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Questions tagged [starfleet-rank]

For questions about the rank of an individual in Starfleet (Star Trek). Starfleet ranks and insignia are fictional titles and badges that form the hierarchy of Starfleet in the Star Trek television shows and movies. It goes from Crewman to Fleet Admiral. Always use with the [star-trek] tag and any appropriate work tags.

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55 votes
7 answers
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Why is Chief O'Brien's rank so low when he is the senior engineer of Deep Space 9?

In all other Star Trek series the chief engineer is a Lieutenant or higher Lieutenant Commander Montgomery Scott Lieutenant Commander Geordi La Forge Lieutenant junior grade B'Elanna Torres Commander ...
user20310's user avatar
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53 votes
4 answers
42k views

Why wasn't Harry Kim promoted beyond ensign, when others like Tom Paris were multiple times?

I read this question, but it's not the same as mine: Why is Harry Kim senior staff? ST Voyager "Nightingale": JANEWAY: You've been in command on Voyager before. KIM: On the night shift, for ...
JMFB's user avatar
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51 votes
5 answers
11k views

Which Star Trek character appeared on screen with the most different ranks?

I don't mean due to inconsistency and prop goofs (like O'Brien's notoriously inconsistent depiction). But field commissions, flashbacks, alternate timelines, Q-manipulations, etc would be in-bounds. ...
ThePopMachine's user avatar
50 votes
7 answers
35k views

Why is Janeway an Admiral and Picard is not?

Checking out Janeway's history on Memory Alpha, I see that she had her first assignment sometime in the 2350's. Now, Picard on the other hand, had his first assignment in 2327. He was then ordered ...
PiousVenom's user avatar
  • 10.7k
44 votes
7 answers
20k views

Why does Tom Paris get Starfleet rank, but the Maquis get provisional rank?

Once Voyager is stranded in the Delta quadrant Janeway gives Tom Paris the rank of lieutenant, and he gets two little pips on his collar. Janeway gives the Maquis crew including Chakotay rank on ...
Sponge Bob's user avatar
  • 4,654
38 votes
5 answers
15k views

Beverly Crusher's rank aboard The Enterprise

In TNG, Riker is the first officer and has the rank of Commander. Lt. Commander Data is the 2nd officer, yet Crusher outranks Data. Why is it that he's the 2nd officer and she isn't? Where does she ...
Him_Jalpert's user avatar
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31 votes
3 answers
29k views

What's the origin of referring to female superior officers as "sir"?

It is well established in Star Trek: The Next Generation that female superior officers are normally referred to as sir. This is applied to Dr. Crusher, Counselor Troi, Cmdr. Shelby, Maj. Kira, Lt. ...
ThePopMachine's user avatar
29 votes
7 answers
9k views

Can Starfleet doctors make Captain rank?

In TNG, Beverly Crusher has the rank of Commander. Since she is a high-ranking officer, it got me thinking about doctors in general. Is there a rank for doctors that is higher than Commander? Could ...
Sponge Bob's user avatar
  • 4,654
27 votes
6 answers
8k views

How long does it take for someone to get promoted in Starfleet?

After watching the series finale of Star Trek Enterprise, not a single bridge officer has acquired additional rank in the 10 year mission of the NX-01. How is that possible?
Jack B Nimble's user avatar
27 votes
4 answers
44k views

Are the Star Trek Next Generation rank pips based on anything from real life?

In Star Trek: The Next Generation, the rank of Starfleet officers is denoted by the “pips” on their collar. An Ensign has one, a Commander three, a Captain four, and Admirals have three pips in a box ...
Paul D. Waite's user avatar
23 votes
3 answers
7k views

In the TNG episode "Disaster", could Worf have given an order to a higher ranking officer?

In "Disaster", Worf is put in charge of ten-forward by Commander Riker. However, there are higher ranking officers on board (for instance a department head like Dr. Crusher). If one of those ...
Michael Stachowsky's user avatar
22 votes
2 answers
9k views

In Star Trek, what's the rank progression from cadet to captain?

