So Cadet to Captain in what... a week?!

Discussion in 'Star Trek Movies XI+' started by T J, Nov 19, 2008.

  1. Cary L. Brown

    Cary L. Brown Rear Admiral

    Joined:
    Oct 14, 2005
    Location:
    Austin, Texas
    Not true at all.

    People have been offered promotions which involved a significant change in direction for their career and have refused those and have had their career continue just fine. In real life. Say an intelligence officer, currently serving as the S-2 in an infantry BN, is offered the chance to become a company commander in that infantry BN (and yes, that does happen sometimes) by the BN Commander. Perhaps that officer would prefer to be in the division G-2's office and has no desire to be a tactical commander.

    Sometimes it's just a matter of choosing a career path. And I can tell you, in those cases, it's most certainly NOT "career-ending."
     
  2. Cary L. Brown

    Cary L. Brown Rear Admiral

    Joined:
    Oct 14, 2005
    Location:
    Austin, Texas
    A contemporary naval commanding officer need not know the intimate details of how to maintain the power and drive systems of his vessel (though he'd better have a more than passing familiarity with those systems). He doesn't need to be able to perform every step of preventative maintenance on the Phalanx canon system, or the missile launchers, or the depth-charge racks, or the hangar-to-deck elevator (if it's a carrier) or anything else.

    But he'd damned well better know the basics of all of those, and he'd better know (from experience) how they all interact. There's no need to know how many threads are on every bolt in the ship, but that doesn't mean he doesn't need to know more about the ship and its capabilities as a whole than anyone else.
     
  3. Timewalker

    Timewalker Cat-lovin', Star Trekkin' Time Lady Premium Member

    Joined:
    May 26, 2007
    Location:
    In many different universes, simultaneously.
    Since Kirk took over the Enterprise directly from Pike, he's definitely the genuine Enterprise Captain at the time of Pike's mutilation.

    Yep. The prime example is Elizabeth Shelby, who fully expected to become the Enterprise's First Officer upon Riker's new captaincy. She was mighty pissed when he refused the promotion and told him that he was in her way (career-wise).
     
  4. Cary L. Brown

    Cary L. Brown Rear Admiral

    Joined:
    Oct 14, 2005
    Location:
    Austin, Texas
    It seems that in this version, Pike is either mutilated or killed as a result of his visit to Nero's ship, in the course of the film.

    Again, I think it really sucks as a storytelling technique... but I'm praying for a reset button...
     
  5. Cary L. Brown

    Cary L. Brown Rear Admiral

    Joined:
    Oct 14, 2005
    Location:
    Austin, Texas
    FYI, I thought this was a horrible decision on the part of the TNG production staff.

    Not to introduce Shelby... but to back away afterwards. It would have been unbelievable... incredibly cool... and would have given the show a much-needed increase in believability, had Picard not been the captain from that point forward, Riker become the captain, and Shelby become a permanent cast member.

    Whether Picard remained Locutus, died, or was recovered but gave up command... it would have made oh-so-much more sense and given the whole "TNG-world" such a greater sense of danger, of realism, then it had when they wimped out and put him right back where he was before.
     
  6. urbandk

    urbandk Commodore Commodore

    Joined:
    Aug 20, 2008
    Location:
    the European "canon" is here
    Maybe that would have given TNG realism, but it would have also marginalized the best actor on TNG. You don't take the lead away from your marquee actor, unless you have something as compelling as captain to offer Stewart, and I don't think Locutus was going to cut it.
     
  7. Sharr Khan

    Sharr Khan Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

    Joined:
    Oct 20, 2004
    Location:
    USA Ct
    We're fairly sure that this movie has TIME JUMPS in it, isn't it likely the movie will pick up years later?

    Sharr
     
  8. Cary L. Brown

    Cary L. Brown Rear Admiral

    Joined:
    Oct 14, 2005
    Location:
    Austin, Texas
    I thought that at one point, but I don't anymore. I only see evidence of a single "jump" from the time that Kirk and Co, under the command of Pike, leave Earth.

    Maybe I'm wrong... but as far as I can see, there's no evidence anymore to support that.
     
