Lieutenant Commander

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A Lieutenant Commander is the fourth lowest rank of commissioned officer in most naval organizations.

Contents

Historical Context

This title was introduced in the United States Navy in 1862 with the reorganization of the service. Previous to this time, all lieutenants in command of smaller men-of-war were called "lieutenants commanding." For example, in the roster of the North Atlantic Blockading Squadron in 1862 once reads:

       (USS) Valley City, Lieut. Commanding S. C. Chaplin, bearing the 
       flag of Flag Officer Goldsborough; also (USS) Commander Perry, 
       Lieutenant Commander C. W. Flusser. 

The title lieutenant commander was derived from the term "lieut. commanding."

Lieutenants were commonly put in command of smaller vessels not warranting a Commander or captain: such a lieutenant was called a "lieutenant commanding" or "lieutenant commandant" in the United States Navy, and a "lieutenant in command", "lieutenant and commander", or "senior lieutenant" in the Royal Navy. The USN settled on "lieutenant commander" in 1862, and made it a distinct rank; the RN followed suit in March 1914.

Starfleet Usage

Lieutenant Commanders in Starfleet often serve as division chiefs or executive officers on heavy cruisers. They may also serve as commanding officers of corvettes and destroyers.

Starfleet used the following rank insignia to denote this rank of officer:

Period 2410-Present 2373-2410 2368-2373 2365-2373 2352-2365 2280-2352 2270-2280 2255-2270
Insignia 2410 SF O-4.png
2410 SF O-4 (prov).png
2373 SF O-4.png
2373 SF O-4 (prov).png
2368 SF O-4.png
2368 SF O-4 (prov).png
2366 SF O-4.png
2366 SF O-4 (prov).png
2352 SF O-4.png
2352 SF O-4 (prov).png
2280 SF O-4.png 2270 SF O-4.png 2255 SF O-4.png

Other Usage

Some military and paramilitary groups use the rank "lieutenant commander" in their organizations:

Starfleet Merchant & Supply Service (MSS)

Lieutenant Commanders within the MSS are usually placed in command of medium freighters or equivalent vessels of tonnage or capacity. They may also see service as Division Officers aboard larger vessels, such as heavy or superheavy (SuperMax) freighters and transports, or aboard MSS installations.

Grade Rank Command Services Sciences
O-4 Lieutenant Commander SFMSS O-4 CMD.png SFMSS O-4 SVC.png SFMSS O-4 SCI.png

Bajoran Defense Force Navy

Grade Rank Insignia (Sleeve)
O-4 Lieutenant-Commander BDFN-O-4.png

Rikon Defense Force

Grade Rank Insignia (Shoulderboard)
O-4 Lieutenant Commander RDF-O-4.png

See Also

Starfleet Rank Structure
Grade Enlisted Training Warrant Officer
1 PVT CREC MID4 WOJG 2LT ENS
2 PFC CAPP MID3 WO 1LT LTJG
3 LCPL CRMN MID2 CWO CPT LT
4 CPL PO3 MID1 SCWO MAJ LCDR
5 SGT PO2 OC MCWO LTCOL CDR
6 SSGT PO1 COL CAPT
CDRE
7 GYSGT CPO BRGEN BADM
8 MSGT SCPO MAJGEN RADM
9 MGYSGT
SGTMAJ
MCPO LTGEN VADM
10 SGTMAJOS MCPOS GEN ADM
11 GADM
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