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Starfleet General Orders and Regulations

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"In a part of space where there are few rules, it's more important than ever that we hold fast to our own. In a region where shifting allegiances are commonplace we have to have something stable to rely on. And we do. The principles and ideals of the Federation. As far as I'm concerned, those are the best allies we could have."
– Kathryn Janeway, 2372 ("Alliances")

Starfleet General Orders and Regulations were a series of guidelines used to instruct members of Starfleet on the proper etiquette and policy in a situation that required consultation for a resolution. These protocols were the foundation of Starfleet and the responsibility of its officers to uphold and protect, ranging from all manners of duty, such as interstellar diplomacy to punctuation of reports. Violations of protocol could have led to being placed on report, a court martial, demotion of rank, or other reprimands.

These guidelines' fundamental principles were integral for Starfleet officers to help avoid conflicts of interest, (TNG: "Redemption") including one's duty to the truth. (TNG: "The First Duty") Guidelines were useful in many situations, including when flag officers could not be consulted to resolve a situation. (VOY: "Equinox")

Several of the first one hundred plus Starfleet Orders were used by the United Earth Starfleet prior to the founding of the Federation. (ENT: "Hatchery")

As of 2366, there were no regulations prohibiting the unauthorized recreation of Starfleet personnel on the holodeck. (TNG: "Hollow Pursuits")

Starfleet Charter ArticlesEdit

  • Article 14, Section 31: The exact language has never been cited, but certain lines in this section permitted the use of "extraordinary measures" in times of dire emergency. (ENT: "Divergence")

Federation RegulationsEdit

Galactic Emergency ProceduresEdit

  • Title 15 of these procedures allowed ranking Federation officials to assume direct command of Starfleet vessels under certain conditions. (TOS: "The Galileo Seven")

General OrdersEdit

  • General Order 1: "No starship may interfere with the normal development of any alien life or society." (TAS: "The Magicks of Megas-Tu")
General Order 1 was also better known as the Prime Directive (TNG: "The Drumhead"). It superseded all other laws and directives, with the exception of the Omega Directive.
The crime that General Order 4 made eligible for the death penalty was never stated in the Star Trek canon.
This contradicts General Order 7 below, which is also said to be the only death penalty left. If relations with the Talosians have not changed, it could be this new General Order might have been made to include other planets that might be a threat to the Federation like Talos IV. It is also possible that in "Turnabout Intruder," Chekov misspoke.
In the PC game Star Trek: 25th Anniversary, the USS Enterprise computer states General Order 4 is sometimes confused with General Order 7.
  • General Order 6: If all life aboard a Federation starship had perished, the ship would self-destruct within twenty-four hours to protect other ships from potential hazards within. (TAS: "Albatross")
This order is contradicted by the episodes TOS: "The Omega Glory", "The Tholian Web", and TNG: "Unnatural Selection", although in regards to the latter, it may have been repealed by 2365.
This was also said to have been the only death penalty left in Starfleet. ("The Menagerie, Part I")
This order must have been rescinded for General Order 4 which is also the only death penalty left on the books. As noted above, Chekov may have also misspoken in "Turnabout Intruder."
In the PC game Star Trek: 25th Anniversary, the USS Enterprise computer states General Order 7, and the death penalty associated with it, more generally refers to high treason.
Saavik was interrupted before completing the quotation of the order but it was implied that the ship was supposed to go to red alert when faced with a non-communicative ship. We know that Saavik couldn't have meant yellow alert because Kirk himself orders the ship to yellow alert which has no bearing on the outcome of Khan's initial attack. Her reaction and his comment after the use of the prefix codes indicates a very different outcome would have occurred if Kirk had followed the general order. So she could not have meant anything but red alert.
The novel "Rules of Engagement" appears to confirm yellow alert, and also states that a Starfleet vessel is not to fire upon a potential hostile unless fired upon first. This is very strange because red alert does not require firing upon a potential hostile and yellow alert does nothing in defense of the ship.
Note that Kirk states that "there's no such regulation", and Saavik's response of understated amusement suggests either that her description of this general order is not accurate and intended only to help persuade Kirk to allow her on the landing party, or that the regulation exists and Kirk was knowingly trying to circumvent it.
  • General Order 24: An order to destroy all life on an entire planet. This order has been given by Captain Garth (Antos IV) and Captain Kirk (Eminiar VII). On neither occasion was the order actually fulfilled. (TOS: "Whom Gods Destroy", "A Taste of Armageddon")
    Garth may have explained the spirit of the order when he suggested he gave the order because "I could say they were actively hostile towards the Federation."

