Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
1) What is the STARFLEET Marine Corps?
The SFMC is a branch of STARFLEET: The International Star Trek Fan Association, Inc. (SFI/STARFLEET) that falls under the purview of the Vice Commander STARFLEET. Having been in operation going on 30 years and having almost 900 members that STARFLEET Marine Corps is also the one of the largest continually operating military themed Star Trek groups in existence.
Members of the STARFLEET Marine Corps include veterans and active duty military as well as people who just prefer a ‘military flavor’ to their Star Trek fan activities. The SFMC is organized along traditional military lines, in the same manner as SFI. However, instead of being organized along Navy lines, and using terms such as ‘Ships’ or ‘Shuttles’, the SFMC uses ground force equivalents such as ‘Brigades’ or ‘Strike Groups’.
Members of the SFMC are dedicated to the same principles as other members of SFI, including community service and charity fund raising. However, because so many of our members identify with the real-world military, a significant amount of our focus is on organizations that associate with or assist military members, veterans and their families. Good examples are Operation Eagle, the Overseas Coupon Project, and the annual United States Marine Corps ‘Toys for Tots’ holiday drive.
2) Is it true that in order to become a STARFLEET Marine a member has to take the PD-10 exam at the STARFLEET Marine Academy?
No. It is not true. There only requirement is that to be a part of the STARFLEET Marine Corps an individual must be a member in good standing of STARFLEET: The International Star Trek Fan Association, Inc. Other than that there are no other requirements.
3) I'm already a member of STARFLEET how do I become a STARFLEET Marine then?
Put quite simply, participation. Wear a STARFLEET Marine Uniform, join a Marine Strike Group, use ground forces rank instead of naval forces rank, participate in musters, etc... A member of STARFLEET can also go into the STARFLEET Database and in their user account click on the "Member" button then on the "Affiliations" sub menu. Then on the resulting page select either "Active, Reserve, or None". Selecting one of these options has no real bearing as to whether a member is a marine or not. This selection is for record keeping and database tools access only and can be changed at any time.
4) Active and Reserve Marines, what is the difference?
At this point in time, there really is no difference between an active marine and a reservist. An active marine may be an individual who goes by their ground forces rank all the time and only wears marine uniforms, whereas a reservist will go by either their naval or ground forces rank and wear either a traditional Starfleet Uniform or a marine uniform depending on their mood or what they are doing. The only real difference is state of mind.
5) If I choose to be a Reservist do I lose my STARFLEET status?
Absolutely not! The STARFLEET Marine Corps is comprised entirely of STARFLEET members and is a branch of STARFLEET and so is not a separate organization. Therefore if a member of STARFLEET wishes to participate in the STARFLEET Marine Corps either as an active or reserve marine there is no change in their STARFLEET status. Members who become either active or reserve marine may keep their rank, positions, etc... that they hold outside of the STARFLEET Marine Corps.
6) Do I have to be in the military to be a member of the STARFLEET Marines?
Absolutely not! There are plenty of real military personnel in the SFMC, active duty and retired, but there are plenty of civilians, too. All ages as a matter of fact.
7) Are uniforms required and do I have to wear one?
No. Uniforms are not required so there is also no requirement that a member wear one. Uniforms are just part of the effort to “get into character” or “set the mood” for a meeting or event. It also helps identify individuals as a member of a group, just as if all of us wore green T-shirts and denim jeans. Some members prefer to wear a uniform, but if members feel more comfortable in casual clothes, then those are ok too.
8) What about ranks?
The STARFLEET Marine Corps uses ground forces ranks instead of the naval forces traditionally used by STARFLEET. However please note that promotions are not handled by the STARFLEET Marine Corps as those are handled through the STARFLEET Chain of Command.
9) Does my rank change when I become a marine?
No. There is a direct correlation between the ranks used by STARFLEET and the STARFLEET Marine Corps. The only thing that changes is what rank a member is called by. For example an Ensign in STARFLEET would be a 2nd Lieutenant in the STARFLEET Marine Corps.
10) I want to start a Marine Strike Group (MSG) on my chapter. How do I do that?
