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

    Joined:
    Dec 15, 2012
    Something tells me Janeway wouldn't have meekly gone with the protocol in the unlikely case had it dictated the other way around. Perhaps not immediately at that point in the story, but certainly after discovering what the Equinox crew had done.

    Well, after Picard simply said 'I'm taking command of the fleet', it seems that disarrayed fleet is still pretty capable of carrying out a coordinated and concentrated point attack. I alwas saw this scene as a kind of proof of Picard being respected as 'the most senior among all starfleet captains', even if he only used that informal authority in emergency situations like this, and not in ordinary 'starfleet' life.
     
    Last edited: Jan 3, 2018
    All Or Nothing likes this.
  2. Timo

    Timo Fleet Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Aug 26, 2003
    I rather doubt that. Whenever our TNG or DS9 heroes contacted a Starbase, they contacted an Admiral of some sort.

    Only the Deep Space Station from the latter show had a lowly Commander in charge, and the few times it was referred to as a starbase were probably just arrogant propaganda to give Sisko a better footing in his negotiations with the Gamma aliens of the week.

    Oh, in "11001001", Picard met a Commander Quinteros at SB 74. But this character was not stated to be the high leader of that vast city in space, and indeed was specifically getting his hands dirty with the minor task of refitting the Enterprise computers. He probably answered to some Captain who answered to some Rear Admiral who answered to the SB 74 commanding officer...

    We never hear of either Picard doing that, or anybody else doing that. The longest stretch of command seems to be Picard on the E-D, seven or eight years, and that was not expected career development for him - he was supposed to move on to be Academy Commandant at flag rank, but he refused. And then betrayed the Federation. Which surprisingly didn't terminate his career, but may have stopped any hope of future promotion (alternate/fictional futures notwithstanding). In any case, the UFP Flagship probably was the highest possible starship posting, and as such a dead end.

    Different people go through their Starfleet careers at different paces, and Starfleet doesn't kick out those who remain Lieutenants at the age of seventy. But getting stuck on a single ship for those putative two decades would look bad on anybody's resume.

    No doubt. Regardless of whether he was Captain of the Stargazer for those decades, or just a Lieutenant and then Commander and only briefly the actual CO, he would be disadvantaged by his absence from the halls of Starfleet Command, and would need to catch up after the loss of that old ship.

    Although it's possible that he never did spend much time on the Stargazer after all. It was the first ship he served on, and the first he commanded, but those two feats might have been separated by two decades and seven starships for all we know.

    Did she ever command anything before Voyager? She had "commands", but those weren't necessarily of ships, as the sole reference to such a thing involves the lowly Lieutenant Tuvok chiding her for her performance (unlikely for a Lieutenant to chide a Captain, and unlikely for a starship command to be a single performance subject to critique afterwards).

    It's more an artifact of starship captain characters being one-offs whose career histories are insignificant to the plot: we only meet them at one stage of their career, with them commanding a specific ship. Nothing to say they couldn't have commanded three others previously.

    Dunno. He got promoted to captain or Captain because he rediscovered the Yridians, sez dialogue. But he was an exobiologist before/at that feat. Which raises questions:

    1) Why was he credited with the discovery, which probably involved a starship sailing to where the Yridians were to be found? Why not the CO of that ship?
    2) Was the promotion to rank or position?
    3) If the former, why would it be worth remarking on? Surely he would have made Captain rank eventually anyway: did the discovery make him an exceptionally young Captain?
    4) Was this promotion in any way connected to him changing careers from research to command? Or did he have command in his sights even back when his title was Exobiologist? (Did Janeway?)

    The curious way in which the incident and the promotion is brought up makes it at least possible that the relationship between the Equinox and Ransom's rank is a complex one, with Starfleet perhaps rewarding him with a command for his feat and then feeling obligated to give him a promotion in rank as well.

    Timo Saloniemi
     
  3. JRoss

    JRoss Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

    Joined:
    Dec 19, 2010
    Location:
    Stain'd-by-the-Sea
    You know, real-world navies could eliminate any confusion by just referring to he commander of a vessel as "skipper" as opposed to "captain". I read that it's pretty common for the XO of an aircraft carrier to also have the rank of captain, and also for department heads to hold that rank.
     
