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Starfleet General Orders and Regulations

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(covers information from several alternate timelines)
"In a part of space where there are few rules, it's more important than ever that we hold fast to our own. In a region where shifting allegiances are commonplace we have to have something stable to rely on. And we do. The principles and ideals of the Federation. As far as I'm concerned, those are the best allies we could have."
- Captain Kathryn Janeway, 2372

Starfleet General Orders and Regulations were a series of guidelines used to instruct members of Starfleet on the proper etiquette and policy in a situation that required consultation for a resolution. These protocols were the foundation of Starfleet and the responsibility of its officers to uphold and protect, ranging from all manners of duty, such as interstellar diplomacy to punctuation of reports. Violations of protocol could have led to being placed on report, a court martial, demotion of rank, or other reprimands.

These guidelines' fundamental principles were integral for Starfleet officers to help avoid conflicts of interest, (TNG: "Redemption") including one's duty to the truth. (TNG: "The First Duty") Guidelines were useful in many situations, including when flag officers could not be consulted to resolve a situation. (VOY: "Equinox")

Several of the first one hundred plus Starfleet Orders were used by Earth Starfleet prior to the founding of the Federation. (ENT: "Hatchery")

As of 2366, there were no regulations prohibiting the unauthorized recreation of Starfleet personnel on the holodeck. (TNG: "Hollow Pursuits")

Starfleet Charter Articles

  • Article 14, Section 31: The exact language has never been cited, but certain lines in this section permits the use of "extraordinary measures" in times of dire emergency. (ENT: "Divergence")

Federation Regulations

Galactic Emergency Procedures

  • Title 15 of these procedures allows ranking Federation officials to assume direct command of Starfleet vessels under certain conditions. (TOS: "The Galileo Seven")

General Orders

  • General Order 1: "No starship may interfere with the normal development of any alien life or society." (TAS: "The Magicks of Megas-Tu")
General Order 1 is also better known as the Prime Directive. It supersedes all other laws and directives, with the exception of the Omega Directive.
This contradicts General Order 7 below, which is also said to be the only death penalty left. If relations with the Talosians have not changed, it could be this new General Order might have been made to include other planets that might be a threat to the Federation like Talos IV. It is also possible that in "Turnabout Intruder," Chekov misspoke.
In the PC game Star Trek: 25th Anniversary, the USS Enterprise computer states General Order 4 is sometimes confused with General Order 7.
  • General Order 6: If all life aboard a Federation starship has perished, the ship will self-destruct within twenty-four hours to protect other ships from potential hazards within. (TAS: "Albatross")
This order is contradicted by the episodes TOS: "The Omega Glory", "The Tholian Web", and TNG: "Unnatural Selection".
  • General Order 7: No vessel under any condition, emergency or otherwise, is to visit Talos IV.
This is also said to be the only death penalty left in Starfleet. ("The Menagerie, Part I")
This order must have been rescinded for General Order 4 which is also the only death penalty left on the books. As noted above, Chekov may have also misspoken in "Turnabout Intruder."
In the PC game Star Trek: 25th Anniversary, the USS Enterprise computer states General Order 7, and the death penalty associated with it, more generally refers to high treason.
Saavik was interrupted before completing the quotation of the order but it is implied that the ship is supposed to take a defensive posture when faced with a non-communicative ship.
The novel "Rules of Engagement" confirms this, and also states that a Starfleet vessel is not to fire upon a potential hostile unless fired upon first.
Note that Kirk states that 'there's no such regulation', and Saavik's response of understated amusement suggests either that her description of this general order is not accurate and intended only to help persuade Kirk to allow her on the landing party, or that the regulation exists and Kirk was knowingly trying to circumvent it.
Garth may have explained the spirit of the order when he suggested he gave the order because, "I could say they were actively hostile towards the Federation".

Starfleet Directives

  • Directive 010: "Before engaging alien species in battle, any and all attempts to make first contact and achieve nonmilitary resolution must be made." (VOY: "In the Flesh")
  • Directive 101: Any individual accused of murder does not have to answer any questions. (VOY: "Meld")
  • Tactical Directive 36: "The captain will not engage a hostile force without the protection of a security officer." (VOY: "Unimatrix Zero")
B'Elanna Torres made up Tactical Directive 36A at this time, claiming that there should be an engineer with the captain and tactical officer.

