O'Brien

Discussion in 'Star Trek: Deep Space Nine' started by hux, Sep 17, 2012.

  1. MikeH92467

    MikeH92467 Vice Admiral Admiral

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    The concept of Warrant Officers came from the Royal Navy where regular officers were from the upper class and ordinary seamen from the lower class. Eventually it dawned on someone that a lot of capable men were being buried in the enlisted ranks. It wouldn't do to have lower class types commanding ships, but the warrant concept at least gave the exceptionally talented enlisted types a chance at better privilege and pay. Making O'Brien a warrant officer would have easily solved the riddle of how he could have served as "Tactical Officer" on board another ship without being an Academy graduate. Of course, in the U.S. Navy the "Diving Officer" on submarines as I understand it is at least some of the time the Chief Enlisted man, known as "Chief of the Boat" or COB.
     
  2. Timo

    Timo Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    ...We may also consider that the Rutledge may have been a ship no larger than the Voyager (as backstage sources associate her with the New Orleans class design that looks like a half-scale E-D). O'Brien's story from "Paradise" involves a large number of top officers beaming down at Setlik III, in classic Trek fashion, and being ambushed; perhaps the ship suffered debilitating casualties there, necessitating the temporary use of NCOs in positions normally calling for commissioned officers? And perhaps the Setlik III incident stranded the ship away from crew rotation opportunities for a while, despite apparently not immediately evolving into the full-blown Cardassian Wars?

    Timo Saloniemi
     
  3. Distorted Humor

    Distorted Humor Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Just as a note,

    In a sub, the Chief of the Boat (COB) or on a surface vessel the Command Master Chief officer, while being NCOs, are generally the third most powerful/respected members on the Boat or ship. (Right after the Captain/commander and the XO) For example, if the Commander wants to bounce ideas off his command staff, the first person invited will be the XO, then it will be the senior NCO. (If your in the army, it would a rank of Sargent depending on what size unit it is.) While they do not have the academy background, many times they will have more years of experience then the Commissioned officer, and a much stronger idea of the technical issues.

    A really good example of this is on the episode where the defiant is stuck in a gas giant fighting sub style with some other ships. Worf is his usual blunt self, and O'brien, who cannot order Worf to do anything, pulls him aside and gives him advise, which Worf listens to. This is a good example of a Senior NCO-Officer relationship.

    Though the best example is most likely the TNG episode disaster, where troi of all people is the command officer, she knows she is out of her element, so she does the smart thing, and asks her senior NCO what are valid options, makes a command choice, and it is carried out.

    As shown on TV, Starfleet is officer heavy and the officer does a lot of hands on work compared to the current miltary. then again, since Starfleet has a strong science and engineering backgrounds, and many of those would have extensive post secondary educations, perhaps it not a shock that they have a lot of officers.
     
  4. Timo

    Timo Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    It seems to go even beyond that, as O'Brien actually places Troi in command over various other commissioned officers in the scene, by being very quick to point out that Troi has the most pips in her collar. This despite other officers clearly being more experienced and more likely to actually be in the formal chain of command - chiefly, Ro Laren, whom O'Brien sees as trouble.

    Clearly, the word of the Chief carries a lot of weight, even in officer-to-officer pissing contests.

    Timo Saloniemi
     
  5. MacLeod

    MacLeod Admiral Admiral

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    Well in "Disaster" it was almost as if O'Brien was in command, as Troi generally decided to follow his advice rather than Ro's. But as Ro's was basically seperate the ship and leave the people in the stardrive to die, I can see why that idea didn't sit well.
     
  6. R. Star

    R. Star Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    O'brien was playing the part of wearing Troi's pants(ha! :p ) very well in that episode.

    Ro's idea, while it may not "sit over" well, was likely the most practical idea to save at least half of the crew instead of losing everyone.

    Ro was an extra though, so she had no idea that the main cast invariably pulls victory out of their butts at the end without fail. ;)
     
  7. MacLeod

    MacLeod Admiral Admiral

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    Well given the damage

    the seperation systems might have been offline

    The impulse engines of he saucer section might have bee non operable

    As they were managing the containment from the bridge, if the were able to sperate and fire up the impulse they might not have been able to put enough distance before the core went critical.
     
  8. Distorted Humor

    Distorted Humor Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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  9. Timo

    Timo Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    But Troi is just a shrink. Today, those would be of high rank because they are highly educated and deserve high pay, and high rank is the way to establish high pay. So the ship's surgeon or dentist might very well be a LtCmdr, but certainly couldn't override a Lieutenant's or an Ensign's decisions over the actual operating of the ship.

