OK, How Does Starfleet Academy Work Exactly?

Discussion in 'General Trek Discussion' started by Minuet, Dec 7, 2012.

  1. Minuet

    Minuet Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

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    How does it work? Is it consistent throughout all the series?

    Wait, I forgot, nothing is consistent in Trek. :techman:

    But in all seriousness, I want to know if Roddenberry or anyone came up with a basic idea of what Starfleet Academy is like, and did they use those guidelines for future references to it?

    As far as I can tell, anyone can enlist and become a non-com crewman, but according to a Voyager episode ("Meld" I think), non-coms can be recommended for the officer program. So, already it's working differently than the actual military. Then again, I know less about the actual military than I thought I did, so I could be wrong on that.

    In that case, what does it take to become an officer? Can you just apply? Obviously it doesn't cost money. I know that non-Federation races have to be recommended by an established officer, as seen in DS9. Say I'm a Federation race, like a Tellarite (which I wouldn't be, because I don't see myself as remotely pig-like, unless I'm eating macaroni and cheese with bacon sprinkled on top, but humor me). Can I simply enroll and start classes in officer's school? Is it based on my primary school grades? In that case, they probably have complicated rules for transferring from non-human schools. For that matter, what is education like in the Federation--is it standardized across all Federation worlds?

    I think my head just exploded with questions.

    Maybe to be an officer, you need good grades, but any schmuck can become a non-com. Or maybe to be a officer, you just need to take a lot more schooling. Non-coms can clearly advance to become officers at some point, just like in the real military (okay, I know for a fact that happens, at least).

    Any enlightenment on this issue? I realize this sort of thing is poorly developed in snippets across the entire breadth of the franchise, so we don't have much to go on.
     
  2. sbk1234

    sbk1234 Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    There have been episodes of TNG that showed Wesley testing to see if he would get accepted. Picard mentioned that he failed his entrance exam the first time. So it seems there is some requirement beyond being a federation citizen for gaining acceptance.
     
  3. Minuet

    Minuet Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

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    Oh, that's right, I forgot about that. That makes sense.

    Now I'm wondering if non-coms have to take an entrance exam too. Probably not.
     
  4. Melakon

    Melakon Admiral Admiral

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    Some sort of basic aptitude test might exist, to make sure the applicant can walk and chew gum at the same time.
     
  5. SchwEnt

    SchwEnt Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Even Federation citizenship may not be required. Ensign Ro was Bajoran and Bajor wasn't a Federation member.

    Or maybe Ro Laren was a Federation citizen even though Bajor wasn't in the Federation.
     
  6. Minuet

    Minuet Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

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    Sometimes I guess we just have to accept that TPTB make shit up as they go on occasion.
     
  7. Aeronef

    Aeronef Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

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  8. Mr. Laser Beam

    Mr. Laser Beam Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    Noncoms don't go to the Academy.
     
  9. sbk1234

    sbk1234 Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    I think they mentioned once that members of non-Federation worlds must be sponsored by a high-ranking officer.
     
  10. Mr. Laser Beam

    Mr. Laser Beam Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    ^ Yep. It was the episode where Nog wanted to apply. He needed Sisko's recommendation (any command level officer would have sufficed) first.
     
  11. Nerys Myk

    Nerys Myk Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    Or they base it on their knowledge or research of similar real life institutions.
     
  12. Minuet

    Minuet Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

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    I agree. The point I was trying to convey is the fact that only a handful of things were ever set in stone when Gene Roddenberry laid ground rules, and even those things have been bent and broken on occasion. Many of the inconsistencies have been caused by writer error and/or bad fact checking, or even, on unfortunate occasion, blatant disregard for continuity. But that's our favorite show for you. :cool:
     
  13. The Wormhole

    The Wormhole Admiral Admiral

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    Nog wasn't a Federation citizen and he got in. However, I think non-Federation citizens need a recommendation from a Starfleet command officer, which Nog got from Sisko.
     
  14. Nerys Myk

    Nerys Myk Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    GR was more than happy to break his own "ground rules". The first season of TOS was full of retcons, resets and re-imaginings. Nothing was set in stone till they found something that worked. Truth is fans are a lot more concerned with continuity than writers and producers.
     
  15. Xhiandra

    Xhiandra Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

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    I see it working like a uni with an entrance exam, basically.
    It has a military dimension on top of the academic dimension, but whichever is dominant depends on the series: TNG will show it in a more scholarly light, DS9 in a more military light.
     
  16. Minuet

    Minuet Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

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    Definitely agreed. Still, you know...it's always fun to nitpick.
     
  17. Minuet

    Minuet Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

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    Okay, so, another minor stick in the spokes comes during DS9, when Bashir mentions that O'Brien went to Starfleet Academy at some point. Memory Alpha mentions that Ronald D. Moore openly admits this is a mistake, but says you can choose to rationalize it in that the enlisted training programs take place at Starfleet Academy, which apparently is also backed up by statements in TNG's "The Drumhead." I can buy that.
     
  18. tighr

    tighr Commodore Commodore

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    There's also the fact that in order to support a Starfleet the size of which we've seen, they need more than one "academy" to create that many officers. Yet we only ever hear of the academy in San Francisco. There are a few smaller schools, but they seem to be annexes rather than separate schools.
     
  19. LobsterAfternoon

    LobsterAfternoon Commander Red Shirt

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    Do we know how large the Academy is?
     
  20. Tiberius

    Tiberius Commodore Commodore

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    Cannibalism?