does a starfleet ship always have a CO with the rank of captain?

Discussion in 'General Trek Discussion' started by bluepicard27, Sep 30, 2012.

  1. Admiral_Sisko

    Admiral_Sisko Lieutenant Commander

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    I'm glad I'm not the only person who feels this way. Perhaps it has something to do with the characters he's played during his acting career. Hayes was a jerk. Ruwon was a jerk, too. He also played the district attorney in The Negotiator, who was a total asshole.
     
  2. 137th Gebirg

    137th Gebirg Vice Admiral Premium Member

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    Who is John Galt?
    ^^^ I don't think that was his fault, per se. I think he was just written as one more of those clueless Starfleet bureaucrats who lost sight of what it was about, not having sat on the bridge of a starship, either for a very long time, or not at all. The Captains of the ships we watched every week were the heroes but, having to occasionally answer to authority, were generally given idiots as managers. Happens in real life all the time! ;)
     
  3. pimp

    pimp Commander Red Shirt

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    So what about a vice admiral what do they do if the actual admirals are at starfleet HQ giving orders. Do they just give the order along to the captains? What about a rear admiral they all can't be in starfeelt HQ doing deskjob duty, some of them have to command ships. Also what if there is a group of starships i.e a fleet you would have a clash of authority with all the captains about you need an admiral to bring them together.
     
  4. 137th Gebirg

    137th Gebirg Vice Admiral Premium Member

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    Who is John Galt?
    I'm not entirely sure about the responsibilities of mid-grade admirals. The fleet admirals usually serve on the Joint Chiefs. Perhaps there are some BBS users in the Navy who could answer this more accurately than I, but there are different commands. Surface warfare, submarine command, SEAL deployment, etc., also divided up into regions, like Pacific Command, Atlantic Command. I would hazard to guess the Rear Admirals (lower half) command individual battle groups and task forces. Rear Admirals (upper half) command the regions and zones. Vice Admirals may act as a conduit from the Fleet Admirals and Joint Chiefs to the Rear Admirals to distribute orders and information. Again, I'm pulling this pretty much out of my ass, but if I were to guess at the job descriptions for the different grades, that's how I would envision it.

    Applying that to the world of Starfleet, however, would probably be broken down by neutral zone and border region defenses, as well as a separate command designated purely for exploration and another for internal research (scientific tasks, stellar cartography, archaeological and xenobiological expeditions) and infrastructure support.
     
  5. BillJ

    BillJ Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    I don't think we're ever told what ship Hansen was attached to.
     
  6. Anwar

    Anwar Vice Admiral Admiral

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    The Melbourne was one of the first ships destroyed at Wolf 359, it's the Excelsior that has it's saucer blown off in "Emissary". Hanson couldn't have been on that one.
     
  7. CorporalCaptain

    CorporalCaptain Admiral Admiral

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    I thought the only significance of the Melbourne, when the wreckage was recognized, was that Riker had refused command of it, the implication being that if he had accepted, he would have had his ship blown out from under him and likely died. Recognition of the wreckage had that significance, not a revelation that Hanson was dead.
     
  8. Dream

    Dream Admiral Admiral

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    Nope. I'm sure there were many smaller ships like the Defiant that only needed a commander as CO.

    But the more important ships like the Enterprise at least need a captain to command it. The experience is required.
     
  9. The Wormhole

    The Wormhole Admiral Admiral

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    Hanson was seen travelling aboard an Excelsior class ship in part 1, which presumably is what he took with him to Wolf 359. The ship was unnamed, according to Memory Alpha.
     
  10. J.T.B.

    J.T.B. Rear Admiral Premium Member

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    Well before WW2 it was pretty straightforward for the US Navy, there were four admirals (the CNO in Washington, the CinC Pacific Fleet, CinC Atlantic Fleet and CinC Asiatic Fleet) and three vice admirals (Commander, Battle Force, Commander, Scouting Force and Commander, Aircraft, Battle Force). Everything else was real admirals. After the war started the number increased, but basically you had four star admirals as fleet CinCs (US, Atlantic, Pacific) and major forces (Europe, South Pacific, Central Pacific...). Vice admirals were in charge of numbered fleets (4th, 7th, 8th...), major naval districts or sea frontiers, major area commands, major type commands (Air Force, Pacific Fleet; Submarines, Pacific Fleet...), major bureaus (Personnel, Aeronautics, Medicine, Yards and Docks...) and as deputies to four-star admirals. In Dec. 1944 three admirals were promoted to fleet admiral, which bumped a few vice admirals up to admiral. In 1945 the numbered fleet commanders were promoted to admiral, too. At the end of the war there were 3 fleet admirals, 10 admirals, 37 vice admirals (1 medical, 1 civil engineer), 219 rear admirals (15 medical, 14 supply, 1 chaplain, 1 dental, 10 civil engineer), and 127 commodores (7 medical, 5 supply, 8 civil engineer).