In Star Trek, Starfleet academy students take various different courses, for example: medicine, science, communications, exobiology. But how do cadets make the big chair - what's the career ...
This is the Dave I know's user avatar
22 votes
3 answers
9k views

Why is Harry Kim senior staff?

Harry Kim is an ensign, the most junior of post academy officers. Voyager is Harry's first posting after the academy (VOY: Non-sequitur). Kim is the primary operations officer even before half of ...
durron597's user avatar
  • 783
22 votes
3 answers
5k views

Was Kirk reduced in rank to captain for "Star Trek - The Motion Picture" or was he addressed as Captain as head of the ship?

In Star Trek - The Motion Picture, it is established that Kirk is a rear admiral, but he is addressed as captain on the Enterprise. Was this done because the heads of all vessels are traditionally ...
Justin Dearing's user avatar
21 votes
2 answers
8k views

Is there a tendency for captains to call their first officers 'Number 1'?

I've noticed that Picard calls Riker 'Number 1' regularly and I thought nothing of it. But in a recent episode I watched (where there's the simulated battle between the Hathaway and Enterprise-D), ...
Often Right's user avatar
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21 votes
1 answer
7k views

Why is Tuvok so accepting of others calling him by his first name?

As Tuvok is Vulcan, I would think that he'd view basically everything in light of Starfleet guidelines, including how subordinates address him. However, he is apparently okay with Harry Kim and Tom ...
Ham Sandwich's user avatar
  • 13.7k
19 votes
6 answers
4k views

How come there are no middle-aged senior officers on the Enterprise D other than Picard?

In a military organization, the number of members of a given rank is generally lower the higher the rank is: fewer Lt. Commanders than Lieutenants, fewer Captains than Commander and so on. Also, ...
einpoklum's user avatar
  • 10.1k
18 votes
4 answers
5k views

Why are all Starfleet ships commanded by Captains?

To my knowledge every Starfleet ship we see is commanded by a Captain. From what I know of modern navies: Lieutenants, Lieutenant Commanders, and Commanders can also command ships. I'm just curious as ...
Daniel O'Donovan's user avatar
18 votes
2 answers
10k views

Why do Lieutenant Torres and Lieutenant Carey have different pips?

Going through and watching Voyager again, I'm noticing a difference in pips for the officers of similar ranks. For instance, Torres and Carey are both lieutenants, yet they have different pips. At ...
PiousVenom's user avatar
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18 votes
2 answers
3k views

Do Starfleet officers retain the privileges of their rank if they time travel to other Starfleet vessels?

In Strange New Worlds s2e7 Boimler travels back to the Enterprise. He is addressed as Ensign and he himself is deferential to Pike. When a Starfleet Officer travels in time, do they retain the ...
Michael Stachowsky's user avatar
17 votes
2 answers
5k views

In Star Trek (2009), was Chekov actually wrong for calling Spock "Commander" instead of "Captain"?

At some point after Spock becomes the captain but before Kirk does, he gives an order to Chekov who replies "Aye, Commander", then immediately corrects himself, saying "Ah! Captain, ...
Michael Stachowsky's user avatar
16 votes
1 answer
5k views

Why is O'Brien, who operates the transporter, called “Chief” in Star Trek?

Chief suggests someone high-ranking and/or the job is very difficult. There are higher-ranking officers in Star Trek but they are not called chief. I do not know how difficult the job is but on a ...
user486818's user avatar
  • 8,757
16 votes
2 answers
4k views

Why would Worf be First Officer of the Enterprise?

I'm specifically referring to the episode(s) Gambit. In the absence of Riker and Picard, Data takes command of the Enterprise and Worf is second in command. This seems wrong however, because he is ...
geewhiz's user avatar
  • 5,191
15 votes
3 answers
3k views

What happened to Nog's field promotion on the Valiant?

During "Valiant" (S06E22), Nog is given a field promotion from Ensign to Lieutenant Commander when he's assigned by Tim Watters (himself only a Red Squad Cadet who received a field commission to ...
Lèse majesté's user avatar
14 votes
4 answers
5k views

How did Starfleet have an admiralty if it didn't have a fleet?

