A Major Purge is Probably ComingEdit

The recent deletion of the Voyager provisional commander insignia has got me thinking about how we have been dancing around the thin ice about this issue of "implied ranks"; i.e. higher ranks and ranks in the middle of the tier that we dont actually ever see on camera. With that said, I think we need to have a major purge of this article and perhaps even rewrite the whole thing. At a glance, TOS series ranks are guessing about rear admiral and admiral...the only admiral rank we ever see is in The Trouble with Tribbles and it has been widely assumed he was a Vice Admiral but on camera was only called "Admiral". Likewise for all of the Motion Picture admiral ranks above Rear Admiral...and even Commodore is uncertian in the Motion Picture timeframe (although we hear a Commodore mentioned on a radio braodcast)...we are simply guessing since we never see these on camera. Then we get to TNG...I have studied very closely my Season 1 TNG DVD and have come to inescapable conclusion that in the first season the pips on the unifomrs were SILVER, not gold. They appear to have only switched to gold in the second season. The Admiral ranks in TNG and later time frames are another kicker since we never have seen a five star admiral yet it is on all the charts. As for Enterprise, a hangup there is that Forrest has always been called a Vice Admiral in our articles but like his TOS counterpart we are only assuming he was a Vice Admiral but in fact on camera he was called simply an Admiral. I am going out of town for a few weeks so that will give folks a chance to chime in with opinions before a major change is made to this article. -FC 13:59, 13 August 2008 (UTC)

First re-writeEdit

I have begun the grand re-write of this article with the main intention to give more history of the insignia and expand the background section. I also want to weed out the numerous non-canon insignias such as TOS admiral ranks and the five star pips which have never been seen in a live action production.

For those who were fans of these insignia, don't worry, they will be readded (including the pictures) in a special background section about insignia implied but not seen on screen.

I also ask a favor of whoever can do this to remove the deputy director insignia and the Voyager provisional insignia (one of which is now deleted) from the line officer comparative rank table. I have tried to do this but mess the table up everytime due to the column script which I dont completely understand. I will make a separate section for provisional insignia and address deputy director in a section about titles versus ranks. -FC 17:14, 7 September 2008 (UTC)

Provisional insigniaEdit

It would of great help if someone removed these from the new "comparative rank table" and made them into thier own section. I've tried it four times and only succeed in messing up the spacing on the table. We also need Deputy Director taken out since, after the debate about this a few months ago, everyone agrees that this is a title and not a rank. I plan to put such material in a "titles" section. Help wanted! -FC 19:44, 9 September 2008 (UTC)

Unused insigniaEdit

I plan to put all of the now unused insignia back into the article eventually. Due to real world events, the past few days have been busy and there has been little time for MA. I plan to get around to it, just need some time. Perhaps we can put the images in question on the talk page until they are folded back into the article. -FC 15:45, 12 September 2008 (UTC)

Looks like I'm done! Thanks all who helped improve this article! -FC 21:18, 13 September 2008 (UTC)

Not sure where to put this, as I don't think it was seen on screen. I have one for a lt jg or ens as well that I can upload if anyone finds one in the film or wants to add it to the implied ranks. - Archduk3:talk 12:03, December 11, 2009 (UTC)


I'm removing this part of the article for now since I'm not sure where exactly it should go or if it is even good material to have. The part about Kim being senior since he worked on the bridge doesnt make sense to me as a naval officer; Kim held a bridge duty station (like Officer of the Deck in the real Navy) but this didnt mean he could go off watch and give a commander an order. Also the Troi and Crusher deal, with them commanding the bridge after taking the test, mirrors the current day practice of staff officers getting a line officer qualification (aka "passing your board") and getting put on the watch bill. Again, it didnt mean that either of those had authority over other Commanders when off watch. Indeed, in the real Navy, in an emergency any line officer may take command and the staff officers, regardless of rank, must follow the line officers orders. In practice, though, line office ensigns (even in emergencies) would be cautioned not to bark at staff officer captains!

Anyway, the section reads:

It is notable that Starfleet ranks do not necessarily confer seniority. For example Harry Kim was an ensign, but was a member of the senior staff in his capacity as operations manager on USS Voyager and thus senior to many, higher ranked, members of the crew. Similarly, Deanna Troi, despite her rank as a lieutenant commander, was not eligible to take the conn of the Enterprise-D until the events shown in TNG: "Thine Own Self" when she passed the bridge officer's test, meaning that up to that point, any command-qualified lieutenant taking command of the bridge would have authority over her in normal situations. In emergencies, there seems to be a different qualification, as TNG: "Disaster" showed as-yet-untested Troi legally taking command during a crisis when the rest of the ship's crew were incommunicado.