Starfleet Orders

  • Starfleet Order 2: Starfleet regulation against the taking of intelligent life. (TAS: "One of Our Planets Is Missing")
  • Starfleet Order 104: Section B, Paragraph 1-A - In the absence of a starship's assigned captain, a flag officer has the authority to assume command of the starship should they deem it necessary. (TOS: "The Doomsday Machine")
  • Starfleet Order 104: Section C - Should it be proven with admissible evidence that the flag officer who has assumed command is medically or psychologically unfit for command, the starship's ranking officer may relieve them on that basis. However, such an action must be supported by an appropriate certification of unfitness by the ship's Chief Medical Officer (requiring the CMO to also produce test results to that effect) or other clear evidence, such as an act of attempted suicide. (ENT: "Hatchery"; TOS: "The Doomsday Machine")
  • Starfleet Order 2005: Orders the destruction of a starship by allowing matter and antimatter to mix in an uncontrolled manner. This is a last resort for a captain that allows him/her to prevent their ship or crew from falling into enemy hands. (Star Trek: The Motion Picture)
  • Starfleet Order 28455: Federation order that dictates the formal relief of a commanding officer by their successor. (Star Trek)
In the alternate reality, Admiral Richard Barnett told Captain James T. Kirk by this order he had to report to Admiral Christopher Pike to relieve him of command of the Enterprise.
  • Special Order 66715: Federation order that states: "[Starfleet has] the authority to neutralize security threats to Deep Space 9 by any means necessary". (DS9: "Inquisition")
This might not actually be a real Order as it appeared only in a simulation created by Luther Sloan. Nevertheless, considering the importance of keeping the station under Federation control during the Dominion War, may also very well be a real order.

Starfleet Regulations

  • Regulation 3 (Paragraph 12): In the event of imminent destruction, a Starfleet Captain is authorized to preserve the lives of his crew by any justifiable means. (VOY: "Equinox")
Captain Ransom attempted to use this regulation to convince Captain Janeway that the actions he took against the nucleogenic lifeforms were justified, but Captain Janeway doubted that the regulation covered mass murder.
  • Regulation 7 (Paragraph 4): An officer must consider himself under arrest, unless in the presence of the most senior fellow officers presently available, the officers must give satisfactory answer to those charges... (TOS: "The Omega Glory")
  • Section 12, Paragraph 4: Relates to the Captain undertaking command of an away mission. (Star Trek Nemesis)
During the Best Man Speech Picard states that Commander Data will never let him undertake an away mission, Data reacts to that by reciting the regulation but is told to shut up by Picard before he can complete his sentence.
  • Regulation 17.43: In an alternate reality, this regulation relates to Starfleet's ethical code of conduct, and was part of the Starfleet Code. Starfleet Academy cadets found cheating were accused to be in violation of the regulation. (Star Trek)
  • Regulation 42/15: "Pressure Variances in IRC Tank Storage" Part of the basic operational specifications for impulse engines, written by Montgomery Scott. The tanks could actually handle more pressure than the regulations allowed - in 2369, Geordi La Forge cited it as part of the impulse specifications while he and Scott worked to make the USS Jenolan operational, at which point Scotty, realizing that he was thinking of this regulation, assured him that, as its author, he knew the tanks could be more efficient, but that La Forge should "Forget it. I wrote it... a good engineer is always a wee bit conservative... at least on paper." (TNG: "Relics")
  • Regulation 46A: If transmissions are being monitored during battle, no uncoded messages on an open channel. (Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan)
  • Regulation 157, Section 3 (Paragraph 18): Starfleet officers shall take all necessary precautions to minimize any participation in historical events. (DS9: "Trials and Tribble-ations")
  • Regulation 191 (Article 14): In a combat situation involving more than one ship, command falls to the vessel with tactical superiority, should there not be a higher ranking officer present. (VOY: "Equinox")
In the novelization, Janeway admits to herself she made the regulation up.
  • Regulation 476.9: All away teams must report to the bridge at least once every 24 hours. (VOY: "Once Upon a Time")
  • Regulation 619: The commanding officer must relieve themselves of command if their current mission leaves them emotionally compromised and unable to make rational decisions. In 2258 of Nero's alternate reality, when, after the destruction of Vulcan, Spock meets a young James T. Kirk, marooned by this timeline's Spock, before returning him to the USS Enterprise, he tells Kirk to use this in order to take command of the ship, knowing that the conservative course his younger self would take would doom Earth to the same fate as Vulcan, while the unorthodox strategy Kirk would follow just might save it. Kirk succeeded in provoking Spock and he resigned command, but acted as Kirk's first officer afterwards during the Battle of Earth. (Star Trek)
In the novelization of the film, Spock, seeing that Kirk was clearly unfamiliar with the regulation, shrugs and admits that he had almost forgotten what little use the Kirk he knew had for such things.

