Starfleet Marine Corps
|Starfleet Marine Corps|
Marine Combined arms
|Commander-in-Chief of the Federation Starfleet:||
President of the United Federation of Planets
Fleet Admiral Teval
|Commandant of the Starfleet Marine Corps:||
General Ashley Roberts
|Deputy Commandant of the Starfleet Marine Corps:||
Lieutenant General Duncan Blair
|Sergeant Major of the Starfleet Marine Corps:||
Sergeant Major of the Marine Corps Sevan
The Starfleet Marine Corps, or SFMC, is a department of Starfleet founded in 2320, charged with being the dedicated peacekeeping, ground assault of the United Federation of Planets. The Corps represents the practical reality that, despite the vaunted ideals of the Federation which Starfleet embodies, they exist in a continuously hostile and aggressive galaxy and require a dedicated military arm to deter hostile actions and provide a dedicated force of soldiers to augment Starfleet's otherwise defensively-oriented military operations.
They are a relatively small department, and routinely detach groups of Marines to starships on an as-needed basis, depending on the mission and the commanding officer's desires.
Starfleet Marine Corps members can be distinguished by the forest green colored undershirt to the traditional Starfleet uniform and their unique rank pips.
The Starfleet Marine Corps is not a department that was present at the founding of the Federation in 2161. United Earth Starfleet, the forerunner organization to the Federation's Starfleet, borrowed personnel from Military Assault Command Operations, also known as MACOs, to fulfill the ground assault role for starships and act as an extra protective force. Once folded into the Federation, the United Earth Space Probe Agency Starfleet became the United Federation of Planets Starfleet, but Military Assault Command Operations stayed separate.
For nearly a century and a half, the MACO office at West Point, New York, was an independent body, comprised of trained military personnel and Starfleet officers in brevet positions within the structure, lending tactical expertise and advanced training facilities for Starfleet Security. Officer and enlisted exchange was common between the two organizations; Starfleet Security saw that the training was valuable for keeping their personnel sharp, and the MACOs benefited from the mobility of the Starfleet organization.
Merging with Starfleet
Starfleet had been eyeing the MACO structure for quite some time, envious of the special operations structure that the MACOs had developed. In turn, the MACOs relied very heavily on Starfleet to ferry them around, and their harmonious relationship often brought up talks about their merging. Several times, there was unsuccessful efforts to have the MACO structure join Starfleet. The most worthwhile movements for this were put on hold in 2293, after the Klingon Empire and the Federation entered into the Khitomer Accords, and several MACO bases of operations were no longer needed along the Klingon border. Also, an embarrassment occurred when Colonel West, tactical advisor to the President, was discovered to be in the Cartwright conspiracy, and was killed during a botched assassination attempt of both the President and the Klingon Chancellor.
Other parts of Starfleet, the people who wanted Starfleet to continue on the science and exploration and to be less viewed as a military force, kept pushing the MACO structure away. Several Starfleet captains denied their own personnel training at West Point due to this conflict; some even were very prejudiced towards the people that had received the training, a feeling that still runs through Starfleet to this day. Considerable conventional resistance was encountered at every step of the way, with Starfleet's peaceful exploration pushing the MACO structure away. From 2295 to well into the 2310s, this was the situation.
MACO merged with Starfleet on 10 November 2320, after tensions with the Klingon Empire and the start of a Cardassian-Federation conflict stretched Starfleet Security too thin to guarantee the safety and security of the Federation. An Executive Order issued by the Federation President at the time and ratified by the Federation Council amended the charter of Starfleet to form the department known as the Starfleet Marine Corps.
2320 to the Dominion War
Almost immediately, there were challenges for the newly-minted department. Members of the Joint Chiefs of Starfleet were unhappy about having to devote resources to the new department, and the exploration arms, particularly Science, did not like the Marines in Starfleet, and wanted them removed. The President mandating their merger and creation created a lot of resentment overnight.
Regardless, the Starfleet Marine Corps was pressed into service right away, setting up bases of operations along the Cardassian border, as well as the Gorn and Tholian border regions. The Marines were also always the first ones to react to Talarian invasions during the Talarian Wars of the early to mid 24th centuries. With a technological advantage, the Marines had the upper hand in most of the conflicts, but suffered from a shortage of manpower in the beginning as the troops were deployed at first very sparsely along all the border regions, then increased as time progressed and the new department's training numbers increased exponentially.
Battle wasn't the only thing the Marines were used for. When a Federation member asked for a peacekeeping force to enter their planet, the Marine Corps was asked in to represent the Federation. Marines were first used as the first line of defense for all Federation embassies scattered around the galaxy in 2339, and, in a joint operation with Starfleet Security, still make up Federation Embassy Security to this day.
