Ranks of characters

Discussion in 'Trek Literature' started by Little_kingsfan, Jan 28, 2016.

  1. Little_kingsfan

    Little_kingsfan Lieutenant Red Shirt

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    Hi, everyone,
    I have a quick question regarding the ranks held by certain characters. It's very commonplace for characters holding the rank(s) of Admiral, Commander, Lieutenant, Doctor, and various enlisted ranks to be referred to simply as Admiral/Commander/Lieutenant/Dr. [character]. However, as I mentioned in a different thread, the one thing about TV/film over books is that you can always tell an Admiral's grade by their collar or sleeve insignia.
    So, with that in mind, is there a specific rank held by, say, Admiral Archer in Rise of the Federation (although I'm going to assume that with his promotion to Starfleet Chief of Staff at the end of Uncertain Logic that he's now a four-star admiral)? Admiral Batiste from Star Trek: Voyager? Admiral Harriman in One Constant Star? What about Dr. Fisher from Star Trek: Vanguard?
    I know I'm forgetting some, and would appreciate any help or insight given.
     
  2. David Mack

    David Mack Writer Commodore

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    I don't know that we ever specified Ezekiel Fisher's rank in the Vanguard novels, but in my head he held the rank of Commander.
     
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  3. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    I can't recall if I ever really thought about that, but it stands to reason that he's now as admirally as an admiral can get.
     
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  4. Little_kingsfan

    Little_kingsfan Lieutenant Red Shirt

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    Thank you for the clarification.

    How about Miles O'Brien? As of 2384/2385, he's serving as the Chief Engineer of the new Deep Space 9. Did that come with a promotion to Master Chief Petty Officer, or is he still a Senior Chief?

    David, I don't believe Dr. Fisher's rank was ever mentioned - which is why I asked - so thank you for answering.

    Christopher, if I'm reading your post right, Starfleet in the 2160s goes straight from Commodore to Admiral, with no Rear Admiral or Vice Admiral in between. Is that correct?

    Any further information would be greatly appreciated.
     
  5. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    No, I just meant that whatever the highest admiral rank is (and I can't remember how it goes offhand), Archer has presumably reached it by now.
     
  6. Avro Arrow

    Avro Arrow Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    In later eras, Rear Admiral > Vice Admiral > Admiral > Fleet Admiral. But I obviously don't know if it's exactly the same in the 2160s or not... I guess that's up to you! ;)

    ETA: err, those are just supposed to be arrows indicating progression, not "greater than" signs. If we were expressing it mathematically, those should be "less than" signs instead.
     
  7. Bry_Sinclair

    Bry_Sinclair Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Would Doctor Fisher's rank not depend on if whether or not he had undergone the Bridge Officer's Test?
     
  8. Timo

    Timo Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    Probably not in the slightest. After all, Commanders Pulaski and McCoy adamantly claimed they were not qualified Bridge Officers, while Lieutenant Bashir may very well have been.

    Taking the test gives you brownie points that bring you one step closer to promotion, I guess. But, contrary evidence lacking, you can take the test at any arbitrary point of your career, and supermen like Bashir or Kirk would probably take all sorts of tests as undergraduates already (Kirk was a Cadet when doing the no-win, while Saavik was already a graduated Lieutenant).

    Now, would Fisher take the test? It might be a relatively rare thing for academicians, and Fisher strikes me as a full-blown McCoy copy in certain aspects of character and career.

    Regarding admirals, Kirk remained a lowly Real Admiral throughout the decade(s) of the TOS movies, until getting demoted rather than promoted. Possibly there just aren't that many openings for high-rank flag officers in Starfleet, and they give medals rather than promotions to the top bosses so as to avoid crowding at the very highest positions, that is, jealousy from those who hold high rank but have to remain in the sidelines. Or then it's vice versa and they keep everybody happy by constant promotions and associated pay raises (if the era still caters for those).

    In TOS, we saw plenty of Commodores but no Rear Admirals or even Vice Admirals; in TNG, Commdores disappeared but two-pip folks remained an exotic rarity (we had to wait until DS9 S5 IIRC to see one). Perhaps this means that lower flag ranks are unlikely to be encountered at all, everybody worth anything receiving instant promotion past those ranks. But perhaps it just means that the lower flag ranks go to the far frontier, and therefore meeting them in something like VAN would in fact be expected.

