Resigning from Starfleet

Discussion in 'Star Trek: The Next Generation' started by Makarov, Aug 22, 2013.

  1. sariel2005

    sariel2005 Lieutenant Red Shirt

    Jul 4, 2009
    sariel2005 wrote: [​IMG]
    Wesley is sixteen next month, very soon after - so would enter the academy at age sixteen presumably, young but a reasonable age.

    Its safe to assume that sixteen is the minimum age requirement ( possibly depending on when the birthday falls, like an academic year since there are indications Starfleet follows that pattern).

    That makes Picards statement relevant since his first attempt to gain entry would have been when he was a similar age and not younger. Picards birthday falling at a different point in the year.
    Picard being born in July - he entered the academy shortly after his eighteenth birthday. so his failed exam may well have been when he was sixteen - not seventeen.
    ( and since he exited the academy aged 21 we can deduce graduation was before his birthday FWIW )

    I'm almost certain Chekov would have gotten in aged sixteen, but Its doubtful he graduated in a year ( something he might well have mentioned when his age was questioned otherwise).
    Kirk is meant to be brilliant, and he is approaching graduation in his third year.
    So Chekov is an Ensign while still a cadet.

    On the contrary a weight of evidence indicates Starfleet works differently to the real world.
    There are the many examples of Cadets holding rank that we see. Its not just a single example we have Kirk in TOS ( as Ensign and Lt) Lt Saavik, and the STXI.
    Ignoring all the evidence and twisting the statements made by multiple persons makes any other interpretation increasingly unlikely and becomes more convoluted.

    Its not like it's a single example.

    Saavik is a cadet.

    To try and dismiss the logical arguments that Cadets hold rank in Starfleet by saying that the suggestion is like saying Saavik is male is an attempt to attack the proposition without using evidence.

    Its an Ad Hominem attack on the idea itself, trying to make it look absurd.
    As such it offers no worthwhile counter argument. Logical counter arguments are better for debate, wouldn't you say?

    The intent of the production team and the writers IS important. And The intent is that Mitchell met Kirk at the Academy when he was a LT, around fifteen years ago.

    And this is not the only evidence we have of Cadets holding rank.

    Well, we have already established there is no reason to suppose Starfleet works like the real military, and have evidence against it in fact - so we can safely ignore that.

    ( indeed if we do not, we make an assumption with no basis in fact and end up with another logical fallacy. )

    Based on the evidence presented. we see no graduation or emergency field comissions - everyone just reports to their post and does their job.
    Thats not unreasonable given final year cadets are obviously more than capable of doing their jobs, as evidenced by Uhura working the monitoring stations and of course the young Mr Chekov.
    Again Chekov is a seventeen year old Ensign,

    Its also worth noting that Kirk, on academic suspension is a LT. - he does not get a field commission and We see the entirety of Pikes appointing him first officer to Spock and then leaving for the Nerada, - no statement of "activating Kirk as a Lt" on the contrary he says Kirk does not belong there.

    Obviously any cadet holding any rank, as Chekov holding Ensign rank at seventeen indicates, shows that cadets can hold rank - thus its another demonstration of the evidence stacking up to make my case.

    Commissioned officers wear entirely different uniforms. its the cadets that wear red.
    Saavik wore a uniform with the red cuff bands and red shoulder strap, something only the cadets do. notably her wrist band has a stripe on it and not any years of service pins.
    Valeris FWIW also sports the red undershirt, but her cuffs and shoulder strap are different - denoting department.
    (she may well be a recent graduate however, not that the movie indicates any lack of uniforms, TBF).

    If I may be so bold Timo, it seems to me that your entire position on this is weighted by the fact that in the real world cadets cannot hold rank. Would you say that if that is not the case then the evidence does indeed make it more likely that Cadets do hold rank, or is there anything else that leads to your position?

