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Old December 5 2012, 10:04 PM   #69
Darkwing
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Location: This dry land thing is too wierd!
Re: Starfleet Marine Corps

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I think you're overestimating the centralization of the Federation. Even in the 24th century, it still strikes me as more similar to 19th century USA than today's USA. And at that point, if I'm not mistaken, most American ground troops were still state-raised.[/QUOTE]
They were recruited by locale, but trained by federals and employed federally. Regardless, the UFP seems to me to be a mix of 18th century fleet, 19th century colonies, and 21st century metropolisi. Earth seems like a melange of NY, SF, and other major cities.

There are ways to minimize the problems, like requiring every member planet military to train, organize and equip their troops according to Starfleet ground forces guidelines and having Starfleet oversee and command them (perhaps through an official umbrella organization called "the Federation Army"). Besides, I think it would be rather rare for these local armies to ever really work with one another. Defending the surface of one planet would be a mostly independent and self-reliant affair, largely unconnected to the defence of another planet (but connected to the naval war in space). And these troops would be stationary and wouldn't deploy "overseas" - Stafleet's own ground troops would be used for expeditionary missions, like you said yourself. Local troops could get federalized and deployed in support of Starfleet but I don't think there'd be much need for that. I have the feeling the Federation never really needed to fight a large ground war before the Dominion War.
Exactly what I described, except that having a UFP Army means that those soldiers rotate from one planetary garrison to another, helping keep them from stagnating or developing excessive local loyalty that might override loyalty to the UFP overall.

Darkwing wrote: View Post
Not really, MAs and Marines are nowhere near the same, even though a cursory glance makes it seem that way to a civilian.
True, but how do we know to which category Starfleet security belongs?
I'd assume Security were like Masters-at-Arms, based on seeing them in action, and not being impressed with the combat abilities of redshirts in most episodes. That, and marines have a clannishness that differs from sailors and soldiers.

Anyway, I don't think determining whether Starfleet security are Marines or not and whether they can fight well on land is all that important to the greater question of the existence of separate ground units. It doesn't matter. Even if they are Marines, they're still needed on their ships and starbases. Sure, you can use them for small scale short-term actions - but anything more than that (it doesn't have to be anything "militaristic", say you're conducting a large humanitarian mission on a war-torn planet and you need to protect your humanitarian workers) and you'll be leaving your ships and facilities vulnerable and undermanned. You need to have independent ground units.
I also liked the Diplomatic Protection Group we saw in Rules of Engagement (Morwood).
timmy84 wrote: View Post
I have no doubt several worlds have independent military worlds. I'm also willing to believe several worlds have disbanded anything resembling a military since they are deep within the Federation and therefore don't need a military (so border worlds and worlds with strong military traditions probably still have planetary militaries).
Possible, but I'd think that in the early days, the UFP would exert a lot of pressure to consolidate forces into the federal level - and we see that somewhat with the Green Fleet - those Starfleet ships crewed solely by Vulcans - and the Blue Fleet, FASA's proposed Andorian-crewed ships. They're Starfleet vessels, but operated under the aegis of a founding race FOR the UFP.
I still don't believe that Starfleet (or the Federation) has a dedicated Army/ Naval Infantry/ Marine Corps / whatever you want to call it. We can debate this by todays standards, but thats us trying to put our beliefs on a fictional universe thats supposed to be better then us.
And how is it "better" to disarm and forego a military? That's foolhardy. Trying to make a more enlightened, responsible military makes sense, as long as it doesn't get out of hand and render that force useless. We did that in history, with the Society of Cinncinatus establishing the primacy of civilian control over the military, with the Nuremburg ruling, the Geneva convention, etc.
And if grade schoolers are learning calculus, then I think Red Shirt (Gold Shirt?) Number 52 also knows how to flank the enemy when needed and throw a photon grenade.
Based on episodes, I'd say about as well as a vidiot playing Call of Duty could
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