A third officer is an officer of a starship that is fourth in line of command of the vessel after the captain, first officer, and second officer. In Starfleet, the position is generally filled by a lieutenant commander or lieutenant. The security chief, tactical officer, or chief engineer is sometimes given this position. As with the position of second officer, the third officer's main duties are as a department head.

Known third officersEdit

Though Paris has never explicitly been named third officer in canon, in VOY: "Unimatrix Zero", Paris comments that, with Janeway and Tuvok away and Chakotay in command, he (Paris) is now Chakotay's first officer. It can be inferred from the above dialogue that he was the third officer. Additionally, in "Initiations", with Janeway, Chakotay, and Tuvok off the ship, Paris stated to a Kazon vessel that he was in command. Further evidence was seen in the episode "Before and After" when he appeared to be second officer behind Chakotay and Tuvok in an alternate future Kes was experiencing.
  • Lieutenant Worf
    • USS Enterprise-D
Data was second officer of the Enterprise-E, but Deanna Troi had a higher rank than he and was the highest ranking bridge officer after Picard and Riker. Troi was in command of the bridge while the Enterprise-E was traveling to the Briar Patch, and when Data left the bridge to head to the Scimitar. However, La Forge left the bridge with Data, and as chief engineer, he may have been third officer.
Additionally, during the Enterprise-D's mission to Angel I, Picard was incapacitated by a virus while first officer Riker, second officer Data and security chief Yar were all on an away mission. He left La Forge in command. La Forge also commanded the ship on the mission to Minos, despite Troi's presence on the bridge and higher rank. This may be due to the fact that she had yet to pass the Bridge Officer's Test, although she took command of the ship ahead of lower-ranking officers when the ship was struck by a quantum filament.

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