STARFLEET Logo Classic (color).jpg (1555878 bytes)

The History of
STARFLEET
The International Star Trek Fan Association, Inc.

INTRODUCTION
Introduction
Original Introductions

THE HISTORY
Bradbury
Longshaw
Heatherington
Wetch
Stillwell
Booth
S. Smith
Maddox
Lerman
McGinnis
Herring
M. Smith
Rickard (1)
Malotte
Livingston
Rickard (2)
Lizard
Blaser
Killough
Epilogue

The Brief History

SFMC History
Commandants, SFMC

LISTS
Commanders, STARFLEET
International Conferences
STARFLEET Academy
Admiralty Board
STARFLEET Historians

AWARDS
CREDITS
LEGALITIES
MAIN


Original Site's Introductions

 

In compiling this edition of A HISTORY OF STARFLEET, I not only relied on the written articles by Admiral Chris Smith, to whom all of us are eternally grateful, and a partial text by General Akers, but other articles, posts and eyewitness accounts of the times as relayed to this author. On the latter accounts (from 1994-on) it incorporates a part of General Akers narrative along with a personal account, taking in consideration all the views of the the people and events in question. I have tried to include most view points on conflicting histories as is possible. This history is a ongoing project and it will be continued.

There are mistakes. And with your help we, talking about all the members of the Office of the Fleet Historian, shall try to correct those mistakes in the text and timelines in a timely manner. Please forgive us if we seem to forget but let me assure you we have not. We are (as Spock likes to say) HUMAN and we do not intend to hurt, mislead or offend anyone, however we which to show only the truth or the various points of view of the times in question.

I would like to thank Lieutenant General Scott Akers, SFMC, Director of the Office of the STARFLEET Historian, for the opportunity to serve within his office on this project and the trust he has put into my handling it. Being able to dabble in several of my personal interests while doing this project has been very worthwhile. I also want to thank all those unnamed persons who in some small way added to this narrative. I also want to express my appreciation to my family, especially Captain Karen Higdon, whom at first 'tolerated' my hobby in Trekdom and now embraces it as the XO of the starship I command, the USS Black Hawk.

I am Honored to Serve...
Fleet Captain Jeff Higdon

April 26, 2000


Winston Churchill has been often quoted as saying "Those who do not learn from the past, are condemned to repeat it", while negative, it is very true, and when I began to research the history of STARFLEET I found that recurring patterns arose again and again. The rise and fall of Fleet Admirals, the great Communiqués followed by no new issues for months, and the delivery of Membership packets within days, to the delivery within several months if at all. The only constant being that enough fans believed in STARFLEET that it continued. The first time I started the Chapter Genealogy project back in 1989, that was all I was concerned about doing, the lineage's of chapters fascinated me, but other duties took me away from this "hobby" within the hobby. However, in 1998 when I restarted my research, I found that it was necessary to do a LOT of historical research to even scratch the surface of the Genealogies, and thus the Office of Fleet Historian was born.

Today, three years later, the Office of Fleet Historian has completed many projects, and started even more. Every Region has contributed, over a hundred chapters have also contributed, 96 of the 102 CQs have been located and archived, Five Regional Historians, and a Deputy Director (Fleet Captain Jeff Higdon) have contributed hundreds of hours of work on behalf of fleet. The Genealogy has been completed for over a year now, being released at the 25th Anniversary 1999 - International Conference in Charlotte, North Carolina. Every time a new chapter is launched, decommissioned, or contacts us (either an active or past chapter) we update the Genealogy. The Brief History of STARFLEET was printed in CQ #100 and was then posted to the World Wide Web. Now the longer "Official" version is available (pssst. if you are reading this, you have found it), with Appendices for Regional Histories, IC Histories, and even Fleet Admiral listings. New projects include a Starship Evolution research project, an Astronaut Roster from Mercury to the Present (2001 present that is), and Bi-monthly articles in the Communiqué on the History of Starfleet chapters. Future projects include a CD of the Fleet History including a chapter-by-chapter yearbook, cooperative ventures with ASDB, and work with the Office of Graphic Design.

Twenty-Six years ago, we started in Lufkin, Texas because a local teenager couldn’t find anywhere a Star Trek club that met his needs. Today as we start a new Millennium we have over 200 chapters, and over 4000 members strong. We cannot allow ourselves to forget where we have come from. Researching and Recording what has happened in STARFLEET’s past IS our history. Our Leaders, our members, and our successors will be able to learn from our past. If this happens, then we have succeeded.

Lieutenant General Scott A. Akers
Director, Office of Fleet Historian
(1998-2007)                  


Like the great civilizations of old, STARFLEET has seen many great rises and falls. What began in May of 1975 as a way for a group of Texas Star Trek fans to come together and share their common diversion is now, twenty-six years later, the largest Star Trek fan club on the planet with thousands of members and hundreds of chapters spreading from Australia to Alaska, Japan to Belgium, and many points in-between.

But it has not all been rocketing growth and happy times. We are a different fan club now then we were five years ago, much less twenty-five. The "glory days" of the late 1980’s, when Star Trek: The Next Generation returned Star Trek to the television and was met with acclaim, it re-awakened the spirit of old fans and brought legions of new ones into Trek fandom. With the evolution of TNG in the post-Roddenberry years, as well as the darker and grittier Star Trek: Deep Space Nine, expanding the fan base beyond those who wished to serve on starships,
STARFLEET also grew and expanded with the addition of Space Stations chapter designations and non-Fleet forces such as the STARFLEET Marine Corps.

