Where does the CMO rank in the chain of command?

PST: discuss Star Trek without "versus" arguments.

Moderator: Vympel

Post Reply
User avatar
Master Six
Redshirt
Posts: 36
Joined: 2018-02-18 05:27pm

Where does the CMO rank in the chain of command?

Post by Master Six » 2018-10-02 11:39pm

We've only seen two doctors take the bridge, and only Crusher was formally qualified to take the bridge.

Is it only a matter of rank and whether they have enough bridge hours, or do they also try to keep the CMO (and all other doctors) out of harm's way by putting them low on the list?
The great virtue of a free market system is that it does not care what color people are; it does not care what their religion is; it only cares whether they can produce something you want to buy. It is the most effective system we have discovered to enable people who hate one another to deal with one another and help one another. – Milton Friedman

User avatar
Lord Revan
Emperor's Hand
Posts: 10948
Joined: 2004-05-20 02:23pm
Location: Zone:classified

Re: Where does the CMO rank in the chain of command?

Post by Lord Revan » 2018-10-03 05:56am

Master Six wrote:
2018-10-02 11:39pm
We've only seen two doctors take the bridge, and only Crusher was formally qualified to take the bridge.

Is it only a matter of rank and whether they have enough bridge hours, or do they also try to keep the CMO (and all other doctors) out of harm's way by putting them low on the list?
It's less about keeping the CMO out of harms way and more about avoiding conflict of interest. The Chief Medical Officer is the only person who can relive the captain from duty (due to medical reason but still) and SFHQ wants to avoid accusation that the CMO made the captain step down to get him/her self to the big seat.

BTW Crusher is a commander, McCoy was a Lieutenant Commander during TOS, Bashir was a Lieutenant, Phlox was a civilian, Culber is a Lieutenant Commander and the Doctor is a SF AI and therefore has no formal rank. All who wouldn't have the rank to take command are Phlox and possibly the Doctor.
I may be an idiot, but I'm a tolerated idiot
"I think you completely missed the point of sigs. They're supposed to be completely homegrown in the fertile hydroponics lab of your mind, dried in your closet, rolled, and smoked...
Oh wait, that's marijuana..."Einhander Sn0m4n

Q99
Jedi Council Member
Posts: 2034
Joined: 2015-05-16 01:33pm

Re: Where does the CMO rank in the chain of command?

Post by Q99 » 2018-10-03 08:12am

A Doctor can gain command rank, but usually don't, I'd think. They're usually in the chain of command, especially in larger ships where they're running a department.

Future Crusher gains her own ship command.

User avatar
B5B7
Jedi Knight
Posts: 715
Joined: 2005-10-22 02:02am
Location: Perth Western Australia
Contact:

Re: Where does the CMO rank in the chain of command?

Post by B5B7 » 2018-10-03 11:44am

In real world navies CMOs are often commanders , but they are NEVER in the chain of command.
TVWP: "Janeway says archly, "Sometimes it's the female of the species that initiates mating." Is the female of the species trying to initiate mating now? Janeway accepts Paris's apology and tells him she's putting him in for a commendation. The salamander sex was that good."
"Not bad - for a human"-Bishop to Ripley
GALACTIC DOMINATION Empire Board Game visit link below:
GALACTIC DOMINATION

User avatar
Eternal_Freedom
Castellan
Posts: 9428
Joined: 2010-03-09 02:16pm
Location: Bound in a nutshell

Re: Where does the CMO rank in the chain of command?

Post by Eternal_Freedom » 2018-10-03 12:13pm

There was mention of Crusher having taken the Bridge Officer's exam, and Troi was able to as well (gah). Presumably it's a case of whether the CMO wants to, and if they pass it then they can be in the chain of command - presumably this is how Scotty and Geordi were able to take command at various points (including a full Captaincy in a future timeline for la Forge).

I would imagine that if the CMO is qualified then they can be included in the chain of command at the Captain's discretion - most likely below lower-ranked but command-line officers.
Baltar: "I don't want to miss a moment of the last Battlestar's destruction!"
Centurion: "Sir, I really think you should look at the other Battlestar."
Baltar: "What are you babbling about other...it's impossible!"
Centurion: "No. It is a Battlestar."

Corrax Entry 7:17: So you walk eternally through the shadow realms, standing against evil where all others falter. May your thirst for retribution never quench, may the blood on your sword never dry, and may we never need you again.

User avatar
Lord Revan
Emperor's Hand
Posts: 10948
Joined: 2004-05-20 02:23pm
Location: Zone:classified

Re: Where does the CMO rank in the chain of command?

Post by Lord Revan » 2018-10-03 02:34pm

Eternal_Freedom wrote:
2018-10-03 12:13pm
There was mention of Crusher having taken the Bridge Officer's exam, and Troi was able to as well (gah). Presumably it's a case of whether the CMO wants to, and if they pass it then they can be in the chain of command - presumably this is how Scotty and Geordi were able to take command at various points (including a full Captaincy in a future timeline for la Forge).

