Commodore Decker

Discussion in 'Star Trek - The Original & Animated Series' started by ThatsMrCaptaintoyou, Apr 4, 2021.

  1. Timo

    Timo Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    And indeed the idea that Kirk would have been young for <insert achievement> never gets a mention in either TOS or the spinoffs. Nor does any Trek incarnation bring up the idea of Spock being the first Vulcan in Starfleet. Both concepts enjoyed fan popularity at one point, but they really aren't based on anything much, in-universe.

    That Decker would be a big name is already suggested during his appearance: Kirk wonders how "a man like Decker" would have his crew abandon a ship that still had working life support (suggesting both that the decision was out of the norm if not indeed insane, and that a lesser man might still have abandoned ship in a bout of cowardice). But that's about the extent of that. When DSC goes on to say that Decker is exceptionally highly decorated in the 2250s already, we may start thinking that this could have something to do with his high rank at a not-so-high job: he's been pinned full of medals and given a promotion, but there isn't a slot for him higher up yet so he slums it there at the job that made him famous. And the TOS episode then plays out in this light, there being nothing there to stop that interpretation.

    Timo Saloniemi
     
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  2. The Wormhole

    The Wormhole Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    Amazing how people can get blue in the face to enforce the belief that Starfleet isn't a military or isn't the US Navy, but then something like this comes along where a Commodore is in command of a ship and everyone starts demanding to know how/why since that's not how it goes in the military/US Navy.

    Decker was a Commodore because the narrative required him to outrank Kirk. That's all there really is to it.
     
  3. Vger23

    Vger23 Vice Admiral Admiral

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    People also get way too hung up on the "today's military" vs. "Starfleet" comparisons....not taking into account how 3-400 years of time passage, plus the fact that this is a multi-species organization and would have adapted traditions and practices from all across the Federation, would all impact how things work in Starfleet vs. today's Navy.
     
  4. Phaser Two

    Phaser Two Commodore Premium Member

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    Yeah. He played with the Commodores. It's "Richie," though, just to be a pedant.

    I must confess that I missed DISCO's reference to Decker. I assume it was in the first season, which was so horrible overall that I almost immediately repressed it. What was the context of the reference? Note that no spoilers for S3 should be revealed, I don't believe.


    Okay! Thanks for the bold and italics. Is this a topic that raises the board's temperature for some reason? It seems like it's pretty harmless (and it has spawned some discussion here that I find interesting).

    Of all the silly things that certain fans believe about Star Trek, the notion that Starfleet isn't a military organization has to be one of the most confounding, especially since it is contradicted onscreen on a near-constant basis (including explicit dialogue such as (but not limited to) Kirk's "I'm a soldier, not a diplomat" in EOM), and also because the opposing view - whatever that might be - is never discussed in such terms (if ever) onscreen.

    I remember when someone - was it Vonda N. McIntyre?* - did an ongoing Q&A piece in the Best of Trek, and addressed this question. I have a distinct recollection of reading that, and even as a kid having already by that time (mid-80s I guess) seen each episode of Star Trek about 40-50 times, just sort of sitting there and wondering, "Wait - this is an actual point of view?"

    *I'm sorry to have learned, just now for the first time, that she passed away about two years ago. What a writer. RIP.
     
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  5. Vger23

    Vger23 Vice Admiral Admiral

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    No, not at all. It's a visual method to provide stress on a certain point where the basic font and written medium might not do that by itself.

    It doesn't indicate me yelling at anyone, red-faced with hysteria.
     
  6. BillJ

    BillJ Canon Warrior Premium Member

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    Name on a screen when Saru asks about Starfleet’s greatest captains.
     
  7. Phaser Two

    Phaser Two Commodore Premium Member

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    Ah. Well, AFAIK the basic font and written medium carried your point across perfectly. And it was rather heavily made even without the added emphasis. I just wondered if - as a relative newcomer around here - I had missed some massive controversy over this seemingly innocuous topic.

    Oh. Thanks. I'll just assume that was in S1.
     
