History Main / ArtisticLicenseMilitary

16th Jan '17 7:21:11 PM BigJaredMonkey
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* In ''Film/CourageUnderFire'', a female army officer is being vetted as the first female recipient of the Medal of Honor. The problem is, the first female army officer to earn the Medal of Honor was Captain Mary Edwards Walker, an army surgeon, who received the award for her heroic actions during the US Civil War, 135 years prior to the time ''Film/CourageUnderFire'' is set (though at that time the Medal of Honor was the Army's ''only'' military decoration).

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* In ''Film/CourageUnderFire'', a female army officer is being vetted as the first female recipient of the Medal of Honor. The problem is, the first female army officer to earn the Medal of Honor was Captain Mary Edwards Walker, an army surgeon, who received the award for her heroic actions during the US Civil War, 135 years prior to the time ''Film/CourageUnderFire'' is set (though at set.
** It should be noted
that time between 1861 and 1897, the Medal of Honor was given out by the Army's ''only'' bushel due to it effectively being the sole medal given out by the various American military decoration).services at all. Because of this, in 1917, a joint military tribunal reviewed the various Medal of Honor citations and purged almost a thousand of them from the rolls. Walker's medal was rescinded by the 1917 review board because of her gender, despite how she had participated in major campaigns from Bull Run to Chickamauga, and even endured three months as a Confederate prisoner of war. In 1977, President UsefulNotes/JimmyCarter restored the Medal to Captain Walker at the behest of her descendants and the American Medal of Honor Society.
8th Jan '17 1:16:11 PM nombretomado
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** Speaking of Fury, his rank is often given as Colonel while as Director of S.H.I.E.L.D. when in reality, he'd probably at least be a General to command a military organization that large. Fixed in TheUltimates where he is in fact a general.

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** Speaking of Fury, his rank is often given as Colonel while as Director of S.H.I.E.L.D. when in reality, he'd probably at least be a General to command a military organization that large. Fixed in TheUltimates ''ComicBook/TheUltimates'' where he is in fact a general.
4th Dec '16 3:24:50 PM StarSword
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* In the film ''Below'', the ghost story is set on a submarine and an incredible amount of artistic license is taken with how roomy the submarine is. Few movies can accurately portray how cramped, crowded, and claustrophobic a submarine is, but this particular submarine is shown to have fairly large rooms, multiple decks, and corridors wide enough for two people to walk comfortably side by side. This was mainly done to allow characters enough room to wander off by themselves so that spooky events could ensue. Both modern and World War II era submarines are so cramped that all off duty personnel are usually expected to be in their racks so as to stay out of the way of the people on duty. Only the largest "boomers" could even try to approach having this much space.

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* In the film ''Below'', ''Film/{{Below}}'', the ghost story is set on a submarine and an incredible amount of artistic license is taken with how roomy the submarine is. Few movies can accurately portray how cramped, crowded, and claustrophobic a submarine is, but this particular submarine is shown to have fairly large rooms, multiple decks, and corridors wide enough for two people to walk comfortably side by side. This was mainly done to allow characters enough room to wander off by themselves so that spooky events could ensue. Both modern and World War II era submarines are so cramped that all off duty personnel are usually expected to be in their racks so as to stay out of the way of the people on duty. Only the largest "boomers" could even try to approach having this much space.


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* In ''Film/StarTrekVITheUndiscoveredCountry'', a character is identified as "Colonel West" but wears the Starfleet naval insignia of a vice admiral. [[CanonFodder Fandom has understandably made hay out of this.]]
23rd Nov '16 11:42:50 AM FurryKef
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* A deliberate example occurred in the 1960's ''WesternAnimation/{{Rocky and Bullwinkle}}'' show. Boris Badenov showed up at an American military compound and tried to seize control based on his seniority, claiming that he was a six star general. When the general in charge showed that he, too, had six stars, Boris responded with "Yes, but yours don't light up". The rest of the base accepted this without question. Nobody points out that there is and has only ever been ''one'' six-star general in the US Army - George Washington, [[https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Six-star_rank who was given the rank posthumously in 1976]] so that he could outrank officers who held rank of five star general which was created in WWII - which meant that at the time the episode was originally aired, both parties were claiming a rank that didn't even ''exist'').

