The tactical officer was a title among teams or groups of service personnel, an officer in control of the weapons and military response in combat situations. Aboard vehicles or at outposts in the era of space travel, deflector shields aboard starships and space stations were under the control of the tactical officer. In Starfleet, this position was sometimes combined with that of security chief. (TNG episodes: "Pen Pals", "Masks")

In the 23rd century, the tactical officer's duties were often handled, at least to a large degree, by the helmsman or navigator. (TOS episode: "The Corbomite Maneuver")

Aboard Klingon and Romulan starships, the tactical officer was also referred to as the weapons officer, although sometimes a weapons officer was a separate position subordinate to the tactical role. (GKN novel: A Good Day to Die; NF short story: "Performance Appraisal" et al.)

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