Starfleet Security has always eyed the Marines with scrutiny. Several attempts during this time were made to convince the sitting Federation President to dissolve the Marine Corps into Starfleet Security's numbers, as they felt Security's usage in these situations was more optimal. This has caused a rivalry in between the Marine Corps and the rest of Starfleet, most of the time friendly but sometimes heated. However, Marine usefulness was about to be put to the ultimate test. Already a few skirmishes with the Klingons in the corridor in between the Cardassian and Klingon empires had been fought in 2372 and 2373, and when formal war broke out between the Federation and the Dominion in late 2373, the Marine Corps was ready.
The Dominion War started in late 2373, and the Marines were there to answer the call of battle. Being a mobile infantry corps armed with advanced weaponry, Marine bases were the only places to at least hold their lines during the first assault of Cardassian and Dominion troops on the ground along the Cardassian border.
The ground operations during the First Battle of Chin'toka was fought mainly with Marines and Klingons working side by side, representing a joint operations in mind that quelled some of the distrust of the former combatants in the brief Federation-Klingon conflicts of 2372. Further operations include three failed operations to retake Betazed in 2374 and the fourth successful push in a joint operation with Reman commandos in 2375.
Post Dominion War
After the Dominion War, the state of the Federation was quite different than before. Most of the commanders in Starfleet and politicians in the Federation were more cautious, and the usefulness of the Starfleet Marine Corps once and for all was sealed after their list of ground assault victories. They were pressed again into service, but the abundance of numbers of a Marine unit in a peacetime Federation meant that many could either retire or get trained into different departments, keeping their Marine rank while going into starship operation command. Starting in 2376, Marines were allowed to wear different colored collars instead of their traditional Marine colors when permanently assigned to a different department in Starfleet, such as Command. However, no Marine has been permitted to join Starfleet Medical or Starfleet Sciences department per mandate, but medical and science personnel can join the Marine Corps, though this practice is rare.
The SFMC, like its predecessor, the MACOs, operates on a unit of 3 organization. A Lance Corporal or Corporal would lead 3 Privates or Privates First Class and this is what is known as a Fireteam. Fireteams are the smallest unit of the SFMC and are used for operations that require a great degree of stealth and as few people as possible. Among them may be a sniper, a scout, a demolitions expert, or an engineering expert known as a tech head. Most fireteams do not have battlefield medics, though they can be requested. Fireteams are often named Fireteam Blue 1 or Red 2, etc, depending on their Squad. There are almost always 4 people in a Fireteam.
The next unit is a Squad, led by a Sergeant of some rank, whether Sergeant or Gunnery Sergeant. These Squads are made up of 3 Fireteams, each under their own Corporal. The Sergeant hands out orders to the Corporals who then give the orders to the necessary Privates. Most Squads have at least one medic among them and are used for slightly larger problems such as away teams where Security is otherwise occupied. Squads are usually named Blue, Red, Green, etc. There are almost always 13 people in a Squad.
The next unit is a Platoon which is normally led by a Lieutenant, either first or second. They are made up of 3 Squads each and are named Alpha, Bravo and Charlie or some such depending on the preference of their company commander. There is almost always 40 people in a Platoon.
The highest unit on most starships is a Company which is usually commanded by a Marine Captain. These are made up of 3 Platoons, with the Company Commander in charge of the first platoon, the Company XO in charge of the second platoon, and one other officer in charge of the third platoon. There are around 120 people in a Company and they are given numbers such as 129th Company depending on when they were founded.
One of the units most seen on starbases and carriers such as the Lexington-class, most Battalions are used for war or any battles that may come up though some are merely made up of the Companies of various starships. There are 3 Companies in a Battalion, though most Starbases have Regiments. They are normally commanded by a Major who commands the first one, and Marine Captains command the other two. Another possibility is that Battalions could act like Task Groups do for starships. There are around 360 Marines in a Battalion. These are given numbers such as the 129th Battalion depending on when they were founded.
Regiments are the highest units that are commanded by anyone lower than a General and are usually made up of 3 Battalions, and most of the time are commanded by Lieutenant Colonels or Colonels. These units are mostly used as Task Forces are used in Starfleet and do not have a real function as a whole other than for organization. There are around 1080 Marines in a Regiment and they are given numbers according to when they were founded such as the 29th Regiment.
Divisions are the highest units in the Marine Corps and are commanded by Brigadier Generals, though one can achieve Major General if one works hard enough. Unlike the other units in the Marines, Divisions are made up of six Regiments. The Division commanders answer directly to the Commandant of the SFMC and the Divisions are given names chosen by the current Commandant. There are around 6480 Marines in a Division and the headquarters for the Division is located in the sector of space closest to the center of where the Division operates. The exact number of Divisions varies from year to year.