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Old November 30 2012, 09:45 AM   #46
KamenRiderBlade
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Re: How militarized should Starfleet be?

Even in the first TV movie of Babylon 5, Garibaldi had a vest that took a energy weapon shot and saved him from certain death.

With all the sheer technology that Starfleet has, including those phaser proof plastic looking barrels, they could've made body armor with the material in those barrels.
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Old November 30 2012, 05:09 PM   #47
J.T.B.
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Re: How militarized should Starfleet be?

Nope. Just nope. Read the "Hornblower" novels. Starfleet is part American Coast Guard, but mostly 18th century English navy, when captains were explorers, diplomats and even (kind of) representatives of commercial interests.
Well... they could act in that capacity, sure, but the vast majority of 18th century British (not English) Royal Navy captains commanded warships on military assignments. Military, that is, in the modern sense of the armed forces, rather than the meaning back then which was exclusive of maritime services. Hornblower's career was built around war, the diplomatic missions he undertook completely war-related.

"Star Trek" is not war. When that does happen on-screen in the spin-offs, I very rapidly lose interest. If you want space battles, there are plenty of other shows. They are great; I hope you enjoy them. Instead, what made (and makes) Trek great is hope for the future. How can that possibly include a Starfleet constantly poised for battle? I resist and resent militaristic revisionism.
Starfleet's war-fighting mission was there from the beginning, so it's hard to see where there's any revisionism. Even first season TOS posited a tense "international" situation where there was a fair chance of war breaking out, and in fact war did break out in one episode. Given that setting, limiting plots to those that exclude "military" possibilities seems like an unrealistic storytelling restriction.

Starfleet is the future NASA.
Do NASA employees fall under a military legal code? No, NASA may be comparable to some aspects of Starfleet but the two are hardly parallel.

Justin
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Old November 30 2012, 06:55 PM   #48
Gotham Central
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Re: How militarized should Starfleet be?

People also seem to forget that the modern US military is heavily involved in scientific exploration and research and employs quite a few scientists.

People forget that the internet was a technology developed by the Department of Defense.

Bob Ballard was an officer in the US Navy and was actually on an assignment for the Navy (looking for the USS Thresher) when he and his team found the Titanic.

Even NASA is deeply intwined with the US military.
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Old November 30 2012, 07:06 PM   #49
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Re: How militarized should Starfleet be?

"Even NASA is deeply intwined with the US military."

Even ??????
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Old December 3 2012, 03:31 PM   #50
Darkwing
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Re: How militarized should Starfleet be?

Merry Farrell wrote: View Post
i think starfleet is as militaristic as it needs to be. sure they could introduce more practical things like seatbelts or personal forcefields, but meh. .
Missing the point. and real militaries can be equally blind and stupid.

i've come across plenty of terrible gung-ho fanfiction about 'starfleet marines' created by people who'd watched starship troopers and failed to grasp the satire.
Well, that satire trashed a good book and made a bad movie an even poorer joke...

its hard to say 'we come in peace' with a gun in your hand.
Not at all. Kirk did it all the time. That gun isn't alive and doesn't make decisions. TOS taught me that complaining about the gun in the hand didn't address the actual problem, and that the ambassadors who did that usually couldn't solve the problems a military man could - because he had a gun in his hand and didn't shirk from using it when needed, but also because he knew what he could do with it, and wanted to avoid having to use it. Wishing guns away never works and doesn't solve issues between nations.

