First, the STO team isn’t happy that duty officer names can’t be customized either, but it’s a technical limitation. I’m sure this is primarily a database issue. Because a character in STO is more than just a single individual, it’s always had more restrictions on the number of characters you could have without paying for additional slots in order to offset the higher storage costs.
The species traits I commented on yesterday will combine with a duty officer’s assignment to affect mission outcomes. Heretic give the example of “Aggressive” duty officers having a better chance of succeeding in military category assignments. Also in that same post, Heretic confirms that duty and bridge officers are completely separate resources (at least for now), so you can’t take surplus bridge officer candidates and convert them to duty officers.
Duty officers can’t be promoted and their rank contributes to the effectiveness of their passive abilities as well as the chance of success on away missions. Promotion is technically possible but not on the schedule currently. Civilian duty officers cannot be place in the active roster list, they are solely for mission assignments. Heretic give examples of: traders, advisors, and holodeck characters (which sounds very neat).
Clarification that the duty officer system is a precursor to the department head system, where you’ll be able to select a Chief Medical Officer, Chief Science Officer, etc. from among you existing bridge officers.