What's with the Uniforms?

Discussion in 'Star Trek Movies XI+' started by Bry_Sinclair, Apr 12, 2012.

  1. The Wormhole

    The Wormhole Admiral Admiral

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    And that's the funny thing, I have the rank insignia for US military's officer ranks memorized, but the TWOK insignia has always given me trouble.
     
  2. ROBE

    ROBE Commander Red Shirt

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    Spike's Star Trek page shows the correct WOK insignia along with all the wrong insignia used by official magazines and books.
     
  3. C.E. Evans

    C.E. Evans Admiral Admiral

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    Truthfully, as a kid, I memorized the TWOK insignia before I did the US military's, so I did it the reverse way.
    :D
     
  4. The Wormhole

    The Wormhole Admiral Admiral

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    It's weird. I've been a Trek fan for nearly 20 years (and indeed it was that long ago when I first saw TWOK) and yet I've never been able to figure out their rank insignia. I had no familiarty with US military insignia until I started watching Stargate nearly 10 years ago, and I had that figured out after my first month of watching the show.
     
  5. 137th Gebirg

    137th Gebirg Vice Admiral Premium Member

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    Science Fiction-based rank devices, outside Trek TOS and, to some extent, TMP has always been too small and/or somewhat indistinguishable from one another.

    The whole point of rank insignia (in the real world, anyway) is to easily differentiate who you need to salute to, or from whom you would expect a salute, from a good distance away. Fletcher's TWOK-era insignia does a serviceable job until you get to the flag officers, then it gets a little murky.

    And don't even get me started on NuBSG. Not only are the devices virtually indistinguishable from one another at a distance, but the costuming department constantly screwed up what devices went with which grades.

    Trek TNG tried to get back to a TOS-style rank system, but with pips instead of braids, which could also be somewhat difficult to see from a distance, especially if there was a blacked-out pip stuck in there somewhere. And I especially disliked how non-officers were handled in the TNG era. It wasn't until O'Brien became a regular higher-tier character in DS9 that a non-com grade finally got the respect of having its own device - a first, I think, since Kosinski's odd-looking device in "Where No One Has Gone Before".
     
  6. C.E. Evans

    C.E. Evans Admiral Admiral

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    There's a little secret with the TWOK insignia--it's very loosely based upon the rank stripes used in TOS (the lieutenant insignia is generally one bar, the commander insignia has two bars across it, and the captain insignia has three bars across it).

    Here's the website that ROBE mentioned earlier:
    http://www.st-spike.org/pages/uniforms/2278-2350/ranks.htm
     
  7. ROBE

    ROBE Commander Red Shirt

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    I think a better Flag insignia would be:
    Keep Commodore insignia with 2 gold "arrows"
    Then:
    Rear Admiral 3 gold "arrows"
    Vice Admiral 4 gold "arrows"
    Admiral 5 gold "arrows"
    Fleet Admiral 6 "arrows"
     
  8. ROBE

    ROBE Commander Red Shirt

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    There is a logical reason why modern rank insignia is not clear from a distance in non dress uniforms.
    SNIPERS!
     
  9. 137th Gebirg

    137th Gebirg Vice Admiral Premium Member

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    ^^^ That's why they have subdued versions of the exact same rank devices, which are still easy to identify at eye-to-eye distance, but harder to see through a scope. And snipers have generally never been an issue on Trek or BSG.
     
  10. ROBE

    ROBE Commander Red Shirt

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    I just wish they had used TMP based rank insignia for the movie and bothered to have rating insignia.
     
  11. The Mighty Monkey of Mim

    The Mighty Monkey of Mim Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    No. According to TOS, Kirk-Prime was a lieutenant when he was an instructor at the Academy, not a cadet (or midshipman as they were called in TOS). Gary Mitchell was one of his students and described him as "a stack of books with legs," having been warned by upperclassmen that in Kirk's class one "either thinks or sinks."
     
  12. Anticitizen

    Anticitizen Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    I always assumed that his short-sleeved getup was the future's equivalent of medical scrubs.
     
  13. King Daniel Beyond

    King Daniel Beyond Admiral Admiral

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    Shatner had an identical one in gold, made for the aborted Phase 2 television series. James Cawley bought the shirt at auction and wears it in his fan films.
     
  14. Therin of Andor

    Therin of Andor Admiral Admiral

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    Even today, many university instructors and tutors of less-experienced students are also undertaking courses at the same university.

