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Deep Space Nine What We Left Behind, we will always have here.

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Old December 8 2012, 04:54 PM   #16
Mark_Nguyen
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Re: Had Sisko Always Been Command Track

It's probably better to think about what Sisko's division was, because everyone IS on the command track in some way - just not necessarily towards command of a Starship or other facility. LaForge was in the command division for a while, but switched to Engineering where he commands that section.

I also thought that Sisko was in the Engineering division, perhaps on track to become chief engineer of something at some future point. Then Layton recognized real command qualities in him, and convinced him to become his XO aboard the Okinawa. The rest is history - though it does seem a bit of a demotion to go from XO of an Excelsior-class ship to the relatively humble Saratoga afterwards. Was it the next available XO posting after Layton got promoted to Admiral? Was the Okinawa lost or decomissioned? Otherwise why wouldn't Sisko stay as XO there?

Mark

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Old December 8 2012, 06:17 PM   #17
Pavonis
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Re: Had Sisko Always Been Command Track

Riker was XO on three ships before taking his own command, so Sisko's service on two ships as XO makes sense. As for the Saratoga being a step "down" from his previous service on the Okinawa, well, we don't know what class the Okinawa was, and there's no reason to think that a Miranda-class vessel is less prestigious than an Excelsior-class.
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Old December 8 2012, 06:51 PM   #18
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Re: Had Sisko Always Been Command Track

That's fair. I was going on Okinawa's listing as an older Excelsior in print media. Not to say that Saratoga would HAVE to be a step down, but it would be a smaller and arguably less capable ship. Possibly a newer one, though, and Sisko may simly be okay getting experience on a variety of ships and bases on his way to command of his own.

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Old December 8 2012, 08:23 PM   #19
Pavonis
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Re: Had Sisko Always Been Command Track

The mission profile and the personnel would have to be considered, too. The Vulcan captain of the Saratoga may have been a prestigious officer with which to serve. And who knows what the original mission of the Saratoga was. Presumably something safe enough to have at least the XO's family aboard.
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Old December 9 2012, 09:16 AM   #20
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Re: Had Sisko Always Been Command Track

It may be that being XO of a smaller ship lets said officer interface with the crew more, be more personally involved with them, rather than what appears to happen on a large ship, where the XO is basically the captain's personal assistant/bodyguard.
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Old December 11 2012, 12:38 AM   #21
J.T.B.
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Re: Had Sisko Always Been Command Track

snakespeare wrote: View Post
One exception to this, in the Navy, is command of medical ships, which does go to Captains of the Medical Corps. So Dr. Crusher's command of a science vessel does have precedence in real life.
US Navy hospital ships are Military Sealift Command fleet auxiliaries (USNS prefix), not commissioned naval vessels (USS prefix) and have a civilian crew headed by a civilian master mariner. The senior medical corps officer is in charge of the hospital located on the ship with a title something like "Commander, Naval Medical Facility, USNS Comfort." Not "Commanding Officer USNS Comfort." The medical CO does not get involved with running the ship and the master does not get involved with running the hospital.

There was a period in the early 1900s when medical corps officers were put in actual command of USN hospital vessels. This caused difficulties because officers who had been trained to command ships at sea did not like to be given orders by officers without such experience. After WW1 there was a court-martial of a line officer who refused to sign a log in a disagreement with his medical corps superior. The line officer's actions were upheld and the rules were changed. Thereafter, as long as hospital ships were USS vessels, a line officer was in command. A very interesting account of the court-martial can be read here:
http://www.history.navy.mil/library/...pitalships.htm

As for Sisko and the "command track," Trek has shown pretty consistently that "command division" does not necessarily indicate qualification to take command, and officers from the science and engineering/services/operations divisions can still be "command track." Sisko was probably on that track from early in his career, if not the very beginning.

Justin
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Old December 11 2012, 01:17 PM   #22
indolover
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Re: Had Sisko Always Been Command Track

Supposedly Sisko was initially an engineer, but on an away mission showed good leadership potential, hence Captain (later Admiral in Paradise Lost) promoting him to XO.

