Geordi's Authority

Discussion in 'Star Trek: The Next Generation' started by Captain McBain, Jan 15, 2013.

  1. Pavonis

    Pavonis Commodore Commodore

    Joined:
    Apr 26, 2001
    Which still proves it is possible for blueshirts to reach commander rank without taking a bridge officer's test. Admiral McCoy and Commodore Stocker also show that it is possible reach flag rank without commanding starships.
     
  2. C.E. Evans

    C.E. Evans Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Nov 22, 2001
    Location:
    Ferguson, MO, USA
    But it also means that without taking the test, a blue shirt could spend their entire career without advancing to commander rank, especially if having the rank isn't a need at their current assignment as was the case with Crusher and Troi.
     
  3. LobsterAfternoon

    LobsterAfternoon Commander Red Shirt

    Joined:
    Oct 15, 2006
    I mostly agree, but I don't think that everyone in gold would've taken the test. Perhaps tactical officers assigned to the bridge, or Ops dudes, but your average engineering or security guy seems unlikely.
     
  4. USS KG5

    USS KG5 Vice Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Aug 1, 2004
    Location:
    England's green and pleasant land.
    Quite possibly - though this isn't stated explicitly on screen.

    Yes, that's a pretty good rationalisation for it.

    Yes indeed. The principle differences probably come from the massive size of Starfleet compared to any modern navy, even the massive US Navy.

    In Starfleet, except for prime assignments, like Riker's job in BoBW, it is unlikely there will ever be shortage of opportunities for the young and brilliant. While Starfleet officers are generally supposed to be brilliant, there are bound to be a top ten percent as in any organisation, and a bottom 10 percent who are competent but just plod along.

    This is covered a lot in books about the (huge) 19th century Royal Navy, where the ambitious young Hornblower often encounters and quickly surpasses also rans, who will never make the higher ranks but make perfectly competent junior officers.
     
  5. Timo

    Timo Fleet Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Aug 26, 2003
    Agreed. This test seems to play a fairly minimal role in the lives of two TNG heroes: essentially, it helps them out of boredom. We don't hear of other hero or sidekick careers being significantly influenced by tests of this nature, even though everybody is taking special training left and right, both within Starfleet and in the civilian environment: Ro took extra tactical studies, McCoy was a specialist in space psychology, Picard knows a bit about everything.

    There are various milestones in Starfleet careers, but very few appear mandatory. Spock eventually got command without taking the no-win scenario test; various others who had no original command ambitions, such as Sisko, ended up in a commanding position. There are probably plenty of ways to sidestep the Bridge Officer Test, too, and plenty of ways to become a blueshirt Commander or Admiral without ever even visiting the bridge of a starship.

    In TOS terminology, we might argue that Stocker had commanded plenty of Starfleet spacecraft, and the particular merit he lacked was the command of a Starship...

    Timo Saloniemi
     
  6. Nightdiamond

    Nightdiamond Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

    Joined:
    Feb 18, 2009
    Location:
    California
    Janeway would have had to have taken the test, as she was a blue shirt science officer before she was promoted and later made captain.

    It's possible Data may have been a blue shirt too, and had to take the test, since he was called the chief science officer, and told Riker about his academy credentials involving probability mechanics or something.

    You also have to throw in terms like X.O in the mix, which seems to mean that even though you may not have a specific post like second officer, you have automatic authority on a ship or station.

    Shelby fit this description.

    And Worf too-once he became part of the command division, his ranking on DS9 went a lot higher. Automatic Commander of the Defiant, third after Kira but they have the same rank.
     
  7. Timo

    Timo Fleet Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Aug 26, 2003
    Not necessarily. Picard was a whiteshirt command-path officer when graduating, yet became a blueshirt later in his career in the "Tapestry" timeline. Janeway's stint in the blue could have been part of a command path journey, too. And that journey could have begun with Janeway graduating with the same full command qualifications that Picard or Kirk had at graduation day.

    Indeed, stints in other colors seem almost mandatory for those aspiring for major commands. Even Riker was yellow for a while, after having been conn-red on the Pegasus. Kirk might have worn red when he did a Garrovick, eleven years before "Obsession".

    Timo Saloniemi
     
  8. C.E. Evans

    C.E. Evans Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Nov 22, 2001
    Location:
    Ferguson, MO, USA
    A moot point, since that version of Picard shied away from command responsibilities, rather than went after them.
    I believe that Janeway just simply started off in sciences and then switched to command later in her career.
    I think it's just a case that it's not unheard of for some Starfleet personnel to start off in one field and then switch to another later on.
     
