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

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Old July 23 2013, 09:27 PM   #31
Timo
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Re: Was Dax Sisko's XO circa 2374 ?

It's not a matter of O'Brien not having the experience or the training; he's probably more highly trained than either LaForge or Scotty, considering his assignment history. It's a matter of explaining why O'Brien hasn't been mustanged and promoted to at least Lieutenant already, to match his training and expertise.

And later on, he's basically performing administrative tasks, coordinating repairs to ships rather than actually doing the repairs himself.
Which, while making O'Brien appear mightier than either his training or his rank might warrant, is IMHO much better than him tuning the engines of the Prometheus in "Second Sight", as if the giant starship with her supposed hundreds of crew did not have sufficiently clever engineers aboard!

Dax : "I have to meet with Chief O'Brien. We're boosting the maximum speed of Seyetik's ship to warp nine point five. If his experiment fails and that sun goes supernova, we're going to need to get out of there fast."
Or perhaps Dax was saying she needed to meet with O'Brien for the key to the spares locker, so that the starship's crew could do the modifications and Dax could watch over their shoulders, and O'Brien could stay on the station to scrub conduits or whatever...

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Old July 23 2013, 09:58 PM   #32
Lighthammer
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Re: Was Dax Sisko's XO circa 2374 ?

Well, at the end of the series he's officially a Master Chief Petty Officer which is generally the equivalent of a Commander without some other specialized training that would give him security clearances among other things.

Someone out there might have a little better idea what the difference in training is exactly, but basic to advanced understanding of engineering principles doesn't seem to be one of them.

I think one of the most overt differences is Officers tend to pursue theoretical elements and tend to write a lot of fancy papers compared to Non-comms who are more focused on the work and not the next scientific/medical/engineering break through.
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Old July 23 2013, 10:22 PM   #33
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Re: Was Dax Sisko's XO circa 2374 ?

I'm sure certain episodes inferred that O'Brien had a failry High Security clearence level.

The problem with O'Brien is they ret-conned him to be a NCO. I'm sure that if they realised that they were going to use O'Brien as much as they did during TNG's run they would have given his character some more fore-thought. Remember prior to moving to DSN he had appeared in something like 40% off all TNG episodes.
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Old July 23 2013, 11:41 PM   #34
Lighthammer
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Re: Was Dax Sisko's XO circa 2374 ?

As far as his security clearance goes, he no doubt has some, but in S05E21: "Soldiers of the Empire" Kira stated she needed Bashir OR Dax as the intelligence officer because only either of them could fill that role with Worf off station. That directly implies O'Brian lacks their clearances, which, honestly follows military logic of Non-Coms.

That being said, they actually considered O'Brian a non-com for a long time. In S04E02: "Family", Worf's adoptive father identified (magically) as a Non-Com. Roddenberry with his military background probably considered O'Brian a non-com for a long time but simply didn't put much thought into his insignia. I'd suggest from the time we saw him as "Chief", he was considered a non-com from that point on.

Really, it was on S04E12: "The Wounded" that messed us up with O'Brian. Everything in the future and before made sense until we found out he was a tactical officer on a Light Cruiser. Tactical Officer on something like an Escort, still makes sense, but a Light Cruiser? No.
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Old July 24 2013, 02:14 PM   #35
TheRoyalFamily
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Re: Was Dax Sisko's XO circa 2374 ?

Master Chief Petty Officer in the US Navy (which is where the Trek ranks come from) is E-9, which is as high a pay-grade as it gets for non-coms. While technically an Ensign outranks him, practically that's not how it works. Probably quite similar with Starfleet. As far as rank goes, O'Brien doesn't really have anywhere to go. His promotions will come from changes in posting, like to the Academy. If he were to get a commission, he would actually lose prestige and position if he weren't immediately bumped up to Captain.

EDIT: Although, it looks like O'Brien was a Senior Chief Petty Officer, not Master Chief. So he still has a promotion ahead of him in about ten years or so.
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Old July 24 2013, 03:05 PM   #36
Timo
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Re: Was Dax Sisko's XO circa 2374 ?

I'm sure that if they realised that they were going to use O'Brien as much as they did during TNG's run they would have given his character some more fore-thought.
Definitely so. But that probably would not have entailed making him a commissioned officer, as the whole point of the character was that he was the lowly everyman.

we found out he was a tactical officer on a Light Cruiser.
We never learned what sort of a ship the Rutledge was, on screen. Off screen, she's a frigate of New Orleans class, about the size of Kirk's old ship, but none of that leaks to the onscreen universe.

While "The Wounded" says O'Brien became the Tactical Officer of that ship, the episode also inherently establishes that he didn't stay in that position for long. "Paradise" shows the exact circumstances by which the Setlik III event changed his life (he saved a landing party by learning to repair a field transporter); "Realm of Fear" establishes the exact time (2347); and "Tribunal" and "Empok Nor" show that decades after this event (2362), O'Brien was still a humble foot soldier, not yet an engineer or even a transporter operator (but still associated with the Rutledge). The TO thing was probably but a stint in his career.