-FC 13:51, 13 September 2008 (UTC)

The Troi and Kim question is one i would like to know, all i can surmise about Harry Kim is he is a senior bridge officer who holds no rank, as for Crusher in all armed services I know of the medical officer holds seniority over even the highest ranking officer but only holds command under the most desperate situations


This edit was correct, this discussion should have started before this happened, because the original information is based on background information and valid external links. --Alan 03:18, 30 November 2008 (UTC)

If the majority wants that in, then fine...but there simply has never been an "Able Seaman" rank pin in Star Trek. There HAS been an "Able Crewman" pin. Perhaps the source misquoted what was going on, but I would hate to see a completely untrue statement wind up in article. Also, the mention about a Star Trek Captain pin being sold is far too vauge...which pin...worn by whom? And in any case that should be in the background section, not the main-line article. I guess I'm also slightly biased since I never was a big fan of these entries about uniform parts being sold at "Its a Warp". I really wonder what that has to do with anything. I'm not unreasonable though. But instead of just adding this in let us ask ourselves is it actually correct information. I dont think it is. -FC 03:24, 30 November 2008 (UTC)

Regarding the second half, it's "It's a Wrap", actually, and according to the link: "A resin rank badge made for characters portraying a Starfleet ‘captain' in various Star Trek feature films" – the point of the IAW links is to make connection between the discussion and the props seen on screen. While I agree that one is vague, many of them actually are useful. --Alan 03:31, 30 November 2008 (UTC)

I did a self revert and tried to clean up the information. Like I said, I am not being unreasonable here. I just dont want to see incorrect info in the article. -FC 03:37, 30 November 2008 (UTC)
That's rich. You're the one who added Admiral pins that were both non-canon and from invalid sources here some months ago. The STALA information was both perfectly correct and completely welcome MA content. I say that your "cleanup" contains more unverified, possibly even false, information than Tom's original contribution, which was completely factual and appropriately styled (POV) in every way. Where's your evidence that this pin has anything to do with Robert Fletcher's notes? Unless those notes have a picture of such a pin, then it's your imagination, not sourced info. So, where are the contents of these notes revealed? Do you have them, or is your information connecting Fletcher's notes to this pin contained in another legitimate source like a Companion book or such? I'm not saying you made this up, but I'll be dubious until I see that the connection is real, not your own leap of imagination or attempt to twist some production staffer's mistake into something more palatable to yourself.
Regarding "Able Seaman": OK, we can all agree that it's not a canon rank. But nobody treated it as canon. You can't get away with censoring realworld info by pretending it's something it's not, or by hiding it. I think you are being unreasonable, doubly: First for twisting the point-of-view and second for accusing me of treating you like "some a-hole vandal". You're pulling the same crap you did with me last summer.
Regarding the Captain's pin: It was treated as Background info, not in-universe "mainline article" material. Read the Style Guide. Too vague? Too bad. They sold it. Let's note it.
STALA links and info from STALA listings are a unique source that have yielded valuable production and in-universe information here at MA. If you want to propose some criterion for picking and choosing which ones are allowed and which ones are of "question[able] relevance", that's a fine undertaking, but re-reversion edit summaries aren't the place for it - Ten Forward is, or maybe Memory Alpha Talk:Canon policy. --TribbleFurSuit 07:14, 30 November 2008 (UTC)
I restored the info and added one line about Fletcher's notes which do state that rank is Able Crewman (not Able Seaman). All of the other previous material has been restored. And, for the record, I did not add the Admiral pins into this article. I actually cleaned up the article and placed all the non-canon insignia in the background section which is there they should have gone in the first place. That is a separate issue, however. And there are no hard feelings from last I stated on the user talk page, I honestly dont remember that far back on this site with other things that go on in the real world....eight months ia a long time for the internet. Anyway, I think the current edit should meet with everyone's approval. I hope. -FC 14:15, 30 November 2008 (UTC)
"I did not add the Admiral pins into this article" OK, that's not how I remember it, but as you say, somewhere, it's on the record. If I was wrong, I apologize. I still want to know about these Fletcher notes: Where does one find them? Are they in a book? A website? Your own personal copy? Is there a picture in it of the STALA pin? Please, convince me that it's really the same as this "able seaman" pin and not something you have contrived or imagined with original research. I am not assuming bad faith, I am just skeptical because of the way you initially tried to spin this, which was that "we can't have this at all because it's not a canon rank", and when that didn't work, you shrilled "it is simply untrue!", even though it pretty verifiably is a realworld piece of production material, whether it's named correctly on the auction site or not. Our background should not be speculative, so if we're saying "This is the crewman pin", it had better be true and verifiable. If you can't convincingly connect the notes to the pin, then we could say that "able seaman isn't a canon title, but able crewman is", without making up something about whether a trivial mistake might have been made, behind the scenes, after production was long since wrapped. --TribbleFurSuit 18:15, 30 November 2008 (UTC)
Every rank picture in this article had been uploaded way...way before I ever became associated with the article. Here is the article from two years ago [1] and you will see that all of the rank pins are displayed. This was before my time. I am also sorry to you are holding grudges from so long ago [2]. The business last summer (4 plus months) has nothing to do with this article and it is somewhat scary to me that you would be taking this website so seriously and remembering things from that long ago. As I responded on your talk page [3] I didnt even remember who you were until it was so obviously pointed out. Can we just move on with the present issue?
And that issue is the very good question of where Robert Fletcher's notes exactly are and if they list this pin as "Able Crewman". I'll look around for I have seen this in print (just dont remember where). With the holidays upon us, it might also be a while since I have to dig through my literature collection but I will take a look at it. I'll let everyone know hopefully by the start of next year what I find out since having a source for both W.W.T's notes as well as the pins from the movies would be an excellent addition to this article. -FC 19:25, 30 November 2008 (UTC)