When you watch Star Trek: Enterprise you see them communicating with Starfleet command, Admiral Forrest is a recurring character. It seems to me that the admiralty and command structure is very ...
Liath's user avatar
  • 12.8k
13 votes
3 answers
4k views

How does command get transferred on a Starfleet vessel as officers come onto or leave the bridge?

Say that an ensign has the conn during a night shift and the captain walks onto the bridge in passing, perhaps to go to the ready room to read a report. Does the captain briefly assume command simply ...
Michael Stachowsky's user avatar
13 votes
2 answers
12k views

Why did they film a scene for Nemesis with Lt. Wesley Crusher?

In this deleted scene, Wesley appears at the Riker-Troi wedding in a Lt JG uniform. Why would this occur? It's clear from "Journey's End" that And then he resigns from the Academy and goes and ...
ThePopMachine's user avatar
13 votes
2 answers
661 views

Who is the youngest Starfleet Admiral?

Admirals in Star Trek tend to be middle-aged or elderly. Meanwhile, Kirk became a Captain in his early to mid 20's in the Kelvin-verse. I am trying to set a lower bound on the age at which one could ...
ApproachingDarknessFish's user avatar
12 votes
5 answers
2k views

Why did DS9 need a Science Officer (pre-wormhole!)?

There is some suggestion that there's a position of Science Officer aboard starships. On NCC-1701, this was Spock. On NX-01, this was T'Pol. But there really isn't such high-ranking position on ...
ThePopMachine's user avatar
11 votes
1 answer
2k views

In Star Trek, are there any (named) low-ranking older officers?

Of course, I mean besides Lt. JG Picard in "Tapestry": Is it just Hollywood bias or are we to believe that officers either get promoted, get killed, or retire if their career is not advancing?
ThePopMachine's user avatar
10 votes
2 answers
3k views

Besides the famous captains, do we actually know anything any Admiral did to earn that rank?

As far as I recall, we know of the following admirals in the future: Adm. Archer (future), Adm. Riker (future), And we know of Adm. Janeway (comtemporary in Star Trek: Nemesis), Arm. Kirk (...
ThePopMachine's user avatar
10 votes
4 answers
3k views

How did Worf's adoptive father know O'Brien's rank?

In "Family", Worf's adoptive father, Sergey Rozhenko beams aboard and is instantly buddies with Chief O'Brien (from his point of view). WORF: They still have not signalled? O'BRIEN: No sir. ...
ThePopMachine's user avatar
10 votes
1 answer
767 views

Geordi's authority in Arsenal of Freedom [closed]

Just watching The Arsenal of Freedom, and I thought La Forge was a bit arrogant. I usually like the character, but he was acting like Logan's superior rank meant nothing! Can a junior grade ...
Alex Jones's user avatar
10 votes
2 answers
1k views

Why was Dr. Bashir a lieutenant instead of an ensign?

In Deep Space 9, Dr. Bashir was posted to the space station as his first assignment, but he had the rank of Lieutenant Junior Grade. Why didn't he have a rank of Ensign? Was he fast-tracked?
Eborbob's user avatar
  • 757
10 votes
3 answers
1k views

Why is there a prominent cadet on Discovery?

Why is Cadet Tilly on the U.S.S. Discovery? This seems like an odd choice based on previous Star Trek precedent in general and also given that U.S.S. Discovery is the most advanced starship in the ...
ThePopMachine's user avatar
10 votes
3 answers
625 views

What universities provide a path to a Starfleet commission?

In the main Star Trek universe, most Starfleet officers that we meet attend Starfleet Academy in San Francisco before receiving their first commission in Starfleet as an Ensign, but Michael Burnham ...
Robert Columbia's user avatar
9 votes
2 answers
5k views

What exactly is a Star Fleet Admiral's duty?

Once a Captain has been promoted to Admiral, what becomes their official duty? Do Admirals have certain predetermined Captains and ships under their command, or do they get orders from higher up? What'...
lesderid's user avatar
  • 428
9 votes
1 answer
3k views

Chief medical officer outranks captain; what is the specific limit to this, and when is it first established?