    Timo Saloniemi
     
  9. Little_kingsfan

    Little_kingsfan Lieutenant Red Shirt

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    I think there was one Vice Admiral seen during TOS (Adm. Fitzpatrick from "The Trouble With Tribbles", according to Memory Alpha), and Adm. Andrea Brand from "The First Duty" (TNG) and Erik Pressman from "The Pegasus" (TNG) were both two-star/pip admirals. There were also a few Rear Admirals (both one- and two-star/pip) seen in TNG Season 1 with the special/different insignia.
     
  10. Mr. Laser Beam

    Mr. Laser Beam Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    Only if he wanted to be promoted beyond the rank of Lieutenant Commander.
     
  11. Idran

    Idran Commodore Premium Member

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    Beyond what David said in the second post of this thread, like Timo said, it's literally called the Bridge Officer's test. If someone's never going to be a Bridge Officer, why would they need to take it? Even the portion of Troi's test that we saw was specifically devoted to performing in command of a ship. And we saw a commodore in TOS that had explicitly never served aboard a ship (Stocker in "Deadly Years"), and so had never been a bridge officer.
     
  12. The Wormhole

    The Wormhole Admiral Admiral

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    We known there were flag ranks in the 2150s going up to three stars: 1 star Commodore (Forrest in First Flight), 2 star Rear Admiral (Dan Leonard in Broken Bow), and three star Vice Admiral (Forrest in all other appearances). Although we never saw it, it stands to reason the four star Admiral rank existed, and presumably Starfleet of the 2160s is similar enough to its 2150s predecessor in this regard

    I'm assuming there is no Fleet Admiral in the 2150s or 60s, assuming it's even a separate rank rather than just a title for Starfleet's chief of staff. Sometimes it is just a title, such as Fleet Admiral Shanthi in Redemption who the script claims is Starfleet's chief of staff yet only wears the insignia of a Vice Admiral. Other times, it seems to be a rank, or at least I assume since Admiral Marcus had five pins on his shoulders in STID he was supposed to hold the five star Fleet Admiral rank.
     
  13. Avro Arrow

    Avro Arrow Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    It seems to be a rank in the TOS film era too. Fletcher designed a rank pin for fleet admiral that was worn by a number of high-ranking characters in the film series, such as Morrow, Cartwright, and the C-in-C in TUC.
     
  14. Little_kingsfan

    Little_kingsfan Lieutenant Red Shirt

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    From what I understand, Fleet Admiral (five-star admiral) is the rank of the Commander-in-Chief of the Federation Starfleet (of which there is - at least theoretically - only one person at a time), while a fleet admiral is someone like V-Adm. Janeway, who is the admiral-in-charge of the Full Circle fleet.
     
  15. Little_kingsfan

    Little_kingsfan Lieutenant Red Shirt

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    What about the other doctors in Vanguard, Anthony Leone and Lisa Babitz? What ranks do they hold?

    Oh, and Klag from the Gorkon, is he a full general? Does the KDF even have Major or Lieutenant Generals, or does it jump straight from Brigadier (General) to General? And in Star Trek: A Singular Destiny (which, I believe, is the only post-Destiny book the Gorkon has appeared in), is QaS DevwI' Wol in charge of First Company, or one of the others...and who replaced her as Leader of 15th Squad?
     
  16. Timo

    Timo Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    The correlation between rank insignia and rank given in dialogue is often wonky in Trek. TOS played fast and loose with "Lieutenant Commander", apparently thinking it sounded more impressive than mere "Commander" even when the character wore the braid befitting that higher rank. And TNG used "Fleet Admiral" consistently for people of three-pip rather than five-pip rank (indeed, no five-pippers were ever seen in any TNG era episode or movie), making one suspect that Fleet Admiral is a position rather than rank, and that position is typically filled by Vice Admirals. Although we never had a character who would have both been called Vice Admiral and shown wearing three pips...