Captain's pinEdit

About the captain's pin that was sold, I agree with FC- I don't see the relevance unless it we know who wore it and when(or if it was even worn on TV at all)- I could see(and would support) it being listed in a general article about the auction itself and its items.--31dot 19:49, 30 November 2008 (UTC)

Yes, that is a fine point. As stated in the above section, my knowledge of the "Its a Wrap" material is close to nothing and I personally think it clutters up articles. But I am by no means any kind of authority on this. Would there be any way to find out where that Captain pin came from? -FC 04:59, 1 December 2008 (UTC)

Able seaman's pinEdit


Per the above concerns, the following sentence was removed until a hardcore source can be found. -FC 19:34, 30 November 2008 (UTC)

This pin, according to costume notes of Robert Fletcher, is actually that of "Able Crewman".

My, my, my...guess what. I actually did find my copy of Fletcher's costume notes and...can't believe actually DOES say "Able Seaman". How can one have a Seaman in space!!! Any way, this calls for a major revision here. We might also want to discuss if indeed we should put this in the article as a canon rank. Thoughts? -FC 08:43, 1 December 2008 (UTC)

How can one have ANY Naval convention in Space (starting with SHIPS, FLEETS, BRIGS, SAILS, keep going...)!!! For that matter, how can one have an Airman in the Navy (real life)!!! One answer to these questions is that Naval metaphors in both real life and in Star Trek expand beyond seagoing literality, once technology makes transportation and force by air, space, and subspace possible. The other answer is that it's fiction.
I'm pleased there's a credible source and that effort was made to verify this. This is why MA discourages speculation (another way of saying "jumping to conclusions" or "using one's imagination"). Most of the time, the subject of the speculation is unknown and unknowable - that's bad enough. But when someone speculates, and then "it is just untrue!", that's just bogus. I still deny treating anybody like "some a-hole vandal", but it WAS a bogus edit after all, wasn't it?
Regarding canonicity: Until there's an onscreen reference to the rank or title of "able seaman", I'm not in favor of canonizing it. Background please. Then again, I still haven't succeeded in getting this canonized as a provisional Commander insignia, even though the only person ever seen wearing it was NOT a Lt. Commander, so maybe there's more tolerance for bogosity around here after all than I myself have. Cheers --TribbleFurSuit 20:55, 1 December 2008 (UTC)

Yes, it is obviously not bogus. I could go on about my original reasons for saying that (including the six pack of Bud Lite Lime I drank before making those edits) but that has been beat to death with a stick, I think. The real question here is whether or not we should now create an article for "Able Seaman" and if we should change (my God) every single article where this pin is mentioned. But then, is Fletcher's chicken scratch really cause to make such a major change since this pin is listed in several other publications (I think even Star Trek Encyclopedia) as being "Crewman" and was never called "Able Seaman" on camera. Not sure what to do about this. It is a strange situation. -FC 21:00, 1 December 2008 (UTC)

