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"Chief" Obrien

UtopiaPlanitia

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Report this Jun. 23 2009, 1:34 pm

Ok so im a little confused about how starfleet handles its Enlisted people.

His uniform is the same as an officers however somehow people are able to tell that he is a Chief Petty Officer.  

Enlisted people can only go so far in the military.  So why is Obrien given commands on DS9 and is chief engineer?  These position are usually meant for officers.  And usually any officer outranks any enlisted man.  

and why is Obrien like the only one in starfleet who is enlisted?

chickadee

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Report this Jun. 23 2009, 1:40 pm

Quote (UtopiaPlanitia @ June 23 2009, 1:34 pm)
Ok so im a little confused about how starfleet handles its Enlisted people.

His uniform is the same as an officers however somehow people are able to tell that he is a Chief Petty Officer. ¿

Enlisted people can only go so far in the military. ¿So why is Obrien given commands on DS9 and is chief engineer? ¿These position are usually meant for officers. ¿And usually any officer outranks any enlisted man. ¿

and why is Obrien like the only one in starfleet who is enlisted?

he's the only featured character to be enlsted. In TNG his pips are not consitant. Sometimes he has two pips sometimes he doesn't. When he's in DS9, he has the pips of an elisted person not an officer

that means that even an ensign can order him to do something. Remember when Nog went to he academy and OBrien said that when he gets back he would outrank him

UtopiaPlanitia

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Report this Jun. 23 2009, 1:43 pm

yes but then we see him in charge of things he shouldnt be in charge of

chickadee

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Report this Jun. 23 2009, 1:53 pm

Quote (UtopiaPlanitia @ June 23 2009, 1:43 pm)
yes but then we see him in charge of things he shouldnt be in charge of

like what? He's still in starfleet he can still do things

challengerdyer

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Report this Jun. 23 2009, 11:39 pm

Isn't "Chief" in the military the highest enlisted rank without becoming an officer?  I might be totally wrong here, but I sometimes get the impression that a Chief might be just as knowledgeable as the ship's Captain but just not an Officer? Do we have any Navy personnel out there?

stovokor2000

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Report this Jun. 24 2009, 12:47 am

Quote (UtopiaPlanitia @ June 23 2009, 1:34 pm)
and why is Obrien like the only one in starfleet who is enlisted?

hes not.

stovokor2000

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Report this Jun. 24 2009, 12:55 am

Quote (challengerdyer @ June 23 2009, 11:39 pm)
Isn't "Chief" in the military the highest enlisted rank without becoming an officer? ¿I might be totally wrong here, but I sometimes get the impression that a Chief might be just as knowledgeable as the ship's Captain but just not an Officer? Do we have any Navy personnel out there?

Your right on how your describing the position of Chief Petty Officer but your wrong on what the title involves.

Chief Petty Officer is the seventh enlisted rank in the U.S. Navy and U.S. Coast Guard, just above Petty Officer First Class and below Senior Chief Petty Officer, and is a senior non-commissioned officer.

Advancement into the Chief Petty Officer grades is the most significant promotion within the enlisted naval ranks. At the rank of Chief, the Sailor takes on more administrative duties. In the Navy, their uniform changes to reflect this change of duty, becoming identical to that of an officer's uniform except with different insignia.

Chief Petty Officers serve a dual role as both technical experts and as leaders, with the emphasis being more on leadership as they progress through the CPO ranks. A recognized, collateral duty for all Chiefs is the training of Junior Officers.

BTW got that from wiki.

BrotherofShran01

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Report this Jun. 24 2009, 9:10 am

His rank has been established to be Senior Chief Petty Officer. :

Quote


Problematic Rank History

The character of Miles O¿Brien, and the exact rank he held in Star Trek, has a history of its own spanning the length of the character's existence. In thirteen years of the character¿s appearances, only in the last four was his rank established to be presumably Senior Chief Petty Officer. (although this term was never directly used onscreen) Through various other stages of the character¿s development, O¿Brien was referred to as a Crewman, a Lieutenant, and various script notes indicated he was a "Warrant Officer." The novelization of DS9: "Emissary" indicated O¿Brien held a rank known as "Ensign Junior Grade".

The exact history of O¿Brien¿s ranks are as follows:

1987: Appears in TNG: "Encounter at Farpoint" and is referred to as ¿Conn¿. In this episode, O¿Brien wears the single pip of a Starfleet Ensign (1). In TNG: "Lonely Among Us" appears again, with the same insignia, credited as a Security Guard.

1988: Appears in TNG: "The Child", credited as Transporter Chief. Wears the two pips of a Starfleet Lieutenant (2). In TNG: "Where Silence Has Lease" he appears wearing the same uniform and insignia as "The Child" and is directly addressed by Commander Riker as "Lieutenant", seemingly indicating that O¿Brien is an officer.

1989: O'Brien's surname is mentioned for the first time in TNG: "Unnatural Selection".