    Today, the last figures I can find for the navy show: 10 admirals, 37 vice admirals, 74 rear admirals (upper) and 123 rear admirals (lower).

    The admirals are fairly straightforward. They are split about evenly between joint and navy-specific positions:
    • Vice Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff
    • Chief of Naval Operations
    • Vice Chief of Naval Operations
    • Director, Naval Nuclear Propulsion
    • Commander, U.S. European Command
    • Commander, U.S. Pacific Command
    • Commander, U.S. Special Operations Command
    • Commander, U.S. Fleet Forces Command
    • Commander, U.S. Naval Forces Europe
    • Commander, U.S. Pacific Fleet

    Vice admirals are a more diverse bag. A lot of staff and joint positions, and you can tell from the titles the kind of huge bureaucracies involved. They change frequently, but here is a fair sampling of current/recent three-star admiral posts:

    • Chief of Naval Personnel
    • Chief of Navy Reserve
    • Commander 3rd Fleet
    • Commander 5th Fleet
    • Commander 6th Fleet
    • Commander 7th Fleet
    • Commander 10th Fleet/US Fleet Cyber Command
    • Commander, Joint Task Force National Capital Region Medical
    • Commander, Naval Air Forces
    • Commander, Naval Air Systems Command
    • Commander, Naval Sea Systems Command
    • Commander, Naval Surface Forces
    • Commander, Navy Installations Command
    • Commander, Submarine Forces
    • Director, Defense Logistics Agency
    • Director, Defense Security Cooperation Agency
    • Director, Navy Staff
    • Director for Operations, Joint Staff
    • Deputy Chief of Staff, Capability Development, NATO Supreme Allied Commander Transformation
    • Deputy Commander, US European Command
    • Deputy Commander, US Fleet Forces Command
    • Deputy Commander, US Southern Command
    • Deputy Commander, US Strategic Command
    • Deputy CNO, Fleet Readiness and Logistics
    • Deputy CNO, Information Dominance
    • Deputy CNO, Integration of Capabilities and Resources
    • Deputy CNO, Operations, Plans & Strategy
    • Deputy CNO, Warfare Systems
    • Deputy Director for Strategic Operational Planning National Counterterrorism Center
    • Deputy to the Commander for Military Operations, United States Africa Command
    • Judge Advocate General of the Navy
    • Naval Inspector General
    • Principal Deputy Director of Cost Assessment and Program Evaluation, Office of the Secretary of Defense
    • Principal Military Deputy to the Assistant Secretary of the Navy (Research, Development, and Acquisition)
    • President, National Defense University
    • Program Executive Officer, F-35 Lightning II Program
    • Superintendent, U.S. Naval Academy
    • Surgeon General of the Navy
    • United States Military Representative, NATO Military Committee

    Justin B.
     
  11. Wingsley

    Wingsley Commodore Commodore

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    In the 1970 movie TORA! TORA! TORA!, which was about the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, the movie depicts (what starts out as) a peacetime U.S. Navy with Vice Admiral William F. "Bull" Halsey (portrayed by James Whitmore) in command of one battle group centered around the aircraft carrier U.S.S. Enterprise, and one of his colleagues being Rear Adm. John H. Newton (portrayed by Ken Lynch, who also portrayed Chief Vanderberg in "Devil in the Dark") commanded the battlegroup centered around the carrier U.S.S. Lexington, while Admiral Husband Kimmel (Martin Balsam) served as CINC-Pac at Pearl.

    Has anyone tracked the names and ranks of cannon Federation starship-of-the-line C.O.s seen in TOS? There seemed to be quite a few commodores assigned to Constitution-class vessels.

    Off the top of my head, I can think of Wesley and Decker. It could be argued that Wesley was a taskforce CO, although he sat in the Lexington's center seat. I always supposed that Connies were commanded by captains and commodores because they were the Federation's most elite ships. (At least in TOS.)

    Whether this arrangement had something to do with the commodore's Connie serving as the immediate flagship of a larger squardon or wing never occurred to me.

    The term "commodore" as a U.S. naval rank was abolished in the 1980's. The O-7 naval rank for one-star admirals has since been re-labled "Rear Admiral, Lower Half". O-8 two -star admirals, originally called "Rear Admiral", are now called "Rear Admiral, Upper Half". All of which is silly, of course, just for rare one-star admirals to avoid be addressed with the name of a defunct brand of computer from that same era. :lol: You can review U.S. military ranks and insignia here.