  8. Vger23

    Vger23 Vice Admiral Admiral

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    In Star Trek Land--- Everything is a massive controversy. You should see the thread we have going about the cotton-to-polyester ratio of Ensign Chekov's underwear.

    ;)
     
  9. J.T.B.

    J.T.B. Rear Admiral Premium Member

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    That's true, but even just based on what's shown within the episodes themselves it could still raise a question.

    Besides Kirk and Pike, we know of starship captains Krasnovski, Chandra, Tracey, Harris, Garrovick and the unnamed Defiant captain. OTOH, we know commodores Stone, Mendez, Stocker, Enright, Travers and Barstow commanded bases, outposts or something higher-level. Commodore Wesley commanded a group of four starships.

    So Decker is unlike the other examples of starship commanders, and unlike the other examples of commodores. Is it unreasonable to speculate on why that might be?


    Edit to add Pike, duh.
     
    Last edited: Apr 5, 2021
  10. BillJ

    BillJ Canon Warrior Premium Member

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    It was in season one.
     
  11. plynch

    plynch Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Truth be told, the polyester makeup of S3 tunics and its role in the green quotient of command chartreuse, has featured in more than one thread here. My favorite topic btw.
     
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  12. Phaser Two

    Phaser Two Commodore Premium Member

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    LOL! Don't hesitate not to keep me posted. :techman:

    Of course. They were throwing everything against the wall (and mirror) and seeing what stuck. As it happened, not much.

    This is probably the wrong time to say that I vastly preferred the velour in all three colors. The difference was most noticeable in greengold and least in blue. The red velour was just beautiful. I still love S3, though.
     
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  13. Timo

    Timo Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    A couple of points about that list of names make it particularly interesting.

    1) Saru asks the computer for "the most decorated starship captains" and apparently gets his wish. Presumably the computer is specifically counting medals, then, rather than evaluating skill or heroics in some neutral manner. No wonder Archer would make it to the list, then - by virtue of being a pathfinder, he couldn't help but collect things like "First To Flush Toilet At Warp Five".
    2) Archer does make it to the list, establishing it covers all of Starfleet's history (and possibly then some, since we have no knowledge of Archer having served as a starship captain in Starfleet, only in its UE predecessor).
    3) What we see of the list is not chronological, but alphabetical. We get names up to Pike, and none of them are ones we would not have heard before. Unless Starfleet hired a lot of Zebrahims and Zhukovskis, we also get to see the bulk of that list. Talk about bias!
    4)...Okay, let's talk, since the bulk of that list is TOS stuff rather than DSC or ENT. We have five names: Archer, April, Decker, Georgiou and Pike. We get told right off the bat that Georgiou is a big name, presumably in exploration, and there's no reason to disbelieve. "DDM" sort of hints that Decker would be a name, too, and Archer has his understandable special allowance. We still know zip about April's career, but his chest certainly is heavy with triangles in "Counter-Clock Incident"; might be he collected those before 2257 already. Also, both Decker and April eventually rose in rank above Captain, but for all we know, they never moved up from the position of starship captain, and thus would be on that list even if the even more highly decorated Captain Dunsel voided herself by becoming Grand Admiral eventually and rounding out her collection of medals at these higher ranks.

    Pike is the odd man out there. He's supposedly the junior of the lot; dialogue is ambiguous on whether Georgiou was a classmate or a teacher, but the latter sounds more consistent with the man's apparent age. He's also the second man to be associated with the Enterprise, which is curious in light of there being zero references in TOS to the ship being special, or to Kirk having to exist in the shadow of two prominent former skippers. But perhaps the mission profiles of Constitutions help out in hoarding medals and fame (Burnham sort of suggests this to her protege), and this is why Decker and April made it to the list, too? Nevertheless, Pike would appear to have his work cut out for him if he's to rise to fame between "The Cage" (where he isn't anybody as far as we can tell) and DSC S1. Also, he gets promoted to the AFAWK unique rank of Fleet Captain, not Commodore. What did Decker do wrong (right?) there?