    Troi would be out of the chain of command for another reason, too: she has the special power of declaring even a higher-ranking officer medically unfit to serve, so she must be discouraged from abusing that power to personal gain. Hardly in order to stop her from declaring the entire ship unfit and assuming total command herself - but it would already be a problem if she were told to do something and refused on grounds of the person giving the orders being "obviously distraught" and "not in control of his actions".

    Basically, Ensign Ro would have to call LtCmdr Troi "Sir" (although she flat out refuses to do even that much in the episode!), but wouldn't have to take orders from a shrink. She agrees to do so, though, because of O'Brien's authority in the situation.

    Timo Saloniemi
     
  10. T'Girl

    T'Girl Vice Admiral Admiral

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    My understanding is that Troi (at that time) was a staff officer in the medical section, in the chain of command she likely worked for Beverly Crusher. Either that or she headed her own section.

    Star Trek sometime has strange ways of doing things, but in today's military Troi would be legally incapable of giving O'Brien a lawful order concerning ship operations.

    And I think O'Brien knew this.

    O'Brien didn't want to separate the ship. He has been shown to be intensely loyal to his superior officers and his fellows. O'Brien basically bullshitted Ro and Troi into thinking that Troi outranked Ro on the bridge. Which Troi didn't. O'Brien reveals later in DS9 that he himself has been in command of ships, separating was the wrong option.

    Ro really should have known she actually was in command from her time in the academy, but junior officers are told to listen to senior NCO's.

    Later Troi would qualify as a bridge officer, only then could she legally give command orders.

    :)
     
    Last edited: Oct 9, 2012
  11. R. Star

    R. Star Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    None of those strike me as reasons not to try it. As for the Warp Core explosion? I don't see how that could be any worse than Generations... at least there weren't any planets for them to crash into.
     
  12. Timo

    Timo Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    Hmm. Where? "Rules of Engagement"?

    Escpecially when said NCO more or less explicitly says "I'm choosing this officer here over you, because I don't want you in command". If you hold on to your rights there, you're just making two enemies, one irrelevant, one eminently relevant to the successful solving of the crisis.

    Timo Saloniemi
     
  13. Savious

    Savious Lieutenant Junior Grade Red Shirt

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    I don’t even know where to begin with this; as it is so far off, it’s unbelievable.

    In today’s armies and navies, Soldiers, and Noncommissioned officers are NOT people who simply joined for the money and training. We are professionals, who take extreme pride in our jobs, and our ability to do those jobs.

    So, why are we Non-Com’s instead of Commissioned Officers; for most of us, our parents didn’t have enough money to buy our commission (i.e. pay for us to go to college)

    I would say, they could have taken the plot line with O’Brien a lot further than they did. But; in any case, I could easily see a young man, ready to go out into space, apply for the academy, and then get told that they did real good on the entrance examine, but not well enough to attend the academy this year. (I believe Picard even told Will Crusher, that he didn’t make it in on his first attempt) The young man, unwilling to wait yet another year, goes out and signs up as an enlisted man, thereby, bypassing another year waiting, and the time at the academy to get out into space right away. Once there though, because he was talented, moved up the ranks on the enlisted side very quickly.

    As far as others talking about why Starfleet would need Non-Com’s and Enlisted; well, as others have said. Commissioned Officers, decide what to do; “take that hill”; Non-Com’s are then responsible for carrying out the order, and ensuring it happens, junior/lower enlisted; privates and seamen, do the work. Not to mention, someone has to scrub the plasma manifold, a job which is dirty, nasty, and not very pleasant.
     
  14. Distorted Humor

    Distorted Humor Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Indeed, I did not serve, though I was planning on doing the nuclear reactor program with the navy till my i failed the eyesight exam and didn't qualify.
     
  15. Mr_Homn

    Mr_Homn Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Just wanted to second this, and add that many enlisted careers last well over 25 years. In the US, if you have a 4 year degree and decent grades you can qualify to be an officer. Even a degree in fine arts or english or something else that offers no real preparation for giving orders in the military. Going enlisted versus officer has absolutely nothing to do with any level of commitment. Some may even argue that with the lesser pay, the lesser benefits, and the lesser amount of respect, enlisted servicemen who stay in for a long time are even more committed and loyal than many of the officers (butterbar 2nd lieutenants) who could order them to their death.
     
    Last edited: Oct 9, 2012