When serving on board a star ship or at a Starfleet facility it is important to know your role. Below are the various positions and what their duties entail.
COMMANDING OFFICER: The principle authority on board a vessel or at a base, the CO’s job is the overall well being of his ship or facility and his crew and to carry out whatever missions assigned them. A CO does not always hold the rank of captain but often bears the title of captain while on board ship.
FIRST OFFICER: Also known as the Executive Officer or XO, the first officer’s duties a primarily to aid the CO in the execution of missions and day to day running of the ship/base/facility and in the case of missions often lead away teams. The relationship between first officer and commanding officer in terms of things like crew assignments varies from ship to ship, depending upon the whims of the CO. In certain situations XOs might find themselves doing double duty as head of a department.
OPERATIONS OFFICER: The Operations department is concerned with the day to day running of a ship, from requisitioning supplies to basic maintenance to assigning quarters to crew members. On the bridge Operations has access to one of the most versatile consoles, allowing them quick and ready access to sensors, communications and energy allocation. An Operations officer serving on board a ship must also possess a basic background in the hard sciences as well as computer science, while Operations Chiefs on board stations or surface based facilities usually are focused on maintenance and technical duties. In the absence of a dedicated Chief Science Officer the Chief Operations Officer is in charge of that department.
CHIEF ENGINEER: The Chief Engineering Officer’s principle duty is to insure the vessel’s impulse and warp engines are in top working order. While Operations might be tasked with overall ship maintenance the CEO oversees any and all issues the ship’s propulsion systems. The CEO works with Operations in regards to small vessel maintenance as well. In a pinch Engineering officers and crew might be called upon to aid Operations personnel to facilitate ship maintenance and repairs but not at the expense of a vessel’s engines.
CHIEF TACTICAL OFFICER: While some ships split the duties of Tactics and Security it is more common to find the two roles run by a single department head. As head of Security the CTO’s job is to insure ship security and integrity, they are responsible for preventing unauthorized personnel from boarding the vessel and are the first line of defense against incursions. The CTO is also in charge of assigning security details to away missions as well as training crew in the use of weapons and hand to hand combat. The CTO is tasked with the maintenance and security of hand weapons as well. In the role of Tactical Officer the CTO works with Operations to maintain ship’s weapons and defenses, in combat the two work together in terms of energy allocation to ship’s weapons and shields.
CHIEF MEDICAL OFFICER: The CMO’s principle duty is the physical health and well being of a ship’s crew, which means performing any and all surgical procedures, performing routine medical check ups. The CMO can also be called upon to provide their medical and scientific expertise often on away missions or when facing a crisis.
CHIEF SCIENCE OFFICER: The Chief Science Officer must be a jack of all trades, a researcher with a passing familiarity in a wide variety of fields. Their principle job is to analyze strange phenomena and decipher it, to help come up with solutions to scientific mysteries. A Chief Science Officer is not expected to do this all on their own; administrative capabilities are also a requirement as they must harness the skills of their staff, take full of advantage of the library computers at their disposal. For this reason a CSO might find themselves at times working closely with the Medical department. Not all facilities have a Chief Science Officer; in some cases the Chief of Operations heads up the Science Department.
CHIEF FLIGHT CONTROL OFFICER: The Flight Controller, also known as also known as conn, conn officer, or Astrogation plotter’s primary duty is to pilot the star ship, although often they are assigned shuttle piloting duty as well. The Chief Flight Control Officer is senior most conn on a star ship, their additional duties is to set up duty rotation for helm duty as well as coordinate with Operations and Engineering in regards to the maintenance of all small craft including shuttles, fighters and work bees. The CFO also coordinates with Science to insure they are kept up to date on all star maps and reports of unusual stellar phenomena that might interfere with navigation. It is not unusual for CFO’s to remotely pilot proves in tricky situations.
CHIEF COUNSELOR: While a doctor administers physical aid, the Chief Counselor provides mental diagnoses and treatment. Part psychiatrist, part diplomat, a well rounded counselor is able to assess mental issues and possibly provide proper guidance…to those willing to heed it at least.