How would Starfleet act if it were more like the Navy?

Discussion in 'General Trek Discussion' started by JJohnson, Jul 17, 2014.

  1. C.E. Evans

    C.E. Evans Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Nov 22, 2001
    Location:
    Ferguson, MO, USA
    They would just move on to another posting if an opportunity presented itself. I would say that was the case for most who served on the Enterprise--they stay there for a time and then leave for another assignment. Some may even use their time on the Enterprise as a means of advancing their careers (it's not unrealistic to think that a number of junior officers who once served on the Enterprise ultimately became XOs and even captains of other ships).
    It's really not that hard to believe if you dismiss the notion of Starfleet being exactly the same as today's navy.
     
  2. J.T.B.

    J.T.B. Rear Admiral Premium Member

    Joined:
    Jun 14, 2005
    True, and it helps that everyone is pretty much used to those kind of changes and to just following orders when it happens.

    But what I was saying was there would be one less post available than there would have been if Riker had accepted command, so it didn't just affect him alone.

    I don't think anyone is saying that. I'm just talking about the organization as it's presented. It orders people in and out of ship command whether they like it or not, and yet it also allows them to refuse multiple times. It has higher leadership that's shown several times to be incompetent or corrupt, and yet good leaders are shown to intentionally not advance -- or not be ordered to advance -- to higher levels. It reduces two people in rank to change command of a ship in one movie, then lets the senior officer take command without changing rank in the next movie.
     
  3. The Wormhole

    The Wormhole Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Jul 23, 2001
    Starfleet of TOS is very much a military and was depicted as one. The denial of Starfleet's military nature did not begin until TNG, and that was wrong anyway. If Starfleet is not the Federation's military, why does it fight the Federation's wars? Why does the Federation rely solely on Starfleet for defense, to the point that the militaries of member worlds are "absorbed" into Starfleet?
     
  4. Velocity

    Velocity Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

    Joined:
    May 19, 2001
    Location:
    In the back of beyond
    If Star Fleet was more like the Navy, their chiefs would walk around carrying coffee cups, doing next to nothing. ;)
     
  5. The Wormhole

    The Wormhole Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Jul 23, 2001
    That could also be applied to managers in a civilian setting. *High five*
     
  6. Ithekro

    Ithekro Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

    Joined:
    Apr 5, 2012
    Location:
    Republic of California
    There would be a lot more enlisted on the ship doing things rather than ensigns and lieutenants everywhere. Also a lot more scaling in the enlisted ranks.
     
  7. CorporalCaptain

    CorporalCaptain Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Feb 12, 2011
    Location:
    "Who are you?"
    Plus, Galaxy-class duty was prestigious, and the available positions were relatively few to begin with.
     
  8. Ithekro

    Ithekro Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

    Joined:
    Apr 5, 2012
    Location:
    Republic of California
    The seat Riker rejected would still be open. Some other Commander would take it and whoever wanted Riker's posting could get that opening (an XO spot on some other starship).
     
  9. JJohnson

    JJohnson Captain Captain

    Joined:
    Sep 2, 2006
    Location:
    Jacksonville, FL
    Related to this, in the opposite direction, how are demotions in rank handled in the Navy? The one example from TNG that I can find is Crewman Diana Giddings, who was an officer, then a crewman, though that could be the same oversight that happened with O'Brien. Voyager has Paris and Tuvok having been demoted, Paris in an episode where he also spent time in the brig, and for Tuvok, it may have just been oversight again, if I'm not mistaken.

    In Trek, it seems you can be demoted and later promoted. Does the same hold true in the Navy?

    And tenuously related, we often see the senior crews of seven or so always hanging out together. I know it's for dramatic reasons and cost and all, but on a Naval ship, does the senior staff always hang out together after work - poker, cooking (Time Squared), exercise, etc.? Or do engineers hang out with engineers, officer and enlisted, navigation with navigation, pilots with pilots, etc.?
     
