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In Starfleet, an enlisted crewperson is one who has not completed the four-year Starfleet Academy course. In most cases, enlisted crewmen sign up directly to a ship or posting, and receive basic training, as well as any specific courses required for their position. (TNG: "The Drumhead"; DS9: "Shadowplay", "Starship Down")

Other force structures, such as the Klingon Defense Force and the Bajoran Militia, have enlisted men in their ranks, but it is unclear as to how they differ from their standard officer ranks.

As with commissioned officers, there is a rank structure amongst enlisted crew. The term "non-commissioned officer" refers specifically to any enlisted personnel given authority over other personnel. In Starfleet, this could refer to any petty officer (up to master chief).

All commissioned officer ranks, from ensign upward, outrank all enlisted in the chain of command. However, in certain cases, non-commissioned officers can exercise authority over commissioned officers. (Miles O'Brien was one such case in his position as chief of operations aboard Deep Space 9.) Additionally, chief petty officers such as O'Brien wield influence far beyond their place in the rank structure due to their extensive experience and skill, and are expected to mentor junior officers as well as other non-commissioned officers.

Enlisted personnel may be promoted to receive a commission, but must pass necessary examinations and/or attend the Academy.

The Star Trek Encyclopedia had the TNG-era enlisted insignia labeled as "warrant officers", but this seems to contradict several canon mentions.
Gene Roddenberry initially envisioned a Starfleet entirely composed of officers during the creation of TNG. As a result, there were negligible numbers of enlisted personnel seen in TNG. During DS9, the writers made a conscious decision to increase the number of enlisted personnel in Starfleet, to a level either equal to or exceeding that of the officers.
This chart shows only general equivalencies based on the ranks used by many governments on Earth, as well as the rest of the galaxy.

See also

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