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Go Back   The Trek BBS > Star Trek Movies > Star Trek Movies XI+

Star Trek Movies XI+ Discuss J.J. Abrams' rebooted Star Trek here.

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Old November 27 2009, 03:09 PM   #46
6079SmithW
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Re: Are they cadets or are they officers?

I was basing this on the way things actually happen in the real world navy. There is no "two alternate paths" during your undergrad at the academy. No "command courses" are taken pre-ensign as an undergrad. The command training only takes place in grad school and only after you have achieved the rank of Lt and have so many years of experience. There really is no fast track as I understand it. In the Trek universe, the Kobayashi Maru would not be taken until you were receiving this command training at grad school after you had served several years and had become a Lt.
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Old November 28 2009, 12:34 AM   #47
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Re: Are they cadets or are they officers?

rwoods81 wrote: View Post
Kirk's jump from cadet to captain has been discussed to death but I think it can be explained away the fact that he was being groomed for command (Kobyashi Meru) and that he had proven command ability (the Nero incident). It also fits with the prime universe statement that he was the youngest captain in the fleet.

What about everyone else?

Kirk, Uhura and McCoy were obviously still cadets at the time of Nero's attack. In the shuttle hanger at the academy, Spock referred to Uhura as "lieutenant" however on Enterprise Captain Pike addressed her as "cadet." McCoy (also a cadet) referred to him as one Captain Pike's "senior medical staff" and is wearing Lt. Commander's stripes. Let’s assume Kirk was not grounded for cheating. What would his assignment have been? Where does this leave Sulu and Checkov? Are they also cadets and it was just not shown? Does Cadet/Lt. Uhura outrank Ensign Checkov. Was everyone just given a temporary field promotion due to the fact that these ships were heavily staffed by cadets?

The only one that seems to make any sense is Spock. If all cadets were wearing red uniforms then we can assume that Spock's grey uniform was indicative of him being a graduate and an officer. They grey uniform was presumably his ground uniform while the more familiar blue tunic shows his position as Pike's science officer.
On screen: the most likely explanation is field promotions. The fleet is most likely ships that were in pre-commissioning stages or were in the yard, so they had to use the cadet corps because they couldn't mobilize experienced officers soon enough.

Off screen: J.J.&Co. wanted everyone to have the ranks they were in the original series (despite it being 7 years later) and completely ignored any kind of protocol.
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Old November 28 2009, 12:49 AM   #48
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Re: Are they cadets or are they officers?

Timo wrote: View Post
After serving as a Lt. for several years and being up for promotion to Lt. Cmdr. these officers go back to the academy for their command training. This is like grad school. They pick their specialty and upon completion of their command training they get promoted to Lt. Cmdr.
This is what I suppose was the case with Saavik in ST2. She clearly wasn't a cadet any more, as she carried the rank pins of a graduated, commissioned officer. Yet she trained in what we were told was a test for cadets - a test that Cadet Kirk had taken and passed.

So I'd postulate that one can take a "command course" during one's basic studies, and graduate at the rank of Ensign (which we know Kirk held after graduation in the prime universe, and Picard did in "Tapestry", and so forth) but with lots of brownie points for immediate advancement in the command path. Or then one can tackle some other sort of a field of study in basic training, and graduate without the brownie points - so one has to go back for the "command course" postgrad, like Saavik did, and earn the points there. Only by taking this course at some point of one's career can one advance to command positions eventually.

So we can pretend that the academy scenes were for Kirk's command/graduate training and that he had already graduated and served as an officer for several years.
Yet it's not just this movie that claims that Kirk did his command training as undergraduate. ST2 says the same thing: it was Cadet Kirk who beat the no-win scenario even in the prime universe. So I'd stick to the "two alternate paths" idea.

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Old November 28 2009, 01:25 AM   #49
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Re: Are they cadets or are they officers?

Timo wrote: View Post
the rank of Ensign (which we know Kirk held after graduation in the prime universe
Kirk graduated at the rank of Lieutenant - in both universes. In TOS, he had the rank of Ensign *before* graduation.

How do we know this? He was a Lieutenant on the Farragut, under Captain Garrovick - who was Kirk's CO, and I quote, "from the day I left the Academy".

So unless Garrovick was the captain of two different ships, the Republic and the Farragut (which is unlikely) then any time Kirk was an Ensign must then be while he was still on a cadet cruise. Which is entirely possible.
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Old November 28 2009, 01:50 AM   #50
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Re: Are they cadets or are they officers?

Timo wrote: View Post
So I'd postulate that one can take a "command course" during one's basic studies, and graduate at the rank of Ensign (which we know Kirk held after graduation in the prime universe, and Picard did in "Tapestry", and so forth) but with lots of brownie points for immediate advancement in the command path. Or then one can tackle some other sort of a field of study in basic training, and graduate without the brownie points - so one has to go back for the "command course" postgrad, like Saavik did, and earn the points there. Only by taking this course at some point of one's career can one advance to command positions eventually.
I like the idea but I'd tweak it so that everbody graduauates as an Ensign and the extra courses allow you to graduate as a Lt. After all, if you didn't graduate as an Ensign at least you wouldn't have a rank at all, and these are officers in training not enlisted personnel.

