When did O'Brien lose his commission?

Discussion in 'General Trek Discussion' started by davidant32, Mar 23, 2009.

  1. davidant32

    davidant32 Commodore Commodore

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    If we're to accept onscreen events as canon, then O'Brien clearly wore two pips (lieutenant) while onboard the Enterprise. Yet, by DS9, he is a non-commissioned officer.

    What did he do to lose his commission?
     
  2. CorporalClegg

    CorporalClegg Admiral Admiral

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    It was only done that way because the wardrobe department didn't have any non-officer ranks to use.

    The is primarily because an Old, deluded GR thought there wouldn't be any enlistees.
     
    Last edited: Mar 23, 2009
  3. Delta1

    Delta1 Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Just because something is canon doesn't mean it's correct. Star Trek is inspired, not inerrant.

    But if O'Brien was an officer, I imagine it was because he lost a bet. Maybe someone outdrank him, so he had to be a lieutenant for a year.
     
  4. NickInABox

    NickInABox Captain Captain

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    That's the best theory for anything ever. Probably because that would be SO what would happen to O'Brien.:lol:
     
  5. Timo

    Timo Admiral Admiral

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    We only think he was a Lieutenant because he wore two pips - such rank, or indeed a commission, was never really mentioned in dialogue. ("Where Silence Has Lease" features an ambiguous bit where Riker says "Lieutenant" once, but the writer wouldn't have known in advance that Colm Meaney would be in that scene -the script would have called for a random transporter operator - and OTOH Riker could be speaking to Lieutenant Worf in that scene, rather than to the transporter operator).

    But perhaps the color of the pips matters? We know that one dark pip makes O'Brien lower in status than the lowest Ensign, in late TNG and in early DS9. We also believed that Colm Meaney's character wore a single bright pip in "Encounter at Farpoint" but the recreation of those scenes in "All Good Things.." proved us wrong - the pip was always dark "in reality"...

    So perhaps those two pips were dark, too, "in reality"?

    Timo Saloniemi
     
  6. The Badger

    The Badger Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    If memory serves it was that episode where Barclay has to overcome his fear of transporters. He gives O'Brien a direct order, pointing to his own insignia to emphasise the fact that he out ranks the Chief.
    Up until then O'Brien had been an officer.
     
  7. Mr. Laser Beam

    Mr. Laser Beam Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    I don't care what pips O'Brien wore. It's clear he was not an officer throughout his entire run on TNG and DS9.

    Besides, if you're going to go that route, maybe his TNG pips were a different color? Silver instead of gold, for example?
     
  8. CorporalClegg

    CorporalClegg Admiral Admiral

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    Besides, pip malfunctions were pretty common among the 21 collective seasons. If memory serves there was even a few scenes/shots where Data was a full commander.
     
  9. Mr. Laser Beam

    Mr. Laser Beam Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    Data wore the pips of a LT. JG in "All Good Things" even though he was a LCDR for the entire series. And of course Tuvok's rank pip confusion as well.
     
  10. JustKate

    JustKate Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    That definitely makes difference in rank in the modern military. Or they could be oval instead of round - I doubt if I'd see a difference - or some other fairly subtle difference, such as dark blue or dark gray, as Timo suggests.

    As an alternative, I kind of like Delta's explanation. ;)

    Anyway, if you're a mere lieutenant and you get busted for something, they don't bust you down to enlisted - that's not the way it works. Officers are officers and enlisted are enlisted.

    If an officer does something so bad that he no longer deserves to be an officer, he gets thrown out of the service, not given an high-level enlisted rank. Some people think that "enlisted" means "has no power," and that's definitely not the way it works. My great uncle was a master gunnery sergeant in the U.S. Marine Corps. You don't reach that rank by screwing up, and I very much doubt if you get to be a chief in Starfleet by screwing up, either.
     
    Last edited: Mar 23, 2009
  11. The Grim Ghost

    The Grim Ghost Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Perhaps Picard or Starfleet had a rule at the time (that was later thrown out) about only having officers take the major bridge positions...a rule sometimes circumvented by making a qualified non-officer an acting ensign (like Wesley). That is my stab at an answer.

    Now as to why O'Brien would be an acting Lt. instead of an ensign..anybody?
     
  12. Delta1

    Delta1 Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Senior NCOs are temporarily appointed lieutenants, junior EMs and precocious children are appointed acting ensign?
     
  13. Wally

    Wally Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

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    Maybe prior to the Enterprise he was enlisted, then got 'mustanged' to an officer position, and following that he decided it wasn't for him so he went back to enlisted?
     
  14. Johnny

    Johnny Commander Red Shirt

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    Maybe it was a complimentary rank, maybe he was the head of all transporter activities and therefore his assigned rank that refleted that to give him authority over other CO's, but his actual rank was something different. Picard seemed to like him, Riker seemed to get along with him fine, so why not grant him special priviledges?

    ¬ J
     
  15. ShamelessMcBundy

    ShamelessMcBundy Fleet Admiral Admiral

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  16. Verteron

    Verteron Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Perhaps the one lasting effect of the timeline changes that occurred in Yesterday's Enterprise was that O'Brien never went to the Academy... :D
     
  17. Trek Survivor

    Trek Survivor Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Let's not forget Picard's brief 'demotion' to commander from "Cost Of Living".
     
  18. MikeH92467

    MikeH92467 Vice Admiral Admiral

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    I've always suspected that O'Brien got a field commission or "brevet" for his service in the Cardassian War, but reverted to his permanent rank on DS 9. Carrying a senior NCO rank carries plenty of prestige and power in the military and for someone like O'Brien who enjoyed getting his hands dirty more than worrying about his next ticket punch on the way up the officer's ladder, the title of "Chief Petty Officer" would probably be a lot more satisfying than "Lieutenant" or *shudder* "Ensign".
     
  19. Delta1

    Delta1 Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    O'Brien identified himself as an NCO to the Rozhenkos, so if he was moonlighting as an officer he had given it up by Family.
     
  20. MeanJoePhaser

    MeanJoePhaser Admiral

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    I'll go with that. Some time stream alteration changed O'Brien's past. That's more plausible than a well-established organization like Starfleet having inconsistent rank markings. I'm not being sarcastic, as far as Star Trek goes that is the more plausible reason. ;)

    Q might have had something to do with it, as well. Remember his DS9 remark to O'Brien?

    "Weren't you one of the little people?"

    Q altered time to stick it to O'Brien. In fact, he had such little use for O'Brien that he didn't put him on mock trial in Encounter at Farpoint.