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Old March 29 2013, 11:04 AM   #16
Timo
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Re: When did Chief O'Brien become and engineer?

One of the kindergarten overseers wore that pip, too.

We might retroactively claim that any number of single or even double collar pips were "in fact" black and denoted NCOs rather than commissioned officers... It would take a bit more effort to believe that the crewmen wore some sort of identification, though, when no decoration at all was ever seen on them.

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Old March 29 2013, 11:20 PM   #17
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Re: When did Chief O'Brien become and engineer?

Timo wrote: View Post

This is the one thing that remains rather difficult to explain about Colm Meaney's constant rank identifier changes in the various shows. Dialogue basically agrees that he always was a noncom and never attended the Academy - so how did he become the Tactical Officer of the Rutledge?

Timo Saloniemi
I have heard that the "Diving Officer" position on U.S. Submarines can be held by a non-com...in some cases the "Chief of the Boat". So it could be a case of it being a description of the position rather than a job requirement.
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Old March 30 2013, 04:49 AM   #18
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Re: When did Chief O'Brien become and engineer?

You know what I would like to see? The Biography Channel do a biography on every TNG character. Where they started, how they got promoted, etc. etc.

You could do at least one full season just on TNG characters alone.
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Old March 30 2013, 09:32 AM   #19
Timo
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Re: When did Chief O'Brien become and engineer?

I have heard that the "Diving Officer" position on U.S. Submarines can be held by a non-com
...And some Trek bridge positions featured noncoms every now and then even when commissioned officers were more often seen there. I guess the mystery here is the specific reason why O'Brien, apparently a Petty Officer of some junior sort, was selected for the position aboard the Rutledge, a ship that AFAWK wasn't really, really small and would have had commissioned officers available for the post. And whether becoming "the" TO meant he became one of three or four (one per shift) for some significant length of time, or just was allowed to stand at the console for a week as a reward for saving Captain Maxwell's life, or what.

Mind you, the Rutledge might have been a midget starship. Backstage sources associate her with the class of the frigate Renegade from "Conspiracy", namely New Orleans class. Yet this class was never explicitly, canonically identified with the big starship Kyushu we saw in "Best of Both Worlds" - so we could take just half of the backstage talk and decide that yes, the Rutledge was a "frigate" just like the Renegade was said to be, but no, "frigate" isn't a big ship in the Trek reality, but rather a midget vessel. Which might be why the very junior Tryla Scott was allowed to captain one of those.

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Old March 30 2013, 10:18 AM   #20
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Re: When did Chief O'Brien become and engineer?

I never put that much into it, but I just always assumed the Rutledge was either pretty small, or had taken a lot of casualties during the war for O'brien to get the post.
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Old March 31 2013, 09:45 AM   #21
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Re: When did Chief O'Brien become and engineer?

JessDD wrote: View Post
^ That brings up a different point. We never really saw enlisted rank insignia in TNG (at least I don't reall ever seeing it), so how would determine rank among the enlisted personnel? Or just simply refer to them as "Crewman"?
Well O'Brien is a "chief" i'm assuming "chief petty officer"

There would probably be sergeants etc among the NCO's, but I think officers generally refer to them all as "crewman" because of the divide in rank.

I think anyways
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Old March 31 2013, 10:01 AM   #22
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Re: When did Chief O'Brien become and engineer?

Trek's treatment of enlisted people is inconsistent as a whole really. DS9 sorta kinda tried to fix that but even they have O'brien routinely bossing officers around.
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Old March 31 2013, 10:55 PM   #23
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Re: When did Chief O'Brien become and engineer?

Timo wrote: View Post
This is the one thing that remains rather difficult to explain about Colm Meaney's constant rank identifier changes in the various shows. Dialogue basically agrees that he always was a noncom and never attended the Academy - so how did he become the Tactical Officer of the Rutledge?
Didn't Riker specifically call him "lieutenant in one episode?

The fact that no planning went into character until DS9 seems to have caused endless confusion among the staff writers. Until the sixth season of DS9, O'Brien wore the rank pips of a full lieutenant, and I have a fuzzy memory of Riker refering to him as such. He was the "transporter chief" -- a position, not a rank -- and so the characters usually referred to him as "chief." My own guess, fwiw, is that the writers soon confused O'Brien's position -- transporter chief -- with his rank -- chief petty officer-- and so O'Brien retroactively became an enlisted man.
R. Star wrote: View Post
Trek's treatment of enlisted people is inconsistent as a whole really. DS9 sorta kinda tried to fix that but even they have O'brien routinely bossing officers around.
There's nothing inconsistent about that even in a modern military. Again, rank and position are two different things. In TNG, Data's position is second officer (third in command of the ship) even though Beverly outranks him. O'Brien is in an authority position, and those under his command -- whether enlisted men or junior officers -- have to listen to him.
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Old March 31 2013, 11:26 PM   #24
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Re: When did Chief O'Brien become and engineer?

Chief O'Brien was always good with engines. Remember how Picard asked for his help in the Past scenes on the engines in "All Good Things"?
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Old April 1 2013, 09:45 AM   #25
Timo
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Re: When did Chief O'Brien become and engineer?

Didn't Riker specifically call him "lieutenant" in one episode?
Not all that specifically, which is a blessing from the continuity point of view...