  10. CorporalCaptain

    CorporalCaptain Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Feb 12, 2011
    Location:
    "Who are you?"
    That still doesn't change the fact that Riker was holding up advancement on one of the prestigious ships, which are the best for your career to be serving on.
     
  11. Ithekro

    Ithekro Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

    Joined:
    Apr 5, 2012
    Location:
    Republic of California
    Prestigious ship, yes. But possibly not the best ship for career advancement. That might be one of the older Ambassador-class ships or one of the workhorse Excelsior-class ships that all the Admirals seem to love.

    Plus there are new Galaxy-class ships still coming into service at those times. Riker, as far as we know, wasn't offered another command for twelve years between the offer of USS Melbourne and USS Titan. He was hoping for the Enterprise-D, but after it was gone, it seems he wasn't offered the command of another starship until USS Titan.

    He turned down USS Drake in favor of being XO on USS Enterprise. Then turned down USS Aries the following year. Finally rejecting the offer of USS Melbourne a year after that. He then would get command of USS Enterprise (before being demoted back to commander and XO after the retrieval of Captain Picard), then temporary command of the USS Excalibur the following year due to personnel shortages.

    It is implied by Q that Riker might have been offered USS Voyager, but we aren't certain of that. It is assumed USS Voyager was lost (stardate 48315.6) before the destruction of the USS Enterprise-D (stardate 48632.4) during the year 2371.
     
  12. CorporalCaptain

    CorporalCaptain Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Feb 12, 2011
    Location:
    "Who are you?"
    True, possibly not. But possibly not also means possibly.

    I know we're talking about one of the what-if-it-was-different-than-it-was-on-screen scenarios, but I think I remember Geordi saying that officers were lining up to serve on the Enterprise, waiting years even. There had to be a reason for that.
     
  13. Ithekro

    Ithekro Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

    Joined:
    Apr 5, 2012
    Location:
    Republic of California
    Well, the senior staff of USS Enterprise more or less remained the same for 16 years. There was a little advancement in ranks from time to time, but until 2379, the only one with any real career advancement after 2265 was Worf.

    Riker of course rejects advancement of his career in favor of staying on Enterprise, partly because he wants Picard's chair. He eventually relents and takes USS Titan after 16 years on the two Enterprises.

    LaForge was promoted and took on the duties of chief engineer in the second season. He doesn't really advance his career after that point.

    Worf was promoted I think twice. First when he took over Lt. Yar's position, and then again just prior to the loss of the Enterprise-D. He then gets career advancement via Deep Space Nine and later Chancellor Martok. Yet he still sometimes goes back to USS Enterprise.

    Troi took it upon herself to do some career advancement late in the Enterprise-D's life (and switched to a regular Starfleet uniform again with her rank). She then gets some advancement when she transfers to USS Titan (I guess).

    Crusher has some career advancement when she left for Starfleet Medical, but then returned to Enterprise after only a year.

    Wesley had a potential career having been an acting and then full ensign prior to going to the academy. It was then wasted by the writing staff. He might have returned to Starfleet, but it is unclear what or how he did at this point.

    Picard turned down an offer to run the academy and I think an admiralty post at one point.

    Yar died...so that happens.

    Data wasn't promoted until Riker was about to leave in 2379.

    O'Brian's career was a little all over the place on Enterprise. He didn't really advance until going to Deep Space Nine.

    Deep Space Nine seems like a better place for career advancement compared to USS Enterprise.
     
  14. T'Girl

    T'Girl Vice Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Aug 20, 2009
    Location:
    T'Girl
    Not the way I remember it happening, although she did stick with it.

    :)
     
  15. Hando

    Hando Commander Red Shirt

    Joined:
    Jan 28, 2011
    Maybe a sidestep, but if I remember right Star Trek was based/presented on the idea of Hornblower in space.

    So wouldn't it be better if we compare Starfleet to the Royal Navy during the early 19th century?

    How was promotion and rank-holding handled at that time?
    After all we cannot compare Starfleet to the current navy, where captains are in real-life contact with command and a new commanding officer and/or post is only a stone-throw away.
     
