What is a Commander doing commanding a Space Station?

Discussion in 'Star Trek: Deep Space Nine' started by Trekboy1993, Dec 18, 2017.

  1. Trekboy1993

    Trekboy1993 Lieutenant Red Shirt

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    And before you say "Sisko was promoted to Captain" that's still a low rank for a command of 5,000 personal I would expect a Flag Officer to command a Starbase that size.
     
  2. Bad Thoughts

    Bad Thoughts Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    A commanding commander? Fascinating.
     
  3. UssGlenn

    UssGlenn Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    When he was assigned it was an unimportant post next to an unimportant planet. It didn't warrant a Captain. Crew was initially much smaller too. And once it became important, with the wormhole, Sisko was the Emissary and couldn't be reassigned without the Bajorans objecting.
     
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  4. BigDaveX

    BigDaveX Commander Red Shirt

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    Considering the situation on Bajor at the outset of the series, I'd guess that Starfleet simply didn't think it warranted anyone of higher rank. They probably viewed Sisko as just someone who would take interim charge of the station until the Bajorans were in a position to fully assume control over it... or until the Provisional Government failed, their society collapsed into anarchy, and Starfleet were forced to withdraw from the system. The discovery of the wormhole and Sisko becoming Emissary changed everything.
     
  5. Bad Thoughts

    Bad Thoughts Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    I think it more a mystery that he hadn't been promoted admiral by the seventh season, with Kira being the station CO.
     
  6. Mark_Nguyen

    Mark_Nguyen Commodore Commodore

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    The first time we saw a space-based station commander in the TNG era, it was Commander Quinteros of Starbase 74 (from "11001001" in the first season). If there were a flag ranked person there, they weren't mentioned.

    In practice, for the strategic responsibility Sisko had in the war he really should have been made a flag officer, which in TNG would mean some form of Admiral rank. However, he was also very much a hands-on field commander, and there are plenty of times in Trek that we've seen people of Captain rank command multiple vessels (or even less, thinking about Sulu in apparent charge of things in "Errand of Mercy"). Thankfully though, we had the redoubtable Admiral Ross around to free Sisko and let him get his hands dirty.

    Mark
     
  7. The Wormhole

    The Wormhole Admiral Admiral

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    It was originally based on the real world practice where the one in charge of a space station is addressed as "Commander" regardless of whatever rank they may actually hold, just like the naval tradition of a ship's commanding officer always being addressed as "Captain" regardless their actual rank. For example, when Chris Hadfield commanded the ISS he was addressed as "Commander Hadfield" despite the fact his actual rank in the Canadian military is Colonel. Somewhere in the development process this idea got lost and Sisko ended up being ranked Commander as well.
     
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  8. Bad Thoughts

    Bad Thoughts Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Of course, it also got lost that the captain need not be a captain ... until Dax was captain.
     
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  9. Bry_Sinclair

    Bry_Sinclair Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Where do you get 5000 personnel from? Most sources I can find gives the station a crew of 500.
     
  10. JirinPanthosa

    JirinPanthosa Vice Admiral Admiral

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    At the start of the series, DS9 was a low priority assignment. They wanted Bajor to join the Federation but it was off on the outskirts. When the discovery of the wormhole made it higher priority, he was the Emissary, and removing him would mean imperiling the goal of getting them to join the Federation.
     
  11. WraithDukat

    WraithDukat Captain Captain

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    500 is a low figure considering the size of the thing when the ENT-D had around 1100. 5000 including civilians, there a lot of civilians on-board.
     
  12. MacLeod

    MacLeod Admiral Admiral

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    As others have mentioned, it was likely considered by Starfleet to be of lowre importance than other starbases. With likely the bulk of personnal coming from the Bajoran milita, the Federation was asked by the Bajoran government to come in and Administer the station which hardly calls for a Captain. Of course once the wormhole was discovered it suddenly became a very important posting but by then Sisko had then become the Emissary to the Bajoran's Gods (for lack of a better term) so not political wise to remove him.

    And the numbers I've heard for personnal are in the 300-500 mark.
     
  13. Takeru

    Takeru Space Police Fleet Captain

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    Sisko was revered because he was the emissary, not because he was in command of the station. Starfleet could have send Sisko to Bajor as the full time emissary while giving command of the station to someone higher ranking and the bajorans probably would have loved that.
     
  14. Garth Rockett

    Garth Rockett Commodore Commodore

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    When we got to the later seasons of DS9, I really felt it was a shame that they had followed the US Navy in getting rid of the Commodore rank. It seemed like that would have been the perfect rank for Sisko, because he would have been seen as more important than a captain but still made it feel like he was distinct from the Admiralty in the audience's mind. Plus, it would have fit in with the role of Commodore as we saw it in TOS - they commanded starbases (Stone, Mendez, Stocker) but also could command ships (Decker) and task forces (Wesley), all roles we saw Sisko in during the last two seasons.
     
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  15. mos6507

    mos6507 Commodore Commodore

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    This. The commodore rank was pretty cool. More revered then a captain and less of a desk-jockey than an admiral.
     
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  16. Bad Thoughts

    Bad Thoughts Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    This is an excellent point. Making Sisko the head of a task force could have allowed for more definition to what his function was during the war. It would also have given them the option of making the new seventh season female character a ... wait for it... A CAPTAIN!
     
  17. Takeru

    Takeru Space Police Fleet Captain

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    But that character would have outranked everyone but Sisko, I don't think they would have gone for that, Nana Visitor especially would have probably been annoyed to play second banana to a new female superior.
     
  18. Bad Thoughts

    Bad Thoughts Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Kira was a colonel by season 7, and the rank of the new officer could be adjusted to commander. Just give her a ship.
     
  19. Trekboy1993

    Trekboy1993 Lieutenant Red Shirt

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    Perhaps the board didn't see see Sisko as Flag Officer material
     
  20. at Quark's

    at Quark's Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Kira's rank is in the Bajoran militia, a very different structure. As a major, she also was outranked by commander Sisko, so it's uncertain what status Colonel rank would bring her, exactly.

    I did consider Sisko as de facto 'higher than a captain' by the end of the series. Ordinarily, I don't think captains get to lead huge task forces in war. Why he wasn't officially promoted, I don't know. Perhaps his promotion to captain was still too recent, and there are minimum time spans between successive promotions in starfleet?
     
    Last edited: Dec 19, 2017