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Military Assault Command Operations

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Multiple realities
(covers information from several alternate timelines)
MACO Enterprise logo
"Military Assault Command..."
"Captain Archer said he wanted the best.
– Hoshi Sato and J. Hayes, 2153 ("The Xindi")

Military Assault Command Operations (commonly abbreviated as MACO) existed under the United Earth Military, an organization of the United Earth 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"; Star Trek Beyond)

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 anymore. (ENT: "Countdown")

Following the foundation of the United Federation of Planets, the organization was disbanded. (Star Trek Beyond)

Star Trek Beyond co-writer Doug Jung once noted about the disbanding of MACO, "I thought it’d be kind of interesting [....] You can make some modern analogies in terms of like the CIA, which is – you're asking these people, you're training them their whole lives to see the world one way, and then you say, 'Oh, by the way, you're now obsolete, but we'd like you to do [this other thing].' It’s tough." [1]

Combat timeline Edit

Maco insignia

2153 September Edit

2153 October Edit

2153 November Edit

2153 December Edit

2154 January Edit

  • Assisting Captain Archer in a possible mutiny situation (ENT: "Hatchery")

2154 February Edit

2154 May Edit

2154 November Edit

2154 December Edit

2156 to 2160Edit

2161 (October) Edit

Appendices Edit

Related topics Edit

Appearances Edit

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 [2] and was printed onto T-shirts given to the cast and crew.[3]

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.

The Starfleet uniform in 2287 had an unexplained dark blue division color worn by the ground forces assaulting Nimbus III. This division color, and uniform, could be a possible reference to MACOs.

"Ground forces" were mentioned several times in latter season episodes of Star Trek: Deep Space Nine, another possible passing reference to MACOs.

Apocrypha Edit

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 the Romulan War Pocket ENT novel Beneath the Raptor's Wing, the "O" in MACO stands for "organization" instead of "operations," making the MACOs' proper title Military Assault Command Organization.

According to the novel The Needs of the Many, MACOs continued to exist into the 25th century.

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.

External link Edit

Trivia Edit

  • The name and logo of the MACOs may be related to the eponymous species of Terran shark, the Mako.
  • The unit, and its insignia colors, may be inspired by the US MACSOG special operations unit from the Vietnam war.

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