Resigning from Starfleet

Discussion in 'The Next Generation' started by Makarov, Aug 22, 2013.

  1. Melakon

    Melakon Admiral Admiral

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    Her rank may be due to her experience. My Dad enlisted in the Army during WWII, and I think he was originally commissioned as a lieutenant due to having a couple of degrees. He was a chaplain, ending with an active rank as captain, and as a major while in the Reserves.
     
  2. Timo

    Timo Admiral Admiral

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    Yet we have not heard of anybody in Starfleet graduating at higher than Ensign rank. Supposedly, in Roddenberry's "astronaut" fleet, everybody is an academician and deserving of an insta-promotion, so nobody gets it.

    Sure, we have seen people hold the rank of Lt(jg) at an early stage of their careers. Saavik, Bashir and the like could still have graduated as Ensigns and soon thereafter received promotions since, as pointed out, Starfleet appears to dish out promotions as an alternative to commendations that in today's militaries would result in medals and other decorations instead.

    The new movies cast some doubt here, as it would appear McCoy is a LtCmdr only three years after boarding a shuttle to Starfleet for the very first time. In TOS, we could speculate that he had received orderly Starfleet training in addition to his medical studies without immediate compensation in rank; in nuTrek, it seems the medical studies come first, and three years (or much less - in terms of movie evidence, McCoy may well have graduated long before Kirk finished his third try at Kobayashi Maru) in Starfleet training after that is enough for an insta-promotion in today's style.

    Timo Saloniemi
     
  3. Melakon

    Melakon Admiral Admiral

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    Since there's no money on earth, maybe Starfleet hands out promotions instead. It's like writers being given "producer" credit on television shows instead of more money.
     
  4. sariel2005

    sariel2005 Lieutenant Red Shirt

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    Saavik held the rank of Lt while still a cadet. Kirk apparently did to and was an ensign while in the academy ( and possibly lt based on Mitchells comments) Bashir also indicates that he graduated and was sent straight to DS9 ( not unreasonable if he spent 8 years in training instead of 4 to be fair).

    we know she spent three years at the trill academy thing and apparently did not leave much, and she was reaccepted. sounds like she was stuck on Trill. It seems given her past experience Starfleet academy was not needed.

    I think the implication is that McCoy is already a doctor, so does not have to go through medical training just Starfleet training, given he wears a cadet uniform he is still a cadet though, still given cadets are apparently pursuing a degree of some sort, no reason why they would not get rank earlier ( which makes sense of Chekov at least) Its a combination of military academy and university.
     
  5. Timo

    Timo Admiral Admiral

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    Nope, there's no mention of Saavik being a cadet anywhere. Cadets are people who haven't graduated, and Spock's little pupils featured plenty of people who didn't wear the insignia of graduated and commissioned officers.

    Kirk held rank at the Academy, but obviously only after graduation. We know he was an instructor there, teaching classes: that's rather more likely to happen after graduation than before it.

    No, he says he wanted to get to DS9 straight away. We never learn if he was granted that wish.

    This would all happen after she had graduated, assuming she enrolled at 18.

    Yup, that much is clearly implied. But the thing I'm concerned about here is that this is the only verified case where training at the Academy is immediately followed by promotion to LtCmdr rank. With all the other hero doctors, medical studies could have come first, Starfleet studies then, or vice versa (or these could have been one and the same thing) - but with Starfleet studies in every example culminating in graduation at Ensign rank.

    We don't really know the meaning of those uniforms - instructors also wearing them is a distinct possibility (Spock's uniform is color-coded differently, but that's just incomplete statistics ;) ). Uhura was a (senior) Lieutenant, too, despite wearing that uniform and helping out at Kirk's final try at the no-win scenario. Then again, she was also explicitly a Cadet, unlike Saavik. Or then we're just witnessing the effects of the confusing activation of the cadet force in that emergency: the students may have received instant degrees (even Kirk is listed as a junior Lieutenant on computer screens), and even Spock is confused between calling Uhura by her former status or her current rank.

