Starfleet Marine Corps

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

  1. Timo

    Timo Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    He would have been correct until the 1990s. But US Marines were gradually withdrawn from USN shipboard security assignments after WWII, lingering the longest aboard ships that carried strategic weapons. The deployment of tactical or strategic nukes on surface ships has been drastically scaled back now, and while there no doubt are live warheads available to select vessels at select times, the training of the manpower to have them there has been scaled back, too, so probably very few ships actually carry such "secret" weapons nowadays.

    Supposedly, nukes were rare strategic assets aboard the nuBSG battlestars, too, so perhaps Marine guard was warranted as standard for that reason? Perhaps lesser vessels, or battlestars armed with conventional weapons, would have been guarded by units without special status and/or less in the way of special training?

    Timo Saloniemi
     
  2. Darkwing

    Darkwing Commodore Commodore

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    Back when it was founded, yes. By Pike's & Kirk's time, they'd have realized the necessity.
    By TOS, it was a lot tighter than the EU. I grew up in a military town, and I'm sure the member worlds would look on it more like the US looks at our own bases (an economic boon) than the Japanese look at our bases there - and even they want them for the money more than they resent them for the "occupation", except when a flashpoint occurs, like the recent rape. And finally, no, having a military is not militaristic. It's what you do with it. Various states and territories brandished their state troops as a threat before federal troops replaced them, which IS militaristic. Also, please remember, not all of Starfleet is made up of touchy-feely big-idea idealists, and the civilian population would be even less so. I'm a more conservative idealist, and I'm constantly disgusted by the fellow sailors who believe in revenge more than justice. "Hang Manning, kill all the terrorists in Gitmo, etc". And civilians are just as bad. "OJ was framed/ OJ shoulda been convicted the first time". Politicians may start as idealists, but over time become pragmatic, then apathetic or corrupt, and prate about ideals they don't follow, and quietly change things behind the scenes.

    Which just means that, instead of having AN army, you now need to have 150 smaller armies, a recipe for divisiveness. And now they must have a lot more wargames to practice working together - which is one reason why, in addition to often being war criminals, UN peacekeepers are useless militarily - divided chain of command, jealousies between rivals, and lack of common training and coordination.
     
  3. Darkwing

    Darkwing Commodore Commodore

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    Not really, MAs and Marines are nowhere near the same, even though a cursory glance makes it seem that way to a civilian.
     
  4. Longinus

    Longinus Captain Captain

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    Considering the wide variety of duties a single Starfleet officer is expected to perform, they are easily roles similar enough. In real world people specialice way more than in Star Trek. See Timo's excellent post on O'Brien's duties.
     
  5. J.T.B.

    J.T.B. Rear Admiral Premium Member

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    Based on logic from what we've seen onscreen, I'm not sure I see a "should" there. The orbital capabilities of starships are shown to be so powerful and accurate, it seems quite possible that once you've won control of the orbital space, you've won everything.

    Well, if you take that line of thought to its extent, it doesn't matter whether one episode completely contradicts the next, because it's all fictional.

    Officers seem to have a specialties which aren't interchangeable but aren't necessarily exclusive of command, Spock and Scotty being prime examples. Why couldn't security just be another specialty like science or engineering?

    Until the 1990s, USN cruisers, battleships and fleet carriers had an assigned Marine Detachment. Their shipboard duties originally included serving as gun crews as well as handling security, but after WW2 their role became largely traditional and ceremonial, and by the 1990s it was realized they would be better used elsewhere. The last carrier MarDet was reassigned in 1998.

    Justin
     
  6. neozeks

    neozeks Captain Captain

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    I think you're overestimating the centralization of the Federation. Even in the 24th century, it still strikes me as more similar to 19th century USA than today's USA. And at that point, if I'm not mistaken, most American ground troops were still state-raised.

