Marines and Combat Personel?

Discussion in 'Trek Tech' started by SarYehudah, Jun 23, 2013.

  1. SarYehudah

    SarYehudah Lieutenant Junior Grade Red Shirt

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    do any ships carry about marines for docking engagements? Even though its relatively useless in our era, the US Navy keeps contingents of marines on its vessels. Is there such thing as actual soldiers with body armor rather than crewmembers who have combat training? Also, does the ST universe use any tanks or armored ground vehicles? Or is this more or less useless as most infantry combat is small scale and wars are more or less decided in space?
     
  2. solariabsg25

    solariabsg25 Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Starfleet has never shown any on-screen Marines, although Enterprise did have the MACOS.

    Some other races do however appear to have specific combat-troops, The Dominion's Jem'Hadar being a prime example, but the Romulans were also mentioned of having used Remans as shock-troops.

    No mention has ever been made of armoured vehicles, it could well be that they are simply not used in an environment where the armour and shielding on a small vehicle may be of little use against the weapons of a starship in orbit.
     
  3. Crazyewok

    Crazyewok Commander Red Shirt

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    Well nor the battle to strong refers to hoppers.

    May be some sort of transport/combat vessel?


    As for marines I always thought of it like this:

    Starfleet security act as marines in the traditional role of marines (NOT the US modern Marine version) as guarding the ships/stations and limited on shore operations.

    And you also have full battalions like shown in DS9 (possibly MACOS) that speclise in all the ground combat dutys. Nor the battle to strong refers to units of squad and platoon size so it seems they have a tradition like army structure, though we have limit information on Ranks. Though a Colonel in undiscorved country did appear, yes he had a admiral uniform but to be honnest uniforms in that film were a mess!
     
    Last edited: Jun 23, 2013
  4. solariabsg25

    solariabsg25 Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Anything's possible, the fact is that Trek has always focused on the heroes. It could well be that specific ground troops exist. We may even have seen them on-screen, but no character has ever said "Look, that's Colonel T'Vill of the 27th Infantry Division."

    Colonel West in STVI is given a traditional army/marine rank rather than navy like most of Starfleet, which seems to indicate there are specific ground troops somewhere!
     
  5. Timo

    Timo Admiral Admiral

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    Why would "armor" and "training" be competing concepts? Surely there can be actual soldiers who have no armor and happen to be crew members to boot.

    Why would they? After all, they have shielded flying vehicles - surely a mere armored ground crawler would be inferior in every respect!

    Nope, we haven't seen any ground-bound combat vehicles used. A four-wheeled vehicle was used in ST:Nemesis, and had a gun pintle in the rear (without anything useful like stabilization, it seems), but this did not appear to be a combat vehicle as such. And even this vehicle flew in the end...

    The intelligence service of Romulus also used army ranks - and Colonel West appears to be a Starfleet Intelligence man, or at least a covert operations specialist. Perhaps spy organizations are the only ones to use army ranks in the Trek future?

    (Of course, it's possible there never was any "Colonel West". The poor chap's surname may simply be Cornell-West... When the name is used at the President's office, it is in a situation where nobody gets called by rank - the President insists on first or last names instead.)

    We see people who concentrate on ground combat (but perhaps only because the circumstances force them to?) in uniforms only ever seen on people involved in ground combat (but that proves nothing much) in two episodes: "Nor a Battle to the Strong" and "The Siege of AR-558". In the former, the character is a Lieutenant, which can be a navy or army rank alike; he speaks of a platoon of his, fitting aboard one of those hopper things, so he may be the officer in command of the platoon (thus close to the definition of an army Lieutenant today) or then an officer in command of several platoons of which this was one (thus closer to the navy definition of Lieutenant, or army Captain). In the latter, a bunch of characters without specified rank were commanded by a Captain and then by a Commander until those became casualties, suggesting a navy style hierarchy.

    Timo Saloniemi
     
  6. Hando

    Hando Commander Red Shirt

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    Only once did we see ground vehicles and that is in the game New Worlds. Take a look at the types.

    The whole ground combat/planetary invasion was something that we have not seen in Star Trek.
    There was that attempt in Reunification, but that's all.

    Kind of hard to imagine an planetary invasion at all, event though there must have been some.
     
  7. Crazyewok

    Crazyewok Commander Red Shirt

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    Pretty silly explanation if you ask me no offence.

    Im 99% sure colonal means colonal.


    Does not mean anything really as up until the 20th century Commanders , Captains and Admirals could get soilders in joint opperations to command. Normaly they would be be in shore raids and like missions. AR-558 due to is impact on the fleet may have been a joint opperation with the ground forces takeing a subordinant role. Or the senoir ground force officers may have been killed leaving the Starship officers.


