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Old January 11 2015, 02:01 PM   #1
NervousEnergy
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Creating a realistic crew manifest for a Starship. Ideas & comments?

NOTE FROM THE START: I've forked the cannon in my head, and, for now I'm not including transporter technology at all. I know this will likely be really really controversial, but, personally, I found the transporters a little contrived and their tech a bit "magicey". So for now, in my own personal head-cannon, I'm removing the entire idea. Also, the idea of transporters was only really brought up to save costs on landing the ship/shuttle in every episode of TOS.

The ship is the USS Endeavour: a (Nebula? Nebula-like Proto-Nebula like?) ship whose current mission is for scientific exploration beyond the Federation borders. It's not designed for deep-space missions. It also has a large complement of recent Starfleet Academy graduates, and newly-enlisted personnel, and a couple of 'sandwich' personnel (cadets who are mid-study, taking three years out for experience): the idea being that the three year mission is a "shakedown" cruise for new crew men and women to assess their ability and competence, and then eventually to signpost them to other suitable areas within the Federation. We're going to have a large complement of Science Division personnel.

I'm wanting it to have around 350 personnel, around 30 civilians, and a few non-Starfleet staff such as representatives from the Federation Exploratory Group (who vet candidate planets for colonies) etc. (though I've not pencilled in either these or civilians as of yet).

I am having issues with filling out all this crew, however. The ship is working on a three-shift basis but.. it just seems daft to duplicate the entire crew for every single shift. I'm also having trouble trying to reconcile with automation; do we NEED a navigation team if the computer can navigate for you? Do we NEED yeomen for admin in each division, if everyone carries around PADDs? Again, trying to head-cannon this: what if warp drive adversely affects computers necessitating actual people to do the work the computer can do? But then what about The Doctor and Data? Would appreciate some advice.

Shifts are a whole different ball game, but I have sort-of-finished the shift pattern for Sickbay and the MedLab. Opinions? They work on a weekly basis, with Sickbay Duty Officer and MedLab Watchman changing each week; so that they get to see the entire shift group.


And what about job-sharing? It seems dumb to have a dedicated crewmember who, say, Coordinates the Gymnasium: so maybe one of the Nurses can help with that in his/her off-shift. But then you could get into the Biologists in the Science Division helping out with Medical Division stuff. Hell do we even need a Medical Laboratory Department at all, when scientists from the Science Division could take it over? This just decreases the need for crew even more. And how would I show this job-sharing in a clear way?
And what do, say, the Planetary Surveyors or Excursion Specialists do when there's nothing going on? What do the Security Teams do all day? Keep them on-duty even when the ship is in-between stars? Seems like a waste. Maybe they could be doing research? But what, and then how to show this?

The below crew manifest is not complete by any means: but hopefully from the Department names you can see what sort of crew members I want filling them out. I've also not included specialisations: I'm hoping that I'll have each crewmember specialising in /something/, such as Doctor-Dentistry, or Warp Technical Specialist-Field Systems. But that's a way away.
Hopefully you get the problems I'm encountering. It seems each problem I encounter reduces the crew count even more! And I am desperate for that 350-crew manifest.

I'm also shuffling around the uniform colours slightly, in a way which makes more sense to me: so now Security and Tactical comes under red/maroon. They're part of the "Command-Control Division".

Posts that are italicised are "duty posts"; so they are taken by whatever qualified person is on-shift at the time. So for instance the Officer of the Deck could be the First Officer if he's on duty, or the Navigation Specialist.

So yeah; I'd really appreciate some advice and thoughts! As I said I'm trying to make this as "realistic" as possible. The above problems are getting hard to rectify, however, and I'd really like some input.

See the below for the six different Divisions. I've not fleshed out Science, Engineering, or Operations yet. But Command, Security and Tactical, and Medical are "done"; in that I've filled out all the crew positions. But I'm very happy to change and chop them around.



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Old January 11 2015, 03:55 PM   #2
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Re: Creating a realistic crew manifest for a Starship. Ideas & comment

Which time frame are you covering? Because ENT probably had a Botanist in order to have fresh food. There was a gardener or botany person or at least a xenobotanist in TOS. Keiko was a Botanist on TNG, too. Don't know if that carried over to DS9 (she didn't seem to be doing it anymore) or something similar on VOY.

There's a chef on ENT. Probably not on TOS, etc.
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Old January 11 2015, 04:41 PM   #3
NervousEnergy
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Re: Creating a realistic crew manifest for a Starship. Ideas & comment

jespah wrote: View Post
Which time frame are you covering? Because ENT probably had a Botanist in order to have fresh food. There was a gardener or botany person or at least a xenobotanist in TOS. Keiko was a Botanist on TNG, too. Don't know if that carried over to DS9 (she didn't seem to be doing it anymore) or something similar on VOY.

