Starfleet Marine Corps

Discussion in 'General Trek Discussion' started by Danlav05, Dec 1, 2012.

  1. Mr. Laser Beam

    Mr. Laser Beam Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    Not necessarily. Starfleet Marines would still be considered Starfleet officers. They just have a different specialty, that's all. They would attend the same Academy as the rest of Starfleet (just like US Marine officers are graduates of the Naval Academy). They'll just have different ranks, like Major, Colonel, General, etc. Doesn't make them any less Starfleet.
     
  2. neozeks

    neozeks Captain Captain

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    Kirk did say Starfleet was a "combined service" in "Tomorrow is Yesterday".

    It's not like they even need to have army-style ranks, that's just a matter of tradition (Earth tradition, and it's not even completely universal here) and it's pretty much only cosmetic. Every army rank has it's naval counterpart.
     
  3. J.T.B.

    J.T.B. Rear Admiral Premium Member

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    I think that fits the on-screen evidence best. Starfleet's shipboard security teams seem a good match for the early incarnations of US or British Marines. Just as the US Navy began combining shipboard detachments into a larger Fleet Marine Force, which in turn evolved into something bigger and much more extensive, I can see Starfleet's shipboard security being the initial basis of something that became (or could become, if needed) a larger and semi-independent "ground" force.

    As for terminology, as an all-rolled-into-one "combined service" Starfleet may intentionally avoid terms traditionally tied to one environment like "army," "navy" or "marines." The titles of ranks don't really mean much in the long run; while Britain and the US put army-type units aboard ship as marines, other nations worked the other way and organized sailors into marine/naval infantry forces with naval-style titles, insignia and dress uniforms. And for 70 years the US Navy has had Seabee units with naval-type ranks running land-type units -- regiments, battalions companies and so on -- and it has worked fine.

    Justin
     
  4. Darkwing

    Darkwing Commodore Commodore

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    Which sounds like a separate service.

    Yes and no. I could see the Marines becoming the mobile, power-projecting ground force, and the Army becoming a garrison force that drills and defends a specific place - usually major colonies and core worlds. In other words, the army no longer deploys; the Marines do all that. This would permit a much smaller Army - which would be more politically palatable, because many think armies only exist for defense and conquest, but navies have a much broader remit, and marine forces are seen as an adjunct to that. So the UPF could easily maintain a UPFMC/SFMC larger proportionally than today's US ARMY, while having a rump Army just big enough to man defense installations on selected planets, and all the big-idea visioneers who want to believe in a peaceful, non-military Starfleet can convince themselves that SF is really a super-NASA that can fight when needed, and the MC are just a tool they keep for when that becomes necessary, but that they have just enough Army to hold their homes safe - rather like the big-idea men in the late 18th century wanted a militia, not a standing Army, to provide for adequate defense without permitting conquest.
    Of course, the Dominion War and various other wars begin to show that a purely garrison force doesn't suffice, and a rapid-response MC force can't bring the heavy firepower a real, mobile, deployable Army can, and so the policy is actually not as wise in practice as it seems in politics and theory, but that veers into wider territory...

    But then I'd expect Kirk, Picard, et alia to refer to themselves as sailors or spacers in the Federation Starfleet Navy.
     
  5. Timo

    Timo Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    Which sounds like a Boy Scouts type of organization, rather than an actual line of employment let alone a defense organization. After all, it involves "ancient sailing ships" somehow!

    Naturally, "Starfleet" might be the part that is analogous with "Navy", while "Federation" we know is the armada-like defense organization defending, well, the "Federation" (as explicated by Chris Pike). :devil:

    Timo Saloniemi
     
  6. Darkwing

    Darkwing Commodore Commodore

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    Possible, even plausible, but I doubt Roddenberry ever thought that out.

    True, but Roddenberry deliberately chose to use the structure and ranks of the US Navy as it existed then to connect to the audience more easily. When TMP was made, their research company advised them to make Kirk an admiral,not a commodore, because the US Navy had changed the rank between TOS and TMP, and they went with it because they were still tied to following their real-world model. Now, by TNG, they no longer used a research company (it was a department of Desilu during TOS, and during TMP, movie companies still contracted that service, but by now it's mostly just a search service to avoid using copyrighted or real-world names without permission), and stopped trying to match things up to the real world, but if Roddenberry had intended the "combined service" thing to cover this, I think he'd have included some dialog to that effect and shown somewhere some naval infantry or other service types rolled under the Starfleet umbrella.
     
  7. Darkwing

    Darkwing Commodore Commodore

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    Well, the CG still trains on them, and Annapolis used to. The US Navy still operates the Constitution. So the FNP could be a wet-navy adjunct to a garrison army as I explicated above:cool:.
    Or it could be a National Guard-equivalent force, a ROTC/JROTC-style organization, or a branch of Starfleet.

