OK, How Does Starfleet Academy Work Exactly?

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

  1. Nerys Myk

    Nerys Myk Fleet Admiral Premium Member

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    It's the entire San Francisco Bay Area. The computer science department takes up most of the Santa Clara Valley. ;)
     
  2. Minuet

    Minuet Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

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    Good catch. I try to generally not promote cannibalism, but sometimes it slips out. :rofl:
     
  3. CorporalClegg

    CorporalClegg Admiral Admiral

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    It doesn't have to be as long as Starfleet has some kind of OCS program. But, and I've brought this up several times in the past, there's never been any indication that it does.

    Bones is a good example. He went to Ol' Miss and then went on to medical school. If he were to join the modern navy, all he'd have to do is enroll in OCS. But instead he went to the Academy.

    I can understand where a Starfleet training program would have to be slightly more involved than just the basic military training of today's programs, but you'd have to think that a 24C degree in astrophysics from MIT or CalTech is just as good as the one you'd get from the Academy. No reason to go back and learn all that over again.
     
  4. Nerys Myk

    Nerys Myk Fleet Admiral Premium Member

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    My assumption is that people with advanced degrees aren't going to the academy to get a duplicate degree but to learn whats expected of a Starfleet officer and also train to serve aboard a starship and out in space. McCoy, in ST09, was operating a bridge station in the KM test. Possibly the science station since he noted the presence of the Klingons and the status of their shields. Starfleet's OCS is much more intensive and not geared to turning out 90 day wonders.
     
  5. marksound

    marksound Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    In our modern military, every recruit goes though basic training, aka boot camp. Some go back to finish college in ROTC, some go to OCS, and regular enlisted go to advanced training in their assigned fields. It's probably no more complicated in Starfleet.
     
  6. King Daniel Beyond

    King Daniel Beyond Admiral Admiral

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    There have been other Starfleet academies in the novels going back to the 80's.

    It never quite looks the same or stays in the same place.

    Here's a totally over-the-top analysis of Starfleet and the academy's ever-changing appearence and location, with maps!: http://www.ex-astris-scientia.org/inconsistencies/starfleet_buildings.htm
     
  7. LobsterAfternoon

    LobsterAfternoon Commander Red Shirt

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    Sorry, should've been more clear. I meant do we know how large the Academy is in terms of enrollment, not geography. I can't think of any scenes in regular Trek where we see large amounts of cadets (usually just a few walking around campus). Trek 09 has the scene with Kirk getting taken to task over cheating, but we don't know if all the cadets in that auditorium are A) the entire student body of the school, B) all the students in Kirk's year C) any other random grouping of students.
     
  8. T'Girl

    T'Girl Vice Admiral Admiral

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    If starfleet were truely large, even huge, in terms of personnel, then the people we see there could just be the ones in Kirk's form or class of cadet. One of their own stands accused, and they're all required to be in attendance. There looks to be around a thousand people in the seats.

    If starfleet academy is a four year institution, and they graduated one class a month (48 separate classes on campus at a time), and there is a ten percent wash-out rate, they would graduate and commission approximately eleven thousand new officers per year.

    That would replace officers retiring, resigning, discharges and dying each year. Plus any expansion on starfleet's part.


    :)
     
  9. timmy84

    timmy84 Commodore Commodore

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    I think they only have one Starfleet Academy, and while Starfleet is large, lets not forget that other then in times of war, we not only don't see a lot of deaths, but Starfleet officers may serve for nearly a century. With that, unlike the military, its possible to stay in the same grade (rank) for decades. In the alternate world where Picard never got stabbed in the chest, wasn't he just a junior officer still. He was allowed to advance very slowly over a what, 40 year period? For some Starfleet is a life choice that they do for decades.

    Lets not forget we are trying to impose some of our own beliefs on this world. Plus, if we even assume that Starfleet was a thousand ship strong, with an average crew compliment of 500 (which is over estimating) then thats only 500,000 line personnel. Add another 500,000 thousand for support and starbases and we have a million Starfleet personnel. Its really not a lot of people (well, it is, but not as much as some of us like to believe).

    :borg:
     
  10. LobsterAfternoon

    LobsterAfternoon Commander Red Shirt

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    Plus we don't know that every ship/starbase/facility has the same ratio of officers/enlisted as our hero ships do. For instance, we saw that DS9/the Defiant seemed to have a lot more non-coms than the various Enterprises. Maybe Enterprises (which are often considered flagships) get a large number of freshly minted ensigns/decorated lieutenants & commanders while the average ship has a more balanced mix. That would allow for a smaller Academy.
     
  11. C.E. Evans

    C.E. Evans Admiral Admiral

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    I've always taken the position that the main campus of Starfleet Academy is in San Francisco, but but there are other facilities affiliated with the Academy throughout the Federation. Some cadets may spend only a year or two in San Francisco, but receive additional real-world training as midshipman officers aboard an actual active duty vessel or base before getting their commissions. References to being "at the Academy" could refer both to the time they were physically there as well as the time spent training elsewhere, but still under its program, IMO.
     