Starfleet DirectivesEdit

  • Directive 010: "Before engaging alien species in battle, any and all attempts to make first contact and achieve nonmilitary resolution must be made." (VOY: "In the Flesh")
  • Directive 101: Any individual accused of a crime does not have to answer any questions. (VOY: "Meld")
  • Tactical Directive 36: "The captain will not engage a hostile force without the protection of a security officer." (VOY: "Unimatrix Zero")
B'Elanna Torres made up Tactical Directive 36A at this time, claiming that there should be an engineer with the captain and tactical officer.

Starfleet OrdersEdit

  • Starfleet Order 2: Starfleet regulation against the taking of intelligent life. (TAS: "One of Our Planets Is Missing")
  • Starfleet Order 104: Section B, Paragraph 1-A – In the absence of a starship's assigned captain, a flag officer had the authority to assume command of the starship should they have deemed it necessary. (TOS: "The Doomsday Machine"; VOY: "Tinker Tenor Doctor Spy")
  • Starfleet Order 104: Section C– Should it be proven with admissible evidence that the flag officer who had assumed command was medically or psychologically unfit for command, the starship's ranking officer could relieve them on that basis. However, such an action was required to be supported by an appropriate certification of unfitness by the ship's chief medical officer (requiring the CMO to also produce test results to that effect) or other clear evidence, such as an act of attempted suicide. (ENT: "Hatchery"; TOS: "The Doomsday Machine"; VOY: "Tinker Tenor Doctor Spy")
  • Starfleet Order 2005: Orders the destruction of a starship by allowing matter and antimatter to mix in an uncontrolled manner. This was a last resort for a captain that allowed him/her to prevent their ship or crew from falling into enemy hands. (Star Trek: The Motion Picture)
  • Starfleet Order 28455: Federation order that dictated the formal relief of a commanding officer by their successor. (Star Trek)
In the alternate reality, Admiral Richard Barnett told Captain James T. Kirk that per this order he had to report to Admiral Christopher Pike to relieve him of command of the Enterprise.
  • Special Order 66715: Federation order that stated: "[Starfleet has] the authority to neutralize security threats to Deep Space 9 by any means necessary". (DS9: "Inquisition")
This might not actually be a real order as it appeared only in a simulation created by Luther Sloan. Nevertheless, considering the importance of keeping the station under Federation control during the Dominion War, may also very well may have been a real order.

