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Memory Alpha
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"Do you think it would cause a complete breakdown of discipline if a lowly lieutenant kissed a Starship Captain on the bridge of his ship?"
"Let's try… See? No change. Discipline goes on."
"I see the Federation insults us by sending a Lieutenant to greet us."
– Koloth, regarding Jadzia Dax, 2370 ("Blood Oath")

Lieutenant (US: /luːˈtɛnənt/ loo-TEN-ənt, UK: /lɛfˈtɛnənt/ lef-TEN-ənt) was a junior officer military rank, the equivalent of which was used by the service organizations of many civilizations. The German word for "lieutenant" was "Leutnant". (TNG: "Tapestry") The British pronunciation was "lef-tenant". (TNG: "Ship In A Bottle")

Interestingly, while "Dr." Q refers to "Leutnant Picard", in the German language dub of the episode he uses the English word, which is how it is actually scripted.


The origins of the term were rooted in the role held by the individual who served as second-in-command of an hierarchical organization, so acted on behalf of a leader's interests in their absense.

Following the Federation's reorganization of the leadership structure of the Iotians, Captain James T. Kirk tapped Jojo Krako to be the lieutenant to the new "top boss" Bela Okmyx. (TOS: "A Piece of the Action")

Military rank[]

Naval ranks[]

As a traditional naval ranks, lieutenant was the grade between ensign and lieutenant commander. It was used on Earth in the Royal Navy of Old Britain. (ENT: "Minefield")

The Andorian Imperial Guard in the 22nd century used the rank of lieutenant. (ENT: "Cease Fire") As did the Xindi-Reptilians. (ENT: "The Council")

From the 22nd through the 24th centuries, the Klingon Defense Force used the rank of lieutenant. (Star Trek: The Original Series; Star Trek: The Next Generation; Star Trek: Deep Space Nine) When Lieutenant Commander Worf, who was posing as the Klingon Commander Sorval, was confronted by an inquisitive officer aboard the IKS Drovana, he rebuffed the officer, threatening that he "will not be questioned by a Lieutenant who should be cleaning my quarters. Leave us, or I shall have you stripped of rank and sent home in a transport!" (DS9: "Sons of Mogh")

In Starfleet, during the 22nd century, the rank of lieutenant was directly between ensign and commander. (Star Trek: Enterprise) By the 23rd century, the Federation used additional grades in this transition, adding lieutenant junior grade before lieutenant, and lieutenant commander before commander. (Star Trek: The Original Series; Star Trek: The Animated Series; Star Trek: The Next Generation; Star Trek: Deep Space Nine; Star Trek: Voyager; Star Trek: Discovery)

When Lieutenant Commander Michael Eddington left Lieutenant Reese in command of the Deep Space 9 until Sisko's return in 2372, the confused Reese felt "that it's unusual for a junior officer to be left in [charge]." Eddington then told Reese that "if you're not up to the job, [he'd] find someone else who is. The safety of this station may depend on you and I need to know if you can handle it." (DS9: "For the Cause")

After the USS Defiant had time travelled back to 2268 from 2373, the Defiant crew dressed in period attire in order to infiltrate the USS Enterprise. As the crew emerged from their quarters, Julian Bashir address Sisko by his original rank of captain, but Sisko corrected him, showing his single sleeve stripe, and explained that it was "lieutenant, actually. I didn't want to push my luck." Bashir later took this knowledge into consideration when he questioned Miles O'Brien why he thought the man that was supposedly Captain James T. Kirk was wearing lieutenant's stripes. (DS9: "Trials and Tribble-ations")

Army ranks[]

In army ranks on Earth, notably the United States Army, a lieutenant was the lowest officer grade, which fell below captain. (VOY: "The Killing Game")

In Earth terms, such as the United States military, infantry lieutenants were divided as first lieutenant and second lieutenant, equivalent to naval ensigns and lieutenants junior grade.

Additionally, "lieutenant" also qualified other grades to create lower grades, such as lieutenant colonel (to colonel) and lieutenant general (to general) for example.

Military lieutenants[]


Police rank[]

Nypd id

Seven's ID card

The New York City Police Department used the rank of lieutenant. Gary Seven had identification stating he was a lieutenant in the NYPD Homicide Squad when he was sent to Earth in 1968. (TOS: "Assignment: Earth")

Additionally, the New Sydney Police also used the rank. Fuchida was a lieutenant in 2375. (DS9: "Prodigal Daughter")

Police lieutenants[]

External link[]