One other thing while I'm thinking about it: considering that the Ops role seems to involve interacting with all the important systems of a starship, doesn't it seem like serving as Ops officer would be pretty good Command training?
It's easy to see that philosophy being applied in the Trek universe, but I think it could work in Star Trek Online as well. Maybe serving as Ops officer allows the character to learn things that make it easier to gain Command rank. (Specialized "Command prestige" points, for example.)
If it's OK for this game to stuff Helm functions into the Command character's duties, why can't Ops be merged with the First Officer's/XO's role?
Just a thought.