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Old May 28 2013, 06:02 PM   #1
Mysterion
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A Military Star Fleet and UESPA

Some thoughts on the age-old "Is Star Fleet Military?" debate.


Paging through the FJ Tech Manual last night, I came upon the following in his Articles of Federation:


Article 54
1. The training of base personnel and ship complements shall include all fields of science and technology as well as the military arts in Star Fleet. It is the intent of these Articles of Federation that Starfleet shall be used to conduct missions of scientific exploration and investigation within the Treaty Exploration Territory whenever its services are not required in the maintenance of interplanetary peace and security;

So in FJ's model of how the UFP and Starfleet works, Star Fleet is a military/peacekeeping force that can be used for sciencey stuff in it's spare time, when they aren't out chasing Klingons or Romulans and such. I imagine there is probably quite a continuing debate in the Federation Council over how to divide these priorities.


Paragraph 2 of Article 54 seems to answer another burning question:


2. Star Fleet Headquarters and the Federation Council shall be at all times kept informed of the activities undertaken, or contemplated, for the scientific exploration and investigation the the Treaty Exploration Territory. Any ship so employed shall be detached from military fleet duty and re-assigned as a non-military scientific unit of the United Federation.

I especially draw your attention to the last sentence in paragraph 2. Why? Remember in Charlie X and Tomorrow Is Yesterday when Captain Kirk says the Enterprise is under the authority of the United Earth Space Probe Agency? It was at those particular points in time. Well, a lot of us have spent a lot of time trying to reconcile the existence of UESPA with Star Fleet, when FJ has already done it for us back in 1975. Enterprise was usually under the direct control of Star Fleet as we'd probably all assume was the case. But in at least those two cases (and perhaps more where it wasn't mentioned on-screen), Enterprise was detached to UESPA for some sort of scientific mission. Perhaps the all-Vulcan crewed USS Intrepid was detached to a Vulcan-equivalent of UESPA (the Vulcan Science Academy maybe?) when it encountered the space amoeba.


Also, I would suspect that UESPA has its own fleet of smaller spacecraft - generally less capable than Star Fleet, thus the occasional detachments. In fact, UESPA might be the beneficiary of Star Fleet cast-offs, getting decommissioned Star Fleet ships for its own use. Perhaps that's where those "NAR" ship registries fit into the picture?


So this doesn't have to be an early first-season inconsistency after all! Yay!


Thought? Comment? Pointed-sticks?
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Old May 28 2013, 06:12 PM   #2
T'Girl
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Re: A Military Star Fleet and UESPA

The UESPA could be the organization that financed, build and is responsible for the maintaining of the Enterprise and her sister ships. Supposedly the Enterprise was constructed (prime universe) in Earth orbit, and when it came time for the major "refit" that was also in Earth orbit. The Enterprise was often spoken of as a Earth ship.

Military/Peacekeeping would be first priority, Science and exploration would be not-first priority.

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Old May 28 2013, 06:27 PM   #3
C.E. Evans
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Re: A Military Star Fleet and UESPA

I've looked at Starfleet as being a multipurpose space agency and UESPA as a purely scientific organization. Since the 22nd-Century, Starfleet and UESPA have frequently worked together, IMO. Kirk's 5-year mission may very well have been developed and authorized by UESPA, but the ship was also expected to carry out additional missions for Starfleet as well.

Presumably, the United Earth still exists as a local government within the larger Federation, so it's plausible that UESPA still exists even into the 24th-Century.
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Old May 28 2013, 07:33 PM   #4
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Re: A Military Star Fleet and UESPA

Starfleet, IMHO, is clearly a military. They are the primary defense agency of the United Federation of Planets. They are the ones who fight a war if the Federation is involved in one. I just don't see how there can be any question about that.

However, I think Franz Joseph's interpretation of their primary function being that of defense and security is a bit overstated. Certainly, Starfleet would always be tasked with defense and security functions. But under normal, peacetime circumstances -- which have existed most of the time we've seen the Federation depicted -- their first objective is one of exploration.

So I would say that, yes, Starfleet is a well-trained, well-armed military, but they are also a well-trained scientific service and if they have to abandon their scientific endeavors to perform military functions, it's considered a failure on the part of the Federation.
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Old May 29 2013, 12:50 AM   #5
SchwEnt
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Re: A Military Star Fleet and UESPA

Star Fleet would *have* to be the military, if only because in times of war they are the ones out there fighting for the Federation. Whether it's the against the Klingons at Organia or the Dominion at Bajor or the Borg at Wolf 359... that's where there'd be the military, that's when we'd see the major military force of the Federation. And who's doing the fighting? Star Fleet.

It seems the question isn't so much "Is Star Fleet military?". Might as well ask "What else is Star Fleet besides military?"
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Old May 29 2013, 01:59 PM   #6
The Wormhole
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Re: A Military Star Fleet and UESPA

Starfleet is a military. I don't care what Roddenberry said, or what Berman, Braga, and Abrams repeated.