    There are ways to minimize the problems, like requiring every member planet military to train, organize and equip their troops according to Starfleet ground forces guidelines and having Starfleet oversee and command them (perhaps through an official umbrella organization called "the Federation Army"). Besides, I think it would be rather rare for these local armies to ever really work with one another. Defending the surface of one planet would be a mostly independent and self-reliant affair, largely unconnected to the defence of another planet (but connected to the naval war in space). And these troops would be stationary and wouldn't deploy "overseas" - Stafleet's own ground troops would be used for expeditionary missions, like you said yourself. Local troops could get federalized and deployed in support of Starfleet but I don't think there'd be much need for that. I have the feeling the Federation never really needed to fight a large ground war before the Dominion War.

    True, but how do we know to which category Starfleet security belongs?

    Anyway, I don't think determining whether Starfleet security are Marines or not and whether they can fight well on land is all that important to the greater question of the existence of separate ground units. It doesn't matter. Even if they are Marines, they're still needed on their ships and starbases. Sure, you can use them for small scale short-term actions - but anything more than that (it doesn't have to be anything "militaristic", say you're conducting a large humanitarian mission on a war-torn planet and you need to protect your humanitarian workers) and you'll be leaving your ships and facilities vulnerable and undermanned. You need to have independent ground units.
     
    Last edited: Dec 5, 2012
  7. Mr. Laser Beam

    Mr. Laser Beam Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    Actually, there was supposed to be a scene in Homefront / Paradise Lost where that exact thing happens: we would have seen Jaresh-Inyo "federalizing" United Earth forces to assist in the crisis. But it got cut for time.
     
  8. timmy84

    timmy84 Commodore Commodore

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    I have no doubt several worlds have independent military worlds. I'm also willing to believe several worlds have disbanded anything resembling a military since they are deep within the Federation and therefore don't need a military (so border worlds and worlds with strong military traditions probably still have planetary militaries).

    I still don't believe that Starfleet (or the Federation) has a dedicated Army/ Naval Infantry/ Marine Corps / whatever you want to call it. We can debate this by todays standards, but thats us trying to put our beliefs on a fictional universe thats supposed to be better then us.

    And if grade schoolers are learning calculus, then I think Red Shirt (Gold Shirt?) Number 52 also knows how to flank the enemy when needed and throw a photon grenade.

    :borg:
     
  9. Darkwing

    Darkwing Commodore Commodore

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    [/QUOTE]
    I think you're overestimating the centralization of the Federation. Even in the 24th century, it still strikes me as more similar to 19th century USA than today's USA. And at that point, if I'm not mistaken, most American ground troops were still state-raised.[/QUOTE]
    They were recruited by locale, but trained by federals and employed federally. Regardless, the UFP seems to me to be a mix of 18th century fleet, 19th century colonies, and 21st century metropolisi. Earth seems like a melange of NY, SF, and other major cities.

    Exactly what I described, except that having a UFP Army means that those soldiers rotate from one planetary garrison to another, helping keep them from stagnating or developing excessive local loyalty that might override loyalty to the UFP overall.

    I'd assume Security were like Masters-at-Arms, based on seeing them in action, and not being impressed with the combat abilities of redshirts in most episodes. That, and marines have a clannishness that differs from sailors and soldiers.

    I also liked the Diplomatic Protection Group we saw in Rules of Engagement (Morwood).
    Possible, but I'd think that in the early days, the UFP would exert a lot of pressure to consolidate forces into the federal level - and we see that somewhat with the Green Fleet - those Starfleet ships crewed solely by Vulcans - and the Blue Fleet, FASA's proposed Andorian-crewed ships. They're Starfleet vessels, but operated under the aegis of a founding race FOR the UFP.
    And how is it "better" to disarm and forego a military? That's foolhardy. Trying to make a more enlightened, responsible military makes sense, as long as it doesn't get out of hand and render that force useless. We did that in history, with the Society of Cinncinatus establishing the primacy of civilian control over the military, with the Nuremburg ruling, the Geneva convention, etc.
    Based on episodes, I'd say about as well as a vidiot playing Call of Duty could :D
     
  10. Longinus

    Longinus Captain Captain

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    Seeming occassional incompetence of the Starfleet security people is just a TV thing. Writers and actors are not experts of military tactics. It is not like the supposed super warriors like Klingons and Jem'Hadar appear much more competent.
     