I figure Kirk in both universes did advanced courses and got some time in space as an ensign before graduating as a Lt.
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Old November 28 2009, 03:23 PM   #51
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Re: Are they cadets or are they officers?

SilentP wrote: View Post
Maybe it helps to give a doctor a little weight (having higher than normal sounding ranks) when they feel the need to start using medical regulations to get higher ranked officers to comply? So a captain being medically relieved by a doctor isn't brought down by the ship's chief medical officer hoding the lowly rank of ensign or lieutenant.
In a case where the military is not going to have to pay for post graduation medical schools and have the candidate spend years in a residency, his commissioning to Lt. Cdr is perfectly sensible. Also, it would be a perk to get someone with his credentials to join in the first place...after all he presumably spent 8 years in school/residency previously to attend the academy.
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Old November 28 2009, 10:06 PM   #52
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Re: Are they cadets or are they officers?

Mr. Laser Beam wrote: View Post
Kirk graduated at the rank of Lieutenant - in both universes. In TOS, he had the rank of Ensign *before* graduation.

How do we know this? He was a Lieutenant on the Farragut, under Captain Garrovick - who was Kirk's CO, and I quote, "from the day I left the Academy".

So unless Garrovick was the captain of two different ships, the Republic and the Farragut (which is unlikely) then any time Kirk was an Ensign must then be while he was still on a cadet cruise. Which is entirely possible.
It's not that cut-and-dried, and I'd prefer thinking that Garrovick was CO of the two ships to Kirk being a commissioned officer before graduation, which makes no sense, more about that below.

Newly graduated Ensign Kirk could have served under Garrovick in Republic on, say, some routine patrol station and impressed the CO with his attentiveness in saving the ship from Ben Finney's mistake. Before too long, Capt. Garrovick was assigned as CO of Farragut for an exploratory voyage. He allowed the bright young Kirk to transfer to the new ship for his "first deep-space assignment." Kirk was promoted to LTJG at some point in Farragut, or even acting lieutenant, which isn't unlikely with the vacancies created by the cloud creature's 200 casualties.

Now, why I find it so unlikely that cadets become officers before completing their studies: We know from TOS that juniors are required to obey orders from anyone of a senior grade. If we have some new graduates leaving the academy as lieutenants or at least JGs, we would have them entering the fleet to serve alongside ensigns and JGs that came up the normal way. An officer who completed the academy and has served in the fleet some time as an ensign could find themselves suddenly obliged to take orders from a JG who was an academy cadet only days before. How would that be equitable? How would that be effective for the service? Surely the ensign who has been serving in the fleet knows his job better than the newly jumped-up lieutenant. Why even have the ensign and JG steps if they are not used for junior officers to gain on-the-job experience and prove themselves before promotion to higher grades? It just doesn't make sense.

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Old November 28 2009, 10:36 PM   #53
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Re: Are they cadets or are they officers?

^ Exactly! The ranks and times between promotions are there for a reason: to gain experience. The higher ranks involve more responsibilities so you spend a longer time at each rank as you progress up.
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Old November 28 2009, 10:54 PM   #54
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Re: Are they cadets or are they officers?

It isn't speculation with Bashir, it was said onscreen that he had the choice given to him upon graduation in 2368 for whatever assignment he wanted and the first/earliest known one that he took on, was Deep Space 9, at the rank of Lieutenant, Junior Grade at which he apparently had upon graduation. For what it's worth, a classmate of his, was also given CMO status after graduating on a Starship, with the same rank. This suggests, that with doctors at least, that extra training, experience and knowledge plays a hand in one's rank and choices of assignments.

Moving on, the ranks of the cadets and what they got at the end of the movie did bug me, but mostly with Kirk jumping to Captain so fast. I could see maybe Lieutenant Commander, or Commander if he was a Lieutenant, as for why he and Uhura had the, they were both implied (with Kirk, it was mostly on the promotional sites, although that's not canon, I know), with Uhura especially having been said to receive numerous commendations, and to be unmatched in her field. Kirk was doing a four year in three, meaning he would have to push himself and be noticed (which he apparently was) and also had Pike's personal support/backing/whatever. With that argument, their ranks probably came as some sort of reward for excellence, instead of pinning a medal on their chest (what with it being the academy and all), they were given a rank, a commissioned rank at that, but still required to complete the Academy.

Spock and McCoy's ranks probably came from something similar, with Spock probably climbing through the ranks for making such a tough program like the Kobayashi Maru scenario the fact he could have gotten into the Vulcan science academy if he had so desired (but refused as the Vulcans were being jerks), and other things, Rank was given as a reward rather then a pin on the chest. McCoy, as was said, was a civilian doctor already, probably with years of experience under his belt and really only needed to do the required courses to be a Starfleet officer. Some of his earlier ranks probably came from the fact he had already gotten his education, perhaps he even did some teaching for credit instead of actually being a student in some of the classes due to his experience. His lines to Kirk suggested that being in Starfleet would be all he had, so be probably focused on his studies, bring him up to be one of the top students in the medical cadets.