As for UESPA, Enterprise's Demons/Terra Prime established Starfleet is a division of UESPA.
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Old May 29 2013, 07:48 PM   #7
Crazyewok
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Re: A Military Star Fleet and UESPA

The Wormhole wrote: View Post
Starfleet is a military. I don't care what Roddenberry said, or what Berman, Braga, and Abrams repeated.
Agree as it makes no sense that Starfleet is not military!
The Wormhole wrote: View Post
As for UESPA, Enterprise's Demons/Terra Prime established Starfleet is a division of UESPA.
Makes more sense if its the other way round as Starfleet is multi species controlled were as UESPA implies its earth controlled even if aliens have some say in it. Plus the head of starfleet does seem to be the top dog military wise. There is no indication that the head of starfleet anwser to anyone other than the Federation counsil and President.
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Old May 29 2013, 08:19 PM   #8
Third Nacelle
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Re: A Military Star Fleet and UESPA

Crazyewok wrote: View Post
The Wormhole wrote: View Post
Starfleet is a military. I don't care what Roddenberry said, or what Berman, Braga, and Abrams repeated.
Agree as it makes no sense that Starfleet is not military!
The Wormhole wrote: View Post
As for UESPA, Enterprise's Demons/Terra Prime established Starfleet is a division of UESPA.
Makes more sense if its the other way round as Starfleet is multi species controlled were as UESPA implies its earth controlled even if aliens have some say in it. Plus the head of starfleet does seem to be the top dog military wise. There is no indication that the head of starfleet anwser to anyone other than the Federation counsil and President.
I don't think of Enterprise-era Starfleet as the same organization as TOS+ Starfleet. While Earth Starfleet was subordinate to UESPA, I'm pretty sure after the Federation formed, Starfleet was reorganized into the exploration/science/defense/diplomacy/medical corps of the Federation while UESPA stayed the same, or perhaps loss some importance.
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As for Starfleet being military, while I would assume that there are individual ships or perhaps entire branches of Starfleet devoted primarily to defense, that does not make Starfleet as a whole a military organization. Whether it makes sense to you or not, it's been stated on screen by characters and off screen by creators numerous times that it is not military.
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Old May 29 2013, 08:29 PM   #9
Crazyewok
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Re: A Military Star Fleet and UESPA

I still think it was some type of civilian science orgnistation that sometimes borrowed starfleet ships that were not being used for anything else. At least by the time of TOS.

Wrath of Khan has establsihed that civilian departmenst can borrow ships as the Scientists behind the genisis device were useing the reliant.
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Old May 29 2013, 09:39 PM   #10
R. Star
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Re: A Military Star Fleet and UESPA

They have a military structure, military equipment and one of their purposes is to provide defense for the state. It's a military. To deny that really just strikes me as Utopian spin doctoring.

That by no means doesn't mean their sole purpose is defense. But by the very nature of space exploration in a galaxy full of hostile races and unknowns, yeah. They're the front line of defense.
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Old May 29 2013, 09:43 PM   #11
Mr. Laser Beam
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Re: A Military Star Fleet and UESPA

Starfleet is obviously a military; what it is not, is militarISTIC. There is a difference.

As for UESPA, I always assumed that it was a scientific research agency that would occasionally 'hire' Starfleet vessels to do work for it. Much like the Reliant in ST II and how it was handling things for Project Genesis.
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Old May 29 2013, 09:46 PM   #12
Timo
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Re: A Military Star Fleet and UESPA

Earth Starfleet was subordinate to UESPA
How so?

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Old May 31 2013, 12:21 PM   #13
T'Girl
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Re: A Military Star Fleet and UESPA

^ That was my impression too, partially from Kirk's statement to Christopher a century later. In the 22nd century the organization that operates the starships would be under (or inside) the space probe agency, and not the other way around. Nor would the two exist completely separately.

We know that Captain Archer worked for Admiral Forrest, after that things get fuzzy. At some point an organization named Starfleet encloses them both and the NX-01, but the details of 22nd century Starfleet are quite vague.

Was Forrest the only Admiral? And when he was killed a new "only Admiral" was promoted to that position?

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Old May 31 2013, 01:27 PM   #14
The Wormhole
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Re: A Military Star Fleet and UESPA

T'Girl wrote: View Post
Was Forrest the only Admiral? And when he was killed a new "only Admiral" was promoted to that position?
In Broken Bow there was also an Admiral Leonard, and in the episode, as well as the exterior stock shot of Starfleet Command used frequently throughout the series several background extras in Admiral's uniform can be seen.

When Forrest was killed, Archer answered to Admiral Gardner. Interestingly enough, though Gardner is mentioned frequently in the fourth season, the only time he is seen is in fact in the MU. Gardner was also mentioned in season 1, though there he was a Captain, and apparentally Soval's preferred choice to command the NX-01.
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Old May 31 2013, 03:40 PM   #15
E-DUB
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Re: A Military Star Fleet and UESPA

My take is that UESPA is an Earth-based outfit while Starfleet is UFP based. Kirk's "12 in the fleet" comment referenced Earth's ships. At some point, Enterprise was reassigned to Starfleet in much the same fashion as a contemporary military unit might be assigned to the UN.

Indeed, the very term "Starfleet" might be as generic as saying, "I was in the service" without definig what branch or even whatr country.
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