    Timo Saloniemi
     
  6. sariel2005

    sariel2005 Lieutenant Red Shirt

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    well there 's the red undershirt ( a cadet thing) and Spock pointing out that CADETS FREQUENTY REAQ HAVOV ( sic) so it seems that they are cadets. including Saavik


    We do klnow that Starfleet medical takes 8 years however and that he was 18 when he joined.

    W
    seem fairly clear. And the idea of LT's in the academy only adds to my point
     
  7. The Old Mixer

    The Old Mixer Vice Admiral Admiral

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    I always took Mitchell's reference to Kirk at the Academy to mean that Kirk was his instructor...why would cadets say "Watch out for Lt. Kirk...in his class you either think or sink." if he was a fellow student...?

    It's possible that Saavik was already an academy graduate who had returned to attend command school, hence her rank. Kirk may have also been attending command school while doing some student teaching.
     
  8. Melakon

    Melakon Admiral Admiral

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    It's not uncommon (at least not during the 70s) for a graduate student to serve as a teaching assistant and sub for classes.
     
  9. jpv2000

    jpv2000 Captain Captain

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    I remember reading about this practice. It was in an old Spider-Man comic I think. Who says comics aren't educational. ;)
     
  10. The Old Mixer

    The Old Mixer Vice Admiral Admiral

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    That's what I was getting at...I just don't think Kirk held the rank of Lt. during his original four-year undergraduate coursework at the academy, as some seem to assume. We know that he held the rank of Ensign on his first starship assignment. Apparently he went back to the academy after that as a Lt. and taught a course that Gary Mitchell attended (possibly as an undergraduate himself). Whether it was just Kirk assigned to shore duty at the academy for a spell or Kirk having returned for some post-graduate coursework himself (command school), we don't have any official evidence to tell us. I like to assume the latter because it plays into explaining the Saavik situation as well.
     
  11. Timo

    Timo Admiral Admiral

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    Never established. Scotty wore it in the previous movie, and the very much commissioned Lieutenant (Commander!) Valeris kept on wearing it in ST6.

    No need to add "including". Or do you wish to imply that Spock, McCoy, Uhura and Sulu were also cadets, as they helped wreck the simulator as well?

    No, we don't.

    That would be the real-world take on it, certainly. There are plenty of postgraduate studies to a military career that aims high.

    To be accurate, we don't know that his assignment aboard the Republic at Ensign rank was his first. But we have reason to think that it did not take him away from the Academy, because he later says that one Captain Garrovick, known for his command of the Farragut rather than the Republic, was his CO from the day he left the Academy - and we know he was at the Academy at Lieutenant rank, teaching classes.

    We can thus either assume that he stayed at the Academy as a postgraduate, under various commanders, or that he graduated and started serving under Garrovick, who in turn jumped from Republic to Academy to Farragut in some not particularly well known sequence. The former seems a lot simpler to me, especially in light of what we know of starship commanders. Why would the prestigious Garrovick choose to become the boss of some shore-bound teachie for a while?

    Here it should be pointed out that Kirk in both universes was very much an undergraduate when taking the Kobayashi Maru test. In the nuMovies, this is explicitly shown; in ST2, it's explicitly said that "Cadet" Kirk defeated the no-win scenario.

    This doesn't deviate from the real world, either. Ambitious students can include elements of the postgraduate curriculum into their graduate studies, and Kirk certainly aimed ambitiously at command. Saavik, on the other hand, was seen wearing Sciences colors in ST3; she may well have deferred any command ambitions of hers to a later date, including the relating special courses and tests.

    Timo Saloniemi
     
  12. The Old Mixer

    The Old Mixer Vice Admiral Admiral

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    ^I forgot the Republic. I think it's more likely, then, that the Republic was his cadet cruise, Kirk earned the rank of Lt. as a graduate student, taught at the Academy (possibly while attending command school), then went on to the Farragut. Or he could have gone back to the Academy for the teaching (and possibly command school) after the Farragut incident.

    Saavik in STIII likely had finished her command course in STII and was resuming work in her old division with the intent of earning promotion to a command position some day.
     
  13. sariel2005

    sariel2005 Lieutenant Red Shirt

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    This is far from obvious as the conversation proves and indeed the timelines available on the ST website and the Star Trek chronology ( and I realise they are not canon, however if it was THAT self evident that Kirk was not an ensign until graduation then they would not have him having that rank before.)
    Opinions on NuTrek obviously vary but we see cadets with rank in that ( not least our seventeen year old Chekov).

