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In "All Good Things" O'Brien's rank (past) is ensign. O'Brien is in a red uniform and wearing a single pip on his collar. Picard refers to him as Chief, but O'Brien doesn't correct him or seems surprised. Picard also puts him in charge of the plasma inducer modifications and then O'Brien gives an order to Ensign Fletcher, who responds aye sir. Nocoms are not refered to as sir.

Would this not confirm the theory that O'Brien's rank in the pilot episode was a field promotion? Due to having a skeleton crew?

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In pilot episode of The Next Generation, Miles O'Brien wears the rank of Ensign and is part of the Command division, since he wears a red uniform with only one pip.

However, his rank and position have been wholly inconsistent throughout the series, which seems to be because he was mostly a background character for most of TNG, used when it fitted the story without much consideration being given to his own backstory, as Ronald D. Moore said in an AOL chat:

"O'Brien was originally just a day player on TNG and very little, if any, thought went into his rank or background for quite a while."

You can read more on O'Brien's rank inconsistencies on the Memory Alpha article.

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