Interestingly, "Paradise" has O'Brien start wearing gold as the result of the Setlik III thing. Is that an appropriate color for a Tactical Officer? We have seen it worn by a combined Tactical and Security Officer in TNG and VOY, but such a combination may have been a very rare thing in Starfleet. Kirk's Tactical Officers in "Arena" did not wear the "old gold" or red - they wore the "old red" and blue.

EDIT: Although, it looks like O'Brien was a Senior Chief Petty Officer, not Master Chief. So he still has a promotion ahead of him in about ten years or so.
We see O'Brien wear a range of confusing rank symbols, but verbally we know a couple of definite things.

1) He's a Chief Petty Officer of some sort in "Family" - Sergey Rodzhenko should know.
2) He got a promotion when transferring to DS9, as per "A Man Alone" - but that may have been a promotion in position, rather than rank, as he stands to lose it if he refuses to continue serving as DS9 Chief of Ops.
3) He's a Senior Chief, Specialist in "Shadowplay".
4) He's a Chief Petty Officer in "Hippocratic Oath".

Essentially, all of the above would be consistent with the rank of Senior CPO (Specialist), some being more general expressions of that exact rank than others. And the collar rank marking he eventually gets to wear supports this rank as well: it features three chevrons (meaning he has gathered all the PO ranks and is now going through the CPO ones) and two dots or stars (meaning he's into his second CPO rank, which is Senior).

We could alternately speculate that his single dark pip before "Hippocratic Oath" was an "abbreviation" of a collar marking that has three chevrons and one dot or star, meaning he was a Senior CPO until that point and became a Master CPO at acquiring the two-dot collar plate. This, too, would be wholly consistent with the dialogue.

And in current USN practice, two stars actually denotes Master CPO, because there's a so-called "rocker" added to the chevrons to indicate "mere" or "plain" CPO, thus making the first star actually the second CPO rank, that of Senior CPO... It's just that the Starfleet plate has no rocker! And having the plate can't be what replaces having a rocker, because O'Brien would need a rocker or its plate equivalent to go with Senior CPO rank already.

In the end, dialogue presents no problems with having O'Brien finish DS9 as either SCPO or MCPO. Visuals on the costuming of Colm Meaney are inconsistent with any theory, but a little bit of squinting can accommodate a wide range of theories.

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Old July 24 2013, 03:36 PM   #37
Bad Thoughts
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Re: Was Dax Sisko's XO circa 2374 ?

Timo wrote: View Post
In the end, dialogue presents no problems with having O'Brien finish DS9 as either SCPO or MCPO. Visuals on the costuming of Colm Meaney are inconsistent with any theory, but a little bit of squinting can accommodate a wide range of theories.

Timo Saloniemi
I feel that the promotion to Starfleet Academy would imply some sort of promotion. Master Chief Petty Officer seems like a rank appropriate for a non-commissioned officer who regularly and directly deals with officers.
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Old July 24 2013, 03:39 PM   #38
Timo
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Re: Was Dax Sisko's XO circa 2374 ?

It might also be that Starfleet maintains the special rank of "Master CPO of Starfleet", the way USN has the "Master CPO of the Navy", and that this rank and position one step above MCPO is the only way a CPO can get a teaching job at the Academy...

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Old July 27 2013, 11:14 PM   #39
wingsabre
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Re: Was Dax Sisko's XO circa 2374 ?

LeadHead wrote: View Post
So strange. To answer the original question, Dax was Sisko's highest ranking Officer during the occupation, so while it may never have been spoken on screen. I do wish that they had given her a Command Uniform for her tenure as Captain, but they do have the easy outs that there was a war on and bigger fish to fry, also, she may have wanted to keep the crew believing that Sisko would return.
The thing is, Spock wore blue during TOS, and Sisko himself was not promoted to Captain when he was initially given command of DS9. Ensign Kim could command some Lieutenants since he was part of the senior staff.

So, there seems to be a lot of wiggle room when it comes to rank and chain of command.
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Old July 29 2013, 05:58 PM   #40
TheRoyalFamily
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Re: Was Dax Sisko's XO circa 2374 ?

Timo wrote: View Post
It might also be that Starfleet maintains the special rank of "Master CPO of Starfleet", the way USN has the "Master CPO of the Navy", and that this rank and position one step above MCPO is the only way a CPO can get a teaching job at the Academy...
There are lots of non-coms at military academies these days. I don't know how many of them actually teach, since (at least in America) the academies are universities, and you pretty much need to have a graduate degree to even think of teaching at such a place, and having a degree pretty much guarantees an officer's commission...But sometimes universities get very experienced folks to teach actual practical knowledge in their field; Starfleet Academy would probably be the same way, and there probably aren't a lot out there with actual practical knowledge like O'Brien has.
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