I'm now part way through the first season of Star Trek DS9, and I've been wondering what kind of credentials does Commander Sisko have to be running a space station anyway?

I find him a pretty dense and boring character with very little going for him, especially with regards to his style of command (very much unlike that of Kirk, Picard, or even Janeway). How did he advance to such a leadership position?

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    Can we have this question struck? Mar 29, 2012 at 3:47
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    Note that at the point you're at, Sisko isn't a captain yet. Kirk, Picard, and Janeway all were for the entire series they led.
    – Izkata
    Mar 29, 2012 at 4:00
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    That's a racist implication. He's a calm authoritative figure. Just because you don't find him awesome enough doesn't mean he's incompetent. I personally like him more then Janeway, and no, I'm not black.
    – JJ_Jason
    Mar 29, 2012 at 7:37
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    Don't judge DSN9 based on its first 2 seasons. The show doesn't start to get better until season 3 and only really takes off when TNG winds down.
    – Doug T.
    Mar 29, 2012 at 9:56
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    Funny, I actually prefer the quieter, more political stuff in the first two seasons. To each his own, I guess. Mar 29, 2012 at 14:58

1 Answer 1


I wouldn't particularly call him "dense", but it does take a while for his character to really spread his wings at the start of DS9. He doesn't have the same qualities as the other captains, but I feel that allows a bit more flexibility in which main cast gets the limelight.

This is all from memory-alpha

Sisko seems to have bounced between command and engineering throughout his career. He focussed on engineering at the academy, but also served as first officer on the USS Saratoga (a position he held at the time of the Battle of Wolf 359 against the Borg). Then he headed up a design team at the fleet shipyards.

He was nominated for the command of DS9 by a previous CO.

Bear in mind that at the time of his posting, DS9 was simply another deep space station, far from the more "civilized" core of the Federation, and Bajor was looking to be a backwater that was recovering from a military occupation. It wasn't exactly a prestige assignment.

Additionally, it would appear that the Enterprise was the major military command for the part of space near the Cardassian border (bringing in storyline from the later episodes of TNG), so a Commander would probably be about the right person for DS9.

I don't have much of an answer as to why Sisko was not replaced by a more senior officer after the discovery of the wormhole - but it's obvious that he was capable as he was elevated to Captain a couple of years later, and then became an admiral's adjutant responsible for planning and strategy in the war with the Dominion.

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    +1 It wasn't a prestige assignment. Thats kind of what made the show interesting. It was at the start of the show a backwater assignment that only misfits would want that gains in importance throughout the series.
    – Doug T.
    Mar 29, 2012 at 9:58
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    Don't forget that Sisko technically shared command of the station with Kira. This wasn't a Federation starbase, it was a Bajoran starbase that the Federation were helping to defend and administrate.
    – Xantec
    Mar 29, 2012 at 11:19
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    You also have to remember that in the first episode, Sisko is given the title of "Emissary". While he and Starfleet are uncomfortable with the title, it is a Bajorian space station. It seems rather rude to replace the officer which they have bestowed such an honor upon.
    – Cam
    Apr 13, 2012 at 4:20
  • Sisko wasn't replaced because the Bajorans wanted to keep him since he was the Emissary, the one who discovered the Celestial Temple / wormhole and established contact with the Prophets, as foretold in the old prophecies. Since the Federation wanted Bajor to apply for and become a member, removing him would have been a very bad move.
    – Sava
    Oct 15, 2019 at 13:34

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