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The senior officer aboard the ship is her captain, though his or her actual rank might vary. The captain is usually, but not always, a qualified bridge officer who can replace an injured crew member or one who has been sent off as part of a prize crew. Occasionally, the captain’s role is taken by a non-spacer who might be a ground combat specialist or political leader. Some of these individuals have proven to be shrewd tacticians and effective raiders, but a ship’s captain should be the conductor of an orchestra. It is hard to do this effectively without understanding music, so to speak, and ships whose commander is not an experienced spacer have generally under-performed in action.