    ...With the caveat that in ST6, the CinC of Starfleet (or of some specific part of it?) shared the high rank with a colleague or two. And was never called Fleet Admiral, so our best bet might be to say that Starfleet calls the five-star rank Grand Admiral or something like that, and thus feels free to apply Fleet Admiral differently.

    True enough. The fancy TOS system of adding thin braid both above and below the thick one was adhered to in the 2009 movie, too - where former Captain Pike suddenly wore four bars on his epaulets, and two-above-one-below on his sleeves, suggesting full Admiral. There'd seem to be enough evidence there, then, to identify a "system" even if the costumers weren't always in agreement of one.

    Amusingly, the hero (and sidekick) Doctors have been pretty consistent when it comes to rank and its expression in costuming. They are all over the chart, too - there are Commanders, Lieutenant Commanders, Lieutenants, Junior Lieutenants (including the CMO of an installation), and for all we know Ensigns as well. Was McCoy still a medical man when becoming Admiral of some sort? This is a segment of Trek where literature doesn't have to work overtime to explain away discrepancies or breaches of rules, as there are so few of both (discrepancies and rules, that is).

    Good question. There isn't great international agreement about how the names for the highest ranks ought to go for ground forces, whereas great navies either have copied the systems of their competitors or at least arranged for a "correspondence chart" of some sort... Perhaps Klingon general officers follow the Russian or French lead (that is, that's how the Universal Translator likes to interpret the ranks for them)?

    Timo Saloniemi
     
  17. Little_kingsfan

    Little_kingsfan Lieutenant Red Shirt

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    What I meant was that in the first three books, was Archer a two-, three-, or four-star admiral? Also, in your upcoming book Live by the Code (out at the end of next month), will we see more of the Starfleet brass, now that Adm. Archer is a member, and/or more of the Federation government under President al-Rashid?

    One more question - is the Department of Temporal Investigations set up, in terms of rank, anyways, like a modern-day federal agency, such as the FBI (i.e. Special Agent, Senior Special Agent, Supervisory Special Agent, Assistant Special Agent-in-Charge, Special Agent-in-Charge)? And, correct me if I'm wrong, but as of Watching the Clock, Forgotten History, and The Collectors, Lucsly is the DTI's highest-ranking field operative (as was Dulmur until his promotion in The Collectors), Ranjea is considered a Senior Agent, and Garcia spent Watching the Clock as a Probie and the next two books as a Junior Agent simply by virtue of being the newest field agent to graduate from the DTI Academy (btw, did the DTI hire any new field agents in 2382, '83, or '84?).
     
  18. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    And what I meant was, I never really thought about it. So I can't give you an answer.

    As far as I recall, al-Rashid doesn't appear, but we do get another Joint Chiefs meeting and a fair amount of exploration of what Archer's new job entails.

    Something like that, though I haven't broken it down in detail.

    Again, these aren't questions I've ever really thought about. Lucsly is the highest-ranking field agent of those I've portrayed, as far as I know (not sure about Stijen Yol), but there may be other veterans out there I haven't shown. As for new recruits, I'm sure there must have been some, especially with a new branch office being established.
     
  19. Little_kingsfan

    Little_kingsfan Lieutenant Red Shirt

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    Thanks for the answers, Christopher, and I'm looking forward to your new books.
     
  20. Little_kingsfan

    Little_kingsfan Lieutenant Red Shirt

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    It's been a few months since this has been updated, and there have been some new and old characters in recent books (and maybe somebody has been re-reading older books and can think of other characters), so I figure it's time to ask again if anybody has any new information about the ranks held by these characters.

    Off the top of my head, did "Force and Motion" happen to mention if Chief O'Brien was still a Senior Chief Petty Officer or if he'd been promoted to Master Chief? I'm pretty sure all the characters from both the 2240s and 2260s Enterprise are accounted for in terms of rank (with the possible exception of Yeoman Bates, who I believe was only referred to as Yeoman without a pay grade), and I'm hoping that the upcoming Star Trek: Prey series answers a few questions about the ambiguous ranks of characters circa 2386.

    P.S., as of the most recent book, Riker is still a two-star Rear Admiral, right? (he asks, being too lazy to check)