(covers information from several alternate timelines)
"Captain Archer said he wanted the best."
Military Assault Command Operations (commonly abbreviated as MACO) was a United Earth military organization in service on Earth during the 2150s, prior to the founding of the Federation. The MACOs (pronounced "MAY-ko") were not associated with Starfleet. As of 2153, MACO tactics and technology were two to three years more advanced than those of Starfleet, but their combat expertise was initially limited to simulations conducted on Earth. (ENT: "Harbinger")
The military official that oversaw the MACOs was General Casey. (ENT: "The Expanse") MACO posts included Atlanta, Georgia and the Janus loop. Training posts included West Point in New York, as well as Jupiter Station for zero gravity/rifle training and Luna for survival training. (ENT: "The Xindi", "Anomaly", "Harbinger", "Hatchery", "The Council")
A detachment of troops commanded by Major J. Hayes was assigned to the Starfleet vessel Enterprise NX-01 for a mission into the Delphic Expanse in 2153. Admiral Maxwell Forrest was surprised that Captain Jonathan Archer had requested military officers aboard his ship. ENT: "The Expanse") When the MACOs first came aboard Enterprise, they certainly felt like outsiders, tasked to integrate with the ship's Starfleet contingent. (ENT: "Countdown") The MACOs saw their first action six weeks into the mission; in September, Hayes and a six-man team rescued Archer, Commander Tucker, and Kessick from the clutches of a trellium mining planet. (ENT: "The Xindi") By the end of their time in the Delphic Expanse, none of the MACOs aboard Enterprise felt like outsiders any more. (ENT: "Countdown")
Combat timeline Edit
- Rescuing Captain Archer and Commander Tucker from a Trellium mining planet (ENT: "The Xindi")
- Trying to fend off an Osaarian boarding party (ENT: "Anomaly")
- Battling on the Loque'eque homeworld (ENT: "Extinction")
- Trying to fend off a Xindi-Reptilian boarding party (ENT: "Rajiin")
- Providing escort for Enterprise officers on the Seleya (ENT: "Impulse")
- Providing escort for Enterprise officers on the Xindi-Arboreal colony (ENT: "The Shipment")
- Providing backup on a Human colony in the Expanse (ENT: "North Star")
- Guarding the prisoner Degra (ENT: "Stratagem")
- Providing combat training for Enterprise officers (ENT: "Harbinger")
- Containing a Sphere-Builder test subject (ENT: "Harbinger")
- Raiding an Illyrian vessel (ENT: "Damage")
- Providing escort for Enterprise officers inside a Delphic Expanse sphere (ENT: "The Council")
- Recovering Ensign Hoshi Sato from a Reptilian vessel (ENT: "Countdown")
- Assisting in destroying the Xindi weapon (ENT: "Zero Hour")
- Repelling a Sphere-Builder boarding party (ENT: "Zero Hour")
- Accompanying Archer to a meeting with Vosk on 1944 Earth (ENT: "Storm Front, Part II")
- Escort and guard for the prisoner Arik Soong (ENT: "Borderland")
- Attempt to fend off an Augment boarding party (ENT: "Borderland")
- Attempting to take back Cold Station 12 from the Augments (ENT: "Cold Station 12")
- Escort and guard of Tellarite delegation (ENT: "Babel One")
- Boarding the Romulan drone ship (ENT: "Babel One")
- Attempting to fend off a Klingon Augment boarding party (ENT: "Affliction")
- Ambush of kidnappers on Rigel X, just prior to the formal treaty signing that created the United Federation of Planets (ENT: "These Are the Voyages...")
|Militaries of Earth|
|Confederate States of America: Army|
|Germany: Luftwaffe • SS|
|Old Britain: Navy • Air Force|
|United States of America: Army • Navy • Air Force • Marine Corps|
|United Earth: Military Assault Command Operations|
Related topics Edit
- "The Xindi" (Season 3)
- "The Shipment"
- "North Star"
- "Chosen Realm"
- "Doctor's Orders"
- "The Forgotten"
- "The Council"
- "Zero Hour"
- "Storm Front, Part II" (Season 4)
- "Cold Station 12"
- "The Augments"
- "Babel One"
- "These Are the Voyages..."
- Star Trek films
- Star Trek Beyond (mentioned)
Background information Edit
Equipment and uniform Edit
Their weapon seems very similar to an XM8 rifle in function and size, including the marksman variant seen in "The Expanse". The stun grenades are also very similar to "flashbang" grenades. The rifle in sniper mode also bears a strong resemblance to the Federation sniper rifle from the Star Trek: Voyager - Elite Force video games, which preceded Enterprise.
Their Enterprise mission patch depicted a mako shark. ("Countdown" text commentary, ENT Season 3 DVD) The mission patch was designed by Scenic Art Supervisor Michael Okuda. (Star Trek: Costumes: Five Decades of Fashion from the Final Frontier, p. 217)
The patch was later used during the production of Star Trek Beyond, modified to feature the name of the USS Franklin rather than Enterprise. The MACO patch was stenciled on the sides of the BX-70 motorcycles used in the film  and was printed onto T-shirts given to the cast and crew .
MACOs after 2161 Edit
There have been no references to any separate Earth military after the final MACO appearance in 2161. There has only been one explicit mention of a Human holding an army rank after this point in history, and the officer in question – Colonel West – was shown to be a member of Starfleet in 2293 wearing a vice admiral's rank (which would make him a lieutenant general in the army).
According to Montgomery Scott, MACO was disbanded following the founding of the Federation, with personnel being offered Federation Starfleet commissions on a discretionary basis. The Federation Starfleet, just as its United Earth predecessor, continued to distance itself from the notion of being a military organization, causing deep conflict for at least one former MACO who donned a Starfleet uniform.
The process of dissolving, absorbing, or continuing separate service organizations as a sovereign world joins the Federation is unclear; however it is known that at least one other Earth organization, UESPA, had continued as a separate agency, albeit one that was seemingly part of, or at least working closely with, the UFP Starfleet. The last known UESPA reference, on the NCC-1701-B dedication plaque (also in 2293), means it is at least possible a pre-Federation agency could survive well over a century later.
It is also possible that West had the rank of vice admiral and the "billet" (military job) of colonel. (In the British army, a general in charge of a regiment can be called the Colonel of the Regiment.) As for the continued existence of the MACOs as part of the UFP Starfleet, the British Cavalry is part of the British Army, but it still uses its older traditional names for the ranks.
"Ground forces" were mentioned several times in latter season episodes of Star Trek: Deep Space Nine, another possible passing reference to MACOs.
The novelization of The Expanse states that Captain Archer was initially uncomfortable with the notion of military personnel serving aboard Enterprise but reconciled himself to the idea, given that it seemed as if the MACOs would be beneficial to the search for the Xindi weapon. The same novelization also suggests that MACO be pronounced "Mah-co" rather than "May-co," despite the latter being the commonly used canon pronunciation.
In Star Trek Online, the MACOs are an elite Starfleet force, using the standard Starfleet ranks, rather than the army/marine style. They have allied with the Klingon Honor Guard to form Task Force Omega, for the purpose of fighting the resurgent Borg Collective. Starfleet player characters can obtain specialized MACO armor and weaponry through the completion of Special Task Force missions against the Borg. It is widely considered to be some of the most powerful ground equipment available.