Why no half ranks?

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

  1. apenpaap

    apenpaap Commodore Commodore

    Interesting, that list indicates Kira was double-promoted when she made Colonel. Never knew that, as my knowledge of army ranks stems entirely from Stratego.
     
  2. Timo

    Timo Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    But was she made Colonel - or Lieutenant Colonel?

    The latter sounds much more likely, for no less than four reasons.

    1) It would only be a single step of promotion, therefore not unusual.

    2) It would also match the Starfleet rank of Commander that Kira carried when working for the Cardassian underground; it would make no sense to give Kira a Starfleet rank that was lower than her real Bajoran rank.

    3) It would keep Kira one step below Sisko in rank, which is not only dramatically satisfying in its simplicity, but makes sense in the organizational setup of the space station.

    4) Kira's rank insignia are different from those worn by Colonel Day in "The Siege". This at the very least proves that the Bajoran militia has two ranks that both are addressed as "Colonel". A closer look at the rank pins also suggests that Day's brass diverges more from the Major pin than Kira's does, thus suggesting that Kira is the Lieutenant Colonel and Day is the "full" Colonel.

    Naturally, anybody holding the rank of Lieutenant Colonel would still be addressed as "Colonel" in most situations.

    Timo Saloniemi
     
  3. apenpaap

    apenpaap Commodore Commodore

    I did a search on Memory Alpha, and it says the guy in "The Siege" was a Lieutenant Colonel. Kira also makes Captain in "Unity" (Though that could be another promotion), suggesting she did in fact become a full Colonel.
     
  4. Timo

    Timo Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    But Memory Alpha is just bullshitting its way through the ranks without any sort of evidence. All that was ever said was that Colonel Day was a Colonel, and Colonel Kira was a Colonel, and all that was ever shown was that they wore different pins. Colonel Kira also wore the three pins of a Starfleet Commander, making her the likelier candidate for Lieutenant Colonel than Day.

    Of course, it might be that there are other sorts of Colonel in the Bajoran militia, to confuse the issue. But I don't see why we should dream up such fictional ranks when the system so far seems to correspond to the familiar US Army system exactly. Memory Alpha has some sort of a crazy fixation about a Bajoran rank they call "Field Colonel". It's completely baseless - it's not part of the episode dialogue, and has no proper real-world equivalent. But in theory, alien militaries might have alien ranks. In which case one wonders why anybody would even try to pretend that those ranks could be translated into English and shoehorned into the US Army or Navy systems with a few dangling ends.

    Timo Saloniemi
     
  5. T'Girl

    T'Girl Vice Admiral Admiral

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    But on several occasions wasn't Kira introduced was "Colonel Kira?" During a formal introduction Sisco or others would have used lieutenant colonel.

    And T'Pol was a SUB-commander.
     
  6. Major Chord

    Major Chord Choir Boy Extraordinaire Captain

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    It could be that the Vulcans just don't have a rank of commander. Sub commander could be equivalent to SF commander, from there you go to Captain. There are plenty of times in TNG, and DS9 where LCDRs are referred to as "commander"...so the absence of this with T;\'Pol leads me to believe that either the Rank of commander doesn't exist for Vulcans, or the crew was attempting to point out that she was not part of Starfleet (as in, emphasizing her Vulcan rank).
     
  7. Ríu ríu chíu

    Ríu ríu chíu Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    Yes, they do.
     
  8. ElScoob

    ElScoob Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    They'd have to, wouldn't they? It makes absolutely no sense to have a rank named 'subcommander' if you don't have one called 'commander'. Not too logical, if you will.

    Plus which, we know the Romulans have the ranks of subcommander and commander. It always seemed to me that the Vulcans having the subcommander rank was kind of a nice touch, drawing a nice little parallel between the two divergent branches of the same culture. You'd want to think that the similar rank structures grew out of the same military traditions of Vulcan antiquity.

    --g
     
  9. Ríu ríu chíu

    Ríu ríu chíu Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    Excuse me? Never heard of a Lieutenant Colonel, have we? Not exactly a big deal that the Bajorans might use a slightly different term.
     
  10. Timo

    Timo Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    But the fact is that they don't use that term ("Field Colonel"). It's not part of the Star Trek universe. So why the hell does MA insist on listing it?

    We know Bajorans have a few varieties of Colonel, because two or three different pins have been worn by people addressed as Colonel. The pins worn by Kira and Colonel Lenaris of "Shakaar" fame are almost identical to the Major pin (indeed, Lenaris seems to wear the basic Major pin by wardrobe mistake, which may be why Kira's later pin was designed to look almost like a Major's so that we could pretend "Shakaar" didn't feature a wardrobe mistake). So we could reduce the number of Bajoran pins to two, just like in the real world where there are two Colonel ranks.

    Okay, that's an oversimplification - some nations have had different real world systems featuring for example the rank of Colonel General. But those systems have been distinct from the classic US Army one in other respects as well, whereas the Bajoran system seems to remain smack on.

    Agreed. I wouldn't wonder a bit if the Vulcan military also referred to its vessels as Warbirds, Birds of Prey, Raptors, Vultures and so forth... Perhaps it's the Vulcan intelligence on Klingon culture that colored the Earthling views of that culture, too? For example, we know that it was T'Pol who taught to Archer that the torpedo-toting vessel in "Sleeping Dogs" was designated Raptor. That could have been its Vulcan rather than Klingon name...

    Timo Saloniemi
     
  11. T'Girl

    T'Girl Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Several european nations had the rank of Field Marshal, it was the single highest military rank, just below the political commander in chief.

    I don't think we ever heard of a Bajor general or admiral. Maybe field colonal IS the highest rank they have.
     