What is stated on screen? Was anyone wearing this pin on camera, and were they called "crewmen"? If that is the case, we go with crewmen over anything in Fletcher's notes. That said, a real world background note on Fletcher and the auction would be worthwhile. --OuroborosCobra talk 21:16, 1 December 2008 (UTC)
"is Fletcher's chicken scratch really cause to make such a major change"? What major change? This pin is not mentioned anywhere in MA's mainspace except as background in this article. The same thing is true of the hypothetical, non-canonical rank. Nobody ever heard of it except FC with his Fletcher notes, until it turned up on IAW. Nothing has to be changed until somebody finds either the rank or the pin onscreen. While Cobra rightly says "Don't call it 'crewman' unless it was onscreen", I point out "Don't even canonize 'seaman' unless it was onscreen". --TribbleFurSuit 23:40, 1 December 2008 (UTC) answer the questions here...they aren't my notes. They are copies of the originals from the notes made by Robert Fletcher for Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan. Second off, I am very much against making this a canon article. I think a background note would be just fine. Third off, the only person I ever saw called a "Crewman" wearing this pin was Dax in Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country. I think the transporter room hitmen in that film also wore it but were never called Crewman. For that matter, noone has ever been seen wearing a Petty Officer pin either. They are very hard to see in any case and require very close examination of screenshots to even see which pin is being worn. It sounds though like no change is needed so sounds good. I think these notes are a great find for MA as they will make for very good background material. -FC 23:52, 1 December 2008 (UTC)

Mr. Fleet Captain, I'm surprised you didn't leave a 'calling all hands' note on my talk page since it was the groundwork I laid on the article that is in question here... surely an oversight since it has been so long since I worked on Starfleet ranks here at MA.
Have it be known that I used "crewman" as the name for these pins' rate because the term had been used in other incarnations of Trek, for the rate below petty officer (which I was aware his notes showed the "ables'man" pins as being--below a PO in standing), and because I knew that Fletcher's "ables'man" notes were a background source that never made it on screen. (However, I do believe that all the pins made it onscreen and we haven't found them yet). I was (and am) of the belief that, if a pin was designed to show a specific rank in relation to other ranks, it should be portrayed as so on MA when referenced -- which is why an unnamed pin that was used in canon could have a rank associated with it without being so named.
Beyond that, I really have no desire to involve myself further in this and I don't feel I have enough knowledge of MA's current background info policy to contribute much in that area, and I trust the judgment of the current involved admins. But I might look in again soon, if I find anything of note to contribute... -- Captain MKB 00:01, 2 December 2008 (UTC)

Yes, indeed. You should have been contacted. Apologies that it slipped through the cracks. -FC 00:56, 2 December 2008 (UTC)

First of all, in response to Mr. Bartel, in terms of "on-screen evidence", I also don't doubt that the insignia in question didn't appear on someone somewhere on screen. Based on stala auction listings alone, there were more than a dozen of these insignia in circulation.
In response to the rest, and this is taking the "safe route", if (or since) the term exists in the big picture, even if only as a background (or costume tag) note, then there should be no problem in mentioning it with a legitimate link. This seems entirely appropriate, using the already established "lump approach", seeing as "able seaman" essentially boils down to what we recognize as the "crewman" rank, therefore, the creation of a link for it would be no different than our current approach of linking similar sister/cousin ranks/terms (both mentioned and unmentioned) to "crewman," such as: Ables'man (as implied by being in bold), Able crewman, Crewman third class, Crewman second class, and Crewman first class.
Consequently, the creation of said link doesn't "make it canon", or even mean it is correct terminology, it just means that it's yet another useful redirect that can be explained on the "mother page" in the "aw crap" section of the article explaining Fletcher's original outline, where and how it fitted in then, and where and how it fits in today. Hence, the term is recognized, explained and still not "forced" into canon.
In terms of the "canon" recognition of the crewman rank insignia (which I guess is *now* "really" the able seaman rank insignia) posted on the crewman page (and elsewhere), if need be, that can be tossed to the "aw crap" section too. So, while this isn't the climatic response I'm sure we were aiming for in this discussion, it is the easiest resolution without giving way to one side or the other: either ignoring it or recognizing it as canon. --Alan 04:54, 2 December 2008 (UTC)

I think redirecting Able seaman to Crewman, and then adding abackground notes about Fletcher's costume notes would be the best course. Thank you everyone for inputing to this issue. A great example of the community working together. -FC 20:10, 2 December 2008 (UTC)

