Real World Definition Edit
Ensign (pronounced ) is a junior rank of commissioned officer in the militaries of some countries, normally in the infantry or navy. As the junior officer in an infantry regiment was traditionally the carrier of the ensign flag, the rank itself acquired the name.
"Ensign" is enseigne in French, Fähnrich in German, and chorąży in Polish, each of which derives from a term for a flag. The Spanish alférez and Portuguese alferes is a junior officer rank below lieutenant associated with carrying the flag, and so is often translated as "ensign", although unlike the rank in other languages, its etymology has nothing to do with flags.
The NATO rank code is OF-1 (junior)
In the United States Edit
In the United States Navy, the rank of "Ensign" superseded in 1862 that of "Passed Midshipman". It is the most junior commissioned officer in the United States Navy, the United States Coast Guard, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Commissioned Corps and the Public Health Service Commissioned Corps ranking below lieutenant junior grade. It is also equivalent to a second lieutenant in the United States Army, United States Marine Corps and the United States Air Force. Depending upon the warfare community, an Ensign may go straight to a ship after commissioning to serve as a division officer or receive one to two years of specialty training prior to reporting to an operational unit. Ensigns who become division officers are responsible for leading a group of petty officers and enlisted personnel in a division while at the same time receiving on the job training in leadership, naval systems, programs, and policies from enlisted service members and other officers. U.S. Navy and Coast Guard Ensigns wear collar insignia of a single gold bar, hence their nickname of "butterbars" (shared with Army, Air Force and Marine 2nd lieutenants).
The most senior U.S. Navy ensign on board ship or in a naval aviation squadron, receives an enlarged collar insignia, often engraved with the word "BULL", and is known as the "Bull Ensign." However, this is usually confined to within the command, as it is not recognized as regulation uniform devices. By tradition, this officer is responsible for guiding and mentoring the other ensigns of a ship or squadron's wardroom.
Definition in the Star Trek Universe Edit
Ensign is a military rank, the equivalent of which is used by the service organizations of many civilizations. As a traditional naval grade, ensign is the most junior line officer rank below the lieutenant grades, usually immediately under lieutenant or lieutenant junior grade.
The rank of ensign is usually the first commissioned rank assigned to new officers (such as recent graduates of Starfleet Academy). This naval rank is equivalent to the rank of second lieutenant which is found in the United States Army, Air Force, and Marine Corps.
An ensign's primary duty is professional growth, both as a leader and as an occupational specialist. Ensigns are mentored by more senior officers as well as their (nominally) subordinate chief petty officers as part of their development as Starfleet leaders. As ensigns prove themselves more capable, they are considered for promotion into the lieutenant tier. (TNG: "Datalore").
On some of the larger starship classes, such as the Galaxy-class starships, it is not uncommon for veteran and seasoned enlisted personnel to have ensigns working for them as technicians, thus having the ensign "learning the ropes" of the more technical aspects of starship design, such as transporter components. (TNG: "Clues")
Use of the rank in Star Trek: Second Fleet Online Edit
The rank of Ensign in Star Trek: Second Fleet Online is the lowest commissioned / line officer rank offered. New members that sign up with little to no role playing experience or minimal qualifications for the position they are seeking will start at this rank. This rank is offered in all Divisions except Academy permanently and is not offered provisionally at all. Ensigns in ST: SFO serve as junior officers on the ships and starbases, but may rarely hold the positions of Operations Manager or Senior Flight Controller, though it is recommended that Commanding Officers have their senior staff at least at Provisional Lieutenant, Junior Grade or higher.
Members in ST: SFO Holding this Rank Edit
- Marcus Irons (Security / Tactical Officer, USS Gambit NCC-75013)
- Aiden Krypter (Security / Tactical Officer, USS Gambit NCC-75013)
- Nicholas Locarno (Flight Controller, USS Gambit NCC-75013)
Members in ST: SFO that Once Held this Rank and have been Either Promoted or Demoted Edit
- 19 (2366, assumed lost after destruction of USS Saratoga; 2369-2371, promoted to Lieutenant, Junior Grade)
- Violet Ames (2370-2373, promoted to Lieutenant, Junior Grade)
- Jay Andhek (2366-2373, given a provisional promotion to Lieutenant)
- Bel Kalia (2370-2371, promoted to Lieutenant, Junior Grade)
- Colt Bennett (2368-2373, promoted to Lieutenant, Junior Grade)
- Camille Berry (2365-2367, promoted to Lieutenant, Junior Grade)
- Val Callan
- Winston Cummings (2356-2358, promoted to Lieutenant, Junior Grade)
- Robert Garrett (2362-2363, promoted to Lieutenant, Junior Grade)
- Diego Guerrero (2366-2367, on leave of absence; 2370-2371, promoted to Lieutenant, Junior Grade)
- Kirvin Merigold
- William O'Connor (2364-2368, promoted to Lieutenant, Junior Grade)
- Robert O'Neil (2361-2365, promoted to Lieutenant, Junior Grade)
- Alexandra Preston (2366-2367, promoted to Lieutenant, Junior Grade)
- Charlotte Reese (2366-2367, promoted to Lieutenant, Junior Grade)
- Rho (2366-2370, promoted to Lieutenant, Junior Grade)
- Roxanne Saturn (2370-2373, given a provisional promotion to Lieutenant)
- Kyle Sazen
- Samsara Steelman (2365-2366, promoted to Lieutenant, Junior Grade)
- James Stone (2368-2373, promoted to Lieutenant, Junior Grade)
- Josephine Stradi (2350, took academic leave of absence; 2355-2360, promoted to Lieutenant, Junior Grade)
- Surak (2364-2367, promoted to Lieutenant, Junior Grade)
Rank Insignia History Edit
Permanent Rank Insignia Edit
For the Original Series Movies Era (2279-2350) the divisions were further broken down then what they are today. For today's Operations-Engineering Division, they were broken up into Engineering / Helm (yellow) and Navigation / Communications (Silver). You will also note that the Sciences Division also uses the Silver color for their rank insignia.
This rank may be offered provisionally in certain divisions should the amount of members warrant it.