I've always seen Starfleet as the military, just more relaxed about day-to-day protocol than today's, while being even harsher when someone transgresses. When a junior crewman berates a senior, they get slammed with threats of court-martial, while allowing fraternization and other modern violations without a thought. Essentially, it's become a Hollywood writer's idea of what the military is bastardized with what they'd like it to be. I'd like to see a little more attention paid to the military structure and customs and ceremonies, but not slavish devotion to it. All this, of course, is a separate discussion from the whole idea that we should think of Starfleet as the Federation military, soething I take as a given, and which seems to me like the OP's baseline assumption when asking "how militarized should Starfleet be?"
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Old December 3 2012, 03:50 PM   #51
Darkwing
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Re: How militarized should Starfleet be?

jayrath wrote: View Post
Nope. Just nope. Read the "Hornblower" novels. Starfleet is part American Coast Guard, but mostly 18th century English navy, when captains were explorers, diplomats and even (kind of) representatives of commercial interests.
Hornblower was Roddenberry's inspiration. Starfleet was explicitly based on the concept of the 18th century Royal Navy, but using then then-current version of the US Navy for structure, to make it easier for audiences to grasp.

"Star Trek" is not war. When that does happen on-screen in the spin-offs, I very rapidly lose interest. If you want space battles, there are plenty of other shows. They are great; I hope you enjoy them. Instead, what made (and makes) Trek great is hope for the future. How can that possibly include a Starfleet constantly poised for battle?
That's an untrue and disingenous revision of the idea that Starfleet is the military.

I resist and resent militaristic revisionism. Starfleet is the future NASA.
I disagree heartily. Roddenberry meant it to be the Navy, as shown in Hornblower's era, when he wrote TOS. I despise and disregard his senile revisionism in TNG when he suddenly thought the military, as a military, was an evil thing. And NASA? Bureaucratic NASA has no soul, no control, and no clue. Starfleet and Trek are all about the human condition. NASA is all about replacing humans with robots so that the frontier remains comfortably distant. They could never adopt the Naval background and expand to become Starfleet. the navy, on the other hand, has always done every single thing we've ever seen Starfleet do, just on the scale of our lone planet, and within the technological limitations of our time.

Salutes?
Now THAT'S the part we're discussing. Protocols and practices germane to the modern military that Roddenberry didn't show, as his time in the AAF didn't endear the garrison mentality to him.
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Old December 3 2012, 07:30 PM   #52
T.Geiger
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Re: How militarized should Starfleet be?

I think the original question was "how much military" in Starfleet. Personally, I prefer about the amount as portrayed in Wrath of Khan and Undiscovered Country.
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Old December 3 2012, 07:41 PM   #53
Temis the Vorta
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Re: How militarized should Starfleet be?

-Brett- wrote: View Post
I'd like to see a little more common sense. Like wearing something resembling armor if they're going into a firefight.
Why not personal shields? if they can shield their apaceships, they can shield their people.

Or: uniforms made from lightweight fabrics that look like pajamas but are far stronger than Kevlar and can deflect energy weapons. Their other tech is super advanced, why not fabric tech? And that will preserve the aesthetics of their uniform look.

But overall, I like the idiosyncratic way Starfleet's military nature is portrayed. It's military and it's not. Society has changed so completely that there's no good analog to today.
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Old December 8 2012, 09:20 AM   #54
Darkwing
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Re: How militarized should Starfleet be?

So, let's discuss exactly what military trappings and protocol everyone thinks should be added or removed. I'd like a military adviser so they stop making silly mistakes, like threatening courts-martial over trivial offenses and making almost everyone an officer.
Salutes on special occasions, ok, but not a regular thing - for example, AGT, the scene Picard arrives aboard. I'd have rewritten that scene so that Yar ordered "Hand Salute" as part of his arrival - Trek writers don't understand or often even know about military protocol and pomp, so they leave it out due to lack of knowledge. OTOH, I LIKE that we don't see Crewman Timmy having to salute daily. Most civilians won't understand EMI / Extra Military Instruction (punishment by working from 6pm to 8pm, but must be related to the offense), written counseling, and mast/article 15/non-judicial punishment. But they would get the idea of demerits, even if we don't do that in the real military anymore (No, the academies really aren't the military, and aren't really officers yet).
What's your take on that?
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Old December 8 2012, 01:03 PM   #55
KamenRiderBlade
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Re: How militarized should Starfleet be?

