Discussion in 'General Trek Discussion' started by bluepicard27, Sep 30, 2012.
If one felt a compelling need to try to rationalize why the Constellation were commanded by a Commodore, for puproses of attaining a No-Prize, those are wo possible explanations. I'm not trying to state them as facts, just tossing the ideas out there.
My theory on Como. Decker and Constellation -- which I've stated before so forgive me if it sounds familiar -- is that four starships form a cruiser division (to use a WW2-era term, you may prefer squadron or group, whatever). Three are commanded by captains, but the fourth has a commodore who has a second hat as division commander. Since starships normally patrol alone, the commodore usually acts like a normal starship captain, aside for some extra paperwork as division commander. But if the division is assembled to act as a task force, as in "The Ultimate Computer," the commodore is in charge and his ship is the flagship.
^ I like this idea
Yeah, that's pretty good, too.
What doesn't quite fit is that the subject of the Enterprise belonging to Decker's squadron never comes up in the various arguments for who has command of the Enterprise, between Kirk, Spock, McCoy, and Decker. I suppose one could try to argue that the Enterprise is from a neighboring squadron, but that doesn't seem too likely, to me, especially with only a 12 ship fleet.
If Decker as squadron commander had been the intent, then it would only have taken a few minor tweaks of dialog to make it fit perfectly with the episode. While technically an argument against the idea, this last point also shows how not too far out at all your idea is. For that reason, it's a pretty good idea.
P.S. No, I hadn't read your idea before. Thanks!
Oh, we could well argue that the varying designs of uniform patches in TOS denote different "action groups", and Decker was in charge of the one with the Knot symbol, Wesley led the Flower group, while Kirk and Tracey were run-of-the-mill skippers from the Arrowhead and Oblong groups, respectively.
Kirk would then be doubly out of line trying to tell Decker what to do, while Decker would be a bit out of his depth trying to command Kirk like he commanded one of his own group.
Just to round that list out, in TOS canon, there's the Cardioids to which the Antares belonged, and the Romulan Neutral Zone outposts and Cestus III evidently belonged to the Seashells. Of course, Starbase 11 appears to be a Flower base.
Throwing in ENT canon, the Defiant belonged to the Truncated Boomerangs.
TAS canon brings in at least one more, showing that the Huron belonged to the Starfish. The Ariel, on the other hand, evidently belonged to the Arrowheads. However, it certainly looks like someone from the Pointy Crosses sat on the Council of Elysia.
Did Timo or I leave anybody out?
...Although I remember some sources, hell-bent on maintaining the idea of ship-specific symbols, interpreting these as Pierced Arrowheads, with an extra transverse element. (To be fired by a Broken Bow?)
Any ideas (GSchnitzer to the rescue?) on how exactly Theiss or whoever ended up with these delightfully odd shapes? I mean, the flower pattern or the rectangle is fairly generic, but Decker's knot takes some doing...
The Ariel's badge according to Robert Wood in the fan art section of the first-edition Concordance is wrong, as it's shown with an extra concave corner on its left side, if that's the version you are referring to.
Oooh! One of my favorite topics! Here are some badges I've collected over the years. Some canon, some questionable...
^ Yeah, that's Robert Wood's Ariel emblem that I was referring to. I had intended to mention the Penal colony emblem, but I forgot about it at the keyboard.
This page at Memory Alpha has a clickable Huron pic: http://en.memory-alpha.org/wiki/USS_Huron_personnel.
The Antares emblem in that chart is missing its inset "radiant star," by the way, best visible on Captain Ramart: http://en.memory-alpha.org/wiki/Ramart (clickable pic).
The Cestus III/outpost emblem does look like a fish, but Memory Alpha describes it as a seashell. I've never seen a great picture of it. Even in the remastered episodes, it's too blurry to make out in detail.
I did forget about the UN-like emblems; those are both from The Cage, right? I don't recall whether they were in Where No Man..., or any other episode, off the top of my head, but I'll admit they could have been.
It's difficult to make out - I see something extra there, but I noticed the expanded pic when you click on it seems to crop above the insignia for some reason.