Starfleet Away Team Guidelines

Starfleet Intelligence Procedures

Since this occurred during a holoprogram, it may not have been a real procedure, although there may be some basis or truth to it given the severity of the situation, and the lack of (initial) resistance from Julian Bashir, the only other real person during the simulation.

Starfleet Medical Protocols

  • Regulation 121 (Section A): The chief medical officer has the power to relieve an officer or crewman of his or her duties (including one of superior rank) if, in the CMO's professional judgment, the individual is medically unfit, compromised by an alien intelligence, (TNG: "Lonely Among Us") or otherwise exhibits behavior that indicates seriously impaired judgment. A Starfleet officer can face court martial for failing to submit to such a relief. (VOY: "Year of Hell, Part II")
In an alternate timeline generated by the Krenim, Captain Kathryn Janeway was relieved of her duties under this regulation by Voyager's EMH, who had been observing reckless behavior on her part for weeks and attributed it to traumatic stress syndrome. Janeway refused to surrender her duties, as she felt her efforts to bring her crew home were of more importance. Since security personnel had abandoned the ship, the EMH had no means of enforcing the regulation anyway. Janeway's actions later resulted in the erasure of this timeline, so the issue was nonexistent.
In 2375 aboard the Silver Blood Voyager, Neelix became, unofficially, chief medical officer after the loss of the EMH. He threatened in a lighthearted manner to use his "authority" to relieve Janeway of her duties when she insisted on remaining in command although fatigued. (VOY: "Course: Oblivion")
A captain, when acting in accordance with the Omega Directive, could override this protocol.

Starfleet Privacy Protocols

Starfleet Safety Protocols

  • Un-numbered protocol. Tuvok once claimed that use of the transporters while at warp was a direct violation of Starfleet safety protocols. He did not cite the protocol by number. (VOY: "Maneuvers")
Harry Kim's reaction suggests that the safety protocol may more precisely be a ban against using transporters while the beaming vessel is at warp and the target vessel is at impulse, or stationary. The reason for caution is cited as having to do with the speed differential between the two vessels.

Starfleet Security Protocols

  • Protocol 28 (Subsection D): "In the event of hostile alien takeover the EMH is to deactivate and wait for rescue." (VOY: "Message in a Bottle")
  • Protocol 49.09 (Regarding the treatment of prisoners on-board a starship) In an alternate reality, Spock marooned James T. Kirk on Delta Vega. Kirk believed this act to be a violation of this protocol. (Star Trek)
  • Unnumbered protocol Luther Sloan, posing as Deputy Director of the Department of Internal Affairs, mentioned there is security protocol that prevents others to talk to prisoners under his authority without his clearance. (DS9: "Inquisition")

Starfleet Transfer Regulations

  • SFR-02-0933-3440: Transfer of an Officer to Another Starship
  • SFR-02-0933-3462F: Transfer Authority of a Starbase-Commanding Admiral (see graphic below)
  • SFR-02-0933-3459C: Elegibility of Starfleet Exploratory Corps Personnel to Serve in Other Starfleet Divisions (see graphic below)
  • SFR-02-9384-8896: Transfer of Attached Scientific Personnel to Starship Duty
  • SFR-02-8431-4933: Authority for Assignment of Deep Space Exploratory Corps Personnel
  • SFR-03-3823-3893: Assignment of Starfleet Operational Support Officers
  • SFR-03-8532-3892: Emergency Assignment of Scientific and Research Specialists
  • SFR-03-4832-3843: Notification Requirements for Reassignment Within Deep Space Corps
  • SFR-03-5931-0943: Transfer of Starfleet Diplomatic Corps Personnel to Deep Space Duty
  • SFR-04-4833-9834: Eligibility for Exploratory Corps Personnel to Starbase Assignment
  • SFR-04-4930-0027: Transfer Policies for Daystrom Institute Faculty Researchers
  • SFR-05-3832-9322: Special Environmental Support Provisions for Class-K Native Personnel
  • SFR-05-3023-3893: Equal Treatment for Zero-Gravity Native Personnel
  • SFR-06-3893-3892: Transfer of Starfleet Tactical Specialists to Starbase Service
  • SFR-06-0039-2174: Authority for Assignment of Operational Support Personnel
  • SFR-06-8342-9322: Special Authority for Federation Diplomatic Corps
The regulations detailed in this section appeared in the extended edition of "The Measure Of A Man". In the audio commentary included on the TNG Season 2 Blu-ray set, Mike Okuda describes this set of regulations as "a list of Navy regulations with the word 'Starfleet' substituted for 'Navy'."