    I tend to think that "Starfleet" would be the umbrella name, and Navy would describe which arm of that ovarall organization they served in. But in a galaxy, the navy would cover the largest volume, and become the tail that wags the dog, so in common usage, you might understand "Starfleet" to mean "Starfleet Navy", while other services would be described the opposite way: "Army" meaning "Starfleet Army". But when introducing himself to the government of an independent planet, he'd say "Starfleet Navy", and when meeting a governor on a UPF world, he might say "Starfleet", only to have the governor say "you're probably wondering why I asked for the Navy..."
     
  8. Sector 7

    Sector 7 Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Redshirts are definitely NOT the Marines of StarFleet. They are usually the FIRST ones to get themselves killed on landing parties!:devil:
     
  9. LobsterAfternoon

    LobsterAfternoon Commander Red Shirt

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    I could certainly see Starfleet having Marines as a specialized department within its ranks, similar to how we have Starfleet Corp of Engineers, Starfleet Medical, etc. I just don't see how they could have different ranks than the rest of Starfleet.
     
  10. C.E. Evans

    C.E. Evans Admiral Admiral

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    :confused:
     
  11. Longinus

    Longinus Captain Captain

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    I really don't like the idea of either Starfleet Marines or an unified Federation Army, both seem too militaristic.

    Technology has rendered large scale ground combats mostly irrelevant anyway, and for small assaults Starfleet has their security teams.

    Member planets can possibly have their own ground forces for peacekeeping and to defend against an unlikely ground invasion, but these forces would be more like US National Guard. If there really was need Federation could form peacekeeper units out of volunteers from these planetary defence forces to be send to where needed.
     
  12. The Wormhole

    The Wormhole Admiral Admiral

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    Well, there are plenty enemies of the Federation that have large ground based armies, the Klingons, the Jem'Hadar, even the Cardassians have enaged in a good many ground battles.

    Hmm, for that matter, Chief O'Brien has an unpsecified background as a "soldier." We know he was in many ground fights against the Cardassians, and as of DS9's second season him and Major Kira were the only ones on the station considered to have any real combat experience. O'Brien's obviously not a Marine, so maybe Starfleet does have a ground division that exists as part of its rank structure?
     
  13. R. Star

    R. Star Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    A majority of the Star Trek rpgs and sims have some sort of Marine Corps equivalent for practicality. These of course are fan creations, but it does set a trend of what fans expect.

    Starfleet is a military organization, however loose and whatever other purposes they serve. Even the most utopian definition of Starfleet states one of their purposes is defense. If they don't have a trained ground combat unit, they are stupid.
     
  14. Longinus

    Longinus Captain Captain

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    I think the references about O'Brien being a 'soldier' merely meant that he had seen his fair share of combat, and not a refernce to an actual position.
     
  15. King Daniel Beyond

    King Daniel Beyond Admiral Admiral

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    For what it's worth, the cancelled Romulan War movie Star Trek: The Beginning had the United Earth Stellar Navy (previously unheard of; basically short-range fighters dedicated to Earth's defence) merging with the expanding Starfleet in the wake of the formation of the Coalition of Planets.

    That's the closest you're probably going to get to canonical evidence of Starfleet absorbing other military roles.
     
  16. LobsterAfternoon

    LobsterAfternoon Commander Red Shirt

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    Also on the "absorbing military" front, we know Shran would've joined the Enterprise crew if ENT had gotten a season 5. Whether that would've meant him joining Earth Starfleet or if it would've been the early stages of a Fed Starfleet, we dunno.
     
  17. Mr. Laser Beam

    Mr. Laser Beam Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    ^ I always assumed that Shran would have become the leader of the MACO detachment. He is an experienced soldier, so that'd be a perfect fit for him. Whether he would have adopted a MACO uniform, though, is not clear.
     
  18. LobsterAfternoon

    LobsterAfternoon Commander Red Shirt

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    That woulda been great.
     
  19. Darkwing

    Darkwing Commodore Commodore

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    No such thing as "too militaristic" when it comes to the existence of a force, only in how it's employed.

    Read Starship Troopers, Heinlein argues that there will always be a need for the poor, bloody infantry to actually be on the ground.

    The US experience with that showed that an overall organization was needed, or they wouldn't work together and coordinate well. It's part of why we no longer raise a unit and leave it at home. We raise a unit, station it, then rotate the personnel between units for turnover and to cross-pollinate. Everyone gets the same training and keep levelling out local ideas so all units are more or less on the same page. I'd argue that an army would prove necessary just so different worlds didn't have better or worse local defenders, and so that those troops would be loyal to the whole UFP, not the local gov't, and therefore less likely to seem a potential threat to other member worlds during tense political crises.
     
  20. LobsterAfternoon

    LobsterAfternoon Commander Red Shirt

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    @ Darkwing - I've read Starship Troopers, and while it's a great book and I think (unfortunately) a more realistic view of the future of the military, a lot of Trek renders a lot of Starship Troopers null and void. The ability to precisely beam people in, the crazy targeting and sensors Trek has, and the ability to resolve a lot of problems with either diplomacy or technobabble make it sorta hard to apply Starship Troopers lessons to Trek.