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Old December 8 2012, 12:02 AM   #1
Minuet
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OK, How Does Starfleet Academy Work Exactly?

How does it work? Is it consistent throughout all the series?

Wait, I forgot, nothing is consistent in Trek.

But in all seriousness, I want to know if Roddenberry or anyone came up with a basic idea of what Starfleet Academy is like, and did they use those guidelines for future references to it?

As far as I can tell, anyone can enlist and become a non-com crewman, but according to a Voyager episode ("Meld" I think), non-coms can be recommended for the officer program. So, already it's working differently than the actual military. Then again, I know less about the actual military than I thought I did, so I could be wrong on that.

In that case, what does it take to become an officer? Can you just apply? Obviously it doesn't cost money. I know that non-Federation races have to be recommended by an established officer, as seen in DS9. Say I'm a Federation race, like a Tellarite (which I wouldn't be, because I don't see myself as remotely pig-like, unless I'm eating macaroni and cheese with bacon sprinkled on top, but humor me). Can I simply enroll and start classes in officer's school? Is it based on my primary school grades? In that case, they probably have complicated rules for transferring from non-human schools. For that matter, what is education like in the Federation--is it standardized across all Federation worlds?

I think my head just exploded with questions.

Maybe to be an officer, you need good grades, but any schmuck can become a non-com. Or maybe to be a officer, you just need to take a lot more schooling. Non-coms can clearly advance to become officers at some point, just like in the real military (okay, I know for a fact that happens, at least).

Any enlightenment on this issue? I realize this sort of thing is poorly developed in snippets across the entire breadth of the franchise, so we don't have much to go on.
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Old December 8 2012, 12:13 AM   #2
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Re: OK, How Does Starfleet Academy Work Exactly?

There have been episodes of TNG that showed Wesley testing to see if he would get accepted. Picard mentioned that he failed his entrance exam the first time. So it seems there is some requirement beyond being a federation citizen for gaining acceptance.
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Old December 8 2012, 12:17 AM   #3
Minuet
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Re: OK, How Does Starfleet Academy Work Exactly?

Oh, that's right, I forgot about that. That makes sense.

Now I'm wondering if non-coms have to take an entrance exam too. Probably not.
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Old December 8 2012, 12:50 AM   #4
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Re: OK, How Does Starfleet Academy Work Exactly?

Some sort of basic aptitude test might exist, to make sure the applicant can walk and chew gum at the same time.
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Old December 8 2012, 12:51 AM   #5
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Re: OK, How Does Starfleet Academy Work Exactly?

sbk1234 wrote: View Post
There have been episodes of TNG that showed Wesley testing to see if he would get accepted. Picard mentioned that he failed his entrance exam the first time. So it seems there is some requirement beyond being a federation citizen for gaining acceptance.
Even Federation citizenship may not be required. Ensign Ro was Bajoran and Bajor wasn't a Federation member.

Or maybe Ro Laren was a Federation citizen even though Bajor wasn't in the Federation.
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Old December 8 2012, 12:58 AM   #6
Minuet
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Re: OK, How Does Starfleet Academy Work Exactly?

Sometimes I guess we just have to accept that TPTB make shit up as they go on occasion.
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Old December 8 2012, 01:01 AM   #7
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Re: OK, How Does Starfleet Academy Work Exactly?

See here.
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Old December 8 2012, 01:02 AM   #8
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Re: OK, How Does Starfleet Academy Work Exactly?

Minuet wrote: View Post

Now I'm wondering if non-coms have to take an entrance exam too. Probably not.
Noncoms don't go to the Academy.
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Old December 8 2012, 01:05 AM   #9
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Re: OK, How Does Starfleet Academy Work Exactly?

SchwEnt wrote: View Post
sbk1234 wrote: View Post
There have been episodes of TNG that showed Wesley testing to see if he would get accepted. Picard mentioned that he failed his entrance exam the first time. So it seems there is some requirement beyond being a federation citizen for gaining acceptance.
Even Federation citizenship may not be required. Ensign Ro was Bajoran and Bajor wasn't a Federation member.

Or maybe Ro Laren was a Federation citizen even though Bajor wasn't in the Federation.
I think they mentioned once that members of non-Federation worlds must be sponsored by a high-ranking officer.
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Old December 8 2012, 01:09 AM   #10
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Re: OK, How Does Starfleet Academy Work Exactly?

^ Yep. It was the episode where Nog wanted to apply. He needed Sisko's recommendation (any command level officer would have sufficed) first.
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Old December 8 2012, 01:20 AM   #11
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Re: OK, How Does Starfleet Academy Work Exactly?

Minuet wrote: View Post
Sometimes I guess we just have to accept that TPTB make shit up as they go on occasion.
Or they base it on their knowledge or research of similar real life institutions.
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Old December 8 2012, 02:05 AM   #12
Minuet
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Re: OK, How Does Starfleet Academy Work Exactly?

Santa Kang wrote: View Post
Minuet wrote: View Post
Sometimes I guess we just have to accept that TPTB make shit up as they go on occasion.
Or they base it on their knowledge or research of similar real life institutions.
I agree. The point I was trying to convey is the fact that only a handful of things were ever set in stone when Gene Roddenberry laid ground rules, and even those things have been bent and broken on occasion. Many of the inconsistencies have been caused by writer error and/or bad fact checking, or even, on unfortunate occasion, blatant disregard for continuity. But that's our favorite show for you.
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Old December 8 2012, 02:13 AM   #13
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Re: OK, How Does Starfleet Academy Work Exactly?

SchwEnt wrote: View Post
sbk1234 wrote: View Post
There have been episodes of TNG that showed Wesley testing to see if he would get accepted. Picard mentioned that he failed his entrance exam the first time. So it seems there is some requirement beyond being a federation citizen for gaining acceptance.
Even Federation citizenship may not be required. Ensign Ro was Bajoran and Bajor wasn't a Federation member.

Or maybe Ro Laren was a Federation citizen even though Bajor wasn't in the Federation.
Nog wasn't a Federation citizen and he got in. However, I think non-Federation citizens need a recommendation from a Starfleet command officer, which Nog got from Sisko.
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Old December 8 2012, 02:32 AM   #14
Nerys Myk
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Re: OK, How Does Starfleet Academy Work Exactly?

Minuet wrote: View Post
Santa Kang wrote: View Post
Minuet wrote: View Post
Sometimes I guess we just have to accept that TPTB make shit up as they go on occasion.
Or they base it on their knowledge or research of similar real life institutions.
I agree. The point I was trying to convey is the fact that only a handful of things were ever set in stone when Gene Roddenberry laid ground rules, and even those things have been bent and broken on occasion. Many of the inconsistencies have been caused by writer error and/or bad fact checking, or even, on unfortunate occasion, blatant disregard for continuity. But that's our favorite show for you.
GR was more than happy to break his own "ground rules". The first season of TOS was full of retcons, resets and re-imaginings. Nothing was set in stone till they found something that worked. Truth is fans are a lot more concerned with continuity than writers and producers.
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Old December 8 2012, 03:03 AM   #15
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Re: OK, How Does Starfleet Academy Work Exactly?

I see it working like a uni with an entrance exam, basically.
It has a military dimension on top of the academic dimension, but whichever is dominant depends on the series: TNG will show it in a more scholarly light, DS9 in a more military light.
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