Starfleet RegulationsEdit

  • Regulation 3 (Paragraph 12): In the event of imminent destruction, a Starfleet captain was authorized to preserve the lives of his crew by any justifiable means. (VOY: "Equinox")
Captain Ransom attempted to use this regulation to convince Captain Janeway that the actions he took against the nucleogenic lifeforms were justified, but Janeway doubted that the regulation covered mass murder.
  • Regulation 7 (Paragraph 4): An officer must consider themselves under arrest, unless in the presence of the most senior fellow officers presently available, the officers must give satisfactory answer to those charges... (TOS: "The Omega Glory")
  • Section 12, Paragraph 4: Related to the captain undertaking command of an away mission. (Star Trek Nemesis)
During his best man speech Picard stated that Commander Data would never let him undertake an away mission; Data reacted to that by reciting the regulation but was told to shut up by Picard before he could complete his sentence.
  • Regulation 17.43: In an alternate reality, this regulation related to Starfleet's ethical code of conduct, and was part of the Starfleet Code. Starfleet Academy cadets found cheating were accused to be in violation of the regulation. (Star Trek)
  • Regulation 42/15: "Pressure Variances in IRC Tank Storage" Part of the basic operational specifications for impulse engines, written by Montgomery Scott. The tanks could actually handle more pressure than the regulations allowed – in 2369, Geordi La Forge cited it as part of the impulse specifications while he and Scott worked to make the USS Jenolan operational, at which point Scotty, realizing that he was thinking of this regulation, assured him that, as its author, he knew the tanks could be more efficient, but that La Forge should "Forget it. I wrote it... a good engineer is always a wee bit conservative... at least on paper." (TNG: "Relics")
  • Regulation 46A: If transmissions were being monitored during battle, no uncoded messages were to be transmitted on an open channel. (Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan)
  • Regulation 157, Section 3 (Paragraph 18): Starfleet officers were required to take all necessary precautions to minimize any participation in historical events. (DS9: "Trials and Tribble-ations")
  • Regulation 191 (Article 14): In a combat situation involving more than one ship, command fell to the vessel with tactical superiority, should there not be a higher ranking officer present. (VOY: "Equinox")
In the novelization, Janeway admits to herself she made the regulation up.
  • Regulation 476.9: All away teams must report to the bridge at least once every 24 hours. (VOY: "Once Upon a Time")
  • Regulation 619: The commanding officer must relieve themselves of command if their current mission leaves them emotionally compromised and unable to make rational decisions. In 2258 of Nero's alternate reality, when, after the destruction of Vulcan, Spock meets a young James T. Kirk, marooned by this timeline's Spock, before returning him to the USS Enterprise, he tells Kirk to use this in order to take command of the ship, knowing that the conservative course his younger self would take would doom Earth to the same fate as Vulcan, while the unorthodox strategy Kirk would follow just might save it. Kirk succeeded in provoking Spock and he resigned command, but acted as Kirk's first officer afterwards during the Battle of Earth. (Star Trek)
In the novelization of the film, Spock, seeing that Kirk was clearly unfamiliar with the regulation, shrugs and admits that he had almost forgotten what little use the Kirk he knew had for such things.
  • Regulation 2884.3: Substances unstable in an oxygen atmosphere must be handled with care. (TNG: "Night Terrors")
  • Regulation 3287.0: Due to its high volatile nature, antimatter must be stored in magnetic confinement pods. (TNG: "Night Terrors")
  • Reserve activation clause: A "little known" and "seldom used" clause in Starfleet regulations which allowed for the recall of a retired or discharged officer in the event of an emergency. (Star Trek: The Motion Picture)
  • Starfleet Rules of Conduct had some power to influence the operation of civilian establishments on Starfleet-administered installations, such as Quark's bar on DS9. (DS9: "Emissary")
  • The Starfleet uniform code governed the proper wearing of the uniform by Starfleet officers.
  • Unnumbered Regulation: Regulation that stated that the captain and first officer could not be on an away mission at the same time. In the alternate reality, Spock told acting captain James Kirk that he would cite this regulation when Kirk volunteered to beam to the Narada with him, but did not as he knew Kirk would ignore it. (Star Trek) This regulation was also ignored when both Captain Kathryn Janeway and Commander Chakotay were infected with an unknown virus which inhibited their return to Voyager after an away mission. This resulted in both crewmembers being isolated on a planet in the Delta Quadrant and Lieutenant Tuvok in command of Voyager. (VOY: "Resolutions")

Starfleet Away Team GuidelinesEdit

  • Medical Emergency on Alien Terrain: "It is recommended to keep an open com-channel at all times." (VOY: "Macrocosm")
  • "Specifically forbid the transport of unknown infectious agents onto a starship without establishing containment and eradication protocols." (VOY: "Macrocosm")
  • Unnumbered Protocol: Away teams must be composed of more than one crewmember. Both Kathryn Janeway and Lieutenant Commander Tuvok cited this protocol to Seven of Nine when conducting an away mission. (VOY: "Hunters")

Starfleet Intelligence ProceduresEdit

Since this occurred during a holoprogram, it might not have been a real procedure, although there might have been some basis or truth to it given both the severity of the situation and the lack of (initial) resistance from Julian Bashir, the only other real person during the simulation.

