This is a sort sequel to a post from when I first started this blog. While enlisted personnel have long been specialists, in the United States Navy, officers are often generalists, expected to go from contact coordinator one day to Engineering Officer of the Watch the next. Since the first edition of High Guard was published, there's been career tracks for officers in the Navy career. However, these place officers in the same narrow fields as enlisted, and just don't seem quite right to me. While Sector Fleet is an interesting book, at times it's very much an attempt to give the game a veneer of plausibility. One item from there, the idea of the Naval Regiment, I like. Reminiscent of the the Royal Naval Division of World War I, or the US Navy's Naval Expeditionary Combat Command and Seabees, it started off as local defense and ad-hoc units from remnants at Navy Bases, as well as security troops supporting the Marines.
Why do this for Traveller?
This provides more 'chrome' and a varied route through the ranks. Some officers are not going to be specialized like enlisted personnel, and this gives a path for defining officers who may have been the Chief Engineer and then went on to command their own ship. Also, I see the Imperial Navy as having four socially distinct groups of officers. First, is the Nobles and other Gentry (SOC A) who enter the Navy as a means for social advancement, and social responsibility. Those who join from both social responsibility and advancement. My own LT Brickley is one of those who joined to gain status. Considering how end of generation Navy promotions give an increasing to Social Standing, this is reasonable. Second, you have professional Navy Officers. The guys who Get Things Done aboard ship, and while not explicitly angling for command, they are ready for the responsibilities should the Navy need to expand. Third, is officers commissioned from the ranks. Long serving professional spacers who have skills and leadership above that of an enlisted man and deserve a different sort of recognition than princes using the Navy as a pathway to success. There's also the appointment of various personnel as officers to give them military authority equal to their professional status. This would be military doctors and the like. Uniformed professionals whose rank is consummate with expertise are also in the service, like doctors, are always going to exist.