In most STA references, the writers use the phrase ‘Star Fleet officers’ when talking about Star Fleet personnel. But, as any veteran will tell you, there is a big, wide chasm between ‘we and thee’, as the saying goes.
And with the TNG and DS9 character of Chief [PETTY OFFICER!] O’Brian, creating a 'Fleet enlisted man ought to be a no-brainer.
Look at it this way:
- Starfleet has better than 500 ships in commission at any one time. Most very likely more than that.
- Each of these ships is crewed by 50-1500 personnel
- Educating a Star Fleet officer is expensive. First they spend 4 years at the Academy, then another two years with the 'Fleet before they’re allowed to do anything without supervision [every military NCO’s career is replete with ‘what the eff’ing lieutenant/ensign did this time’ stories]
- It is a complete waste of that money to have a Lieutenant JG doing work that a Petty Officer 3 could do at half the expenditure of time and resources. The Federation may have moved beyond ‘money’, but they still can’t replicate training time and resources spent are gone for good.
- The whole mission of officers is to LEAD, not turn wrenches. Even Starfleet Engineers are supposed to be supervising work parties and ensuring work is performed to a given standard and on time. You don’t get to be ‘Scotty’ without learning how to boot the occasional ■■■. And anyone want to bet that B’Ehlanna didn’t have to occasionally ‘wall-to-wall counsel’ a former Maquis who wasn’t performing up to snuff?
My point in this post to twofold:
- Could some of the writers of STA entries give a little respect to the poor, suffering E5’s and below of the Fleet? and
- How about some character generation on enlisted personnel?