Discussion in 'Star Trek - The Original & Animated Series' started by ThatsMrCaptaintoyou, Apr 4, 2021.
I recognize that logo.
For my first computer, I started with the Vic-20.
What's sad about the whole thing - why would anyone be disappointed to make Commodore? It's an important historical rank/position. The U.S. Navy didn't even have an Admiral at all until the Civil War. The most important early officers were Commodores - such as ol' Commodore Prebble, the man who helped create the captains that fought in the War of 1812.
I guess even Annapolis doesn't bother teaching the whole history of the service it's dedicated to produce officers for...?
It's right there in @J.T.B. 's previous post:
''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.
Yeah, I get what you're saying. OTOH, people don't live in history, they live their day-to-day lives with all that involves. In this case, captains who are promoted in one fiscal year go directly to two-star rear admiral, but captains promoted in the next year, who were expecting the same for themselves, get one star and the rank of commodore, which is nice, but it's not an "admiral," which is widely understood to be the highest level. So it would be human to be disappointed by something like that.
Also there's some horse trading going on: Navy higher-ups had a perk for 80 years by getting to skip the one-star rank. They're being asked to give that up, so they're saying, OK, we'll go along with that, but we think it's only fair that our new one-stars should be some kind of admiral, like they were before.
As for the early nineteenth century commodores, the courtesy title had to be good enough for them, because that was all that was available to set them apart from other captains. But many, and probably most, were bitterly unhappy that promotion to higher ranks was not open to them as it was in the army. Year after year navy officers protested to congress members, and many bills that would create admiral grades were drafted before the Civil War, and died in the House or Senate.
History is great and all but that's not going to stop the emotions that could come with it. Especially if someone is serving day in and day out and feeling like there is a measure of recognition not afforded them. It's an emotional response not a logic puzzle.
Starfleet may have faced similar issues, as the apparent lowest flag rank (apparent because the uniform couldn't have fewer rank markings) gets addressed "Admiral" in early TNG.
Might still be those are Commodores since the rank never really appears to go away, getting mentions in ENT, TOS, TOS movies and now PIC even if there are only Okudagram mentions in TNG/DS9/VGR...
Always thought of Commadore as a "senior captain"
Someone with the time in service and seniority to be an admiral, but wanting to keep the center seat. So they make them the mostly symbolic head of a flight of ships, maybe ships in the same sector or mission. Maybe the person in charge if Starfleet is days or more away by subspace, and requires more than a captains discretion. Maybe.
What does "AFAWK" mean?
From "Whom Gods Destroy":
As Far As We Know, I assume.
Funny thing there...look up the British/English Royal Navy during the Age of Sail and note that far too many Captains were eventually made Admirals only to end up beached (Admiral of the Yellow) with no command. The situation got so bad that after the Napoleonic Wars, they had far too many Admirals with nothing to do but collect their half pay (which was still fairly substantial, by the standards of the time).
Yup, As Far As We Know - a more hubris-filled version of the more common AFAIK.
Which is very different from Garth holding the rank of Fleet Captain. Instead, he is a Captain in the Starship Fleet, a position he shares with Kirk and needs to be reminded of, thrice.
So there's a rank component to this honorable title, which is "Captain", and a clarification of what this means, this being that he's Captain in the starship fleet.
(We could pretend that "Captain" is the correct form of address for a putative higher rank of Fleet Captain, but it never works like that in real militaries: short form such as "Commander" or "Admiral" may elevate a lower rank, but it will never denigrate a higher one.)
Pike's being called Fleet Captain is distinct, because there's a promotion associated with getting that title. Although it could still mean the same thing: Pike is a proper Captain in the 'Fleet, rather than getting called "Captain" for the same reason Leo Walsh would get called "Captain". It's only in DSC where we get a good reason to think otherwise, what with Pike in his fantasies wearing a special five-pip decoration on his shoulders, rather than the four we'd expect to go with the |:| braid. Although, you know, dream sequence...
In any case, it seems that Decker wins and Pike loses, when it comes to promotions. Decker's thick Commodore stripe is the obvious lowermost flag braid, with the subsequent flag ranks adding thin braid to that in varying numbers. Pike's five stars are clearly the uppermost line rank instead. A bit like Picard getting a fifth pip on his collar, instead of a box with a single pip. Perhaps Fleet Captain is a consolation prize of some sort, a special honorary position much like Master Petty Officer of the Navy? Pike's association with cadets and recruits in two timelines might reflect the special duties of that position...
Great post by @J.T.B. Thanks.
I completely agree with those who said that history's lens doesn't account for the feelings of the people then living it. However, there were so few commodores both times the rank was (heh) phased out that I have a feeling they weren't the issue, no matter what an anonymous source had to say about it. Moreover, if the Navy thought they were addressing the hurt feelings of commodores who wanted to be admirals, all they had to do was change the rank to counter admiral, already in widespread use at the equivalent rank in NATO countries. The solution and the title they came up with is just the worst. And tying this back to TOS, aren't we all glad that Starfleet had commodores (and still does by the time of PIC), and also that no one ever referred to "Rear Admiral (Lower Half) James T. Kirk"?
We did get at least two dialogue references to Rear Admirals, which I guess is bad enough already. And one to a Vice Admiral, which sounds objectionable as well. But that's part of the military live, being the butt end of jokes...
Or, Fleet Captain is a role, but his rank on paper is still "Captain." He's a Captain in Star Fleet who, at one time, possibly in a time of war, was given a brevet promotion to be in charge of a fleet.
It wasn't the only issue, that's true, but if you have a high-up navy official telling a NYT reporter that navy officers found it an "emotional" topic, it's definitely an issue.
That title has no history in English-speaking nations and doesn't really make sense in English except as a literal translation of French, Spanish, Italian etc. Is it an anti-admiral? An admiral who counts? An admiral who works the counter? There was no way that was ever going to happen.
Sure it's awkward, it just happened to be the title that everyone agreed on because it had some history (back to 1899) behind it. But in practice, the Navy rarely uses the full title. Other than the most official documents, they avoid it and act as if rear admirals are all the same, but some use one star and some two stars. If you look at the online flag biographies, the only way to tell who is "lower half" is to look at the insignia in the photo.
LOL. I like the admiral working at the counter. It actually translates in all three of those languages as more like "secondary admiral" or indeed "counter admiral" and also led directly to the Anglicization . . . "real admiral!" In both cases it refers to the officer who commanded the rear portion of the fleet or the portion of the fleet that would be set somewhat apart or against relative to ("counter to") the others. In my opinion it works perfectly well in English and sounds just as good as - if not better than - rear admiral. And since the USN went with two forms of rear admiral, there isn't any reason why two different translations of the same title couldn't be used for one-star and two-star flag officers.
I know. And those are all reasons that make its usage very silly in my view. Importing the concept of grades among the officers into a title via a parenthetical is more than awkward; it's confusing and jarring. And you can imagine the fun that Navy enlisted personnel have with "Rear Admiral (Lower Half)."
In short - like Starfleet, bring back the Commodores! Just none that actually get their mail at Zhat Vash headquarters.
It is, in my view. Is this the part where I must for some reason mention that statements of such kind are my opinion only and need not be accepted as fact?
More a curiosity; not treating it as fact.
Separate names with a comma.