I would imagine that if the CMO is qualified then they can be included in the chain of command at the Captain's discretion - most likely below lower-ranked but command-line officers.
I assume that certain branches would have to pass the "bridge officer's exam" to get to the higher ranks, while a medical officer might able to get to admiral without even taking it.
I may be an idiot, but I'm a tolerated idiot
"I think you completely missed the point of sigs. They're supposed to be completely homegrown in the fertile hydroponics lab of your mind, dried in your closet, rolled, and smoked...
Oh wait, that's marijuana..."Einhander Sn0m4n

User avatar
Eternal_Freedom
Castellan
Posts: 9428
Joined: 2010-03-09 02:16pm
Location: Bound in a nutshell

Re: Where does the CMO rank in the chain of command?

Post by Eternal_Freedom » 2018-10-03 02:39pm

Indeed. Good old Bones would be a good example of the latter, as IIRC he made Admiral while never being a line officer.
Baltar: "I don't want to miss a moment of the last Battlestar's destruction!"
Centurion: "Sir, I really think you should look at the other Battlestar."
Baltar: "What are you babbling about other...it's impossible!"
Centurion: "No. It is a Battlestar."

Corrax Entry 7:17: So you walk eternally through the shadow realms, standing against evil where all others falter. May your thirst for retribution never quench, may the blood on your sword never dry, and may we never need you again.

User avatar
Batman
Emperor's Hand
Posts: 15274
Joined: 2002-07-09 04:51am
Location: 'Very' mildly hopeful now DC recognized taking Clark's red trunks away was a bad idea
Contact:

Re: Where does the CMO rank in the chain of command?

Post by Batman » 2018-10-03 03:13pm

We know that Bones made Admiral. We have no idea how he did it far as I can tell. I don't recall any details of his career between TOS and TNG ever being mentioned, one way or the other.
'Next time I let Superman take charge, just hit me. Real hard.'
'You're a princess from a society of immortal warriors. I'm a rich kid with issues. Lots of issues.'
'No. No dating for the Batman. It might cut into your brooding time.'
'Tactically we have multiple objectives. So we need to split into teams.'-'Dibs on the Amazon!'
'Hey, we both have a Martian's phone number on our speed dial. I think I deserve the benefit of the doubt.'
'You know, for a guy with like 50 different kinds of vision, you sure are blind.'

User avatar
Eternal_Freedom
Castellan
Posts: 9428
Joined: 2010-03-09 02:16pm
Location: Bound in a nutshell

Re: Where does the CMO rank in the chain of command?

Post by Eternal_Freedom » 2018-10-03 03:19pm

Fair point.
Baltar: "I don't want to miss a moment of the last Battlestar's destruction!"
Centurion: "Sir, I really think you should look at the other Battlestar."
Baltar: "What are you babbling about other...it's impossible!"
Centurion: "No. It is a Battlestar."

Corrax Entry 7:17: So you walk eternally through the shadow realms, standing against evil where all others falter. May your thirst for retribution never quench, may the blood on your sword never dry, and may we never need you again.

User avatar
Elheru Aran
Emperor's Hand
Posts: 12335
Joined: 2004-03-04 01:15am
Location: Georgia

Re: Where does the CMO rank in the chain of command?

Post by Elheru Aran » 2018-10-03 05:47pm

Presumably Bones made Admiral mostly by virtue of seniority; IIRC he wasn't referred to as "Admiral McCoy" until TNG, so it was in the course of normal upward movement through rank, not for any particular exceptional reason.

Crusher's captaincy was of a medical/scientific ship, specificially; so presumably Starfleet in the alt-future Q envisioned had expanded enough to have such single-purpose ships, and it makes some sense for the head of such a craft to also be the top medical staffer aboard.

I want to say there was at least one or two episodes in TNG where they left Crusher in charge on the ship while Picard and Riker both went on away missions, something along those lines, but I haven't watched enough (and it's been awhile) to really say.

For my input to the chain of command question: I have no issue with the CMO being separate from the chain of command, but part of it if he/she/it does qualify. And of course there's always the dramatic ability to remove officers for medical reasons, which having a certain degree of rank does make easier-- wouldn't look the best if a LTJG CMO busted an Admiral, even if it was for completely good reasons.
It's a strange world. Let's keep it that way.

User avatar
Eternal_Freedom
Castellan
Posts: 9428
Joined: 2010-03-09 02:16pm
Location: Bound in a nutshell

Re: Where does the CMO rank in the chain of command?

Post by Eternal_Freedom » 2018-10-03 05:54pm

Descent is the TNG episode you're referring to I believe. There have been another option but I can't recall any directly.
Baltar: "I don't want to miss a moment of the last Battlestar's destruction!"
Centurion: "Sir, I really think you should look at the other Battlestar."
Baltar: "What are you babbling about other...it's impossible!"
Centurion: "No. It is a Battlestar."

Corrax Entry 7:17: So you walk eternally through the shadow realms, standing against evil where all others falter. May your thirst for retribution never quench, may the blood on your sword never dry, and may we never need you again.

User avatar
Batman
Emperor's Hand
Posts: 15274
Joined: 2002-07-09 04:51am
Location: 'Very' mildly hopeful now DC recognized taking Clark's red trunks away was a bad idea
Contact:

Re: Where does the CMO rank in the chain of command?

Post by Batman » 2018-10-03 06:09pm

You believe correctly.
Descent I and II had Crusher in command because most of the crew including the command staff were planetside looking for Data
'Next time I let Superman take charge, just hit me. Real hard.'
'You're a princess from a society of immortal warriors. I'm a rich kid with issues. Lots of issues.'
'No. No dating for the Batman. It might cut into your brooding time.'
'Tactically we have multiple objectives. So we need to split into teams.'-'Dibs on the Amazon!'
'Hey, we both have a Martian's phone number on our speed dial. I think I deserve the benefit of the doubt.'
'You know, for a guy with like 50 different kinds of vision, you sure are blind.'

User avatar
Crazedwraith
Emperor's Hand
Posts: 10483
Joined: 2003-04-10 03:45pm
Location: Cheshire, England

Re: Where does the CMO rank in the chain of command?

Post by Crazedwraith » 2018-10-03 06:44pm

Crusher and LaForge both have the rank to command but no formal place in the line of succession as it were. (Crusher even less so than LaForge probably)

In Gambit when Picard/Riker are absent, Data is acting Captain with Worf, only a senior lieutenant is his XO. I've forgotten who he suggests could replace Worf is that doesn't work out though.
To the brave passengers and crew of the Kobayashi Maru... sucks to be you - Peter David

User avatar
Lord Revan
Emperor's Hand
Posts: 10948
Joined: 2004-05-20 02:23pm
Location: Zone:classified

Re: Where does the CMO rank in the chain of command?

Post by Lord Revan » 2018-10-03 07:51pm

Elheru Aran wrote:
2018-10-03 05:47pm
Presumably Bones made Admiral mostly by virtue of seniority; IIRC he wasn't referred to as "Admiral McCoy" until TNG, so it was in the course of normal upward movement through rank, not for any particular exceptional reason.

Crusher's captaincy was of a medical/scientific ship, specificially; so presumably Starfleet in the alt-future Q envisioned had expanded enough to have such single-purpose ships, and it makes some sense for the head of such a craft to also be the top medical staffer aboard.

I want to say there was at least one or two episodes in TNG where they left Crusher in charge on the ship while Picard and Riker both went on away missions, something along those lines, but I haven't watched enough (and it's been awhile) to really say.

For my input to the chain of command question: I have no issue with the CMO being separate from the chain of command, but part of it if he/she/it does qualify. And of course there's always the dramatic ability to remove officers for medical reasons, which having a certain degree of rank does make easier-- wouldn't look the best if a LTJG CMO busted an Admiral, even if it was for completely good reasons.
That "wouldn't look the best if a LtJg CMO busted an admiral" is why in real life (at least in the finnish defense force when I was serving) all doctors were automatically officers.

I suspect that specialist roles might have ranks given for expertise in that role rather then military prestige, so a CMO of a major starship could be a lt. commander or a full commander but that rank was given due being a experienced doctor and they would have to qualify for "command roles" seperately.

As for Medical ship, honestly I wouldn't be at all surpriced if SF had specialized hospital ships to respond to crisis but we just don't normally see those as we aren't in places those ships would be used in.
I may be an idiot, but I'm a tolerated idiot
"I think you completely missed the point of sigs. They're supposed to be completely homegrown in the fertile hydroponics lab of your mind, dried in your closet, rolled, and smoked...
Oh wait, that's marijuana..."Einhander Sn0m4n

User avatar
Agent Fisher
Rabid Monkey
Posts: 3566
Joined: 2003-04-29 11:56pm
Location: Sac-Town, CA, USA, Earth, Sol, Milky Way, Universe

Re: Where does the CMO rank in the chain of command?

Post by Agent Fisher » 2018-10-04 11:43pm

Lord Revan wrote:
2018-10-03 07:51pm
As for Medical ship, honestly I wouldn't be at all surpriced if SF had specialized hospital ships to respond to crisis but we just don't normally see those as we aren't in places those ships would be used in.
In DS9, Bashir heads to Romulus for a medical summit during the Dominion War, one of the topics was goign to be to decide wether to transfer 25 hospital ships to the Romulan Fleet, so I'm guessing they have quite a number of hospital ships.

User avatar
FaxModem1
Emperor's Hand
Posts: 6662
Joined: 2002-10-30 06:40pm
Location: In a dark reflection of a better world

Re: Where does the CMO rank in the chain of command?

Post by FaxModem1 » 2018-10-05 12:36am

Agent Fisher wrote:
2018-10-04 11:43pm
Lord Revan wrote:
2018-10-03 07:51pm
As for Medical ship, honestly I wouldn't be at all surpriced if SF had specialized hospital ships to respond to crisis but we just don't normally see those as we aren't in places those ships would be used in.
In DS9, Bashir heads to Romulus for a medical summit during the Dominion War, one of the topics was goign to be to decide wether to transfer 25 hospital ships to the Romulan Fleet, so I'm guessing they have quite a number of hospital ships.
Makes sense, the US Navy has had a number of them in their fleet. It only makes sense, especially with the amount of relief missions that Starfleet does, that they have them as well.
Image

Post Reply