Why no half ranks?

Discussion in 'Star Trek: Enterprise' started by Crewman47, Aug 8, 2009.

  1. Crewman47

    Crewman47 Commodore Newbie

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    I realise that Enterprise only had around 80 officers and crew but why do you suppose we never had a lieutenant commander or junior lieutenant on board? Given her position I think it's been mentioned before that Hoshi should've been junior lieutenant. Also, am I right in assuming that even in a crew of 80 with the officer to crewman ratio, should there have been more full lieutenants on board as I think all we see at least Reed as the only lieutenant on board then maybe a dozen ensigns where everyone else is a crewman?
     
  2. cooleddie74

    cooleddie74 Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    I imagine the mid-22nd century Earth Starfleet HAD plenty of men and women with "half ranks" but Enterprise just didn't have them. Or if she did, they were serving on the lower decks and we never saw them up close to where we could make out the rank squares on their jumpsuits.
     
  3. TheOriginalGuru

    TheOriginalGuru Lieutenant Junior Grade Red Shirt

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    I think I read somewhere, originally, Malcolm Reed was actually written as a Lieutenant Commander, but it was changed just prior to shooting "Broken Bow". Don't know why it was changed though...
     
  4. clint g

    clint g Admiral Admiral

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    They probably had the rank, they just never showed them since the powers that be were feeling cheep and didnt have any blacked out rectangles made :p

    Something interesting is that the Ent was originally supposed to have alot of enlisted and NCOs on board, but for some reason they never followed through
     
  5. apenpaap

    apenpaap Commodore Commodore

    These ranks probably just didn't exist in the 22nd century.

    There was Commander Kelby. He was probably promoted from a Liuteneant (Though we never saw him before "Affliction").
     
  6. Skywalker

    Skywalker Admiral Admiral

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    They probably did, we just never saw any on screen.
     
  7. Ensign_Redshirt

    Ensign_Redshirt Commodore Commodore

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    It's possible that Starfleet's rank system changed over time. After all, we're talking about a span of two centuries here. Weren't there no Lieutenant junior grades in TOS too?


    ENT: no Lieutenant junior grade or Lieutenant Commander

    TOS: Lieutenant Commander rank re-established

    TNG etc.: Lieutenant junior grade rank re-established, Commodore rank abolished
     
  8. Timo

    Timo Admiral Admiral

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    Naah. There was even a specific rank braid for Lt(jg) in TOS: a single broken braid, when Lt was solid braid and LtCmdr was solid and broken. Lieutenant Joe Tormolen in "The Naked Time" wore the broken braid, even if nobody called him Junior at his face. (Or perhaps somebody did, and that's why he committed suicide?)

    It was just that Ensigns in TOS had no rank braid to separate them from assorted enlisted personnel. So in ST:TMP, it was decided to assign the one broken braid to Ensigns - a silly decision that in theory banished Lt(jg) from existence. But happily, nobody in TMP came out and said to the camera "Ensigns now wear broken braid and there are no Junior Lieutenants". At worst, we got a single line where a person wearing broken braid was referred to as Ensign - and, as with so many little incidents in TOS, we can claim that the person speaking was making a mistake, forgetting the other guy's recent promotion...

    It would be rather odd for Starfleet (UFP or UE) to suddenly go and abolish a rank for a period of a few decades, then reinstate it, when the Starfleet rank system otherwise is based on the USN one and would seem to have a very stable and continuous history. It's much easier to believe that we just failed to meet the wearers of some specific rank.

    Say, the Mercury astronauts were all officers from USAF, USN or USMC. Of the Navy guys, Shepard and Schirra were LtCmdrs but Carpenter was a Lieutenant; all the USAF pilots were Captains (the same as LtCmdr); Glenn, the only Marine, was a LtCol (the same as Commander). Since they were all hired to do the same job, we might speculate that USAF doesn't have any Lieutenants since their guys don't show the variety the USN guys do. Or we might decide the USMC skips Captain (that is, LtCmdr) rank because why else would Glenn be justified in being higher-ranked than the rest of the bunch? But a selection of seven heroes isn't statistically enough to make such conclusions - and seven heroes is what we generally get in Star Trek shows, too...

