Why do Ransom and Picard hold the same Starfleet rank?

Discussion in 'General Trek Discussion' started by at Quark's, Jan 2, 2018.

  1. at Quark's

    at Quark's Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Ransom: Captain of the U.S.S. Equinox, Nova class. Approx crew complement for vessels of this class is 78.

    Picard: Captain of the U.S.S. Enterprise, Galaxy class. Approx crew complement for vessels of this class is 1000-1600.

    The numbers are from memory alpha, and even if there's some speculation to them, they won't be too far off.

    So, why is it that they both hold the same Starfleet rank? There must be several departments on a galaxy class with a greater complement than the crew total of a Nova. I know of the tradition to call any CO of a vessel 'captain' but they both really have the captain rank as far as I can determine, which, in a real-world navy, they probably wouldn't. So, is Picard's rank 'too low' (and should he at least have been a 'fleet captain' or some other rank), or is Ransom's rank 'too high'?
     
  2. Bry_Sinclair

    Bry_Sinclair Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Because in the Star Trek universe ship's are commanded by a Captain, it's not the current day Navy.
     
  3. Timo

    Timo Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    And really, who cares about crew/passengers? Both Ransom and Picard have weapons of utter destruction at their fingertips. The tiny Nova could melt a civilization to glass just as well as the giant Galaxy if given time...

    Timo Saloniemi
     
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  4. Mr. Laser Beam

    Mr. Laser Beam Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    Why is Ransom a captain by rank?

    Because he's JOHN SAVAGE, that's why. :cool:
     
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  5. Tenacity

    Tenacity Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    While the same rank, Picard likely has more time in grade (date of rank) and therefor more seniority.

    Picard out ranks Ransom.
     
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  6. Timo

    Timo Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    No telling which character would be older. And we don't know when Picard made Captain rank, except it was before "The Battle" and the mid-2350s. We have even less idea of when Ransom made Captain rank, except it was before the late 2360s when Yridians, his big discovery and the one that won him the rank, were already a known quantity.

    But both characters command a starship. Do they command dissimilar organizations? The small ship may well have about as many department heads as the large one (Janeway's ship certainly had more onscreen than Picard's ever did!), and the number of underlings below that level wouldn't much affect the COs.

    Timo Saloniemi
     
  7. at Quark's

    at Quark's Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Those 13 department heads that reported to Tuvok daily were probably just invented/created by Janeway to keep him busy so that he wouldn't have time to spam her with important reports such as 'sensor resolution is down by 0.3 % - a preliminary investigation of possible sources of interference', 'average crew response times same as last year but standard deviation slightly higher', 'threat of a maquis rebellion remains low this month- 89.7 % work satisfaction reported', and so on :)
     
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  8. All Or Nothing

    All Or Nothing Ensign Newbie

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    Yeah, might be the same rank but we see In this episode of VOY that Janeway takes command because her ship is superior. We also know that the Enterprise is the Flagship, and we see Picard bring other ships under his command. It’s never actually mentioned on screen (as far as I can remember) but I always assumed Picard must be a Fleet Captain.
     
  9. φ of π

    φ of π Captain Captain

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    Not every captain can have a Federation flagship.
     
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  10. King Daniel Beyond

    King Daniel Beyond Admiral Admiral

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    Because the Star Trek universe is simplified for dumb audiences.

    Except when Commander Sisko was in charge of DS9. For a time, someone somewhere thought fanboys could comprehend a little more.

    But then that moment passed into eternity.
     
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  11. MacLeod

    MacLeod Admiral Admiral

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    Well in FC we see Picard take command of the Fleet once the Admiral's ship is destroyed.

