Eliminating the separation of Officer / Non-Coms

Discussion in 'General Trek Discussion' started by KamenRiderBlade, Apr 17, 2019.

  1. KamenRiderBlade

    KamenRiderBlade Captain Captain

    Oct 24, 2012
    Given that Star Trek seems to portray it's rank & file as one single system for the most part, I would assume that there is no "Officer Route" & "Non-Commisioned" Route / rank structure as in IRL. And in show, there are mostly portrayals of Officers only.

    IRL, there are some that argure for the elimination of Dual Rank structure as well since it's outdated.


    What do you think of this when it comes to Star Trek?
    Is StarFleet a Single-Rank Structure organization?
    If so, how would you arrange the Ranks in your Head Cannon?
    I'd love to see how you would organize the Ranks and separation based on Job Speciality.

    Given that Discovery has shown somebody who was a former Counsler ascend to Admiral, what do we do about ranking up officers who don't always make it to Captain-Hood?
  2. X24actor

    X24actor Lieutenant Red Shirt

    Feb 17, 2019
    I believe Starfleet does follow a single ranking structure. They have literal divisions like Command, Science, Medical, Engineering, Security... They all seem to follow the exact same rank structure. Cadet seems to be the only non-officer rank that we see regularly, but it is assumed that they will get promoted to Ensign.

    Starfleet seems to only allow enlistment during times of conflict. I believe O'Brien said he chose to "stay" an enlisted man, whatever that means. Maybe it means "enlisted" people are offered a job within the normal Starfleet structure, and O'Brien chose to be some sort of independent contractor.

    Anyway, from what we've seen, any officer can choose to go through the Command Training Program, which I assume is a requirement to ascend to Admiral. And we have seen Admiral's aides with the rank of Captain.

    So yeah, besides O'Brien and some cadets we haven't seen promoted yet, Starfleet is pretty consistent with their single ranking system.
  3. Shamrock Holmes

    Shamrock Holmes Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

    Jun 30, 2009
    Obviously we haven't seen the "full picture" of how Starfleet ranks work, but previous threads on this topic have asserted that it doesn't make sense that everyone in Starfleet has to complete a four-year college degree to join, and we have canon that suggests this is the case:

    [SIZE=3] Starship Down [DS9]. We're in "Engine room" to reddit markup [/SIZE]
    OBRIEN: Can I have a word with you, sir?
    WORF: Of course.

    OBRIEN: With all due respect, I think you're riding the men a bit hard. You have to understand, they're out of their element. They're not bridge officers, they haven't been to Starfleet Academy. They're engineers. They're used to being given a problem to solve, then going out and figuring out how to do it.
    WORF: What are you suggesting?
    OBRIEN: Give them a little slack. Ease up on the reins. Let them do what they're good at, and give them a little encouragement now and then.

    [SIZE=3] The Ship [DS9]. We're in "Desert planet" to reddit markup [/SIZE]
    OBRIEN: Hey, Muniz. What do you think of this?
    MUNIZ: It's a class five pyroclastic debris and ash. Same morphology we've seen all the way up, sir.
    OBRIEN: How many times do I have to tell you to stop calling me sir. I'm not an officer.
    MUNIZ: No, you know more than they do.
    OBRIEN: I wouldn't go that far. But I know more than you. So listen to me while I try to teach you something. This morphology is not exactly the same. These deposits are more highly eroded.

    However, we conversly know that going in as a "crewman" doesn't bar you from becoming an officer, and indeed unlike some modern service academies a sponser does not appear to be required unless you are a non-Federation citizen.

    PICARD: Well, tell me a little about yourself, Crewman. I know you were born on Mars Colony.
    TARSES: Yes, sir. All my life I wanted to be in Starfleet. I went to the Academy's training programme for enlisted personnel. I took training as a medical technician and I served at several outposts. The day that I was posted to the Enterprise was the happiest day of my life.
    PICARD: Did you ever consider applying to the Academy, going the whole route, apply to become an officer?
    TARSES: My parents wanted me to. And then I thought about it. I used to sit under this big tree near the parade grounds
    PICARD: An elm tree with a circular bench?
    TARSES: Yes, that's the one.
    PICARD: I spent many an hour there. It was my favourite spot to study.
    TARSES: I used to sit under that tree and watch the drills, picture myself an officer. I know that it would have made my mother very happy, but.
    PICARD: You didn't do it.
    TARSES: No. I was eighteen, and eager. The last thing I wanted to do was spend four years sitting in classrooms. I wanted to be out there, travelling the stars. I didn't want to wait for anything. And now it's done, isn't it? My career in Starfleet is finished.