Starfleet Medical ProtocolsEdit

  • Regulation 121 (Section A): The chief medical officer has the power to relieve an officer or crewman of his or her duties (including one of superior rank) if, in the CMO's professional judgment, the individual is medically unfit, compromised by an alien intelligence (TNG: "Lonely Among Us"), or otherwise exhibits behavior that indicates seriously impaired judgment. A Starfleet officer can face court martial for failing to submit to such a relief. (VOY: "Year of Hell, Part II")
In an alternate timeline generated by the Krenim, Captain Kathryn Janeway was relieved of her duties under this regulation by Voyager's EMH, who had been observing reckless behavior on her part for weeks and attributed it to Traumatic Stress Syndrome. Janeway refused to surrender her duties, as she felt her efforts to bring her crew home were of more importance. Since security personnel had abandoned the ship, the EMH had no means of enforcing the regulation anyway. Janeway's actions later resulted in the erasure of this timeline, so the issue was nonexistent.
In 2375 aboard the Silver Blood Voyager, Neelix became, unofficially, chief medical officer after the loss of The Doctor. He threatened in a lighthearted manner to use his "authority" to relieve Janeway of her duties when she insisted on remaining in command although fatigued. (VOY: "Course: Oblivion")
A captain, when acting in accordance with the Omega Directive, could override this protocol.

See alsoEdit

Starfleet Privacy ProtocolsEdit

  • Ensign Harry Kim referred to privacy protocols being violated by Lieutenant Commander Tuvok while the latter was investigating into an attack on Ensign Tabor and read a letter that Harry's cousin, Dennis, sent from Earth. Tuvok stated that as chief of security, he had authority to suspend the protocols under special circumstances. (VOY: "Repression")

Starfleet Safety ProtocolsEdit

Harry Kim's reaction suggests that the safety protocol may more precisely be a ban against using transporters while the beaming vessel is at warp and the target vessel is at impulse, or stationary. The reason for caution is cited as having to do with the speed differential between the two vessels.

Starfleet Security ProtocolsEdit

  • Protocol 28 (Subsection D): "In the event of hostile alien takeover the EMH is to deactivate and wait for rescue." (VOY: "Message in a Bottle")
  • Protocol 49.09 (Regarding the treatment of prisoners on board a starship) In an alternate reality, Spock marooned James T. Kirk on Delta Vega. Kirk believed this act to be a violation of this protocol. (Star Trek)
  • Unnumbered protocol Luther Sloan, posing as Deputy Director of the Department of Internal Affairs, mentioned there was security protocol that prevented others to talk to prisoners under his authority without his clearance. (DS9: "Inquisition")

Starfleet Transfer RegulationsEdit

  • SFR-02-0933-3440: Transfer of an Officer to Another Starship
  • SFR-02-0933-3462F: Transfer Authority of a Starbase-Commanding Admiral (see graphic below)
  • SFR-02-0933-3459C: Elegibility of Starfleet Exploratory Corps Personnel to Serve in Other Starfleet Divisions (see graphic below)
  • SFR-02-9384-8896: Transfer of Attached Scientific Personnel to Starship Duty
  • SFR-02-8431-4933: Authority for Assignment of Deep Space Exploratory Corps Personnel
  • SFR-03-3823-3893: Assignment of Starfleet Operational Support Officers
  • SFR-03-8532-3892: Emergency Assignment of Scientific and Research Specialists
  • SFR-03-4832-3843: Notification Requirements for Reassignment Within Deep Space Corps
  • SFR-03-5931-0943: Transfer of Starfleet Diplomatic Corps Personnel to Deep Space Duty
  • SFR-04-4833-9834: Eligibility for Exploratory Corps Personnel to Starbase Assignment
  • SFR-04-4930-0027: Transfer Policies for Daystrom Institute Faculty Researchers
  • SFR-05-3832-9322: Special Environmental Support Provisions for Class-K Native Personnel
  • SFR-05-3023-3893: Equal Treatment for Zero-Gravity Native Personnel
  • SFR-06-3893-3892: Transfer of Starfleet Tactical Specialists to Starbase Service
  • SFR-06-0039-2174: Authority for Assignment of Operational Support Personnel
  • SFR-06-8342-9322: Special Authority for Federation Diplomatic Corps
The regulations detailed in this section appeared in the extended edition of "The Measure Of A Man". In the audio commentary included on the TNG Season 2 Blu-ray set, Mike Okuda describes this set of regulations as "a list of Navy regulations with the word 'Starfleet' substituted for 'Navy'."