    Likely commanding the Flagship of the Fleet gives him seniority in the abscence of a more senior officer
     
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  12. Shamrock Holmes

    Shamrock Holmes Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Either a Fleet Captain (cf Sisko to Ross) or a Commodore-by-rank usually refered to as captain because he's operating solo. IMO, Janeway should have been either Junior Captain (ala Kirk) or a Commander-by-rank (but titled Captain), Ransom should have been a LDCR by rank (this is hinted by his XO being a LT, the only example (sans The Cage) of the XO being more than two ranks (usually one) below the CO) but likewise titled Captain).
     
  13. Timo

    Timo Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    Making it more complicated than in real life doesn't sound necessary. Picard is a senior citizen and might thus well be a senior Captain at Sector 001. And Janeway is no spring chicken, and could simply have spent more time at Captain rank than Ransom, who was an exobiologist and only got a captaincy by accident of sorts, thus possibly later in his career than those hungry for command positions.

    (The ambiguity of command in "Equinox" is over two-ship maneuvers, which might be completely separate from seniority issues. Command doesn't fall on Janeway per that reg - it falls on her ship!)

    Timo Saloniemi
     
  14. Shamrock Holmes

    Shamrock Holmes Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    She's about the same age as Will Riker or LaForge (ie around 36 as of Caretaker), whereas Picard is a generation older (literally, he's about the same as her father).

    Another possible explanation is that you automatically get a one grade 'bump' from your current rank if you're made CO and Ransom (and Janeway?) were already Science Division CMDRs before being appointed?
     
  15. Tim Thomason

    Tim Thomason Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    It's possible that Ransom was a LCDR, but given a field promotion to Captain (and thus, allowed four pips), á la Tom Paris, in order to command his small ship. Maybe this is Starfleet's regular practice, and most Captains actually hold different paygrades (for lack of a better term) than their stripes or pips show.

    TMP showed us an admiral who decided to wear Captain's insignia when commanding a starship. Maybe the same situation applies (although other movies show this may be at the Admiral's prerogative).
     
  16. Timo

    Timo Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    Promotion in Starfleet is independent of age, at every rank, as we have seen. Janeway could have been as hungry for the rank as Jim Kirk was, while Ransom was not. The not so mysterious case of how Janeway outranks him solved. I mean, Kirk outranked McCoy. Why not?

    Whether Picard made Captain early or late, we don't know. He supposedly had the hunger. He supposedly did the heroics. But did he get the early rank?

    Timo Saloniemi
     
  17. Shamrock Holmes

    Shamrock Holmes Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    It's generally accepted that he had the tltle (if not the rank) of Captain by 2333 (so at about 28), though the precise circumstances of this or indeed his preceeding rank are unknown canonically and vary in non-canon sources.
     
  18. Bry_Sinclair

    Bry_Sinclair Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Using the actors age as a guide, Rudy Ransom was around 50 in 2376 when Voyager encountered the Equinox, which means he'd have been 45 when the ship vanished in 2371. Had he entered Starfleet at 18 and graduated at 22 he would've been an Ensign on active duty in 2348, which gives him 23 years to climb the promotions ladder--granted as an exobiologist he's hardly going to be leading lots of daring missions and being promoted for his bravery or valour, but if Kirk can go from Cadet to Lieutenant to Captain in a matter of hours then Ransom can make it to Captain over 20 years.

    With no other information to go on, we could surmise that he spent years in the sciences, steadily being promoted before ending up as a Commander serving as First/Chief Science Officer on a survey ship in 2369, where he led an away mission that encountered the Yridians, during which time he did something above and beyond the call of duty which saw him being in line for a promotion to Captain. He then assumed command of the newly launched Equinox in 2370, when the survey ship returned to port, and he was promoted. What followed was a year of scientific missions before the one that led to his ship being pulled into the DQ.

    Doesn't seem so hard to believe to me.
     
  19. 137th Gebirg

    137th Gebirg Vice Admiral Premium Member

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    Indeed. I think the better question should be, "Why isn't Picard a Fleet Captain or Commodore?"
     
  20. Bry_Sinclair

    Bry_Sinclair Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    He declined such a promotion?
     
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