Why does Harry Kim never get promoted?

Discussion in 'Star Trek: Voyager' started by B. L., Apr 18, 2019.

  1. Kor

    Kor Admiral Admiral

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    Thanks for the clarification.

    Kor
     
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  2. Go-Captain

    Go-Captain Captain Captain

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    In Universe: I can only guess Janeway thought Kim was best at his rank and position and not capable of handling greater responsibly. Basically, the anti-Peter Principle. Doesn't mean she was right about him.

    Out of Universe: Wang mentioned he thought the producers should be taking more risks with the show, that's it, nothing more, and that pissed off Berman. It was in a TV Guide interview, and while I cannot find the quote, the incident is briefly mentioned here. Kim never getting promoted, and Wang being the only then-modern Trek actor not to have a chance at directing is very likely due to that interview.
     
  3. Deks

    Deks Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Its possible that Kim wasn't promoted because his station (Operations) didn't really give him that much of a leverage for promotion in the first place.
    Also, Voyager is a medium sized vessel... its possible that no other positions on the ship were available which would allow him to progress in rank, and due to their circumstances, he was probably best to remain where he is (Operations).

    Its also possible that officers such as the ones assigned to conn and engineering REQUIRE higher ranks (aka Lt.).
    Paris is a graduate of the academy, so he 'probably' already had a rank of Ensign (at least) for quite a while by the time he joined the Maquis... Janeway simply reinstated him and gave him a field promotion to Lt.

    As for Torres... that one IS a bit iffy... but again, she would have been in charge of the entire engineering department, and that requires a higher rank by default.
    She may have been an Academy washout with discipline issues, but she WAS familiar with Starfleet more or less as a result and showed great potential (which Janeway noted).

    It was also noted that 2 crewmembers filed complaints about her promotion... perhaps Harry Kim may have been one of them... including Carrey.

    Also, Tuvok was promoted as well to Lt./Cmmd (probably because he already had a VERY long record).

    I'd suspect that Janeway could have promoted Kim to Lt. starting with Season 4 or 5, but realistically, nothing would have intricately 'changed' for him. He would still be doing his duties at Operations, etc.

    But its very likely that he got promoted virtually instantly when they got back home to rank of Lt. ... possibly even Lt./Cmmd.
    It wouldn't be impossible for SF to review the crew's performance records during their service record on Voyager in the DQ and give them promotions upon arrival in Federation space (its also possible Janeway left personal commendations for individual crew members who did not get a chance to be promoted due to mitigating circumstances, so that Starfleet would rather assign them promotions - in case of Kim and Vorik for example, they might easily 'skip' the ranks of Lt. and go directly to Lt./Cmmd. as a result of Janeway's recommendations).
     
  4. fireproof78

    fireproof78 Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    But, wouldn't that positive affirmation for Harry's successes?
     
  5. Deks

    Deks Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Probably.
    Don't get me wrong, I do think that he could have been promoted, but at the same time there are viable (in-universe) explanations why he wasn't.
    Unfortunately, the writers (in the real world) didn't want Harry to advance in ranks... otherwise, Janeway could have promoted Harry at the same time Paris got re-promoted to Lt. in Season 6 - Unimatrix 0 episode 1 (that would seem like an excellent time to do that and more or less 'consistent' with how long an Ensign may take to advance realistically).

    Still, I suspect that Harry got his promotion (or skipped Lt. and went to Lt./Cmmd. directly) upon Voyager returning home as a result of his (rather outstanding under the circumstances) service in DQ... Janeway may have recommended him to SF as a viable candidate for Lt./Cmmd promotion.
     
  6. Shamrock Holmes

    Shamrock Holmes Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    TrekLit has him skipping LT-JG, which makes sense (according to Data in Datalore, Kim should have been promoted to JG c. Scorpion) and going straight to LT. This makes sense to me, as Data as suggests that candidates are promoted to LT-CDR after thirteen to fifteen years (which is somewhat longer than the RW ten years for the US Army, nine to eleven for the Navy), although the closest analogue characters (LaForge and Worf) were made LT-CDR in eight and ten years respectively, so Data might have been referring to broad averages rather than hard limits, particularly as Riker was made LT-CDR after only four years and a CDR in only seven (don't tell Harry!).
     
  7. Guy Gardener

    Guy Gardener Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    In the lap of squalor I assure you.
    I heard that every one in the cast who got offered a directing gig, hung around on set after hours with the tech crew and helped out, took notice and learned how to get down to business.

    Paid some dues.

    Kim went home as soon as he was allowed to, and then cried racism because he hadn't put in 10 hours learning how the lighting board works.
     
  8. Oddish

    Oddish Fleet Captain Red Shirt

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    There's an article called "No Little Box, No Good Reason". It lays out all the reasons and justifications people use for why it was Ok for Harry to stay an ensign for 7 years. With the efficiency of a Borg and a brutality that would impress a Cardassian, it tears every single one of those arguments into very tiny pieces.

