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

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Old November 8 2012, 09:32 PM   #1
Pawleygirl
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Thine Own Self mistake?

I watched the episode "Thine Own Self" and I have a question. Troi decides to take the bridge officer's test after she sees Crusher in command on a night shift. She eventually passes and is promoted to Commander. She is seen wearing 3 full pips and is called Commander, even though Lt. Commanders are often called Commander. Correct me if I'm wrong, but didn't she finish the series and TNG movies as Lt. Commander? And why wouldn't Data, who's a bridge officer, be a Commander too. And yet Crusher is Commander. I'm so confused....help me! LOL
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Old November 8 2012, 09:49 PM   #2
OmahaStar
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Re: Thine Own Self mistake?

Both Lt. Commander and full Commander are called "Commander" just as Lieutenant j.g. and full Lieutenant are called "Lieutenant." Troi was a Lt. Commander when the series started. When not addressed as Counselor, she would have been addressed by her rank. Both Lt. Commander Troi and Commander Troi are appropriate.

She is promoted from Lt. Commander to full Commander in that episode. After that, she sports three full pips, instead of two gold pips and one black pip with gold outline.

http://movies.trekcore.com/gallery/a...ionshd1339.jpg

There is a screen cap in HD from Generations with Deanna right before she crashes the bloody ship. She is wearing three full pips ... as in, full Commander.

At that time, Data had not taken the test to become a full Commander. So, Deanna outranked him.
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Old November 8 2012, 10:08 PM   #3
Pawleygirl
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Re: Thine Own Self mistake?

The Valeyard wrote: View Post
Both Lt. Commander and full Commander are called "Commander" just as Lieutenant j.g. and full Lieutenant are called "Lieutenant." Troi was a Lt. Commander when the series started. When not addressed as Counselor, she would have been addressed by her rank. Both Lt. Commander Troi and Commander Troi are appropriate.

She is promoted from Lt. Commander to full Commander in that episode. After that, she sports three full pips, instead of two gold pips and one black pip with gold outline.

http://movies.trekcore.com/gallery/a...ionshd1339.jpg

There is a screen cap in HD from Generations with Deanna right before she crashes the bloody ship. She is wearing three full pips ... as in, full Commander.

At that time, Data had not taken the test to become a full Commander. So, Deanna outranked him.
Okay, but in Star Trek Nemesis just before Picard beams over to stop Shinzon from using the weapon, he tells Data that he's in command and not Troi. So why would that happen if she outranks him? Why wouldn't Data take the test anyway?
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Old November 8 2012, 10:11 PM   #4
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Re: Thine Own Self mistake?

Just because you outrank another officer doesn't mean you default to taking command over them...especially if one officer is a Command officer (TNG redshirt) and the other isn't. Technically the captain can designate anyone they want to be in command of the ship, anyhow.

As for why Data never took the test...you'd have to ask him.
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Old November 8 2012, 10:13 PM   #5
Pavonis
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Re: Thine Own Self mistake?

Data is a line officer, Troi is a staff officer. Troi is part of the medical staff. Just because she's certified to command doesn't mean she's part of the chain of command. Data is part of the chain as second officer (CO Picard, XO Riker, then Data), and he has more experience in command.

Rank and position are two different concepts. Troi had the rank, but not the position.
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Old November 8 2012, 10:14 PM   #6
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Re: Thine Own Self mistake?

Pawleygirl wrote: View Post
Okay, but in Star Trek Nemesis just before Picard beams over to stop Shinzon from using the weapon, he tells Data that he's in command and not Troi. So why would that happen if she outranks him? Why wouldn't Data take the test anyway?
Troi could have taken that test any time during the previous six years, if she wanted to. Data could take it at any time if he wanted to. He is comfortable where he is, why change things? He's already the second officer.

As to why Data would be in charge ... Captain's discression. Doctor Crusher is also a full commander. She could have been left in charge as well.

Though Troi is a full commander, she is not a "line officer" ... She can step in if she feels the need, but otherwise, her speciality is in the medical field (counseling).

