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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 November 25 2012, 06:59 PM   #16
Ro_Laren
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Re: data department change in chain of command

CoveTom wrote: View Post
We've seen from the TOS movies that you can have more than one person of Captain rank serving aboard a starship. By the time of the TOS crew's assignment to the Enterprise-A at the end of TVH, you had Kirk, Spock, and Scotty all holding the rank of Captain even though only Kirk actually was in command of the ship. So why couldn't Riker have retained the rank of Captain but still been first officer?
That always annoyed me... that there could be a "Captain of Engineering." Very unrealistic!
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Old November 25 2012, 08:50 PM   #17
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Re: data department change in chain of command

^ Why? As has been pointed out here in this thread, the real life U.S.S. Enterprise of the United States Navy has two officers of Captain rank serving on board. Why should it be any different within Starfleet?
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Old November 25 2012, 09:11 PM   #18
Melakon
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Re: data department change in chain of command

CoveTom wrote: View Post
. . .it doesn't make sense to me that he got promoted to the rank of Captain and then got bumped back down to Commander. . . So why couldn't Riker have retained the rank of Captain but still been first officer?
Again, it was a field promotion.

"Commander Riker, I hereby promote you to the field commission of Captain. The Enterprise is your ship now. Congratulations." -- Admiral Hanson

Hanson died during the Battle of Wolf 359. It's possible official orders were never drawn up. It's also possible Riker personally requested a reduction of rank after learning Picard would return to the Enterprise.

For further information, see Memory Alpha's article on provisional officers, which specifically mentions Riker's situation. http://en.memory-alpha.org/wiki/Provisional_officer

Last edited by Melakon; November 25 2012 at 09:50 PM.
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Old November 25 2012, 10:24 PM   #19
BillJ
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Re: data department change in chain of command

CoveTom wrote: View Post
^ Why? As has been pointed out here in this thread, the real life U.S.S. Enterprise of the United States Navy has two officers of Captain rank serving on board. Why should it be any different within Starfleet?
Because TV executives think general audiences are too stupid to wrap their minds around such a concept. Same reason we got Romulans with ridges.
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Old November 25 2012, 11:02 PM   #20
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Re: data department change in chain of command

Last week, my building principal was gone deer hunting. His senior assistant principal was in nominal command of the building. When our principal returns tomorrow, the vice principal won't go to another high school to be principal, he'll just return to being the vice principal.

I suspect that the only reason that Data was put in the red uniform was to be a "fuck you" to Riker.
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Old November 26 2012, 12:36 AM   #21
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Re: data department change in chain of command

Jellico was also a little bit of a uniform nazi.
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Old November 26 2012, 12:38 AM   #22
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Re: data department change in chain of command

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Jellico was also a little bit of a uniform nazi.
Jellico got Troi to put on the uniform. He will always be a hero to me.
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Old November 26 2012, 02:48 AM   #23
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Re: data department change in chain of command

While Troi's uniform pre-Jelico may have been for titillation more than anything else, in the show it DOES make a degree of sense.

She's a counselor, her primary job is to sit with people and talk about things in a relaxing, comfortable, environment. How at easy is someone going to be sitting there talking to a woman in uniform holding a higher rank than you? It might provide an ounce of pressure on someone that could make a counseling session difficult.

Getting the ACTRESS in a "normal uniform" was a good thing, sure, as it no longer diminished her character and used her simply as eye candy. (Which, really, compared to T'Pol and Seven, Troi was the best of the eye-candy women in the modern-Trek series in how she was treated on the show.) But it could certainly be argued if getting TROI into a regular uniform made sense in-universe when you consider what her job really was.
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Old November 27 2012, 12:58 PM   #24
MacLeod
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Re: data department change in chain of command

Melakon wrote: View Post
CoveTom wrote: View Post
. . .it doesn't make sense to me that he got promoted to the rank of Captain and then got bumped back down to Commander. . . So why couldn't Riker have retained the rank of Captain but still been first officer?
Again, it was a field promotion.

"Commander Riker, I hereby promote you to the field commission of Captain. The Enterprise is your ship now. Congratulations." -- Admiral Hanson

Hanson died during the Battle of Wolf 359. It's possible official orders were never drawn up. It's also possible Riker personally requested a reduction of rank after learning Picard would return to the Enterprise.

For further information, see Memory Alpha's article on provisional officers, which specifically mentions Riker's situation. http://en.memory-alpha.org/wiki/Provisional_officer
I would say the later is more likely as surely the log of the communication would be sufficent record of the promotion.
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Old November 27 2012, 03:47 PM   #25
Maniarek
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Re: data department change in chain of command

CoveTom wrote: View Post
^ Why? As has been pointed out here in this thread, the real life U.S.S. Enterprise of the United States Navy has two officers of Captain rank serving on board. Why should it be any different within Starfleet?
I think for one thing US Navy aircraft carriers carry many more personnel onboard (5500+) thus necessitating two Captains due to the larger number of people, departments, functions, etc. to oversee.

The Starfleet Enterprise I think maxed out at about 1000-ish crew members, and correct me if I'm wrong it was the largest class of ships in the fleet so two Captains would have overlapping duties & areas of responsibility in normal circumstances and would also make the Captaincy less prestigious.

Of course I do realise that the Galaxy-class ships carry out many roles for the Federation such as exploration, defence, diplomacy, scientific research, first contacts, etc., but still two Captains onboard seems overkill and I never liked that concept. Furthermore Starfleet Academy is an institution that is extremely difficult to get into so even achieving the rank of Commander would be considered an impressive feat.

