Why do Ransom and Picard hold the same Starfleet rank?

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

  1. Shamrock Holmes

    Shamrock Holmes Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Interestingly, in TOS we had three different ranks of officer as Ship's CO: Ramart of the Antares (refered to as 'Captain' but appeared to wear CMDR insignia - two stripes to Kirk's two-and-a-half); Jim Kirk and others (consistently IDed as a 'Captain'); and Matt Decker (who wore the sleeve lace, tho not breast insignia of a CDRE, and was refered to as a such).
     
  2. Timo

    Timo Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    ...Even better, we had those three ranks for the CO of the same class of vessel: Kirk wore Ramart's braid while commanding the Enterprise to where no man had gone before.

    But what's also interesting is the apparent ages, as Commodores could be more or less Shatner's age, while Captains could look older than Shatner. The very least we can say, then, is that even back in TOS, Starfleet didn't have an up-or-out policy strictly enforced at the starship CO level of ranks.

    Dunno about "generally accepted": there's no onscreen suggestion that Picard would have become a CO or a Captain at a remarkably early age (indeed, in "Conspiracy" he seems to bestow this honor on one of his co-conspirators instead). As he reputedly took charge when the real CO was down for the count, he no doubt was called "Captain, Sir!" by his fellow officers at least once before the real CO came to (or was replaced by somebody less dead). But we have little reason to think that this would have lasted.

    Friedman's novels just take the simplest route and parrot the vague TNG writers' bible suggestion, without canon backing. But if Picard made good at 28, and wasn't yet living the "Tapestry" reality, why did he then stagnate to the skipper of the irrelevant old tub for all those decades? What would have happened to his ambition?

    Well, okay, it went away at some point, supposedly, because he has lost it by the time the "Tapestry" chance to relive it all comes along. Sorta. Kinda. It's an oversimplification of what "Tapestry" really is telling us. But something still turned this skipper of a rust bucket into the CO of the UFP Flagship, with a promotion to flag rank awaiting just behind the corner. It's difficult to believe in such a rush forward if the past twenty years were spent in stasis.

    Timo Saloniemi
     
    Last edited: Jan 2, 2018
  3. Bry_Sinclair

    Bry_Sinclair Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Ramart is wearing the same uniform Kirk did in "Where No Man Has Gone Before" which is before the final tweaks to costume and design. Kirk's uniform had two gold braids and everyone else had just one, it's similar to "The Cage" where all the officers (including Captain Pike) had one gold braid.
     
  4. Timo

    Timo Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    And similar to every appearance of braid in Star Trek. In both pilots, everybody who wore single braid was called Lieutenant or then nothing specific at all. Everybody who wore two was called nothing specific at all. Well, except for Gary Mitchell, who got "Commander" and "Lieutenant Commander" for single braid. But he probably was as sloppy a dresser as he was a comber.

    Timo Saloniemi
     
  5. All Or Nothing

    All Or Nothing Ensign Newbie

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    It was the norm that Starbase commanders held the rank of Commander in TNG, different from what we were used to in TOS. So was a stepping stone for Sisko until he was made Captain of the Defiant. Yeah and DS9 too lol.
     
  6. Kor

    Kor Admiral Admiral

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    Picard must have some level of seniority if he was able to swoop in out of nowhere and take command of the fleet in ST:FC without anybody questioning his authority to do so.

    Kor
     
  7. All Or Nothing

    All Or Nothing Ensign Newbie

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    But that’s like splitting hairs, surely we can assume that the Officers who are more capable get assigned the “better” ships and then command priority goes to the ship with the tactical advantage (where applicable) therefore giving its Captain seniority.
     
  8. JRoss

    JRoss Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Ransom is a captain because otherwise Janeway could just order him around.
     
  9. Bad Thoughts

    Bad Thoughts Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    A friendly reminder: there was at least one CO of lieutenant commander rank in the Berman era--Jadzia Dax.
     
  10. Refuge

    Refuge Vice Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Janeway and the USS Voayger had superiority over Ransom and Equinox because she was Captain of the tactically superior vessel. And Ransom was an arsehole.
     
