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(Western Animation)
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{{trope}}
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{{trope}}[[File:tos_uhura_6588.jpg|frame]]
[[File:tos_uhura_6588.jpg|frame]]
 
   
 
{{quote|''"Hailing frequencies open, Sir."''|'''Lt. Uhura''', ''[[Star Trek: The Original Series|Star Trek the Original Series]]''}}
 
{{quote|''"Hailing frequencies open, Sir."''|'''Lt. Uhura''', ''[[Star Trek: The Original Series|Star Trek the Original Series]]''}}
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Overlaps with [[Mission Control]]. Will often be working as one of the [[Bridge Bunnies]]. A key member of the [[Command Roster]].
 
Overlaps with [[Mission Control]]. Will often be working as one of the [[Bridge Bunnies]]. A key member of the [[Command Roster]].
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{{examples}}
 
{{examples}}
   
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* ''[[Fantastic Voyage (film)|Fantastic Voyage]]'' has Charles Grant, a rare example of where the Communications Officer is also [[The Hero]].
 
* ''[[Fantastic Voyage (film)|Fantastic Voyage]]'' has Charles Grant, a rare example of where the Communications Officer is also [[The Hero]].
 
* Parodied in ''[[Galaxy Quest]]'' with Lt. Tawny Madison, Gwen's character from the [[Show Within the Show]]. All she did was relay orders to and from the computer.
 
* Parodied in ''[[Galaxy Quest]]'' with Lt. Tawny Madison, Gwen's character from the [[Show Within the Show]]. All she did was relay orders to and from the computer.
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{{quote| I have one job on this lousy ship, it's ''stupid'', but I'm gonna do it! Okay?}}
 
{{quote| I have one job on this lousy ship, it's ''stupid'', but I'm gonna do it! Okay?}}
 
* In ''[[Small Soldiers]]'', Link Static serves this role in the Commando Elite.
 
* In ''[[Small Soldiers]]'', Link Static serves this role in the Commando Elite.
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* ''[[Super Troopers]]'' has [[Jerkass|Farva]] given this job at the highway department as punishment after [[Noodle Incident|the school bus incident]]. Meanwhile, [[Fair Cop|Ursula]] is tasked with the same job at the Spurbury Police Department [[Stay in the Kitchen|because she's a woman.]]
 
* ''[[Super Troopers]]'' has [[Jerkass|Farva]] given this job at the highway department as punishment after [[Noodle Incident|the school bus incident]]. Meanwhile, [[Fair Cop|Ursula]] is tasked with the same job at the Spurbury Police Department [[Stay in the Kitchen|because she's a woman.]]
 
* ''[[Film/Voyage To The Bottom Of The Sea|Voyage To The Bottom Of The Sea]]'' (1961). The comm officer aboard the Seaview (a U.S. government vessel) was called Sparks.
 
* ''[[Film/Voyage To The Bottom Of The Sea|Voyage To The Bottom Of The Sea]]'' (1961). The comm officer aboard the Seaview (a U.S. government vessel) was called Sparks.
* ''[[We Were Soldiers]]'': A number of radio operators are mixed in amongst the soldiers, with [[Red Shirt|several unnamed ones]] getting shot and killed during firefights. Another one, after proving himself particularly skilled by managing to tune in on radio transmissions from a battle happening on the other side of the Earth<ref> [[Reality Is Unrealistic]]. This actually happened, owing to a quirk of UHF radio signals that allows them to bounce off the upper atmosphere</ref>, is assigned as Colonel Moore's personal radioman.
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* ''[[We Were Soldiers]]'': A number of radio operators are mixed in amongst the soldiers, with [[Red Shirt|several unnamed ones]] getting shot and killed during firefights. Another one, after proving himself particularly skilled by managing to tune in on radio transmissions from a battle happening on the other side of the Earth [[Reality Is Unrealistic]]. This actually happened, owing to a quirk of UHF radio signals that allows them to bounce off the upper atmosphere, is assigned as Colonel Moore's personal radioman.
 
** The movie also had a radioman whose primary responsibility was calling in fire support. [[All There in the Manual|According to the book the film was based on]], he was actually a [[Ace Pilot|fighter pilot]] by trade.
 
** The movie also had a radioman whose primary responsibility was calling in fire support. [[All There in the Manual|According to the book the film was based on]], he was actually a [[Ace Pilot|fighter pilot]] by trade.
   
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** ''[[Star Trek: Voyager|Star Trek Voyager]]'': Harry Kim got a battlefield promotion to chief communications officer, despite only being ([[Status Quo Is God|perpetually]]) an ensign.
 
** ''[[Star Trek: Voyager|Star Trek Voyager]]'': Harry Kim got a battlefield promotion to chief communications officer, despite only being ([[Status Quo Is God|perpetually]]) an ensign.
 
** ''[[Star Trek: Enterprise|Star Trek Enterprise]]'': Hoshi Sato handled communications. Her linguistics expertise also came into play because the [[Universal Translator]] was still a work-in-progress.
 
** ''[[Star Trek: Enterprise|Star Trek Enterprise]]'': Hoshi Sato handled communications. Her linguistics expertise also came into play because the [[Universal Translator]] was still a work-in-progress.
* Robert RO Dixon in [[Sea Patrol]] is a very snarky Communications officer. He does go on boarding parties and is the best person with software.
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* Robert RO Dixon in [[Sea Patrol]] is a very snarky Communications officer. He does go on boarding parties and is the best person with software.
   
