sariel2005 wrote: 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.