    Closer to topic - Not quite resigning but I found it interesting to note that Tom Paris was recommissioned by Janeway as a Lt. in Caretaker. Anyone got any thoughts on that? Seems a bit odd he is promoted over other officers.
  2. R. Star

    R. Star Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

    Jun 15, 2012
    Nepotism. Janeway was buddies with his dad. He also got regular pips instead of the provisional ones like all the other Maquis.
  3. Timo

    Timo Fleet Admiral Admiral

    Aug 26, 2003
    Exactly - so it follows that cadets cannot hold rank even in Starfleet.

    The "Kirk is an Ensign while in Academy" thing is a fundamental fumble by the Okudas in their original Chronology, an unnecessarily complicated explanation for something that needs no explaining. Building a whole parallel universe (parallel to that of Star Trek, that is) is a rather futile undertaking when nothing in that universe actually requires us to believe in the holding of rank in the Academy. If you bothered to view the evidence with a clear mind, you'd note that there are no people who would hold rank in the Academy explicitly - it's all in your mind, the consequence of convoluted rationalizations.

    Except in the parallel universe of STXI, that is. But I already covered parallel universes. ;)

    Ah, debating technique - the last refuge of the incompetent!

    It's perfectly valid and relevant to point out that a whole line of reasoning of yours is fundamentally flawed, with the help of an analogy. No analogy is perfect, alas. Trying to dodge this as being insulting to you doesn't help - it's just a confession that the "insult" hit home.

    Another fundamental fallacy. There is no such intent, because there is no "production team" or "writers". Star Trek is a hodgepodge collection of pseudo-facts by many production teams and writers, by definition incapable of accommodating any intent other than that which is manifest in the end product - the "lowest common denominator" of intents. Of the drama we actually see unfold across the series and spinoffs, this "lcd" is but a tiny and insignificant factor.

    Very true, because it doesn't count as evidence at all. Your "rationalization" based on these onscreen pseudo-facts isn't evidence, it's just a house of cards.

    Nope - you have made that a priori assumption and pretend that it is evidence.

    An equally valid assumption would be that Starfleet otherwise works like the real military, and the one thing that is futuristic here is that future people can start their academic careers at an earlier age than today (but at a later age than yesterday, mind you). This is a lesser deviation from the default assumption that Star Trek is just like the present, only in spaaaaaace!

    And that's your prerogative. But it's not an absolute truth about the evidence, make no mistake.

    I do see an emergency mission. And I do see graduation, as people never before referred to with graduated rank are suddenly being referred to with such. It even looks, walks and quacks like real world precedent, only in a somewhat condensed scale (mass promotions for individual emergency rather than for all-out war).

    Do you realize how circular you sound? :D

    Saavik wears the same uniform as Kirk and Spock, so what on Earth are you talking about?

    There's subtle and seemingly random variation there in the undershirt colors, shoulder pad / sleeve sash colors and color combinations, and trouser and jacket seams, but nothing that would uniquely divide the universe into Saavik vs. non-Saavik.

    Actually, no. All the argumentation that Kirk must have been a Cadet while holding Ensign or Lieutenant rank in TOS is complicated nonsense, and couldn't have been farther from writer intent. It's just that intent counts for nothing in a TV show with multiple writers. Similarly, all the argumentation that Kirk must have been a child when being a Lieutenant teaching the even younger Mitchell is predicated on the idea that the writer of that episode knew that a later writer would establish the "present" Kirk as a youngster of mere 34 years: there are two intents there in conflict - but we have no reason to acknowledge either intent in any way, as any explanation built on explaining what we actually see is automatically superior to that.

    What's left after that is just STXI. And STXI is quite easily explained as special circumstances.

    The total lack of actual contrary evidence. That is, unless we invoke our own ideas about Starfleet Academy entry age. It's "Trek differs from reality" one way or another, but we have far more reason to think that Trek would be forced to differ from reality in the latter regard - not all Federation species mature at eighteen! And there's little point in choosing both aberrations when choosing one will do.