    Timo Saloniemi
     
  9. Cr031k

    Cr031k Lieutenant Red Shirt

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    OOOh lets not forget... IN JJ trek if your a woman, you can claim youre an Ensign or even a Captain and still get no rank on your shirt. Sad sad.

    [​IMG]
     
  10. Ensign_Redshirt

    Ensign_Redshirt Commodore Commodore

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    Well, even the ranks of the US Navy have changed over time... in the case of the flag officers they even have jumped back and forth.


    Ensign: Replaced the rank of "Passed Midshipman" in 1862.

    Lieutenant (junior grade): Replaced the rank of "Master" in 1883.

    Commander: Replaced the rank of "Master Commandant" in 1838.

    Commodore: Was abolished and re-established several times throughout the 19th and 20th centuries. Replacements include the ranks of "Commodore Admiral" and "Rear Admiral (lower half)". Often the rank was abolished altogether. First established as a rank in 1862, last abolished (or replaced) in 1983.

    Rear Admiral, Vice Admiral, and Admiral: Gradually established as ranks between 1862 and 1866. The admiral ranks subsequently fell into disuse after the civil war and were not re-established until the two world wars.

    Fleet Admiral: Established in 1944, fell into disuse after World War II.


    Originally, there was no naval rank between "Captain" and "Lieutenant" at all. Lieutenants were usually promoted to Captain right away.

    The general rule seems to be: The fewer the ships and the smaller the navy, the fewer the ranks. So you could make indeed make an argument that there no "Lieutenant junior grade" and "Lieutenant commander" ranks in the 22nd century. In the beginning there was only a single (later two) warp 5 ship and a number of smaller ships like the Intrepid.
     
  11. BlueWolf

    BlueWolf Lieutenant Junior Grade Red Shirt

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    I did find it quite amusing that after 10 years exploring, both Hoshi and Travis were still only Ensigns, though. :p
     
  12. Red Ranger

    Red Ranger Admiral Admiral

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    Even worse than Harry Kim, bless his heart! Sato and Mayweather should have at least been up to lieutenant, junior grade, if not full lieutenant, while Reed should've been lieutenant commander by that time. Silly! Let's not forget that TATV was mainly a holodeck simulation, so Riker screwed up when he programmed it -- forgot to press the button that would've updated the characters' ranks! :p -- RR
     
  13. apenpaap

    apenpaap Commodore Commodore

    ^It was also actually set shortly after Terra Prime. I hope they'll get that promotion in The Romulan War.
     
  14. cooleddie74

    cooleddie74 Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    It was just one more peanut in the turd that was "TATV" that the ranks didn't change. It was laughable. I mean, I can see not EVERYONE getting a wartime promotion...but not a single officer? Even Tom Paris on VOYAGER got demoted.:lol:
     
  15. Mr. Laser Beam

    Mr. Laser Beam Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    Actually, a USAF Captain = a Navy Lieutenant (Major is the rank that corresponds to LTCDR).
     
  16. Timo

    Timo Admiral Admiral

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    Whoops, my mistake!

    The episode dialogue makes multiple references to "These Are the Voyages" being 10 years after "Broken Bow". These include Archer meeting Shran 10 years prior (during S1 "Andorian Incident"), Archer taking command 10 years prior, and Shran faking his death 3 years prior (after S4 "The Aenar"), in order to protect a child he had five years prior with Jhamel whom he met in "The Aenar"...

    Some of these could be explained away, or taken as innocuous mistakes in the writing of the holoprogram. Not all, though. So the only way one could have "These Are the Voyages" soon after "Terra Prime" is if the holoprogram is part of an extensive conspiracy - which is what the novels rather pitifully try to claim.

    Timo Saloniemi
     
  17. Chaos Descending

    Chaos Descending Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Minor nitpick, the bolded part is incorrect. Army/Marine/Air Force Captains are the same rank as Navy Lieutenants, not Lieutenant Commanders.

