What is STARFLEET?
Why is STARFLEET the Military Organization of the Federation?
The Composition of STARFLEET
Special Operations Forces
Starfleet is tasked with the protection of hundreds of worlds, trillions of citizens, and thousands of lightyears. With the number of member worlds of the Federation, Starfleet can draw personnel from hundreds of species. This makes Starfleet a mosaic of races, colors, shapes, and languages. Much like most modern military organizations, there are two paths to service: enlisted and officer training. Enlisted personnel in Starfleet are much most current military organizations, there is a ceiling to the level of advancement within Starfleet. Someone that enlists in Starfleet is shut out of the captain's chair and officers, but not always from supervisory roles or even command roles in certain cases.
To achieve the dream of most Starfleet hopefuls, to command a starship, they must pass the rigorous entrance exams for Starfleet Academy. Based on Earth in the city of San Francisco, California, Starfleet Academy is considered one of the finest educational institutions in the whole of the Federation. Here, the vocational destiny of the cadet is determined based on their abilities and interests. After graduation, most emerge as lieutenants and are assigned according to the needs of Starfleet and their abilities.
Some will go on to even higher levels of education, like Medical School. Some personnel of Starfleet enter into the organization later into life with education and skills, like medical doctors and scientists. Some personnel are not officially Starfleet per say, and contacted for their skills and abilities on a project. This is the case with some scientists and engineers assigned to research areas of Starfleet. Due to the length of time that Starfleet has been around, both fictional and in the real world, there are no firm numbers on how many people serve in Starfleet. Some place the number in the hundreds of thousands, but it is more likely that it is in the millions.
STARFLEET Rank System
Considering its size and complexity, Starfleet has a relatively straightforward ranking system for non-commissioned and commissioned personnel. For commissioned officers at attend the academy, they achieve the rank of Jr. Ensign, then Ensign, and by the time they graduate, they are Jr. Lieutenants.For the bulk of their early years in service, a majority of officers will remain within the Lieutenants grades. Once achieving the rank of Commander, it is a short trip to the big chair (well...not if you are Riker).
STARFLEET of the 2260's
STARFLEET of the 2270's-2290's
STARFLEET of the 2340's-2267
STARFLEET After the Battle of Wolf 359 and the Dominion War
Prior to the battle, Starfleet had been working on more offensive solutions to the Borg threat, and new starships were being planned that were more combat minded than previous along when new weapon systems, like Quantum torpedoes and pulse phasers. The Akira and Defiant class were planned out to be ships that could counter the Borg. Only the Akira class would see service into the fleet prior to the Dominion War. This threat altered thinking of starship design as well, as seen in the Steamrunner class.
From 2372-2373, the Klingon and Federation tensions exploded into all out war. This was on the heels of the Klingons invading Cardassian space after a coup in the Cardassian central government. The Klingons believed that the Cardassian government had been taken over by the Dominion. However, all of this was a plot by the Dominion to destabilize the whole of the Alpha Quadrant. It very nearly worked. In 2373 through 2375, Starfleet, weakened by the Klingon War, engaged in the largest war in its existence. This was a war for the very survival of the Quadrant, and all of the Federation rose up. In order to counter the 30,000 ships of the Dominion and their Cardassian and Breen allies, Starfleet broke out the mothball fleet and pushed ship construction to the minimum, in order to put starships on the line.
The Future of STARFLEET: 24th Century and Beyond
The Enemies of STARFLEET
The Final Assessment on STARFLEET
The Impact of STARFLEET and Its Importance
There is nothing like Starfleet in the whole of science fiction, before or since. Since the 1960's, we have seen the evolution of Starfleet in both real-world time and the fictional timeline. We have Starfleet evolve from its beginnings in the 22nd century through the 24th. This has never been done before in an fictional military organization, especially one featured across most media platforms. Along the way, we have seen the continued development of their uniforms, their technology, and their ships. This also applies to new aliens being added to their ranks and even the evolution of the government that Starfleet serves. What also makes Starfleet unique to science fiction is its mission and the fandom. Unlike the vast majority of fictional military organizations, Starfleet is not whole devoted to defense or militarism. Instead, Starfleet embraces several core missions: defense, exploration, diplomacy, and peacekeeping. This construction of Starfleet has made other creators take note of how an space navy can be much more than just an navy.
The Confusion over Starfleet's Purpose and Mission
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