Standard Duty Stations
Commanding Officer - All Starfleet vessels, stations, starbases, and outposts have a single commanding officer who is responsible for the safety of his or her crew, and also responsible for seeing that the assigned mission of that individual posting is carried out. The Commanding Officer is the final authority aboard a ship, or at any installation; and he or she is the one individual ultimately accountable for the actions of his crew, as individuals or as a group. A Commanding Officer must have the experience to the job, as well as the confidence, of Starfleet Command, that he or she is actually capable of doing that job.
Executive Officer - The Executive Officer, or "First Officer", is second only to the Commanding Officer in authority aboard a ship, or at a Starbase. The Executive Officer functions as representative of the other officers and crew to the CO, and also assures that the CO's orders are carried out. It is also the duty of the Executive Officer to assume command in the Commanding Officer's stead, if he or she is unavailable for any reason, or is unable to perform his or her duty. In time of crisis the XO may be designated as Command Pro Tempore, and is one of three officers capable of jointly removing the CO from command.
Second Officer - At times it is necessary for the XO to assume command in the Commanding Officer's place, and during these times, it is necessary for the Executive Officer to have the assistance of another officer to perform his or her duties. This duty falls to the Second Officer- usually the next highest ranking officer of the line below the XO. The position of Second Officer is not a stand-alone position. If necessary, the Second Officer will temporarily assume the duties of XO, or CO, as a situation dictates, and continue to perform those duties until the respective senior officer is returned to perform them.
Strategic Operations Officer - The Strategic Operations Officer is a co-ordinating officer, of high rank (at least a full Lieutenant) whose duties are to organize and regulate activities between the verying armed divisions aboard a vessel, or at a starbase or installation. During a combat situation, the "StratOps" Officer co-ordinates the movements and deployments of Security, and Tactical personnel assuring that the objective of a mission, and/or the orders of the Commanding Officer are carried out, and that each unit functions co-operatively. He or she also works in tandem with the Tactical analysis department to plan and carry out military objectives.The StratOps Officer is always either security or tactical trained.
Starfleet Intelligence Liaison - One of the most highly specialized divisions in Starfleet, the Intelligence branch is trained out of the Academy at a special facility on Andor. During times of heightened political or military conflict within the Federation, it is commonplace for a uniformed Starfleet officer assigned to the Intelligence service to be stationed aboard all vessels, Cruiser type, and above. This SI Liaison's job is to provide the vessel's commanding officer with access to intelligence necessary for the completion of a mission, and to communicate any intelligence gathered by the ship, or her crew, back to SI Command. The SI Liaison reports directly to the CO or XO, and co-ordinates with the StratOps Officer.
Command Master Chief - The highest ranking enlisted crewman, a Chief Petty Officer, and usually a Master Chief Petty Officer. Called "Master of the Boat" on smaller vessels. Essentially, the "Non-Commissioned CO", in addition to his departmental duties, the Command Master Chief is assigned by the Commanding Officer to function as a Liaison between the rest of the enlisted crew, and the CO, or XO. He or she ensures that enlisted crew understands command policies, evaluates the quality of non-commissioned officer command and leadership, and keeps the senior officers informed as to enlisted morale. He or she is also qualified to serve, temporarily, as XO, or CO if necessary.
Ship's Boatswain - If the Command Master Chief, or CMC can be considered the "CO" of a ship's enlisted crew; then the Ship's Boatswain, or "Bosun" would be the equivalent of a non-commissioned "Executive Officer". The second highest ranking enlisted crewman after the CMC, the Bosun will perform the CMC's duties in his or her absence. Usually a crewman with engineering or operations experience, it is also the Bosun's duties to supervise the enlisted crew in these two vital areas; and furtherly educate new recruits and Cadets in proper shipboard procedure. The Bosun reports directly to the CMC; and also works with the Ship's Brig Officer and Chief Master at Arms to ensure crew discipline.
Engineering - The Engineering section of a starship supplies power for the vessel, as well as overseeing the repair and maintenance of the ship's warp and impulse engines. Engineering is under the command of the ship's Chief Engineering Officer, and the Chief Engineer has a staff of several other engineers serving under him or her. Some officers, some enlisted crew. In short, the engineers are responsible for making sure everything on a starship runs, and runs properly. In addition to the Chief Engineer, and the Assistant Chief Engineer, there are several other specialists normally assigned to an Engineering department.