  9. PowderedToastMan

    PowderedToastMan Commodore Commodore

    Joined:
    Mar 8, 2005
    There is no speculation in that article. As with all information we report it is 'double sourced' and where there is some question or a single source it is noted with a 'probably'

    Things we are certain of include:
    - Kirk is technically a cadet when in the 'black shirt'
    - Enterprise is being built in Iowa
    - Nero is being held at Rura Penthe

    We have yet to get a spoiler wrong and the trailer and recent preview confirms many we have reported before
     
  10. Sharr Khan

    Sharr Khan Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

    Joined:
    Oct 20, 2004
    Location:
    USA Ct
    Sure there is, we see Kirk and Spock as kids and at least JTK's birth in the trailer - no reason not to think that there are not time jumps in this movie even without the aid of 'time travel' to introduce them. JJ Abrams is known for that in his storytelling.

    Sharr
     
  11. J.T.B.

    J.T.B. Rear Admiral Premium Member

    Joined:
    Jun 14, 2005
    Because those qualities are not inborn, they are best obtained by a process of professional development that takes many years. A junior officer is learning to manage a small part of a much larger whole. The major command CO has to know how that small piece works with all the others, how to manage the people that manage the pieces, how to foresee potential problems and plan for the entire command, how the command works with others in the bigger picture, how to interpret all kinds of operational data to reach effective decisions, and on and on. It is not the kind of thing that can be learned in a few years of school and some OJT.

    For some prime examples of military leaders bypassing the established professional development course, see the record of the "political generals" appointed in the early US Civil War. A few very successful individuals reached high command that way, but most provided difficult object lessons in the Peter Principle, sometimes with disastrous results.

    Second, how does the organization know that its talented golden boy will be an effective major command CO? There is no way to know, and it's a pretty high stakes gamble. The safest and most effective route is to entrust the enormously complex and expensive command only to an individual that has proven his/her abilities at increasingly more complex and demanding duties over a significant period of time.

    It's not a straw man, the earlier post referred specifically to a time when "seniority didn't matter." That kind of system has been discredited.

    For a very thorough look at how they US Navy balanced seniority, merit and politics in a very difficult learning process, see Donald Chisholm, Waiting for Dead Men's Shoes: Origins and Development of the U.S. Navy's Officer Personnel System, 1793-1941 (ISBN: 0804735255).

    Quite right. However, the individuals and organizations depicted on screen are similar enough to today that if we had to make an educated guess, the organization would be more like a present-day navy than a turn-of-the-19th-century one.

    --Justin
     
  12. Cary L. Brown

    Cary L. Brown Rear Admiral

    Joined:
    Oct 14, 2005
    Location:
    Austin, Texas
    Okay....

    Two things, same term...

    "Storytelling device - move forward to another point in time."

    "Hypothetical technology - move yourself forward and/or backward in time."

    Both - called "time-jump."

    I was referring to the latter... you're referring to the former.
     
  13. Sharr Khan

    Sharr Khan Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

    Joined:
    Oct 20, 2004
    Location:
    USA Ct
    There might be both in this case - just saying :)
    We could even end up with "Old Spock" as an eternal outside observer.

    Sharr
     
  14. Captain Intrepid

    Captain Intrepid Vice Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Jun 27, 2002
    Location:
    Formerly TheMacMan
    That sort of famming doesn't take years.
     
  15. Cary L. Brown

    Cary L. Brown Rear Admiral

    Joined:
    Oct 14, 2005
    Location:
    Austin, Texas
    First off.. what the @#$* is "famming?" Do you mean "familiarization?"

    If that is what you mean... what's the basis you're using to declare that? Have you served as the commanding officer of any form of military unit? Perhaps you've actually been a naval officer? I think that you'd have to be to make that sort of comment.

    It's the folks who've never held real, significant leadership roles who are the least likely to get what's involved in the proper exercise thereof, I've found. It's often the "Key Club President" type who thinks that they get how it "really works" when they don't have a clue.

    A better example... one that I'd hope everyone here could at least pick up on... would be in medicine. While few of us here, it seems, understand the military, most have some degree of familiarity with medicine.