In "Where Silence Has Lease", Riker and Lieutenant Worf are about to beam over to the fake starship Yamato. Riker and the Lieutenant have a discussion about where exactly to beam to, for best tactical advantage, and this culminates in Riker saying "Aft station, Lieutenant". Whether he is addressing Worf or the person behind the transporter console (that is, O'Brien), we can choose to interpret to our advantage.

O'Brien is in an authority position, and those under his command -- whether enlisted men or junior officers -- have to listen to him.
...The odd thing about that is why Starfleet would choose to place any commissioned officers under his command. There are two or three occasions where O'Brien gives orders to a yellowshirted Ensign. What is the role of this Ensign? If he or she has engineering training plus the sort of rudimentary command training commonly associated with officer commission, shouldn't that put him or her ahead of O'Brien in the bossing game? Shouldn't this Ensign take care of the commanding, freeing the more experienced O'Brien to do more of the engineering?

We could say that some of the yellowshirts are actually from Lieutenant Primmin's (later Eddington's) security force, and all of O'Brien's underlings have been logically organized out of people of lower rating than O'Brien's own. But that just raises extra questions. Why are there so many commissioned officers in the security force when it's the engineering team that would have more demand for "higher education"?

We could also write off the Bajoran commissioned officers in the engineering force as something the local government has burdened on the Starfleet organization, something O'Brien and Sisko don't really have to worry about in the chain-of-command sense (because these people are outside their direct control to some degree anyway).

In the end, we're left wondering why O'Brien wasn't "mustanged" into a commission when the station's importance and the number of Starfleet officers aboard started ballooning - or replaced outright by somebody with greater command credentials (say, let's import Lieutenant Sonya Gomez to the show!). This is more difficult to justify than the decision not to replace Sisko with a flag officer, as O'Brien isn't a local religious figure (he's just a Storyteller, and something of a charlatan at that).

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Old April 1 2013, 10:31 AM   #26
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Re: When did Chief O'Brien become and engineer?

Timo wrote: View Post
In the end, we're left wondering why O'Brien wasn't "mustanged" into a commission when the station's importance and the number of Starfleet officers aboard started ballooning - or replaced outright by somebody with greater command credentials (say, let's import Lieutenant Sonya Gomez to the show!). This is more difficult to justify than the decision not to replace Sisko with a flag officer, as O'Brien isn't a local religious figure (he's just a Storyteller, and something of a charlatan at that).

Timo Saloniemi
Agree with this, the command crew on DS9 was pretty thin, once the war broke out you would have thought there would at least be a starfleet commander assigned there to suppliment Sisko, as it was there was only Captain Sisko, Lt Cmdr Dax and Worf and Lt Bashir.

And of those, only Worf was command. It's "nice" that starfleet still let the bajorans hang about but in reality they should have wanted to seriously bolster the staffing on that station, as strategic as it was.

Instead they just pretty much stayed with the same people who ran it when it was some backwater dump.
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Old April 1 2013, 10:40 AM   #27
Timo
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Re: When did Chief O'Brien become and engineer?

Indeed. We have seen "thinly" staffed starbases before, but that basically meant that they didn't have an extra Captain to spare for JAG duty. OTOH, we have seen outposts with two Lieutenants and nobody else, and DS9 originally could have been more akin to one of those.

I wonder, did O'Brien perhaps get extra points for being a Cardassian War veteran and thus knowing some of the technologies of Terok Nor from the start? That old war seems to have been a fringe phenomenon for Starfleet, with very few people even knowing who the Cardassians are; there might not have been too many commissioned officers with the required alien engineering skills but with sufficiently low rank to be sent to such an unimportant posting (rather than, say, to SF Intelligence assignments).

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Old April 1 2013, 08:14 PM   #28
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Re: When did Chief O'Brien become and engineer?

Timo wrote: View Post
Indeed. We have seen "thinly" staffed starbases before, but that basically meant that they didn't have an extra Captain to spare for JAG duty. OTOH, we have seen outposts with two Lieutenants and nobody else, and DS9 originally could have been more akin to one of those.

I wonder, did O'Brien perhaps get extra points for being a Cardassian War veteran and thus knowing some of the technologies of Terok Nor from the start? That old war seems to have been a fringe phenomenon for Starfleet, with very few people even knowing who the Cardassians are; there might not have been too many commissioned officers with the required alien engineering skills but with sufficiently low rank to be sent to such an unimportant posting (rather than, say, to SF Intelligence assignments).

Timo Saloniemi
I always got the impression that the Cardassian/Federation border wars were nothing more than a series of incidents that often involved shooting, but not an all out war like happened in DS9. The Federation, still in pre-Wolf 359 exploration not military role, was focused more on containing the Cardassians than actually stopping them.
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Old April 4 2013, 06:10 PM   #29
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Re: When did Chief O'Brien become and engineer?

R. Star wrote: View Post
I never put that much into it ...
I don't think the writers put as much thought into as we are.
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Old April 4 2013, 11:21 PM   #30
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Re: When did Chief O'Brien become and engineer?

Worf'sParmach wrote: View Post
R. Star wrote: View Post
I never put that much into it ...
I don't think the writers put as much thought into as we are.
Well this is hardly the only example in Trek of contradicting itself. This isn't even one of the worst ones. It would be like me going to join the writing staff of Game of Thrones. I've never watched the episodes or read the books. But what can go wrong there?
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