    There are no defensible arguments for keeping Harry Kim at ensign for 7 years. The writers or producers or whoever's decision it was... they showed a degree of incompetence that is unacceptable for any professional.

    Unfortunately, while I have the article's text on my computer, I can't find it online, so no link. And not sure I want to post a wall of text, given that I'm a newbie.
     
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  9. DonIago

    DonIago Vice Admiral Admiral

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    To me the simple fact is that there's no good reason for it, especially in light of other crew changes that occurred during that period.

    That Our Heroes (via the writers) even started making fun of the situation themselves just makes it worse.
     
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  10. plynch

    plynch Commodore Commodore

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    Just curious, in USN what would keep a lt. from moving up to ltcdr?

    And then they're out? Are they literally fired, decomissioned?
     
  11. Jirin Actin Kinda Sus

    Jirin Actin Kinda Sus Admiral Admiral

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    In my head canon Harry eventually wound up under Nog’s command, and Harry had him go over exactly how he went from first year cadet to lieutenant in four years once per week.
     
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  12. Oddish

    Oddish Fleet Captain Red Shirt

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    Not necessarily, Plynch.

    Nearly all ensigns make LTJG.
    Nearly all JG's (95%+) make LT.
    About 80% of LT's make LCDR. A below average officer won't make the cut, but that isn't the same as getting drummed out.
    About 70% of LCDR's make Commander. So, about 55% of officers overall.
    About 50% of CDR's make Captain.
    About 8% of Captains make Rear Admiral, or about 2% of officers overall.
     
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  13. Charles Phipps

    Charles Phipps Commodore Commodore

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    Janeway knew Harry Kim was 1/8th Andorian and was a raging racist.
     
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  14. Shamrock Holmes

    Shamrock Holmes Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Datalore suggests that an average amount at ENS is three years, which is longer than the RW US armed forces is 18 months, but not outside the realm of possibility, and would fit reasonably with the slight retooling that they did at the beginning of season four.

    However, it is worth noting that "hard chargers" do exist as Riker appears to have both made LTCDR and been offered a captaincy in only a year or two more and Jadzia took about the same amount of time AFAICT for example.
     
  15. Oddish

    Oddish Fleet Captain Red Shirt

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    Note the episode "Non Sequitur", though. Harry gets deposited in an alternate reality where he's 8 months out of academy, and his colleague says of an upcoming meeting (which Harry is unprepared for because of the timeline shift) that "you could walk out of that room a lieutenant". That torpedoes the notion that Harry was incompetent.

    Figure 8 months to make LTJG, plus another couple years to make senior LT, and 3-4 years after that... yeah, Harry was right in Nightingale, when he says he could have been a lieutenant commander.
     
  16. Shamrock Holmes

    Shamrock Holmes Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Is it theoritically possible... maybe.

    Given that ENS and LTJG basically do the same jobs a job of the time, it's not difficult to imagine that COs have a fair degree of latitude there (cf Nog. being promoted to JG within about a year of being commissioned (and about the time he'd normally had been made a Y3 cadet).

    However, given that Riker (one of the few that does) probably had both his father (an influencal Federation strategist) and Commodore (later RADM) Pressman pulling strings to speed up his career then it seems likely that meritorious promotions to LTCDR take longer in-universe, particularly without a change in function as LaForge did if the average time to LTCDR is fifteen years as per Datalore.
     
  17. Charles Phipps

    Charles Phipps Commodore Commodore

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    I think it's notable that Harry Kim in his alternate reality is a starship engineer and designs a new warp drive.

    And yet, PARIS is the one who designs the Delta Flyer and Transwarp.

    My view is that they just kept giving Harry's stuff to Paris.
     
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  18. Farscape One

    Farscape One Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    To be fair, the transwarp shuttle to warp 10 was a project by Paris, Kim, and Torres. So he was involved in it, we just don't know how much of it was his work, merely that Paris was at the center.

    With the Delta Flyer, yes it was mostly designed by Paris... at least the initial phase before the others got involved in the finished product. Seven, Tuvok, and Kim were also there, too. Torres, not so much because of what she was going through mentally at the time.
     
  19. Oddish

    Oddish Fleet Captain Red Shirt

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    But Harry assisted in both its creation and that of Seven's astrometrics lab. Clearly, in addition to commanding watches and running a department, he was the go to guy when Voyager needed something built from the ground up. Either of those projects would have justified a hollow pip on Harry's collar.
     
  20. Ghislaine H. B. BRAEME

    Ghislaine H. B. BRAEME Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Harry is maybe an ambitious officer but a promotion cannot be obtained with the snap of a finger, just because some heroic acts. It takes time and in times of war or long-lasting mission, officers and soldiers must already be delighted to come back alive and in one piece to their families.

    As for Garrett Wang's obsession to be upgraded, it made him ridiculous. :rolleyes: