Direct commissions in Starfleet?

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Direct commissions in Starfleet?

Post by LStyer » Thu Jul 23, 2009 10:02 am

Does anyone know if there's any on-screen mention of Starfleet granting "direct commissions"? The U.S. military does this, exemplified in my mind by Navy JAG Corps officers or Army physicians as in MASH who do not attend an Academy but do not have the full authority of unrestricted line officers. I think there's been reference to Crusher and Bashir attending the Academy, but prior to the new movie, that's not the sense I got about McCoy, though I don't think there was necessarily any on-screen statement one way or the other. I guess you might interpret Troi's taking that bridge officer's exam in that Next Generation episode to indicate that she might have been a direct commission who wanted to move to unrestricted line officer status, but her Academy days may have been mentioned at some point and I just don't recall that.

For RPG purposes (and really dramatic purposes in general), I prefer the idea that Starfleet offers direct commissions because it opens the door for different sorts of characters, which should make for more varied interaction. So if I were running a game or writing a fanfic I guess I'd probably go with that idea whether it's canon or not, but I'm curious whether it's ever been addressed and, for that matter, what other folks think about the question.

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Post by Ezri » Mon Jul 27, 2009 5:36 pm

Look at season 7 with Kira being a starfleet officer just for a few shows.

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Post by LStyer » Mon Jul 27, 2009 10:34 pm

I didn't know about that. I looked it up on Memory Alpha, and it looks like that was a temporary field commission, sort of comparable to what Wesley Crusher had going on in the early seasons of Next Generation.

Memory Alpha also says that Kira is permanently commissioned as a Starfleet captain in the DS9 relaunch novels, though I don't guess those are, strictly speaking canon. Still, it's cool to see that sort of thing being dealt with in an official source.

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Post by Ezri » Tue Jul 28, 2009 5:45 am

lstyer wrote:I didn't know about that. I looked it up on Memory Alpha, and it looks like that was a temporary field commission, sort of comparable to what Wesley Crusher had going on in the early seasons of Next Generation.

Memory Alpha also says that Kira is permanently commissioned as a Starfleet captain in the DS9 relaunch novels, though I don't guess those are, strictly speaking canon. Still, it's cool to see that sort of thing being dealt with in an official source.
Well, what would have happened if Bajor joined the federation. Would you believe that Kira would be walking around the station in a uniform that was before joining the federation.

If you want to make a RPG, just have some new world joining the federation and the need to convert the military into star fleet.

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Post by Bry_Sinclair » Tue Jul 28, 2009 6:57 am

Give the post-DS9 universe with a long and grueling war, then it would be logical to assume that people in useful fields could have been recruited into the fleet for war-time service. Also in the aftermath the loss of life would be great and they would need specialists to fill the gaps caused by conflict, so a civilian doctor, engineer or law enforcement (etc) could be given a temporary commission if they decided to go into Starfleet to do their bit for the Federation.

T'Pol at the beginning of season four of Enterprise was given a Starfleet commission of Commander. I also recall that Crewman Darwin (the never-seen engineer killed by Lon Suder) turned down a commission to serve on Voyager (probably not the same thing though).

Just a couple of thoughts,
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Post by LStyer » Tue Jul 28, 2009 7:35 am

Ezri wrote:Well, what would have happened if Bajor joined the federation. Would you believe that Kira would be walking around the station in a uniform that was before joining the federation.
Good point.
If you want to make a RPG, just have some new world joining the federation and the need to convert the military into star fleet.
That would make for a pretty interesting storyline, just looking at the logistics of something like that. And a character joining Starfleet through that route and ending up aboard a mainline ship might be very interesting.

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Post by LStyer » Tue Jul 28, 2009 7:37 am

Bry_Sinclair wrote:Give the post-DS9 universe with a long and grueling war, then it would be logical to assume that people in useful fields could have been recruited into the fleet for war-time service. Also in the aftermath the loss of life would be great and they would need specialists to fill the gaps caused by conflict, so a civilian doctor, engineer or law enforcement (etc) could be given a temporary commission if they decided to go into Starfleet to do their bit for the Federation.
That's pretty much what I'm talking about, though I'm more interested in permanent commissions rather than temporary, more comparable to U.S. Navy JAG lawyers who join the Navy after law school and then serve out a career.

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Post by Ezri » Tue Jul 28, 2009 8:27 am

If you looking for a RPG storyline.

What about a planet that joins the federation. When they join, Starfleet places a starbase in orbit around the planet or in orbit around the star. The old military will be disbanded and they are commissioned into Starfleet. The starbase would be a good idea, as the starbase is there to protect the planet and it helps secure the star system from whoever you want to be the enemy. Second, the commissioned officers that came from the planet would be idea to be placed on the starbase with other Starfleet officers that worked their way up the chain of command as we understand it. This would give great stress with it being a starbase then a star ship.

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Post by amehatrekkie » Tue Jul 28, 2009 10:06 am

it was discussed in another thread that when a planet joins the Federation, they still keep their fleet and some officers can join Starfleet....

Starfleet could commision/command that fleet but it's primary purpose would be defense of said planet....
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Post by victorgarcia » Thu Sep 17, 2009 8:06 am

ambessalion wrote:it was discussed in another thread that when a planet joins the Federation, they still keep their fleet and some officers can join Starfleet....

Starfleet could commision/command that fleet but it's primary purpose would be defense of said planet....
Some do it at least from what we've seen on screen. For instance Vulcan still seems to maintain some sort of fleet. But there was also a scene on DS9 where an Admiral told Sisko, when Bajor was about to enter teh Federation, that the Bajoran militia had to be absorbed into Starfleet. Now what this could mean is that any military force is absorbed into Starfleet, with the planet still keeping control of it's civilian fleet. This also fits in rather well with Pike's comment in the new movie about Starfleet being a peacekeeping and humanitarian armada.

But as to the question has Starfleet given anyone a commission that didn't go to the Academy. McCoy is conjecture, since it was never said in the Prime-verse if he went through the Academy or not. However when jadzia mentioned meeting him, he was in Medical School. Again that could be in the Academy or not.

I think Troi is our best example of having been granted a comission without going to the Academy. She graduated from the University of betazed. her rank of Lt. Commander was honorary initially, just like some of the Doctors in MASH.
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Post by amehatrekkie » Thu Sep 17, 2009 12:02 pm

McCoy went to Starfleet as shown in the movie....

there wasn't a signifcant difference at that time between the Nero universe and the Prime at that time
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Post by AdmiralSirJohn » Sun Dec 13, 2009 2:25 am

I would argue with that, but then I consider the Abrams universe to be a double alternate, as I consider Enterprise to be an alternate, and the movie seems to be based in that universe. One could argue, in that universe, that T'Pol would qualify, but she likely underwent military training on Vulcan, so that would be more like a military officer emigrating to another country and joining that country's military.

Counselor Troi is definitely the only one we've seen in on-screen (TOS/TNG/DS9/VOY) canon, though one could argue that B'elanna Torres would qualify, seeing as she withdrew from Starfleet Academy in her second (or was it third?) year.
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Re: Direct commissions in Starfleet?

Post by rojblake » Thu May 12, 2011 8:41 pm

In the FASA game came out Doctors joined starfleet later because they recieved a doctorate first.

Trek is a little light in some areas, I really find the idea that on the Enterprise there were no enlisted types unrealistic (TOS).

There should be a way for others to join Starfleet without the academy, either through service somewhere else, being taken on as a warrant officer etc.

Although as a GM I would take it as a case by case basis, let the player give you a good back story to allow it; or as a resuult of the game itself.

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Re: Direct commissions in Starfleet?

Post by CamSPD » Fri May 20, 2011 12:06 am

From what I've seen, there's no canon evidence that Deanna Troi didn't attend Starfleet Academy, and in fact, according to Memory Alpha:
Deanna Troi entered Starfleet Academy in 2355. She later graduated from the Academy in 2359, majoring in psychology. (TNG: "Conundrum") On her homeworld of Betazed, she met William T. Riker, a Starfleet lieutenant who was stationed on the planet. The two began a relationship sometime between 2357 and 2361 which lasted several years. After Riker was assigned to the USS Potemkin the two planned to spend their holidays together on Risa in 2361. However, Will had to cancel their plans after he was quickly promoted to lieutenant-commander; deciding to make his career his top priority, Will stopped pursuing Deanna, and the couple eventually lost contact with each other. (TNG: "Encounter at Farpoint", "Ménage à Troi", "Second Chances") By 2364, Troi held the rank of lieutenant commander. That year, she was assigned as ship's counselor aboard the USS Enterprise-D. (TNG: "Encounter at Farpoint")

Deanna had apparently been taking Starfleet courses while studying on Betazed. Even though Starfleet Command is a four-year curriculum, it is possible that Deanna's studies on Betazed did not require her to fulfill all four years at the Academy.

In "Encounter at Farpoint", Riker refers to Troi as "lieutenant" even though she wears the insignia of a lieutenant commander
.
There's no mention here of her having a doctorate, nor any mention of her attending any university on Betazed---it only says that's where she was when she met Will Riker (now if there's an on-screen reference, feel free to mention that). All this says of her training is that she attended Starfleet Academy and majored in psychology, which would wualify her as a counselor, not a full-fledged psychologist. Then again, startrek.com does say she attended the University of Betazed, so I guess that means she did get a Ph.D. Perhaps that explains how she became a lieutenant commander in only five years, because otherwise there's no way she'd go from ensign to LC in so short a time.

Then again, Will Riker was a full commander at 29 and First Officer of the flagship. I guess it could happen. Me, I prefer a more realistic approach to my characters' career paths.

As for McCoy... According to Memory Alpha, Emony Dax met him while he was a student at the University of Mississippi, so he wasn't in medical school yet (UofM from 2245 - 2249, med school from 2249 - 2253). Startrek.com does not say he ever attended Starfleet Academy, and all Memory Alpha says on the subject is:
McCoy was known to have been divorced and enrolled in Starfleet Academy in the alternate reality by 2255. It is unknown when this happened in the prime reality.

Thus, one could say he did, but you could just as easily argue the opposite and say he didn't. He did have a lieutenant commander's commission by 2266 when he joined the Enterprise crew under Kirk, so sometime between 2253 and 2266 he either attended the academy or was granted a commission by Starfleet. We know he was an admiral in 2364 when he retired for the last time.

I believe it is entirely plausible for "direct" commissions to be bestowed on someone, especially in a post-war scenario such as the 11th Fleet group is operating in, where losses during the war totaled in the millions and officers qualified for senior positions are coming up short. We actually have at least one person, Sanctuary's CMO, who was afforded a provisional commission by Starfleet for her service during the war, when she enlisted due to a sense of patriotic duty. We've also concluded that the classes of 2375 and 2376 were commissioned early simply because Starfleet needed bodies for their ships and space stations. Hell, Nog was only in his second year when Sisko made him an ensign, and by the time the war was over he'd been promoted to lieutenant, junior grade.
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Re: Direct commissions in Starfleet?

Post by JM1776 » Fri May 20, 2011 12:08 pm

Necessity is, after all, the mother of promotion.
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