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Old June 13 2014, 09:38 PM   #1
Bad Thoughts
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Understanding Hoshi's Rank

From what I can remember, Hoshi:
  • earned a degree with honors from a university independently of SF training,
  • went through SF academy,
  • held a university professorship (meaning she probably published in her field),
  • was an expert in a field that SF desperately needed experts,
  • programmed a piece of machinery that SF depended on.

Adding all that up, Hoshi should have been a lieutenant, first class, at the very least. I suspect that for the Beebs, calling her an ensign was merely a way of saying that she was green. (Unless there's a different explanation ...)
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Old June 13 2014, 10:30 PM   #2
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Re: Understanding Hoshi's Rank

In most military or paramilitary organizations, while you are promoted based on merit, your rank corresponds to a level of responsibility at your assigned ship or station. She's the comm officer on a small ship with a limited command staff. Starfleet apparently says that the comms department should be headed up by an Ensign, so that's the rank she needs to hold that position. If you promote her, you give her a position somewhere else that requires a Lieutenant (most likely someone who has a staff of other officers and which would therefore require a Lieutenant rank to maintain a chain of command). The fact that she's a multiple degree holder who's designed some killer app has nothing to do with it.

That's why some promotions bug me, like Tuvok or Worf. It's not like they're being paid, and it's not like their responsibilities are changing aboard ship, so why do it at all?
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Old June 13 2014, 10:41 PM   #3
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Re: Understanding Hoshi's Rank

I'm much more interested in Archer's rank. Since he has never seemed to have captained anything other than the NX-prototype plane before the NX-01, how had he actually attained the rank of captain? Was he serving on sea ships from ensign to commander before joining Starfleet?
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Old June 13 2014, 10:45 PM   #4
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Re: Understanding Hoshi's Rank

Mark_Nguyen wrote: View Post
In most military or paramilitary organizations, while you are promoted based on merit, your rank corresponds to a level of responsibility at your assigned ship or station. She's the comm officer on a small ship with a limited command staff. Starfleet apparently says that the comms department should be headed up by an Ensign, so that's the rank she needs to hold that position. If you promote her, you give her a position somewhere else that requires a Lieutenant (most likely someone who has a staff of other officers and which would therefore require a Lieutenant rank to maintain a chain of command). The fact that she's a multiple degree holder who's designed some killer app has nothing to do with it.

That's why some promotions bug me, like Tuvok or Worf. It's not like they're being paid, and it's not like their responsibilities are changing aboard ship, so why do it at all?
Wow! That's downplaying things, given that a universal translator is likely a hop, skip and jump from a universal codebreaker!

Indeed, given her linguistic and programming skills, she could have obtain some rank through direct commission. Extensive officer training (however she spent her three years) ought to add to that.
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Old June 13 2014, 11:03 PM   #5
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Re: Understanding Hoshi's Rank

@Dukhat - Check this out, the career of the first Captain of the USS Enterprise, CVN-65:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vincent_P._de_Poix

This guy's first command was the USS Albemarie, a seaplane tender. He actually started as an ensign briefly aboard two warships, but then he was a naval aviator and pilot aboard the previous USS Enterprise CV-6 plus a bunch of aviation-related stationings having to do with aviation or R&D, for the bulk of his career before then taking command of the Albemarie - no assignment as an XO, second officer, or whatever.

After a year as her skipper, he did a shore-based assignment and then was assigned to the first ever nuclear powered aircraft carrier, and the largest ship of its kind at the time. One could argue that he was placed in command of the Albemarie as part of grooming him for command of the Enterprise, but the point is that anyone's career can be all wibbly-wobbly and then end up as the skipper of the most important ship in the fleet, without having to work your way up in the ranks of seagoing vessels. QED.

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Old June 14 2014, 09:37 PM   #6
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Re: Understanding Hoshi's Rank

We could also argue that Archer was given the rank of Captain solely so that he could be made captain of NX-01. Starfleet needed to put Henry Archer's son there in order to provoke the Vulcans, and it was convenient that he was a military test pilot already holding rank, but probably not all that necessary a prerequisite.

In all the eras, it seems Starfleet hands out promotions as rewards the same way real militaries hand out commendations and medals and other awards and decorations. Any rank is appropriate for any position, but if you wear four pips where your colleague wears one and a half, you simply flaunt the fact that Starfleet likes you more.

Of course, Starfleet also uses medals and commendations, but these are something you keep in your desk drawer, not something you pin on your uniform (although in TOS, you apparently did use those little triangles to symbolize these symbols, the same way real militaries use ribbons in place of their respective medals).

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Old June 14 2014, 11:45 PM   #7
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Re: Understanding Hoshi's Rank

Dukhat wrote: View Post
I'm much more interested in Archer's rank. Since he has never seemed to have captained anything other than the NX-prototype plane before the NX-01, how had he actually attained the rank of captain? Was he serving on sea ships from ensign to commander before joining Starfleet?
Apparently in Starfleet, if your father was a big deal you get to captain an Enterprise, no questions asked.