    Just because Kirk was an instructor of Mitchell's doesn't mean he'd graduated from his own Starfleet courses. Indeed, teaching a class probably earns credits towards his own command/leadership course.

    In the novelization of ST II, Lt Saavik had been tutoring Midshipman Peter Preston while still a cadet herself.
     
  15. ROBE

    ROBE Commander Red Shirt

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    In the modern Royal Navy officer Cadets start of with the ranks of either midshipman or sub lieutenant depending on qualifications.
     
  16. TerraNovan

    TerraNovan Lieutenant Commander

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    Odds are in a society without a true sense of money, their is gonna be less importance put on rank. With the exception of a few command officers rank seems to largely be unimportant. A simple example is cheif obrien, who was just a non com, despite, having the experience and status on par with most officers.
     
  17. ROBE

    ROBE Commander Red Shirt

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    Less importance in rank or simply bad planning re rank and rate structure of ships and bases.
     
  18. EliyahuQeoni

    EliyahuQeoni Commodore Commodore

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    Or Kirk Prime could have been a Mishipman Lieutenant while at the academy teaching classes as part of his 3rd/4th year studies. When he graduated he was commissioned as an Ensign in Starfleet.

    Or Kirk Prime could have been teaching Academy classes while taking advanced (command?) training after having been promoted to Lt post-graduation. Of course, this would mean that he met Gary much more recently than 15 years ago at the Academy, unless they'd actually met before being student/teacher
     
  19. Nighthawk

    Nighthawk Ensign Red Shirt

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    On the original show all uniforms showed the ranks on the wears sleeves.

    Gold solid braids with gold dashes for example or just for or more sold braids for ranks above Captain.
    Also departments were designated by color of the shirt.

    In the movies post TMP Rob Fletcher introduced rank pins and created a uniformal list based on Navel ranks used by the majority of 20th Century Navies around the world.
    According to his paper work there ranks designated for Non-Commisioned Officers and for Marines.
    It in his uniform guide that you order from Roddenberry.com.
    The uniforms changed and were all the same except for the color under tunic and gold top stitching for flag rank.

    Then during the run of TNG, DS9, and Voyager. There the commisioned ranks were set up using pips and rectangle squars for flag ranks and different uniforms.
    For these shows it was a return to using colors for the diffent departments and again.

    What was not shown or fully explained where the non-officer rank designators. Such as Cheif O'Brian. When he was first show on the Bridge of the Enterprise he had a Lt.(jg) Pip and at Con. (I believe he was in the pilot) Then when he took over as the designated Transporter Cheif he had "lost his Pips" and had silver bar that disignated him as a non-commisioned officer.
    O'Brian continued to wear the same thing when he was transfered to DS9.

    It was also mentioned during DS9 that O'Brian was a soldier during the Cardasian war and during the Dominion War the federation deployed soldiers which I have assumed were Starfleet Marines.

    On Voyager the Marquee wear the same silver bar for rank and is listed as provisional ranks but not sure if they were wearing the rank of Starfleet Cadets.

    Though the history of Star Trek all the shows other then Movies 2-6 had trouble depicting non-commisioned officers or explaining what thier ranks or grads were other then Kirk talking with a subordinate and calling him Mister.
    Same thing happened in J.J.'s Star Trek. Look around the ship and not every one has a rank desinated on their sleeves.

    I wished through out the TV shows there could have been more crew members who were addressed by their non-com ranks. Like warrent Officer Smith or Petty Officer Jackson..
     
    Last edited: May 15, 2012
  20. 137th Gebirg

    137th Gebirg Vice Admiral Premium Member

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    ^^^ O'Brian's time as a soldier could be explained by Kirk's statement to Capt. John Christopher when he said that Starfleet is a "Combined Service" (TOS: "Tomorrow is Yesterday") - the implication being, they have their own soldiers without differentiation of other branches. We saw some of this first-hand in DS9's "The Siege of AR-558".

    Yes, I've always thought that enlisted and non-coms always got a bad run of it in Trek. I suppose it might have had something to do with Roddenberry, but who knows at this point? It could be argued that the only way into Starfleet is through the Academy, the point being that you are guaranteed to graduate as an officer, starting at Ensign or LtJG, depending on your performance. They seem to bounce back and forth between this concept in the series and movies. No way to accurately tell with the lack of historical consistency we've seen over the years.