Unfortunately, as first TNG and then DS9 ended, Star Trek fandom began to wane. The next television series, Star Trek: Voyager, has been met with criticism from fans, as have two of the three TNG motion pictures. Perhaps the fan base is becoming saturated with Star Trek, as all four series are shown on television, often on the same day, and the second through sixth movies also make the circuits of cable television stations such as the Sci-Fi Channel and USA Networks. Bookstore shelves are overflowing with all manner of fiction, reference books, and items such as calendars and art books. Models and figures of all types can be found at one’s local toy and hobby shops and Paramount continues to license new products all the time.

As Star Trek fandom in general has waned, so has
STARFLEET. Though still vibrant and strong, successive Administrations have had to consider new ways to encourage people to pay their fifteen-dollar annual membership dues. STARFLEET has always been about the "camaraderie of one’s fellow fan" and many a friendship has been made due to STARFLEET.

And, alas, many a friendship has been lost due to STARFLEET. It is often said that put two or more people into a room, and soon you will have conflict based on each person’s differing ideals and views. When you have thousands of people "in a room", the chance, and magnitude, of conflict rises exponentially. Polarization has been a dark cloud that has often arrived with the cold wind of intolerance and rained on our little party. The result is a lot of screaming and yelling, with the fracturing of friendships, memberships, and even chapters. While it is easy, and common, to yell "Get a Life!" at the people and groups who engage in this sort of behavior, the fact is that it is a part of human nature and as much as we wish to strive for the "utopian" ideals of life in the 23rd century as presented in much of Star Trek, we must note that even our heroes have conflict and strife at times. Three million years of evolution are not undone with the saying of a slogan.

While we like to think of ourselves as "just a fan club", the reality is that, with thousands of members and hundreds of organizational sub-units, we are much more like a mid-sized corporation. We have a Board of Directors (the Admiralty Board) to approve policy drafted by the corporate officers (the Executive Committee) and we have "stockholders" – the members themselves. And like many corporations, our stockholders are also our clients. They give us money in exchange for products – such as the Membership Handbook and Communiqué — as well as rights and privileges — such as attending
STARFLEET Academy. Like any corporation, sometimes our reach extends our grasp and we fall short in meeting the requirements our stockholders expect. And they sometimes "sell" their stock by leaving STARFLEET — for either other clubs or fandom altogether.

It is unknown if STARFLEET will be around to celebrate a 50th Anniversary, but I think that the message of Star Trek is compelling enough that, in some form, STARFLEET will survive. Even in our darkest hours, there was always a core group of people who believed in the organization enough to step-up and save it — either by volunteering or continuing to send in their membership renewals, even when all they received for their money was a "sense of community". What you hold in your hands (or are viewing on your screen) is a labor of love by two men — Lieutenant General Scott A. Akers, STARFLEET Historian, and Fleet Captain Jeff Higdon, Commanding USS Black Hawk. While the layout and much of the text was written by myself, have no doubt that General Akers and Captain Higdon are responsible for making this project possible. When named STARFLEET Historian in April of 1998 by Fleet Admiral Michael D. Smith, General Akers proceeded to gather all of the information he could on where STARFLEET had come from. This included each issue of the Communiqué published, chapter newsletters, interviews with members, records at the chapter, regional, and headquarters levels, as well as a myriad of other sources. Over time, these archives grew as more and more information flowed into the Office of the STARFLEET Historian

General Akers first gift to STARFLEET was unveiled at the 1999 International Conference when he pinned-up posters depicting the genealogy of each individual Region of STARFLEET, going back to the USS Enterprise. All known chapters and shuttles, with distinct lines of parentage, were included. At the end of the Conference, each Regional Coordinator was given their respective Region’s poster to take home with them. After IC99, General Akers next started work on "A Short History of STARFLEET", which gave a quick overview of the major events and players in STARFLEET since 1974. Fleet Captain Higdon took this information and put it together in HTML to display on this website. This document formed the backbone of the work you are reading now. I went through every issue of the Communiqué ever published by STARFLEET – from #1 to #100 – to look for more information to add to the original work. Folks, I cannot tell you what a treasure STARFLEET has in these newsletters. I hope someday they are all available on the web so that everyone can virtually "thumb through them".

I have been a member of
STARFLEET for almost twenty years now, and have served at every level. This document will be one of my last "gifts" to STARFLEET and her members. Eighteen years is a long time to be in the trenches and it is time to stand-up and walk amongst the flowers and feel the cool grass under my feet. However, this will not be the only edition of this document. As General Akers noted, as long as there is a STARFLEET, there will be history made that needs to be recorded and chronicled. This document and all it’s files will be handed over to the Office of the STARFLEET Historian for the next generation of Editors and Researchers to append and publish, ensuring that this document is as much a living and breathing entity as STARFLEET is.

Though I am now in the twilight hours of my career and admit I look forward to retiring to my private Command, I have never regretted the time, effort, and money I have given
STARFLEET. I feel that the return on my investment has been better than anything Wall Street could ever offer.

On our way to a Great Adventure... 
Admiral Chris 'Tiger' Wallace, retired
Overseer of the Secrets of Memory Alpha