    We know that Beverly took eight years to graduate from her Starfleet profile which was shown clearly on screen, and we know she was 18 when she entered the academy ( same document) - seems logical that she studied medicine at the academy and that the course took eight years not four. Julian's statements seem to back this up as well.


    This all makes the assumption that Command school is not part of the basic program for Command cadets, and there is no evidence for that at all. Indeed the Abramsverse and STII having Kirk being a cadet while taking the Kobyashi maru seems to confirm it ( and adds weight to Saavik being a cadet at the academy too).

    That said its not impossible that Kirk was commisioned as ensign on the Republic under Garrovick then transfered with him to the Faragut. However we know that his first survey mission was early in his career and we know when the Farragut was destroyed. Jaime Finney's age also comes into play here ( on the other hand it makes the "some years later comment" make more sense).
    That being the case we can have Kirk teaching at the academy after the Farragut incident - not sure if that fits with the length of time Mitchell is said to be friends with Kirk though.

    Again there is no basis for the assumption that Command school is a post graduate thing. As mentioned before the NuTrek universe certainly has cadets holding rank - FWIW the (again non canon to be fair) Starfleet Academy game has Command school as the last two years of curriculum for exceptional students ( though it is worth baring in mind that non canon does not automatically mean not true, just that future writers are not bound by it, its never been contradicted either).
     
  14. The Old Mixer

    The Old Mixer Vice Admiral Admiral

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    ^The fact that Beverly took command training while serving on the Enterprise in TNG is evidence that it can be undertaken at any point in an officer's career. This is supported by non-canon offscreen sources. The FASA RPG had command school as a floating option that could be taken at any point in an officer's post-graduation career.

    It's not canon, but it's a viable theory that isn't disproven onscreen.
     
  15. sariel2005

    sariel2005 Lieutenant Red Shirt

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    FWIW, I don't think thats the same as command school, merely a way for non Line officers to become line officers. My guess would be that Beverly took the exam while she spent a year at Starfleet medical since she returns as a full commander and Deanna gains that rank upon completing the exam ( which always struck me as a little odd tbf) Clearly though that exam hardly requires intensive training since it seems to take Deanna a couple of weeks at most.
     
  16. Timo

    Timo Admiral Admiral

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    Nobody in the movie considers Chekov a cadet. And the movie establishes that there's no age limit for going to Starfleet, nor a set length of time for the studies. We simply have Ensign Chekov, a very bright and very graduated kid.

    ...The one where false parentage information was given, as later proven in "Sub Rosa" et al.? Seems the Satarran agent made a mistake or three. :devil:

    Sure is - from a commissioned officer of Lieutenant rank attending it in ST2!

    That evidence is no less valid than the evidence for Kirk attending while a Cadet; both are simply true in the Trek universe, and not contradictory in any way.

    That's probably an issue to be tackled separately anyway. They had been friends for fifteen years, which is very early for even Kirk to be in Starfleet, and extremely early for Mitchell to be there if we're to consider the "age" given in his PSI exam. Although that's more probably just his age when he took the exam, not his age during the episode where he died.

    It would seem we have to assume Kirk and Mitchell were friends first, and then they met at the Academy, where uninformed classmates of Mitchell warned him about a man he already well knew.

    It has Uhura being referred to as Cadet while also being considered Lieutenant, and that's pretty much it. This happens during a hectic transitional period, for whatever its worth...

    Or, from what we actually hear said, for staff officers to gain the clearance to stand bridge watches. Which isn't actually that big a step, considering how menial a duty the bridge watch really is.

    Heck, she departed as a full Commander! (plus, the timeline she herself gives suggests an earlier exam date anyway.)

    Apparently, taking the exam does give you brownie points, as it's the explicit reason Deanna gets an extra half-pip. But it's not the only way to get that half-pip, and it doesn't necessarily give you that half-pip, or any half-pip for that matter. It's just one source for brownie points among others.

