Is it certain that Commander-in-Chief of the Federation Starfleet and Starfleet Chief of Staff are the same position? In the modern-day Royal Navy, "First Sea Lord and Chief of the Naval Staff" and "Commander-in-Chief Fleet" are separate positions, the latter of which is subordinate to the former. -- 00:42, June 8, 2010 (UTC)

There is a Star Trek source which specifies these positions are one and the same. I had tried to separate these lists some time back and realized it was to no avail -- there are sources which specify they are one and the same. i do not have my notes with me but next time i edit i will furnish the complete information, unless someone else has it on hand. -- Captain MKB 01:07, June 8, 2010 (UTC)
Apparently, at least one source, the Star Trek IV Sourcebook Update, indicates that a Chief of Staff (Morrow, at the time) reports to the Commander-in-Chief (presuming Nogura was C-in-C). Do you know what source specified the positions were the same? --Columbia clipper 15:53, July 19, 2010 (UTC)
I believe I was working with TOS novel: Triangle but also trying to correlate other sources. I'd heave to re-read a copuple of books to recreate the looking around I did.
A third possibility is that this is administration-dependent -- one CinC may have a Chief of Staff but another CinC may take on the dual role on the basis of some facet of the rules involved. Possibly Nogura was grandfathered in as CinC as a figurehead while another ddid the CoS job even though it had previously been a unified position. (Nogura's return was described as a tumultuous time in Starfleet hierarchy as he was replacing a mutinous cabal) -- Captain MKB 16:14, July 19, 2010 (UTC)
I see you now are getting into the details, I appreciate it -- it's a project I started and then did not have the resources to complete. I'll let you know if I have any input as you work. -- Captain MKB 16:42, July 19, 2010 (UTC)
Maybe the three separate positions have different responsibilities, like Western militaries. For example, the Commander-in-Chief probably exercises authority over absolutely everything. But the CO, Starfleet could issue/manage orders relating to missions, or, in a combat situation, fleet movements and such, but the Chief-of-Staff might have a more strategic and organizational development/planning and administrative role. -- ??? 20.09, November 29, 2013 (EST).

In canonEdit

These are the baseline canon positions used:

  • Archer - "chief of staff", "Starfleet Command" (2160s)
  • Comsol - "commanding officer", "Starfleet Command" (2250s)
  • Nogura - important admiral with no specific title (2270s)
  • Morrow "Commander, Starfleet" (2280s)
  • Cartwright - fleet admiral with no specific title (2280s)
  • Bob Bennett Caflisch - "starfleet chief of staff", 2280s
  • Bill Smillie - "commander in chief", "c in c" (2290s)
  • Landau - "chief of staff", "Starfleet Command" (2340s)
  • Roddenberry -"chief of staff", "Starfleet Command" (2360s-70s)

Here is a selection of canon chief-type ranks used in the Federation Starfleet -- Captain MKB 17:48, July 19, 2010 (UTC)

Other refsEdit

  • Nogura
    • "commanding admiral" (Motion Picture novelization)
    • In n TOS Triangle Commanding admiral is said to be subordinate to Chief of Staff/C in C, which are the same position

Here is a selection of licensed chief-type ranks used in the Federation Starfleet -- Captain MKB 17:48, July 19, 2010 (UTC)

It looks as though the Triangle reference can be creatively interpreted, if necessary. Ambassador Galbraith bows to the C-in-C and accepts the Chief of Staff's offer from her/him, but given his consciously insufferable and disagreeable attitude in the scene, he may have pointedly accepted the offer from the Chief of Staff's superior, rather than from the Chief of Staff himself.
There is also some ambiguity regarding the identity of "the Tellarite", who responds to Galbraith's acceptance. Is the Tellarite the Tellarite member of the Federation Council, like the Andorian earlier in the scene? Or the C-in-C, to whom Galbriath had just spoken? Or the Chief of Staff, whose "eyes hardened" on hearing Galbraith's response to the Tellarite, but who was described just a few paragraphs earlier as being of a height "which matched the Ambassador's"? --Columbia clipper 22:23, July 19, 2010 (UTC)
Triangle contains an additional reference I'd overlooked: "They answered to no one except the Old Man himself—not even to Commanding Admiral Nogura, but to the Chief of Staff of Starfleet." This can also be read either way. A free agent may only report to the officer above Nogura, or may report to the Chief of Staff, but not to Nogura, the Chief of Staff reporting in turn to someone else, perhaps the C-in-C. It does, at least, establish that the Commanding Admiral and the Chief of Staff are separate positions. --Columbia clipper 22:41, July 19, 2010 (UTC)

Overview of conclusions Edit

With the possible exception of Triangle, all references in canon and licensed materials fit into one of three categories. There are some slight variations in these titles. The versions listed above are the most formal of those given:

Commander-in-Chief of Starfleet
Commanding Officer, Starfleet Command (Commander, Starfleet)
Chief of Staff for Starfleet

The following officers are identified under each title:

Commanders-in-Chief of the Federation Starfleet (C-in-C)

(Turner is not identified as C-in-C, but as a Grand Admiral; because the only on-screen C-in-C (Smillie) wears an insignia that identifies his grade as above Fleet Admiral, and wears a uniform bearing an extra gold stripe not seen on the uniforms of Fleet Admirals, it is assumed that Smillie's grade is Grand Admiral, and Turner's position is C-in-C)

Commanding Officer, Starfleet Command (Commander, Starfleet)

Chiefs of Staff for the Federation Starfleet (Starfleet Chief of Staff)

The following officers' ranks were explicitly named or seen, while the others were referred to only as "Admiral", and their ranks have been determined by positional precedent:

  1. TOS novel: Crisis on Centaurus
  2. TOS comic: "... Promises to Keep"
  3. 3.0 3.1 TOS novel: Forged in Fire
  4. TOS movie: Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country
  5. 5.0 5.1 5.2 TOS novel: The Ashes of Eden
  6. 6.0 6.1 TLE novel: Serpents Among the Ruins
  7. ST novel: The Return
  8. ST - Destiny novel: Mere Mortals
  9. 9.0 9.1 (TNG novel: Losing the Peace)
  10. TOS episode: "The Menagerie"
  11. TOS novel: The Lost Years
  12. TOS novel: Triangle
  13. 13.0 13.1 13.2 13.3 13.4 (FASA RPG module: Star Trek IV Sourcebook Update
  14. TOS movie: Star Trek III: The Search for Spock
  15. 15.0 15.1 TOS novel: Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home
  16. 16.0 16.1 ENT episode: "In a Mirror, Darkly"
  17. TOS novel: Swordhunt
  18. 18.0 18.1 TOS novel: The Final Reflection
  19. TOS movie: Star Trek V: The Final Frontier
  20. TNG episode: "Night Terrors"
  21. ST episode: "Encounter at Farpoint"
  22. ST episode: "The Dogs of War"

Were I to speculate, I would surmise that the upper echelon of Starfleet is arranged somewhat like the Royal Navy, with a senior officer who is the uniformed head of the service (the C-in-C), an officer subordinate to them who commands the entire fleet (the Commander, Starfleet), and a a deputy to both who supervises the remaining senior staff officers (the Chief of Staff). This is, however, entirely speculation, and is not part of the licensed or canonical continuity. --Columbia clipper 22:23, July 19, 2010 (UTC)

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