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* A deliberate example occurred in the 1960's ''WesternAnimation/{{Rocky and Bullwinkle}}'' show. Boris Badenov showed up at an American military compound and tried to seize control based on his seniority, claiming that he was a six star general. When the general in charge showed that he, too, had six stars, Boris responded with "Yes, but yours don't light up". The rest of the base accepted this without question. Nobody points out that there is and has only ever been ''one'' six-star general in the US Army - George Washington, [[https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Six-star_rank who was given the rank posthumously in 1976]] so that he could outrank officers who held rank of five star general which was created in WWII - which meant that at the time the episode was originally aired, both parties were claiming a rank that didn't even ''exist'').''exist''.
22nd Nov '16 11:29:28 PM FurryKef
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** Though it really happens in many countries which have no separate Navy armed forces or Air Force. No need to create separate ranks for the pilot and comander of your three planes...

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** Though it really happens in many countries which have no separate Navy armed forces or Air Force. No need to create separate ranks for the pilot and comander commander of your three planes...
19th Nov '16 10:24:44 AM StarSword
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* ''VideoGame/StarTrekOnline'': Using rank as a synonym for CharacterLevel (from Lieutenant at level 5 to ''Fleet Admiral'' at level 60) results in a lot of OutrankingYourJob and means the player is frequently taking orders from people they outrank by several grades, as well as resulting in a ludicrous ''Fanfic/MarissaPicard''-like situation where you apparently went from junior officer to 5-star in ''eighteen months''. It also inconveniences the developers in the event they ever want to raise the level cap again: the increase in rank cap to fleet admiral resulted in jokes that the next expansion would make you President of the Federation.

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* ''VideoGame/StarTrekOnline'': ''VideoGame/StarTrekOnline'':
**
Using rank as a synonym for CharacterLevel (from Lieutenant at level 5 to ''Fleet Admiral'' at level 60) results in a lot of OutrankingYourJob and means the player is frequently taking orders from people they outrank by several grades, as well as resulting in a ludicrous ''Fanfic/MarissaPicard''-like situation where you apparently went from junior officer to 5-star in ''eighteen months''. It also inconveniences the developers in the event they ever want to raise the level cap again: the increase in rank cap to fleet admiral resulted in jokes that the next expansion would make you President of the Federation.Federation.
** Miral Paris is a Starfleet security officer, which according to the game's conventions means she should be wearing red coloring on her uniform: red is for security and tactical personnel, as well as commanding officers and admirals. For some reason they have her in yellow, which is for operations and engineering specialties (though it included security personnel in the ''Series/StarTrekVoyager'' timeframe, which was when her mother served as an engineering officer; this is possibly a misplaced use of GenerationXerox). Season 10 makes the same error in the opposite direction by putting Sarish Minna, Deep Space 9's operations officer, in a red security/tactical uniform. Possibly the devs confused the term "operations officer" with the post of "''strategic'' operations officer" held by Worf in ''Series/StarTrekDeepSpaceNine'' (for which he wore a red uniform).
19th Nov '16 10:18:54 AM StarSword
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* ''Series/StargateSG1'', ''Series/{{Stargate|Atlantis}}'' and ''Series/StargateUniverse''
** Mostly averted, although there were some uniform oddities that popped up now and then, most notably an airman in the pilot wearing the insignia for both a Staff Sergeant and a Major. It was [[BackedByThePentagon officially endorsed by the U.S. Air Force]], and had military advisers on board to avoid most flagrant mistakes.

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* ''Series/StargateSG1'', ''Series/{{Stargate|Atlantis}}'' and ''Series/StargateUniverse''
''Franchise/StargateVerse''
** Mostly averted, although there were some uniform oddities that popped up now and then, most notably an airman in the pilot wearing the insignia for both a Staff Sergeant and a Major. It was [[BackedByThePentagon officially endorsed by the U.S. Air Force]], and had military advisers on board to avoid most flagrant mistakes.mistakes (they would reportedly even complain if Creator/AmandaTapping let her hair grow longer than regulation in her role as Samantha Carter).



