Space. The final frontier. Unfortunately filled with several inconsistencies and errors. And there are many things that simply don't make sense in a modern military organization.
As the present timeline approaches the year 2380 I try to provide a more military like view over the most Starfleet related subjects such as ranks and ships. The goal is—as the Borg Queen would say—to bring "order to chaos".
Many things I present here are not canon. I simply made them up in order to bring the most consistency into the various series so that it makes sense in the end. That is also the reason why my present time in the year 2380.
Ranks and Divisions
Officer Ranks and Insignia
- Colonel is the lowest flag officer rank. Colonels command a wing or brigade or are deputy directors of a major branch. Sometime prior to 2290 the rank was known as commodore but was then renamed to colonel.
- Rear Admirals are commanders of a task force or director of a minor branch.
- Vice Admirals are commanders of a numbered fleet or the director of a major branch.
- Admirals are the commanders of starfleet at Starfleet Command.
- The starfleet Commander-in-Chief, appointed by the Federation Council, holds the rank of fleet admiral for the duration of his assignment.
- Note: Fleet Admiral is not a seperate rank and strictly temporary.
Lieutenant Junior Grade
provisional Lieutenant Junior Grade
provisional Lieutenant Commander
- Lieutenants are the head of a minor department of a vessel, station or installation.
- Lieutenant Commanders are the head of a major department of a vessel, station, or installation. They can be the XO of a captain or in rare cases the CO of a small vessel.
- Commanders command small vessles (scouts or destroyers), outposts, installations, or are usually the XO of a Captain.
- Captains command large vessels (frigates or cruisers), large space stations or large installations.
- Fleet Captains command squadrons, battle groups, are the XO of a wing commander or are deputy directors of a minor branch.
Officer Candidate Insignia
Cadet 4th Class
Cadet 3rd Class
Cadet 2nd Class
Cadet 1st Class
Enlisted Ranks and Insignia
| no insignia|
Petty Officer 3rd Class
Petty Officer 2nd Class
Petty Officer 1st Class
Chief Petty Officer
Senior Chief Petty Officer
Master Chief Petty Officer
Warrant officers are enlisted personel who hold the position of a full officer. Enlisted crewmen can in some cases be promoted to warrant officer grades if they have a special skill set which is better suited for the position than the skills of an officer, even though they have never attended Starfleet Academy.
- Command: Red is only worn by COs and XOs of a vessel or base and officers (Lieutenants and above only) and enlisted personel (Chiefs only) that have certain command responsibilities or are adjutants to the command staff. Flag Officers always belong to the command division.
- Operations: Most Starfleet personel wears gold. The operations division has a variety of branches including all those that are not covered by either command or sciences. The operations division employs personel essential for operating and maintaining a vessel or station.
- Note: In later DS9 episodes we see that all (or most) helmsmen wear a gold uniform instead of the classical red (or red-equivalent) as in every other series. Since DS9 has the newest timeline and a helmsman in operations division makes more sense to me than a helmsman in command division, I decides that now the helm belongs to the operations division.
- Sciences: The sciences division employs primarily non-combat personel.
|Duty Uniform (Officer)||Duty Uniform (Flag Officer)||Combat Uniform||Dress Uniform|
|Admiral Matthew Dogherty|
- Note: Even though the duty uniform is supposed to be durable und comfortable in all situations, all away teams are required to wear the combat uniform istead for increased protection. Security personel wear the combat uniform at all times.
- Note: The starships USS Centaur, USS Yeager and USS Curry are of unknown class while some ship classes are of unknown appearance, especially the classes from the Starship mission status screen from TNG. Since starfleet has already too many ship classes in my opinion I decided that the USS Centaur is a Renaissance class starship, the USS Yeager is a Korolev-class starship and the USS Curry is a Merced class-class starship. This descision is based on the missions described on the status screen and the relativly close registry numbers.
