Multiple realities
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The term senior officer denoted a member of the senior staff of a starship or starbase involved in the top level command decisions of the day-to-day operations of their post.

In the Earth Starfleet, where there were limited personnel choices with special talents, junior officers by rank were sometimes senior officers by practicality. Some such personnel included:

In the Federation Starfleet, senior officers usually included officers with the rank lieutenant commander or above and could include, but was not limited to (regardless of rank):

The commanding officer could also add certain officers at his or her discretion. These officers had the privilege of sitting in with the senior staff during briefings, or at times had the ear of the commanding officer.

Some of the more permanent additions have included:

Occasionally, one was referred to as a senior officer in a manner that was equivalent to a ranking officer. In 2368, Counselor Troi, who at the time was a lieutenant commander, was described as the senior officer on the bridge deck of the Enterprise after it struck several quantum filaments. (TNG: "Disaster") In 2371, both B'Elanna Torres and Tuvok tried to take responsibility as the senior officer in the installation of a spatial trajector without Captain Kathryn Janeway's consent. (VOY: "Prime Factors")

In the Imperial Starfleet, senior officers lived in fear of the day when they were assassinated by an ambitious subordinate, seeking promotion to a higher rank, and were, thus, in a constant state of suspicion. (ENT: "In a Mirror, Darkly, Part II"; TOS: "Mirror, Mirror")

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