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Thx to Bernard and possible New Project 
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First off: a public tip o' the space suit herlment to Bernard for forwarding to me a copy of the FRS ship listing from days of yore. Nice to see it again after so long. Gonna clean it up and update the data (at the very least add Aridas' nifty Fifty for Fifty ships to the mix), and will pass along to folks when ready.

Also am considering a New Project. Have been reflecting that I have not made a real contribution here in awhile. To remedy that I would like to solicit opinion on what folks would be interested in seeing:

1) An examination of the United Federation Marine Corps (UFMC)/Mobile Ground Forces - don't worry, Aridas I believe I can reconcile those two labels in a way they can both be valid.

2) An examination of Star Fleet enlisted personnel - ranks and rating/specialties.

3) Further expansion of my earlier detailing of Perimeter Action Ships organization and deployment.

4) Something else entirely - you tell me.

Rick

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02 Jul 2017 11:04
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I hate that we don't see eye to eye on the question of... I'm not sure how to phrase it? "Commissions only" doesn't really characterize it because that isn't really what I think they meant. I think they were using the idea of the way police ranks run unbroken from patrolman to chief as a way of characterizing some unbroken naval/coast guard/NOAA hierarchy. So not the distinction of an enlistment versus a commission, but also not "workers versus bosses". I suspect their breakdown was tactical versus strategic, but if you could explore how it might work, I would be very supportive. You're a military man and nobody can understand how tge seamless continuum described in TMoST might function except someone who has experienced the current divisions and understands why they exist.

As for marines, that's my only other qualm. I think "security" was part of a "Security Corps" and that what we saw on ship was indeed very much like marines on a naval vessel, but just another name. Just as they didn't use "navy" I suspect they carefully avoided "marines". The only thing about this that troubles me is that they wore the same red shirts worn by engineering and other ship's services. So they seem to be treating them more as Navy SPs than shipboard Marines. Thus, maybe in the Starfleet context, the Security Corps are not a separate entity but like Kirk said, "a combined service".

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02 Jul 2017 14:38
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aridas wrote:
I hate that we don't see eye to eye on the question of... I'm not sure how to phrase it? "Commissions only" doesn't really characterize it because that isn't really what I think they meant. I think they were using the idea of the way police ranks run unbroken from patrolman to chief as a way of characterizing some unbroken naval/coast guard/NOAA hierarchy. So not the distinction of an enlistment versus a commission, but also not "workers versus bosses". I suspect their breakdown was tactical versus strategic, but if you could explore how it might work, I would be very supportive. You're a military man and nobody can understand how tge seamless continuum described in TMoST might function except someone who has experienced the current divisions and understands why they exist.


In a nutshell it's not as much worker-management (although that is an aspect of the system), or some sort of upper class-lower class distinction between commissioned officers and enlisted personnel. It is a matter of role/function in the organization. Commissioned officers a are specifically trained to function as leadership, and to be the decision-makers. Now, this is not to say that everyone else is therefore expected to function as some sort of drone. The military does expect personnel at all levels to exercise a certain level of common sense and decisiveness within their scope of function/authority and not to just blindly follow direction thrown at them from above. Oft-times getting the job done will trump the specifics of just how the job got done.

That being said, the division of labor/authority is important for the functioning of the organization. An officer in charge of a unit will decide WHAT is going to be done. But a smart Second Lieutenant in charge of a platoon is going to look to his E-7 Platoon Sergeant on the HOW it will be done. Typically that E-7 has been in the service since back when the lieutenant was probably still in elementary school. The respect has to flow both ways - from the sergeant to the lieutenant regarding authority and from the lieutenant to the sergeant in regard to experience. When presented with an operational order a good platoon sergeant will pull an 2LT aside if need be and present options or suggestions to the lieutenant on what may be the best way to accomplish that objective. But, ultimately, it is recognized by all involved wherein the command authority and final word rests.

I believe this same structure is gonna be essential even in the 23rd century about the gleaming starships of the UFP, crewed by those sterling enlightened folks who make up Starfleet. As I said officers are intended as leaders, decision makers and strategic thinkers. They are meant to function along a broad-based scope. They are generalists - Spock is a good example of this, he isn't only trained in one specific are of knowledge or expertise, but is available to Kirk as an advisor on a broad range of matters. Kirk himself is both a soldier and a diplomat who needs to be spending his time concerned with the larger implications of his actions and choices. He's got a crew to see that those objectives are carried out. Enlisted personnel, on the other hand are employed in a more specific scope of expertise/authority - because that is what is needed. You don't need the Transporter Technician 2nd Class to have a full four-year Academy education, you just need him to be really good at running a transporter. Your Chief Engineer can worry about theory and what have you.

Basically you've got three levels of organization: Comisioned officers setting direction and making policy decisions. Non-Commissioned Officers (Chiefs, Petty Officers) who function to ensure the direction of the officer's is carried out (the sweat the details so the officer's can spend their time doing their jobs). and then you have the junior enlisted carrying out the day-to-day functions that keep your ship moving along at warp whatever.

Again I do not see that these distinctions mean that officers are "better" that enlisted people, or that enlisted people are just a bunch of poorly educated rabble who need to have college-educated officers in charge of them.

The police or NASA analogies don't really work in an organization as big or broad as Starfleet. In an Apollo capsule it doesn't matter that everyone there is a Lieutenant Colonel or Colonel because there's only three of them and they've got a very specific mission with very specific parameters. And a police force has a relatively narrow mission to carry out. And even though a patrolman may eventually rise to the level of Chief of Police, there is still a hierarchy that needs to be in place. And there is not a reason at all that Starfleet can't be "promoting from within" and sending enlisted folks to some sort of OCS or abbreviated SF Academy type school if they show the inclination/aptitude to be an officer in the fleet.

Quote:
As for marines, that's my only other qualm. I think "security" was part of a "Security Corps" and that what we saw on ship was indeed very much like marines on a naval vessel, but just another name. Just as they didn't use "navy" I suspect they carefully avoided "marines". The only thing about this that troubles me is that they wore the same red shirts worn by engineering and other ship's services. So they seem to be treating them more as Navy SPs than shipboard Marines. Thus, maybe in the Starfleet context, the Security Corps are not a separate entity but like Kirk said, "a combined service".


The redshirts, in my view would be the Starfleet Security Corps roughly equivalent to present day US Navy Master At Arms personnel or US Army Military Police. And I agree aboard ship the fill a lot of the same function you see US Marines filling aboard US Navy ships. But, as far as Marines or Mobile Ground Forces, there is likely another organization at play. Redshirts are cops, they're security guards, not Infantry or combat troops. It's a matter of two different skill sets and types of organization. Not to say there isn't some overlap, but two different things nonetheless. FWIW, Enterprise got this right (IMO) showing us Reed's shipboard security guys and the MACO troops that appeared about halfway through the series.

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04 Jul 2017 12:18
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