The etymology of the rank "lieutenant commander" comes from the early 18th century when senior lieutenants of the United States Navy were given command of smaller support vessels and referred to as the "lieutenant commanding" the vessel. This rank name became official in both the United States Navy and the British Royal Navies by the late 1870s as "lieutenant commander." It survives today among the naval-driven traditions of the United Federation's Starfleet.
The common title of address for a Lieutenant Commander is "Commander," when the generic "Sir" or "Ma'am" is otherwise inappropriate. This usage is similar to how a Lieutenant Colonel of an army-type military unit is addressed as "Colonel."
A Lieutenant Commander in Starfleet is the first level of officer that may either be assigned to the command of a small starship (scout, frigate or destroyer classes) or as the operations or executive officer of a larger command (cruiser, explorer and above). Officers in the command (or, as known an ancient times "officer of the line") career path often spend their time advancing further in rank in these capacities. Officers in technical fields continue to hone their skills and are often sent back to Starfleet Academy to attend post-graduate training and long-term symposiums in their field of choice before advancing to their next duty assignment.
In the Romulan Star Navy, the rank of subcommander (Romulan language erei'riov) is roughly equivalent to a Starfleet lieutenant commander, although Romulan subcommanders are often first officers and fill other positions with standings approximate of Starfleet commanders. (TOS novel: The Romulan Way; TOS episode: "The Enterprise Incident")
In the Klingon Defense Force, the rank of lieutenant commander is represented by a rank insignia of a stylized, tri-segmented, "z" shape, within a circle. (ST roleplay module: The Klingons: Star Fleet Intelligence Manual)
|Enlisted ranks||Commissioned ranks||Flag ranks|
|Starfleet & SFMC||LT JG||LT||LT CMDR||CDR||CDORE
|2ND LT||1ST LT||CAPT||MAJOR||LT COL||COL||BRIG||GEN|
|Klingon Defense Force
naval & marine
|ENL (bekk)||PO/LDR (DevwI')
||ENS (lagh)||LT JG||LT (Sogh)||LT CMDR||CMDR (la')||CAPT (HoD)||CDORE (totlh)||ADM ('aj)||FADM|
|CPL (Da')||SGT (bu')
|LT JG||LT (Sogh)||CAPT||MAJ||LT COL||COL||BRIG ('ech)||MAJ GEN||GEN (Sa')|
|UHLAN||DECURION||ANTE CENTURION (erein)||SUBLT||SUBCMDR (erei'riov)||CMDR (rh'iov)||CMDR GEN (khre'riov)||GENERAL (Enriov)|
|SR CENTURION (enarrain)||ADMIRAL|
|EQUITORIAM||SECONDAM||TRINAM||CENTURION (Arrain)||LEGATE||FIELD PRIMUS||PRIMUS||GRAND PRIMUS|
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In informal settings, Lieutenant Commanders are simply referred to as "Commander".
|UNSC Defense Force commissioned officer ranks|
|O-1||O-2||O-3||O-4||O-5||O-6||O-7||O-8||O-9||O-10||Special (Wartime Only)|
|Air Force:||2nd Lt||1st Lt||Capt||Maj||Lt Col||Col||Brig Gen||Maj Gen||Lt Gen||Gen||GOAF|
Lieutenant commander is a military rank used in Federation Starfleet, superior to lieutenant and subordinate to commander. A lieutenant commander may be a senior officer in a department on a large vessel or starbase, or may be commanding officer or first officer of a smaller vessel.
A lieutenant commander is normally addressed as commander except in ceremonial contexts or printed orders.
The rank is equivalent to the Marines rank of major, wing colonel in the Federation Starfighter Corps (Star Trek: Remington), the Cardassian rank of glinn (excepting the Star Trek: Sigils and Unions continuity, where glinn is often equated with the rank of commander), and the Romulan rank of centurion.
The term comes from the navies of the 20th century. The USN abbreviation was LCDR.
Unlike other ranks such as lieutenant colonel or lieutenant general, a lieutenant commander is not a lesser version of commander, but rather is a more senior grade of lieutenant (other navies, such as those used in Germany and Russia, use the term 'captain lieutenant'). The rank was originally created because some lieutenants were being given command of smaller vessels in the United States Navy (where these officers were called 'lieutenant commanding' or 'lieutenant commandant') and the British Royal Navy (there referred to as 'lieutenant in command' or 'lieutenant and commander'); the US Navy adopted the resulting new rank of lieutenant commander in 1862, and the Royal Navy followed suit in 1914.
|22nd century||2230s||AR 2250s||2250s||2265-2270s||Early 2270s||Late 2270s-2350s|
|Enlisted personnel||Non-commissioned officers||Etc||Officers||Flag officers|
|Ground troops||Bekk||Cpl||Sgt||MSgt||SgtMaj||2nd Lt||1st Lt||Capt
Lieutenant Commander was a military rank used by several navies that ranked in between Lieutenant and Commander. Given that a Naval Lieutenant (as a rule) equates to an Army Captain, a Lieutenant Commander equates roughly to a Major.