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Thread: In universe question - "command major" at academy?

  1. #16
    I'm not sold on the idea of the onboard Tactical officer (by which I assume you mean the role filled by Yar, Worf [on the Enterprise], Tuvok, etc), unless you want to split off weapons control from Security in which case I'd recommend changing it to Weapons Officer.

    I also think the First Contact officer should be Science division.

  2. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dan Gurden View Post
    So we could make up a list of Command Roles within Starfleet, beyond that of the established Captain and XO... So feel free to add to it;

    Captain
    XO
    Chief of the Boat (Command NCO)
    Conn Officer
    Tactical Officer
    Strategic Operations Officer
    Intelligence Specialist
    First Contact Specialist
    JAG / Legal
    Quartermaster
    Flight/Shuttle Operations Officer (Manages overall Shuttle Ops, probably Lt. on smaller vessels will probably combine with Conn)
    Deck Officer (in charge of the Shuttle Bay, Junior Officer)
    Yeoman (Administrative NCO, probably a number of these personnel aboard ship, but the Captain has a dedicated Yeoman)
    Team Leader (Assigned to command a working group, possibly an ad-hoc role for suitable candidates that wish to move departments)
    Chief of the Boat is merely the senior Petty Officer on the ship and in Starfleet would have another name (in the USN, only subs are called boats). In most non-US navies this position is called the Bosun. Normally they have other duties as well, and would probably wear their original branch colours.

    A Tactical Officer is strictly a weapons officer and not in charge of ship ships tactics. As such they are part of the Security Division with in Operations Branch. The Chief Tactical Officer is the senior member of the Tactical Division and may also be the Chief Security Officer.

    The Quartermaster is an Operations Branch position, usually a Chief Petty Officer.

    First Contact Officers is a Command position, while First Contact Specialists are non-commissioned personnel from all three branches.

    Yeomen are non-commissioned personnel (though not necessarily NCO's) assigned to all three branches and would wear that branch's colour.

    Team leaders are temporarily assigned by a superior in their division and do not become Command Branch just because their supervisor told them to head up a job.

    Just to put this into focus, this assessment is based on having grown up in a Royal Canadian Air Force family, having been in the Canadian Army and having had many friends over the years in the Royal Canadian Navy, all filtered through what has been seen on screen in every incarnation of Star Trek. It rationalises the on-screen depiction of Starfleet with a lifetime's familiarity with all branches of the military.

  3. #18
    Quote Originally Posted by Owen E Oulton View Post
    A Tactical Officer is strictly a weapons officer and not in charge of ship ships tactics. As such they are part of the Security Division with in Operations Branch. The Chief Tactical Officer is the senior member of the Tactical Division and may also be the Chief Security Officer.
    Which brings us back to my theory about two different types of Tactical Officers.

  4. #19
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    How so? Starship Tactics is the job of the Captain. He may have junior officers who are on the command track to eventually become captains themselves, but they are not Tactical officers, just Command Branch officers, sometimes junior Strategic Operations officers and sometimes Flight Control officers, who are often also on the command track. Tactical officers are strictly weapons officers and do not need to know Starship Tactics. They only need training in specific attack sequences and are directed by the Captain as to which attack sequence to use.

    As to the question of how Worf fits in, remember, before he became Security/Tactical Chief, he was a Command Branch who seemed to have cross-training in Security, although his background was never actually discussed. Perhaps he was a junior Strategic Operations officer, which would make him manifestly qualified to become DS9's Strategic Operations Officer.

    Note that in my messages, I use the term Tactical officer simply to refer to officers in the Tactical Division and Tactical Officer (with the capital "O") to refer to the Ghief Tactial Officer. It's the same difference as distinguishing an officer with the rank of captain to the commanding officer of a ship, who is entitled to be called "Captain" regardless of rank (though it is pretentious of an ensign in command of a runabout to refer to himself as Captain So-and-so...). It's all in the context, whether it is a rank, a job description or a position. This tends to screw up a lot of people unfamiliar with military/naval protocols. Just ask Sarge or Davy Jones...

  5. #20
    We know canonically there are officers described as "Tac Officer" that wear red (Tac Officer Chang in "Coming of Age").