* ''Series/StargateUniverse'':
** A character is consistently identified as a Sergeant despite wearing the rank insignia of a Senior Airman. This is sort-of understandable, as modern-day Senior Airmen in the USAF wear the same rank insignia that Sergeants did back when the Air Force rank of "Sergeant" existed. That USAF rank was eliminated in 1991 (it was at the same paygrade as a Senior Airman anyways) and the insignia repurposed.
** The 20-year old ''Master Sergeant'' Ronald Greer. Master Sergeant is a rank that requires at least 16 years prior experience, meaning Greer could not possibly have reached that rank at his age, unless we assume some kind of AppliedPhlebotinum or time dilation plot went on behind the scenes. This being both ''Stargate'' and a more serial show than even ''SG-1'' was in later seasons, this seems unlikely... [[note]]The character of Greer, originally named Ron "Psycho" Stasiak, was conceived as a man in his 30s, a more realistic age for that rank, but when Jamil Walker Smith was cast the role was rewritten somewhat. The rank was not among the changes.[[/note]]

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* ** ''Series/StargateUniverse'':
** *** A character is consistently identified as a Sergeant despite wearing the rank insignia of a Senior Airman. This is sort-of understandable, as modern-day Senior Airmen in the USAF wear the same rank insignia that Sergeants did back when the Air Force rank of "Sergeant" existed. That USAF rank was eliminated in 1991 (it was at the same paygrade as a Senior Airman anyways) and the insignia repurposed.
** *** The 20-year old ''Master Sergeant'' Ronald Greer. Master Sergeant is a rank that requires at least 16 years prior experience, meaning Greer could not possibly have reached that rank at his age, unless we assume some kind of AppliedPhlebotinum or time dilation plot went on behind the scenes. This being both ''Stargate'' and a more serial show than even ''SG-1'' was in later seasons, this seems unlikely... [[note]]The character of Greer, originally named Ron "Psycho" Stasiak, was conceived as a man in his 30s, a more realistic age for that rank, but when Jamil Walker Smith was cast the role was rewritten somewhat. The rank was not among the changes.[[/note]]



* In ''Series/StarTrekTheOriginalSeries'', costumes often did not match stated ranks, and there would be some confusion over what rank a character held. The only character to receive a promotion during the run of the series is Spock, who starts out as a Lieutenant Commander and is promoted to full Commander at some indeterminate point in the first season. However, he wears the two-braided shirt, denoting a full Commander, throughout. Many other characters described in dialogue as a Lieutenant Commander also wear the two braids of a full Commander. There is also no real distinction in costuming between junior officers and enlisted crewmen.
* ''Series/StarTrekDeepSpaceNine'':
** Usually averted. ''[=DS9=]'' does manage to keep everyone's ranks straight, even the Army style ranks of the Bajoran military. The only gray area is Chief O'Brien, but even he is consistently recognized as a specialist officer (NCO/Warrant) rather than a commissioned Starfleet officer, allowing him to, among other things, avoid getting in dress uniform and going to formal occasions a few times.
