Harry Kim is senior staff because of his position as the Ops officer, not his rank. He's a lowly ensign, the lowest officer rank.

This seems reasonable at the start of the show. He's the best person for the Ops job, so he gets it based on merit, and he's fresh from the academy, so he hasn't had time to get promoted. However, by the end of the show he's been a member of the senior staff for seven years, and he's still an ensign. This seems completely absurd. The in-universe argument presented by the show is that it's a small ship and there simply aren't enough command positions. But, as Ops officer, it seems to me that he already has a command position, and he should simply get the rank to match.

But, for the sake of argument, let's assume that that reasoning makes sense, and that there simply aren't enough people on Voyager to have one more lieutenant. This means that Voyager must already have the maximum number of lieutenants and above for the ship population. How many is that?

How many people on Voyager actually outrank Harry? Who are they?

  • 2
    Everyone who isn't a civilian, a crewman or an Ensign.
    – Valorum
    Feb 14, 2017 at 20:22
  • 1
    Related, not dupe - scifi.stackexchange.com/questions/98844/…
    – Valorum
    Feb 14, 2017 at 20:51
  • 1
    @Valorum That's linked in the question.
    – DCShannon
    Feb 14, 2017 at 20:56
  • 1
    I thought it'd make it a bit more visible,
    – Valorum
    Feb 14, 2017 at 20:59
  • 3
    I have to agree. Kim being a perpetual ensign seems ridiculous. Paris was stripped of rank, and yet still made lieutenant again, while Kim was languishing as an eternal ensign. Feb 15, 2017 at 13:54

2 Answers 2


At least 60(ish)

There are fifty plus named crew aboard the Voyager (at various times) that outrank Kim. A full listing can be found here. Basically anyone marked as a Lieutenant, Lt. Commander, Commander or Captain outranks him.

Captain Kathryn Janeway
Commander J. Bartlett (KIA)
Lieutenant Commander Bob Blackman
Lieutenant Commander Dick Brownfield
Lieutenant Commander Cavit (KIA)
Lieutenant Commander Chakotay
Lieutenant Commander Merri Howard
Lieutenant Commander Richard James
Lieutenant Commander Peter Lauritson
Lieutenant Commander David Livingston
Lieutenant Commander L. McGarry (KIA)
Lieutenant Commander James Mees
Lieutenant Commander Michael Piller
Lieutenant Commander Marvin Rush
Lieutenant Commander Tuvok
Lieutenant Commander Brad Yacobian
Lieutenant Commander T. Ziegler (KIA)
Lieutenant Andrews
Lieutenant Arkinson
Lieutenant Ayala
Lieutenant Walter Baxter
Lieutenant Joseph Carey (KIA)
Lieutenant Mandy Chamberlin
Lieutenant William Chapman
Lieutenant Joe Chess
Lieutenant Richard Chronister
Lieutenant Dick D'Angelo
Lieutenant Peter Durst (KIA)
Lieutenant Kristine Fernandez
Lieutenant Cosmo Genovese
Lieutenant Hargrove
Lieutenant Phillip Jacobson
Lieutenant Ralph Johnson
Lieutenant J. Lyman (KIA)
Lieutenant Scott McKnight
Lieutenant John Nesterowicz
Lieutenant Susan Nicoletti
Lieutenant Diane Overdiek
Lieutenant Bill Peets
Lieutenant David Rossi
Lieutenant Russell
Lieutenant S. Seaborn (KIA)
Lieutenant Suzi Shimizu
Lieutenant Alan Sims
Lieutenant Stadi (KIA)
Lieutenant Mark Stimson
Lieutenant Michael Stradling
Lieutenant Lon Suder (KIA)
Lieutenant Bill Thoms
Lieutenant Jim Thorpe
Lieutenant B'Elanna Torres
Lieutenant Weiss
Lieutenant Junior Grade Tom Paris

Additionally, there were some 10 unnamed officers with rank insignia indicating that they outranked him. A list of those extras can be found here.

Out of an initial crew roster of around 150, Kim was outranked by more than half of the entire ship at the start of their voyage and approximately half at the end of their journey home.

  • 2
    Geez, I was expecting like six. If there are already fifty lieutenants on board, just promote the guy.
    – DCShannon
    Feb 14, 2017 at 20:39
  • 2
    That's a silly argument. Not everyone is an Ensign bridge officer that's part of the senior staff. That only describes one guy, and he needs a promotion to make his situation less nonsensical.
    – DCShannon
    Feb 14, 2017 at 20:44
  • 8
    @DCShannon - There are almost certainly other people on the ship also taking on additional responsibility. Kim merely happens to be the most visible (to us) because he's next to the guy driving, the guy who makes the guns go "pew-pew" and the shouty woman who tells everyone which direction to head in.
    – Valorum
    Feb 14, 2017 at 20:44
  • 3
    @Valorum so if you make Harry a member of the senior staff, you have no excuse not to make the all other ensigns senior staff too?
    – Hellion
    Feb 15, 2017 at 17:10
  • 2
    @Valorum You've just defeated your own argument about having to promote others.
    – DCShannon
    Feb 15, 2017 at 17:29

Ensign is the lowest commissioned rank, so he would outrank all the non-comms, basically all the Crewman characters running around, and the occasional civilian like Neelix or Kes. I believe I recall a couple characters being referred to as "Chief", which could mean there are some CPO's on board, though it's also possible they just meant (Transporter) Chief.

Of the commissioned officers, everyone ranked Lieutenant (JG) or higher would outrank Ensign Kim. But the weird thing about Voyager was that you had Captain Janeway, Commander Chakotay, and then like 50 lieutenants. There were several Lieutenant Commanders listed in various crew manifests - mostly Easter eggs referencing producers or other staff on the show - but the only one I recall seeing on screen was the original XO, Cavit, who was killed in the pilot, until Tuvok got his promotion.

Contrast that with the original cast, where Spock was a Lt Cmdr who got promoted to Commander very quickly, Scotty who was a Lieutenant Commander in short order, and the other crew members advanced through the ranks to Commander or better by the time of the movies. Or TNG where every senior officer was a Lt Cmdr (after Geordi became Chief Engineer) except Worf, and it was a travesty that he didn't get his third pip until Generations.

So you can have Lieutenants and even Ensigns running bridge stations - there were plenty of low-ranking officers rotating in and out of conn and ops positions on TNG. But to have a pile of Lieutenants and no (Lt) commanders in the mix is an odd gap, and to have an Ensign as a senior bridge officer for several years with no advancement in rank seems exceedingly odd. You'd think Tuvok would already be a Lt Cmdr since he's the second officer, or that they would have advanced Torres and possibly Paris at some point as well. And it wouldn't have killed anybody to give Kim another pip.

  • Cool, so where's this information from?
    – Möoz
    May 4, 2017 at 4:48
  • 1
    He wouldn't outrank civilians.
    – Valorum
    May 4, 2017 at 6:11

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