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Old June 23 2013, 08:36 PM   #1
SarYehudah
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Marines and Combat Personel?

do any ships carry about marines for docking engagements? Even though its relatively useless in our era, the US Navy keeps contingents of marines on its vessels. Is there such thing as actual soldiers with body armor rather than crewmembers who have combat training? Also, does the ST universe use any tanks or armored ground vehicles? Or is this more or less useless as most infantry combat is small scale and wars are more or less decided in space?
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Old June 23 2013, 08:55 PM   #2
solariabsg25
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Re: Marines and Combat Personel?

Starfleet has never shown any on-screen Marines, although Enterprise did have the MACOS.

Some other races do however appear to have specific combat-troops, The Dominion's Jem'Hadar being a prime example, but the Romulans were also mentioned of having used Remans as shock-troops.

No mention has ever been made of armoured vehicles, it could well be that they are simply not used in an environment where the armour and shielding on a small vehicle may be of little use against the weapons of a starship in orbit.
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Old June 23 2013, 09:01 PM   #3
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Re: Marines and Combat Personel?

solariabsg25 wrote: View Post
No mention has ever been made of armoured vehicles, it could well be that they are simply not used in an environment where the armour and shielding on a small vehicle may be of little use against the weapons of a starship in orbit.
Well nor the battle to strong refers to hoppers.

May be some sort of transport/combat vessel?


As for marines I always thought of it like this:

Starfleet security act as marines in the traditional role of marines (NOT the US modern Marine version) as guarding the ships/stations and limited on shore operations.

And you also have full battalions like shown in DS9 (possibly MACOS) that speclise in all the ground combat dutys. Nor the battle to strong refers to units of squad and platoon size so it seems they have a tradition like army structure, though we have limit information on Ranks. Though a Colonel in undiscorved country did appear, yes he had a admiral uniform but to be honnest uniforms in that film were a mess!

Last edited by Crazyewok; June 23 2013 at 09:12 PM.
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Old June 23 2013, 09:16 PM   #4
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Re: Marines and Combat Personel?

Anything's possible, the fact is that Trek has always focused on the heroes. It could well be that specific ground troops exist. We may even have seen them on-screen, but no character has ever said "Look, that's Colonel T'Vill of the 27th Infantry Division."

Colonel West in STVI is given a traditional army/marine rank rather than navy like most of Starfleet, which seems to indicate there are specific ground troops somewhere!
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Old June 23 2013, 09:48 PM   #5
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Re: Marines and Combat Personel?

Is there such thing as actual soldiers with body armor rather than crewmembers who have combat training?
Why would "armor" and "training" be competing concepts? Surely there can be actual soldiers who have no armor and happen to be crew members to boot.

Also, does the ST universe use any tanks or armored ground vehicles?
Why would they? After all, they have shielded flying vehicles - surely a mere armored ground crawler would be inferior in every respect!

Nope, we haven't seen any ground-bound combat vehicles used. A four-wheeled vehicle was used in ST:Nemesis, and had a gun pintle in the rear (without anything useful like stabilization, it seems), but this did not appear to be a combat vehicle as such. And even this vehicle flew in the end...

Colonel West in STVI is given a traditional army/marine rank rather than navy like most of Starfleet, which seems to indicate there are specific ground troops somewhere!
The intelligence service of Romulus also used army ranks - and Colonel West appears to be a Starfleet Intelligence man, or at least a covert operations specialist. Perhaps spy organizations are the only ones to use army ranks in the Trek future?

(Of course, it's possible there never was any "Colonel West". The poor chap's surname may simply be Cornell-West... When the name is used at the President's office, it is in a situation where nobody gets called by rank - the President insists on first or last names instead.)

We see people who concentrate on ground combat (but perhaps only because the circumstances force them to?) in uniforms only ever seen on people involved in ground combat (but that proves nothing much) in two episodes: "Nor a Battle to the Strong" and "The Siege of AR-558". In the former, the character is a Lieutenant, which can be a navy or army rank alike; he speaks of a platoon of his, fitting aboard one of those hopper things, so he may be the officer in command of the platoon (thus close to the definition of an army Lieutenant today) or then an officer in command of several platoons of which this was one (thus closer to the navy definition of Lieutenant, or army Captain). In the latter, a bunch of characters without specified rank were commanded by a Captain and then by a Commander until those became casualties, suggesting a navy style hierarchy.

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Old June 23 2013, 09:57 PM   #6
Hando
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Re: Marines and Combat Personel?

Only once did we see ground vehicles and that is in the game New Worlds. Take a look at the types.

