97

Because he didn't want a desk job. Picard: 2364 Offered but turned down promotion to admiral as commandant of Starfleet Academy (src: startrek.com) A more detailed version on Memory Alpha: Mere months upon taking command, Picard was offered a promotion to commandant of Starfleet Academy with the rank of admiral by Admiral Gregory Quinn, but turned it ...


85

O'Brien isn't low ranked. He's simply an enlisted NCO rather than a commissioned officer. On the enlisted ranks, he's second from the top, with only a Master Chief Petty Officer outranking him. While any random officer does outrank him and can give him orders, only a very stupid one would ignore what he says. At the end of DS9, he has been in Starfleet ...


78

According to the Memory Alpha wiki, it would be Geordi LaForge. Geordi has held more ranks on screen than any other Star Trek character: he was an ensign in a flashback in TNG: "Identity Crisis", he was a lieutenant junior grade in TNG Season 1, a full lieutenant in TNG Season 2, a lieutenant commander in TNG Seasons 3 through 7 and the four Next ...


65

I'm going to go with Q. He appears as a Starfleet Lieutenant, a Starfleet Commander, a Starfleet Captain, a Starfleet Admiral as well as an RN Captain, a US Marine Colonel, a WWIII 'Drug Soldier', A Chakuzon Commander (in Q2) and a Napoleonic-era Marshall. This makes a total of 9 military ranks held, four Starfleet and five others, albeit all are held ...


63

A very old Dr. McCoy appeared as an admiral in the "Encounter at Farpoint", the first episode of Star Trek the Next Generation. Presumably he was promoted to captain at some point before that.


59

Do alternate realities count? If so then we have Captain Beverly Crusher: In an alternate future (the final episode, All Good Things), Beverly had been promoted to captain and was commanding the medical ship USS Pasteur. And back in the usual reality, Crusher was given explicit command in the episode Descent: When asked by La Forge who would be in ...


59

Out-of-universe, the answer is pretty much Janeway's. Garret Wang, the actor who played Kim, gets asked this in interviews a lot, as you might imagine. In a 2011 interview with StarTrek.com, for instance, he said: During the fourth season, I called writer/producer Brannon Braga and asked him why my character hadn't received a promotion yet. His response? "...


48

Nog seems to hold an unfeasible number of ranks; On DS9 he holds the ranks of Cadet, Ensign and Lt Jg as well as a temporary promotion to Lt Cmdr on board the Valiant. He also holds the rank of full Commander as well as Captain, as seen in the alternate timeline in DS9: The Visitor. That makes a combined total of 6 Starfleet ranks. The only main ranks we ...


44

Beverly Crusher holds the rank of Commander as well as being the ship's Chief Medical Officer. She periodically acts as OOD (Officer of the Deck) on the night shift but remains outside the normal command hierarchy at other times. In TNG : Gambit we see that that Enterprise' standard Bridge Command structure (based on who takes over as each senior officer ...


44

The Memory Alpha article on Starfleet Captains makes several references to Junior Captains, those who've commanded a Starfleet vessel but don't yet hold the rank of 'Captain'. Commander Riker, William T. (USS Hathaway, USS Excalibur, and USS Enterprise-D) Lieutenant Commander Data (USS Sutherland and USS Enterprise-D) Lieutenant Commander Jadzia Dax (...


42

There's a few things going on in-universe; Janeway is very stingy with her promotions. Over the course of the show, we only really see her promoting a couple of characters; Tuvok to Commander in Voy: Revulsion and Paris back to Lieutenant in Voy: Unimatrix Zero. It's theoretically possible that lots of others were getting bumped up, but there's no special ...


39

Being the first or 2nd officer is not a rank - it's an occupation, distinguishing ships chain of command. So is being chief medical officer, like Beverly is. Military ranks are different, they work more or less independently, that is - to get an occupation you need required minimum rank and that's about it. According to Memory Alpha referencing episode ...


38

Chakotay, Torres, and the rest of the Voyager's Maquis population held provisional ranks (which the alternate pips denote) while serving on Voyager, as they weren't actual Starfleet officers when they boarded the ship and Janeway (apparently) didn't have the authority to make them full officers.


33

WORF 11 to 14 ranks Starfleet: Ensign (DS9/TOS Crossover: "Trials and Tribulations") Lieutenant (TNG episode: "Encounter at Farpoint") Lieutenant Jr Grade (TNG episode: "Evolution") Lieutenant Commander (TNG movie: Star Trek Generations) Commander (DS9 episode: "Way of the Warrior") Starfleet Parallel Universe: Commander and ...


