Should Picard have been promoted?

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Re: Should Picard have been promoted?

Postby Captain Seafort » 2017-04-16 08:57am

Lord Revan wrote:Are you referring to the Reliant?


Correct. Even commandeered by Khan, Chekov would have become the ship's legal commander upon Terrell's death.
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Re: Should Picard have been promoted?

Postby Lord Revan » 2017-04-16 09:35am

Captain Seafort wrote:
Lord Revan wrote:Are you referring to the Reliant?


Correct. Even commandeered by Khan, Chekov would have become the ship's legal commander upon Terrell's death.

True enough, I was just wondering if you were referring to that or something I might have missed.
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Re: Should Picard have been promoted?

Postby Q99 » 2017-04-16 04:50pm

Lord Revan wrote:Yes I know Worf often commanded the Defiant on missions, my point was that Sisko was still the official CO and Worf was still subject to Sisko authority in a way normal ship CO isn't. I mean Dr. Crusher didn't become the official CO of the Big-E when she took command in Descent, she was still just the CMO.

That's what I meant by technically speaking, in the Defiant duty rosters it would still read "commanding officer:Captain Benjamin Sisko" regardless who actually had operative command at that point.



True, but the reason I'd single out Worf is 'XO to someone who is both in command of a Starship *and* a Station' is someone who's going to have direct control of a ship for the entirety of missions a lot, contrasted to an officer who's passed the command tests and will sometimes run shifts or take charge if everyone above them is incapacitated but is not expected to, or even most XOs.

Worf was XO to someone with a dual command, which puts his responsibilities at a grade higher than most XOs.

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Re: Should Picard have been promoted?

Postby RogueIce » 2017-04-17 03:17pm

Q99 wrote:There does seem to be an unstated 'Captain of the Flagship is above any other captain' thing going on too. We see him direct fleet actions on occasion.

Out of curiosity, because I don't recall all seven seasons, which occasions were this? The only one I can think of is that tachyon net thing, but that was explicitly Starfleet throwing undercrewed ships at the problem, and half of the Big E's command staff were farmed off to serve as COs for various ships, so I question if there even were "legitimate" (ie: permanently assigned) COs on any of those ships, or if it was a bunch of ad hoc crews. Which would be something of a special case for why Picard is commanding the whole thing, being senior officer present, and not a regular thing for him to do.

The only other things I can think of were maybe another ship or two working with the Enterprise where he'd be in charge by virtue of seniority and/or that the Big-E had the lead in the mission, but again an ad hoc thing.

Sisko is the real outlier here. This despite the fact they actually had a regularly recurring flag officer in the show, Admiral Ross, unlike TNG's rotation of random Admirals.
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Re: Should Picard have been promoted?

Postby Q99 » 2017-04-17 03:48pm

RogueIce wrote:Out of curiosity, because I don't recall all seven seasons, which occasions were this? The only one I can think of is that tachyon net thing, but that was explicitly Starfleet throwing undercrewed ships at the problem, and half of the Big E's command staff were farmed off to serve as COs for various ships, so I question if there even were "legitimate" (ie: permanently assigned) COs on any of those ships, or if it was a bunch of ad hoc crews. Which would be something of a special case for why Picard is commanding the whole thing, being senior officer present, and not a regular thing for him to do.

The only other things I can think of were maybe another ship or two working with the Enterprise where he'd be in charge by virtue of seniority and/or that the Big-E had the lead in the mission, but again an ad hoc thing.

Sisko is the real outlier here. This despite the fact they actually had a regularly recurring flag officer in the show, Admiral Ross, unlike TNG's rotation of random Admirals.


There's also First Contact, where Picard immediately takes control of the fleet and commands their attack, not passing the order through anyone. Granted it lost it's original Admiral, but still, Picard just took fleet command on the spot.

Fleet stuff is rare in TNG, but when it happens, other ships are just assumed to be subordinate.


Oh, hm, on Sisko, it also strikes me in Chain of Command, with Jericho- Namely, he got the captain chair because of his experience with the Cardassians. Sisko may have a bit of 'fleet-command-but-only-against-Dominion,' thing going for him, because he had a couple years of experience over anyone else with the Dominion, and then did so well in his battles.

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Re: Should Picard have been promoted?

Postby Crazedwraith » 2017-04-17 03:54pm

There's probably nothing inherent to the command of the Enterprise that gives it especially authority. It's just Picard's an old captain with lots of seniority. In naval terms, especially in the Napoleonic times, seniority is everything. Even if you're a Captain and ships of all sizes rate a post captain in Star Trek, if the other guys been a Captain longer than you, you obey his commands.

Additionally there's the regulation I think has been mentioned in this thread from Equinox, in a tactical situation the Captain of the most badass ship has command. That's basically always the E-D/E-E.
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Re: Should Picard have been promoted?

