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Intricated/Starfleet chain of command

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"Dammit Jean-Luc, I tell you that some of Starfleet's top command people are changing! This could affect the very core of our organization."
- Walker Keel comments to Jean-Luc Picard on the strange and unusual personnel changes at Starfleet. (TNG: "Conspiracy")

The United Federation of Planets has overgone many different organizational changes over its existence, including to the Starfleet chain of command.

The drastic differences in the Starfleet chain of command over the various television series and movies leaves much to interpretation, and thus most conclusions are purely speculatory.
United Federation of Planets logo

The Great Seal of the United Federation of Planets

2160s to 2190s

Federation President

Presumably received advice from the Federation Council, as Archer was a council member before his stint as President, and future Presidents referred to the Council. Most likely, the President discusses most issues with the Council, which in turn provides recommendations to the President for future courses of action.
Archer is also the longest-serving President at 8 years from limited information known about the other Presidents, none of which was seen holding a term longer than 4 years.

Chief of Staff, Starfleet Command

Conjectured from gap in his service record seen in "In a Mirror, Darkly, Part II" between his last command and ambassadorship.


Federation President

  • Federation President - Unknown

Starfleet Surgeon General, Starfleet Medical

This position had authority in conjunction with Starfleet Command to relieve commanding officers.


Federation President

  • Federation President - Unknown

Unknown position

With the rank of Fleet Admiral, Nogura probably held a high-ranking position in Starfleet or at least the Starfleet Operations division. Norgura most likely was head of Starfleet Command, or Starfleet in general.

Chief of Starfleet Operations

Was only a rear admiral, and had at least one superior officer, Nogura. Briefly demoted for the V'Ger incident, but continued to hold the rank of rear admiral while he commanded the USS Enterprise-A through the 2270s, so most likely did not continue as Chief of Starfleet Operations.

2280s to 2290s

Federation President

Starfleet CIC 2293

Bill in 2293

None of the these Presidents were named on-screen.

Commander in chief, Starfleet

Appears to outrank Cartwright (see below) in the same timeframe based on the roles they had in the same movie, although all 3 characters held the rank of Fleet Admiral, thus suggesting that this position was created for all Starfleet branches to report to, with the head of Starfleet Command one of the many reporting to Bill.

Commander, Starfleet

Conjectured that Cartwright took over for Morrow since early drafts had Morrow as the traitor. His article page states that he oversaw Starfleet Command operations in Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home, and doesn't appear again until two movies later in Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country, so perhaps he was promoted from an unknown high-ranking position at Starfleet Command to Commander, Starfleet within that time frame.
Based on the above position, this one might be specifically for the head of Starfleet Command by 2293. Before then (when Morrow held the position), the position of Commander in chief may not have existed, and thus the Commander, Starfleet may have been head of all of Starfleet.

Chief of Staff, Starfleet Operations

Robert Bennett

Bob in 2287

  • Chief of Staff, Starfleet Operations - Fleet Admiral Bob in 2287.
Referenced as "Commander" in script; end-credits gave him the title of "Chief of Staff", and stated on-screen as representative of Starfleet Operations and seen with Fleet Admiral insignia. Thus, might have been intention of producers for Bob to be the Commander, Starfleet between Morrow and Cartwright, reinforcing the idea that Cartwright didn't become Commander, Starfleet until the 6th movie. On the other hand, "Commander" might refer to Commander in chief, although it would be strange for Bob to state he represented Starfleet Operations, and not of Starfleet Command or Starfleet in general.
It is also possible that Bob was just head of Starfleet Operations, and is distinct from the two positions above (and most likely subordinate to the Command in chief, Starfleet). The lack of decorations on his uniform (compared to Bill) also add support to this theory. If this is the case, the position is most likely the same post held by Kirk at Starfleet Operations in the 2270s.

General Staff, Starfleet Headquarters

Based on information posted on Ten Forward. Since Starfleet Command is the only known Starfleet branch at Starfleet Headquarters (other than the Academy), this may be a group of the higest-ranking officers of Starfleet Command, headed by the Commander, Starfleet.


Federation President

  • Federation President - Unknown

Chief of Staff, Starfleet Command

  • Chief of Staff, Starfleet Command - Admiral Les Landau in 2345.
From dedication plaque of USS Brattain; only listed as an admiral. Probably the same position as Archer had in the 2160s.

2360s to 2370s

Federation President


Jaresh-Inyo in 2372

  • Federation President - Jaresh-Inyo from at least 2372 to at most 2375.
Script describes him as being "recently" elected, and also mentions that the President was Leyton's (see below) "commander-in-chief", which could be interpreted in many ways. See the Commander in chief article for possible explanations.
Jaresh-Inyo is the first Federation president to have a Federation Cabinet associated with the position, which had some influence, but along with the Federation Council, unclear how the three bodies interacted. In 2267, Nilz Baris was Undersecretary of Agriculture, which may have been part of the Cabinet if it existed then.

Chief of Staff, Starfleet

  • Chief of Staff, Starfleet - Admiral Gene Roddenberry from at least 2363 to 2375.
The first use of the term Chief of Staff to refer solely to Starfleet, and not just a division. Thus, this position might have become the new Commmander in chief for Starfleet. However, Roddenberry was not specifically referred to on dedication plaques as a Fleet Admiral, only as an "admiral".

Commander, Starfleet

Berman, Taylor, and Braga were predominantly referred to on dedication plaques, but all three had the title of "commander" on USS Voyager's 2374 crew manifest in VOY: "The Killing Game".
Due to Berman's and Taylor's earlier references with a flag officer rank, this could mean one (or both or neither) of them was (were) the Commander, Starfleet during this time. Since Braga was referred to with a rank of commander as back as 80 year prior, he might have been Commander, Starfleet as well since that is a long time to serve without a promotion. Based on the previous use of the term, this position would head Starfleet Command.
It is also possible that these instances of Berman, Taylor, and/or Braga were completely different people from the earlier references.

Chief of Starfleet Operations

Although Roddenberry's and Leyton's positions overlapped in time, Leyton seemed to report directly to the Federation President, so perhaps he was the new Commander in chief for all of Starfleet despite the traditional interpretation of his title. Jaresh-Inyo's comment does not discredit nor support this theory. However, Leyton held the relatively low rank of vice admiral, further convoluting his position in the chain of command. It is also possible that Roddenberry is head of Starfleet, and simply put Leyton (as head of Starfleet Operations) in charge for Earth security during this critical situation.

Chief of Starfleet Security

Starfleet Security seems to have jurisdiction over general security, legal matters (such as court martials and hearings and internal affairs and investigations.

Chief of Starfleet Intelligence

Despite the threat of changelings infiltrating Starfleet, Starfleet Intelligence was not mentioned as a part of the surveillance efforts on Earth during Leyton's coup in the early 2370s, suggesting Starfleet Operations had jurisdiction on the matter over Starfleet Intelligence.

Deputy Chief of Starfleet Intelligence


Aaron in 2364

Supposedly died of food poisoning according to Luther Sloan.

Members of Starfleet Command

The events of TNG: "Conspiracy" also occur within this timeframe, as neural parasites infiltrated Starfleet Command, affecting high-ranking flag officers including Savar, Gregory Quinn, and Aaron. However, none of these officers were higher than a Vice Admiral, leaving questions on where the highest ranking officials from Starfleet Command (or within the Starfleet branches for that matter) were during the entire incident.

Head of Starfleet Medical

Presumably Starfleet Medical would play some role in the chain of command if circumstances were dire.

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