Again, it's the Captain's discression. Picard wanted Data to be in charge while he was away. He can do that. If he wanted to, he could leave an Ensign in charge of the bridge.

Besides, with hostilities going on, the very real possibility that a ship might go boom boom, would it be more logical to have an officer with boom boom and military experience, or Deanna Troi?
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Old November 8 2012, 10:33 PM   #7
Pavonis
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Re: Thine Own Self mistake?

I don't think you need to take a test to get promoted specifically to commander. Pulaski held the rank but definitely wasn't interested in command.

I suspect that Troi's taking of the test and her subsequent promotion aren't directly related. She may have been a few "points" shy of eligibility for promotion to commander rank, and by taking the test she earned the promotion. She might have earned the same promotion by merely serving another year or two without ending up qualified for command.

As for Data's rank, he literally lacked ambition, and Starfleet Command was probably reluctant to promote Data any further. I don't think he stalled out at lieutenant commander just because he didn't take a quick test. Data demonstrated aptitude for command when it fell to him, and he was a line officer, but did he possess the other qualities needed for higher rank and position? Starfleet brass probably didn't think so.
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Old November 8 2012, 10:41 PM   #8
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Re: Thine Own Self mistake?

Pavonis wrote: View Post
I don't think you need to take a test to get promoted specifically to commander.
If you are a 'blue shirt' (i.e. a science officer, counselor or doctor), I think that's the only time this special test is required. A command or operations officer who is a LCDR, and wishes to be promoted, probably does not have to take the test. In the episode it is implied that the test is only for blue-uniformed officers, who are outside the chain of command.
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Old November 9 2012, 01:26 AM   #9
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Re: Thine Own Self mistake?

Data was always listed as the ship's 3rd in command, regardless of rank. Note how in Gambit, when Picard & Riker are both missing, he is the acting captain. I'm certain Data had to have taken the exam Troi took, in order to hold that position
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Old November 9 2012, 09:43 AM   #10
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Re: Thine Own Self mistake?

The Valeyard wrote: View Post
At that time, Data had not taken the test to become a full Commander. So, Deanna outranked him.
Data was obviously already qualified as a bridge command officer in the first episode, he was the second officer of the ship. LaForge, while still a lieutenant, was a qualified bridge command officer as well. It's not clear when Worf obtained this rating, certainly prior to his taking command of the Defiant for the first time.

I think Data remained a lieutenant commander for as long as he did because of his actions in Pen Pal.

Pavonis wrote: View Post
I suspect that Troi's taking of the test and her subsequent promotion aren't directly related.
Maybe not, Deanna may have hit a barrier in terms of her career advancement. She couldn't climb above lieutenant commander while being "only" a councilor. If she want to make commander she would need to add to her skill set. Taking the bridge command officer's test may have been a means to an end.

Deanna wouldn't necessarily have had a particular interest in commanding a starship, but she needed to do something to advance. Her conversation with Beverly on the bridge could have been Deanna exploring her options.

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Old November 9 2012, 10:20 AM   #11
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Re: Thine Own Self mistake?

Data was always listed as the ship's 3rd in command, regardless of rank.
...Although in a funny slip of tongue, Picard calls Data his "second in command" in "The Battle", even though he obviously means "second in command after Riker".

Troi could have taken that test any time during the previous six years, if she wanted to.
...And if she had taken it at Ensign rank, she would probably have been promoted to junior Lieutenant as the result. The test does not seem to be related to rank as such: it merely clears the officer to perform the menial task of standing bridge watches, plus it gives her or him some brownie points that count toward the next promotion.

People like McCoy and Pulaski did not appear to have taken that test at any point. People like Bashir probably took it at an earliest opportunity, perhaps even all the way back in the Academy.

OTOH, people who don't wear blue may have had a test like this as mandatory in their basic Academy training already. Data was definitely qualified to stand bridge watches despite holding lower rank than Crusher and Troi, and despite never referring to having taken the test the way Crusher and Troi did.