    [SIZE=3] Past Tense part 1 [DS9]. We're in "Bridge" to reddit markup [/SIZE]
    OBRIEN: Not Droner Drazman? The commander of the Proxima maintenance yards?
    BASHIR: You're more than welcome to come along. The entire senior staff was invited.
    OBRIEN: Full dress uniform, fine table linens, a different fork for every course? Thanks but no thanks. That's why I stayed an enlisted man. They don't expect me to show up for these formal dinners.
    DAX: Major, Constable, would you care to join us?
    KIRA: No, thank you.

    The example of Cadet Nog also tells us that non-Command Training Program cadets are broadly equivalent to crewman in authority (on the other hand, Saavik appears to have simualated or acting rank as a CTP candiate, is may also be whats going on with Tilly).

    On balance, I'd probably favour the idea that Starfleet is verymuch in favour of "continuous professional development" and that the rank that you hold is purely a function of your training and personal motivations, rather than any social or political structures. Probably more similar to how the police career progression system works rather than (American) military.
  4. KamenRiderBlade

    KamenRiderBlade Captain Captain

    Oct 24, 2012
    I'm more in favor of the Police Single Structure Rank-Up system then the duality of Officer / Non-Com. Outside Politics / Social structures should have no bearing inside StarFleet. You should be able to earn your way up the Rank System through Hard Work, Dedication, Results.
    Longinus and Galactic Alignment like this.
  5. Shamrock Holmes

    Shamrock Holmes Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

    Jun 30, 2009

    However, IMO there should still be a "graduate fast track" for candidates willing to put the work in to get bachelors/masters/doctoral level qualifications in addition to (limited) real world practical experience.

    To follow the police analogy, you can get a job as patrolman/constable or paramedic/fireman (paid roughly in line with NCOs) with a high school education and a few months training at most (some organisations as little as a few weeks), but to become a Federal Special Agent (paid line in with senior officers), nurse or doctor you need to have at least a degree and additional professional training (which again runs from months to years in duration). Even stripping out the social and political barriers to such careers, it still makes sense to acknowledge the extra work with higher rank.
    grendelsbayne likes this.
  6. Kor

    Kor Admiral Admiral

    Jul 31, 2001
    Christopher Pike, future Orion Pirate
    I wonder who is the "Master Chief Petty Officer of the Navy" of Starfleet; that is, the most senior enlisted person in the whole fleet.

    SolarisOne likes this.
  7. Shamrock Holmes

    Shamrock Holmes Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

    Jun 30, 2009
    Given that the "SEA Advisor to the X" is exclusive to 2+ tier military organisations (it's not found that form in emergency services or service organisations). IMO, the closest to the above is likely to be the service chief's "flag writer"/secretary rather than a seperate posting.
  8. Mr. Laser Beam

    Mr. Laser Beam Fleet Admiral Admiral

    May 10, 2005
    The visitor's bullpen
    I don't agree.

    Not all medical personnel are doctors, are they? Same story here. Not everybody wants to be an officer.

    Actually, in MY head canon, Starfleet has a dual rank structure: one for its navy, and one for marines.

    The Starfleet Marine Corps are still Starfleet - they just have different color uniforms, and a different rank structure. I've futzed with it a little bit and removed the rank of Marine Captain so as not to be confused with a Starfleet naval captain:

    O-1 Sublieutenant (marines) / Ensign (navy)
    O-2 Second Lieutenant / Lieutenant j.g.
    O-3 First Lieutenant / Lieutenant
    O-4 Major / Lieutenant Commander
    O-5 Lieutenant Colonel / Commander
    O-6 Colonel / Captain
    O-7 General / Admiral
  9. Nyotarules

    Nyotarules Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

    Jan 20, 2016
    Considering Starfleet has aliens accepting a human organisation the officer/enlisted might be accepted as well. In universe not every one in Starfleet is an officer.
  10. valkyrie013

    valkyrie013 Commander Red Shirt

    Jun 15, 2009
    Well its not like today, where you have to go to collage to be an officer, which costs money.. You have a choice, do 4 years of study at the academy or some other higher learning facilty, or just join on, and go to a "Boot Camp" and get out there..
    It all depends on the person, and what there capable of, There are probably plenty of people who want to go to the academy, but won't make it through for various reasons, others just want to join and don't want to be officers.
    I'm the type of person who wouldn't Want to be an officer, I'm more of a "Just sit me down and let me do my work" type of person, I'd be the person tearing down a plasma conduit with a smile on my face, enjoying the work.. as an officer, i'd probably just do paperwork, shift asighnment, etc.... which i Loathe!
    Obrien is a good example of this, just let me in, and Iet me work.
    In the real world. enlisted Vastly out number the officers.. Lets take the Ent D, 1000 people.. you probably have 200 of those are officers of some kind? rest is the crew jsut doing there jobs :)
  11. Shamrock Holmes

    Shamrock Holmes Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

    Jun 30, 2009
    And it is neither preferable or (arguably) necessary to force people out of their "comfort zone".