** Occasionally you see the Chief chew out an Ensign for screwing up an engineering task (he's still respectful about it), which some people complain about. If you were an EnsignNewbie and your commanding officer has placed you on work detail with a decorated CPO whose job designation is Chief Operations Officer, he's allowed to chew you out over your failures with the engineering. Indeed, in some military services, mentoring inexperienced officers was one of the duties of senior [=NCOs=], given their experience. Another point about his rank was actually ''brought up'' by the character: when Nog is accepted to Starfleet Academy, O'Brien muses that if Nog ever makes ensign he's going to have to start calling the kid ''sir''.
** One interesting problem with Chief O'Brien. For several years (including during his days as an engineer on the ''Enterprise'' in TNG) the writers and costumers apparently couldn't decide what rank he was (he wore an Ensign's insignia in his first appearance and went all over the chart from there). [[http://en.memory-alpha.org/wiki/Miles_O%27Brien#Problematic_Rank_History Memory Alpha has the full list.]] By '95 they finally decided he was a Senior Chief Petty Officer, where he stayed (and he was eventually even given a unique noncom's rank patch instead of the gold pins worn by officers, clearly based on real-life petty officers' insignia).
** Season seven's "Field of Fire" has Ezri Dax refer to a bit character as "not the first drunken ensign I've escorted home".[[note]]presumably in reference to Ben Sisko, who was friends with [[TheNthDoctor Curzon Dax]] as a junior officer[[/note]] However, the character's rank insignia, one gold pin and one black pin, is that of a junior grade lieutenant (and he's correctly referred to as a lieutenant in the preceding scene).
* ''Series/StarTrekTheNextGeneration'': Crusher and Troi each end up in command on separate occasions, despite being in departments that would put them far down the chain of command, if they were in it at all -- Crusher when the captain was alive, well, and (at the time she was placed in command) available. Oh yeah, ''and the ship was in Borg space.'' The problem is that the show often confuses 'being in command' with '[[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Conn_(nautical) having the conn]]' or [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Duty_officer being the command duty officer]] or [[https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Officer_of_the_deck officer of the deck]]. For obvious reasons, the bridge of a ship cannot be left unattended at any time while the ship is under way, but the captain himself cannot be on the bridge and in the captain's chair 24-7 (if nothing else, the man does need to sleep sometime). Therefore, while Captain Picard remains the Commanding Officer of the Enterprise so long as he is medically eligible to perform his duties and Starfleet HQ doesn't relieve him of command or issue him Permanent Change of Station orders to somewhere else, he is not actually 'in command' of navigating the ship on an immediate basis unless he's actually on the bridge. To solve the problem of 'Picard cannot operate forever without rest, nor can he be in two places at once', other officers are left in charge of the bridge watch (usually on a rotating schedule), and they act in the captain's name and with his authority for anything that comes up, if Picard can't be there to handle it himself/there's no time to get him on the comm and ask him what he wants done about something. This is likely why, when leaving the bridge, Picard says "You have the bridge" rather than "You're in command now."
** It is mentioned in a few episodes that to have the ability to command the ship during normal circumstances, one must first be classified as a bridge officer. To do that, you must pass the Bridge Officer's Test.

