We know that Tom Paris' character was based on Nick Locarno from TNG but that it wasn't intended to be the same character. However, I've been re-watching Voyager recently and came to the episode "Drive"(s07e03) in which Tom Paris remarks that nursery rhymes of sorts got him through the academy, to which B'Elanna Torres responds DIRECTLY "You were expelled". Now, from all I've gathered researching Tom Paris' history as well as all the information presented in the episodes, Tom graduated and was posted on the USS Exeter. So my question is when/where was Tom expelled from the Academy? If he was then how was he stationed on the Exeter and later Caldik Prime where the purported incident that got him expelled from Starfleet took place? At that time he would had to have been a graduate of Starfleet Academy. Furthermore it's mentioned that he spent four years at the Academy before he graduated which is the supposed minimum, which doesn't allow for the time of an expulsion period and reinstatement. I've tried to rationalize this but the most I can come up with is some merging of Tom Paris and Nick Locarno by the writers at some point. In the premier episode "Caretaker" it's established that the name, incident, timing, and body counts do not match but the only way I can see this expulsion from Starfleet Academy plausible is if at some point they decided in essence that Tom was Nick, who WAS expelled from the Academy. If true, this would make the information presented in "Caretaker" faulty. I'm thinking that maybe my Trek knowledge isn't that great and I'm missing something or otherwise something went completely unmentioned. So could someone maybe enlighten me on this?