Starfleet/Federation CodesEdit

  • Code 1: signaled either a total or imminent disaster, a possible invasion, or indicated that the Federation was either currently or about to be engaged in open warfare with a hostile power. The code required all Starfleet personnel within the affected area to immediately assume tactical alert. It was also colloquially known as "Defense Alert", or a "Priority One Alert". (TOS: "Errand of Mercy", "The Trouble with Tribbles", "The Alternative Factor")
  • Code 1-Alpha-Zero: Indicated a starship in distress. (TNG: "Relics")
  • Code 710: a "quarantine code". No Starfleet- or Federation-registered starship was to approach a system or vessel which was broadcasting Code 710. (TOS: "A Taste of Armageddon")
  • Code 47: an ultra-secure communications protocol, for captain's eyes only. So secure that all traces of a Code 47 transmission or communication were automatically wiped from all computer records. (TNG: "Conspiracy")

Regulations not specified by name or numberEdit


  • "All research personnel on alien planets are required to have their health certified by a starship surgeon at one-year intervals." (TOS: "The Man Trap")
  • "The ship's surgeon will require a full examination of any crew member that he has doubts about, including the captain." (TOS: "Turnabout Intruder")
  • "Nothing shall be beamed aboard until danger of contamination has been eliminated. Beaming down to the surface (of a planet) is permitted, if the captain decides the mission is vital, and reasonably free of danger". (Star Trek III: The Search for Spock; VOY: "Macrocosm")
  • "The chief medical officer outranks the captain in health matters." (VOY: "Persistence of Vision")
  • An officer taking medical leave could select their rehabilitation facility. (DS9: "It's Only a Paper Moon")
  • "All Starfleet personnel must obtain authorization from their CO as well as clearance from their medical officer before initiating an intimate relationship with an alien species." (VOY: "The Disease")
  • "The transport of a patient is to be performed at the discretion of the attending physician." In an alternate 2258, Leonard McCoy citing this, was allowed to bring Cadet James T. Kirk, suspended from duty, along to his posting aboard the Enterprise, as Kirk was quite visibly suffering from the symptoms of a Melvaran mud flea bite. In truth, McCoy himself was responsible for this, infecting Kirk precisely because he would then have the authority to bring his grounded friend aboard the ship. (Star Trek)

Miscellaneous Edit

  • It was not allowed to have sexual relations with colleagues, according to Starfleet regulations. (ENT: "Bounty")
  • A captain was not allowed to leave the ship unaccompanied. (ENT: "First Flight")
  • Removing an individual from a planet against their will violated several regulations, including the Prime Directive. Data reminded William T. Riker of this, who was considering rescuing a group of dissidents of Angel I from execution. They insisted on staying, even if this meant being executed. (TNG: "Angel One")
  • "Striking a fellow officer is a court-martial offense." (TOS: "This Side of Paradise"; VOY: "Parallax"; ENT: "Bound")
  • 23rd century Starfleet captains had a high degree of authority on board the ship they were assigned to command. In extremes, a captain could invoke their "personal authority as captain" to order their subordinates to override the orders of a senior officer, even if the captain was not actually on board ship at the time. Such an order would almost certainly result in at least an inquiry after the crisis had passed. Captain Kirk used his "personal authority" to overrule the orders of Commodore Matthew Decker and to have Spock resume command of the Enterprise during the battle with the planet killer. (TOS: "The Doomsday Machine")
  • "No killing of intelligent lifeforms." (TAS: "One of Our Planets Is Missing")
  • Starfleet regulations called for declaring yellow alert when a starship was targeted by laser weapons. According to Jean-Luc Picard, such regulations were "very old". (TNG: "The Outrageous Okona")
  • Protocol on first contact was available to Starfleet personnel, which was once revised by Captain McCoullough. (DS9: "Move Along Home")
  • According to Starfleet protocol, "sir" was the proper address when responding to one's commanding officer (or possibly any superior officer), (VOY: "Caretaker") but naval tradition dictated the use of "captain", regardless of the CO's rank. (DS9: "Behind the Lines")
  • Starfleet rules forbade dealing with outlaws and getting involved in the politics of other cultures. (VOY: "Alliances")
  • Starfleet protocols included guidelines on proper punctuation of reports, such as conn reports. (VOY: "Dreadnought")
  • "Encroaching on the territory of an alien species is prohibited." (VOY: "The Swarm")
  • "Ground combat personnel are to rotate off the front lines every ninety days." (DS9: "The Siege of AR-558")
  • "Interference in alien conflicts is strictly prohibited." (VOY: "Nightingale")
  • Procedures pertaining to official requests for asylum to a Starfleet captain included a hearing. (VOY: "Death Wish")
  • Accidents aboard Starfleet vessels were to be followed by an investigation into the cause of the accident. (VOY: "Day of Honor")
  • An official/formal letter, written to a senior officer, must be replied to by a senior officer. (VOY: "Tinker Tenor Doctor Spy")
There are no specifics relating to this particular protocol but the implication from Captain Janeway is that an official letter cannot be ignored.


