Starfleet Protocol

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Addressing an Officer or Enlisted

An officer in Starfleet serves among other officers and over enlisted men. Some officers are his superiors, some his equals, and some his subordinates. Likewise all enlisted men aboard the ship are his subordinates. There are different forms and ways of interacting with all of these, depending upon relative seniority. However, something in common with interacting with all of them is courtesy. Treating fellow personnel with proper respect and appropriate obedience is as essential and necessary a part of being an officer as is the giving of orders.

Addressing Officers: An officer is a peer among other officers. However, some formalities do pertain. When addressing or greeting a superior officer, he is addressed by rank and last name ("Captain Celchu") or simply by rank ("Captain"). An officer of equal rank is address by rank ("Lieutenant"), rank and last name ("Lieutenant Antheon"), or if you have his permission by his first name ("Lindor"). A subordinate officer is addressed by rank ("Ensign"), rank and last name ("Ensign McKnight"), the title Mister ("Mister"), the title Mister (regardless of gender) and last name ("Mister McKnight"), or if you have his permission by first name ("Robin").

Addressing Enlisted Men: An officer may use the following forms of address when speaking to an enlisted man. A non-rated enlisted man is referred to by his last name ("Sergovina"). A Petty Officer is addressed by his rating ("Engineer"), or rating and last name ("Engineer Sergovina"). Chief Petty Officers are referred to by the title Chief ("Chief"), or Chief and last name ("Chief Smith").

Answering a Superior Officer: When a superior officer gives an order, the correct response by the subordinate is "Aye, aye, sir". The superior may respond in a multitude of ways, including "Very well" or "Very Good", but not the subordinate. 'Sir' is used regardless of gender, unless otherwise noted by the officer being addressed. It is important to remember that the senior officer can dictate how he is to be addressed, not the other way around. Any violation of this could be considered a breach of protocol and/or insubordination. Saying "Aye, aye, sir" means three things:

  • I heard the order.
  • I understood the order.
  • I will carry out the order to the best of my ability.

To a question requiring a more verbose response, any answer must be respectful and must end with "sir". Similarly, an enlisted man will reply "Aye, aye, Chief" to his Chief Petty Officer.

Coming to Attention

When to come to attention:

  1. When called to attention.
  2. When reporting to a senior officer.
  3. When a senior officer enters a room where ship's business is conducted.

Starfleet Customs

Reporting Aboard

Upon assignment from the Bureau of Personnel, Starfleet Officers and Enlisted must report to the most senior man aboard ship within their ranks. If an ensign reports aboard ship, they must report to the commanding officer unless otherwise ordered. If an enlisted reports aboard ship, the must report to the Command/Master Chief (C/MC), which the most senior enlisted person aboard ship. If the enlisted man /is/ the C/MC, he must report to the commanding officer.

The phrase, "Rank Lastname reporting for duty, sir." must be intoned upon entering into the presence of the appropriate person. This is a customary declaration of the acceptance of your orders.

Boarding a Friendly Ship

The OOD (Officer of the Deck) is typically the person who will log visits to the ship. The OOD will typically meet a visitor either at the airlock or the transporter room, and will never send a delegate to do so. The OOD is never the commanding officer, but may sometimes be the executive officer or another department head.

The phrase, "Permission to come aboard, sir." must be intoned. The use of 'Sir' is incredibly important, regardless of rank. The counterphrase is usually "Permission granted (, sir)," with 'sir' applying only to those of higher rank.

See Also

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