From the Hole

A question came up at Denver ComicCon a few weeks ago. “Who / What are the Starfleet Marines?” Having been associated with Starfleet since ’93 I have a bit of a unique perspective on this branch of the organization.

First (like Starfleet), we are NOT an actual military organization (duh). Also, you will never actually see a Starfleet Marine in any of the “Star Trek” movies or TV shows (although the MACO’s in “Enterprise” do come pretty close).  The Starfleet Marines are actually a fan created division in the “Star Trek” universe. In some groups they are a stand alone department (just like the science or engineering sections) while in others they are a subdivision of the Security department. It is important to note, however, that  most “ships” don’t have a marine group and several don’t even acknowledge the concept. In the case of the USS Tiburon every member of the crew is actually either an “active duty” or a “reserve” marine. (The reasons for this are complicated and more than I really want to delve into here but feel free to ask if you really want to know.)

The fictional basic role of the Starfleet Marine, in my opinion, is that of the ground pounder. Much like today’s real marines we do have airborne and mechanized groups as well as medical groups which would support the ground forces and their objectives. While starships are nice for large scale softening up of targets in time of war in many case an orbital barrage of a small planet side target is simply overkill. Security officers can go down in some cases but their primary objective is just that security. When it comes to full out combat or destroying a heavily shielded or guarded targets, again in my opinion, it’s time to send in the Starfleet Marines. The 888th Marine Strike Group (i.e. those of us on the USS Tiburon) are fictionally a Special Operations (i.e. Special Forces) unit.

In real life though the Starfleet Marine is just like any other Starfleet member (officer or enlisted). We have our own awards – separate from the rest of Starfleet – and our rank structure is similar to what’s in use today’s Marine Corps. Also our costumes are a bit different from our Starfleet naval counterparts and the overall feel is a bit more militaristic than the rest of the “Star Trek” universe. All in all though the real life objectives are exactly the same as they are across Starfleet. Those objectives being have fun, enjoy the company of others, and (depending on the group) do some sort of community service or charity work (which, thinking on a much larger scale, helps to make their small part of the world a slightly better place).

Want to be something a little different than the average crew member? Why not try the Starfleet Marines?

See you next month.


The Second Officer / Officer In Charge of the 888th Starfleet Marine Strike Group