There's a chef on ENT. Probably not on TOS, etc.
Sorry, that's the one thing I left out. We're looking at mid 24th century here. So maybe Season 5 of TNG? But I'd also like to incorporate some elements from TOS, such as the yeomans (which are conspicuously absent post-TOS). In The Undiscovered Country we see there is a kitchen on the Enterprise, and I also wanted to incorporate that too; which is why there is a catering department. Again, this seems absent in TNG (though Voyager had the Captains Dining Room?).

There's absolutely going to be a bunch of botanists in the Science Division.

Last edited by NervousEnergy; January 11 2015 at 09:26 PM.
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Old January 11 2015, 08:56 PM   #4
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Re: Creating a realistic crew manifest for a Starship. Ideas & comment

A chaplain? Don't get me wrong it's a good idea to include a chaplaincy and somebody to look after the spiritual welfare of the crew. But what religion/denomination would you choose? Even if you say Christian. What branch of Christianity? Baptist? Roman Catholic? Alpha Centauri Reformist? What about all the other religions, Terran and Alien?
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Old January 11 2015, 09:19 PM   #5
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Re: Creating a realistic crew manifest for a Starship. Ideas & comment

Chaplains in military, education and healthcare are generally cross trained to understand and offer help to most, if not all, religions. They are multi-faith workers, though expected to be relaxed and confident in their own faith/spirituality. Unless you had crew from a group whose religion involved something like human sacrifice, it shouldn't be a problem. (Most chaplains draw the line at that.)
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Old January 11 2015, 09:22 PM   #6
NervousEnergy
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Re: Creating a realistic crew manifest for a Starship. Ideas & comment

Orphalesion wrote: View Post
A chaplain? Don't get me wrong it's a good idea to include a chaplaincy and somebody to look after the spiritual welfare of the crew. But what religion/denomination would you choose? Even if you say Christian. What branch of Christianity? Baptist? Roman Catholic? Alpha Centauri Reformist? What about all the other religions, Terran and Alien?
I was going, really, for the Belgium style: humanist chaplains who provide support to all faiths, and non-believers.
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Old January 11 2015, 09:28 PM   #7
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Re: Creating a realistic crew manifest for a Starship. Ideas & comment

What I've done in my own fic (Note: I mainly write in the ENT time frame) is that there are chaplains but they're not shipboard. If people want to pray or have services, they can do so in their quarters or a lounge or pray before meals. But spiritual guidance is achieved via communications. For more immediate needs (like a minyan in Judaism), there are certain compromises, and fellow crew members are essentially 'temporary Jews' in the event that someone needs to pray and can't get together 10 Jewish friends. Or Jews are patched in via communications (N. B. there is a requirement of 10 Jewish persons as a quorum when someone is saying the prayer of mourning).

I imagine a similar compromise could be forged for the Catholic host, that you would allow for a certain amount of host being transported as cargo and then any additional that might be needed would be blessed food (such as bread baked for that purpose) that would get its status by a Starfleet Catholic chaplain giving the okay remotely and saying any and all necessary prayers via communications.
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Old January 11 2015, 11:51 PM   #8
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Re: Creating a realistic crew manifest for a Starship. Ideas & comment

In the case of damage control, while there would be a single damage control coordinator, the majority of the damage control teams would be composed of cross trained historians, botanists and what have you. People whose primary job serves no purpose in a battle or shipboard disaster.

Cross training would get away from people who basically can only do one thing.

One of my characters was a medic with security, so if there was a medical emergency and she could be spared from security, she would go help in sick bay. She was also qualified in basic shuttle operations.

I don't think we ever saw a dedicated shuttle pilot, piloting a shuttle was more like checking a van out of the motor pool.

And depending on the size of the ship (important consideration) there might only be a single doctor on board, but they would always be on call. This was apparently the situation with Phlox.

With the ship's chaplain, unless it's a large ship they probably would have another job too, but there should be a chaplain.

Would you want to have a "intelligence officer" as part of the team?

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Old January 12 2015, 01:50 AM   #9
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Re: Creating a realistic crew manifest for a Starship. Ideas & comment

jespah wrote: View Post
What I've done in my own fic (Note: I mainly write in the ENT time frame) is that there are chaplains but they're not shipboard. If people want to pray or have services, they can do so in their quarters or a lounge or pray before meals. But spiritual guidance is achieved via communications. For more immediate needs (like a minyan in Judaism), there are certain compromises, and fellow crew members are essentially 'temporary Jews' in the event that someone needs to pray and can't get together 10 Jewish friends. Or Jews are patched in via communications (N. B. there is a requirement of 10 Jewish persons as a quorum when someone is saying the prayer of mourning).
.
I'm fascinated by people practicing Earth religions in the distant future so...link please?