Comparative chartsEdit

With the canon rules preventing us from showing every insignia in the comparative charts,in particualr the DSN enlisted and TOS admiral ranks which never appeared on camera, are these charts helpful to the article? Or perhaps we can modify them slighly to avoid having "blank holes". Thoughts? -FC 20:10, 2 December 2008 (UTC)

"Anyone? Anyone?" -FC 05:20, 8 December 2008 (UTC)

Is Data really a typical oifficer?Edit

"A typical officer spends approximately three years at the rank of ensign." refers to the conversation between Data and Lore about, but I got the impression that he was talking about his own carreer. I would certainly not count Data as a typical officer, since he is an android and all that. Plus, there are several ensigns that seeems to have been in service for a lot longer than three years on the Enterprise-D.

Would it not be better to erase that last phrase? --Marten1000 12:17, 25 December 2008 (UTC)

I think that removing the quote might be the wrong idea -- we should instead fix it by clarifying that it was Data's comment, note the exact wording he used, perhaps cite the fact that we don't know what kind of "typical officer" he was talking about. it could be that Data was referring to officers of the career paths he was noted to be in, and not all "typical officers" in general. -- Captain MKB 02:31, 26 December 2008 (UTC)
What about someting like: "The time someone spend as ensign differs, but a typical amount of time was three years. That was the case for Lt Cmdr Data, for example."? --Marten1000 20:21, 27 December 2008 (UTC)

I belive the exact comment should be used, my view on the comment is that he's saying that most captins or senior officers would hesitate to promote an ensign with less then 3 years service as they havent had enough experiance but that there are exeptions to the rule. chris roff.

Would an operations manager specialist like Data spend three years at ensign, or all security officers and engineers? Would science officers? There isn't enough info given to determine what career path is being referred to. -- Captain MKB 17:28, December 13, 2009 (UTC)

New alternate reality insigniaEdit

The new insignia file is way too large and has caused a major spacing problem in the article. It does look better than the original one I drew but needs to be fixed. -FC 18:14, 17 May 2009 (UTC)

The alternate/illusionary insignia Edit

Not really sure where to put these. Rewatching the episodes now to see if there are any LT CMDR (found) or LT JG (not found) ranks seen, and to make sure all of these were. - Edited: Archduk3:talk 23:32, November 25, 2009 (UTC)

VOY provisional ranks Edit

I believe a revision of the images is in order, based on the images that came out of the It's a Wrap auction. This image makes it look like it's silver with gold accents. There are plenty of other images that confirm the colors. --Kevin W.Talk to me 05:14, December 13, 2009 (UTC)

Could you link to a few others, maybe one that has a black bar? - Archduk3:talk 12:36, December 13, 2009 (UTC)
This one looks like the insignia was upside down when the picture was taken. --Kevin W.Talk to me 18:04, December 13, 2009 (UTC)

Ranks "done away with"? Edit

In the "2260s and 2270s" section (ST:TMP era), the article says that "...the rank of Lieutenant junior grade was apparently done away with." I assume this is because nobody of this rank was seen in Star Trek: The Motion Picture; however, just because we didn't see it, that doesn't necessarily mean that it didn't exist. I know that we don't want to attest to any unseen ranks, but is there a better way to word this? Really, we don't know whether this rank existed at this time or not. Perhaps we could change that clause to a background note that no lieutenants junior grade were seen in the film? —Josiah Rowe 03:52, February 13, 2010 (UTC)

I think that actually comes from the extensive notes made for the movie ranks, since I think both systems had details on everything below admirals. - Archduk3 04:45, February 13, 2010 (UTC)

If you have access to those notes, it might be worth adding a background info comment explaining that. Actually, for that matter, it might be worth adding a background note about Robert Fletcher's rank pin designs, as shown in the image a few sections up. —Josiah Rowe 07:53, February 14, 2010 (UTC)

We had this discussion some time ago. The book "The Making of Star Trek: The Motion Picture" establishes that there was no rank of LTJG in the film era. The previous insignia for LTJG was now the insignia for Ensign. This was done to fix the problem in the original series that ensigns and crewman (both with no insignia) couldn't be told apart. -FC 20:54, February 15, 2010 (UTC)

That's great. Could a background note be added to that effect, with an appropriate citation to the book? (I'd do it myself, but since I don't have the book I'd be worried I'd misrepresent something.) Absent an explanatory note, someone else reading the article might well make the same mistake I did. —Josiah Rowe 06:11, February 17, 2010 (UTC)

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