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* ''Franchise/StarTrek'':
**
In ''Series/StarTrekTheOriginalSeries'', costumes often did not match stated ranks, and there would be some confusion over what rank a character held. The only character to receive a promotion during the run of the series is Spock, who starts out as a Lieutenant Commander and is promoted to full Commander at some indeterminate point in the first season. However, he wears the two-braided shirt, denoting a full Commander, throughout. Many other characters described in dialogue as a Lieutenant Commander also wear the two braids of a full Commander. There is also no real distinction in costuming between junior officers and enlisted crewmen.
* ** ''Series/StarTrekDeepSpaceNine'':
** *** Usually averted. ''[=DS9=]'' does manage to keep everyone's ranks straight, even the Army style ranks of the Bajoran military. The only gray area is Chief O'Brien, O'Brien[[note]]He started on TNG as an unnamed ensign assigned to conn and went all over the chart from there. [[http://en.memory-alpha.org/wiki/Miles_O%27Brien#Problematic_Rank_History Memory Alpha has the full list.]] By '95 they finally decided he was a Senior Chief Petty Officer, where he stayed (and he was eventually even given a unique noncom's rank patch instead of the gold pins worn by officers, clearly based on real-life petty officers' insignia).[[/note]], but even he is consistently recognized as a specialist officer (NCO/Warrant) rather than a commissioned Starfleet officer, allowing him to, among other things, avoid getting in dress uniform and going to formal occasions a few times.
** *** Occasionally you see the Chief chew out an Ensign for screwing up an engineering task (he's still respectful about it), which some people complain about. This is actually RealityIsUnrealistic: If you were you're an EnsignNewbie and your commanding officer has placed you on work detail with a decorated CPO whose job designation is Chief Operations Officer, he's allowed to chew you out over your failures with the engineering. Indeed, in some military services, mentoring inexperienced officers was one of the duties of senior [=NCOs=], given their experience. Another point about his rank was actually ''brought up'' by the character: when Nog is accepted to Starfleet Academy, O'Brien muses that if Nog ever makes ensign he's going to have to start calling the kid ''sir''.
** One interesting problem with Chief O'Brien. For several years (including during his days as an engineer on the ''Enterprise'' in TNG) the writers and costumers apparently couldn't decide what rank he was (he wore an Ensign's insignia in his first appearance and went all over the chart from there). [[http://en.memory-alpha.org/wiki/Miles_O%27Brien#Problematic_Rank_History Memory Alpha has the full list.]] By '95 they finally decided he was a Senior Chief Petty Officer, where he stayed (and he was eventually even given a unique noncom's rank patch instead of the gold pins worn by officers, clearly based on real-life petty officers' insignia).
**
*** Season seven's "Field of Fire" has Ezri Dax refer to a bit character as "not the first drunken ensign I've escorted home".[[note]]presumably [[note]]This presumably in reference to Ben Sisko, who was friends with [[TheNthDoctor Curzon Dax]] as a junior officer[[/note]] officer.[[/note]] However, the character's rank insignia, one gold pin and one black pin, is that of a junior grade lieutenant (and he's correctly referred to as a lieutenant in the preceding scene).
* ''Series/StarTrekTheNextGeneration'': Crusher and Troi each end up in command on separate occasions, despite being in departments that would put them far down the chain of command, if they were in it at all -- Crusher when the captain was alive, well, and (at the time she was placed in command) available. Oh yeah, ''and the ship was in Borg space.'' The problem is that the show often confuses 'being in command' with '[[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Conn_(nautical) having the conn]]' or [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Duty_officer being the command duty officer]] or [[https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Officer_of_the_deck officer of the deck]]. For obvious reasons, the bridge of a ship cannot be left unattended at any time while the ship is under way, but the captain himself cannot be on the bridge and in the captain's chair 24-7 (if nothing else, the man does need to sleep sometime). Therefore, while Captain Picard remains the Commanding Officer of the Enterprise so long as he is medically eligible to perform his duties and Starfleet HQ doesn't relieve him of command or issue him Permanent Change of Station orders to somewhere else, he is not actually 'in command' of navigating the ship on an immediate basis unless he's actually on the bridge. To solve the problem of 'Picard cannot operate forever without rest, nor can he be in two places at once', other officers are left in charge of the bridge watch (usually on a rotating schedule), and they act in the captain's name and with his authority for anything that comes up, if Picard can't be there to handle it himself/there's no time to get him on the comm and ask him what he wants done about something. This is likely why, when leaving the bridge, Picard says "You have the bridge" rather than "You're in command now."
** It is mentioned in a few episodes that to have the ability to command the ship during normal circumstances, one must first be classified as a bridge officer. To do that, you must pass the Bridge Officer's Test.
scene).


