Crew breakdown by %

I’m not sure if this is covered in the books anywhere. If so hit me in the back of the head and point me in the correct direction.

If not, is there a good break down on normal ship’s crew make up by % ?

I can look up ships in Memory Alpha & Bata and get a good crew amount, However, I am not sure how many of each type of crew will be on the general ship.

If it was Army or Air Force (and since the Marines general troop make up is similar to Army I can imply on them too) I could make a fair educated guess on what the troop break down would be. However, I have very limited experience with big ship blue water Navy types, so I don’t have a base idea on the makeup of a larger ship.

Of course, ships with different missions or focusses will have a variation of the normal crew make up – a science vessel will have more science based crew than other type ships, a deep space exploration will have more seniors and maintenance crew etc.

That said, what is the normal % break down of the average ship, and what are some of the normal variations on that % break down for the more common mission profiles?

I’d go by divisions, so I would count in command/operations/science. As a rule of thumb, I’d say it’s 20/40/40 on each ship, maybe 25/45/35. Within the science personnel, I’d say numbers lean about 70/30 in favour of scientific personnel over medical personnel. Btw. there’s a list on Command Division Jobs other than ordering people around and flying shuttles.

If you like it a bit more complicated and/or take the ship’s class and mission profile into account, I’d say to simply look at the ship’s stats. Calculate on basis of the department numbers. Each point of any department is 100 / total department points in %.

Or you combine the methods and distribute one half of the crew by the first and the other half by the latter. :slight_smile:

it really depends on the ship the amount of medical personnel compared to science. Something like an Norway or an Olympic class will likely have much higher ratio of medical personnel and a lot of this comes down to the ships mission profile. A tactical mission profile will likely have a higher percentage of Security (in the ops division) while a technical testbed ship will again have a higher percentage of engineering personnel.

For a ship there are actually two considerations, on a US Naval vessel they are addressed by Departmental/Divisional organizations and Duty Sections. While I know that this is from a US Navy perspective, all ships have something similar. My background is as an Airdale, so I will use mostly squadron examples since I am most familiar with them.

The first consideration are the professional skills of jobs. These are usually broken down within Departments. The Engineering Department for example. The full layout is usually modified by what the unit does for instance a Naval Squadron has two Departments, Operations and Maintenance. STA breaks them into three, Command, Operations and Sciences. Yes, they called them “Divisions” but that is really semantics. Each Department is broken down into specialties (Divisions) which in turn is broken into Branches if needed.

For example, the Maintenance Department has six Divisions; Maintenance/Material Control, Quality Assurance, Maintenance Administration, Aircraft, Av/Arm and Line.
Av/Arm Division is broken down into three branches; Avionics, Electricians and Ordnance.

The Department/Division structure addresses the need to identify and organize the professional skill sets needed to accomplish the tasking such as operating the ship or aircraft. Exactly what jobs and skills are required.

The same need will be fulfilled by a ship in Star Trek though they will use different terminology.

The second consideration is how many? A ship operates 24 hours a day 7 days a week, even in port or the ship yard. It requires constant attention and upkeep and lack if either can result in material damage at best and casualties (human or equipment) at worst.

The standard in Naval Aviation is to have 4 Duty Sections divided into the Port and Starboard Watch. Section 1 and 3 are Port and 2 and 4 are Starboard. The Surface Navy also uses Sections and Watches that can have a slightly different setup due to circumstances and task. For instance, a job that requires a constant and high level of alertness but consists of tasking that promote drowsiness such as staring at gauges may have a shorter duration. The watch could be 2, 4, 6, 8 or 12 hours rotating on and off time to maintain alertness.

But over all each Duty Section contains all the personnel and skill sets needed to operate and fight the ship, or what have you. In the aviation community we generally operated on three eight hours shifts or two twelve hours shifts. The Port Watch alternating 12 hour shifts can sustain operations for long periods of time. All four sections can sustain 24 hours operations for months without a break and still absorb injuries and sickness without totally hammering the personnel. In dangerous situations such as combat having four sections gives the unit the depth needed to support damage control, repair parties as well as combat losses and still fight the ship.

I use the aircraft carrier as a guide for the Trek ships because you can loosely match them up.

Command – In addition to ships personnel, the carrier usually has an Admiral and his operations/intelligence staff commanding the Battlegroup.

Operations – These guys run and fight the ship itself, engineering, deck etc.

Sciences – I liken this to the Airwing and AIMD. No, Treks Sciences don’t fly small attack craft, but they are a department on the ship that operates completely separate from the ship itself. Their purpose is life is directly supported by the rest of the ships crew.

Command will be the smallest department numbers wise.
Operations will be the largest as they are tasked with maintaining and operating the ship and all its equipment.
Sciences will fluctuate depending on what they are studying/exploring and the ships purpose. A science or exploration ship will have far more science types than a full-on warship.

