Starship priority

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Starship priority

Postby Jim » Tue Jan 06, 2015 6:13 pm

I was wondering if there was some sort of set priority for getting Captaincy of starships, on the starship side. Meaning, someone that is given their first command probably would not get a Sovereign.

Is there something like first time Captains get a ship from Group A, maybe older or smaller or less powerful ship (Miranda refits, Shelley, Centaur, Saber, etc). After time you get promoted to better ships, Group B (Ambassador, Akira, Intrepid, etc). Then the best can get Group C (Galaxy, Sovereign, etc).

Is there anything like that in place?
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Re: Starship priority

Postby RK_Striker_JK_5 » Tue Jan 06, 2015 9:21 pm

It would make sense. You don't want the wet-behind-the-ears guy getting the big cruisers. Start out with something small.
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Re: Starship priority

Postby McAvoy » Tue Jan 06, 2015 9:39 pm

They do it in the real world too.

Wasn't there a conversation in TNG with Data saying that Wesley may not get a Galaxy class ship assignment?
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Re: Starship priority

Postby Coalition » Wed Jan 07, 2015 12:07 am

I'd expect there to be a lot of smaller commands so as a person works their way up in rank, they get put in charge of larger vessels. As an O-1 they would be either an assistant to a division chief, or in charge of a smaller division. As an O-2 they'd get put in charge of an existing ship's division. As an O-3 they'd get a 7-person Saber fighter for local defense. As O-4 they'd get to be put in charge of a department, or assisting a large department (i.e. Engineering). At O-5 you'd get the small cruiser command being considered. Large enough to test them, small enough not to waste too much.

The goal is making sure the person can handle authority over others and not break under the stress.

Of course this doesn't cover all sorts of starbase assignments, social protocols, teaching/learning courses, and any demotions for screwing up (they want to make sure you remember the lesson, but think you could still be useful).
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Re: Starship priority

Postby Graham Kennedy » Wed Jan 07, 2015 3:18 am

Yeah, would make perfect sense.

There's some support for it, if you remember in The Icarus Factor Riker was offered a command on a ship Picard described as "a relatively insignificant ship in an obscure corner of the galaxy".

And then there's the Stargazer, which Picard described as being a less than stellar command - "an overworked, underpowered vessel, always on the verge of flying apart at the seams".

But then if we believe the novelisation of STIII, Sulu's first command was going to be the brand new top of the line USS Excelsior. Which never worked out since he deserted. Of course that's not canon; as far as canon is concerned Sulu was still helmsman on the Enterprise in 2285, then on the Excelsior as Captain in 2295. Plenty of time for him to do a five year stint on an Oberth or something in that time.

Of course, there's some leeway there. As Shelby noted in Best of Both Worlds, Riker could probably have asked for any ship in the fleet and gotten it after beating the Borg. But then, what he did end up with, in the novels anyway, was a brand new but relatively small ship.

And of course Kirk was in command of the Federation Flagship at only 30 years old. We don't know if he had any commands before that. Certainly he can't have had much time in the Captain's chair, he's not old enough. (Although if the Nero universe is to be believed, Starfleet promotes people right from cadet to Captain if they feel like it!)

All in all I'd say Starfleet would generally give an officer a smaller or older ship for their first command, but there's a lot of leeway there for somebody who really stands out or achieves something terribly heroic.
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Re: Starship priority

Postby Mikey » Wed Jan 07, 2015 4:58 pm

The trick is that we don't see in 'Trek the sort of post in which RL naval officers get their first taste of command. Officers of lower rank than captain get command of PT boats, cutters, etc. We don't see much the equivalent types of ships in 'Trek.

That said, the newest and most capable ships tend to get sent to the sharpest ends - since that's the case, it only makes sense to skipper those boats with your best and most experienced captains.
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Re: Starship priority

Postby McAvoy » Thu Jan 08, 2015 1:02 am

Well we have seen Data get temporary command of the Sutherland. Sisko was a commander of a space station near Cardassian space, specifically their home world but was probably thought of as obscure before the wormhole.

Maybe make a list of ships with COs we know.

Problem is that we have seen captains command 'lower' starship types. Perhaps it's how it works, you get high in that rank but do not get the big prestigious commands like a Galaxy class ship. So you get a Oberth or a Nova. Maybe lower ranking officers do take command of a near prestigious ship like Data did with the Sutherland a Nebula class ship because he was partly under Picard's overall command anyway in the fleet and he was better than the next big thing.

But Riker and him turning down what seems to be obscure ships, turns this all around and upside down. Just like anything else in Trek...
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Re: Starship priority

Postby sunnyside » Sun Jan 11, 2015 1:24 am

I'd suspect it depends a lot on what's going on at the time. If you've built up your fleet to where you want it and new commands show up as people retire, I'd expect you'd have to work your way up relatively slowly.

However on those occasions when the fleet gets shredded by something or is ramping up for war footing and they're churning out new ships left and right or cranking out a "Frankenstein Fleet" I'd expect them to be field promoting people otherwise not near captaincy to the Frankensteins. Someone remotely in position for an actual captaincy might get a new Akira or something.

Although it occurs to me that it might be that only certain senior officers show what seems like many captains and senior officers might turn out to not have that Starfleet mentality where you're supposed to approach potential hostile species with shields and weapons powered down, or wander into deadly anomalies despite your supposed mission.

McAvoy wrote: Sisko was a commander of a space station near Cardassian space, specifically their home world but was probably thought of as obscure before the wormhole.


Yeah, they made a lot of comments, especially in the early episodes, that a space station, particularly that one, wasn't considered an especially great assignment.
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