    The manner in which Crusher later became a four-pipped, redshirted starship commanding officer ("All Good Things..") is not explicated, but may well have involved far more substantial studies sometime after the TV show years.

    Timo Saloniemi
     
  17. sariel2005

    sariel2005 Lieutenant Red Shirt

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    Well .... I suppose its possible he entered the academy at age 13... Or he could be an ensign while in the academy. Lets let common sense prevail as to whether a child would be allowed into a military academy. The movie does make it clear that the standard time for the academy is four years ( which is very much in line with the pre abramverse ). Kirk of course pretty much completes it in three.

    This all makes the assumption that Command school is not part of the basic program for Command cadets, and there is no evidence for that at all.
    Absolutely not, NOTHING suggests that Saavik is not a cadet and the incidental evidence implies that she is! Again there is nothing to suggest that Command school is not part of the basic curriculum and other sources suggest it is. the Starfleet academy game may not be canon but it has not been contradicted either - and even non canon stuff is checked for consistency.

    T
    No, its clear from what Mitchell said he was not familiar with Kirk before he met him as a Lt at the academy ( otherwise he would certainly of mentioned it).

    Yep Lt Uhura is clearly a cadet. no question about it. so she was a cadet and a lt. thats fairly explicit. no need for anyone to be given a rank or such if they already had it.

    Well either they the information was left alone and not meddled with, or the agent deliberately made everything up from scratch. again I will let common sense prevail. Of course there is no real reason why medical would take eight years instead of four, unless it was comparable to say, the fact it takes about that long to become an MD. and the fact that Bashirs statements and age in DS9 back it up.... could be a coincidence (after all he could be like Chekov and have enrolled at age 13 :devil: ).

    We also learn from DS9, Explorers that Bashir was in medical school four years ago, which seems to be further evidence given he would have been 26ish at the time.

    No she left as a lt Commander, she says it was about 8 years ago she was THINKING about taking the exam, but thats not the same as taking it ( Doesn't she say she is not a line officer at one point in season one) makes sense she took it while she was away.
    Apparently, taking the exam does give you brownie points, as
    Stupid as is seems its fairly explicit that Deanna getting promoted to full commander is purely because she completed the exam.
     
    Last edited: Sep 2, 2013
  18. Timo

    Timo Admiral Admiral

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    Umm... Wesley Crusher?

    And youngsters were regularly allowed into military academies in the past. That was sort of the point: train them while they are young, since they have no use for advanced age in their chosen profession.

    Dialogue and visuals directly establish that Saavik is a Lieutenant. In the real world, that means she cannot be a Cadet. If one wants to evoke a fantasyland rule that Lieutenants can be Cadets, one may - but that's going against obvious evidence and requires some sort of proof.

    Really, saying that Saavik is a Cadet is like saying that she's actually male. That's perfectly possible, but extremely unlikely. And her being called "Mister" doesn't really cut it as proof for that latter claim...

    I don't see any reason why he would have mentioned it. The fifteen-years-as-friends thing was already established. Also, nobody ever said anything requiring correcting, such as "Mitchell met Kirk as a Lt at the Academy" - all that was said was that some people warned Mitchell of Lieutenant Kirk.

    That hinges on the "already". And the "already" only comes after the cadets are sent to defend the Federation aboard a fleet of starships. Uhura is never a Lieutenant until the moment of being assigned to the Farragut.

    STXI is ambiguous on who is a cadet and who is a graduate and a commissioned officer. None of the rest of Trek is. And the real-world background on this is that cadets are not commissioned officers or vice versa; going against that requires a lot of explaining, usually more than is required to fudge the issue in favor of the real-world model.

    Totally false - go rewatch the first season of TNG.

    http://tng.trekcore.com/hd/albums/1x08/justice_hd_307.jpg

    Timo Saloniemi
     
  19. sariel2005

    sariel2005 Lieutenant Red Shirt

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    Wesley took exams just before his sixteenth birthday, so he would have been sixteen at least when he entered the academy. that a big leap from 13 years old. We can safely assume since he had not applied before that sixteen is the minimum entry age ( also borne out by Picards statements).