    Simon Tarses is another example of a "boot camp" only crewman, conversly Crewman Mortimer Harren of USS Voyager is an example of someone with the academic knowledge and creditials to be an officer (he has five advanced university degrees ie Masters or PhD/Doctorates) but due to personnality issues and a lack of interest is only a crewman (though unless he's a recent enlistee, then crewman first class or petty officer seems more likely).

    A role progression based on experience & academics might look something like:

    1. Enlist in Starfleet, attend basic training and intial professional training (<1 year) at a Starfleet training facility.

    2. Post for "initial fleet time" as Trainee. Complete practical elements of "initial professional training".

    3. Post to the Fleet as a "Crewman" (USN E2), continue specialist training in chosen role or
    3a. Transfer to Starfleet Academy as a "Cadet" (includes fleet time in "Crewman" grade posts), pursue advanced professional training.

    4. Complete "initial professional training", promote to Crewman First Class (cf civilian "able crewman", USN E3/USAF E3 & E4). Consider Leadership Course and Intermediate Professional Training (2-year degree) for promotion to Petty Officer (USN E4 to E6)

    5. Complete Leadership Course and Intermediate Professional Training for promotion to Petty Officer (USN E4 to E6), promotable to Chief Petty Officer (USN E7) with experience.

    6. Post as Section or Department Head on smaller starship, base or support vessel at Chief Petty Officer or
    6a. After four years of academic and practical experience, graduate (with degree) as an Ensign. Post as Section or Department on a starship, starbase or support vessel. Typically promotable up to Commander, but "blue shirts" may vary (typically "planetside" admin, research or management roles).
    7a. Apply for Command Training Program. Upon completion eligible for promotion above Commander, and billeting as an Executive Officer, Commanding Officer or Fleet Commander (depending on experience).
    David cgc likes this.
  12. Shamrock Holmes

    Shamrock Holmes Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

    Jun 30, 2009
    As after as the Starfleet Ground Forces (including but not limited to member planet militias and role specific specialist units (Earth MACOs, Andorian and Vulcan commandos, SCE signals/technical intel units etc), I would suggest that as senior NCOs can hold lesser command positions that the Platoon Leader rank would be "Warrant Officer", and that commissioned leadership would start after Command Training Program at Second Lieutenant (combined/reinforced platoon CO, company staff officer/XO) then:

    O-2 Second Lieutenant / Lieutenant j.g.
    O-3 First Lieutenant / Lieutenant
    O-4 Major / Lieutenant Commander
    O-5 Lieutenant Colonel / Commander
    O-6 Colonel or Brigadier*/ Captain or Commodore*
    O-7 Brigadier General / "(Task) Group" Admiral^
    O-8 Major General / Rear Admiral
    O-9 Lieutenant General/Vice Admiral
    O-10 (Commandant) General/Fleet Admiral

    * temporary title if operating as senior commander of multiple units/vessels.
    ^ based on the rank of "flotilla admiral", assigned as commander of a standing task force or battlegroup (for instance Starfleet "Battlegroup Omega" from Nemesis or a Fleet sub-unit like the Seventh Tactical Wing [referenced as a promotion for Bennet, Ross' previous aide/Fleet Captain].
  13. valkyrie013

    valkyrie013 Commander Red Shirt

    Jun 15, 2009
    In the service, there were something called "Mustang Majors" where they rose up to E-5 eE-6 and then after completing there collage, get comisheoned.
    Also there's Warrent Officers, in the army, some of them can fly helecoptors..
  14. Shamrock Holmes

    Shamrock Holmes Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

    Jun 30, 2009
    "Mustang" as a term is exclusive to Department of the Navy personnel (Navy, Marine Corps), who - due to prior enlisted service - get enhanced pay as an Ensign, Lieutenant or Marine Captain when they qualify as a commissioned officer. I can't find any reference to "Mustang Majors", and it would be rather odd, as originally (LDO) mustangs could only be promoted to captain (or Navy Lieutenant), and even once promotion was possible (up to Lt Col (MC) or Commander (N)) the "mustang bonus" was never applied.

