Discussion in 'General Trek Discussion' started by valkyrie013, Oct 30, 2018.
Let us not forget "Mr. Adventure," from STIII.
Kirk on the Republic:
This establishes that Kirk was an ensign on the Republic when he reported Finney's failure to close the circuit.
Spock on the Enterprise:
Chronologically speaking, it would be a good idea for Spock in "The Cage" to be some sort of cadet, but:
The Making of Star Trek, Chapter One, describes the main characters before the captain's name was changed to Pike as April, Number One, Jose Tyler, Dr. Boyce, and Mr. Spock, the First Lieutenant. Not Mr. Spock the cadet.
So in "the Cage" Spock was clearly third in command after Captain Pike and Number One and with seniority over Lt. Tyler.
And in "The menagerie Part 2":
This certainly gives the impression that Spock is in command in the absence of pike and nUmber One and Tyler is his subordinate informing him of an event.
I think the Academy did exist in ENTERPRISE. Starfleet did, but it was human only at that point, so it makes sense the Academy was there too.
Regarding LaForge being the one crawling in the Jeffries Tubes... remember O'Brien once said ge got really bored in the transporter room waiting for something to break? Maybe LaForge has a similar feeling, deciding to do some smaller tasks just to get out of boredom. Plus, as a leader of a department, it's good morale for subordinates to see your boss getting their hands dirty along with everyone else. I've always respected bosses more when they do more than just sit behind a desk or just walk aroubd and point at issues instead of helping to solve them. It inspires people.
My "possibly" was supposed to cover these known states. I was referring to non-canon sources (specifically the Star Trek Chronology, which I read backwards and forwards before I saw a single episode of TOS), which claim that Kirk and Spock served on those ships as Cadets. Based on confusion with Kirk's first Captain Garrovick, and with Spock's long tenure under Pike.
I read about a sailor on a modern day aircraft carrier who spent 10 hours a day filling coke machines on the huge aircraft carrier.....all day long and almost never got to see the sun. I suppose somebody has to "fill the coke machines" on starships.
Maybe LaForge is doing certain repairs and modifications because his subordinate didn't know how too? Specialists with narrow focus training, while LaForge as chief engineer is a jack of all trades.
The Academy's flag seen during the 24th century says "established 2161." With Enterprise covering the period of 2151-2155 (with TATV set in 2161) there is no Academy. Indeed, for the most part, Enterprise is very careful never to make any reference to the Academy, only "Starfleet training." Although Storm Front Part 2 does feature an Academy diploma on display, the props people explained that was a mistake made by someone not paying attention to what they were doing.
As a department head, his time should be taken up by paperwork, staff briefings, and personnel matters to such an overwhelming degree that he shouldn't be able to find time to get bored.
A leader's job is to lead, not to work. A boss has to allow their staff to do the work themselves, otherwise they'll never gain experience and learn their jobs. Granted, there is a problem among many bosses who misinterpret this philosophy as a license to be lazy, but when done properly the staff look after the department freeing the department leaders up to look after the bigger picture.
But of course, Star Trek only ever sticks senior officers in their casts, so they have to be doing everything in order for the actors to get their screen time.
"Starfleet Academy" on that diploma could refer to a seperate facility or campus that was replaced/supplanted by the San Fran Academy in 2161. Or maybe Starfleet and the Academy was completely rededicated to a new mission (serving the UFP) instead of being under the aegis of whatever Earth agency commanded it.
Paperwork is probably way easier in the 24th century, and administrative affairs may be run by La Forge's assistant and are definitely under the overall oversight of Riker. But La Forge's primary roles are as an advisor to the Captain on what could and should be done during emergencies (regular senior staff role, with a specialty in warp theory), and being the liaison to the engineering department ("Engineering, report") during regular day-to-day operations.
The senior staff have overall responsibility to their departments. Geordi is a young department head (we first meet him as a junior grade flight controller) given an enormous task beyond his apparent experience. We also see that he has problems with interpersonal relationships. I'm perfectly willing to accept that he's not the best example of a Chief Engineer. As we saw with the Jellico episodes, Picard could be kind of Laissez-faire with how his department heads ran their staffs.