The whole ground combat/planetary invasion was something that we have not seen in Star Trek.
There was that attempt in Reunification, but that's all.

Kind of hard to imagine an planetary invasion at all, event though there must have been some.
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Old June 23 2013, 09:57 PM   #7
Crazyewok
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Re: Marines and Combat Personel?

Timo wrote: View Post

(Of course, it's possible there never was any "Colonel West". The poor chap's surname may simply be Cornell-West... When the name is used at the President's office, it is in a situation where nobody gets called by rank - the President insists on first or last names instead.)
Pretty silly explanation if you ask me no offence.

Im 99% sure colonal means colonal.

Timo wrote: View Post
In the latter, a bunch of characters without specified rank were commanded by a Captain and then by a Commander until those became casualties, suggesting a navy style hierarchy.

Timo Saloniemi

Does not mean anything really as up until the 20th century Commanders , Captains and Admirals could get soilders in joint opperations to command. Normaly they would be be in shore raids and like missions. AR-558 due to is impact on the fleet may have been a joint opperation with the ground forces takeing a subordinant role. Or the senoir ground force officers may have been killed leaving the Starship officers.


Was it me or did the dieing officer in Nor the battle to strong seem have multiple layers under his shot up uniform? Some kind of light armor?
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Old June 24 2013, 12:30 AM   #8
Crazy Eddie
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Re: Marines and Combat Personel?

SarYehudah wrote: View Post
do any ships carry about marines for docking engagements?
No.

Primarily because Starfleet doesn't operate in the ocean.

Is there such thing as actual soldiers with body armor rather than crewmembers who have combat training?
No.

Strictly speaking, Starfleet doesn't operate a standing military organization, so their combat training is just one aspect of a VERY extensive curriculum.

Also, does the ST universe use any tanks or armored ground vehicles?
Starfleet doesn't, primarily by virtue of it not being a land force and not having any real need for land vehicles. I strongly suspect, however, that a dedicated land-based military does exist both on Earth and in various forms on the home worlds of Federation members and that said organizations, being mostly ground-based, probably possess all of the above things you mentioned. The nature of both transporter technology and the efficacy of shuttlecraft for short interplanetary voyages, however, means, it's unlikely that any military organization in the Federation would waste its money on starships.
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Old June 24 2013, 12:55 AM   #9
Mr. Laser Beam
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Re: Marines and Combat Personel?

Crazy Eddie wrote: View Post
Strictly speaking, Starfleet doesn't operate a standing military organization, so their combat training is just one aspect of a VERY extensive curriculum.
Starfleet IS a standing military organization.
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Old June 24 2013, 01:51 AM   #10
Crazy Eddie
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Re: Marines and Combat Personel?

Mr. Laser Beam wrote: View Post
Crazy Eddie wrote: View Post
Strictly speaking, Starfleet doesn't operate a standing military organization, so their combat training is just one aspect of a VERY extensive curriculum.
Starfleet IS a standing military organization.
Not it isn't.

Starfleet is an exploration agency with adequate combat capabilities. IOW they are professional explorers who can also fight.

A standing military is a combat organization with adequate exploration capabilities. IOW, they are professional soldiers who can also explore.

That is a sufficiently large difference that two different TV series and now a major motion picture have explicitly spelled it out, even to the point that a Starfleet Admiral is willing to perform some rather extraordinary actions to convert Starfleet INTO a standing military organization -- something that, previously, it had never been before.

AFAIK, this is a problem that Starfleet seems to grapple with about once every forty to sixty years. They're perfectly happy saying "We're peaceful explorers! Yay!" then something scary shows up and the conversation becomes "Holy shit, we're gonna have to fight those guys... are we the military now?"
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Old June 24 2013, 02:24 AM   #11
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Re: Marines and Combat Personel?

SarYehudah wrote: View Post
do any ships carry about marines for docking engagements? Even though its relatively useless in our era, the US Navy keeps contingents of marines on its vessels. Is there such thing as actual soldiers with body armor rather than crewmembers who have combat training? Also, does the ST universe use any tanks or armored ground vehicles? Or is this more or less useless as most infantry combat is small scale and wars are more or less decided in space?
From a non-canon perspective, FASA did include marines for both the Federation and the Klingons, with a lot of Klingon vessels having cryogenic systems for keeping troops in suspended animation until they could be used in offensive. The Klingon module Termination: 1456 also shows about half a dozen Klingon ground vehicles, although I don't know at present if any other modules included such units. Most typically used starships.