1990: Appears in TNG: "Family" and is addressed as "another Chief Petty Officer" by Sergey Rozhenko, even though he is shown wearing Lieutenant's pips, and is given a first (and middle) name, three years after his first appearance. From this point on, O¿Brien¿s character is developed as a senior enlisted member of the Enterprise crew, although he would continue to wear the lieutenant's insignia.

1991: Appears in TNG: "Data's Day" wearing his usual uniform and insignia. At the end of the episode, O'Brien wears a dress uniform also with the two pip insignia of a Lieutenant.

1992: Appears in TNG: "Realm of Fear" where O'Brien is given direct orders by Reginald Barclay (who is a Lieutenant Junior Grade) thus firming up the idea that O'Brien is an enlisted NCO as opposed to an officer. This episode marks the first time that O'Brien wears the single hollow pip with his regular uniform (3). (The Star Trek Encyclopedia defines this as the insignia of a "Chief Warrant Officer" although the term is never used onscreen.)

1993: Appears in DS9: "Emissary" as "Chief of Operations". For the next three years, O¿Brien wears a single hollow pip insignia with his rank again very much in question. Script notes from several Deep Space Nine episodes indicate he is a "Warrant Officer" while the pilot¿s novel version states O¿Brien is an "Ensign Junior Grade" (3).

1994: Appears in DS9: "Shadowplay" where his title is stated to be Senior chief specialist. Appears also in the past segment of TNG: "All Good Things..." wearing the single pip of an ensign, which is consistent with his rank at the time of "Encounter at Farpoint" (3).

1995: By the time of DS9: "Hippocratic Oath", O¿Brien has begun to wear a new insignia reminiscent of the chevron rank used by modern day Master Chief Petty Officers in the U.S. Navy (4). In this episode, a Jem'Hadar familiar with Starfleet insignia, identifies it as a Chief Petty Officer insignia. Presumably it was actually Senior Chief Petty Officer, as the word Senior was used in "Shadowplay", so the Jem'Hadar presumably simply left out the distinction.

Sonchi

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Report this Jun. 24 2009, 12:15 pm

It's mostly what Stovokor was saying, about the level of NCO rank being administrative as I think the Chief was the highest ranking noncom on DS9 and therefore he held a position in the command structure, the name slips my mind.

Since most of his people were generalist, able to repair a little of everything they were mostly non coms like him. Officer's might have been the specialists, specifically warp engineers or the like.

Plus they didn't really have noncom ranks all that clearly defined and people probably can't remember anything beyond, Private, Sergeant, and Seaman as well so they just used ranks we knew and ignored navy protocol.

krunchyfrogg

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Report this Jun. 24 2009, 6:41 pm

Wow, I wish I got such a detailed answer to a very similar question!

Better late than never though! :D

Lucifer_

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Report this Jun. 24 2009, 7:04 pm

The writers wanted Colm Meaney's character to be more like the "everyman" or "Joe Shmoe" so they changed O'Brien from an officer to an enlisted grunt to make him more sympathetic to a subset of the fan base.

spacemonster

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Report this Jun. 25 2009, 7:14 pm

Quote (Sonchi @ June 23 2009, 1:15 pm)
Since most of his people were generalist, able to repair a little of everything they were mostly non coms like him. Officer's might have been the specialists, specifically warp engineers or the like.

It's the other way around. Enlisted people are specialists in their narrow field of training, while officers are generalists. Worf's dad, for example, was a CPO as well (canon) and was a warp field specialist. Now take someone like Geordi, who was more of a jack of all trades, master at none. In the real world military, that is how the ranks are anyway. Lower ranking officers are basically middle managers of a company (flag officers = senior managers), while the enlisted are the actual workers (lower ranking enlisted) and supervisors (NCOs).

kronosklingon

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Report this Jul. 14 2009, 10:58 am

ttt

defiant_12

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Report this Jul. 15 2009, 11:13 pm

Quote (chickadee @ June 23 2009, 11:40 am)
[quote=UtopiaPlanitia,June 23 2009, 1:34 pm]
So why is Obrien given commands on DS9 and is chief engineer?

Technically any officer of the rank ensign or higher, or any enlisted personnel of enlisted ranks above him (Master Chief Petty Officer up?) could give him orders, but they will usually defer to O'Brien due to his expertise and years of experience. This is why he holds the position of Chief of Operations on DS9. In the episode "Whispers" there is another engineer who, despite serving on O'Brien's staff, seems to talk to O'Brien as a superior officer.

Khoufu_Khorushu

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Report this Jul. 16 2009, 9:43 pm

Quote (UtopiaPlanitia @ June 23 2009, 11:34 am)
Ok so im a little confused about how starfleet handles its Enlisted people.

His uniform is the same as an officers however somehow people are able to tell that he is a Chief Petty Officer. ¿

Enlisted people can only go so far in the military. ¿So why is Obrien given commands on DS9 and is chief engineer? ¿These position are usually meant for officers. ¿And usually any officer outranks any enlisted man. ¿

and why is Obrien like the only one in starfleet who is enlisted?

He mentioned in 'The Wounded', I think, that he served as tactical on another ship, and I htnk he served on another one, too. He's not enlisted, I'm pretty sure.

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