So crew size depends on the mission/type of ship and what professional skill sets are needed multiplied by the degree of redundancy needed to sustain operations over time. For the units I have served with two per job per shift was absolute minimum. For some branches two qualified per Duty Section was the minimum with additional personnel in various states of training. Having at least two people working a gripe can be mandatory just for safety. I never let an Electrician go in work alone, no one should ever work around high voltage by themselves.


Some one posted this breakdown on the Trek BBS awhile back.

One news story I read had some info on breakdown on crew casualties had some info on the number of individuals with a specific uniform color are on the TOS Enterprise.

In line with the mission profile, a rating of 1 indicated ad-hoc or jury-rigged ability. A ship with a Medical of 1 might use the wardroom as an operating theater, and the surgeon might be an MD who is normally assigned to the life sciences team… or maybe they just have the equivalent to an independent duty corpsman.

A ship with Security of 1 would not have many, if any, full time Tactical or Security personnel. US Navy ships have security teams made up of personnel with other full time jobs. They draw sidearms and deploy on order, but normally they are cooks or damage controlmen or whatever.

I don’t think ship crews and equipment would vary as much as STA makes it seem, it would impact familiarity and training. This Sabre has a rapid-fire torpedo launcher, that one doesn’t, this Sabre has it’s med bay on deck 3 portside, this one uses the wardroom on deck 2…

Every ship is slightly different but a Ticonderoga class cruiser is a Ticonderoga class cruiser… personnel, capabilities and layout shouldn’t vary too much.

This gives us:

Somewhere down the text the author argues that 37.7% of all redshirts were part of the Security department. I have not seen a source for that.

But one could work with this.

@tanksoldier are you proposing a non-linear relation regarding the department values? Interesting idea! Mabye base on class (i.e. the ship’s systems) and just modify with departments? This would take the differences into account but they would not lead to drastic effects.

I do not have any numbers/formulars on the fly, but maybe some of you have ideas. :smiley:

I tend to pattern things using my experience in the Navy.

Each Department/Division has a general purpose and there is a great deal of cross training not to mention all hands training such as damage control.

But remember that Starfleet is not an actual military.
There will be a solid core of professional spacers and then the larger number of specialists and research types that are focused on the science.

Be aware that Department ratings aren’t just crew ratings: they also reflect the techical capabilities of the ship.

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…then why do they have courts martial?

Well, my objection is more in the nature of… the same class of ship should fill roughly the same role in an organization. Even if you accept the notion that “Starfleet is armed and fights wars but isn’t a military”, a notion I firmly reject, you still have the problem of a ship type being expected to fill certain roles and have certain capabilities. If you’re a US Coast Guard Admiral and have a Juniper class buoy tender assigned, you expect it to be able to do, and not do, certain things.

You can’t plan for anything if every single ship in your organization is unique. THIS Miranda is a warship, but THAT Miranda is a hospital ship… but is different from THAT Constellation which is also a hospital ship and THAT Constellation which is a warship but different from THAT Excelsior which is a warship.

Instead, ANY organization is going to set it up so that Mirandas are light cruisers and can do A, B, and C.
Constellations are fast cruisers and can do A, B and C… and also D.
Excelsiors are heavy cruisers and can do B, C and D… and also E and F.

…and Olympics are Hospital ships and can’t do A, B, C, or E but are OK at F and can do X, Y and Z really well.

That’s why ship classes exist. FF frigates perform certain missions, FFG frigates others… DD, DDG, CC and CCG/ CGN etc. If an Admiral gets a Arliegh Burke he knows it can do certain things… he doesn’t have to ask it if it is equipped as a survey ship or a restaurant today.

If every single disaster response ship you have is different, how do you plan to respond to disasters? You can say you have 16 disaster response ships and figure out what each can do and what they can handles, and thus how many you need… or you can say that you have 16 Katrina class disaster response vessels, and each can set up refugee shelters and emergency medical for 1 million sophonts, so for a frontier world with a population of 10 million, you need 10 ships.

There are logistics and planning involved in running any large organization, military or not, that Trek simply ignores… and if you want to ignore it, that’s fine… but when questions start getting asked about how many crew from each department a ship has, well… that’s where that logistics thing comes in.

An organization as large as Starfleet could not function if every single ship was unique, if every single crew compliment was different and every single mission profile was different across not only different classes, but within the same class.

Because it is sci-fi and the show creators insisted that it was not.

Further, as a real world example, the United States Public Health Service is a uniformed service, just like the Coast Guard, Army, Navy Marines, and Air Force but yet they are not an armed force. However, just like their armed cousins, they are still subject to the Uniform Code of Military Justice (UCMJ) and courts martial.

So, while Starfleet may not be a military service as defined by the show, it still conducts itself in military fashion as does the real-world Public Health Service and is therefore subject to the same standards and procedures of any military services that exist at that time.

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What is the shows’ definition of a military service? I’m willing to say it just self-refers to “not Starfleet” and offers nothing of worth.

My assumption has always been that it is basically a “paramilitary” organisation. It has a military-style hierarchy, uniforms and approach to discipline, but is primarily intended for non-military purposes (science, exploration, disaster response, policing) - defence is a sideline.