    Yet the evidence also implies that Saavik is a cadet, Command school appears to be part of a command cadets training, and in two realities Kirk was a cadet when he took the Kobayashi maru, the test she was taking - thats followed by Kirk noting that Spock wants to see how his cadets did in the test.
    That and the information we have from TOS makes it fairly obvious that Starfleet does not work the way real world military academies do. Which is fine, since as a fictional academy that is partially military three hundred years in the future there is no basis for it being beholden to the real world.

    Come on Timo, I think we both know thats not a valid argument its an appeal to absurdity....

    Yet the statement implies that Mitchell met Kirk at the academy, not conclusive in itself but it adds to the weight of evidence that Kirk held rank at the academy. Its clear what the intent of the statement was.


    There is no basis for that statement, nothing says any of the cadets were given rank after the crisis. Again a seventeen year old holding the rank of ensign indicates that cadets did have rank prior to that. So Uhura was almost certainly a lt prior to the crisis while she was a cadet.

    STXI is explicit as to who is a cadet, they wear cadet uniforms and attend the cadet meetings. Again this is a fictional show set three hundred years in the future so reality is irrelevant to the way Starfleet works, after all a repeat offender from the midwest could not just enroll as an officer so easily in the real world either. But the real world model does not have any baring so its all good.

    The only explaination required for commisioned officers in the academy is that Starfleet commisions officers in some form while at the academy. And the evidence indicates that they do.


    T
    Good call, do you know when she seems to get the promotion by any chance?
     
  20. Timo

    Timo Admiral Admiral

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    I don't think Picard says anything relevant there - but the Vulcan contestant does mention age requirements and doubts that Wesley would meet them. Wes saying he's gonna be sixteen soon only tells us that "almost sixteen" is enough, though; it doesn't tell what would not be enough.

    Also, e.g. Picard tried to get in at seventeen, not sixteen, despite being eager to ship out. And of course Chekov could have gotten in at sixteen, too, being so damn clever that he could graduate in a year.

    This is fine and well, but not something that the evidence would actually require us to believe. Nobody called Cadet has worn commissioned officer's insignia outside the crisis in STXI, and no personal history requires us to believe that such a thing would have happened off screen.

    Very much to the contrary, this argument is just as valid than yours, point by point. Saavik being a female is confirmed by her being addressed by the feminine pronoun multiple times - just like her being a commissioned officer is confirmed by her being addressed Lieutenant. This is English 101. Saavik is also addressed as "Mister", which is contrary to historical precedent; might be an acceptable "futuristic" element because women in naval service were still rare in the 1980s; but in the end is an outlier and an oddity that has very little evidence value. And yes, this is scifi, and a man could have boobs there, but that's really not something we'd wish to actively pursue.

    We're not talking about intent here, though, but about reconciling between the writings of authors who didn't pay attention to what others were doing.

    If Kirk first met Mitchell at the Academy, then Kirk must have held the rank of Lieutenant at the age of seventeen at the very latest (assuming the first pilot took place two years before "The Deadly Years" where Kirk is 34, and not even earlier). Why would anybody wish to argue for such a thing, especially if one doesn't want to believe in early entry age to Starfleet?

    If Kirk met Mitchell at the Academy but not first, there's no problem there. And no contradiction with the dialogue at all.

    Nothing going against it, either. And that is the sort of thing even real-world militaries do in dire emergencies: students are rushed through graduation.

    Why, if you wish to argue that Kirk should have held the rank of Lieutenant at that very same age? Why would a lower rank prove anything in such a case?

    Commissioned officers also definitely attend the meetings and quite possibly wear the uniforms. ST2 had the same thing happening: seasoned veterans partook in the activities of cadets and trainees, in the same uniforms (if you believe Saavik was a cadet) or in separate, identifiable ones (if you believe Saavik was a commissioned Lieutenant).

    Some time before TNG begins, apparently. We never see her wearing LtCmdr pins. Not even in the "Violations" flashback, because she's in civilian gear there.

    In many S1 shots and cast photos, her rank insignia are difficult to see because of the early long and curly wig and the overcoat, but here's one where the Cmdr rank is visible:

    http://tng.trekcore.com/gallery/albums/publicity/season1/cast_s1.jpg

    Timo Saloniemi
     

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