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Go Back   The Trek BBS > Star Trek TV Series > Star Trek - Original Series

Star Trek - Original Series The one that started it all...

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Old July 2 2013, 08:24 AM   #1
ZapBrannigan
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Highest Ranking Woman?

Who was the highest ranking woman in TOS? After "Number One" of course.

I was going to guess prosecutor Areel Shaw, but she has just a single stripe on her sleeve. Or Lt. Masters (the blue-dressed engineer), but she has no stripes at all.

Dr Helen Noel was a psychiatrist and she had no stripes.

I think it tops out at Dr Ann Mulhall, who had one and a half stripes.

The uniform ranking system was different in "The Cage," where Pike himself has only one stripe.
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Old July 2 2013, 09:07 AM   #2
Gov Kodos
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Re: Highest Ranking Woman?

Outside starfleet, maybe Nancy Hedford.
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Old July 2 2013, 09:36 AM   #3
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Re: Highest Ranking Woman?

ZapBrannigan wrote: View Post
I think it tops out at Dr Ann Mulhall, who had one and a half stripes.
Yes, Ann Mulhall was apparently a lieutenant commander.

All other TOS women were lieutenants, ensigns, or enlisted.
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Old July 2 2013, 11:03 AM   #4
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Re: Highest Ranking Woman?

Janice Lester was captain for a while.
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Old July 2 2013, 11:40 AM   #5
ZapBrannigan
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Re: Highest Ranking Woman?

Green Shirt wrote: View Post
Janice Lester was captain for a while.
That's the opinion of an individual.
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Old July 2 2013, 01:15 PM   #6
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Re: Highest Ranking Woman?

Since you asked for "the highest ranking woman in TOS" and not "the highest ranking (female) Starfleet officer" Id go with the Romulan Commander in Enterprise Incident: she didnt just command her own ship, but the whole task force.
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Old July 2 2013, 02:16 PM   #7
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Re: Highest Ranking Woman?

After "Number One" of course.
Why after her? Number One was only ever addressed as "Lieutenant", thereby quite possibly falling behind Elizabeth Dehner (who shared braid with people addressed as "Commander" or "Lieutenant Commander").

Of course, both Number One and Dehner only wore the one braid that would later come to identify Lieutenants. But such costuming detail is messy, while the dialogue reference to Number One as a Lieutenant rather than Commander is pretty clear-cut.

...Unless we assume that Pike considered the woman his lieutenant, lowercase l, irrespective of her rank.

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Old July 2 2013, 02:35 PM   #8
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Re: Highest Ranking Woman?

Timo wrote: View Post
Why after her? Number One was only ever addressed as "Lieutenant", thereby quite possibly falling behind Elizabeth Dehner (who shared braid with people addressed as "Commander" or "Lieutenant Commander").
You're right. Pike had a crew of only 200 or so, which might imply fewer high ranking officers were aboard in those days. Number One was just a lieutenant even though she was second in command.

Pike himself, in theory, could have been a mere Star Fleet lieutenant in command of the ship, who was addressed as Captain because that's the custom and courtesy of these situations.
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Old July 2 2013, 02:39 PM   #9
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Re: Highest Ranking Woman?

Mario de Monti wrote: View Post
Since you asked for "the highest ranking woman in TOS" and not "the highest ranking (female) Starfleet officer" Id go with the Romulan Commander in Enterprise Incident: she didnt just command her own ship, but the whole task force.
Good point. I seem to recall some female fans in the 1970s, probably Marshak & Culbreath, complaining in print somewhere that all the really powerful women of TOS were aliens. And the one Earth woman who wanted to be a starship captain was all kinds of wrong for it.
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Old July 2 2013, 03:11 PM   #10
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Re: Highest Ranking Woman?

Pike himself, in theory, could have been a mere Star Fleet lieutenant in command of the ship, who was addressed as Captain because that's the custom and courtesy of these situations.
While this is somewhat unappealing as such, it's neat and tidy in that it preserves the rank braid system. That is, it would be odd for the system to jump back and forth between various models when we see it follow the later TOS/TMP standard back in ST:XI prologue already. It's bad enough that it jumps between the braid and pip systems... But then again, there's only one such jump in the history of the UFP Starfleet, and the fact that the United Earth Starfleet used the pips previously need not be significant.

the one Earth woman who wanted to be a starship captain
Did she, though? She hated it that she couldn't be part of Kirk's world, but becoming a starship captain never appeared to feature in her life plans at all. It's just something she later had to endure as part of her body-swapping scheme to exact her vengeance on Kirk.

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Old July 2 2013, 06:06 PM   #11
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Re: Highest Ranking Woman?

ZapBrannigan wrote: View Post
Green Shirt wrote: View Post
Janice Lester was captain for a while.
That's the opinion of an individual.
Yes, much of what I say is my opinion.
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Old July 2 2013, 09:48 PM   #12
Dale Sams
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Re: Highest Ranking Woman?

T'pau
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Old July 2 2013, 10:14 PM   #13
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Re: Highest Ranking Woman?

Perhaps Federation Assitant Commissioner Nancy Hedford.
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Old July 2 2013, 10:58 PM   #14
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Re: Highest Ranking Woman?

I'm going with Number One. Sure, Pike called her 'lieutenant', but this was before the writers knew really what rank system they were going to use. Under the naval system that has since been established, a first officer of a ship that size would be a Lieutenant Commander at the very least. So retroactively speaking, I'm assuming she was 'really' a LCDR at the time, Pike's comment notwithstanding.
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Old July 3 2013, 12:59 AM   #15
ZapBrannigan
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Re: Highest Ranking Woman?

Green Shirt wrote: View Post
ZapBrannigan wrote: View Post
Green Shirt wrote: View Post
Janice Lester was captain for a while.
That's the opinion of an individual.
Yes, much of what I say is my opinion.
Just to be clear, I was quoting Kirk/Lester in the episode.
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