    Was it me or did the dieing officer in Nor the battle to strong seem have multiple layers under his shot up uniform? Some kind of light armor?
     
  8. Crazy Eddie

    Crazy Eddie Vice Admiral Admiral

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    No.

    Primarily because Starfleet doesn't operate in the ocean.

    No.

    Strictly speaking, Starfleet doesn't operate a standing military organization, so their combat training is just one aspect of a VERY extensive curriculum.

    Starfleet doesn't, primarily by virtue of it not being a land force and not having any real need for land vehicles. I strongly suspect, however, that a dedicated land-based military does exist both on Earth and in various forms on the home worlds of Federation members and that said organizations, being mostly ground-based, probably possess all of the above things you mentioned. The nature of both transporter technology and the efficacy of shuttlecraft for short interplanetary voyages, however, means, it's unlikely that any military organization in the Federation would waste its money on starships.
     
  9. Mr. Laser Beam

    Mr. Laser Beam Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    Starfleet IS a standing military organization.
     
  10. Crazy Eddie

    Crazy Eddie Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Not it isn't.

    Starfleet is an exploration agency with adequate combat capabilities. IOW they are professional explorers who can also fight.

    A standing military is a combat organization with adequate exploration capabilities. IOW, they are professional soldiers who can also explore.

    That is a sufficiently large difference that two different TV series and now a major motion picture have explicitly spelled it out, even to the point that a Starfleet Admiral is willing to perform some rather extraordinary actions to convert Starfleet INTO a standing military organization -- something that, previously, it had never been before.

    AFAIK, this is a problem that Starfleet seems to grapple with about once every forty to sixty years. They're perfectly happy saying "We're peaceful explorers! Yay!" then something scary shows up and the conversation becomes "Holy shit, we're gonna have to fight those guys... are we the military now?"
     
  11. Unicron

    Unicron Continuity Spackle Moderator

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    From a non-canon perspective, FASA did include marines for both the Federation and the Klingons, with a lot of Klingon vessels having cryogenic systems for keeping troops in suspended animation until they could be used in offensive. The Klingon module Termination: 1456 also shows about half a dozen Klingon ground vehicles, although I don't know at present if any other modules included such units. Most typically used starships.

    As far as the FASAverse is concerned, Starfleet is very much a standing military in the sense Crazy Eddie describes - it's a professional military with training in exploration as well. What's been shown on screen has differed quite a bit from that interpretation, but one could also argue that differing eras brought different opinions on what sort of organization Starfleet should actually be and where its focus should be.
     
  12. Herkimer Jitty

    Herkimer Jitty Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    You can see this reflected in NASA. They change direction every time a new administration comes into office - just look at the differences in the space plans that popped up under the last 4 or so US Presidents. Starfleet's always changing its focus because the Federation Government is switching gears every time a new administration pops in.
     
  13. Crazy Eddie

    Crazy Eddie Vice Admiral Admiral

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    That's a really good point, on a number of levels. Different governments having different priorities, and even more extreme to the point that Vulcan -- which abhors violence -- would have more influence over some administrations than others.

    But it might not even be the Presidents. There's clearly a HUGE amount of variation even within Starfleet's own ranks as to what their overall mission should be. We've seen war hawks like Marcus, Worf, Leyton, Jellico and (emergedly) Cartwright and West. We also have your science doves like Archer, Kirk and Spock, Scotty and Keenser, Picard and Riker, Janeway and Tuvok. Sisko seems to be a fence-sitter that would prefer for Starfleet to focus on scientific exploration but maintain specialized weapon platforms like the Defiant "just in case." Admiral Pike, interestingly, also strikes me as a kind of middle-of-the-road guy who figures Starfleet can wear both hats to an equal degree.

    It seems to me it's an ongoing debate even within Starfleet that waxes and wanes one way or the other with different officers having different opinions. During peacetime, the science doves usually take all the top spots just because peaceful missions are the only show in town and tactically-minded officers don't get a lot of opportunities for advancement; things get so peaceful that they even start putting kids and families on starships. Then one year they run into somebody like the Borg or the Dominion or the Romulans come out of the woodworks and suddenly everybody looks up that one Admiral who thought that all the explorer ships need to run weekly battle simulations and live fire exercises.
     
  14. Charles Phipps

    Charles Phipps Captain Captain

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    It's not that hard a concept to wrap one's head around. Starfleet handles the Federation's defense as part of its job but it does a lot more stuff that compromises about 60% of its job. The PD actually makes this possible, arguably. If the USA wasn't involved in foreign wars, we'll....the last war we'd have fought in was WW2.

    For better or worse.

    The issue is complicated by the fact that the show is ABOUT Starfleet so we never see Planetary Security for Earth. Also, the "defenses" Earth and other races have which get ignored by V'ger and other groups.
     
