How militarized should Starfleet be?

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

  1. T'Girl

    T'Girl Vice Admiral Admiral

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    As I understand it, anyone who travels above 62.1 miles in altitude is considered an "astronaut."

    During the Apollo moon missions, NASA thought it would be easier and faster to train pilots to be scientists, as opposed to training scientists to be pilots. The only exception I know of is Harrison Schmitt, who received a Ph.D. in geology from Harvard University, and after being selected was trained by NASA to be a jet pilot. He flew on Apollo 17.

    Teal'c: "Indeed."

    :)
     
  2. plynch

    plynch Commodore Commodore

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    They question orders a lot. "But Captain, . . ."

    In one of the Hornblower books I remember a quandary when the officers are trying to bring up how to even suggest something to the Captain, not even questioning an order already given.
     
  3. The Wormhole

    The Wormhole Admiral Admiral

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    I don't get all these "it's something more than military" comments. Everything we've seen Starfleet do is consistent with what militaries today have done. Granted, Starfleet might have a larger science division than any military organization, but they operate in space. Space has all kinds of weird shit that is going to require you to have scientists on your ships, and likewise you're going to want to study this stuff and research it for any practical advantages it offers. This is consistent among Trek's militristic aliens like the Klingons and Romulans, why would Starfleet be any less of a military because of it?

    Starfleet is the military, it was very clearly depicted as one in TOS. I say it still was in the 24th century, and that the times people said it wasn't is a relfection of propaganda. People sign up for Starfleet so that they can hang out on paradise planets and score with the local women with many breasts, amazing looks, and open minded about -ah screw it, they want to bang alien women, okay? What they don't sign up for is to get stuck on some filthy rock fighting scaly gray skin aliens over some communications outpost, even if that's what they end up doing.
     
  4. st.barthgirl

    st.barthgirl Lieutenant Red Shirt

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    thanks, t'girl. those are Good Facts. Me Likey...
     
  5. commanderkai

    commanderkai Lieutenant Red Shirt

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    Eh, it needs to be expanded. Other than the Dominion War, how many episodes were the words "We're the only ship in the sector, sir" mentioned? Hell, Generations had the newly launched Enterprise be the only ship in the vicinity of the ribbon. They were launching from the main shipyards, in the same solar system as one of the heaviest populated worlds in the Federation, as well as their capital. Does anybody see an issue here?

    Plus, a bit more...hmm...common sense features would be nice. Some armor/power armor, or as Star Trek: Online has, some personal shielding for ground soldiers.
     
  6. KamenRiderBlade

    KamenRiderBlade Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

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    Even in the first TV movie of Babylon 5, Garibaldi had a vest that took a energy weapon shot and saved him from certain death.

    With all the sheer technology that Starfleet has, including those phaser proof plastic looking barrels, they could've made body armor with the material in those barrels.
     
  7. J.T.B.

    J.T.B. Rear Admiral Premium Member

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    Well... they could act in that capacity, sure, but the vast majority of 18th century British (not English) Royal Navy captains commanded warships on military assignments. Military, that is, in the modern sense of the armed forces, rather than the meaning back then which was exclusive of maritime services. Hornblower's career was built around war, the diplomatic missions he undertook completely war-related.

    Starfleet's war-fighting mission was there from the beginning, so it's hard to see where there's any revisionism. Even first season TOS posited a tense "international" situation where there was a fair chance of war breaking out, and in fact war did break out in one episode. Given that setting, limiting plots to those that exclude "military" possibilities seems like an unrealistic storytelling restriction.

    Do NASA employees fall under a military legal code? No, NASA may be comparable to some aspects of Starfleet but the two are hardly parallel.

    Justin
     
  8. Gotham Central

    Gotham Central Vice Admiral Admiral

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    People also seem to forget that the modern US military is heavily involved in scientific exploration and research and employs quite a few scientists.

    People forget that the internet was a technology developed by the Department of Defense.

    Bob Ballard was an officer in the US Navy and was actually on an assignment for the Navy (looking for the USS Thresher) when he and his team found the Titanic.

    Even NASA is deeply intwined with the US military.
     
  9. st.barthgirl

    st.barthgirl Lieutenant Red Shirt

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    "Even NASA is deeply intwined with the US military."

    :guffaw:Even ?????? ;)
     
  10. Darkwing

    Darkwing Commodore Commodore

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    This dry land thing is too wierd!
    Missing the point. and real militaries can be equally blind and stupid.

    Well, that satire trashed a good book and made a bad movie an even poorer joke...

    Not at all. Kirk did it all the time. That gun isn't alive and doesn't make decisions. TOS taught me that complaining about the gun in the hand didn't address the actual problem, and that the ambassadors who did that usually couldn't solve the problems a military man could - because he had a gun in his hand and didn't shirk from using it when needed, but also because he knew what he could do with it, and wanted to avoid having to use it. Wishing guns away never works and doesn't solve issues between nations.

    I've always seen Starfleet as the military, just more relaxed about day-to-day protocol than today's, while being even harsher when someone transgresses. When a junior crewman berates a senior, they get slammed with threats of court-martial, while allowing fraternization and other modern violations without a thought. Essentially, it's become a Hollywood writer's idea of what the military is bastardized with what they'd like it to be. I'd like to see a little more attention paid to the military structure and customs and ceremonies, but not slavish devotion to it. All this, of course, is a separate discussion from the whole idea that we should think of Starfleet as the Federation military, soething I take as a given, and which seems to me like the OP's baseline assumption when asking "how militarized should Starfleet be?"
     