Postby Q99 » 2017-04-17 06:56pm

The Enterprise *is* the flagship, though. The term implies certain authority as well.

Though seniority and ship power would certainly play a role.

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Re: Should Picard have been promoted?

Postby Sea Skimmer » 2017-04-17 07:24pm

In a tactical formation the flagship means something, but a ship that is flagship of a whole navy is just ceremonial . You'd except a high ranking captain on board, but that doesn't mean anything if any rank of line admiral is present.

Picard should have been promoted because the best thing your top people can do is pass on skills and experience to multiple other officers, and the remote duties of being a ship's captain full time already preclude that from really working the way it should. At the least Picard should have had more Starfleet cadets onboard, honestly if your going to load down a ship with civilians in the first place it would make an awful lot more sense then sending everyone away to a static shoreside starfleet academy.
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Re: Should Picard have been promoted?

Postby Lord Revan » 2017-04-17 07:55pm

Honestly First Contact is a special case anyway, as it was middle of a battle the fleet would follow whoever was able to rally them as there was no time to check who had the seniority in that case, as the Borg would not wait for the SF captains to compared their service records and tactical capabilities of their ships.

And yeah that the Big-E is "the flagship of Starfleet" is ceremonial (if it wasn't Picard wouldn't have follow orders from anyone but the head of Starfleet and possibly the UFP president) and what it really means is that the Enterprise is the showcase ship of the fleet repesenting Starfleet and its values in diplomatic or first contact situations.
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Re: Should Picard have been promoted?

Postby FaxModem1 » 2017-04-18 12:21am

RogueIce wrote:
Q99 wrote:There does seem to be an unstated 'Captain of the Flagship is above any other captain' thing going on too. We see him direct fleet actions on occasion.

Out of curiosity, because I don't recall all seven seasons, which occasions were this? The only one I can think of is that tachyon net thing, but that was explicitly Starfleet throwing undercrewed ships at the problem, and half of the Big E's command staff were farmed off to serve as COs for various ships, so I question if there even were "legitimate" (ie: permanently assigned) COs on any of those ships, or if it was a bunch of ad hoc crews. Which would be something of a special case for why Picard is commanding the whole thing, being senior officer present, and not a regular thing for him to do.

The only other things I can think of were maybe another ship or two working with the Enterprise where he'd be in charge by virtue of seniority and/or that the Big-E had the lead in the mission, but again an ad hoc thing.

Sisko is the real outlier here. This despite the fact they actually had a regularly recurring flag officer in the show, Admiral Ross, unlike TNG's rotation of random Admirals.


Picard was also in charge of a couple of ships in "Descent", in which the Enterprise and two other ships were patrolling for Borg incursions into Federation space, with Picard delegating orders to the other ships.
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Re: Should Picard have been promoted?

Postby RogueIce » 2017-04-18 01:39am

FaxModem1 wrote:Picard was also in charge of a couple of ships in "Descent", in which the Enterprise and two other ships were patrolling for Borg incursions into Federation space, with Picard delegating orders to the other ships.

Ah, thanks.

Looked it up on Memory Alpha. This one makes perfect sense, actually. They were a subgroup of a larger task force led by an actual flag officer, Admiral Nechayev, so having the Senior Captain (or most tactically capable ship, whichever you prefer) leading it is quite logical.
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Re: Should Picard have been promoted?

Postby Patroklos » 2017-04-18 06:16am

Crazedwraith wrote:
Patroklos wrote:Something to remember about all of these perpetual captains is that they essentially make themselves bottlenecks, stunting the careers and growth of fellow officers.


Would the idea that in theory the Federation is and Starfleet is constantly growing as new members joining and colonies are colonised and so on have an impact on this? More ships and therefore more vacancies constantly being created.

And that Starfleet is officer heavy compared to real navies. (Noncomms being extremely few and far between) so there are a lot more billets per ship for Ensigns and LTs at least.

I wonder if position hogging is much a problem beyond main cast members.


Both those things only exacerbate or perpetuate the problem. If there are more ships, then there are probably more admirals needed to direct them. You need more ships and the same or less admirals. And its not just admirals mind you. Senior COs do things like run squadrons and groups (if Admirals are not doing this). They run major fleet acquisitions programs. They act as senior inspectors on inspection teams for all manor of things like tactics, engineering, habitability and such. They attend war colleges and such. They get attached to think tanks to develop tactics and plans. They serve as Chiefs of Staff for admirals. All of these jobs can only been done competently with a successful command tour behind you.