    If Tactical Officers that wear gold are the Weapons Officers/Security Chiefs and wear gold, then those like Chang must be something else. The only role that makes sense for a Command Division Tac Officer is that of tactical and strategic analysis as part of an Admiral's or Starbase CO's staff.

  6. #21
    Quote Originally Posted by Owen E Oulton View Post
    How so? Starship Tactics is the job of the Captain. He may have junior officers who are on the command track to eventually become captains themselves, but they are not Tactical officers, just Command Branch officers, sometimes junior Strategic Operations officers and sometimes Flight Control officers, who are often also on the command track. Tactical officers are strictly weapons officers and do not need to know Starship Tactics. They only need training in specific attack sequences and are directed by the Captain as to which attack sequence to use.
    My assumption is that the "line officers" who might take over the Conn on different shifts or when the Capt. and XO leave the bridge would also need some rudimentary tactical knowledge. The Bridge Certification package really only lists the Command skill but I would assume that anyone taking over the chair ought to have at least a point or 2 in Starship Tactics.

  7. #22
    Quote Originally Posted by Trr View Post
    My assumption is that the "line officers" who might take over the Conn on different shifts or when the Capt. and XO leave the bridge would also need some rudimentary tactical knowledge. The Bridge Certification package really only lists the Command skill but I would assume that anyone taking over the chair ought to have at least a point or 2 in Starship Tactics.
    I think the Bridge Certification package is really intended more for non-Command officers who can fill in in a pinch.

  8. #23
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    Exactly. It's explicitly stated in the episode Thine Own Self, where Troi is undergoing Bridge Certification.

  9. #24
    Well, my theory was to help try and explain the sheer volume of Red Uniforms in TNG (now that the expendable Redshirts in Security now wear Gold)... And my options were not entirely limited to how the US Navy does it (Things might change in 400 odd years with cultural input from outside the USA :P )

    If we start discounting as many as we can into other branches, while this may not be wrong, we still stumble to meet the Thread topic about what exactly these guys are learning at Academy...
    DanG/Darth Gurden
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  10. #25
    That's true. The type of Command/Tac Officer I am talking about would have (in addition to the usual Command skills) lots of specialities off of the "Combat Strategy/Tactics" skill. At a minimum each of the primary historical Federation opponents, though Klingon might be falling out of active favor as they're no longer considered "opponents". The really good ones might also have Culture/History for some or all of them as well. (To know how to fight them, you need to know how they think and why they do things.)

  11. #26
    Given Federation cultural mores regarding the political goals of warfare, too, a strategic or tactical officer will have to have particular kinds of risk assessment, medical and cultural-infrastructure-related skills.
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  12. #27

    Maybe I was wrong

    Well, I rewatched Wrath of Kahn today and maybe I was wrong. It certainly seems that Saavik is presented as a Command officer as written in the book. Even though she's a trainee she's allowed to take the Kobayashi Maru and Kirk has her sit in the Captain's chair and give basic orders while on the training part of the mission. The issue I've taken with it is that she's commonly accepted to be the Navigator on that mission and right out of the overlay she'd be a pretty bad Navigator. Is it safe to assume that taking the Exploration Academy life package (Space Sci 1/2/2, Ship Sys - Sensors 1/2) would be sufficient to act as a Navigator? I realize that she'd have Sci 2/3 from her template but I would think that Starfleet would expect their training to provide the basic skills to do the job. I have wondered how most Command characters we see on screen act as Navigators and Helmsman when the Overlay so poorly prepares then for that task. Maybe 1/2 in the skill is considered sufficient for Starfleet to warrant assignment to the position?

  13. #28
    Part of the plot of TWoK is that the crew of trainees weren't really up to the task of fighting off Khan, and had Starfleet known what was up, they wouldn't have sent the Enterprise. Saavik not having a Tour of Duty's worth of navigation-related skills might be part of that.
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  14. #29
    Quote Originally Posted by The Tatterdemalion King View Post
    Part of the plot of TWoK is that the crew of trainees weren't really up to the task of fighting off Khan, and had Starfleet known what was up, they wouldn't have sent the Enterprise. Saavik not having a Tour of Duty's worth of navigation-related skills might be part of that.
    Good point. Still don't like the Command overlay for some reason.

  15. #30
    Well, the very fact that we have this thread means that it's use and application weren't explained well in the game book itself. I think the CODA subdivisions of the Command profession template explain what's going on a little better.
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