It's not clear when Worf obtained this rating, certainly prior to his taking command of the Defiant for the first time.
Worf was placed in command of the saucer section in the pilot episode already, possibly indicating he had the course or its requirements down pat from the very start.

I think Data remained a lieutenant commander for as long as he did because of his actions in Pen Pal.
He always was slow to seek for promotion, though, as per the career history he outlines in "Datalore". And "Pen Pals" took place out in the sticks, on a two-month survey mission, where all things need not have been reported back to HQ... Data personally offended Picard there, up to and including refusing a direct order to cut communications with Sarjenka and instead piping those into the loudspeakers - but in subsequent episodes, Picard did not feel the slightest bit offended by Data, and may quite well have refused to file any sort of a reprimand against him.

She couldn't climb above lieutenant commander while being "only" a councilor.
One wonders... She did remain at that position after obtaining the rank. And we have seen doctors holding all sorts of rank from Ensign to Admiral. Nothing on screen precludes career-specific ceilings, but OTOH nothing actually requires them, either.

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Old November 9 2012, 07:58 PM   #12
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Re: Thine Own Self mistake?

I think we're confusing two things here.

The test is referred to as the "bridge officers test." It certifies that you know the basics necessary to pull a duty shift on the bridge. It is never stated that it confers upon you any particular rank automatically.

As has been mentioned here, Pulaski was a full commander, but she obviously had no interest in training to command a bridge watch. OTOH, Data was a lieutenant commander, but he was third in command of the ship and clearly commanded on many occasions.

My interpretation is this: If you are a command-track officer, then you learn bridge operations as part of your normal training and don't have to take a specific "bridge officers test." If, however, you are an officer who is not in the command track, such as sciences or medical, you can choose to supplement your training and take the test. I would also guess Picard simply thought Troi's passing of the test was a good time to also promote her to full commander, not that passing the test is what gets you to that rank.
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Old November 10 2012, 01:44 AM   #13
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Re: Thine Own Self mistake?

Saved Earth once or twice, the ship on a constant basis, and is the go-to guy for your average weekly problem. Gets outranked by a shrink who crashed the ship.

Just doesn't pay to be a 'droid in the fleet. Glass ceiling.
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Old November 11 2012, 06:57 PM   #14
Mojochi
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Re: Thine Own Self mistake?

CoveZombie wrote: View Post
I think we're confusing two things here.

The test is referred to as the "bridge officers test." It certifies that you know the basics necessary to pull a duty shift on the bridge. It is never stated that it confers upon you any particular rank automatically.
I'm afraid the episode makes it more confusing than that. In the opening scene, the whole subject is brought up between Troi & Crusher wherein Troi asks her why "She put herself though all the extra work" in order to become a commander, which she clearly meant as the rank of commander, because she then adds that the rank is unnecessary for being a CMO

Then when she brings it up with Riker, say pairs the both "Taking the bridge officers exam & becoming a commander" Now it's plausible to say she meant commander in the general sense of someone who will commannd, but the previous conversation tends to contraindicate that. She sounds as though she knows taking the exam makes her a commander by rank. Then as soon as she passes, Riker calls her commander, the way one would by addressing them by rank

Now it's obvious that bridge command is a position that can be held at ranks lower than commander, & it's also possible that a sciences or medical officer could hold a higher rank than commander but not be qualified to command a ship, unless they take the additional testing, and such would not demote them to a commander rank.

So it's obvious that the exam cannot be related to promoting to commander, yet in this episode, her case makes it sound like that, that she will obtain the rank of commander by passing this test for serving as a bridge officer

Frankly, she should have never been given command during Disaster either. Her rank is not relative to command duties, and as such, her qualifying herself for command duties cannot be relative to obtaining this new rank, even though that's what happened. It must be be unrelated, beyond possibly being a compensatory rank bump for the extra training

It's some wishy washy gray area that is never cleared up
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Old November 11 2012, 07:58 PM   #15
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Re: Thine Own Self mistake?

So, in other words, Chief Engineer Logan needs to STFU.
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