    Warrant Officers (Army) and Chief Warrant Officers (Army, Navy, MC) are the flipside of LDOs and "mustang" RLs and URLs as they primarly work rather than command, but can be billeted as such (though like RLs usually single purpose units) but are a curiously US innovation for the most part. Internationally, warrant officers equate more closely to US E8 and E9 billets, though IFAIK more on the First Sergeant/Command side than the SME side, so perhaps more equivalent to LDOs ironically (but with less direct authority).
  15. The Wormhole

    The Wormhole Admiral Admiral

    Jul 23, 2001
    There'd have to be an officer/enlisted divide. Simply put, it's the best way to get shit done.
    Bry_Sinclair likes this.
  16. KamenRiderBlade

    KamenRiderBlade Captain Captain

    Oct 24, 2012
    Of course not all medical personnel are doctors. But that's the path of medical training that they took. As far as being a "Officer / Enlisted"; that can be a choice you make later while you decide to learn your speciality first before you mature enough to decide that you want to go the command route and go back for further training to be in the "Command Training Program".

    In MY head canon, the equivalent to the US Army / US Marines are integrated Soldier Forces and share the same Rank Structure as StarFleet. No need for memorizing Dual Rank Systems.

    How you rank up in your chosen career path is a different story.

    In My Head Cannon, Soldiers are part of the LISUS Force which is a Sub Section of StarFleet.
    LISUS = (Land / Interior / Sea / UnderGround / Surfaces), that acronym will indicate that the UFP Soldiers, regardless of Species, will learn to fight in all those environments due to the Universe being vast and having all sorts of environments to fight in should the need arise.

    My StarFleet has 3x major "Class" Roles that a new StarFleet recruit can start down:
    Soldiers: Equivalent to the US Army / Marine career path, but more integrated. People on this path generally double as security officers, tactical officers, ground troops, along with several other minor job types.
    Aviators: Learn to operate specific Vehicles at a high level, (e.g. the vast skill gulf between a Pro Race Car Driver and a normal daily car driver) including being combat rated to operate that class of Vehicles.
    CrewFolk: Learn a speciality to perform to operate as part of the crew on a StarBase / StarShip

    Of course newly accepted StarFleet Cadets can go "Multi-Class" and train across numerous specialities and be rated for multiple Professions once they exit StarFleet Academy. Ergo everybody would have their Major & Minor Job sets that falls within the initial 3 Major Classes.
    (e.g. Tom Paris route, a Pilot with a minor in being a medic ~= Aviator with a minor in Field Medic training.
    Julian Bashir route: Certified Doctor with a later earned minor in low level certified engineering through StarFleet Post Academy Training ~= Crewman (Medical Speciality / Doctor) with a minor in basic Engineering)

    In My Head Cannon, the Aliens saw the dual rank structure as inefficient, confusing, and dumb. Ergo it got merged into one structure. They also accepted the human Metric system due to it's simplicity and the human 24 hr cycle for StarFleet ship operations. (24 as a mathematical number is great for dividing into even parts since it has so many options, like the number 12, it is great for sub-dividing into whole numbers. That's one of the major parts for it's acception)

    However StarDate became a forced acception of "Metric Time". Ergo my version of StarDate has advanced onto Version 5.0 by the start of the of the In-Universe story which is the start of the 26th Century on Earth for story telling purposes. Ergo by Earth Year (YYYY/MM-DD) 2501/01-01 Sat 0000:00.0 GMT. My format of Global Date Presentation is the new normal for Earth Date Time Presentation with Military Time becoming the new Global Standard. Granted, by "In-Universe story" time, my version of StarDate has been accepted for over 100 years.

    Humans were forced into accepting StarDate into it's various incarnations with my Version 5.0 being the current most popular version with no forseen future changes down the time line. That's with verification via communicating with Future Federation members of the UFP InterStellar Time Bureau to validate that it hasn't changed further down the Time-line for the next 1000+ millenia by communicating across time to validate that the UFP / InterStellar Time Bureau is still around and no major incidents has caused the UFP to disappear. StarDate was always one of those on-going compromises in InterStellar standards to get all UFP member worlds to agree on a common format for standardized InterStellar Time Keeping.