Picard telling a lie

Jean-Luc Picard quoting Starfleet Regulation 6.57 to Radue

Jean-Luc Picard quoted this regulation to Radue of the Aldeans who had kidnapped a group of specially gifted children from the Enterprise in 2364; Radue offered scientific knowledge as compensation. Moments later, when Data admitted not to be familiar with the regulation, Picard revealed that it was in fact non-existent. It was merely something he made up on the spot in order to deceive the Aldeans to allow him to bring Beverly Crusher with him to their planet's surface.
  • Tactical Directive 36A: "The captain will not engage a hostile force without the protection of a security officer." (VOY: "Unimatrix Zero")
B'Elanna Torres made up Tactical Directive 36A at this time, claiming that there should be an engineer with the captain and tactical officer.
Quoted by Dala as being part of the "Starfleet General Order" when she was posing as Kathryn Janeway.

Appendices Edit

Apocrypha Edit

  • Protocol B: regulated how crewmembers could access all power components on a starship if they were no longer deemed reliable. (TNG: "Evolution" cut scene)
  • Starfleet Catastrophic Response Code, Section A: When all forms of communication failed to establish a link between Starfleet vessels and any Federation outpost, all personal and ordnance were required to attempt immediate rendezvous at Starfleet Command. (Star Trek: First Frontier)
  • General Order 16: All Starfleet ships detecting the energy signature from one of the four Malkus Artifacts were under orders to find and confiscate the artifacts. (Star Trek: The Brave and the Bold)
  • The only recorded instances of General Order 24 actually being carried out are the first issue of the Gold Key Star Trek comic series: "The Planet of No Return", and the novel Reap the Whirlwind in the Star Trek: Vanguard series.
  • General Order 34: Starfleet captains must honor, respect, and display extreme tolerance for species-based customs and practices insofar as the safety of the vessel was not threatened by such practices. (Star Trek: New Frontier novel Being Human)
  • Regulation 121: An emotionally compromised officer was not fit to serve in the position of captain. (Star Trek novelization)
Invoked by Kirk during the argument which would lead to his banishment from the Enterprise, this was, at face value, the same thing as Regulation 619 – though given Kirk's clear unfamiliarity with 619, as stated above, it is possible that Kirk was aware that such a regulation existed, but incorrectly remembered the number.
  • UFP Regulation 342-188564.3 (Paragraph 3): A class-3 biohazard alert. All personnel not part of a Biohazard Response Team were to stay away from any site broadcasting such an alert. (Star Trek: 25th Anniversary, Episode 3: "Love's Labor Jeopardized")
  • Secret Regulations of Stardate 7500: The exact language was not specified, but the secret regulations of stardate 7500 were outlined the response to an invasion of the Federation. They were created on stardate 7500, amended stardate 42799, and gave the officer who invoked it the authority to second any Starfleet officers to their command and seniority in command decisions related to the invaders. (Star Trek: The Return)
In 2270, under the authority of Starfleet General Order Three, Commander Riker invoked the secret regulations in response to the threat of an invasion by an alliance of the Borg Collective and a breakaway faction of the Romulan Star Empire.
  • Starfleet Protocol 547c: Not really known, but seeing as it was cited while trying to shut down force fields leading to the USS Enterprise-C, it is assumed that it was a security protocol. (Star Trek Online, "Temporal Ambassador")
This is uttered by a annoyed Tasha Yar when she realizes that there was a group of force fields that was missed when shutting down security. Richard Castillo annoyingly gripes that the Tholians have most likely never heard of Protocol 547c.

External link Edit

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