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Lieutenant Commander is the first line officer rank deemed to be a 'senior officer', ranking above Lieutenant and below a full Commander. It has a ranking code of O-4 and is equivalent to a Major in the Starfleet Marine Corps. The rank insignia consists of two full pips and one hollow pip. Officers holding the rank of Lieutenant Commander generally hold high respect amongst their peers.
In Earth's history, 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 US Navy settled on "Lieutenant Commander" in 1862, and made it a distinct rank; the Royal Navy followed suit in March 1914.
Lieutenant Commanders are most regularly seen as Executive Officers on starships or starbases, or as a senior Department Head. Often though, Lieutenant Commanders can be found as junior commanding officers of very small craft within the fleet. A Lt. Commander may command a larger vessel or even a starbase whilst attending the Command Course of Starfleet Academy. Lt. Commanders who aren't assigned to an active duty post are often found as senior assistants in Starfleet departments on major worlds.
|Starfleet Officer Ranks|
|Ensign||Lieutenant JG||Lieutenant||Lieutenant Commander||Commander||Captain||Fleet Captain||Commodore||Rear Admiral||Vice Admiral||Admiral||Fleet Admiral|