32

While there are plenty of exceptions in the Star Trek universe, due to exceptional valor or need in dire circumstances, typically a cadet needs to graduate from the Academy before he or she can hold a rank. (During time in the Academy, a cadet may be posted to a starship for training purposes, such as Spock's training ship in The Wrath of Khan, but he or ...


32

The reason O'Brien is identified as "chief" actually depends on which episode you're watching. His military rank history is a bit unclear throughout the show, but at any given point, one of two possibilities always holds for that form of address: Initially, O'Brien appears to hold the rank of lieutenant (he has the same uniform as other lieutenants and he's ...


31

It goes back to the days of sail - First Lieutenant back then was not a rank, but a position - he was the "first" of the ship's officers below the Captain (depending on the size of ship and crew, there would be Second and Third Lieutenants). Since the Royal Navy is steeped in tradition, executive officers continued be nicknamed "number one", even as Second ...


31

There's a few things going on here; The position of First Officer is at the gift of the captain and doesn't necessarily go to either the next highest ranking person on the ship, nor the person who current holds the next chain-of-command rank down (hence why Data was passed over in TNG: Best of Both Worlds, Part II). This means that Data can choose whoever ...


28

The hierarchy of ship operation is not tightly bound to any particular rank. Various positions have a minimum rank, but having the rank does not qualify an individual for that position. As a sweeping generalization the positions usually match the rank so there are no issues of a lower position having a higher rank and thus disagreeing about the orders (see #...


28

Professor De Witt Douglas Kilgore, a specialist in English literature and cultural representation at Indiana University, has done significant research on race, gender, and equality in speculative fiction. In his book Astrofuturism: Science, Race, and Visions of Utopia in Space (2010), he attributes calling females "sir" to Star Trek : The Star Trek ...


26

As far as I'm aware, Vulcans only have one name, or at least one commonly used name. Spock, for instance, was simply Commander Spock. T'Pol was simply (Sub-)Commander T'Pol. Generally speaking, it seems that Starfleet protocol is that in the case of officers with only one name (Tuvok, Worf, Data) it is not seen as overly familiar to use their one name as ...


24

In the later movies of TOS team, Kirk, Spock, McCoy & Scotty all held the rank of Captain, even though only Kirk was the actual Captain of the ship. Do not mistake the rank of Captain with the position/title of Captain. They are two separate things. Anyone who is in official command of a ship, regardless of actual rank, holds the position of Captain. ...


24

Lt Jg Reg Barclay was (approx) 42 years of age when we meet him in TNG: Hollow Pursuits. That seems rather old for such a low rank. Lt Jg Janice Rand was (approx) 51 years of age when she was promoted to her rank. Ensign Alans was a technical specialist (a volcanologist). When we meet him, he's (approx) 45 years of age. Ensign Cheney's age isn't described ...


24

The "Starfleet" that we see in Enterprise was evolving out of the United Earth Space Probe Agency, which was an international agency set up after Earth's Third World War. It served the same role that NASA does today, but wasn't tied to any one nation or faction. The UESPA had a long history with aeronautics and space travel (with very limited warp ...


23

Geordi didn't assume command, he was given command by his superior officer. PICARD: Yes. Doctor Crusher, this is the Captain. Meet me in Transporter room three. Mister La Forge, you have command of the Bridge. LAFORGE: Aye, sir. PICARD: And whatever happens down there, your prime responsibility is to the ship. And although Logan has the ...


22

You are confusing "actions" and "skill" with rank. A common mistake, but in a military organization, a person's rank is often dependent upon the position they hold, and not always based on their qualifications or skill, although the qualifications they possess may make them more eligible for such a position. From your comment: This question is a.k.a. "...


21

O'Brien's rank is essentially irrelevant as long as there's always someone who outranks everybody else who can appoint O'Brien in charge. You might as well ask how Major Kira and Constable Odo can be part of the station's command structure, but not part of Starfleet's chain of command, or how Seven of Nine can have all the responsibilities she has aboard ...


21

I found the script, so I can make an answer out of this that's more than just my opinion. The show ends with only a token few lines of dialog from Bashir and Sisko, neither of them addressing the minutia of rank. Nog, Jake and Collins discuss the news article that Jake may (or may not) write, but this is largely a debate of opinion. Starfleet we know is very ...


19

Harry Kim may well only have a relatively low rank but he's still the senior Operations Officer with a staff of (presumably higher ranked) officers and (lower ranked) crewmen reporting to him. As such, attending the "Senior Staff" meetings would be essential. It seems pretty clear that Harry is a fast-track Academy hot-shot, being groomed for greatness. ...


Only top voted, non community-wiki answers of a minimum length are eligible