Starfleet/Federation Codes

  • Code 1: signals either a total or imminent disaster, a possible invasion, or indicates that the Federation is either currently or about to be engaged in open warfare with a hostile power. The code requires all Starfleet personnel within the affected area to immediately assume a 'war' footing or posture. It is also colloquially known as "Defense Alert", or a "Priority One Alert". (TOS: "Errand of Mercy", "The Trouble with Tribbles", "The Alternative Factor")
  • Code 1-Alpha-Zero: Indicates a starship in distress. (TNG: "Relics")
  • Code 7-10: a "quarantine code". No Starfleet- or Federation-registered starship is to approach a system or vessel which is broadcasting Code 7-10. (TOS: "A Taste of Armageddon")
  • Code 47: an ultra-secure communications protocol, for captain's eyes only. So secure that all traces of a Code 47 transmission or communication are automatically wiped from all computer records. (TNG: "Conspiracy")

Regulations not specified by name or number

Health-related

  • "All research personnel on alien planets are required to have their health certified by a starship surgeon at one-year intervals." (TOS: "The Man Trap")
  • "The ship's surgeon will require a full examination of any crew member that he has doubts about, including the captain." (TOS: "Turnabout Intruder")
  • "Nothing shall be beamed aboard until danger of contamination has been eliminated. Beaming down to the surface (of a planet) is permitted, if the captain decides the mission is vital, and reasonably free of danger". (Star Trek III: The Search for Spock; VOY: "Macrocosm")
  • "The chief medical officer outranks the captain in health matters." (VOY: "Persistence of Vision")
  • An officer taking medical leave could select their rehabilitation facility. (DS9: "It's Only a Paper Moon")
  • "All Starfleet personnel must obtain authorization from their CO as well as clearance from their medical officer before initiating an intimate relationship with an alien species." (VOY: "The Disease")
  • "The transport of a patient is to be performed at the discretion of the attending physician." In an alternate 2258, Leonard McCoy citing this, was allowed to bring Cadet James T. Kirk, suspended from duty, along to his posting aboard the Enterprise, as Kirk was quite visibly suffering from the symptoms of a Melvaran mud flea bite. In truth, McCoy himself was responsible for this, infecting Kirk precisely because he would now have the authority to bring his grounded friend aboard the ship. (Star Trek)