- Also, the starships from Star Trek: First Contact seem to have very recent designes, yet some very low registry numbers (Steamrunner class for example shares design elements with the Soverign class but as a very low registry). I will call that a CGI-error and will change the registries of some ships to make them more modern and put them at the end of the ship lineage:
- USS Yeager (NCC-81947) (Saber class)
- USS Appalachia (NCC-72136) (Steamrunner class)
- USS Thunderchild (NCC-73549) (Akira class)
Scouts are small and lightly armed vessels used primarily for survey, supply or reconaissance missions. Scout typed are usually commanded by a commander.
Destroyers are small to medium sized vessels designed to provide escort for capital ships or convoys, or to defend a planet or space station. They sacrifice luxury and high warp capabilities in favor of strong offensive systems. Destroyers were redesignated as escorts in the early 24th century in favor of escorts, a less military-like designation. Both escorts and frigates are referred to as destroyer units.
- class II: combat
Frigates are also medium sized vessels designed to fulfil a variety of different missions due to their many auxilliary facilities such as science labs or VIP quarters. Frigates are the "workhorse" of starfleet and are the most well-rounded ship type. They may not be as powerful as cruisers, but they are much cheaper to produce.
Light cruisers are larger than frigates or destroyers and like all cruisers designed to operate in deep space. They are well armed and powerful enough to take out enemy destroyer units. Due to their size, light cruisers are suited for a variety of different missions, but they are specially designed for deep space tactical assignments.
Today, heavy cruisers are the only capital ships in starfleet. They are the fastest and best armed ships in the fleet ans traditionally used as flagships and for deep space exploration. In times of war the heavy cruisers serve also as battle cruisers to counter other large enemy vessels.
- class I: multi-purpose, flagship
Dreadnoughts were an experimental ship type designed to be even larger and better armed than heavy cruisers, but the high cost and the limited mission capabilities lead to the discontinuation of this ship type. The only ship class ever classified as a dreadnought is the Federation-class.
- Example: Destroyer Units
- Example: Battle Group Omega
A wing consists of a number of units and squadrons to undertake a certain type of operations. A task wing is commanded by a colonel.
- Exapmle: Seventh Tactical Wing
A fleet describes all ships in a certain region of space. The fleet can consist of task forces, wings, squadrons and units. The head of a fleet is a vice admiral.
- Example: Second Fleet
Since the return of the USS Voyager returned from the Delta Quadrant in 2379, starfleet RND is in the process of developing several new technologies and systems that Voyager acquired during her long journey. Some of the technologies are installed on next-generation starships and some are still years before implementation.
Emergency Command Hologram
The ECH was originally developed by the EMH of the starship USS Voyager. Starfleet soon realised that this technology could be extremely useful in case of an emergency on a starship if the crew is incapacitated. It is also a much better way to lock out command systems if necessary, because the holomatrix contains an extremely sophisticated AI and can still act on its own and does not have to remain completely passive like the ordinary computer.
Ablative Armor Generator
The nanotech molecular armor plating was originally developed in the early 25th century. The armor is also powerful enough to refract ordinary directed energy weapons more effective than shields. The downside on the other hand is that the armor does not protect the ship against any form of radiation as shields do. Also in some areas the armor has to be deactivated so that phasers or torpedoes can be fired. Also the matter for the armor has to be stored somewhere on the ship prior to its deployment.
Although the armor was brought back to starfleet from the future and already installed aboard the USS Voyager, RND could not completely reverse engineer the technology. The current armor technology is now less sophisticated than the original from the future, but recent tests show that it is still about twice as effective as modern shields in case of energy absorption.
Quantum Slipstream Drive
Since the development of the warp drive scientists already dreamed of an even faster way to travel. Starfleet tried to develop transwarp technology but ultimately failed. The quantum slipstream technology opens a new way to approach that issue.
First test flights have already been very successful but it is still in the experimental phase. RND estimated that the technology will be ready for implementation within the next three years.