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Old June 23 2013, 09:48 PM   #5
Re: Marines and Combat Personel?

Is there such thing as actual soldiers with body armor rather than crewmembers who have combat training?
Why would "armor" and "training" be competing concepts? Surely there can be actual soldiers who have no armor and happen to be crew members to boot.

Also, does the ST universe use any tanks or armored ground vehicles?
Why would they? After all, they have shielded flying vehicles - surely a mere armored ground crawler would be inferior in every respect!

Nope, we haven't seen any ground-bound combat vehicles used. A four-wheeled vehicle was used in ST:Nemesis, and had a gun pintle in the rear (without anything useful like stabilization, it seems), but this did not appear to be a combat vehicle as such. And even this vehicle flew in the end...

Colonel West in STVI is given a traditional army/marine rank rather than navy like most of Starfleet, which seems to indicate there are specific ground troops somewhere!
The intelligence service of Romulus also used army ranks - and Colonel West appears to be a Starfleet Intelligence man, or at least a covert operations specialist. Perhaps spy organizations are the only ones to use army ranks in the Trek future?

(Of course, it's possible there never was any "Colonel West". The poor chap's surname may simply be Cornell-West... When the name is used at the President's office, it is in a situation where nobody gets called by rank - the President insists on first or last names instead.)

We see people who concentrate on ground combat (but perhaps only because the circumstances force them to?) in uniforms only ever seen on people involved in ground combat (but that proves nothing much) in two episodes: "Nor a Battle to the Strong" and "The Siege of AR-558". In the former, the character is a Lieutenant, which can be a navy or army rank alike; he speaks of a platoon of his, fitting aboard one of those hopper things, so he may be the officer in command of the platoon (thus close to the definition of an army Lieutenant today) or then an officer in command of several platoons of which this was one (thus closer to the navy definition of Lieutenant, or army Captain). In the latter, a bunch of characters without specified rank were commanded by a Captain and then by a Commander until those became casualties, suggesting a navy style hierarchy.

Timo Saloniemi
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