Star Trek = No Time For Sergeants?

If you’d asked me “Was there one thing Star Trek got wrong that Starship Troopers got right?” I’d have answered, “Impossible. Not one single thing.” But Big Hollywood’s Kurt Schlichter sees it differently:

Where are the non-commissioned officers (NCO), the petty officers and sergeants who actually make any military organization run? No, I can suspend disbelief over Klingons and tribbles, and I actively support the notion of green alien hotties. But the idea of a functioning military unit without sergeants is just a wormhole too far.

Plenty of sergeants in Starship Troopers, not one in Star Trek. Let that be a word to the wise for all of you who would have gone off and used Star Fleet as the model for your country’s military forces.

Just to keep Big Hollywood from batting 1.000, however, it also hosted Mike Long’s Star Trek review, which David Klaus nominates as “the stupidest review from the stupidest reviewer.”

[Thanks to David Klaus for the link.]

6 thoughts on “Star Trek = No Time For Sergeants?

  1. How amazing – of all the people I would have expected to see mentioned in File 770, Kurt Schlichter is the last one I would have named.

    Not that I have anything against the man. Hell, I served with him eons ago in the same Battalion. He was a Company Commander (E Company if I remember correctly) and I was the Personnel Sergeant.

    Awfully sharp that fellow. 😉

  2. “Where are the non-commissioned officers (NCO), the petty officers and sergeants who actually make any military organization run? ”

    Presumably he’s very unfamiliar with Star Trek, or he’d have noticed that a main character of Deep Space Nine, formerly of TNG, was Chief O’Brien.

  3. Star Trek has never been very big on enlisted personnel. In early episodes of the original series, there were a few coverall-wearing minor characters who identified themselves as “Technician So-and-so”, but by the end of the second season Gene Roddenberry stated in The Making of STAR TREK that everyone in the crew was a qualified astronaut and an officer.

    In his first appearances O’Brien had no name or rank mentioned, and later was addressed in one episode of The Next Generation as “Lieutenant O’Brien” before it was established that he was the Transporter Chief, subsequently decided to be a non-commissioned officer position; he continued to wear officer pips on his uniform until his NCO rank badge was created a couple of seasons into Deep Space Nine.

    Only one other episode of TNG showed someone of an enlisted rank, a medical technician who was considered a security risk despite a clean record and a job without access to classified material, because one of his grandparents was Romulan. (“You haff relatives in za old country?”)

  4. Or perhaps Kurt was merely nit picking. Something totally unheard of in fandom.

  5. There were plenty of instances in DS9 of Chief O’Brien talking about how he was glad not to be an officer.

    We also saw dedicated ground troops and enlisted personnel in the episode Nor The Battle To The Strong.

    “In early episodes of the original series, there were a few coverall-wearing minor characters who identified themselves as “Technician So-and-so””

    Quite a few. Or whom Kirk or Spock or McCoy addressed as “Crewman,” or “Crewman [NAME].”

    Plus, of course, the Yeomen. Picard also addressed “crewmen” at times.

    This whole issue is more a product of the intense focus on the starring characters, or at best on a few rucurring characters (nurse Alyssa Ogawa, for instance, or Ro Laren); on TOS we had John Winston playing Mr. Kyle 19 times, in the background. Eddie Paskey stood around with a rare line for 58 episodes, as Mr. Leslie. Mr. Hadley made a few appearances. And there were a handful of others. But mostly we just saw the main characters, guest stars, and extras.

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