Medical - The medical department of a ship, or starbase is responsible for the health and physical welbeing of all personel, including civilian residents and visitors. Medical is under the command of the Chief Medical Officer, who, among other authorities is capable of removing any officer from duty, including the CO, if he or she considers that individual to be unfit for duty. Centered in sickbay, the medical department consists of surgery suites, triage units, physical therapy and recovery wards, a pediatrics bay, and a maternity ward. Various medical officers oversee areas of specialization, and all of these report directly to the Chief Medical Officer.
Security - Security is responsible for the internal safety of a vessel, or an installation. This duty includes providing protection for away missions, and assuring the safety of visiting dignitaries, and high ranking Starfleet personnel. It is the duty of the Chief of Security to not only command the section, but to personally supervise the safety of the senior command personnel. It is also within the mandate of the security department to investigate all crimes, violent and non-violent committed or reported within their jurisdiction. Essentially, Starfleet Security is the "police force" of the Federation of the 24th century.
Tactical - The Tactical department is responsible for a starship's offensive and defensive capabilities. A tactical officer oversees both the ship's weapon systems and shielding and defenses, usually from a bridge station. The Chief Tactical Officer also functions as the CO's advisor during a combat situation. Tactical officers are also trained in ground combat, and military action. The tactical department is also responsible for the maintenance of the ship's weapons systems, as well as on-board intelligence activity unless a Starfleet Intelligence representative is on board, in which case tactical co-ordinates their intel efforts with that officer.
Marine Units - A deployment of the Starfleet Marine forces, the Marine Unit on a starbase is responsible for providing extra security, for repelling military attack, and for use in armed action on a planetary surface. The latter duty is also part of a Marine's job aboard a starship, where the Marine Unit's primary function is the use, and maintenance of starfighters assigned for assault, and defensive actions as well as for short range patrols. The Marine Unit CO co-ordinates efforts with Tactical and Security officers, and reports directly to the CO, or the StratOps officer. In addition to the Marine Unit CO, and XO, a Fighter Commander is assigned to all shipboard detachments. On larger vessels a specialized Hazard Unit will often be assigned, under a raking officer. These units, made up of Marine engineers and demolitions experts, report directly to the Unit CO.
Science - The science department, commanded by the Chief Science Officer, is in charge of regulating all of the data-gathering functions on board a ship, or at a properly supplied station or starbase. From data on newly encountered species, to geological information on new worlds, and stellar cartography, science collects, catalogues, and maintains all pertinent information gained in exploratory missions. The Chief Science Officer, or officer on duty on the bridge is also responsible for supplying the CO, or XO with pertinent scientific data during a wide variety of situations on the bridge.
Operations - Operations Management, onboard a starship, is in charge of assuring the necessary distribution of resources to all parts of the ship. To perform this function "Ops" often works in tandem with science or engineering, and officers working in ops often have training in one of these other departments as well. The Operations Chief co-ordinates a staff of operations officers and enlisted crew in making certain that all essential systems aboard a vessel are kept running, and that each department has the power, equipment, and sometimes even personnel that it needs. Ops is also responsible for shipboard organization, such as assigning crew quarters.
Helm & Navigation - A Flight Control Officer, or Helmsman must be present on the bridge of a starship at all times. Trained both in the actual, physical maneuvering of both starships and shuttle craft (including runabouts), and in navigation and reading starmaps and charts, a Starfleet Helmsman is in charge of not only plotting the course a ship will take in response to the orders of the CO or XO, but in maneuvering the vessel, during strategic operations and combat situations. The Chief Helm Officer or another senior officer will always be on duty on the bridge. And other officers and enlisted crew trained in Flight Control procedure are assigned to pilot shuttlecraft.
Counseling - In the same way that the Medical department is responsible for the physical well being of the crew, and for taking care of their physical and biological health issues, the Counseling department is assigned the duties of supervising the mental and emotional health of the officers and crew of a starship, or starbase. Headed by the Chief Counselor, or "Ship's Counselor" the counseling department maintains the mental welbeing of the crew, conducts psychiatric evaluations, and maintains psychiatric profiles of all personnel. Additionally, the counseling staff are often called upon to either perform diplomatic duties, or assist the senior officers in doing so. The Ship's Counselor, like the Chief Medical Officer, is capable of reliving any officer of duty based on their emotional fitness.

This page is based on part of the USS Galaxy SIM, created and maintained by Mark Stephen Williams. Some of the information on this page is copied from, or based on the USS Galaxy Ship Tour. Other information on this page was written by Tamanny J. Knox, LVN.
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