Wesley Crusher Ranks
I've been re-watching TNG and was confused about Wesley's ranks within the first three seasons.

Picard made him an Acting Ensign, which I guess made some sense. He wasn't an Academy graduate so therefore not an official officer. He was basically a civilian who was given a commission based on his skills and knowledge with pending entrance into the Academy. Learning on board the Enterprise earned him credits for the Academy.

Later in Season 3, after not going to the Academy two or three times for various reasons, Picard promotes him to a full Ensign. He still hasn't graduated the Academy so how could he earn a rank like that? Doesn't this suggest that anyone could continually be promoted on a Starship without ever having attended Starfleet Academy? If so, why didn't Harry Kim ever get promoted?

Eventually when Wesley does join the Academy, why didn't he retain his rank? He was essentially demoted to the rank of Cadet, correct? Was his Ensign rank put on hold pending his graduation?

I know I'm thinking way too much into this, but for some reason I find this very interesting all of a sudden haha

This would be more of a "battlefield commission," which would give him rank and privileges only for that assignment or mission.

This rings true for Tom Paris, who was a civilian when brought aboard Voyager, but Janeway made him an officer.
Later in the canon, he retained his rank and carried on in starfleet, but he can be fully commissioned as n officer having already been in starfleet.

Hurry Kim just never deserved a promotion

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Makes sense. Poor Harry lol


I agree with James here. Wesley's promotion to full Ensign had to fit the criteria of what you call a Field comission.

Wesley situation is actually worse in the german version of TNG and much more confusing. Whoever was responsible had no idea what the concept of an "Acting Ensign" means. Furthermore Ensign is translate incorrectly into "Fähnrich", which is germanfor Midshipman. So "Acting Ensign" became translated into "honarary Midshipman" in the german version. Btw, all other ranks retained their english pronounciation. Anyway, when Wesley misses his transport to the Academy and is made full Ensign by Picard, he actually became a Lieutenant in the german version. No kidding.

And for Kim, I hope he became Lt. Cmdr. upon Voyager's return. Janeway cared to promote Tuvok after all, but totally disregards common promotion procedures for Ensign and disregards the fact, that Harry was a department chief.
Actually, come to think of it, didn't all the Maquis also receive a field commission on Voyager?

Haha that's pretty insane!

I don't think there is a "formal" convention for promotions, especially where department heads are given.

Yes it would seem appropriate for Kim to at least hold the rank of lieutenant. After all, Dr. Bashir was Chief Medical Officer on DS9 with only a lieutenant junior grade, and most of the department heads on the Aventine (Ezri Dax as Captain) were only lieutenants. So, I guess it wouldn't be unusual to see an ensign running a department

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(11-09-2015, 01:26 PM)Attilio Wrote: Actually, come to think of it, didn't all the Maquis also receive a field commission on Voyager?
Their commissions were provisional and their rank insignia showed it accordingly. Maybe they learned from the Wesley Crusher Akwardness, when they introduced those provisional rank insignia.
(11-09-2015, 01:45 PM)Jstagg Wrote: So, I guess it wouldn't be unusual to see an ensign running a department
Works in real-life navies. Wink
In the event that you're short handed you can give a civilian a battlefield commission.

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