Ranks

Discussion in 'Star Trek: Voyager' started by Pat Seguin, Nov 10, 2019.

  1. Pat Seguin

    Pat Seguin Cadet Newbie

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    Nov 10, 2019
    I’ve been rewatching Voyager for the first time in years and I’m on season 4. I’ve had a few questions.

    Tuvok has 2 gold and 1 black pip. That is lt commander right? Data and laforge had the same pips and they were called commander but Tuvok is only called lt. Why is that?

    Neelix - people call him sir and take orders from him. He was given a com badge and called morale officer right? Why would crew who went to starfleet academy have to take orders from a civilian?
     
  2. Prax

    Prax Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Tuvok began as a Lt. Commander and was switched down to a full Lt some point early on in the first season. I think he was supposed to be a Lt, and they got the uniform wrong. He later gets promoted.

    Yeah, I get annoyed when Neelix is giving orders, never more so when he gets Hogan killed. He should never have gotten authority after that (and really never in the first place). You don't see Guinan giving orders, or Quark, or Garak.
     
  3. Kor

    Kor Admiral Admiral

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    Two gold pips and one black pip with gold rim is the rank insignia of a Lieutenant Commander. But as indicated in both the opening credits and in dialog, Tuvok was actually supposed to be a Lieutenant. So it must have been a costuming error.

    Later on in the series he was actually promoted to Lt. Cmdr, as Prax mentions. So that must have been by Season 4 if you are currently watching that season and he has that rank insignia.

    In typical dialog, it's common to refer to a Lieutenant Commander simply as "Commander." Hence why everybody called Data and Geordi that.

    Kor
     
    Last edited: Nov 12, 2019
  4. C.E. Evans

    C.E. Evans Admiral Admiral

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    Because Janeway allowed it. She's the captain. It's her ship, her call.

    I think one of the fundamental differences between Starfleet and today's navies is that Starfleet seems to be more flexible when it comes to individual chains of command. Captains seem to have more leeway determining how their ships are run and who has authority over what. Kim stayed an ensign for all seven years of the Voyager's journey home, but it's possible that the billet for operations officer on an Intrepid-class ship never warranted more than an ensign and that he was exactly where Janeway wanted him in her chain of command. Ideally, Kim would probably have spent only a few years on Voyager before being promoted and reassigned to another ship, but as fate would have it, well...
     
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  5. Kor

    Kor Admiral Admiral

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    And then there was the matter of integrating the Maquis people into the chain of command.

    Kor
     
  6. Timo

    Timo Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    Aug 26, 2003
    It's also possible to take the opposite tack here. Perhaps Janeway felt she had no business promoting anybody without authorization from SF HQ, and for that reason only ever "promoted" people she had previously punitively demoted.

    It happens explicitly with Tom Paris, who gets what he was promised after seling out the Maquis, then stays Lieutenant for a very brief while, gets quietly demoted to junior Lieutenant at some point, then not so quietly punished after "30 Days" and then returned to junior Lt. It might have happened with Tuvok, too - he did betray Janeway in "Prime Factors" and loses his dark pip slightly thereafter (over the course of "Cathexis", weirdly enough), then very publicly regains it.

    In that scenario, the costuming wouldn't be the error: the half a dozen references to his early rank really being Lieutenant would. It's a damned if you do situation anyway.

    The overall problem here is that she did feel perfectly comfortable with giving the Maquis rank and position, without signatures from three Admirals and a Justice of Peace...

    Timo Saloniemi
     
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  7. Danja

    Danja Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

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    As Captain, she has the privilege of granting field commissions.
     
  8. ToyBoxComix

    ToyBoxComix Lieutenant Red Shirt

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    The Maquis were granted field commissions, complete with uniforms and ranks. Neelix and Seven were never given field commissions, but they were able to order officers around at times. It's very odd.

    On that subject, the Maquis had their own rank insignia rather than the normal pips. That also seems strange to me. Like, Janeway wanted to integrate them into the crew, but she also made sure they were different.
     
  9. GrandNagusZek

    GrandNagusZek Ensign Newbie

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    On the subject of rank...did Chakotay leave Starfleet at a lower rank than he was appointed to by Captain Janeway on Voyager? Chakotay replacing Tuvok as first officer always surprised me as well.