Sulu, looked to have already been an officer, not a cadet, and simply replaced the primary helmsman due to illness and later given that position because Kirk liked him (due to skill and his support of him, no doubt), Chekov was just a brain, probably like Kirk, he sped through his classes in three years, maybe some he simply studied for, and took the exams.

Scott already had the ranks, but was "in exile" (by his own words), so that's explained.

Some of this is probably a bit of a stretch, and could have easily been mentioned in the movie either way, but that's my line of reasoning.
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Old November 29 2009, 03:13 PM   #55
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Re: Are they cadets or are they officers?

Spock and Kirk are the same age? Hard to believe really if we use TOS as a guide. In this movie though, it isnt really implied, but in the prime universe, Spock was already a Lt. 13 years before he was a Commander to Kirks captain. So, in the prime universe we were looking at what, 5 maybe 6 before Kirk got the Enterprise from ensign to captain. so in theory, Kirk is ensetailly much younger than Spock, but the fact that no exact time frame/date exists for the age differences, all we have is that Spock was on the Enterprise 13 years prior to Kirk. Also, Spocks age is never stated so he could well be a very experienced officer and is.

But, in this movie it is different. Spock and Kirk are portrayed as being the same, if not similar ages. One of higher experience the other not so.

In all fairness though, as the fleet was scambled to combat the imposed threat and terrorist attack on Vulcan, all the available officers are unofficially promoted of sorts.

Although, as said, some may have graduated early due to tallent, or some may have been posted on ships as either acting ensigns or ensgins or even strait laced liutenants while still officially at the acdemy and earn their ranks that way.

The fact that Kirk was a Lt. on the entperprise makes it a little more acceptable, but i still say that a footnote explaining a time passage wouldve made things a lot easier to accept the final scene. As it stands, its too fast, but put a three years later footnote, its more plausible.
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Old November 29 2009, 03:27 PM   #56
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Re: Are they cadets or are they officers?

The people who keep such things have dates of their respective ages; however, it always bothers me that while Kirk and Spock look the same age as children -- Vulcan lifespan being what it is -- Spock should be older when looking the same. Vulcans live longer than humans.
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Old November 29 2009, 03:52 PM   #57
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Re: Are they cadets or are they officers?

Classic Fan wrote: View Post
in the prime universe, Spock was already a Lt. 13 years before he was a Commander to Kirks captain.
You mean in the Cage/Menagerie? I believe Spock was an Ensign (or a Cadet) back then. Assuming Spock and Kirk *are* the same age, he would have been 20 years old at the time.
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Old November 29 2009, 04:17 PM   #58
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Re: Are they cadets or are they officers?

Spock and Kirk have always been intended as being the same age, or so I thought.
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Old November 29 2009, 04:33 PM   #59
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Re: Are they cadets or are they officers?

Timo wrote: View Post
Bashir, for example, was a fresh faced newbie, straight out of medschool, so he was commissioned as a Lieutenant JG.
That's just speculation, though. It was never established that Bashir went to anything like "med school"; for all we know, Starfleet trained him through and through. It also wasn't established that he got to DS9 "straight out of" anything. All we learned was that he requested DS9 as his first assignment - but we never learn if his request was granted, or whether he did stuff elsewhere before his "first assignment".
Although the above could still be argued - I'm sure there was a line from Sisko in 'Doctor Bashir, I presume' in the interview segment about Bashir coming to DS( straight out of med school.

I've never had a problem with the Doctor/rank thing. I know in (or at least, from the documents issued by) the Royal Army qualified Doctors train to be a soldier then gain their commission. I can't remember if you can train as a Doctor in the Army or not, but other roles such as Nurses would have the option of being previously qualified and training as a soldier, or learning from scratch and taking longer to progress through the ranks.

With Saavik I'd always assumed/speculated that you send X amount of time training as an officer, then move onto a specialty, gain a commission and then go into advanced training.

That works for the XI as they could have spent (for example) a year training, did some specialist studies to gain a commission (Lt for high achievers who would be assigned to the Enterprise or other important ship) and then move on to advanced education.

If you missed out on the advanced training, you could take the course(s) required if you wanted later in your career like Troi did in TNG.

With Chekov being an ensign and seventeen - he could have been in the early stages of that process - trained as an officer and currently going through specialities so didn't have the Lt ranks of Uhura and Kirk.
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Old November 29 2009, 04:59 PM   #60
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Re: Are they cadets or are they officers?

I cannot be to sure exactly, but I think in the prime timeline, it's come up in some form or another that Spock is a year older then Kirk. I think that was the intention in the movie, but I am not exactly sure.
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