    Timo Saloniemi
     
  14. Kraig

    Kraig Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

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    Sophia?
     
  15. BK613

    BK613 Commodore Commodore

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    I like the train of this thought.
    FWIW, I bold stuff I want to emphasize also, mostly because the board software turns all quote-tagged text into italics. So saying something like "the episode The Day of the Dove" becomes "the episode The Day of the Dove" inside the quote tags, losing the emphasis that had been added.
     
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  16. Duncan MacLeod

    Duncan MacLeod Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    It was phased out because the officers who held that rank basically kicked their feet and cried that they wanted to be Admirals. They acted more like babies than senior naval officers.
     
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  17. Kraig

    Kraig Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

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    The last time the USN tried to bring back Commodore as a rank was in 1982, it was confusing, because there were officers with the title of Commodore and with the rank of Captain. They tried to call the rank "Commodore Admiral" and the title for a Captain in charge of a squadron of vessels, or types of air wings, just "Commodore."' However, Commissioned Officers are easily confused. :D They went back to calling "Commodore Admiral," a "Rear Admiral L.H." again and paying them with one star pay, but they wore two stars. The title of "Commodore" for Captains over more than one operational unit, and not the rank of "Commodore" remains. The return of R.Adm.L.H. with two stars mostly pisses off the Brigadier Generals in the Army, Air Force and USMC.
     
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  18. Phaser Two

    Phaser Two Commodore Premium Member

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    Hmm. I don't think that's accurate. It was general officers from the other branches of the services complaining, and someone concluding that commodores weren't getting respect from NATO counterparts at the OF-6 rank, most of whom were called "counteradmirals" or something similar.
     
  19. J.T.B.

    J.T.B. Rear Admiral Premium Member

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    There was definitely a feeling expressed that since a brigadier general was a kind of general, the navy one-star should be some kind of admiral.

    ''You've got officers who have been working all their professional lives to become an admiral, and then they get called a commodore,'' explained one high-ranking officer, who asked not to be named. ''It became a very emotional issue.''
    The New York Times, 10 Nov 1985.​


    A not-so-brief summary:

    1862 "An Act to established and equalize the Grade of Line Officers of the United States Navy" (PDF). Establishes the rank of commodore in the Navy, equal to brigadier general. Also establishes ranks of rear admiral, lieutenant commander and ensign.

    1899 Naval Personnel Act (PDF). One-star rank of commodore eliminated. Officers will be promoted directly from captain to two-star rear admiral, but receive one-star pay until they reach the upper half of the seniority list.

    1943 "'An Act authorizing the temporary appointment or advancement of certain personnel of the Navy and Marine Corps, and for other purposes', as amended, to provide for the grade of commodore, and for other purposes" (PDF). The one-star rank of commodore is re-established (with captain's pay) for wartime expansion. Promotions to commodore are temporary, for the period of the national state of emergency only. Because there were still retired commodores alive at the time, the 1941 uniform regulations had still described (but did not illustrate) commodore insignia. One-star broad pennants return to the flag locker.

    como_flags_1943.png
    Bureau of Naval Personnel Information Bulletin, April 1943.

    como_all_hands_1943.png
    Bureau of Naval Personnel Information Bulletin, May 1943.

    1980 Defense Officer Personnel Management Act (PDF): O-7 grade of "commodore admiral" established for the Navy, USN officers required to be selected for advancement to O-8. One-star insignia return to uniform regulations. The one-star flag becomes rectangular rather than the traditional forked commodore pennant.

    1982 Defense Authorization Act (passed in 1981) (PDF): title changed from "commodore admiral" to "commodore."

    1986 Defense Authorization Act (passed in 1985) (PDF): title changed from "commodore" to "rear admiral (lower half)."

    The NYT article also credits Ike Skelton (D-MO) of House Armed Services for getting rid of the "commodore admiral" title.
     
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  20. Maurice

    Maurice Fact Trekker Premium Member

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