Last edited by Maniarek; November 27 2012 at 04:31 PM.
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Old November 27 2012, 05:01 PM   #26
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Re: data department change in chain of command

Maniarek wrote: View Post
I think for one thing US Navy aircraft carriers carry many more personnel onboard (5500+) thus necessitating two Captains due to the larger number of people, departments, functions, etc. to oversee.

The Starfleet Enterprise I think maxed out at about 1000-ish crew members, and correct me if I'm wrong it was the largest class of ships in the fleet so two Captains would have overlapping duties & areas of responsibility in normal circumstances and would also make the Captaincy less prestigious.

Of course I do realise that the Galaxy-class ships carry out many roles for the Federation such as exploration, defence, diplomacy, scientific research, first contacts, etc., but still two Captains onboard seems overkill and I never liked that concept. Furthermore Starfleet Academy is an institution that is extremely difficult to get into so even achieving the rank of Commander would be considered an impressive feat.
It seems to me like you're conflating the position of Captain and the rank of Captain. The position is more formally called "commanding officer" and does not necessarily mean that you are of any particular rank. Someone of Commander rank could be the commanding officer, for example.

The rank of Captain, OTOH, does not denote any specific position. On the real-life U.S.S. Enterprise, one man of Captain rank is the commanding officer while the other is the executive officer. They have very different and well-defined positions and areas of responsibility, but happen to carry the same rank. And the same would have been true had Picard and Riker both been of Captain rank, just as it was when Kirk, Spock, and Scotty were all of Captain rank.
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Old November 27 2012, 11:35 PM   #27
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Re: data department change in chain of command

CoveTom wrote: View Post
Maniarek wrote: View Post
I think for one thing US Navy aircraft carriers carry many more personnel onboard (5500+) thus necessitating two Captains due to the larger number of people, departments, functions, etc. to oversee.

The Starfleet Enterprise I think maxed out at about 1000-ish crew members, and correct me if I'm wrong it was the largest class of ships in the fleet so two Captains would have overlapping duties & areas of responsibility in normal circumstances and would also make the Captaincy less prestigious.

Of course I do realise that the Galaxy-class ships carry out many roles for the Federation such as exploration, defence, diplomacy, scientific research, first contacts, etc., but still two Captains onboard seems overkill and I never liked that concept. Furthermore Starfleet Academy is an institution that is extremely difficult to get into so even achieving the rank of Commander would be considered an impressive feat.
It seems to me like you're conflating the position of Captain and the rank of Captain. The position is more formally called "commanding officer" and does not necessarily mean that you are of any particular rank. Someone of Commander rank could be the commanding officer, for example.
As with Cmdr. Sisko in DS9 S1-3. Or later, Lt. Cmdr. Dax (who kept her teal uniform!) on the Defiant when Sisko was (at the time) permanently reassigned to an Admiral's staff in S6.

(Of course, the Defiant was a small ship, with somewhere between a tenth and a twentieth of the E-D's crew complement, and DS9 itself didn't have a big Starfleet crew complement in the early days, which is why it was fair that a non-Captain was the CO in each case. Still shows that a CO/"captain" and a Captain are different things)
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Old November 28 2012, 06:58 PM   #28
J.T.B.
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Re: data department change in chain of command

CoveTom wrote: View Post
The Riker one seems more murky to me. Obviously, for purposes of the show, he had to go back to being first officer at the end of the episode. But he was given a promotion and command of the ship by an admiral with the authority to do so, not on a temporary basis but on the assumption Captain Picard was dead and that this would be a permanent command for Riker. Even given the unusual circumstances, it seems odd to me to knock him back down to Commander, even if he goes back to being first officer.
There has historically been a division between promotions given at the highest level of authority, or permanent promotions, and those given on a more local level to fill immediate vacant or expanded positions. In the US services, for instance, permanent officer promotions require confirmation by the Senate. It has been very common for officers to revert to their permanent rank after the war/crisis/whatever is over.

Ro_Laren wrote: View Post
That always annoyed me... that there could be a "Captain of Engineering." Very unrealistic!
On a US nuclear aircraft carrier it is not uncommon for the reactor officer (nuclear chief engineer) to be a captain who has already commanded a ship of his own. The thing is, there are no ties, even between two people with the same rank. One will always be senior, either by date of rank or by specific orders.

Trekker4747 wrote: View Post
She's a counselor, her primary job is to sit with people and talk about things in a relaxing, comfortable, environment. How at easy is someone going to be sitting there talking to a woman in uniform holding a higher rank than you? It might provide an ounce of pressure on someone that could make a counseling session difficult.
A fair point and similar to one that's been made before: In WW1 Gen. Pershing ordered chaplains in the AEF to wear the chaplain's cross instead of rank insignia. He though this would make them more approachable and better able to deal with enlisted men. He made it army policy when he became chief of staff, but after a few years the rank insignia were brought back. Apparently the chaplains themselves liked to be able to show their status among other chaplains and officers. British Royal Navy chaplains still wear a modified officer's uniform without rank insignia.

Maniarek wrote: View Post
I think for one thing US Navy aircraft carriers carry many more personnel onboard (5500+) thus necessitating two Captains due to the larger number of people, departments, functions, etc. to oversee.
Well about 2500 of that is the air wing, who are under their own CO (also with the rank of captain).

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