We see that Tuvok has his security staff, B'elanna has the engineering staff. There are clearly other helmspeople on board, although I don't think I've ever seen anyone else at ops. Did Tom Paris and Harry Kim have staff? Were they managers, or just people in those positions who happened to have the highest rank? I don't think this was ever mentioned in the show, so I'm OK with novels or other media as long as they are canon.

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    Harry Kim? He was bottom of the pile for 7 years! Feb 5, 2022 at 12:39
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    Difficult to imagine taking orders from him. “Sir, I do respect your authority, but statistically you’ll probably die again while I’m carrying them out.” Feb 5, 2022 at 12:44
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    Starfleet officers are suppose to respect the chain of command regardless of ego, hence why Wesley can run a team. They all get on with the job they're assigned to do.
    – Valorum
    Feb 5, 2022 at 14:01
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    In later seasons (such as in the season 5 episode, "Warhead"), Harry sometimes served as acting captain on the bridge during the 'night shift', when Janeway and Chakotay were asleep. In that situation, everyone officer on the bridge would presumably have reported to him. Feb 5, 2022 at 14:24
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    To clarify given the discussion: Yes. I meant did Harry Kim have a specific set of people who were reporting to him as their direct supervisor, not just someone who outranks them because they aren't officers Feb 5, 2022 at 17:27

2 Answers 2


Harry appears to have a staff, since he gets chewed out for them being used inefficiently.

SEVEN: I've given Operations an efficiency rating of seventy six out of a possible one hundred.

KIM: Not exactly flying colours.

SEVEN: The crewmen you assigned to the night shift are frequently left with little to do once the ship's course has been locked in.

VOY: Good Shepherd

  • Did Harry assign those crewmen to that station using his authority as operation officer though, or his authority as a regular commanding officer during the night shift? Either way, the dialogue here implies that Operations was a job for an individual rather than a team. Feb 5, 2022 at 15:58
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    @LogicDictates - In the scene the various department heads are being given their scores for how they've used their staff. I guess you could argue that Harry has been assigning random officers that don't report to him, but that's not really in keeping with the rest of the dialogue here.
    – Valorum
    Feb 5, 2022 at 16:00
  • "In the scene the various department heads are being given their scores for how they've used their staff." Can you prove, with evidence, that this is true for Harry? Or is this just your own interpretation? Feb 5, 2022 at 16:03
  • @LogicDictates - Well, that's what's happening. She's giving out scores and telling them off for using their staff inefficiently. Why would he be included in that conversation if the staff in question weren't his?
    – Valorum
    Feb 5, 2022 at 16:05
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    @LogicDictates - Except that Seven is giving him her assessed score as Head of the Ops Dept, not a rating on his fitness as OOD (which would be Janeway or Chakotay's job, presumably). And again, to stress that this is a meeting of other heads of dept and Harry Kim. Why would we assume that he's the odd man out?
    – Valorum
    Feb 5, 2022 at 19:06

I've seen every episode of Voyager, and I don't believe either Harry or Tom were ever shown to have staff reporting directly to them, while they served in their respective roles as operations officer and helm officer.

For that matter, I can't recall an instance of operations officers or helm officers from other Star Trek shows having staff reporting directly to them, while serving in those specific roles.

This may be because those roles -- unlike security and engineering -- are regarded as one-person jobs, rather than jobs that require the cooperation of a team. This is somewhat implied by the language used to describe these roles in the Star Trek: The Next Generation Technical Manual.


Many shipboard operations involve scheduling resources or hardware (such as power or the use of sensors) that affect a number of departments. In many such cases, it is common for various operations to present conflicting requirements. It is the responsibility of the Operations Management Officer (normally referred to as the Operations Manager or Ops) to coordinate such activities so that mission goals are not jeopardized. Having a crew member in this decision-making loop is of crucial importance because of the wide range of unpredictable situations with which a starship must deal.

Star Trek: The Next Generation Technical Manual


The Flight Control console, often referred to as Conn, is responsible for the actual piloting and navigation of the spacecraft. Although these are heavily automated functions, their criticality demands a human officer to oversee these operations at all times. The Flight Control Officer (also referred to as Conn) receives instructions directly from the Commanding Officer.

Star Trek: The Next Generation Technical Manual

It's also notable that on TNG, the Conn was often shown to be manned by very junior officers. For example, from the first episode of season 2, Wesley Crusher regularly manned that station, even though he was still just a teenager and an acting ensign at the time.

Then in the 15th episode of that season, "Pen Pals", Riker asked the senior officers for advice and recommendations, regarding his decision to put in Wesley in charge of a team conducting planetary mineral surveys. Their discussion strongly implies that Wesley didn't have experience commanding other officers at that point, despite his repeated stints as helm officer.

RIKER: I'll need your advice and recommendations. As you know, I've been given the responsibility of overseeing Wesley's education. To further that goal, I would like to put him in charge of the planetary mineral surveys.

PULASKI: It's a big job with a lot of responsibility.

RIKER: The game isn't big enough unless it scares you a little.

LAFORGE: To do the job, Wesley's going to need a team. It takes command presence to lead. Do you think he's ready for that?

TROI: Leadership grows from self-confidence, which is also part of a Starfleet officer's education.

PICARD: All of this is true, but there is an old horse trainer's adage about putting too much weight on a young back. We don't want him to break under pressure.

PULASKI: We seem to be shifting the focus here. Are we talking about a young officer on the fast track to the Academy, or are we talking about a young man that we are guiding through adolescence and into adulthood?

TROI: You can't guide someone into adulthood. The experiences are unique to each person. Whether Wes succeeds or fails, he will learn from the experience.

PULASKI: I agree. I'm just questioning the speed at which we're moving.

LAFORGE: You think we're pushing him too hard?

PULASKI: I think that's a valid concern.

PICARD: Tempering is taken to extremes.

PULASKI: He is a boy, not a sword.

PICARD: Who will one day be a man and, to extend the metaphor, will need a fine edge that won't dull at the first touch of resistance.

RIKER: Sooner or later he'll have to feel the burden of command.

Star Trek: The Next Generation - S02E15 - "Pen Pals"

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