Miscellaneous

  • A Captain is not allowed to leave the ship unaccompanied. (ENT: "First Flight")
  • Removing an individual from a planet despite their will, violated several Regulations, including the Prime Directive. Data reminded this to William Riker who was considering rescuing from execution a group of dissidents of Angel I; they insisted to stay even if this meant to be executed. (TNG: "Angel One")
  • "Striking a fellow officer is a court-martial offense." (TOS: "This Side of Paradise"; VOY: "Parallax"; ENT: "Bound")
  • 23rd century Starfleet captains had a high degree of authority on board the ship they were assigned to command. In extremes, a captain could invoke their "personal authority as captain" to order their subordinates to override the orders of a senior officer, even if the captain was not actually on board ship at the time. Such an order would almost certainly result in at least an inquiry after the crisis had passed. Captain Kirk used his "personal authority" to overrule the orders of Commodore Matthew Decker and to have Spock resume command of the Enterprise during the battle with the planet killer. (TOS: "The Doomsday Machine")
  • "No killing of intelligent lifeforms." (TAS: "One of Our Planets Is Missing")
  • Starfleet regulations call for declaring yellow alert when a starship is targeted by laser weapons. According to Jean-Luc Picard, such regulations were "very old". (TNG: "The Outrageous Okona")
  • Protocol on first contact was available to Starfleet personnel, which was once revised by Captain McCoullough. (DS9: "Move Along Home")
  • According to Starfleet protocol, "sir" was the proper address when responding to one's commanding officer (or possibly any superior officer), (VOY: "Caretaker") but naval tradition dictates the use of "captain", regardless of the CO's rank. (DS9: "Behind the Lines")
  • Starfleet rules forbade dealing with outlaws and getting involved in the politics of other cultures. (VOY: "Alliances")
  • Starfleet protocols included guidelines on proper punctuation of reports, such as conn reports. (VOY: "Dreadnought")
  • "Encroaching on the territory of an alien species is prohibited." (VOY: "The Swarm")
  • "Ground combat personnel are to rotate off the front lines every ninety days." (DS9: "The Siege of AR-558")
  • "Interference in alien conflicts is strictly prohibited." (VOY: "Nightingale")
  • Procedures pertaining to official requests for asylum to a Starfleet captain included a hearing. (VOY: "Death Wish")
  • Accidents aboard Starfleet vessels were to be followed by an investigation into the cause of the accident. (VOY: "Day of Honor")
  • An official/formal letter, written to a senior officer, must be replied to by a senior officer. (VOY: "Tinker Tenor Doctor Spy")
There are no specifics relating to this particular protocol but the implication from Captain Janeway is that an official letter cannot be ignored.

Fictional

Picard telling a lie

Jean-Luc Picard quoting Starfleet Regulation 6.57 to Radue

Jean-Luc Picard quoted this regulation to Radue of the Aldeans who had kidnapped a group of specially gifted children from the Enterprise in 2364; Radue offered scientific knowledge as compensation. Moments later, when Data admitted not to be familiar with the regulation, Picard revealed that it was in fact non-existent. It was merely something he made up on the spot in order to deceive the Aldeans to allow him to bring Beverly Crusher with him to their planet's surface.
  • Tactical Directive 36A: "The captain will not engage a hostile force without the protection of a security officer." (VOY: "Unimatrix Zero")
B'Elanna Torres made up Tactical Directive 36A at this time, claiming that there should be an engineer with the captain and tactical officer.

Apocrypha

  • Protocol B: regulated how crewmembers could access all power components on a Starship if they were no longer deemed reliable. (TNG: "Evolution" cut scene)
  • Starfleet Catastrophic Response Code, Section A: When all forms of communication fail to establish a link between Starfleet vessels and any Federation outpost, all personal and ordnance will attempt immediate rendezvous at Starfleet Command. (Star Trek: First Frontier)
  • General Order 16: All Starfleet ships detecting the energy signature from one of the four Malkus Artifacts are under orders to find and confiscate the artifacts. (Star Trek: The Brave and the Bold)
  • The only recorded instances of General Order 24 actually being carried out are the first issue of the Gold Key Star Trek comic series: "The Planet of No Return", and the novel Reap the Whirlwind in the Star Trek: Vanguard series.
  • General Order 34: Starfleet captains will honor, respect, and display extreme tolerance for species-based customs and practices insofar as the safety of the vessel is not threatened by such practices. (Star Trek: New Frontier novel Being Human)
  • Regulation 121: An emotionally compromised officer is not fit to serve in the position of captain. (Star Trek novelization)
Invoked by Kirk during the argument which would lead to his banishment from the Enterprise, this is, at face value, the same thing as Regulation 619 - though given Kirk's clear unfamiliarity with 619, as stated above, it is possible that Kirk was aware that such a regulation existed, but incorrectly remembered the number.
  • UFP Regulation 342-188564.3 (Paragraph 3): A class-3 biohazard alert. All personnel not part of a Biohazard Response Team are to stay away from any site broadcasting such an alert. (Star Trek: 25th Anniversary, Episode 3: "Love's Labor Jeopardized")
  • Secret Regulations of Stardate 7500: The exact language was not specified, but the secret regulations of stardate 7500 were outlined the response to an invasion of the Federation. They were created on stardate 7500, amended stardate 42799, and gave the officer who invoked it the authority to second any Starfleet officers to their command and seniority in command decisions related to the invaders. (Star Trek: The Return)
In 2270 Commander Riker invoked the secret regulations in response to the threat of an invasion by an alliance of the Borg Collective and a breakaway faction of the Romulan Star Empire.

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