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Old July 1 2013, 01:27 AM   #147
Crazy Eddie
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Re: Scotty and his military comment

Belz... wrote: View Post
Your contention that the presence of civilians make Starfleet officers not military personal is unfounded and ridiculous, and that was my point.
The presence of civilians ON STARSHIPS does. Especially since these are not civilians attached in a working capacity or as part of a mission requirement (e.g. scientists, reporters, advisors, etc) but are in fact the spouses and children of officers and/or civilians attached to that ship. This for the Enteprise-D, arguably the largest and most powerful starship in the entire fleet, a ship which is regularly assigned to combat missions or missions which potentially carry a very high risk of combat.

Nor am I claiming that THAT ALONE makes them a non-military organization. Picard's explicit statement does that for me; the fact that the most powerful ship in the fleet carries non-combatants as a matter of course is just the clearest example of the mindset behind that statement.

Yes, the Enterprise-D has families on board because of the very long nature of its exploration mission.
Enterprise-D never gets far enough from Federation space for this explanation to be even REMOTELY true. In TNG's first season the Enterprise visits two different starbases and even manages a trip to Earth; throughout its seven years in service, in fact, the Enterprise-D is not more than a few days travel from a starbase or a few weeks' travel from Earth.

It's also tasked with protecting the assets of the Federation, and to that effect it can send the civilians away in the saucer section when about to engage in battle.
Which reflects the nature of the organization itself: the ship is designed so that it can be rapidly converted into a combat vessel when the need arises, in much the same way a civilian can be trained to drop whatever he's doing, go grab a weapon and report for duty.

Which, in essence, means that Starfleet is an exploration service that doesn't mind being conscripted. They bring their families along because exploration is their MAIN role; they separate the saucer because combat is an emergency role.
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