I have a better picture somewhere - I think there was a photo of the original uniform from one of the auctions many years ago where the badge was discovered. Looks like I might need to do a little bit of updating on some of these charts.
Originally, yes, I believe they were all in The Cage, silk-screened on the blue and tan jumpsuits worn by crew members walking around. They persisted through early first season, IIRC, and then I guess they pretty much disappeared fully in favor of the standard uniforms used during the rest of the series. Personally, I liked seeing the different costume variants early in the series like that, and all the people walking around the corridors. It seemed that, in later seasons, the Enterprise was not as much a bustling city in space and looked quite empty by comparison. It was probably a simple matter of not having the production budget to support random extras every week.
Oh darn, sounds like a browser issue, maybe. TrekCore has some pics, too. Try clicking into the pics here: http://tos.trekcore.com/hd/thumbnails.php?album=2. The one in the middle of row three looks great at max res, but if that doesn't work, I'd suggest saving the pic to disk and opening it an image viewer outside the browser (because in that case, it's probably a browser issue).
I also liked all the costume variants from early on, e.g. people walking around in radiation suits.
Oh yeah! Now I see it! It seems to be a 4-pointed star with a smaller 4-pointed star rotated 45 degrees under it. I will definitely need to do some updating on a few of these things. Thanks for the info on this!
Those are good points. I wasn't thinking that Decker was actually Enterprise's squadron commander, his taking command was by virtue of his rank alone. The way starships are deployed individually as needed it might make it hard to give a squadron a "territory," SFC might have to pull from different squadrons as needed in trouble spots or to cover for ships in repair, on exploration assignment etc.
I don't think that was ever the intent, it's just my attempt at fitting the situation shown into something that might be plausible. As said above, the real reason for Decker's rank was to make him Kirk's superior and create dramatic tension.
As for a commodore commanding his own ship, if we go way back into US history that was not uncommon. One of the USN's earliest heroes, Thomas Truxtun, was considered for command of the squadron that was being sent to the Mediterranean to deal with the Barbary piracy. He was happy to be the commodore, but thought he should have a captain under him to command the flagship. When the Navy Department said they expected him to do both, he turned down the assignment. Edward Preble didn't think it beneath him to command his own flagship, and went on to make history. Perhaps Starfleet at that time was "lean at the top," with a relatively small number of flag officers and some commodores expected to be part captain, part flag officer.
137th Gebirg, since you have the General and Miscellaneous emblems from the Tech Manual, you might also consider the emblems introduced in a similar fashion in the Star Fleet Medical Reference Manual, of which by my count there are two (the first two). There are five sections with emblems on their cover pages, as in the Tech Manual:
The Historical section has an SF arrowhead with one serpent.
The Medical section has an SF arrowhead with a caduceus.
The Life Sciences section has Spock's SF arrowhead.
The First Aid section has Chapel's SF arrowhead.
The Equipment section has Scotty's SF arrowhead.
Very cool! I actually do have that one packed away somewhere - haven't looked at it in probably 20 years since I first got it. I will have to dig it up again. Thanks for the info!
It is entirely possible that the Enterprise either didn't belong to a particular group, or more likely given that we rarely see groups in any trek except under special circumstances that the group is meant to only be brought together under specific events rather than a full time posting. (Meaning that during regular operations each ship operates independently, but when trouble arises many ships come together to form a group).
Also the number of ships isn't surprising, a carrier group for example generally only has one carrier and several smaller vessels whose purpose is simply to protect it. A battle group likewise will only have 3 or 4 main battle vessels, and then again several smaller ships to support them. Also the group shown may not have been the entire group, but only part of it.
Considering that the arrowhead is the most commonly encountered shape, followed by the flower, I think we should argue that Kirk indeed was part of a greater whole. But perhaps his ship was the forward scouting element of the particular Action Group, akin to the lone prowling SSN in a carrier group. And perhaps Decker was an atypical Group Commodore in that he preferred to ride the forward scout of his Group rather than the big battleship that typically stays farther back? Wesley in turn would have temporarily embarked on the scout of his Group specifically because he was interested in seeing how this intriguing scout vs. scout wargame would play out.
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