Though as the Prophets made him, they created him to be a leader. lol..
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Old December 11 2012, 01:20 PM   #23
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Re: Had Sisko Always Been Command Track

J.T.B. wrote: View Post
snakespeare wrote: View Post
One exception to this, in the Navy, is command of medical ships, which does go to Captains of the Medical Corps. So Dr. Crusher's command of a science vessel does have precedence in real life.
US Navy hospital ships are Military Sealift Command fleet auxiliaries (USNS prefix), not commissioned naval vessels (USS prefix) and have a civilian crew headed by a civilian master mariner. The senior medical corps officer is in charge of the hospital located on the ship with a title something like "Commander, Naval Medical Facility, USNS Comfort." Not "Commanding Officer USNS Comfort." The medical CO does not get involved with running the ship and the master does not get involved with running the hospital.

There was a period in the early 1900s when medical corps officers were put in actual command of USN hospital vessels. This caused difficulties because officers who had been trained to command ships at sea did not like to be given orders by officers without such experience. After WW1 there was a court-martial of a line officer who refused to sign a log in a disagreement with his medical corps superior. The line officer's actions were upheld and the rules were changed. Thereafter, as long as hospital ships were USS vessels, a line officer was in command. A very interesting account of the court-martial can be read here:
http://www.history.navy.mil/library/...pitalships.htm

As for Sisko and the "command track," Trek has shown pretty consistently that "command division" does not necessarily indicate qualification to take command, and officers from the science and engineering/services/operations divisions can still be "command track." Sisko was probably on that track from early in his career, if not the very beginning.

Justin
From what I understand, the red uniform covers all personnel who control ship functions or command. Tom Paris in Voyager had no subordinate staff, but as the helmsman wore a red uniform. Similar is the case of Worf in TNG season 1 (I guess as Tactical Officer his role was a control one).

I think also as in the real life armed forces, those officers who stand out become heads of departments, XOs and COs.
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Old December 13 2012, 12:22 PM   #24
Timo
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Re: Had Sisko Always Been Command Track

Tom Paris in Voyager had no subordinate staff
...that we know of. But the helm console was occasionally crewed by others, with two Ensigns named at Memory Alpha. One of them wearing a yellow shirt, and only subbed at Conn when Tom Paris was doing his rebel antics in "Thirty Days", though.

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Old December 13 2012, 08:41 PM   #25
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Re: Had Sisko Always Been Command Track

Mr. Laser Beam wrote: View Post
Sisko was the Okinawa's chief engineer before he was the XO.
Wow, I forgot about that.
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Old December 16 2012, 09:28 AM   #26
Lighthammer
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Re: Had Sisko Always Been Command Track

indolover wrote: View Post
From what I understand, the red uniform covers all personnel who control ship functions or command. Tom Paris in Voyager had no subordinate staff, but as the helmsman wore a red uniform. Similar is the case of Worf in TNG season 1 (I guess as Tactical Officer his role was a control one).

I think also as in the real life armed forces, those officers who stand out become heads of departments, XOs and COs.
I'd agree that Red tends to lend itself to Command, but more importantly ship functionality.

That being said I should point out that Tom Paris was the senior Conn officer and as such had "staff" in so far that he was directly in charge of implementing ship course data and maintaining the logs and uniformity of all junior conn officers. We've also seen that he coordinated with Astrometrics and Engineering regularly where propulsion and navigation were concerned.

They seemed to show Paris as what one might expect as the lead / chief Conn officer to be. One then does begin to question why we saw Wesley Crusher at the Conn so often. Even a field promotion to that position very likely wouldn't make him a the lead / chief Conn officer. The only in universe explanation I can think of is its possible that a galaxy class ship has so much support staff for that position that a lead isn't a required position on that class of starship. (Not sure I buy that one!)

Pavonis wrote: View Post
Riker was XO on three ships before taking his own command, so Sisko's service on two ships as XO makes sense. As for the Saratoga being a step "down" from his previous service on the Okinawa, well, we don't know what class the Okinawa was, and there's no reason to think that a Miranda-class vessel is less prestigious than an Excelsior-class.