Darkwing wrote: View Post
So, let's discuss exactly what military trappings and protocol everyone thinks should be added or removed. I'd like a military adviser so they stop making silly mistakes, like threatening courts-martial over trivial offenses and making almost everyone an officer.
Salutes on special occasions, ok, but not a regular thing - for example, AGT, the scene Picard arrives aboard. I'd have rewritten that scene so that Yar ordered "Hand Salute" as part of his arrival - Trek writers don't understand or often even know about military protocol and pomp, so they leave it out due to lack of knowledge. OTOH, I LIKE that we don't see Crewman Timmy having to salute daily. Most civilians won't understand EMI / Extra Military Instruction (punishment by working from 6pm to 8pm, but must be related to the offense), written counseling, and mast/article 15/non-judicial punishment. But they would get the idea of demerits, even if we don't do that in the real military anymore (No, the academies really aren't the military, and aren't really officers yet).
What's your take on that?
I enjoy the fact that Starfleet is more lenient and casual with the way the crew interacts. I agree with you that threatening court martial, even if it's a joke, is bad taste. They really should stop mentioning court martial unless it's a serious offense. As for the demerit system, I like it, it's simple and gets the point across. I think the military can use a more simple and natural way of people dealing with each other.
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Old December 8 2012, 05:01 PM   #56
J.T.B.
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Re: How militarized should Starfleet be?

Darkwing wrote: View Post
Salutes on special occasions, ok, but not a regular thing - for example, AGT, the scene Picard arrives aboard. I'd have rewritten that scene so that Yar ordered "Hand Salute" as part of his arrival - Trek writers don't understand or often even know about military protocol and pomp, so they leave it out due to lack of knowledge. OTOH, I LIKE that we don't see Crewman Timmy having to salute daily.
Some official honors do seem to be present in TOS: the honor guard in "Journey to Babel," ruffles and flourishes in "The Savage Curtain." X-number of gun salutes are probably so impractical in a space service that they have died out.

As for the hand salute, as Timo said upthread, the apparent extinction of hats and head-covering in Trek's time may have taken that particular tradition along with it.

Justin
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Old December 8 2012, 07:22 PM   #57
T'Girl
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Re: How militarized should Starfleet be?

J.T.B. wrote: View Post
[As for the hand salute, as Timo said upthread, the apparent extinction of hats and head-covering in Trek's time may have taken that particular tradition along with it.
Captain Pike's quarters in the first pilot did have a head cover sitting on a shelf. It was right next to Pike's 1964 two hundred pound magnavox television.

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Old December 8 2012, 10:44 PM   #58
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Re: How militarized should Starfleet be?

I would say Starfleet should be less militaristic in peace time and more militaristic in war time. Just like Sisko is a war time captain and Picard and Janeway are peace time ones.

Battlestar Galactica is case in point. Prior to the human genocide, the military was more like TNG's military. Their war ships had gift shops, everybody used networked computers even knowing that if the cylons attacked they could destroy their ships instantly that way. And any pre-war flashback in the show seems remarkably similar to Star Trek society except more cynical.

So, perhaps Starfleet should be like a less naive, more careful version of TNG in peace time and like Galactica in war time.
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Old December 8 2012, 10:52 PM   #59
The Wormhole
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Re: How militarized should Starfleet be?

JirinPanthosa wrote: View Post
Battlestar Galactica is case in point. Prior to the human genocide, the military was more like TNG's military. Their war ships had gift shops, everybody used networked computers even knowing that if the cylons attacked they could destroy their ships instantly that way.
Only Galactica had a gift shop, and that was because the ship was being decommissioned and turned into a museum.

The networked computers was a specific plot point to show how complacent humanity had become due to 40 years of no contact with the Cylons. Yeah, it was stupid of them, that was the point.
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Old December 8 2012, 11:04 PM   #60
J.T.B.
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Re: How militarized should Starfleet be?

Merry Christmas wrote: View Post
Captain Pike's quarters in the first pilot did have a head cover sitting on a shelf. It was right next to Pike's 1964 two hundred pound magnavox television.
Yeah, and there were some in ENT and ST'09. So near-extinction, then.

Justin
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