  16. The Wormhole

    The Wormhole Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Jul 23, 2001
    Definitely an oversight with Tuvok. The opening credits for the entire first season list him as "Lieutenant Tuvok" even though he wore Lt. Commander's insignia. Also note that during the same time in season 1 Tom Paris and B'Ellana Torres wear the insignia of a full Lieutenant, but once Tuvok's insignia is changed, they start wearing the insignia of Lieutenant JG, presumably so Tuvok could still have clear seniority over them

    I'm sure in a theoretical scenario it could happen, but demotions are usually the kiss of death for a career in any military service.

    I guess it depends on the people. some might prefer hanging out with their fellow senior officers or with their own staff. I guess you have the same situation I civilian settings. After all, you're more likely to share something in common with your own staff, but fellow senior officers can relate better with you on the pressures of your position.

    TOS is essentially about a US Navy ship in space. The Hornblower comparison more applies to the characters themselves, especially Kirk.

    The 24th century is like that, and since the OP is asking questions for his TNG fan fic, it's a valid comparison.
     
  17. J.T.B.

    J.T.B. Rear Admiral Premium Member

    Joined:
    Jun 14, 2005
    Yeah, you're right. Starfleet would go with its second choice, bizarre as that sounds.

    Personnel can be demoted for disciplinary reasons, this is much more common for enlisted personnel. For officers a demotion is usually "on the side" as they are getting kicked out of the service.

    It's pretty much completely different. For one thing, there was no permanent service for officers; they weren't, say, Lieutenant So-and-so of the Royal Navy, they were Lieutenant So-and-so of His Majesty's Frigate Nonsuch, and after that assignment was over they either found another ship or were unemployed with half their pay as retainer. There were almost no shore assignments. Every rate of ship had an authorized number of crew and officers. If there was an officer vacancy while overseas, a fleet commander could promote someone to fill it, but it wasn't guaranteed to be confirmed when they got home.

    Except for a few petty officers, enlisted personnel were handled no higher that the ship level; the captain was responsible for "recruiting," rating and promoting them. They were simply discharged when their vessel went in for refit or into reserve. Discipline was severe.

    There was only one job for commanders, which was to command a sloop, and there were more commanders than sloops so a lot of officers' careers stalled out at that grade. Once an officer became a captain, they would automatically advance to rear admiral, in order of seniority, as the higher ranks died or resigned (there was no retirement).

    As far as being in contact with higher command, in TOS they seemed to be in touch with admirals fairly regularly. Not really like sailing vessels, when the fastest form of communication was mail on another ship.

    Agreed 100%.
     
  18. CorporalCaptain

    CorporalCaptain Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Feb 12, 2011
    Location:
    "Who are you?"
    Deep Space Nine became key to the Dominion War, which suddenly elevated its significance and raises its own set of issues about why its staff structure remained relatively static for so long. :lol:
     
  19. C.E. Evans

    C.E. Evans Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Nov 22, 2001
    Location:
    Ferguson, MO, USA
    It would only be in regards to the Enterprise. If someone wanted to advance and found opportunities limited on one ship, they'd look for opportunities on another.
    In a sense, Starfleet is a wannabe navy with very flexible policies.
     
  20. AirCommodore

    AirCommodore Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

    Joined:
    Feb 3, 2014
    Well if they are going on 5-year missions, instead of 3 or 6 months cruises, I would assume that postings to these ships would last a lot longer than they would in Navies where you are never farther than thousands of miles from a base. So I can easily see having command for 5 years as opposed to 1 or 2 years. It's not at all a stretch.

    But 20 or 30 years is too much. Thankfully, GoT and Law and Order have shown that mass cast rotation and protagonist deaths is not a problem for show quality and ratings. Maybe this will encourage a future show to be a little more open to that. Besides, this allowed L&O to use the cast members rotated out to be used in new spin-offs. The new shows then have some established characters alongside the new ones.