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  11. C.E. Evans

    C.E. Evans Admiral Admiral

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    I think even a ship as small as the Equinox can be involved in situations in which the fate of an entire planet--if not an entire sector--can depend on the decisions of her commanding officer. It may be Starfleet policy that all long-range starships over a certain tonnage or carrying a certain amount of weaponry may require a full captain as their commanding officer. The exception might be for starships assigned to a starbase in which officers below captain rank can assume temporary command for specific missions assigned by the starbase commander or by senior fleet command.
     
  12. Tim Thomason

    Tim Thomason Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Picard was ambitious, but so is everybody else in the command program. He commanded the Stargazer for twenty years (or so), but this is probably the norm in Starfleet. I don't think he had any interest in Admiralty (as we see in Coming of Age, long before he met Kirk), or an Ambassadorship or what-have-you. He got the Enterprise, the so-called flagship when he had the correct resume (a highly experienced senior Captain, forgetting that whole "lost his ship" thing) for the task. He probably had a ship between the Stargazer and Enterprise, or maybe a posting as an Admiral's adjutant somewhere he could influence himself into the list of prospective Starfleet captains.

    Starfleet doesn't seem to transfer its Captains around much in canon. Janeway is the only possibility that comes to mind of a lateral transfer from another ship that wasn't destroyed or something. Oh, and I guess Ben Maxwell of the USSes Rutledge and Phoenix.
     
  13. STR

    STR Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Yeah. I gotta agree with this take. Every starship bigger than a runabout can wipe out entire cities if not planets without much effort. Just because a Nova is relatively weaker than an Intrepid or Sovereign class ship doesn't meant it isn't an powerful ship by its own (absolute terms) right.

    As such, you'd keep than in the hands of senior officers. Grissom and Equinox had full captains onboard. Defiant was Sisko's ship, and it was only captained by less senior officers on specific, limited assignments similarly to how Picard would leave the Enterprise in the custody of Riker or others.
     
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  14. Tosk

    Tosk Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Ransom isn't a captain because he's in command of Equinox, he's in command of Equinox because he's a captain.
     
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  15. Refuge

    Refuge Vice Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Oh pooh resorted to Memory Alpha: "Captain Rudolph "Rudy" Ransom was A Starfleet officer in the 24th century. An exobiologist he was promoted to captain after making first contact with the Yridians, a species which starfleet had previously believed to be extinct. (Insert my comment... yikes he later doesn't care about such matters). Ransom subsequently took command of the USS Equinox, a Nova-class science vessel.."
     
  16. The Wormhole

    The Wormhole Admiral Admiral

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    Star Trek has almost always made the captains of any ship an O6 Captain, even small ones. An attempt was made in DS9 to go a lightly more realistic route, with Dax given command of the Defiant while a Lt. Commander and everyone referring to her as Captain, though unfortunately this seems only to have confused fans. Which to be fair, given Sisko retook the ship in the very next episode and then they're back on the station in the next one after that, I guess it's understandable that people would be under the impression it was only a temporary assignment when it was in fact intended in universe to be permanent.
    Although Burke wears the pips of a Lieutenant, he is identified as "Commander" in dialogue.
     
  17. Tosk

    Tosk Vice Admiral Admiral

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    "James T. Kirk. ...It is the judgment of this Council that you be reduced in rank to Captain, ...and that as a consequence of your new rank, you be given the duties for which you have repeatedly demonstrated unswerving ability. The command of a starship."
     
  18. Mr. Laser Beam

    Mr. Laser Beam Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    There was nobody left who could.

    Admiral Hayes was still alive (as we would later learn due to his appearance on VOY) but he must have been in an escape pod or something, as his flagship had been destroyed. So we can assume that the fleet was in disarray, with no clear-cut command structure remaining. Picard, due to his years of experience, was the perfect candidate to take command.

    I'm sure that when Hayes was able to recover and return to duty, he'd be the first to commend Picard for his actions.
     
  19. fireproof78

    fireproof78 Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Starfleet regulation ID 10 T and its discussion of arseholes.
     
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  20. Bry_Sinclair

    Bry_Sinclair Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    On a ship where over half the crew were killed that saw an Ensign as Chief Engineer, it's not a stretch for the imagination to believe that Lieutenant Burke was previously the Conn Officer or Security Chief promoted up to fill a vacancy that opened up due to losses.