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Old November 15 2013, 12:51 PM   #1
Cobalt Frost
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Question about fraternization

Since this applies to my stories, I figured I'd ask here: considering Starfleet is arguably a military organization, what do you all imagine the rules on fraternization are? Given what we've seen on-screen and in the novels, I'd imagine they're a bit more relaxed than, say, the modern US military, but what are your thoughts?

Also, does anyone happen to know how different branches of the US military (Navy and Air Force, for example) would handle the situation?

Thankyew, thankyaveramuch, uh huh.
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Old November 15 2013, 01:40 PM   #2
Bry_Sinclair
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Re: Question about fraternization

I would think that on a Starfleet ship it would depend on the Captain and their prefered style and decorum. Some may like a very loose and relaxed feel to their ship/station, others would prefer a stricter code of conduct.

Also you'd need to think about the ship/station they were on, the individuals themselves, and also the stories that you want to tell--what would help you to heighten tension, cause divisions, etc, in your work.

Me, I always like a more relaxed feel, with the crew feeling very integrated, with trust and respect and friendships brought about through years together.
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Old November 15 2013, 01:56 PM   #3
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Re: Question about fraternization

Well, I think depending on the mission or the posting they are on... yeah it would depend on the C.O. and how they'd want things to be run. Given the longer missions, I think there would be ore leeway in terms of fraternizing. Then say if you were on an Escort class ship on a short mission or a strictly military engagement. But there are probably some exceptions to that.

I'd say... use your own judgement on how much you want your characters to fraternize. Also Bry has some valid points too to consider, and maybe answered it better then I have.

At least Kirk wasn't a jerk about it, heck he was going to marry two of his officers in "Balance of Terror". So there ya go for an example where fraternizing was allowed with no issues. Other then with what happened in the episode later on, but that was due to outside circumstances. XD

I personally think fraternizing and relationships can work aboard ship, if you are professional on duty, and save the lovey-dovey stuff for after work. When it starts bleeing into the day-to-day ship operations, that's when someone has to crack the whip so to speak.
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Old November 15 2013, 04:54 PM   #4
CeJay
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Re: Question about fraternization

Starfleet doesn't usually see itself as a military organization but that often depends on the writer.

Regardless I'm sure Starfleet would have certain regs or at least guidelines regarding crew fraternization. I would not think it is disallowed but it would for example discourage commanding officers from fraternizing with persons under their command.

Fraternization in the US Navy is strongly discouraged but permissible. However I don't think officers are allowed to fraternize with enlisted personnel.
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Old November 15 2013, 06:06 PM   #5
Melakon
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Re: Question about fraternization

Starfleet doesn't appear to have separate officers' and enlisteds' break rooms on board. They probably expect personnel to use common sense in avoiding a possible conflict of interest.
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Old November 16 2013, 01:25 AM   #6
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Re: Question about fraternization

There are militaries in the world today that see this much more relaxed than the American one(s). Basically the common sense approach mentioned above - don't do it if it interferes with your job. I would hope that Starfleet hadn't regressed behind that.
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Old November 16 2013, 03:01 AM   #7
Cobalt Frost
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Re: Question about fraternization

Thanks for the comments. Everyone had great points, but I think Bry summed it up best:

Also you'd need to think about the ship/station they were on, the individuals themselves, and also the stories that you want to tell--what would help you to heighten tension, cause divisions, etc, in your work.
Those of you who've read my Challenger stories know that Gabriel Frost (the captain) and Connie Taylor (the XO) eventually fall in love and get married. There's quite a bit of tension (of various sorts) between them leading up to this. And there's tension with Admiral MacAllister, the CO of the station Challenger is posted to, as she's not happy with them. Well, she's not happy with a lot of things...
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Old November 16 2013, 07:59 AM   #8
Bry_Sinclair
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Re: Question about fraternization

In the novel "Vulcan's Glory" (IIRC) Doctor Boyce says to Number One about how there were several starships with husband-wife command teams. Of course that is totally fanon.

A couple romantically involved in charge of a ship is sure to cause some conflict of interest, but would make for some great drama.
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Old November 16 2013, 03:27 PM   #9
Cobalt Frost
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Re: Question about fraternization

I'd like to think I've gotten some good drama out of the situation on board Challenger
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Old November 16 2013, 04:12 PM   #10
T'Girl
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Re: Question about fraternization

Bry_Sinclair wrote: View Post
In the novel "Vulcan's Glory" (IIRC) Doctor Boyce says to Number One about how there were several starships with husband-wife command teams.
That was the case with the Titan novel series, with Riker and Troi. Deanna was (iirc) the ship's diplomatic officer and adviser to the Captain on general matters.

From the movie Nemesis it was unclear if Deanna would have a official position aboard the Titan.


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Old November 16 2013, 06:55 PM   #11
R. Star
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Re: Question about fraternization

Kirk definitely had no issues with it. He'd be a hypocrite of the first order if he came down on anyone who fraternized. Picard said he felt it was inappropriate for him, but quietly hooked up with Darren and Crusher anyways. Sisko didn't, but I think that was more because he didn't have anyone to fraternize with that suited him. He read Worf the riot act over abandoning a mission to save Jadzia, but quietly admitted afterward he'd have done the same thing. Archer said it was a small ship and had an "it happens" attitude.

Oddly enough the only captain who had a real problem with it was Janeway. She made several comments about it being inappropriate for the crew to fraternized to say nothing of doing it herself. Her situation would be the one where you'd encourage such things given the apparent generational aspect of their voyage too.

So for your fiction, unless your captain's just a real hard ass I'd say it's good to go.
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Old November 20 2013, 11:29 PM   #12
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Re: Question about fraternization

With Picard and Darren, if I recall, he basically said at the end that now he understood why fraternization wasn't restricted (A ship in deep space for years? It's bound to happen.) but that it was strongly cautioned against. Been a while since I've seen it though, so I don't have an exact quote.
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Old November 21 2013, 02:36 AM   #13
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Re: Question about fraternization

I figure I'll stick to my original plans and the story bits that I've written already -- more or less -- in regards to Gabriel and Connie's relationship. Other than Gabriel's nearly supernatural ability to "piss off half the known galaxy", as Connie put it, I think the fact that it's the captain and XO of a ship of the line who're involved will tend to ruffle a few of the more "traditional" feathers.
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