Just posting an idea I've had (couldn't find it anywhere here ) regarding Bridge Officer Progression and Space Combat.
Basically in space we would have up to 4 additional ships, controlled by a crew of our bridge officers. At some point the Admiral of the Fleet would release 1 of the ships from our control and we could get another ship and crew it with bridge officers that we have skilled up, etc etc etc. The amount of time before a ship is allowed to leave your service, could be used give a warning in order to allow players time prepare for a replacement. Players could use this time to strip gear from the ships before they move on, so perhaps some sort of "locking" could be enforced once the warning occurs. This would mean that gear that players don't want to loose shouldn't be equipped to a Bridge Officer ship......
There could be restrictions in place, that you can only move onto your second ship once the first ship is completely crewed. You can't use the extra ships in Fleet Actions / Raidesiodes / Deep Space Encounters. General missions only. The extra ships MUST give way to actual players, as they do on the ground.
Bridge Officers could then be given as rewards in some of the more higher end type missions instead of just when you level up.
This would have a couple of effects in my mind;
1) You would have effectivly an away team in space (basically like on the ground missions)
2) It would give you a reason to skill up your Bridge Officers
3) It would allow you to use your Bridge officer candidates that are sitting there waiting because you have already filled all your slots.
4) It would also mean that each ships max level would be one below yours, ie. Your Rank Rear Admiral, max extra bridge officer rank is Captain, and therefore Tier 4 ship with Tier 4 gear.
I'm sure this idea could evolve etc, would be great to see it happen.