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* ''Series/BabylonFive'' has some problems with Earthforce naval ranks. The uniforms in the series are pretty clear: blue for naval personnel, gray for security, green for ground forces. However, ''General'' William Hague and ''Major'' Ed Ryan are both apparently naval officers, whereas the rest of the cast follow the standard NATO naval rank system.
15th Oct '16 11:35:36 AM Miracle@StOlaf
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* In ''Film/{{The Secret Life of Walter Mitty|1947}}'', in a fantasy sequence set on a British airbase, Mitty (Danny Kaye) addresses an RAF officer as "Colonel". There is no such rank in the RAF; the equivalent rank is "Group-Captain". Incidentally, the officer is wearing the uniform of an Air Vice-Marshal, equivalent to an Army Lieutanant-General, while Mitty, supposedly a Squadron-Leader, wears the uniform of a Group-Captain! Perhaps justified in that the protagonist is a daydreaming civilian.

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* In ''Film/{{The Secret Life of Walter Mitty|1947}}'', in a fantasy sequence set on a British airbase, Mitty (Danny Kaye) addresses an RAF officer as "Colonel". There is no such rank in the RAF; the equivalent rank is "Group-Captain". Incidentally, the officer is wearing the uniform of an Air Vice-Marshal, equivalent to an Army Lieutanant-General, while Mitty, supposedly a Squadron-Leader, wears the uniform of a Group-Captain! Perhaps justified in that the protagonist is a daydreaming civilian.civilian who's obviously clueless about the subject.
15th Oct '16 11:12:52 AM Miracle@StOlaf
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* In ''Film/{{The Secret Life of Walter Mitty|1947}}'', in a fantasy sequence set on a British airbase, Mitty (Danny Kaye) addresses an RAF officer as "Colonel". There is no such rank in the RAF; the equivalent rank is "Group-Captain". Incidentally, the officer is wearing the uniform of an Air Vice-Marshal, equivalent to an Army Lieutanant-General, while Mitty, supposedly a Squadron-Leader, wears the uniform of a Group-Captain!

to:

* In ''Film/{{The Secret Life of Walter Mitty|1947}}'', in a fantasy sequence set on a British airbase, Mitty (Danny Kaye) addresses an RAF officer as "Colonel". There is no such rank in the RAF; the equivalent rank is "Group-Captain". Incidentally, the officer is wearing the uniform of an Air Vice-Marshal, equivalent to an Army Lieutanant-General, while Mitty, supposedly a Squadron-Leader, wears the uniform of a Group-Captain!Group-Captain! Perhaps justified in that the protagonist is a daydreaming civilian.



* Damn Wayans is [[RuleOfFunny much too young to have served in Vietnam]] in ''Film/MajorPayne'', and also would been at least a colonel by the mid 90s, if not retired.

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* Damn Damon Wayans is [[RuleOfFunny much too young to have served in Vietnam]] in ''Film/MajorPayne'', and also would been at least a colonel by the mid 90s, if not retired.
14th Oct '16 12:09:33 AM bombadil211
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* ''VideoGame/StarTrekOnline'':
** Using rank as a synonym for CharacterLevel (from Lieutenant at level 5 to ''Fleet Admiral'' at level 60) results in a lot of OutrankingYourJob and means the player is frequently taking orders from people they outrank by several grades, as well as resulting in a ludicrous ''Fanfic/MarissaPicard''-like situation where you apparently went from junior officer to 5-star in ''eighteen months''. It also inconveniences the developers in the event they ever want to raise the level cap again: the increase in rank cap to fleet admiral resulted in jokes that the next expansion would make you President of the Federation.
** Miral Paris is a Starfleet security officer, which according to the game's conventions means she should be wearing red coloring on her uniform: red is for security and tactical personnel, as well as commanding officers and admirals. For some reason they have her in yellow, which is for operations and engineering specialties (though it included security personnel in the ''Series/StarTrekVoyager'' timeframe, which was when her mother served as an engineering officer; this is possibly a misplaced use of GenerationXerox). Season 10 makes the same error in the opposite direction by putting Sarish Minna, Deep Space 9's operations officer, in a red security/tactical uniform. Possibly the devs confused the term "operations officer" with the post of "''strategic'' operations officer" held by Worf in ''Series/StarTrekDeepSpaceNine'' (for which he wore a red uniform).

to:

* ''VideoGame/StarTrekOnline'':
**
''VideoGame/StarTrekOnline'': Using rank as a synonym for CharacterLevel (from Lieutenant at level 5 to ''Fleet Admiral'' at level 60) results in a lot of OutrankingYourJob and means the player is frequently taking orders from people they outrank by several grades, as well as resulting in a ludicrous ''Fanfic/MarissaPicard''-like situation where you apparently went from junior officer to 5-star in ''eighteen months''. It also inconveniences the developers in the event they ever want to raise the level cap again: the increase in rank cap to fleet admiral resulted in jokes that the next expansion would make you President of the Federation.
** Miral Paris is a Starfleet security officer, which according to the game's conventions means she should be wearing red coloring on her uniform: red is for security and tactical personnel, as well as commanding officers and admirals. For some reason they have her in yellow, which is for operations and engineering specialties (though it included security personnel in the ''Series/StarTrekVoyager'' timeframe, which was when her mother served as an engineering officer; this is possibly a misplaced use of GenerationXerox). Season 10 makes the same error in the opposite direction by putting Sarish Minna, Deep Space 9's operations officer, in a red security/tactical uniform. Possibly the devs confused the term "operations officer" with the post of "''strategic'' operations officer" held by Worf in ''Series/StarTrekDeepSpaceNine'' (for which he wore a red uniform).
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