  11. The Wormhole

    The Wormhole Admiral Admiral

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    I based my comment on the fact that when Captain Jellico took command of the Enterprise, he immediately re-assigned half the engineers to security. Security is obviously not a different branch from the rest of Starfleet.
     
  12. Nerys Myk

    Nerys Myk Fleet Admiral Premium Member

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    I would assume there is some cross training between engineering and security. Both would have some expertise on the function and operation of the ship weapons. So pulling engineers off other areas to focus on maintaining the ships weapons makes sense.
     
  13. Drago-Kazov

    Drago-Kazov Fleet Captain

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    I bet there are some former military guys who would help them even for free. I hope they will use some better military tactics in all future Trek. This is not the 60s.
     
  14. T'Girl

    T'Girl Vice Admiral Admiral

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    And fighting ability/martial art too. I'll give TOS a pass, but there's no excuse for TNG (and later series) not hiring a professional trainer to work with the actors for fight scenes on some of the episodes, especially Worf.


    :)
     
  15. Drago-Kazov

    Drago-Kazov Fleet Captain

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    It would be nice to see some asian martial arts in Trek.
     
  16. Longinus

    Longinus Captain Captain

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    Yes, using military consultants would certainly help. Calling those same actors 'marines' instead of 'security' won't.
     
  17. T'Girl

    T'Girl Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Looking at the experience of Betazed, when it was invaded by the JemHadar in the Dominion War, that apparently was the case there. The The Betazed local military were able to hold the JemHadar off for some period of time (which speak well for them), but eventually the planet was taken. Sisko describe their defenses as poor, and not typical.

    But often we've seen planetary conditions that interfer with sensors, and occasionally render transporters useless. Boots on the ground would be a option.


    Or it could have been a situation like with the UN Charter, the Charter does allow for the creation of a UN run miitary force. But the UN membership (quite wisely) has alway refused to permit the UN to form one. This is why you see UN peacekeepers, and nations operating under UN declarations.

    The ships are "owned" by the individual Federation Members, and operated as a co-operative joint command fleet (Starfleet).

    Got to love a man in uniform.

    The Federation regularly employs violence, by way of Starfleet. They're hardly "pacifists," certainly not as a group.

    The phaser that can fire from orbit to the ground, is the same phaser that can fire from the ground to orbit.


    :)
     
  18. Nerys Myk

    Nerys Myk Fleet Admiral Premium Member

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    Why give TOS a "pass"? Its not like there was a shortage of people with military experience in the 60s. A large percentage of men of a certain age had been in the military, some serving in combat. Roddenberry was a USAAF pilot and Coon was a Marine. Others already on staff had served as well. I've a feeling any "failings" were driven by time, budget and storytelling rather than ignorance or incompetence.
     
  19. Longinus

    Longinus Captain Captain

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    I actually like to think that this is exactly how it was in TOS. Would explain Kirk's reference to United Earth Space Probe Agency too. However, I'd like to think that during TNG this was no longer the case, and Starfleet was truly a federal fleet.

    'Pacifistic' may be a too strong word, but they tend to portray themselves as being an a mission of peace. Defiant was exceptional that it was a pure warship. Multipurpose security forces seem to fit the ethos better than marines that are purely for combat.
     
  20. Sci

    Sci Admiral Admiral

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    The problem with this interpretation is that it directly contradicts Star Trek IV, in which the docked U.S.S. Enterprise slated for decommissioning was explicitly described as "Federation property." Not "Earth property," or "Vulcan property," or what-have-you property. Federation property.