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Old July 24 2013, 04:40 AM   #106
Crazy Eddie
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Re: Marines and Combat Personel?

Darkwing wrote: View Post
Kolrami appeared to be a contractor, to me. But again, I've experienced many "requests", such as "5th fleet requests a ship to investigate a suspicious dhow". That was a ranking officer kind enough to let several skippers argue who should get the tasking, rather than deciding to interrupt a particular ship's tasking.
That would apply to Enterprise nicely, wouldn't it? Starfleet has requested one of its galaxy class starships participate in the Braslota War Games and has given no specific orders for who and when that participation occurs. Kolrami as a defense contractor makes sense too, especially since he seems to have access to at least one (probably several) decommissioned Starships.

Enterprise gets tossed in front of the Borg, then Picard calls Starfleet command and says "Okay, we'll do it."

so, which branch? AF, Army, Navy, CG, Guard? I'm gueessing CG.
Navy, though not half as long as intended due to a disagreement between my skull and an exploding air tank over which had the right of way.

Remember, Paramount didn't have a military advisor, and SG-1 did, yet they're not that good about it, either. It's just Hollywood writing out of their nether orifice.
True as that is, there seems to be a general lack of motivation to depict Starfleet AS a military organization. Ira Stephen Berr, in particular, certainly had ample opportunities to consult a military adviser or at least make a definitive statement one way or the other. He continued to straddle the fence for reasons unknown, even after finally taking DS9 in its "grittier" direction.

courts-martial? Uniform regs? Causus Belli? POW camps? We never saw Starfleet ever do anything that wasn't a military mission, aside from scale/milieu...
The thing is, I've also worked for PMCs and private security companies that ALSO maintain military discipline, including uniform codes and a review process that they unofficially refer to as court-martial (but is really just an ad hoc meeting of a couple of supervisors to decide whether to simply fire you or fire and prosecute you, kinda like in The Menagerie).

I've said many times that the difference between military and paramilitary organizations is their specific legal standings. I've had experience with both, enough to know that the differences between them are only easy to see when you know ahead of time which one you're looking at.

One of the security companies I worked with had a uniform code for some of its armed guards that intentionally resembled the uniforms worn by police officers, the idea being that if you have to confront a trespasser, it's best to be less than obvious that armed security guards actually have no legal powers whatsoever and are really just there to look intimidating and scary and make trespassers not want to come in the first place. This was a jarring realization that, in hindsight, may have colored my interpretation of Starfleet as well: in the same way an armed guard has all the trappings of a cop but none of the power, Starfleet seems to have all the trappings of a miliary, but not of the legal recognition. In the end, that legal status is everything: it's the difference between the Coast Guard and the Marine Police, between the Navy and a PMC. Starfleet doesn't appear to be LEGALLY a military organization, and it shows.

NOAA, NASA, et alia took over some of those jobs because it spread the work to other bureacracies. This created the false idea the military isn't part of that.
That's not even an "idea" let alone a false one. Star Trek is actually unique among science fiction -- and particularly in space opera -- for depicting Starfleet as a very soft, non-military organization. The rest of the genre takes it as a foregone conclusion that Space Is an Ocean and Starships Belong To the Navy.

On that scale, only an anarchy would allow world-killing weapons to anyone except the military.
Under present conditions, yes. Under the conditions that exist in the Federation... who knows?
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