  12. SantaEddie74

    SantaEddie74 Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    Possibly, considering how limited in size and scope the Bajoran Militia appeared to be in the wake of the Cardassian occupation. It seemed to have limited, local law enforcement and internal security functions and relied on small units for the most part. Most small armed organizations like that that don't qualify as full-fledged "armies" don't have general/flag officers because of their limited manpower.
     
  13. Timo

    Timo Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    The trilogy that featured Colonel Day also prominently featured General Krim, an apparent sympathizer to the cause of the Circle movement who repeatedly withdrew while these armed rebels advanced.

    The impression we got was that Krim was a really big boss in the organization, although not necessarily the very top dog. Presumably, the Militia felt the need to have a few general/flag officers for show if not for an organizatory need...

    Timo Saloniemi
     
  14. clint g

    clint g Admiral Admiral

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    Even the tiny pissant Continental Army back during the revolution found a need for generals. Regardless of the fact that the Bajoran militia was tiny compared to starfleet it was still a global organization that probably had numbers greater than the modern day US military
     
  15. Ríu ríu chíu

    Ríu ríu chíu Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    Ooooooooh! My, my, my, we're getting just a little bit TOUCHY about all this, aren't we? Why does this term threaten you so much, eh? ;)

    Agreed, it may not have been spoken onscreen. But as soon as I put on my care face, I'll be sure and think about thinking about that. :p

    If it's in the script, it's good enough for me. As you pointed out, the Militia does have at least two different grades of colonel. So who the hell cares what they call them?
     
  16. Timo

    Timo Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    They should be called what they are called in Star Trek, is all. Everything else is bogus, and we shouldn't get cluttered with bogus.

    The problem here is that we have people like apenpaap checking out MA in good faith and finding bullshit that's not part of the Star Trek universe, then starting to think about the Star Trek universe in terms of that bullshit. That's not the purpose of MA. Wild speculation is anyone's privilege, but the concept of "reliable sources" should be everybody's concern, too. Yeah, Bajorans may have the rank of Field Colonel - and Spock may be Kirk's real father. But supposed reliable sources shouldn't list such things as established facts.

    Timo Saloniemi
     
  17. ellenbetty

    ellenbetty Cadet Newbie

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    Promotions come slowly when the military numbers are static. Only rapid expansion, heavy turn over, and/or heavy loses cause rapid rank advancement. Since it took the NX era Star Fleet 3 years to complete one starship, the NX-02, without any other space docks building other new starships in sight of Space Dock 1, production of new vessels for Star Fleet must have been slow during the early NX era.

    You would think that Star Fleet would have a crash starship production program, crash space dock production, crash starship crew training program, after the Zendi attack on Earth. But there did not seem to be a war time type of training and production rush after the Zendi attack on Earth.

    Shortage of people willing to serve in Star Fleet? Shortage of people that meet Star Fleet standards for a rapid expansion of Star Fleet?
     
  18. Timo

    Timo Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    Or major political resistance to the idea of building a deep space fleet? Vulcans weren't hot on that idea in 2151 yet. NX-01 was a proof-of-concept vessel; perhaps all decisions on gearing up production would have to wait for the concept to be proven.

    Also, there did exist a UESF before NX-01 was launched. It operated at least a few largish combat starships, and apparently had done so since the first few decades of the 22nd century. In thirty years, one would suppose there'd be enough personnel, enough accumulation of experience, that Starfleet would feel the need to have at least six line ranks, instead of just three. That way, experienced people who still are at working age could be organized into a functional hierarchy, instead of having too many of them agglomerate at Commander level while waiting for ships to be captained.

    Granted, though, that we know rather little about the pre-NX-01 Starfleet. Perhaps it only had those three ships seen in "The Expanse"? Alternately, perhaps it had dozens upon dozens, and had already fought a couple of interstellar wars in the minor leagues (say, the one with the Kzinti that Sulu mentioned in TAS). Perhaps it was a major source of pride for Earth, and attracted the best and the brightest - or then it was a humiliating reminder of the fact that Vulcans clamped on everything interstellar, and nobody wanted to serve in this runt of an organization that had no authority over anything else besides a few experimental spacecraft?

    Timo Saloniemi
     
  19. Ríu ríu chíu

    Ríu ríu chíu Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    I tend to believe that the Earth Starfleet had dozens, if not hundreds, of ships even by ENT's time. They just weren't all as fancy as the ones we saw. The bulk of Earth's spacefleet probably looked like this.

    As for the question of half ranks: Again, just because we rarely saw them doesn't mean they didn't exist. Did we ever see somebody get promoted straight from Lieutenant to Commander? Or Ensign to full Lieutenant? No? Then it's possible that the ranks of LTJG and Lt. Cmdr. do exist. It's not like the costuming department couldn't make the appropriate insignia if they felt like it. I mean, Mirror T'Pol was a LCDR, after all...

    Krim was cool. He was the very model of a modern Bajor general. :guffaw: ;)
     
  20. Red Ranger

    Red Ranger Admiral Admiral

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    Well, ST has always had inconsistencies in ranks. Why should ENT be an exception?

    It's too bad Sato and Mayweather didn't get promotions to lt., j.g., to show those "half-ranks." BTW, I had forgotten Mirror T'Pol was a lt. cmdr., so there's one half rank shown. So it's reasonable to assume that if that rank appears in the Mirror Universe, it most likely exists in the 22nd century Starfleet, as well.

    As for the topic of how many ships there are in the pre-NX Starfleet, I would say there must be more than just a handful. And like in today's navies, I'm sure there are full commanders and lieutenant commanders assigned as captains/commanding officers of Starfleet ships, rather than all ships requiring full captains (once known as post captains in the old British Royal Navy).

    Red Ranger