According to Memory beta, Riker was only the XO on one ship before the Enterprise, but I DO very distinctly remember one other being mentioned in series.

Either way, we do know Riker, like Sisko, was the Chief Engineer of the Hood (at least that was very heavily implied) before he moved onto XO.
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Old December 16 2012, 11:46 AM   #27
Timo
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Re: Had Sisko Always Been Command Track

Implied in what way?

Aboard the Pegasus, Riker supposedly was at the helm. Aboard the Potemkin, he wore yellow, but whether that was Security or Engineering or something else, we weren't told. He was but a Lieutenant there, and was never credited with a high position as such, but was credited with having the ship perform a clever tactical maneuver, and with leading an away team. Perhaps a Tactical Officer of some sort, then? Or then Security or Engineering, merely with the wits and guts to suggest tactical maneuvers to his superiors? Aboard the Hood, he was probably the XO, because he was in a position to tell the skipper not to beam down, just as later with Picard, but that's not really explicit. Perhaps he was actually the Security Chief?

Riker knows his way around machinery, but so does Picard, and we never get the impression Picard would have been an engineer.

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Old December 16 2012, 04:36 PM   #28
Pavonis
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Re: Had Sisko Always Been Command Track

Lighthammer wrote: View Post
Pavonis wrote: View Post
Riker was XO on three ships before taking his own command, so Sisko's service on two ships as XO makes sense. As for the Saratoga being a step "down" from his previous service on the Okinawa, well, we don't know what class the Okinawa was, and there's no reason to think that a Miranda-class vessel is less prestigious than an Excelsior-class.

According to Memory beta, Riker was only the XO on one ship before the Enterprise, but I DO very distinctly remember one other being mentioned in series.

Either way, we do know Riker, like Sisko, was the Chief Engineer of the Hood (at least that was very heavily implied) before he moved onto XO.
Riker was definitely DeSoto's XO on the Hood but you must have forgotten that he was also the XO of the Enterprise-E. When I said ships, I meant ships, not crews.

As for Sisko, we don't know that he was ever a Chief Engineer, nor do we know what Riker did as a lieutenant to justify wearing gold.
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Old December 16 2012, 06:09 PM   #29
Timo
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Re: Had Sisko Always Been Command Track

Riker was definitely DeSoto's XO on the Hood
But was he? All the talk in "Encounter at Farpoint" about Riker stopping DeSoto from beaming down is sort of circumstantial, because Picard only brings the "XO contradicts his CO" thing into the discussion later on, and might technically be solely talking about the upcoming arrangement between himself and Riker. The original contradicting of the CO might have involved Riker in the Security Chief role, or even, say, in the role of an Operations Chief acting out of his place. That is, at no point is it outright stated that Riker was DeSoto's XO.

It is the likeliest explanation for the dialogue, though (not to mention being its obvious intent).

Timo Saloniemi
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Old December 17 2012, 04:43 AM   #30
Lighthammer
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Re: Had Sisko Always Been Command Track

Honestly people, I think we're beating around the bush and really looking for an absolute fact where strongly implied facts are all we REALLY have to go on.

From my perspective, I've always been under the impression that Riker and Sisko both had served as Chief Engineers at one point and as XOs both on 1-2 ships before their current commands (or in Riker's case, before serving under Jean-Luc).

If you don't agree, then feel free to agree to disagree!

There is one point I feel its worth while tackling: Picard's technical knowledge. Its very obvious Riker's technical know hows very much are heads and tails above Picards. If you need an example of this, just look at the episode Phantasms. Picard is offering thoughts on things to check that are clearly below LaForges "Pay grade". Riker on the other hand, we've seen him really get his hands dirty working in engineering. If anything I would suggest his technical knowledge seems limited on the Enterprise because its so much more advanced then any ship he would have served on in an engineering capacity. Its kind of like having an understand of computers from the Pentium Era and then being asked to work on a computer from the Pentium i7 era. Sure, you can VERY LIKELY figure out what you need to do, but odds are you might need to ask some questions or do some reading.
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