You know it's possible some are just kicked out of service. Granted I think even making through the Academy would still look good on a resume and you might be hired for civilian ships or alien governments. Some would even excel like Carol Marcus who left Starfleet and became a respected Scientist and Worf's human brother.
My current boss and the one directly before both took time to take care of big picture things and still get their hands dirty. This is why they earned my highest respect. Same with only one other boss I have had before. All the rest, finger pointers and paper pushers... they never earned my respect or loyalty.
So to say a leader shouldn't be doing any work is flat out wrong. Leaders also lead by example... and for my money, the best ones are the ones that actually don't sit on their ass all day.
The ship that gets destroyed to prove the Enterprise is in danger.
I don't believe for a second that the Enterprise is filled from top to bottom with the best of the best. The actual ranking officers should be that, but the rest? There will be bottom 50% graduates all over the ship, if for no other reason than simply because everyone has to go somewhere and every ship has to fill its positions. Trying to impose a 'this post, this post and this post can only be filled by top 10% graduates' rule to entire ships as a blanket requirement is just a pointless and unnecessary headache for whoever's in charge of personnel. And that's without even mentioning the fact that LaForge deliberately accepts Barclay into his dept. knowing his very poor reputation in the belief that he can work with anyone and improve them - which, philosophically, is the exact opposite approach of accepting only the best.
Having said that:
While some of the bottom classmen will inevitably wind up in more exciting places like the Enterprise purely by chance, if one wants to know what the average underachiever's career in starfleet, look no further than this.
It's not so much just starbases and planetary installations - those require actual intelligent officers just as much as starships do. But Starfleet has millions of individual posts where almost nothing ever happens. Maintaining equipment in the middle of nowhere. Manning transport station 32 at some random station people don't care much about. Running security for an outpost on a totally uninhabited planet with no interesting resources to attract invaders. Etc, etc.
In "Hollow Pursuits," they were getting Barclay highly recommended from a previous ship, and speculated after the fact that maybe they'd been sold a bill of goods; and Picard had to twist Geordi's arm to make Barclay his special project. In any case, they weren't getting him straight out of the Academy, so his grades would have been irrelevant at that point...but he probably did splendidly academically.
I misremembered that then. But Picard was very insistant that he deserved a chance, which is not what you would expect from an institution that fundamentally expected only the best of the best. Also, Geordi's line that he always thought he could work with anyone is also not what you would expect from such an institution, either.
Not to echo Timo, but the TOS lineup—save for Spock, of course— were capable, even exceptional officers in their way, but not the summit of human achievement. TNG too often for my taste alluded to this almost Khan-like level of perfection. It was off-putting.
Plus, depending on the career role, it's VITAL to actually do some work now and again to keep your skills sharp. As a scientist, even now I'm at PI level, I routinely get back in the lab so I'm up to date with techniques and changes in consumables/equipment. I'd imagine an engineer would likewise need to keep their hand in to remain familiar with systems and tech updates, even if day-to-day they can delegate. If Geordi tells his crew to run the plasma injectors at 5 megapretzels and the newer versions are tuned for a maximum of 4.2 megapretzels (but deliver a more focused output) then he's gonna look like a damn idiot when they go foom.
Likewise, I don't see Crusher commanding respect from her staff if she doesn't get gloved up and past her wrist into someone's chest cavity now and again.
This is especially true with LaForge, since new technologies and techniques occur all the time. As an engineer, he would need to keep sharp and up to date, particularly as Chief Engineer of the flagship.
I would hope that nepotism has no place in Starfleet.This idea of cosy up to a superior officer for favour or a plum assignment seems to be the opposite of what Starfleet should stand for.
Frankly I’m surprised at how readily the idea of nepotism is accepted in this thread.
It is? I can only find one mention of it in the whole thread.
Perhaps Barclay's previous colleagues were more understanding and less snobbish than the Enterprise officers. They were borderline bullies
There might be Federation cultures where the concept of nepotism is considered a good thing, favouring your friend or family before a stranger as long as said friend or family member can do the job. If you cannot find anyone then you choose the stranger.
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