  15. Charles Phipps

    Charles Phipps Captain Captain

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    My theory on Marines in Starfleet is that there's hundreds of security personnel on Federation starships out of a crew of a thousand so there's no real point to carrying around a couple of hundred extra marines for repelling boarding invasion (which the security personnel seem to do when not carrying out police duties).

    Likewise, if they DID EXIST, they'd be the ones who would be going onto hostile starships with Away teams since that would be 90% of what a Marine would do if they existed in space (see Star Wars Stormtroopers). The fact there's no sign of Marines in Star Trek says to me they don't exist anywhere but the Enterprise era, probably.

    Nevertheless, I think they probably exist on a planetary level as mentioned above. Starfleet isn't a standing army but I wouldn't be surprised if planets in the Federation maintain defense forces. As for how to handle land invasion? That's an interesting question and may well be an irrelevant question of war in the 24th century.

    Honestly, this isn't a slight against Star Trek security, I think we're meant to assume they're pretty badass--we just never get to see it.
     
  16. Locutus of Bored

    Locutus of Bored The Norf Remembers Moderator

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  17. Charles Phipps

    Charles Phipps Captain Captain

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    If they had the Special Effects budget, they should include Mass Effect personal shields.
     
  18. Crazy Eddie

    Crazy Eddie Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Which, in addition to being a very good point, leaves one to wonder how an organization like the United States would be able to maintain a military this size without the constant threat of foreign hobgoblins to justify those huge expenditures. If your military hasn't been at war with anyone in sixty years, people start to wonder if they still need it; the the day comes when you find out that you need it, and you find you no longer have it.

    Starfleet is the solution to that problem. They ALWAYS need funding, because exploration is always a good idea (and sometimes it can be highly profitable for the Federation). They keep their fleet large and active, they keep their equipment up to date, they keep their crews trained and competent, and providing them with adequate weaponry means that IF something scary happens, they can pull the exploration crews off the frontier and have them dig trenches.

    In other words, it's a bit like having a militia composed entirely of scientists. One day Russia declares war on you, and all at once a hundred thousand Adam Savage and Jamie Hynamens report for combat duty at the Large Hadron Collider.

    FWIW, the novelization of STID implies that most ground/space combat is performed by "automatics." It's implied that the fighter planes that make a flyby over Kirk's speach are also unmanned drones. In that context, it's a foregone conclusion that one may not actually NEED a standing military to have a competent fighting force; the Earth Government really just maintains an arsenal of automated combat systems capable of defending the planet and can deploy them on a moment's notice without the huge expenses of needing to train and staff an army.
     
  19. Crazy Eddie

    Crazy Eddie Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Interestingly, they DID use personal shields in the videogame version.
     
  20. blssdwlf

    blssdwlf Commodore Commodore

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    From TOS to "The Undiscovered Country" it would appear that this is true to a certain extent.

    Kirk and some of the crew are multi-role soldiers who happen to explore and perform diplomatic duties during peace time. Others like Jaeger from "The Squire of Gothos" are dedicated scientists who go along for the ride.

    "Errand of Mercy"
    KIRK: That's the first thing that would be lost! Excuse me, gentlemen. I'm a soldier, not a diplomat. I can only tell you the truth.
    "Metamorphosis"
    KIRK: I'm in command, Bones. It makes it my fault. How do you fight a thing like that?
    MCCOY: Maybe you're a soldier so often that you forget you're also trained to be a diplomat. Why not try a carrot instead of a stick?
    "Whom Gods Destroy"
    GARTH: Upon the firmest of foundations, Mister Spock. Enlightened self interest. You, Captain, are second only to me as the finest military commander in the galaxy.
    KIRK: That's very flattering. I am primarily an explorer now, Captain Garth.
    GARTH: And so have I been. I have charted more new worlds than any man in history.
    "The Wrath of Khan"
    MADISON: It seems clear that Starfleet never intended that.
    CAROL: I know that, but...
    DAVID: I've tried to tell you before. Scientists have always been pawns of the military.
    CAROL: Starfleet has kept the peace for a hundred years. I cannot and will not subscribe to your interpretation of this event.
    "The Undiscovered Country"
    SPOCK: The dismantling of our space stations and starbases along the Neutral Zone, an end to almost seventy years of unremitting hostility with the Klingons, which the Klingons can no longer afford.
    MILITARY AIDE: Bill, are we talking about mothballing the Starfleet?
    C in C: I'm sure that our exploration and scientific programs would be unaffected, Captain, but...

    So we can guess that after ST6 there was a reduction in Starfleet's military program which lead to the more peace-oriented explorers of TNG and later.