As for being more office heavy that means there are even more people clamoring for these limited captain spots. Its possible not all career tracks require command of a ship. Engineers in the RN, for instance, don't command ships and their equivalent is acting as the chief engineer. Sometimes they rank with the actual ship CO. Medical officers obviously have their own non ship command tours. Science officers probably have their own track too but Spock may disprove that. Most of the officers we see on Enterprise, however, would seem to be straight stick "SWO" types. Several of them are shown to have achieved or to aspire too ship command. Also careerism is a thing in ST, as we see in multiple episodes regarding Riker even if he himself is fixated on Enterprise.

Lord Revan wrote:How many of these "stuck in the same rank and position" officers are there however I mean only captains that remained so was Picard and possibly Kirk (technically Kirk was the official CO of the NCC-1701 only in ST1 of the movies and even then he replaced the previous CO due to his ego). Janeway got promoted to Vice Admiral IIRC and Archer retired from starfleet as "Admiral" even in Prime-timeline IIRC. Sisko is a special case as he's essentially MIA.

It could be that Enterprise is a special case in the fleet and other ships have normal replacement rates for officers.


Enterprise might be a special case for its era (Voyager is a special circumstance), but we have an example of one. That's not a good sample size but it he evidence we have. We don't get to invent other observations even if we can't have full confidence in the observation we have.

And even though Archer and Janeway do eventual promote and move on, both still hold their seat for a long time. Janeway had command of Voyager for at least eight years, Sisko had DS9 for at least six, Archer also for at least six, and Kirk had Enterprise for at least five. That's not as much as Picard's eleven mind you, but these are not inconsiderable periods either.

For context real world USN COs have tours of 1.5 to two years typically. Its a stressful job so you really don't want people there too long. Additionally its head rush, so you don't want people getting too entrenched. And finally the Navy gets a direct benefit from having as many officers as possible with command experience.

Crazedwraith wrote:The only one who's career is being held up by Picard is Picard. I don't think Officers tend to get promoted up and out on the same vessel. There's no reason Riker couldn't have gone to the Captaincy of the Melboure or Data (barring android prejudice) couldn't have become the XO of the Hood or any other ship. Likewise Worf/Geordi etc.


1.) True, those officers could have gone elsewhere but then again the fact that none of them do points to Picard not being an exception. We know why Riker didn't get a command, but that doesn't mean the rest are stuck for the same reason

2.) Its not an uncommon mechanism to have XOs become COs. In the US its called XO/CO fleetup and it is the current policy for DDGs. This is also the case between some junior and senior department head positions. For instance it is current policy for DDG Weapons Officers to fleet up to the Combat Systems Officer on the same ship (the guys have an extra year on their tour for this reason).

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Re: Should Picard have been promoted?

Postby Q99 » 2017-04-18 06:38am

TOS, of course, had 'five year missions' specifically, so I'd expect 5 year CO stints there.

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Re: Should Picard have been promoted?

Postby AniThyng » 2017-04-18 07:12pm

Shouldn't we scale the numbers to account for the longer lifespans as well, it's not like real USN captains are serving well until their 70's on active duty on the line.
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Re: Should Picard have been promoted?

Postby Lord Revan » 2017-04-18 11:01pm

And it's not just that humans have longer lifespands then currently, some aliens age signifigantly slower then humans, T'Pol was in her 60s during the run of ENT while her actres was 25-30 during the run of ENT and she wasn't atypically youthful for a Vulcan
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Re: Should Picard have been promoted?

Postby Q99 » 2017-04-20 08:42pm

Hm, I'm not sure if lifespan notably changes the equation. People aren't rotated out now because they're too old, but rather because expanding the talent pool is important.

It strikes me they would want to create positions to keep older talent usefully at hand and in practice.... but they still should want a flow of fresh blood.

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Re: Should Picard have been promoted?

Postby Tribble » 2017-04-20 11:32pm

TNG -Era Starfleet largely plays the role of military, scientific and civilian fleets. Plus it prides itself on not being a military in the strict sense. Part of that may allow for a certain degree of flexibility in career path even if its not the most efficient way to go about things.
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Re: Should Picard have been promoted?

Postby The Romulan Republic » 2017-04-20 11:47pm

FaxModem1 wrote:Throughout all seven seasons, and all four movies, Picard retains the rank of Captain. The reasoning behind this is the advice Kirk gave him in Generations, wherein he told him not to change, be transferred, promoted, as it might prevent him from making a difference. Should Picard not have listened, and have been made an admiral instead? In-universe, Picard has a very distinguished career and would be able to make more of a difference as an admiral, with more power under his belt. Additionally, he would still be able to have the Enterprise or another ship under his command.

Out of universe, we could have additional story-telling opportunities, with Picard's rank and additional responsibilities and power affecting things over the years, along with making Riker a Captain. Showing that they are progressing, and that they are not stuck in the status quo.