As far as the FASAverse is concerned, Starfleet is very much a standing military in the sense Crazy Eddie describes - it's a professional military with training in exploration as well. What's been shown on screen has differed quite a bit from that interpretation, but one could also argue that differing eras brought different opinions on what sort of organization Starfleet should actually be and where its focus should be.
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Old June 24 2013, 03:04 AM   #12
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Re: Marines and Combat Personel?

Crazy Eddie wrote: View Post
AFAIK, this is a problem that Starfleet seems to grapple with about once every forty to sixty years. They're perfectly happy saying "We're peaceful explorers! Yay!" then something scary shows up and the conversation becomes "Holy shit, we're gonna have to fight those guys... are we the military now?"
You can see this reflected in NASA. They change direction every time a new administration comes into office - just look at the differences in the space plans that popped up under the last 4 or so US Presidents. Starfleet's always changing its focus because the Federation Government is switching gears every time a new administration pops in.
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Old June 24 2013, 03:35 AM   #13
Crazy Eddie
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Re: Marines and Combat Personel?

Herkimer Jitty wrote: View Post
Crazy Eddie wrote: View Post
AFAIK, this is a problem that Starfleet seems to grapple with about once every forty to sixty years. They're perfectly happy saying "We're peaceful explorers! Yay!" then something scary shows up and the conversation becomes "Holy shit, we're gonna have to fight those guys... are we the military now?"
You can see this reflected in NASA. They change direction every time a new administration comes into office - just look at the differences in the space plans that popped up under the last 4 or so US Presidents. Starfleet's always changing its focus because the Federation Government is switching gears every time a new administration pops in.
That's a really good point, on a number of levels. Different governments having different priorities, and even more extreme to the point that Vulcan -- which abhors violence -- would have more influence over some administrations than others.

But it might not even be the Presidents. There's clearly a HUGE amount of variation even within Starfleet's own ranks as to what their overall mission should be. We've seen war hawks like Marcus, Worf, Leyton, Jellico and (emergedly) Cartwright and West. We also have your science doves like Archer, Kirk and Spock, Scotty and Keenser, Picard and Riker, Janeway and Tuvok. Sisko seems to be a fence-sitter that would prefer for Starfleet to focus on scientific exploration but maintain specialized weapon platforms like the Defiant "just in case." Admiral Pike, interestingly, also strikes me as a kind of middle-of-the-road guy who figures Starfleet can wear both hats to an equal degree.

It seems to me it's an ongoing debate even within Starfleet that waxes and wanes one way or the other with different officers having different opinions. During peacetime, the science doves usually take all the top spots just because peaceful missions are the only show in town and tactically-minded officers don't get a lot of opportunities for advancement; things get so peaceful that they even start putting kids and families on starships. Then one year they run into somebody like the Borg or the Dominion or the Romulans come out of the woodworks and suddenly everybody looks up that one Admiral who thought that all the explorer ships need to run weekly battle simulations and live fire exercises.
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Old June 24 2013, 11:11 AM   #14
Charles Phipps
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Re: Marines and Combat Personel?

It's not that hard a concept to wrap one's head around. Starfleet handles the Federation's defense as part of its job but it does a lot more stuff that compromises about 60% of its job. The PD actually makes this possible, arguably. If the USA wasn't involved in foreign wars, we'll....the last war we'd have fought in was WW2.

For better or worse.

The issue is complicated by the fact that the show is ABOUT Starfleet so we never see Planetary Security for Earth. Also, the "defenses" Earth and other races have which get ignored by V'ger and other groups.
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Old June 24 2013, 11:24 AM   #15
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Re: Marines and Combat Personel?

My theory on Marines in Starfleet is that there's hundreds of security personnel on Federation starships out of a crew of a thousand so there's no real point to carrying around a couple of hundred extra marines for repelling boarding invasion (which the security personnel seem to do when not carrying out police duties).

Likewise, if they DID EXIST, they'd be the ones who would be going onto hostile starships with Away teams since that would be 90% of what a Marine would do if they existed in space (see Star Wars Stormtroopers). The fact there's no sign of Marines in Star Trek says to me they don't exist anywhere but the Enterprise era, probably.

Nevertheless, I think they probably exist on a planetary level as mentioned above. Starfleet isn't a standing army but I wouldn't be surprised if planets in the Federation maintain defense forces. As for how to handle land invasion? That's an interesting question and may well be an irrelevant question of war in the 24th century.

Honestly, this isn't a slight against Star Trek security, I think we're meant to assume they're pretty badass--we just never get to see it.
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