  4. Herbert

    Herbert Captain Captain

    Joined:
    Apr 20, 2017
    Location:
    You've got a hard lip, Herbert
    Let's just invent a new rank for Picard. Let's call him Uber-Captain. Does that properly address the issue? How about Awesome-Sauce-Captain? That might be more suitable for the Captain of the flagship. Wait a minute, I got it! Super-De-Dooper-Tea-Drinkin'-Nausican-Fightin'-Archaeologist-Capitan!
     
  5. rahullak

    rahullak Commodore Commodore

    Joined:
    Jun 4, 2009
    Location:
    India
    It's not an exact analogy, but this might help: CEO of a 10-man startup vs CEO of a giant multinational with hundreds of thousands of employees.
     
  6. The Wormhole

    The Wormhole Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Jul 23, 2001
    A US aircraft carrier can have five officers aboard who hold the rank Captain: the CO, the XO, the chief engineer, the CAG, and if there's an Admiral aboard he could have a Captain in his staff.
     
  7. MAGolding

    MAGolding Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

    Joined:
    Dec 11, 2015
    In TOS apparently Captain Garrovik commanded the Republic with Ensign Kirk aboard and later commanded the Farragut with Lieutenant Kirk aboard.

    The most reasonable assumption about Kirk's Starfleet Career is that he graduated from Starfleet Academy and was commissioned ensign, and later was promoted to lieutenant j.g. and then lieutenant, and so on.

    According to "Obsession":

    In "Court Martial":

    And:

    In "Obsession":

    And:

    If Captain Kirk had as fast a promotion record as would be necessary to become captain at an unusually young age he would not have been an ensign after being a lieutenant. And if Kirk's career was similar to a modern naval officer's except for his unusually rapid promotion, Kirk would have graduated from the academy, been commissioned an ensign, been promoted to lieutenant j.g., been promoted lieutenant, been promoted lieutenant commander, and so on.

    Thus it is logical to assume that Ensign Kirk served on the Republic with Finney under Captain Garrovick and that Garrovick and Kirk both transferred to the Farragut and and Kirk was promoted lieutenant before fighting the vampire space cloud at Tycho IV 11 years before "Obsession".

    This makes Garrovick an example of a captain who commanded at least two different starships during his career, the Republic and the Farragut.

    Note that in "A private Little War" Kirk talks about having made a planetary survey on the planet.

    Which means that Jamie Finney was already born and named 13 years before the 2nd season, since Finney would not have named her Jamie after Ensign Kirk had angered him. But the incident on the Republic could not have been much more than 13 years before the first season considering Kirk's age.
     
    Last edited: Jan 3, 2018
  8. Mr. Laser Beam

    Mr. Laser Beam Fleet Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    May 10, 2005
    Location:
    The visitor's bullpen
    That reminds me of something: You know how Kirk had these huge quarters in the first two movies, but those in ST VI were much smaller? Perhaps the ones from TMP and TWOK were his admiral's flag quarters, whereas the one in ST VI would be a normal captain's room...
     
  9. Kor

    Kor Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Jul 31, 2001
    Location:
    Dahar Master final exams
    Or we could just bring back the ranks of "Fleet Captain" and "Commodore" that existed in the TOS years, instead of having so many different grades and flavors of admiralty.

    Kor
     
  10. Ithekro

    Ithekro Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

    Joined:
    Apr 5, 2012
    Location:
    Republic of California
    It is also possible that Picard just really liked the Stargazer. Much like Kirk really liked the Enterprise and would keep making excuses to get back there. While he could have been posted to another ship, he always picked Enterprise, and when he was demoted, they gave him a new Enterprise. Picard just kept the command until the ship was a flaming wreck under his feet. After that lose he was less attached to the Enterprise even though it was his ship and a good ship.
     
  11. Paradise City

    Paradise City Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

    Joined:
    Nov 9, 2015
    There's no issue. All captain's are equal. But if there's only two Captains and there's disagreement and a clash then it goes down to the captain with the ship that has tactical superiority. So there you go.
     
