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Old August 14 2012, 02:46 AM   #1
Tcsfan
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How old do you have to be to enlist in star fleet

Just wanted to know
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Old August 14 2012, 02:51 AM   #2
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Re: How old do you have to be to enlist in star fleet

I don't remember it ever being stated outright. I would imagine it's different for each species, though, based on biological and cultural factors. (I doubt every non-human species considers 18 the start of adulthood, for example.)
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Old August 14 2012, 03:01 AM   #3
The Wormhole
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Re: How old do you have to be to enlist in star fleet

Wesley was allowed to take the entry exam when he was 15.
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Old August 14 2012, 03:18 AM   #4
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Re: How old do you have to be to enlist in star fleet

Being a main character on the show probably helped him with that.
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Old August 14 2012, 03:21 AM   #5
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Re: How old do you have to be to enlist in star fleet

Peter Preston in TWOK was supposedly on 14 and a midshipman. So, pretty young.
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Old August 14 2012, 05:21 AM   #6
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Re: How old do you have to be to enlist in star fleet

Vonda McIntyre's novelization implies that this was a typical age for Humans to be at Starfleet academy. I think she was pull this from pre-20th century naval practices, when that age would have been common for midshipmen.

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Old August 14 2012, 07:41 AM   #7
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Re: How old do you have to be to enlist in star fleet

The Wormhole wrote: View Post
Wesley was allowed to take the entry exam when he was 15.
I was always given the impression that the "test" he took in that episode Coming of Age, was an exception entry test more than a standard one.

Starfleet can't realistically washout three out of four applicants. So I figure that "entry test" was more of an underage group of prodigies all applying for membership early.

Nog certainly didn't have to go through any of that for example.
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Old August 14 2012, 09:49 AM   #8
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Re: How old do you have to be to enlist in star fleet

Heartily agreed on that.

Also, enrolling in Starfleet Academy apparently is not the only way to become a Starfleet employee. Or at least there ought to be shorter, "lighter" courses there for the enlisted folks, those who don't graduate into officer commissions. Perhaps one can enlist at a far younger age than one can enroll?

In the real world, the enlisted folks wouldn't get Academy training at all - but our most famed enlisted Starfleeter, Chief O'Brien, does make quite a few references to having received Academy training or otherwise attended that facility despite never receiving a commission. Possibly Starfleet wants all its personnel to go to San Francisco at least once during their training, for reasons of uniformity? Or then O'Brien first became an enlisted "naval infantryman" or whatever, and only later went to the Academy at San Francisco to study up on those engineering subjects that weren't being taught anywhere else?

We do seem to lack information on these things. But it does look as if humans typically get into the Academy at around eighteen or so, like in today's militaries, rather than as preteens, like in yesterday's militaries (this based on the personal timelines of Kirk and Picard and Riker, mostly). But of course that's only humans. Species that mature faster might enter at five on the average; species that mature more slowly might enter at thirty-three. And we have seen plenty of middle-aged or graying human Starfleet Ensigns, suggesting that there's no maximum age for enrolling even if there just might be a minimum one.

...Or then those gray Ensigns just haven't been interested in getting a promotion for the past three or four or five decades, as Starfleet clearly isn't an "up or out" type of organization. Or then they are "mustangs" who used to be high-ranking enlisteds until deciding they wanted an officer commission. Or until this was decided for them.

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Old August 14 2012, 09:59 AM   #9
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Re: How old do you have to be to enlist in star fleet

^
One of the things they've never been too clear on is a SF OCS program.

You would have to figure there is one in at least one university per planet. So "college age" would be a good start. Of course, people have attended/graduated college in their teens.

As for enlisting, I would guess it's similar to modern militaries. In most countries you can enlist in at 16 as long as you have a guardian's consent.
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Old August 14 2012, 12:58 PM   #10
The Wormhole
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Re: How old do you have to be to enlist in star fleet

R. Star wrote: View Post
The Wormhole wrote: View Post
Wesley was allowed to take the entry exam when he was 15.
I was always given the impression that the "test" he took in that episode Coming of Age, was an exception entry test more than a standard one.

Starfleet can't realistically washout three out of four applicants. So I figure that "entry test" was more of an underage group of prodigies all applying for membership early.

Nog certainly didn't have to go through any of that for example.
Nog did take an entry exam, a portion of which (runabout simulation) was seen. It was the subplot to an episode, Quark sabotaged things to make it look like Nog failed until Rom noticed and blew the whistle. It's possible his "written portion" (or "computer portion," I guess) was exactly the same Wesley and the others did.

Picard even said he failed the entry exam when he first took it. Coming of Age even has Worf talking about his experience with the face youy fear portion of the test.

The only one in four will make it to the Academy thing was an idiotic dramatic device from Coming of Age, but otherwise, it would seem everyone does take a similar entry exam.
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Old August 14 2012, 01:07 PM   #11
Timo
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Re: How old do you have to be to enlist in star fleet

Picard even said he failed the entry exam when he first took it.
But Picard, too, appeared to be trying in through the "underage quota". He says he attempted entry at seventeen, and only succeeded at eighteen, whereas the biographies of other TNG human heroes suggest standard entry at eighteen.

Of course, it may also be that both Wesley and Picard wanted to enter a special program for geniuses, for which this additional genius segment of the entry exam is mandatory. We don't have any objective proof that everybody in the Academy would be treated the same, or be doing the same thing - and proceeding from that assumption only makes the data look funny.

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Old August 14 2012, 01:13 PM   #12
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Re: How old do you have to be to enlist in star fleet

Chekov was an Ensign at just 17, meaning he had to have enlisted at 13 to have done the full four year academy course.
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Old August 14 2012, 01:31 PM   #13
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Re: How old do you have to be to enlist in star fleet

None of the cadets in the movie had done the full four year course. That's why they were all dressed as cadets.
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Old August 14 2012, 01:37 PM   #14
Timo
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Re: How old do you have to be to enlist in star fleet

Even McCoy was dressed that way initially, despite being a Lieutenant Commander and one of the officers already automatically assigned to the Enterprise under Pike. Or at least we didn't hear his name being read either when they were reading Enterprise names or when they were reading names beginning with M...

Might be that quite a few of our red-clad folks were in fact commissioned officers and postgraduate students (or perhaps instructors), as they appeared to be of a slightly more advanced age than their TOS counterparts (as befitting Kirk's late entry, and Chekov's explicitly different birthdate notwithstanding). Quite a few red-collared characters in the TOS movies seemed to be past their cadet days, too, after all.

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Old August 14 2012, 01:39 PM   #15
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Re: How old do you have to be to enlist in star fleet

I thought McCoy was a late entrant, since he was already a practising doctor. The implication was that he had lost all his money in the divorce and was starting again in Starfleet.
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