And what do, say, the Planetary Surveyors or Excursion Specialists do when there's nothing going on? What do the Security Teams do all day? Keep them on-duty even when the ship is in-between stars? Seems like a waste. Maybe they could be doing research? But what, and then how to show this?
I'd always wondered about security teams myself, personally I think they run computer diagnostics, in search of vulnerabilities for time where people are so dependent on computers Star Trek covers very little hacking problems. They might also sift through shift logs to make sure, that everyone in coming though and from their shift at the proper time otherwise someone within the ship might be up to know good. They might also change encryption codes on a regular basis.
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Old January 12 2015, 02:15 AM   #10
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Re: Creating a realistic crew manifest for a Starship. Ideas & comment

I think security would do what modern cops do and patrol. They would walk through out the ship and look for problems. A response team waits in the security office and waits for trouble. Training, studying, firing range, playing cards.

It was (imo) a roving security guard who found the dead Tellar ambassador in the jeffries tube during Journey to Babel.

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Old January 12 2015, 08:18 AM   #11
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Re: Creating a realistic crew manifest for a Starship. Ideas & comment

^^

Sounds similar to military pilots or the Mobile Infantry in Starship Troopers. The troopers serve as security aboard ships (usually 8 soldiers per shift with the rest of the platoon or battalion training, servicing equipment, etc.).

As for the chaplains, military chaplains (at least last I looked) have Religious Program Specialists (RPs) who are enlisted personnel who assist the chaplain in their duties, and are also allowed to carry weapons, since chaplains are not. RPs provide the opportunity for support personnel who are from a variety of religious backgrounds.

Support personnel can often serve in different departments, pretty much what T'Girl sir. Cross-training is your friend in this case.
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Old January 12 2015, 03:54 PM   #12
Orphalesion
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Re: Creating a realistic crew manifest for a Starship. Ideas & comment

RevdKathy wrote: View Post
Chaplains in military, education and healthcare are generally cross trained to understand and offer help to most, if not all, religions. They are multi-faith workers, though expected to be relaxed and confident in their own faith/spirituality.
Ah i understand now. I often walked by the Chaplaincy at my university and wondered about that.
In that vain, the Ship should have a room designated as amulti-faith center.

Unless you had crew from a group whose religion involved something like human sacrifice, it shouldn't be a problem. (Most chaplains draw the line at that.)
So no Alpha Centauri Reformist then....
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Old January 12 2015, 04:08 PM   #13
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Re: Creating a realistic crew manifest for a Starship. Ideas & comment

Fashion Victim wrote: View Post
jespah wrote: View Post
What I've done in my own fic (Note: I mainly write in the ENT time frame) is that there are chaplains but they're not shipboard. If people want to pray or have services, they can do so in their quarters or a lounge or pray before meals. But spiritual guidance is achieved via communications. For more immediate needs (like a minyan in Judaism), there are certain compromises, and fellow crew members are essentially 'temporary Jews' in the event that someone needs to pray and can't get together 10 Jewish friends. Or Jews are patched in via communications (N. B. there is a requirement of 10 Jewish persons as a quorum when someone is saying the prayer of mourning).
.
I'm fascinated by people practicing Earth religions in the distant future so...link please?

....
Oh, thanks for asking!

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Old January 12 2015, 08:16 PM   #14
RevdKathy
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Re: Creating a realistic crew manifest for a Starship. Ideas & comment

Orphalesion wrote: View Post
RevdKathy wrote: View Post
Chaplains in military, education and healthcare are generally cross trained to understand and offer help to most, if not all, religions. They are multi-faith workers, though expected to be relaxed and confident in their own faith/spirituality.
Ah i understand now. I often walked by the Chaplaincy at my university and wondered about that.
In that vain, the Ship should have a room designated as amulti-faith center.

Unless you had crew from a group whose religion involved something like human sacrifice, it shouldn't be a problem. (Most chaplains draw the line at that.)
So no Alpha Centauri Reformist then....
Had one of them in our hospital last week - made a hell of a mess in the multi-faith centre, and no-one's seen one of the Health Care Assistants since.
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Old January 18 2015, 11:02 AM   #15
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Re: Creating a realistic crew manifest for a Starship. Ideas & comment

Are there going to be educational / training personnel ? And what about traders / merchant people ? - I like to think of a starship as a mini-representative of government. Just about anybody could be part of the crew.
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