    Bry_Sinclair likes this.
  12. Herbert

    Herbert Captain Captain

    Joined:
    Apr 20, 2017
    Location:
    You've got a hard lip, Herbert
    What happened to the rank of Commodore in Next Gen? There were commodore's all over the place in TOS
     
  13. Kor

    Kor Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Jul 31, 2001
    Location:
    Dahar Master final exams
    I believe background info says Commodore became "Rear Admiral, Lower Half," or something like that... the admirals with the lowest number of paired rank pips. Or maybe I'm thinking of real navies. Anyway, in routine dealings, they would typically be addressed as "Admiral" instead of the cumbersome full official rank designation.

    Kor
     
  14. Mr. Laser Beam

    Mr. Laser Beam Fleet Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    May 10, 2005
    Location:
    The visitor's bullpen
    When TOS was being written and aired, the rank of Commodore existed in the US Navy, and thus the rank system in Starfleet reflected that.

    Since the Commodore rank was no longer in use by the US Navy when TNG was created, Starfleet's TNG-era ranks reflected that as well.
     
  15. Herbert

    Herbert Captain Captain

    Joined:
    Apr 20, 2017
    Location:
    You've got a hard lip, Herbert
    Ah yes. Rear Admiral Loin
     
  16. BillJ

    BillJ Fleet Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Jan 30, 2001
    Location:
    BillJ
    Because TV.
     
    King Daniel Beyond likes this.
  17. Mutai Sho-Rin

    Mutai Sho-Rin Crusty Old Bastard Moderator

    Joined:
    Jul 31, 2001
    Location:
    Orange, CA USA
    A painfully arrogant assumption.
     
    Bry_Sinclair likes this.
  18. Timo

    Timo Fleet Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Aug 26, 2003
    Random comments:

    MAGolding's analysis of Kirk's rank development is fine - but there's no pressing reason to assume Garrovick would have been the man Kirk went to snitch about Finney's life-endangering mistake. We know Kirk is an instructor to Mitchell at the specific rank of Lieutenant, meaning he is at the Academy; quite possibly, he has not yet "left the Academy", then, despite having served as Ensign aboard assorted starships.

    There are dedicated training ships in the Fleet in the 24th century (one of them named the Republic, even!). Cadets are to be found aboard all sorts of ships, including the Discovery, but this is apparently in addition to the sort of ships that do not actually serve in the front lines. And there is Academy training other than that involving Cadets: postgraduates may be studying separately to attain command competence, culminating in the no-win scenario test. Now, Kirk took his while still a Cadet, but Saavik did not (and Spock never did, establishing the optionality); all sorts of openings for an Ensign assigned to the Academy to teach or study aboard a starship.

    On the other hand, Kirk's odd emphasis on how Garrovick stayed with him could directly be taken as implying that Garrovick went through unusual hoops there, including a transfer... But if we look for unusual wordings, "leaving the Academy" instead of "graduating" could also be taken as a significant distinction.

    As for Commodore, we know little about the lowest of the five flag ranks in the post-TOS-movie era. But there are five pips to be had in the final incarnation of the rank scheme; the one-pipper should be one step lower than Rear Admiral and two steps below Vice Admiral by strong precedent. Yet we know that Picard would have hopped from Captain straight to Admiral of some color in "Coming of Age", and the early pipless flag officers all are called Admiral just like their one- and two-pipped counterparts.

    If anything, then, we have slots open for two flag ranks to replace Commodore: the one-pip Rear Admiral, Lower Half and the zero-pip Bottom Admiral... But we can also combine them to one (even if it makes the early TNG pip scheme byzantine indeed) and call that whatever we wish, including something dignified for a chance. But squeezing Commodore back in would appear utterly futile.

    Timo Saloniemi
     
  19. Tim Thomason

    Tim Thomason Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

    Joined:
    May 27, 2009
    Location:
    Daniels' Illinois
    There are TNG-era Commodores on Okudagrams in Conspiracy, for whatever that's worth.
     
  20. Timo

    Timo Fleet Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Aug 26, 2003
    Indeed, we can continue to believe in them - we just can't address them as Commodores, but must say "Admiral, Sir!" to remain true to late 24th century Starfleet protocol.

    Or then we may say that the transition is recent in TNG, and that people of Commodore rank still continue to serve (or continue to hold the rank at retirement) but nobody gets promoted to that rank any longer.

    Timo Saloniemi