First talk to your chapter commanding officer to see if they are ok with a MSG on the chapter. IF your commanding officer agrees to have a MSG on the chapter contact the Brigade Officer in Charge (OIC) for your geographical location. Check the latest edition of the Marine Force Manual for a complete breakdown of the Brigades and then contact the appropriate Brigade Office in Charge. A current list of Brigade OICs can be found on the FORCECOM Staff page on this site. If a Brigade does not have an OIC contact the Commanding Officer Forces Command for help.
11) I do not belong to a chapter but I want to start a unit. Can I do that and how do I do it?
Yes you can start a unit. A unit that is not attached to any chapter is called a Marine Expeditionary Unit (MEU). To start one, contact the Brigade Officer in Charge (OIC) for your geographical location. Check the latest edition of the Marine Force Manual for a complete breakdown of the Brigades and then contact the appropriate Brigade Office in Charge. A current list of Brigade OICs can be found on the FORCECOM Staff page on this site. If a Brigade does not have an OIC contact the Commanding Officer Forces Command for help.
12) My ship has a Marine Strike Group (MSG) on board but I'm not sure how to integrate it into the Command Structure of my chapter.
Integrating a MSG into a chapter's command structure can be a little tricky as there is no set way of doing so and chapters are free to organize their command structure as they see fit. However most chapters find that treating their MSG as its own department works best and simplifies the chain of command, and makes reporting easier. Other chapter's place their MSG within another department. The best thing to do is look at your chapter and figure out which arrangement works best and go with that. Remember you can always change the arrangement later on.
13) I am a member of STARFLEET, but I am not a marine. Can I participate in official and unofficial marine functions?
Absolutely! All official and unofficial marine functions are open to all members in good standing of STARFLEET regardless to whether a member considers themselves to be a marine or not. In fact many members who do not consider themselves marines participate regularly in official and unofficial marine functions for various reasons. But the biggest reason is to have fun!
14) Why have the STARFLEET Marine Corps when STARFLEET also has STARFLEET Special Operations (SFSO)?
Both the STARFLEET Marine Corps and STARFLEET Special Operations cater to different membership interests. The STARFLEET Marine Corps caters to those that want a more military flare and so focuses on what would be considered planet-side forces and incorporates many varying types of forces. STARFLEET Special Operations focuses on planet-side special operations forces or elite forces. Some members of one are members of the other one. With over 4000 members STARFLEET has plenty of room for both.
15) It always seems that the SFMC Chain of Command is too rigid and inflexible.
It only appears to be that way because the STARFLEET Marine Corps has a larger chain of command that the naval side of STARFLEET and the SFMC tries to follow the chain of command as much as possible. That is because most issues can usually be resolved satisfactorily at the lower parts of the chain of command without the need of going to the next step.
However there are times when following the chain of command isn’t necessarily the best thing to do. In those cases the chain of command is usually willing bend a little. In fact members of the chain of command will more than likely be more than willing to help members out no matter whether or not they followed the chain of command.
16) I am a member of STARFLEET, but I am not a marine. Can I take courses at the STARFLEET Marine Corps Academy?
Absolutely! The STARFLEET Marine Corps Academy is open to all members in good standing of STARFLEET regardless to whether a member considers themselves to be a marine or not. The only requirements to take courses at the STARFLEE Marine Corps Academy are that an individual must have a valid and active SCC number and to take and pass the PD-10 exam.
17) So if I take the PD-10 exam does that I am a Marine?
No. Taking the PD-10 or any other marine exam for that matter, does not make a member a marine automatically. The PD-10 is an initial entry exam that is used to acquaint members with what the SFMC is and how it operates in a basic sense. This exam helps put all the other exams at the STARFLEET Marine Academy in context.
18) The STARFLEET Academy military exams focus on the real world military. Why is it that the STARFLEET Marine Corps Academy exams do not?
Some of the STARFLEET Marine Corps Academy exams do focus on the real world military and others do not. Regardless of that fact most if not all of the material that the STARFLEET Marine Corps Academy uses does have a basis in the real world military, however the technology and tactics have been extrapolated as to fit the time frame for which Star Trek takes place in.