    FWIW, I prefer to regard the TOS arrowhead badges as signifying the First Fleet, the largest and most central unit in the Federation. Other badges, such as Decker's pretzel-shaped insignia, could be other units, such as the Fourth Fleet or whatever.
     
  12. Mr. Laser Beam

    Mr. Laser Beam Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    ^ I suspect that the reason we see so many Commodore-rank ship captains in TOS was to distinguish them from Captain Kirk. The audience would need to know who is the senior officer, and they couldn't (or wouldn't) take the time to think about it if they were the same rank. So for example, it's important to the plot that Decker (in "The Doomsday Machine") is senior to Kirk, so the writers made Decker a commodore so the audience would immediately realize it.
     
  13. C.E. Evans

    C.E. Evans Admiral Admiral

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    ^^^
    Well, commodore was still in use as a title at the time of TOS too.
     
  14. Wingsley

    Wingsley Commodore Commodore

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    Can anyone provide a link (or links) to non-USA military rank pages similar to the Dept. of Defense link I provided upthread? I would not be surprised if "commodore" is still in use today by other powers.
     
  15. The Wormhole

    The Wormhole Admiral Admiral

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    Commodore is indeed still used in many countries. See Wikipedia article here.
     
  16. Wingsley

    Wingsley Commodore Commodore

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  17. Wingsley

    Wingsley Commodore Commodore

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    If you look at current-day small vessels and submarines in the U.S. Navy and Coast Guard, you'll find quite a few ships are skippered by full lieutenants, lieutenant-commanders, and of course I would assume larger submarines other similar small ships captained by full commanders.

    This is going to sound silly and sentimental, but I wish that the TMP-era movies and TNG/DS9 series had carried over some of these little things instead of ignoring them (continuing to use the boomerang-style Starfleet pennant, using different badge insignia for Starfleet personnel of different units, some lesser Starfleet flag officers being referred to as "Comodore", etc. It wouldn't hurt to see Picard's Enterprise-D make a stopover at Starbase 11, either.
     
  18. Mr. Laser Beam

    Mr. Laser Beam Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    In fact that is exactly how the rank of Lieutenant Commander came to exist. It's not a junior version of Commander - it's a more senior version of Lieutenant. Officers with Lieutenant grade were being put in command of smaller ships, and there needed to be a way to differentiate these Lieutenants from those who were not in command of any ship.

    As for the rank of Commander itself, I always assumed this dated back to the old days when a ship's Captain was only the OWNER of the ship. They left the day-to-day running of ship operations to another officer. This was the actual 'commander' of the ship, thus the rank of Commander was born.

    If this last bit is inaccurate, please feel free to correct me.
     
  19. Mojochi

    Mojochi Commodore Commodore

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    Seems like I recall Picard having been Lt. Cmdr. when he had to step up in a pinch to command the Stargazer, after her captain was killed & the XO was injured, & then afterward was given command of her, & if he got a promotion, it would likely have only been to a full commander. So I just assume he too was a commander by rank when he first commander that ship

    Admiral Riker has command of the Enterprise in All Good Things, as does Admiral Kirk until he got busted back to Captain, which seems a bit harsh in hindsight, because the rank of Commodore exists between admiral & captain & they too can command a ship

    Then again,... Commodore Kirk just sounds kind of stupid
     
  20. Timo

    Timo Admiral Admiral

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    This was described in the MJ Friedman novels, but not in the actual episodes or movies. In those, Picard's rank at the various milestones of his career was never clarified, and we never even learned when he earned his fourth pip - save for us seeing him wear it during his last days of commanding the Stargazer, in the "The Battle" and "Violations" flashbacks.

    We didn't learn whether Picard immediately got command of the ship after his brief heroics, either. Might be he humbly kept on serving aboard the ship until reaching the four-pip rank and finally qualifying for command.

    The harsher, the better - because this was supposed to be a punishment as much as it was supposed to be a reward. Starfleet would probably have wanted to bust Kirk back to Ensign or Spaceman 3rd Class, but public opinion demanded he be rewarded instead. Going down from Rear Admiral to Captain would sound reasonable, all things considered.

    Whether you can command a ship in the TOS era while holding rank lower than Captain... Well, as already discussed, we saw two people in Commander braid (two solid braid) doing CO work: Kirk in "Where No Man" and Ramart in "Charlie X". And Pike wore just Lt braid in "The Cage". And in "Pirates of Orion", the Huron skipper wore no braid at all while his two underlings were Lieutenants...

    Timo Saloniemi