It's weird because Starfleet clearly had experienced crew (of the Intrepid and Neptune classes) out there... I guess TPTB just didn't give it much thought.
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Old June 15 2014, 06:09 PM   #8
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Re: Understanding Hoshi's Rank

Archer's crew may well be a collection of experienced veterans. It's just that the skipper himself was chosen on PR basis, and Starfleet may have failed to get their veteran XO aboard the ship in time before she sailed in "Broken Bow", leaving the loose cannon Tucker and the alien T'Pol to fight for that position.

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Old June 15 2014, 06:40 PM   #9
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Re: Understanding Hoshi's Rank

"Minefield" has Archer talking about disagreements with a former CO over command style. I can only assume he would've been the First Officer, or at least among the senior staff. Maybe incidents like that casued him to be sent back to Earth and the solar system, where he got into Starfleet's development of Warp 2.

I never came away from Enterprise with a JJ-Trek Kirk career path for Archer. It's tempting to see Bush nepotism but realistically I don't see that happening in this show's take on Starfleet as a mix of NASA and the US coast guard. And it's clearly his achievements in the former that got him the job... even if he's not at the level of scientific genius of his father. So piloting probably and later mission control. Inbetween a number of tours of duty patrolling as far as low warp can get Earth ships?
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Old June 15 2014, 06:51 PM   #10
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Re: Understanding Hoshi's Rank

Dukhat wrote: View Post
I'm much more interested in Archer's rank. Since he has never seemed to have captained anything other than the NX-prototype plane before the NX-01, how had he actually attained the rank of captain? Was he serving on sea ships from ensign to commander before joining Starfleet?
IIRC, he earned the rank as a test pilot.

As for Hoshi: *Is* there even a Starfleet Academy this early in the game? Before the Federation, no less?
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Old June 15 2014, 10:18 PM   #11
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Re: Understanding Hoshi's Rank

There's incidental info on a Starfleet Academy existing at least in 2149 if not earlier ("Storm Front II"): a clearly legible Academy diploma is visible on the desk of Ensign O'Malley.

Of course, we can't really read the date, so all we canonically know is that the Academy existed some time prior to 2154 when O'Malley went the way of the classic redshirt.

The other bookend would appear to come from Archer's inability to join Starfleet in his early years. If there's no Starfleet for him to join, there's probably no UESF Academy, either ("Horizon"):

Archer: "There was a time when I gave serious thought to serving on a cargo ship."
Mayweather: "You, Sir?"
Archer: "It was a few years before Starfleet was chartered."
Since Archer was born in 2112, this "serious thought" probably came no sooner than 2114 or so...

As for earning the rank, all we know is that he was a Commander in "First Flight" still, but was called "captain" during the selection process to NX-01 command, this probably referring to rank rather than position. Many of Archer's early exploits seem unrelated to test-piloting, so the promotion might well be associated with those rather than the warp 2.5 flight.

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Old June 15 2014, 11:17 PM   #12
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Re: Understanding Hoshi's Rank

ChristopherPike wrote: View Post
"Minefield" has Archer talking about disagreements with a former CO over command style.
But that could have been during a ground assignment, perhaps when he was a test pilot.

While in Starfleet, he always would have had a commanding officer.

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Old June 15 2014, 11:37 PM   #13
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Re: Understanding Hoshi's Rank

T'Girl wrote: View Post
ChristopherPike wrote: View Post
"Minefield" has Archer talking about disagreements with a former CO over command style.
But that could have been during a ground assignment, perhaps when he was a test pilot.

While in Starfleet, he always would have had a commanding officer.

True, but there's the context of what they were supposedly arguing about. How they could be out in deep space and cut off for years, with no one but themselves to rely on. Being more like a family than a military style unit. How Reed's disappointment in Archer not being that kind of strict Captain he expected, directly reflects this. What would prompt disagreement between Archer and "his CO" over such an issue, while basically being safe and sound themselves on Earth? If you were writing that drama, he'd surely be the subordinate questioning command style, while they're close to, if not actually experiencing such conditions?

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Old June 16 2014, 01:19 AM   #14
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Re: Understanding Hoshi's Rank

As has been point out here and in other similar threads there no indication that Archer ever serve aboard a Starfleet vessel before, only in single seat test vehicles. He mentions no ship by name, never indicates that he's been outside of the solar system before. His repeated wonder at simply being in interstellar space speak to this being a totally new experience for him.

Where were the stories that started with; "I remember the time when I was a Lt jg aboard the Armstrong ..."

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Old June 16 2014, 01:40 AM   #15
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Re: Understanding Hoshi's Rank

Well IMO "Minefield" could be one such story. Archer just didn't mention the ship's name.

You know what? Okay. Fair enough. It could be a simulated training exercise he was talking about. Like the time he reminded Trip of in "Strange New World", convincing him not to take his helmet off. Archer's argument with a CO, occurring more during prolonged test conditions happening in and around planets in our solar system. Some camping trip going on endurance test on a moon near Jupiter station.

A Commanding Officer wanting by the book and Archer saying that wouldn't necessarily be so, because he knew, spent a lot of time with and trusted those under his command. Citing his long friendship with Trip as an example.

I'll block "These are the Voyages" out of my mind here, because Trip's actions in that highlight him as such a lousy case to build any kind of defence on!
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