    The captain of a ship is like the Chief of Staff at a hospital. Ya'ever watch "Scrubs?" It's comedy but it does play with the "rank structure" idea in a reasonably believable fashion. "Bob" is the chief of staff. He has a lot of experience, and knows the hospital inside and out. Then you have "Perry" who is like a senior officer... someone at a position close to Scotty or McCoy, relative to "Bob" as Kirk. And the various "Scrubs" are new academy grads.

    SO... imagine, if you will, one of those new "scrubs," right out of school, being made the Chief of Staff for the hospital.
     
  16. Cicero

    Cicero Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Jan 14, 2002
    Location:
    Tanusha
    A better example might be Stephen Decatur of the USN. He was commissioned a midshipman in 1798 and was promoted to captain in 1804, six years later. His promotion didn't owe to unusual openings above him; neither deaths nor fleet expansion were factors in his promotion. He was advanced for recognized ability in an unusually merit-based organization.

    Wasn't Riker offered command of a ship in 2364, which he turned down to take the post aboard the Enterprise? If he'd accepted, he'd have gone from Ensign to Captain in no more than six years.

    It's technically possible, under the current system, to make rear admiral (lower half) in 15 years, and captain in 12. A high quality officer should usually have reached the rank of captain by 20 years. The best officers should reach it sooner, having been promoted from in zone at least once. On the far edge of technical possibility, without using a 'needs of the service' rationale, an officer could be made a fleet admiral in 16 years (time-in-grade requirements cease after rear admiral (upper half)), though we've not had a fleet admiral since Chester Nimitz died in 1966, despite the Clinton administration's near-promotion of William Crowe to that grade (and Colin Powell to general of the army). Promotion to Admiral of the Navy might also be technically possible, but it's unclear if the rank is still on the books.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 23, 2008
  17. Logical Leopard

    Logical Leopard Lieutenant Red Shirt

    Joined:
    Nov 19, 2008
    There's an awful lot of conversation about real world ranking systems, but look at the World of Trek. Riker could have been Captain in six years apparently, and Harry Kim stays an Ensign for seven. I don't think Riker's a particularly wonderful officer, and I don't think Harry Kim is a horrible one. It just all goes back to what I said originally - the writers assign rank on the main purpose of what rank fits best for what kind of story they want to tell. Not on any particular real world feasability.
     
  18. J.T.B.

    J.T.B. Rear Admiral Premium Member

    Joined:
    Jun 14, 2005
    Not so much for ability, which he certainly had, but for a single heroic action. Such "reward" promotions were not too uncommon in those days, though certainly not without controversy. Much resentment was caused by Decatur jumping over seven senior lieutenants (the rank of master commandant [commander] not being in use at the time). One, Andrew Sterett, a very able officer whose Enterprise captured the first enemy vessel in the Barbary campaign, resigned over the issue.

    Even more contentious was the promotion of Charles Morris to captain for being first lieutenant of Constitution in her victory over Guerriere. Leapfrogging seven lieutenants and eight masters commandant, Morris's promotion aroused such a furor that it contributed to the resignation of SecNav Hamilton late in 1812.

    One must keep in mind that promotion was just about the only way the service could visibly recognize and reward heroism at that time. That function is now ably filled by decorations and medals, and pretty much no one wants to go back to using promotions in that way.

    --Justin
     
  19. Mr. Laser Beam

    Mr. Laser Beam Fleet Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    May 10, 2005
    Location:
    The visitor's bullpen
    Six years from what? When we first meet Riker, we have no idea how old he is or how long he's been in Starfleet.

    Mostly because they were so far away that they couldn't be promoted. I don't think Janeway has the authority to do it herself. (Starfleet did, OTOH, promote a lot of them two steps in rank when they returned home, to make up for lost time. That's why Kim is a full Lieutenant, Tom Paris is a LCDR, etc.).
     
  20. Awesome Possum

    Awesome Possum The Friendly Face of Brutal Facism Moderator

    Joined:
    Mar 13, 2001
    Location:
    Somewhere
    Didn't JJ say that the Earth scenes take place in Iowa and San Francisco?