This answer discusses how combat and non-combat officers fit into a military hierarchy, how this impacts the ability of one to command the other, and how that fits into the ST:TOS hierarchy. However, ...
user's user avatar
  • 1,671
9 votes
2 answers
2k views

What's the command structure at the top of Starfleet?

We seem to meet an awful lot of mostly non-recurring admirals. What's the command structure at the top of Starfleet? Does Starfleet report to a Commander-in-Chief? Is the Federation Council ...
ThePopMachine's user avatar
8 votes
3 answers
3k views

Are there Warrant Officers in Starfleet?

Does this rank even exist, or if it does is it utilized? I've often wondered as it would seem quite applicable in many scenarios. I know that on occasion the non-commissioned ranks have been somewhat ...
ouflak's user avatar
  • 451
8 votes
2 answers
1k views

Why does Riker not have to be Admiral to command a fleet?

Why does Riker not have to be Admiral to command a fleet in the last episode of Picard? I would have expected that he gets a field commission and is, during having this, addressed as Admiral.
Torsten Knodt's user avatar
8 votes
3 answers
4k views

How many admirals are in Starfleet?

Let's say in the TNG era. They seem to be pretty rare given that they have to be promoted mostly from the ranks of the most accomplished captains. I would guess maybe twenty are encountered or ...
ThePopMachine's user avatar
7 votes
2 answers
7k views

Are there any examples of Starfleet officers who were captains or admirals without ever having been in command of a starship or base?

The question says it all - from my experience watching the shows, but not reading any books or other media, all "captains" are captains of ships. Is it possible for a starfleet officer to be ...
Michael Stachowsky's user avatar
7 votes
1 answer
988 views

Star Trek movie characters' ranks

How could Kirk become a Captain at the end of the film, or Uhura be a LT, as Spock referred to her before he and Kirk left to rescue Captain Pike, when they both started the mission as Cadets?
DaveG's user avatar
  • 71
7 votes
4 answers
3k views

How did Beverly Crusher attain the rank of Commander?

Reading Dr. Crusher's biography on Memory Alpha, I don't understand how it is exactly that she got to be a Commander. When did she put in the time as an officer in a non-medical capacity, enough to ...
einpoklum's user avatar
  • 10.1k
7 votes
2 answers
2k views

What are the typical duties of Rear Admirals in Starfleet?

In Starfleet, a Captain-rank officer typically serves as the Captain of a Starship. Of course there are also lots of Captains in other positions, especially on planets and in Starbases, and perhaps ...
einpoklum's user avatar
  • 10.1k
7 votes
0 answers
151 views

What is Spock's rank in "Ask Not"?

The short trek "Ask Not" is hard to accurately place in the timeline. Even Memory Alpha just puts the timeframe at "2250s or 2260s". However, as Spock is an ensign in "Q&A&...
Kidburla's user avatar
  • 1,279
5 votes
1 answer
4k views

On a Starfleet vessel, what happens if there are no officers available to take the command?

Thinking about the TNG episode "Disaster", Lt. Munroe was killed during the impact. The episode plays out with Deanna taking command, but what would have happened if the only remaining crew ...
Michael Stachowsky's user avatar
5 votes
1 answer
1k views

Is there a minimum ranking a Chief Medical Officer on a Starfleet Starship needs to be?

In TOS McCoy was a Lt Cmdr and Crusher was a full Cmdr. It seems that to be Chief Medical officer you need to be a reasonably high-ranking officer. The exception to this is The Doctor (EMH) in VOY, ...
Often Right's user avatar
  • 69.3k
4 votes
1 answer
579 views

What are the criteria for advancing from Ensign to Lieutenant junior grade in Starfleet?

The Memory Alpha Wiki says: At this rank [LTjg], [officers] had begun to prove their ability to perform acceptably in Starfleet, and typically began to take on more senior roles in command ...
einpoklum's user avatar
  • 10.1k