perhaps everyone here can help me out with a question.
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Join Date: Dec 2007
03-07-2011, 12:28 PM
Command in TNG is a somewhat broad group, though better defined than Operations. Being a red shirt makes you a member of the immediate bridge crew and puts you in line to inherit the Captain's chair should the need arise. This can best be seen in the episode "Skin of Evil" where Geordi, then helmsman of the Enterprise and a lieutenant, is put in command over a superior officer because he wore a red uniform and the Chief of Engineering wore gold.
It seems that Ops officers are more specialized in their field while Command officers receive direct training and experience in managing and commanding a ship and its personnel. It should be noted that Starfleet did a lot of what they call "psychometric profiling" to assign people to the jobs that Starfleet felt they matched up best with, so it was difficult for the most part for people to switch colors. Even Eddington confessed that it would be difficult, if not impossible, for him to gain command wearing a gold uniform. It should be noted that every one of the Enterprise-D's top officers captained their own ship.