Alternatively, Picard could have retired from Starfleet, and become a full-time ambassador. Letting us see him embracing that part of his life. Would that be a good avenue to explore as a character, or would it limit story opportunities? Would it fit his character, as he wouldn't be able to do exploration, military, or science stories?

What do you think?


Honestly, yes, he probably should have been promoted.

He had plenty of screw-ups, but so did the other leads on the various Star Trek series, and Picard has a great deal of skill and experience as well, and many accomplishments up to and including saving all of humanity and all of the Federation.

It may be that he declined. But another possibility is that he was seen as a bit of a wild card by the brass, due to his determination to put principle ahead of orders or the short-term interests of the Federation- see his standing up for Data in "The Measure of a Man", for example, or his outright revolt in Insurrection. Or going to fight the Borg against orders in First Contact. He may have been seen as someone who was too capable, and perhaps too popular for his heroic achievements/too well-respected by allies (he is an able diplomat who has worked closely with Klingon, Romulan, and Cardassian officials of high rank) to simply dismiss or court martial, but too much of a loose canon to be put in a higher position.

It also may have hurt his record that he lost two starships under his command, even though neither loss was really primarily his fault.

Edit: Actually, wouldn't that be three as of Nemesis?
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Re: Should Picard have been promoted?

Postby Tribble » 2017-04-20 11:50pm

Unlike the E-D IIRC the E-E actually survived Troi's piloting, it just needed some major repairs afterwards :P
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Re: Should Picard have been promoted?

Postby The Romulan Republic » 2017-04-20 11:58pm

I would think the E-E's Saucer Section ought to have been totalled from that collision (no fault to Troi, though- she put the ship exactly where Picard told her to). But I guess the Engineering Section could have made it.
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Re: Should Picard have been promoted?

Postby Tribble » 2017-04-21 12:08am

The Romulan Republic wrote:I would think the E-E's Saucer Section ought to have been totalled from that collision (no fault to Troi, though- she put the ship exactly where Picard told her to). But I guess the Engineering Section could have made it.


Wasn't the final scene the E-E at a station getting repaired?
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Re: Should Picard have been promoted?

Postby The Romulan Republic » 2017-04-21 12:48am

Tribble wrote:
The Romulan Republic wrote:I would think the E-E's Saucer Section ought to have been totalled from that collision (no fault to Troi, though- she put the ship exactly where Picard told her to). But I guess the Engineering Section could have made it.


Wasn't the final scene the E-E at a station getting repaired?


I don't know. I've never seen the full film. I watched part of it and found it insufferable. But I'm just speaking in terms of what would seem realistic based on the damage sustained during the battle.

I could see them repairing the Engineering Section and replacing the Saucer Section, but I don't know if their's a canonical basis for that.
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Re: Should Picard have been promoted?

Postby Lord Revan » 2017-04-21 01:15am

Enterprise was seen being repaired at end of Nemesis, in the part Riker left to command to the USS Titan and Enterprise got new XO.
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Re: Should Picard have been promoted?

Postby Captain Seafort » 2017-04-21 03:59am

The Romulan Republic wrote:But I'm just speaking in terms of what would seem realistic based on the damage sustained during the battle.


The Enterprise didn't suffer particularly badly in that collision - she got her nose bashed in, but that was about it. Certainly a lot less than HMS Eskimo or HMS Belfast, both of which were fully repaired and returned to service.
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Re: Should Picard have been promoted?

Postby Lord Revan » 2017-04-21 07:23am

Captain Seafort wrote:
The Romulan Republic wrote:But I'm just speaking in terms of what would seem realistic based on the damage sustained during the battle.


The Enterprise didn't suffer particularly badly in that collision - she got her nose bashed in, but that was about it. Certainly a lot less than HMS Eskimo or HMS Belfast, both of which were fully repaired and returned to service.

I suppose it depends on what was in the damaged section. IIRC there was secondary/back-up navigational deflector on the leading edge of saucer section (like on Voyager but nowhere close to as prominent, well it was never officially called that or pointed out as far I can remember but on Voyager it looks like a smaller version of the main deflector dish).

That said it wouldn't surprice at all if the Stargazer could have been repaired and returned to duty had starfleet been able to recover her right after the battle of maxia (though I suspect too much time had passed when she was recovered from the ferengi to make repairing her worth the effort), Enterprise (NCC-1701-D) lost the whole of the stardrive section and there was possibly (if not likely) heavy damage in the saucer section thanks to the unplanned crash landing.

So it's not really that unrealistic that the Enterprise (NCC-1701-E) would return to service after being repaired and honestly starfleer was probably short on working starship after the Dominion war so threshold to scrap the Enterprise was higher if it could realistically be repaired.
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