How militarized should Starfleet be?

Discussion in 'General Trek Discussion' started by LobsterAfternoon, Nov 28, 2012.

  1. LobsterAfternoon

    LobsterAfternoon Commander Red Shirt

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    As both a Trek and Battlestar fan, I got to wondering: Do you guys like the more relaxed military attitudes/protocols that we see in Trek versus the more serious/formal ones shown in BSG? Ideally, how militarized should Starfleet be?

    While I love the positive view of the future that Trek presents (seriously love it, so much of sci fi is gritty predictions of futures where we're ruled by evil robots/space lizards/etc), I think I'd prefer to see a slightly more rigid/formal Starfleet.
     
  2. SchwEnt

    SchwEnt Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Whenever we've seen Earth or the Federation threatened by hostiles, Star Fleet is the one who comes to defend. We've never seen some other force or organization serving as the military. Star Fleet is as militarized as it gets.

    Except when they're not military.
     
  3. T'Girl

    T'Girl Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Both Kirk and Sisko certainly ran tight ships.

    On Kirk's Enterprise, military decorum was observed. Military customs and courtesies were employed and there was a definite military chain of command. With few exceptions the crew were referred to by their rank and last name. They were in clean uniforms, males were shaved, their hair was off their necks and (except for Chekov) reasonable short. When Kirk gave an order, he expected to to be obeyed.

    Starfleet is a military structured organization. When Kirk took Spock to Vulcan in Amok Time, he fully expected to lose his commission.

    While might be some debate about the use of the term "military," there no doubt that Starfleet is the uniformed armed forces of the Federation.

    Also, while Bill Adama may have run a rigid command deck, what was going on below decks on his Battlestar was a absolute mess, as Commander (later Admiral) those problems were his responsibility.

    Battlestar Galactica has to be one of the worst examples of a military ship ever to be seen on TV. It was pathetic.

    :)
     
  4. RAMA

    RAMA Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Organizationally I don't mind it being somewhat military. Situationally I don't mind it either, as when they arm for war..but generally speaking I don't feel the military mission is the main one for Starfleet.
     
  5. Melakon

    Melakon Admiral Admiral

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    If I'm in the mood for military sci-fi, there are hundreds if not thousands of choices. When wanting something less guns and ammo, there's Star Trek.
     
  6. -Brett-

    -Brett- Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    I'd like to see a little more common sense. Like wearing something resembling armor if they're going into a firefight.

    I wouldn't particularly care to see BSG style militarism though.
     
  7. C.E. Evans

    C.E. Evans Vice Admiral Admiral

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    I've always looked at Starfleet as a multipurpose agency, one that was modeled after the navies of Earth and observes many of their traditions and practices, but not all of them.
     
  8. st.barthgirl

    st.barthgirl Lieutenant Red Shirt

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    "I'd like to see a little more common sense. Like wearing something resembling armor if they're going into a firefight."

    like... No one's thought to put Seat Belts on the Bridge Chairs in All These Years? :brickwall:
     
  9. Avon

    Avon Commodore Commodore

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    i think starfleet is as militaristic as it needs to be. sure they could introduce more practical things like seatbelts or personal forcefields, but meh.

    i've come across plenty of terrible gung-ho fanfiction about 'starfleet marines' created by people who'd watched starship troopers and failed to grasp the satire.

    its hard to say 'we come in peace' with a gun in your hand.
     
  10. BillJ

    BillJ Admiral Admiral

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    Well, yes and no. The armrests acted as restraints when folded inward on the refit Enterprise, Grissom and Stargazer. Then in the Nemesis deleted scenes, we see that Picard's new command chair has a harness restraint.

    EDIT: Forgot the Excelsior from Star Trek III also had armrests that acted as restraints.
     
  11. st.barthgirl

    st.barthgirl Lieutenant Red Shirt

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    "i've come across plenty of terrible gung-ho fanfiction about 'starfleet marines' created by people who'd watched starship troopers and failed to grasp the satire."

    One of the Only True Funny movies i've ever seen... Satire Nonpareil... LOVED it. i think Heinlein would've enjoyed it, too.

    Bill, thank you for the restraint info. Do they also serve as Flotation Devices? i guess they could all hang on to Data... ;)

    i was a Huge BSG fan... until the finale. i like the Optimism of Roddenberry's Vision... i like the not so in-your-face military-ness... For Dystopian Futures, there's plenty {but never Enough} of Good Cyberpunk around...
     
  12. sbk1234

    sbk1234 Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    I think they have the right amount. They also show they can strict-up the militaryness when they need to. it suits me.
     
  13. st.barthgirl

    st.barthgirl Lieutenant Red Shirt

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    The weaponry is so advanced, that Force {violence} can EASILY back up their threats. With such Armaments and Science at Starfleet's disposal, perhaps the Pomp, Pageantry, and Ritual of the "military' need not be so in-your-face? Interesting Question. Does the Ability to Kill/Maime/Conquer/Rule/Subjugate an Enemy or Enforce a Treaty through such means Discourage the SHOW or POSTURING of said Force: does an Unmitigated reputation for Power somehow act as a disincentive to Rigorous Displays of said Power?