  9. J.T.B.

    J.T.B. Rear Admiral Premium Member

    Joined:
    Jun 14, 2005
    ^ The best fit for the on-screen evidence is that shipboard division (at least in the 3-color schemes) and qualification for command (what we might call "line officers") are unrelated. Some line officers specialize and are assigned to engineering, some are assigned to sciences, some are assigned to security and so on. What confuses the issue is that the steering-the-ship-and-shooting-weapons division is also called "command," and COs wear that color. But commanding the ship is pretty explicitly not limited to that division.
     
  10. C.E. Evans

    C.E. Evans Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Nov 22, 2001
    Location:
    Ferguson, MO, USA
    ^^^
    I actually think the best fit is just that Starfleet personnel can change jobs over the course of their career.
     
  11. J.T.B.

    J.T.B. Rear Admiral Premium Member

    Joined:
    Jun 14, 2005
    Sure, but those jobs don't correlate much to who is eligible for command, just like the divisions don't.
     
  12. MacLeod

    MacLeod Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Mar 8, 2001
    Location:
    Great Britain
    Isn't it possible that the Movie-era unifrom still in use during Picard's early carrer had undergone a revision by that time and a white shirt did not denote division.
     
  13. C.E. Evans

    C.E. Evans Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Nov 22, 2001
    Location:
    Ferguson, MO, USA
    The only thing is that starship captains tend to be from the command division (unless it's temporary). They don't have to have originated there, but that's where they wind up when starship command is their ultimate job calling.
     
  14. Timo

    Timo Fleet Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Aug 26, 2003
    How is that "moot"? We have an example of an officer graduating in command colors, then performing science duties - and an alternate example of the same officer graduating in command colors, then proceeding to command duties. Having a white collar at graduation caters for both blueshirt and redshirt duties, then, which is relevant "positive" information. In contrast, we never get the sort of relevant "negative" information that would establish that wearing blue is an obstacle to later wearing red (Spock did that, for one) or vice versa (the alternate Picard did that).

    All that is left less than clear is whether Picard needed to complete further command studies after graduation in order to proceed from white Ensign collar to red Captain uniform, or whether he had already taken the necessary command classes at the Academy. There seem to be two paths there: Kirk was said to have taken the ultimate command test, the Kobayashi Maru test, while still a cadet, but Saavik took it while already a Lieutenant.

    Everything is possible. The above idea just isn't likely. White was still clearly associated with command in the sense that Captain Garrett wore it on the E-C.

    And sometimes half a dozen times, it seems. But individuals who have their careers crystal clear in their minds still seem to do "obligatory" stints in other career paths: Riker was quite monomaniacally aiming for the center seat of a starship, but still briefly became a yellowshirt for some reason...

    Timo Saloniemi
     
  15. C.E. Evans

    C.E. Evans Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Nov 22, 2001
    Location:
    Ferguson, MO, USA
    It's moot, because that Picard didn't continue as a command division officer, but backed away from it. The particular discussion was about blueshirts switching/aspiring to command, not the other way around.
    In the case of Riker, he might have had to switch to a yellowshirt when he was promoted to an empty operations officer position on the Potemkin, but then switched back to a redshirt upon being assigned as the Hood's exec.
     
  16. J.T.B.

    J.T.B. Rear Admiral Premium Member

    Joined:
    Jun 14, 2005
    Well, yeah, they wind up there because COs and XOs have almost always worn command colors. But below that level, the division colors don't seem to indicate who is qualified to command or who is or can aspire to be on a "command track" career path.
     
  17. Squiggy

    Squiggy FrozenToad Admiral

    Joined:
    Jul 5, 2006
    Location:
    Trump Tower
    So did Castillo. Both the officers shown on the E-C wore white, that could mean either.
     
  18. C.E. Evans

    C.E. Evans Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Nov 22, 2001
    Location:
    Ferguson, MO, USA
    Which goes back to what I just said about they don't have to originate from the command division, but that's where captains eventually end up. I don't recall anyone onscreen wearing a non-command division color serving as the permanent captain of a vessel.
     
  19. Pavonis

    Pavonis Commodore Commodore

    Joined:
    Apr 26, 2001
    There was a Captain wearing blue sitting on Kirk's court martial board. We might assume that he was qualified to sit in judgment of Kirk because he was an experienced starship commander.
     
  20. C.E. Evans

    C.E. Evans Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Nov 22, 2001
    Location:
    Ferguson, MO, USA
    I thought about him, but couldn't remember if he was a captain or a fleet representative (or something like that). As a captain, though, he might have commanded a science vessel and perhaps was as much the chief scientist as the commanding officer.