  12. Mr. Laser Beam

    Mr. Laser Beam Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    I bet whoever gave Ro her recommendation, regretted it later...especially after the disaster at Garon II.

    Maybe that was OCS that McCoy took part in (during ST XI). We don't know that he and Kirk were at the Academy for the same amount of time. They left on the same shuttle, and we saw them take the Kobayashi Maru test together, but that's it, really. McCoy could have been there for a much shorter time than Kirk was.

    And who knows - maybe the only reason McCoy was present during the test in the first place was that he's a friend of Kirk's. Kirk could have asked to have him there. It could be Starfleet policy to have a cadet be able to choose those who'll be manning the other stations during the test. Could be that if not for Kirk, McCoy would have never been there. It's not like he's a command officer, anyway.
     
  13. tighr

    tighr Commodore Commodore

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    Especially considering McCoy was already a Doctor by that point.
     
  14. Mr. Laser Beam

    Mr. Laser Beam Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    "Bones, I want you to be on the bridge with me when I take my test."
    "DAMMIT JIM, I'm a doctor, not a helmsman!"

    :D
     
  15. sbk1234

    sbk1234 Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    It would also make some sense that even medical officers recieve some trianing in starship operations, since the time may come when they have to take over in an emergency situation.
    Even though he probably wasn't there as long as Kirk or was taking most of the same classes.
    It also would make sense that his medical school on Earth focused on Human medicine, while his Starfleet medical training focused largely on extraterrestrial medicine.
     
  16. Timo

    Timo Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    Random points:

    - A noncom getting into a training program for relatively quick conversion to commissioned officer is common practice in the real world. It would have been quite fitting for, say, Chief O'Brien to undergo such training and get a commission because he essentially did department head work normally done by commissioned officers. We know he did not, but OTOH we see Janice Rand proceed from supposed noncom status in TOS to verified noncom status in TMP (she wears a noncom insignia, even if it's difficult to notice) to verified officer status in the later movies.

    - Getting a recommendation from a Starfleet officer is not something specific to non-Federation hopefuls, because Kirk refers to similar patronage as having been part of his own career, in "The Apple". Or are we perhaps to assume that Kirk was not a Federation citizen originally? His childhood did involve a stint at the Tarsus IV colony that did not appear to have much respect for UFP laws and practices.

    - Varying lengths of Academy studies are more or less confirmed already: we know of a few four-year stints (even if only through computer readouts in TNG "Conundrum", a cornucopia of such information), but also of a five-year undertaking ("Bread and Circuses") and of a three-year performance (STXI). We also get references to Deanna Troi studying in both Starfleet Academy and the University of Betazeds, quite possibly simultaneously, or perhaps in a fashion that indicates relatively short SF Academy studies.

    - The rigorous testing and initial flunking of Wesley and Jean-Luc might be solely due to them having been underage applicants, at least the first time around. Eighteen seems to be the entry norm for H.sapiens, and might be the age limit below which special competence must be demonstrated.

    - The brief reference to O'Brien's Academy studies in "Trials and Tribble-ations" was more a joke than anything else, and might be dismissed without assuming that O'Brien ever set foot in an Academy lecture hall.

    Timo Saloniemi
     
  17. Star Wolf

    Star Wolf Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    By the modern military I guess you mean the United States Military as other nations have their own standards. Both NonComs and enlisted lower ranks can be recommended for officer training, but a recommendation alone is not enough to get a service member into an academy a ROTC program or Officer's Candidate school.

    There is no evidence that any schmuck can be a NCO, in fact schmuck status seems to be reserved for your basic Ensign and Lieutenant before the latest movie. As the only one of his kind we have extensive screen time with Chief O'Brian come across more like the Top Soldier, who has been more rigorously selected then the young Ensigns and Lieutenants assigned to his department on DS9
     
  18. Karnbeln

    Karnbeln Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

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    This is the interpretation I take. It seems like the vast majority of people in Starfleet are officers, with the non-comms being an exception.

    My guess is that you need a decent amount of training and education to work on a Federation starship, no matter what your job is, and Starfleet would rather take care of that training itself. It also simplifies the rank structure and allows anybody on the ship the opportunity to potentially rise up to be an admiral, making it a true meritocracy. Non-comms are specialists, people who didn't go to the academy but were granted the opportunity to work in Starfleet because of their great knowledge and skill.

    This allows both the inclusion of non-comms and Gene Roddenberry's early claim that everyone in TNG's Starfleet was an officier.
     
  19. JirinPanthosa

    JirinPanthosa Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Come on now, everybody knows that when selecting new Starfleet cadets, they round up the most gifted people in small groups of four or five and put them through a winner take all academic decathlon.

    Nog must have nailed that dynamic relationships test. ;)
     
  20. Timo

    Timo Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    Well, since Wesley clearly was fighting for a place in a specific quota, it sounds pretty natural to assume that it was the small quota for grossly underage hopefuls. It's difficult to tell with Benzites, I guess, but the others really were a bunch of kids. (Or what Hollywood expects us to accept as kids, at any rate.)

    Timo Saloniemi