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Lieutenant commander is a commissioned officer rank in many naval services and space forces, most notably the Federation Starfleet.

History[]

The etymology of the rank "lieutenant commander" comes from the early 18th century when senior lieutenants of the United States Navy were given command of smaller support vessels and referred to as the "lieutenant commanding" the vessel. This rank name became official in both the United States Navy and the British Navy by the late 1870s as "lieutenant commander." It survives today among the naval-driven traditions of the Federation's Starfleet.

Standing[]

A lieutenant commander is a mid-level line officer rank, a grade higher than a lieutenant and a grade below commander in most rank structures, although some organizations may differ or omit this rank. The lieutenant commander rank is roughly equivalent with the authority of a major of military forces.

In the Romulan Star Navy, the rank of subcommander (Romulan language erei'riov) is roughly equivalent to a Starfleet lieutenant commander, although Romulan subcommanders are often first officers and fill other positions with standings approximate of Starfleet commanders. (TOS novel: The Romulan Way; TOS episode: "The Enterprise Incident")

In the Cardassian language, dalin is a Cardassian officer rank title which, in translation to Federation Standard, is approximately equivalent to a lieutenant commander. (TLE - Terok Nor novel: Day of the Vipers)

The common title of address for a lieutenant commander is "commander," when the generic "sir" is otherwise inappropriate. This usage is similar to how a lieutenant colonel of a military unit is addressed simply as "colonel".

A lieutenant commander in Starfleet may be assigned as a department head or senior staff member of a larger command such as a capital ship or starbase. Some examples include Chief Engineer Montgomery Scott and Chief Medical Officer Leonard McCoy of the USS Enterprise, Operations Manager Data and Chief Engineer Geordi La Forge of the USS Enterprise-D, Tactical Officer Tuvok of the USS Voyager or Chief Science Officer Jadzia Dax of Starbase Deep Space 9. (TOS; TNG; VOY; DS9)

A lieutenant commander could also serve as the commanding officer of a smaller starship or the first officer of a mid-size vessel. Jadzia Dax commanding the USS Defiant and First Officer Chakotay of Voyager filled these roles, respectively. On larger vessels, a lieutenant commander could also fill a role as second officer or third officer, such as the aforementioned positions of Scotty, Data, Tuvok and Dax on their respective assignments. (DS9, VOY, TOS, TNG)

In the Klingon Defense Force, the rank of lieutenant commander is represented by a rank insignia of a stylized, tri-segmented, "z" shape, within a circle. (FASA RPG module: The Klingons: Star Fleet Intelligence Manual)

Lieutenant commander insignia[]

Starfleet lieutenant commmander insignia
era general wear command division operations division sciences division
command tactical/military flight-engineering
(admin, pilot, engineer)
security special services sci-ops
(ops, sci & tac ops)
medical
Earth Starfleet ranks Sleeve insignia. Sleeve insignia. Sleeve insignia.
Federation Starfleet ranks (2160s) Sleeve insignia. Sleeve insignia. Sleeve insignia. Sleeve insignia.
Federation Starfleet ranks (2230s) Sleeve insignia. Sleeve insignia. Sleeve insignia.
Federation Starfleet ranks (2240s)
(insignia for all officer grades)
Sleeve insignia. Sleeve insignia Sleeve insignia. Sleeve insignia. Sleeve insignia.
Federation Starfleet ranks (2250s)
(insignia for all officer grades)
Sleeve insignia. Sleeve insignia. Sleeve insignia. Sleeve insignia. Sleeve insignia. Sleeve insignia.
Federation Starfleet ranks (2260s) Uniform shoulder. Uniform shoulder. Uniform shoulder. Uniform shoulder. Uniform shoulder. Uniform shoulder.
Federation Starfleet ranks (2270s) Uniform sleeve. Uniform sleeve. Sleeve insignia. Sleeve insignia. Sleeve insignia. Sleeve insignia. Sleeve insignia. Sleeve insignia.
Federation Starfleet ranks (2270s-2350s) Sleeve insignia. Sleeve insignia. Sleeve insignia. Sleeve insignia. Sleeve insignia. Sleeve insignia. Sleeve insignia. Sleeve insignia.
Federation Starfleet ranks (2350s-2366) Uniform shoulder. Uniform shoulder. Uniform shoulder. Uniform shoulder.
Federation Starfleet ranks (2366-2373) Uniform shoulder. Uniform shoulder. Uniform shoulder. Uniform shoulder. Uniform shoulder. Uniform shoulder. Uniform shoulder.
Federation Starfleet ranks (2370s-2380s) Uniform shoulder. Uniform shoulder. Uniform shoulder.
Federation Starfleet ranks (2386-2410) Uniform shoulder. Uniform shoulder. Uniform shoulder.
Federation Starfleet ranks (2800s)
(Built to Commander)
Uniform shoulder. Uniform shoulder. Uniform shoulder.

Alternate lieutenant commander insignia[]

Starfleet alternate lieutenant commander insignia
era command division operations division sciences division
Federation Starfleet ranks (2250s) alt Sleeve insignia. Sleeve insignia. Sleeve insignia.
Federation Starfleet ranks (2386-2410) alt Uniform shoulder. Uniform shoulder. Uniform shoulder.

Connections[]

Enlisted ranks Commissioned ranks Flag ranks
Earth SF CREW PO2

PO1

CPO

SCPO


MCPO

ENS LT CMDR CAPT

FCAPT


VICE CDORE

CDORE RADM / 2ADM VADM / 3ADM 4ADM FADM / 5ADM

GADM

Starfleet & SFMC ENS JG

ENS


ENS 1C

LT JG LT LT CMDR CDR CDORE

1ADM

PVT CPL SGT

MASTER SGT

SUBLT

2ND LT

1ST LT CAPT MAJOR LT COL COL BRIG GEN
Klingon Defense Force
naval & marine
ENL (bekk) PO/LDR (DevwI')

CPO/TROOP LDR (QaS-DevwI')

ENS (lagh) LT JG LT (Sogh) LT CMDR CMDR (la') CAPT (HoD) CDORE (totlh) ADM ('aj) FADM
ENL (mang) 2C

ENL (mang) 1C


LCPL

CPL (Da') SGT (bu')

SGT MAJ

LT JG LT (Sogh) CAPT MAJ LT COL COL BRIG ('ech) MAJ GEN GEN (Sa')
Romulan naval
&
Tal Shiar
(where known)
UHLAN DECURION ANTE CENTURION (erein) SUBLT SUBCMDR (erei'riov) CMDR (rh'iov) CMDR GEN (khre'riov) ADMIRAL
LT MAJOR TRIBUNE COLONEL GENERAL (enriov)
CENTURION (arrain) LEGATE SR CENTURION (enarrain) HIGH CENTURION
EQUITORIAM SECONDAM TRINAM FIELD PRIMUS PRIMUS GRAND PRIMUS

External link[]

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