History of MACO (Military Assault Command Operations)

The history of MACO goes back to the very early years of the United Earth following First Contact, following a parallel course to Starfleet. In fact, during the early years of both, they were both competitive, and even at odds with each other, engaging in direct conflicts. It wasn’t until the Xindi Conflict that MACO first began cooperating with Starfleet, with a MACO unit assigned to and traveling with Captain Archer on the Enterprise. During the Romulan war, it was quite common to have a MACO detachment assigned to a starship.  The formation of the Federation after the Romulan War saw MACO and the rest of the United Earth Military being absorbed into Starfleet in different ways.  In a sad ending, MACO became the Starfleet Security Tactical Response Force (TRF), the quintessential red shirts. A tragic end to one of the most elite military units since World War III.


During the massive reconstruction of Earth, following the devastation of World War III and First Contact with the Vulcans in 2063, both the surviving and newly-born governments of the world decided that another conflict of such a scale would destroy them forever. Together they joined, starting in 2064. By 2100 all Earth governments were united, and by 2150 every colony, town and settlement in the Sol System was part of the United Earth Government.


The governments of Earth believed that to completely unify, they would need to bring several key elements under the banner of the new government, taking them away from individual nations. Those key elements were Financial, Legal, and Military. Because of the devastation of international trade and infrastructure, creating a united currency was the most simple and accepted within a few years. Integration of Earth’s legal system would take much longer – until almost 2140 – to be fully complete. Military integration was the most difficult of all, with issues ranging from mistrust of old enemies, to long traditions of service and pride, to current usefulness. There was much conflict over the issue.

Founded in 2065 was the United Earth Space Probe Agency. Charged with all interstellar operations of the new government, its primary arm was the United Earth Starfleet, which oversaw all government space projects and was tasked with the protection of the Sol System. In order to prevent another war and to prevent the risk of conflict, the agency and Starfleet were not chartered as military forces but as civilian with a military hierarchy. Their forces would have little to no weapons, engage only in defense operations, and explore.

As the UESPA started its operations, the UE Government began the debates on military forces in the new government. With many national governments still worried about each other and fearful of more horrors like Colonel Green, it was difficult to get any sort of agreement on the issue. Many of the smaller national governments were willing to accept the idea of a united military, but larger ones such as the United States, the Russian Confederated Territories, and the Britannic Alliance were hesitant. In 2072, seeing the success of the UESPA and the stability of the Earth Government, and following some prodding from the Vulcans, they relented and the United Earth Military Command was founded. The larger governments agreed under the stipulation that they would have time to slowly demobilize and disarm over a few decades. The last of them disbanded in 2130, many of them providing forces to the UE military (especially officers).

The United Earth Military was divided into several commands: Aerospace Command, Infantry Command, Armored Command, Logistics and Support Command, Training Command, and Assault Command. The Military Assault Command was run by Military Assault Command Operations (MACO) and charged with what would be called special operations among some Earth Forces. They were considered the most elite forces at Earth’s command, being at first comprised of personnel from organizations such as US Army Rangers, Delta Forces, US Navy SEALS, Russian Spetsnaz, British Special Air Service, and many others.

As of 2153, MACO technology and tactics were more advanced than Starfleet and believed from simulations to be able to match both Vulcan High Command and Andorian Imperial Guard special forces in combat.

General George Casey was the commander of the MACO when the Xindi Conflict broke out in 2153. He was also the first person in the United Earth Military to be in charge of one of the commands who had never served in a previous Earth Military. He never went to any military training outside of the United Earth Military. General Casey would play an even larger part of history before his career was finished.


Starfleet and the United Earth Military were often at odds due to their different natures; one was founded in exploration and diplomacy, while the other retained its charge for the use of force. Each had a different purview and unique priorities, which often caused ideological clashes. This was especially true with Starfleet and MACO due to several incidents in the early days of the founding of the United Earth.

Not all nations and colonies decided to join the United Earth; some decided to actively oppose it. Starfleet requested permission to mediate and, over the objections of the military (who claimed Starfleet’s remit was outside the Earth’s atmosphere), was allowed to proceed. They were successful at first;  however, there was an incident during negotiations with a warlord which resulted in the death of the United Earth Representative. The military claimed this was due to negligence or neglect of several security concerns by Starfleet.. Following that, Starfleet was removed from the mediation teams and MACO took its place. In several locations, some governments or warlords all but declared war on the United Earth and over the pleas of Starfleet the MACOs were unleashed on these enemy forces. Multiple hostile warlords and governments were brought down overnight with minimal bloodshed. From that point on until the Xindi Conflict and Romulan War, Starfleet and the Military would always have a cold relationship.

By COL Matthew Davies Officer-In-Charge 303 Blue Akulas MACO

Read Part two of the History of MACO (Military Assault Command Operations) in Matt’s next article. 

Reference Link – https://sfso.sfi.org/