    One might speculate that Starfleet bought Paris' cooperation with this promotion. A mere get-out-of-jail card wouldn't be all that appealing to Paris, considering that Federation penal colonies aren't exactly hellholes. Starfleet might have decided to reinstate Tom's speculative Lt (jg) rank (he did graduate before his misadventures were exposed and he was forced to quit) and raise that by half a pip.

    Curiously, by the end of the season, Tom is back to Lt (jg), having lost the half pip somehow. There were many similar undiscussed demotions at the time. Since Janeway threatens her underlings with consequences in "Prime Factors", most of those might be explained by her making good of the threats. Tom didn't fuck up in "Prime Factors", but perhaps he did off screen, in some other context? That'd be true to character...

    Janeway delivering a promotion that Starfleet had already undersigned would probably be a tad different from Janeway field-promoting her own officers - hence no extra pips every Christmas for the crew, but simply this initial jump for Paris and a lottery of ranks for the actual Maquis.

    And yes, there's that. ;)

    I wonder if Janeway initially chose to employ Tom Paris solely because of this relationship? It's not as if she would really have needed this specific failed Maquis for her Maquis hunt - or any Maquis, failed or not, for that matter. The whole thing might have been a favor for Owen Paris from the get-go.

    Timo Saloniemi
  4. sariel2005

    sariel2005 Lieutenant Red Shirt

    Jul 4, 2009
    Re: Resigning from Starfleet
    Its quite the reverse, there is a multitude of circumstantial evidence indicating that Starfleet cadets hold rank on screen and none that they don't - you hold the assertion it MUST work like a real world military and that is your only counter argument.
    Unfortunately that counterargument becomes more untennable the more evidence of cadets being comissioned stacks up.

    Nothing states it explicitly ( or lets face it Timo, we'd not be having a debate about it) but the circumstantial evidence is compelling, given the timeline ( and I am not beholden to the Okuda chronology, though its telling that they have come to the same conclusion).
    I am looking at the onscreen facts and formulating a logical hypothesis.
    Indeed I think your judgement is clouded and you are ignoring facts due to you conviction Starfleet works like a real military ( something we have agreed as fictional is not necessarily the case). Its worth remembering that STarfleet academy seems to function as a composite of a military and a university.

    I note that you seemed to dodge the question of if you had any evidence to present that was not " real cadets do not hold comissions".

    Don't worry, I'm not insulted, I enjoy a good debate to be honest, and I'm not trying to insult you either. Truth is though pointing out the uses of a debating technique that YOU used.... Well turnabout is fair play.
    In point of fact, my reasoning is perfectly sound as is demonstrable by the evidence stated.

    Well those individual "Pseudo facts" build on one another to build the larger metafiction of Star Trek. The newer production teams build on the work of other, and try where possible to remain consistent. I'm sure you are aware of how much attention is paid to non canon Star Trek, even though it does not count. Even then they insist on consistency, the difference is that TV writers are not beholden to the facts in such works ( a subtle difference but important).
    Hell the first statement made Kirk as a "stack of books with legs" seems to imply a dedicated student, and is followed with the Lt. Kirk reference. I don't think it was a mistake by the writer it seems deliberate ( perhaps because Gene wanted to push his Starfleet is not military agenda).

    No I am taking onscreen facts and presenting them as evidence. In fact if the evidence was not so compelling my assumption would be that Starfleet did work like a real military. But with considerable onscreen evidence to the contrary then I'd be blinkered.

    The onscreen evidence indicates that Starfleets minimum age for entry is sixteen. nothing onscreen indicates anything different. - so that seems logical.

    We see a commissioned seventeen year old, and on screen we see that the academy lasts four years ( or eight for medical, it seems ) and the only exception noted is The implication NuKirk manages in three. -
    so we can infer that Starfleet does not work like the regular military.

    The point stands. We do not see anyone get a field comission or an emergency graduation. yet they have rank. Its evidence.
    No its not as conclusive as if Spock said " It is most fortunate that cadets are comissioned in the academy, unlike three hundred years ago" but its not really needed. Neither is this the sole reason for the presumption.