 
== Tabletop Games ==
 
== Tabletop Games ==
 
* In ''[[Warhammer 40000]]'', the Imperial Guard has "vox operators" with radio backpacks.
 
* In ''[[Warhammer 40000]]'', the Imperial Guard has "vox operators" with radio backpacks.
 
* One of the crew specialties in [[GURPS]] [[Traveller]] ''Starships''.
 
* One of the crew specialties in [[GURPS]] [[Traveller]] ''Starships''.
* One of the standard Mandatory Bonus Duties in ''[[Paranoia]]''. In practice, it mostly plays into the [[Witch Hunt|Commie Hunt]] dynamic.<br>
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* One of the standard Mandatory Bonus Duties in ''[[Paranoia]]''. In practice, it mostly plays into the [[Witch Hunt|Commie Hunt]] dynamic.
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== Toys ==
 
== Toys ==
   
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* In ''[[Sealab 2020]]'' and its [[Gag Dub]] ''[[Sealab 2021]]'', the com officer for the title installation was Lieutenant Sparks (apparently his real last name).
 
* In ''[[Sealab 2020]]'' and its [[Gag Dub]] ''[[Sealab 2021]]'', the com officer for the title installation was Lieutenant Sparks (apparently his real last name).
 
* ''[[Voltron: Legendary Defender]]'' has [[Nice Guy|Curtis]] and [[Meganekko|Veronica]], who serve under {{Spoiler|Captain Takashi Shirogane}}'s orders at the Atlas. {{Spoiler|Atr the very end, Curtis gets [[Promoted to Love Interest]]... for ''Shiro''.}}
 
* ''[[Voltron: Legendary Defender]]'' has [[Nice Guy|Curtis]] and [[Meganekko|Veronica]], who serve under {{Spoiler|Captain Takashi Shirogane}}'s orders at the Atlas. {{Spoiler|Atr the very end, Curtis gets [[Promoted to Love Interest]]... for ''Shiro''.}}
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== Real Life ==
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*The backpack radio is [[Truth in Television]], since they've been around since World War II. [[https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/SCR-300| The SCR-300]] was an portable field radio that was typically used by infantry in order to call in an artillery barrage.
   
 
{{reflist}}
 
{{reflist}}

Revision as of 23:54, January 27, 2019

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File:Tos uhura 6588.jpg
"Hailing frequencies open, Sir."

When The Captain needs to contact Mission Control to talk to the Voice with an Internet Connection, he has a number of options. He could call him up on his Comm Link, or maybe even find a pay phone. But maybe this is a job for someone more specialized, or maybe The Captain needs someone to delegate this to while he deals with other things. He needs the Communications Officer.

The Communications Officer need not be an officer, and in fact, will often be a lower ranking member tasked with maintaining and operating the complex radio equipment. On a sci-fi show, they will often have a workstation on the bridge of the ship, while in a war movie, you can expect to see this guy running around two steps behind The Captain with a cumbersome backpack radio with a huge whip antenna. Whenever we see Mission Control, expect to see an entire squad of these guys at work. More mundane examples include a secretary in an office, who has the job of screening calls to their boss and sending out messages for them.

Against Dangerously Genre Savvy enemies, he can expect to draw fire, especially if he has one of the bigger backpack radios. You can't call for help if nobody alive can use the communications equipment. If The Radio Dies First, they can be expected to be hard at work trying to fix it, or helplessly declaring that it can't be done.

Overlaps with Mission Control. Will often be working as one of the Bridge Bunnies. A key member of the Command Roster.

Examples of Communications Officer include:


Anime And Manga

Film -- Animated

Film -- Live Action

 I have one job on this lousy ship, it's stupid, but I'm gonna do it! Okay?

Literature

  • Robert Heinlein's The Number of the Beast. When Hildy Burroughs is captain of the Gay Deceiver, Zebadiah ("Zeb") Burroughs acts as her comm officer, especially when talking with the British colonists on Mars.
  • Adele Mundy in the Republic of Cinnabar series.

Live Action TV

Tabletop Games

  • In Warhammer 40000, the Imperial Guard has "vox operators" with radio backpacks.
  • One of the crew specialties in GURPS Traveller Starships.
  • One of the standard Mandatory Bonus Duties in Paranoia. In practice, it mostly plays into the Commie Hunt dynamic.

 

Toys

  • GI Joe communications officer "Breaker" was one of the first 3 3/4" GI Joe figures produced, and came with a helmet-mounted radio.
  • In every incarnation of Transformers, some version of Soundwave is the Decepticons' Communications Officer. And in many continuities, Blaster serves the same role for the Autobots. There are also some occasional secondary characters who also fill the role, such as Hubcap in Transformers Generation 1 and Kup in Transformers Wings of Honor.

Video Games

  • In the Mass Effect series, this role is typically filled by Joker, Yeoman Chambers, or Specialist Traynor.
  • In Wing Commander III, "Radio" Rollins is both this in the literal sense, being the TCS Victory's communication's officer, as well as in the informal sense, considering himself as the one person on the ship who will tell you exactly what's really going on. You have the option upon first meeting him to lay down the law and get him to stop hurting ship's morale with his rumors.
    • His rumors, that the Terran Confederation is on the ropes in its war with the Kilrathi, are largely true, but it is disastrous for morale to just come out and state that openly when there is still a fighting chance for them to recover.

Western Animation

Real Life

  • The backpack radio is Truth in Television, since they've been around since World War II. [The SCR-300] was an portable field radio that was typically used by infantry in order to call in an artillery barrage.
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