  11. Darkwing

    Darkwing Commodore Commodore

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    This dry land thing is too wierd!
    Hornblower was Roddenberry's inspiration. Starfleet was explicitly based on the concept of the 18th century Royal Navy, but using then then-current version of the US Navy for structure, to make it easier for audiences to grasp.

    That's an untrue and disingenous revision of the idea that Starfleet is the military.

    I disagree heartily. Roddenberry meant it to be the Navy, as shown in Hornblower's era, when he wrote TOS. I despise and disregard his senile revisionism in TNG when he suddenly thought the military, as a military, was an evil thing. And NASA? Bureaucratic NASA has no soul, no control, and no clue. Starfleet and Trek are all about the human condition. NASA is all about replacing humans with robots so that the frontier remains comfortably distant. They could never adopt the Naval background and expand to become Starfleet. the navy, on the other hand, has always done every single thing we've ever seen Starfleet do, just on the scale of our lone planet, and within the technological limitations of our time.

    Now THAT'S the part we're discussing. Protocols and practices germane to the modern military that Roddenberry didn't show, as his time in the AAF didn't endear the garrison mentality to him.
     
  12. T.Geiger

    T.Geiger Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

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    I think the original question was "how much military" in Starfleet. Personally, I prefer about the amount as portrayed in Wrath of Khan and Undiscovered Country.
     
  13. Temis the Vorta

    Temis the Vorta Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    Why not personal shields? if they can shield their apaceships, they can shield their people.

    Or: uniforms made from lightweight fabrics that look like pajamas but are far stronger than Kevlar and can deflect energy weapons. Their other tech is super advanced, why not fabric tech? And that will preserve the aesthetics of their uniform look.

    But overall, I like the idiosyncratic way Starfleet's military nature is portrayed. It's military and it's not. Society has changed so completely that there's no good analog to today.
     
  14. Darkwing

    Darkwing Commodore Commodore

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    This dry land thing is too wierd!
    So, let's discuss exactly what military trappings and protocol everyone thinks should be added or removed. I'd like a military adviser so they stop making silly mistakes, like threatening courts-martial over trivial offenses and making almost everyone an officer.
    Salutes on special occasions, ok, but not a regular thing - for example, AGT, the scene Picard arrives aboard. I'd have rewritten that scene so that Yar ordered "Hand Salute" as part of his arrival - Trek writers don't understand or often even know about military protocol and pomp, so they leave it out due to lack of knowledge. OTOH, I LIKE that we don't see Crewman Timmy having to salute daily. Most civilians won't understand EMI / Extra Military Instruction (punishment by working from 6pm to 8pm, but must be related to the offense), written counseling, and mast/article 15/non-judicial punishment. But they would get the idea of demerits, even if we don't do that in the real military anymore (No, the academies really aren't the military, and aren't really officers yet).
    What's your take on that?
     
  15. KamenRiderBlade

    KamenRiderBlade Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

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    I enjoy the fact that Starfleet is more lenient and casual with the way the crew interacts. I agree with you that threatening court martial, even if it's a joke, is bad taste. They really should stop mentioning court martial unless it's a serious offense. As for the demerit system, I like it, it's simple and gets the point across. I think the military can use a more simple and natural way of people dealing with each other.
     
  16. J.T.B.

    J.T.B. Rear Admiral Premium Member

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    Some official honors do seem to be present in TOS: the honor guard in "Journey to Babel," ruffles and flourishes in "The Savage Curtain." X-number of gun salutes are probably so impractical in a space service that they have died out.

    As for the hand salute, as Timo said upthread, the apparent extinction of hats and head-covering in Trek's time may have taken that particular tradition along with it.

    Justin
     
  17. T'Girl

    T'Girl Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Captain Pike's quarters in the first pilot did have a head cover sitting on a shelf. It was right next to Pike's 1964 two hundred pound magnavox television.

    :)
     
  18. JirinPanthosa

    JirinPanthosa Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    I would say Starfleet should be less militaristic in peace time and more militaristic in war time. Just like Sisko is a war time captain and Picard and Janeway are peace time ones.

    Battlestar Galactica is case in point. Prior to the human genocide, the military was more like TNG's military. Their war ships had gift shops, everybody used networked computers even knowing that if the cylons attacked they could destroy their ships instantly that way. And any pre-war flashback in the show seems remarkably similar to Star Trek society except more cynical.

    So, perhaps Starfleet should be like a less naive, more careful version of TNG in peace time and like Galactica in war time.
     
  19. The Wormhole

    The Wormhole Admiral Admiral

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    Only Galactica had a gift shop, and that was because the ship was being decommissioned and turned into a museum.

    The networked computers was a specific plot point to show how complacent humanity had become due to 40 years of no contact with the Cylons. Yeah, it was stupid of them, that was the point.
     
  20. J.T.B.

    J.T.B. Rear Admiral Premium Member

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    Yeah, and there were some in ENT and ST'09. So near-extinction, then.

    Justin