How you would wind up with something like this is, presumably, that an exploration vessel operating on its own far from help would find a structure very useful. You would need a military-style response (“do it immediately, no questions”) to orders in an emergency, and heavy weapons for defence in a universe with the likes of hostile Klingon warships roaming it. A military structure also makes coordination of multiple assets across known space easier. Given these features, it makes a certain amount of sense that in the event of a war, the service becomes the first line of defence, and that in that case, the crews are trained to handle that.

Hey Lurker, I realize I am coming late to this discussion but I have something that might interest you. Back in the days of Last Unicorn Games Star Trek RPG there was this great project by a developer named Steve Long to expand the ship and space combat of the game. It was never made official, so he was able to share it with the world after WotC picked up LUG and then lost the Star Trek license.

You can follow that link to get the book Spacedock, and if you are interested the space power specific ones – they are very compatible on the fluff side with your current STA games and timeline. In the Spacedock book specifically at the front, there is a break down of the “typical” crew staffings based on the class of vessel, its primary fleet assignment role, and the spread between officrs and enlisted, in the TNG-DS9 era. Its near the table to randomly generate a crewperson’s branch and species, which you can adapt to focus on the species that STA focuses on since they don’t use the Centaurans for example.

Much of the rest of the book may prove less useful for you, but, not gonna lie, the shipboard systems random damage/hit location table can prove a lot of fun and create narrative drama in your cinematic battles, no need to get ground into the more rocknard system of Spacedock itself.


@tanksoldier No objections on the general idea of why there are classes. My comment referred on your explanations on the meaning of ratings of 1 etc.

So, while @Fortunae has provided us with a great source that breaks down the crew complement to percentages, I’m still curious whether we can derive something reasonable based on the ship’s stats.

With regard to @tanksoldier’s remarks on class specifics, systems should define most of it and be only modified by departments. I’d like to include scale at some point, but am not so sure how. The result should be a breakdown in percentage, any remainders filled with specialist and/or civilian personnel. I’m still thinking, though, so don’t expect anything, soon. :slight_smile:

All that proves is you don’t have to be armed to be military,… since it’s the Code of MILITARY Justice… and Starfleet is definitely armed.

…and courts martial existed before the UCMJ.

…and uniformed USPHS and NOAA personnel are not subject to the UCMJ unless serving with a component of the armed forces or Coast Guard.

I’ve always thought it was similar to the Coast Guard but even that is problematic. The US Coast Guard isn’t trained or equipped to fight wars by itself. Even the new National Security cutters aren’t equipped as true warships.

Star Trek assumes that an organization that fights wars as a hobby can defeat organizations that have the primary purpose of fighting wars.

Do you really think that Starfleet non-warships can face down purpose built warships built and crewed by personnel to whom warfighting is a profession? It’s absurd.

Someone who dabbles in medicine is as good as the best neurosurgeons? Someone who occasionally plays with watercolors matches the finest artists of a generation?

War is a science and an art… I was professional, serving an entire career and retiring, and I’ve fought with and against amateurs… including amateurs who thought they were professionals. They died, and they lost.

The only possibility, probability really, is the Federation hasn’t fought a peer-war in centuries, until the Dominion. It has out classed every opponent in size or technology, or both, to the point they have never fought a peer opponent… not since the hypothetical Klingon War before TOS.

The highest tech opponent we know they fought was the Cardassians… much smaller polity, much less effective ships (a front line Galor couldn’t take on a survey cruiser).

Starfleet might be seen as a paramilitary force which only fights wars as a hobby, but remember that it was founded as a pure scientific organization which was forced to arm itself because of the many dangers they encountered. I believe that the Romulan Wars turned Starfleet into a real military but one which did not forget its civilian roots. All officers are trained to fight, trained to protect, but they are also trained in resolving conflicts peacefully.

Think of the Archer era Starfleet as NASA with elements of the “State Department” i.e. it was set up as exploration / science with side elements of Diplomacy, ergo the Vulcan observer. When things got “rougher” they folded in MACO elements – MACO being purely military. We didn’t get to see the Romulan war sadly because the series was cancelled two years early – but that plus the folding in of the Tellerite, Andorian and Vulcan fleet ideology elements expanded Starfleet’s role with regards to Military/Defense, devoted diplomacy and Science and logistics/mercantile support. What you were left with was a fleet that had an IDEOLOGICAL focus on Exploration and Diplomacy with STRUCTURE that supported strong defense and logistical operations.

So Starfleet was PARAMILITARY in that its intention was mature Diplomacy, Contact and Exploration, but is operational functionality also included Colonial support, space lane policing, anti-piracy operations, disaster relief and full-on border defense and force projection to provide room for diplomatic solutions – peace through strength. Where as some Power’s fleets were purely military, Starfleet matched them on that front AND did so much more… rather than being weaker at the military end. That is why Starfleet has military style ranks, doesn’t have civilians in the field typically in charge of operations and personnel, etc.

Maybe this is all my opinion, but I feel the setting details support this. YMMV