    EDIT: Ah, someone beat me to it!
     
  18. Chaos Descending

    Chaos Descending Vice Admiral Admiral

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    LCDR, not LTCDR.

    I'm on a serious pedantics kick today! :lol:
     
  19. joncreed

    joncreed Commander Red Shirt

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    I'm assuming Starfleet uses US Navy/Coast Guard officer ranks, so here they are with Army, Air Force, Marine Corp equivalents:

    Ensign = Second Lieutenant
    Lt. Junior Grade = First Lieutenant
    Lieutenant = Captain
    Lieutenant Commander = Major
    Commander = Lieutenant Colonel
    Captain = Colonel
    Rear Admiral Lower Half = Brigadier General
    Rear Admiral Upper Half = Major General
    Vice Admiral = Lieutenant General
    Admiral = General
    Fleet Admiral = General of the Army, General of the Air Force ( used only in wartime and no Marine Corp equivalent)
    Starfleet has the rank of Commodore- above a Captain but below a Rear Admiral Lower Half. The US Navy discontinued the rank of Commodore but I think uses the title for senior captains who commands a task force, squadrons, special ops, etc.

    I served in the military and get irritated when the movies and tv can't get the ranks right, Reed was a Lieutenant but he outranked Major Hayes?!? Malcolm should've been a Lieutenant Commander equivalent in rank to Major Hayes BUT his "seniority" would make him higher in the chain of command or something to that affect. Gene Roddenberry served in WW2 and some of the sixties era writers and actors did time in the service due to WW2, Korea and the draft so TOS didn't mess up the rank structure. In the TNG, Deep Space 9, Voyager, Enterprise Era of Trek, I'm guessing that neither Rick Berman or Brannon Braga- or any other writer, showrunner, etc- did time in the military, so they didn't know or care about keeping the ranks accurate.
     
    Last edited: Aug 26, 2009
  20. Timo

    Timo Admiral Admiral

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    Umm, as of today, Commodore is the same thing as Rear Admiral Lower Half (RDML). Or at least the last time Commodore was used in the USN, it was just a different name for RDML. (There are several other meanings for the word Commodore, too, as you say.) The Wikipedia has the dirt on this; basically, Commodore has been an actual rank grade every now and then, a temporary title at other times, and there has always been a bit of congestion at the lowest flag ranks or highest line ranks, with the navies trying to cheapskate their way through employing these experienced senior officers even when there aren't enough Admiralty jobs for them. Usually, hilarity and confusion has ensued.

    The last time Commodore was made an actual grade in the USN, in the 1980s, people with said rank basically raised a stink because their title didn't contain the word "Admiral" - so "Rear Admiral, Lower Half" (RDML) was chosen as the more palatable name, to fit between Captain and Rear Admiral (RADM).

    Star Trek has never been quite as messy about the issue: in TOS, Commodores were obvious flag officers with an easily identifiable rank braid of their own, and were seen commanding both starbases and ships or formations of ships, as well as handling assorted desk jobs. The rank has not been mentioned much in later Trek, and it could be argued it has been renamed or removed, but there's no solid proof on that.

    Whether the United Earth Starfleet in ENT had the rank of Commodore is not in question, either. Max Forrest explicitly held that rank in the flashback episode "First Flight".

    Well, Hayes was but a guest aboard the ship. The lowest ablespaceman would probably have outranked the Major in certain issues concerning the ship... Only the internal security tasks of the ship would have been a bit of a grey area, and there Archer might have made the useful clarification that Reed would be in charge and Hayes would only command the MACOs in landing or boarding missions.

    Apparently, the use of units from the Military Assault Command aboard ships of Starfleet Command was a novel or rare practice during the third season of ENT. Various special arrangements would then only be natural; also, Archer would have personal leeway in organizing his ship, and in reorganizing and re-reorganizing it as best befitted the important mission where he couldn't contact his own superiors for permission.

    Timo Saloniemi