    And of course we have the fact that Kirk is a Lt. but he certainly is not graduated/ commisioned in the movie ( as I said Pike points out that he does not belong there) and we see the action with Pike from Kirks arrival on the bridge to his leaving in the shuttle, theres no point where Pike give Kirk rank ( hell Kirk isn't even given a spiffy new overshirt).

    Do you realize how circular you sound? :D

    I am sorry, if I seem to be repeating the evidence somewhat, but its in case anyone reading this does not want to read our gazillions of posts ( assuming everyone is not bored senseless by the two of us ;) ).
    Mind you I note that you have no evidence to repeat :D

    Actually they seem to divide Cadet from non Cadet. The red undershirt is a clear indication in ST II, and only cadets seem to have a red shoulder strap and their wrist band is distinctly different. - it has a stripe along it instead of the years of service pins. - its supposed to indicate that Cadets

    And yes, Valeris wore a red undershirt in STVI, but the sad fact is from a production standpoint the undershirts were apparently in short supply by that time. So I guess they used what they had ( still if they remaster it, who knows?)

    What we see on screen includes what the characters say. And all the evidence indicates that Kirk was commisioned at the academy.
    Thats then backed up by Saavik being a cadet
    and then the Abramverse

    its a variety of things that say the same thing. THATs why its compelling. individually a piece of evidence is discountable but pull all the threads and the tapestry of continuity that surrounds everything unravels.

    As restated above there is evidence to the contrary, quite a bit of it. Now it may have started as an unintentional side effect of what writers did ( though I tend to think not given the "Stack of Books" comment as I mentioned earlier ). but it certainly became the foundation they built on
    And when Abrams took on Trek he seems to have run with the idea ( honestly, given your position I expected you to say it did not count when I first mentioned it, which is why I said something about some questioning its validity) and honestly, really seems to have driven the nail home.

    I'm puzzled by the age of entry thing though, you suggested earlier that Chekov joined at, well 13, given that he is a seventeen year old ensign and Starfleet is four years ( which TBH I think is the absolute biggest stretch in credulity in your arguments )
    But I never said that Trek says entry is at 18, looking at onscreen evidence the minimum entry age is sixteen ( and FWIW with an academic year running from Autumn to summer as far as I can tell - no Idea if that is different from the military but it is like most universities).

    That said is it not true that to become a comissioned officer you should have a university degree first? ( this is largely true in the UK at least).
    It occurs to me that given this is not the case with the academy, and that the academy graduates get a degree. It may well get the military bit out of the way in the first year and then primarily focus on the more academic, if you see what I mean - thats just speculation though no real evidence for that.

    Not sure about that, since Janeway does not say that to Paris when she makes her offer ( I know, I'm a slave to onscreen evidence ;)). That said Ro Laren got recommissioned. Maybe it was at Janeways discretion if she liked how her "observer" worked out?

    TBF after thinking, it occured to me she might be sending a message to the Maquis and making sure that Paris is not everyones Bitch. :lol:

    Having looked at Relativity, Janeway seems to have decided herself that she wants Tom, and that everyone deserves a second chance. So yeah favour ( before or after the fact) to Admiral Paris seems likely.
  5. Ace1701A

    Ace1701A Lieutenant Red Shirt

    Sep 17, 1999
    Motor City
    Sisko says in "Doctor Bashir, I presume" that Bashir came to DS9 right out of medical school:

    ZIMMERMAN: What were your initial impressions of Doctor Bashir? Good and bad.
    SISKO: Young, eager, ambitious. He was fresh out of medical school, looking forward to his first taste of frontier medicine. Sometimes he let that natural impulse override his sense of decorum.
  6. sariel2005

    sariel2005 Lieutenant Red Shirt

    Jul 4, 2009
    That settles that then - Starfleet medical is eight years.