    I don't know very much about the internal hierarchical structure of starfleet (those back in San Fran). What 'checks and balances' are in place to assure that "absolute power does not corrupt absolutely"? Simply the Prime Directive and some Shared Idealistic Values? Or the Threat of Mutually Assured Destruction?

    All i think i know is that Armed Forces- or their leaders- will Find a Fight to Fight if there isn't one to Fight already.

    I wonder how long it took for the PeaceKeepers to become the Evil Reigning Force in their Corner of the Universe? Weren't they actually benevolent at one time- really maintaining Negotiated Peace For the What's-Their-Names? What led to their corruption? Do i recall that some sort of genetic manipulation or Eugenics were involved? i don't remember many of the Finer Farscape points... but i wonder if there might be any lessons to be learned from their history?

    it seems like Violence is Rife throughout the Galaxy, the Universe, Other Dimensions/alternate realities. So if it's Limited by some utopian ideal in just ONE TV show Cum Pop Cultural Phenomena, i'm all for it. Less Military, More Love.

    Ok, Group Hug?

    uh, maybe that's going just a tad too far?
     
    Last edited: Nov 29, 2012
  14. Bry_Sinclair

    Bry_Sinclair Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Starfleet is the Federations military, as is shown by the uniforms, rank, hierarchy, armament, organisation, etc. But the remit of Starfleet is far greater than any present day one, and is only really a fully mobilised armed force when at war--most of the time I think they could be called peacekeepers.

    It's militarised when it needs to be and not when it doesn't. Suits me just fine thanks :bolian:
     
  15. Timo

    Timo Admiral Admiral

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    ...Although Kirk appeared to have somewhat relaxed rules on saluting and coming to attention, as compared with, say, what we saw in the latest movie, or with some of the stiff postures aboard Pike's ship in "The Cage".

    Apparently, this is what Kirk accepts as "Atten-HUN!":

    http://tos.trekcore.com/hd/albums/3x09hd/thetholianwebhd0888.jpg

    Timo Saloniemi
     
  16. T'Girl

    T'Girl Vice Admiral Admiral

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    I don't believe Starfleet has a hand salute. In the first TNG episode/pilot, while Picard is touring the ship and is in engineering (coming off the lift), you do see a crewman come to the position of attention. And Picard once chewed out Worf for not coming to his feet fast enough in Picard's presence.
     
  17. Timo

    Timo Admiral Admiral

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    One wonders... Might Starfleet be one of those organizations where hand salutes are only used in connection with headgear? That is, virtually never indoors.

    Timo Saloniemi
     
  18. neozeks

    neozeks Captain Captain

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    Agreed. Just a bit more competence and readiness wouldn't hurt. Stuff that's important for them being good and competent at their actual jobs (and combat/defense definitely is one of those jobs), not stuff that's just posturing, tradition and formality for it's own sake.

    But otherwise, I'm fine with Starfleet being a more relaxed military. I actually quite like the idea of Starfleet being a fundamentally different kind of military for a fundamentally different kind of society, it makes Starfleet itself an interesting science-fictional concept (in the sense of social sciences, not hard sciences, obviously) and not just "present-day-preferably-American-military-IN-SPACE!". And in-universe, seeing how Starfleet is a multi-species organization of unprecedented diversity and size, I'd argue flexibility and informality would actually be neccessary for it's proper functioning.

    EDIT: Just to add, I understand that a lot of the seemingly pointless traditionalism and formality in today's militaries isn't just for it's own sake but is actually important for building discipline, morale and esprit-de-corps. But that's where the "different military for a different society" comes in. Starfleet is the military of a post-scarcity near-utopia. People that join it do it truly of their own volition. There's no conscription, they don't join it because they're poor or for any other economic reason. Plus, it has a pool of probably at least a trillion well-educated people to recruit from. Even at the highest reasonable estimate of Starfleet's size, it means it can pick and choose like no other military can. As a result, Starfleet should be an elite force made almost completely of top-quality people that already fully believe in Starfleet's mission and values and are fully devoted to them (which might explain some of that occasional smugness :rommie:). The need for any further indoctrination or disciplining would be small.
     
    Last edited: Nov 29, 2012
  19. Deks

    Deks Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Picard stated that SF is not a military organization.
    Its more along the lines of 'jack of all trades'.
    While one of its functions is to defend the Federation, it has a much bigger emphasis is on exploration/discovery/research/science/diplomacy.

    The writers merely presented in a more pseudo-military fashion though because its related in a way to it (but its not that).
    And people today will often mistake SF as a military because it bears a resemblance to what we have today (even though its not the same thing).

    I will agree though that more common sense should have been applied, but that much was down to writer stupidity who had little idea on how to manage such a universe properly.
    Add to it that as time went by, SF was portrayed in a more military fashion than it was earlier (the show de-evolved more into 'today in space').
     
  20. sonak

    sonak Vice Admiral Admiral

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    I'm fine with the more balanced approach where Starfleet is more relaxed yet still handles Defense when it needs to.

    I DON'T want to see Trek do BSG.
     

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