided up into regions, like Pacific Command, Atlantic Command. I would hazard to guess the Rear Admirals (lower half) command individual battle groups and task forces. Rear Admirals (upper half) command the regions and zones. Vice Admirals may act as a conduit from the Fleet Admirals and Joint Chiefs to the Rear Admirals to distribute orders and information. Again, I'm pulling this pretty much out of my ass, but if I were to guess at the job descriptions for the different grades, that's how I would envision it.

Applying that to the world of Starfleet, however, would probably be broken down by neutral zone and border region defenses, as well as a separate command designated purely for exploration and another for internal research (scientific tasks, stellar cartography, archaeological and xenobiological expeditions) and infrastructure support.
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Old October 10 2012, 09:28 PM   #85
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Re: does a starfleet ship always have a CO with the rank of captain?

I don't think we're ever told what ship Hansen was attached to.
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Old October 10 2012, 10:23 PM   #86
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Re: does a starfleet ship always have a CO with the rank of captain?

The Melbourne was one of the first ships destroyed at Wolf 359, it's the Excelsior that has it's saucer blown off in "Emissary". Hanson couldn't have been on that one.
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Old October 10 2012, 11:07 PM   #87
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Re: does a starfleet ship always have a CO with the rank of captain?

I thought the only significance of the Melbourne, when the wreckage was recognized, was that Riker had refused command of it, the implication being that if he had accepted, he would have had his ship blown out from under him and likely died. Recognition of the wreckage had that significance, not a revelation that Hanson was dead.
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Old October 10 2012, 11:27 PM   #88
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Re: does a starfleet ship always have a CO with the rank of captain?

Nope. I'm sure there were many smaller ships like the Defiant that only needed a commander as CO.

But the more important ships like the Enterprise at least need a captain to command it. The experience is required.
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Old October 11 2012, 01:26 AM   #89
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Re: does a starfleet ship always have a CO with the rank of captain?

BillJ wrote: View Post
I don't think we're ever told what ship Hansen was attached to.
Hanson was seen travelling aboard an Excelsior class ship in part 1, which presumably is what he took with him to Wolf 359. The ship was unnamed, according to Memory Alpha.
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Old October 11 2012, 02:15 AM   #90
J.T.B.
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Re: does a starfleet ship always have a CO with the rank of captain?

137th Gebirg wrote: View Post
I'm not entirely sure about the responsibilities of mid-grade admirals. The fleet admirals usually serve on the Joint Chiefs. Perhaps there are some BBS users in the Navy who could answer this more accurately than I, but there are different commands. Surface warfare, submarine command, SEAL deployment, etc., also divided up into regions, like Pacific Command, Atlantic Command. I would hazard to guess the Rear Admirals (lower half) command individual battle groups and task forces. Rear Admirals (upper half) command the regions and zones. Vice Admirals may act as a conduit from the Fleet Admirals and Joint Chiefs to the Rear Admirals to distribute orders and information. Again, I'm pulling this pretty much out of my ass, but if I were to guess at the job descriptions for the different grades, that's how I would envision it.
Well before WW2 it was pretty straightforward for the US Navy, there were four admirals (the CNO in Washington, the CinC Pacific Fleet, CinC Atlantic Fleet and CinC Asiatic Fleet) and three vice admirals (Commander, Battle Force, Commander, Scouting Force and Commander, Aircraft, Battle Force). Everything else was real admirals. After the war started the number increased, but basically you had four star admirals as fleet CinCs (US, Atlantic, Pacific) and major forces (Europe, South Pacific, Central Pacific...). Vice admirals were in charge of numbered fleets (4th, 7th, 8th...), major naval districts or sea frontiers, major area commands, major type commands (Air Force, Pacific Fleet; Submarines, Pacific Fleet...), major bureaus (Personnel, Aeronautics, Medicine, Yards and Docks...) and as deputies to four-star admirals. In Dec. 1944 three admirals were promoted to fleet admiral, which bumped a few vice admirals up to admiral. In 1945 the numbered fleet commanders were promoted to admiral, too. At the end of the war there were 3 fleet admirals, 10 admirals, 37 vice admirals (1 medical, 1 civil engineer), 219 rear admirals (15 medical, 14 supply, 1 chaplain, 1 dental, 10 civil engineer), and 127 commodores (7 medical, 5 supply, 8 civil engineer).

Today, the last figures I can find for the navy show: 10 admirals, 37 vice admirals, 74 rear admirals (upper) and 123 rear admirals (lower).

The admirals are fairly straightforward. They are split about evenly between joint and navy-specific positions:
  • Vice Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff
  • Chief of Naval Operations
  • Vice Chief of Naval Operations
  • Director, Naval Nuclear Propulsion
  • Commander, U.S. European Command
  • Commander, U.S. Pacific Command
  • Commander, U.S. Special Operations Command
  • Commander, U.S. Fleet Forces Command
  • Commander, U.S. Naval Forces Europe
  • Commander, U.S. Pacific Fleet

Vice admirals are a more diverse bag. A lot of staff and joint positions, and you can tell from the titles the kind of huge bureaucracies involved. They change frequently, but here is a fair sampling of current/recent three-star admiral posts:
  • Chief of Naval Personnel
  • Chief of Navy Reserve
  • Commander 3rd Fleet
  • Commander 5th Fleet
  • Commander 6th Fleet
  • Commander 7th Fleet
  • Commander 10th Fleet/US Fleet Cyber Command
  • Commander, Joint Task Force National Capital Region Medical
  • Commander, Naval Air Forces
  • Commander, Naval Air Systems Command
  • Commander, Naval Sea Systems Command
  • Commander, Naval Surface Forces
  • Commander, Navy Installations Command
  • Commander, Submarine Forces
  • Director, Defense Logistics Agency
  • Director, Defense Security Cooperation Agency
  • Director, Navy Staff
  • Director for Operations, Joint Staff
  • Deputy Chief of Staff, Capability Development, NATO Supreme Allied Commander Transformation
  • Deputy Commander, US European Command
  • Deputy Commander, US Fleet Forces Command
  • Deputy Commander, US Southern Command
  • Deputy Commander, US Strategic Command
  • Deputy CNO, Fleet Readiness and Logistics
  • Deputy CNO, Information Dominance
  • Deputy CNO, Integration of Capabilities and Resources
  • Deputy CNO, Operations, Plans & Strategy
  • Deputy CNO, Warfare Systems
  • Deputy Director for Strategic Operational Planning National Counterterrorism Center
  • Deputy to the Commander for Military Operations, United States Africa Command
  • Judge Advocate General of the Navy
  • Naval Inspector General
  • Principal Deputy Director of Cost Assessment and Program Evaluation, Office of the Secretary of Defense
  • Principal Military Deputy to the Assistant Secretary of the Navy (Research, Development, and Acquisition)
  • President, National Defense University
  • Program Executive Officer, F-35 Lightning II Program
  • Superintendent, U.S. Naval Academy
  • Surgeon General of the Navy
  • United States Military Representative, NATO Military Committee

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