    StarDate Ver 5.0 has this new presentation format of: +345/826¦847 which is equivalent to Earth Year 2501/01-01 Sat 0000:00.0 GMT in my Head Cannon.
    StarDate = (Star Year / Star Day ¦ Star Time Unit)
    NOTE: The “/” is described as “Slash” & “¦” is described as “Bar” which is short hand for (Vertical Broken Bar)
    • Star Year has +/- with
      • + = After Federation: After the UFP was formed/founded
      • - = Before Federation: Before the UFP was formed/founded
    • 1 Star Year = 1,000 Star Days
      • 1 Star Day = 8.76582 Earth Hrs = 525.9492 Earth Mins = 31556.952 Earth Secs = 8 Hrs, 45 Mins, 56.952 Secs
    • 1 Star Day = 1000 STU (Star Time Units)
      • 1 STU = 31.556952 Earth Seconds
    • 1 Star Time Unit can be split into Deci-STU, Centi-STU, Milli-STU, etc via SI Prefixes
      • 1 Deci_-STU = 3.1556952 Earth Seconds
      • 1 Centi-STU = 0.31556952 Earth Seconds (Around 1/3 of a second)
      • 1 Milli-STU = 0.031556952 Earth Seconds (Around 1/33 of a second)
      • Ergo 1 STU can have (1.###) STU and so on past the decimal by using SI Prefixes past the decimal to shrink the InterStellar version of time.
    Last edited: Apr 19, 2019
  17. Shamrock Holmes

    Shamrock Holmes Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

    Jun 30, 2009
    TrekLit's Starfleet Ground Forces (versus the "naval" [Deep Space] Exploration Corps) seems to be suitably logical and simple term to me, but I like the idea of your term anyway.

    One way to look at the "seperate rank structure" thing is a combination rating/billet title thing rather than a seperate rank (cf Bosun, COB etc) with "section" leaders titling as "Corporal", "Sergeant", subunit officers as "captain" (rarely major) and unit/mission commanders titling as "colonel". Large scale Formations or Commands are unlikely in the field, so administrative commanders would retain their substantive Admiral ranks (whereas a field commander might take the title of "brigade Commander" (brigadier) or "general officer, commanding" (general).

    Not bad, I'd suggest a slight change, based on both current practice and elements from Enterprise and TOS:

    Tactical: Includes both "combat troops" (who double as security officers) and command officers (Bridge Duty Officers* [take command if needed, can operate any console], [most] Executive Officers, Commanding Officers). General authority over all three branches.
    All personnel needed for the running of the ship - engineers, armory (weapons maintenance), communications/data systems, non-CTP trained pilots. NB: Normally exercise authority only within their own branch, but may take additional training to allow "dual-hatting" (ie Chief Engineer also acting as First or Second Officer)
    Support: Most personnel needing to support the crew and the mission - medical, research and development, logistics, legal/PR/admin, construction, training. NB: Normally exercise authority only within their own branch (including command of specialist ships/bases), but specific and limited case-by-case exceptions are allowed (usually medical or JAG officers).

    *Worf (and to alesser extent LaForge) during S1 would be close to what I am thinking here, though I'd expect a Galaxy-class to have full lieutenants or even lieutenant commanders filling these billets.
  18. Shamrock Holmes

    Shamrock Holmes Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

    Jun 30, 2009
    I like the general idea, but it seems a little complicated to me, I'd go for a simpler system based on a hybrid of the TNG system and the (Truncated) Julian Date system, since the founding of the UFP:

    In full it would be expressed as "[Century]-Year-Decimal Day-Decimal Time" so the "Battle of the Binary Stars" would be approximately Stardate 104750 (with a .xx being added when the exact time is known) but refered to as 4750 (up to YYDDD is used as needed).
  19. Bry_Sinclair

    Bry_Sinclair Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

    Sep 28, 2009
    The glorious Shetland Isles!
    Starfleet is comprised of officers and NCOs/enlisted, but since the focus has always been on the command staff then of course we're going to be familiar with more officers than crew.

    Given that money isn't an issue keeping people from the Academy then it would either come down to ability or personal preference. Whilst the Academy will have high standards and only accept the very best, those who may not be as academically gifted but still want to be in Starfleet may enlist, likewise is someone just wants to get out into space quicker then they wouldn't bother with the Academy, whilst officers are still in classrooms crewmen are gaining valuable on-the-job experience.

    When GR was developing Star Trek, he based the structure more on that of astronauts, where they are all commissioned officers (which is why the ensign grade had no braiding and there was no hint of other insignia to represent enlisted ranks). It was in TMP that new rank insignia were established for NCOs and crew--from TWOK to TUC they even got their separate uniform design, to help distinguish them further.

    Given the bulk of any service is made up of enlisted, the fact the Trek PTB never really worked out the structure (especially from TNG onwards) is kinda baffling. DS9 did it the best, though ENT also made use of a lot of Crewmen.
    SolarisOne likes this.
  20. KamenRiderBlade

    KamenRiderBlade Captain Captain

    Oct 24, 2012
    My system does everything you asked for already, just with different symbols for seperators between StarDate pieces = (Star Year / Star Day ¦ Star Time Unit). The lingo would be a little different, but it does everything you asked for since that was my design goal from the beginning.