Did Cardassian colonists inhabiting ceded worlds in the DMZ become Federation citizens?

Basically what the above asks,and asked mainly as a way to justify a Cardassian “Young Officer” that graduates from Starfleet Academy around 2375 (or so).

I realize it’s always possible to just have a Cardassian descendant from a family that defected from the Union years earlier, but I’m curious about the above stemming from the 2370 ceding of Cardassian colonies as part of the treaty.

Dominion War lasted to the end of 2375, so I’d say the earliest we’d see any Cardassian officers would be 2376, and they’d probably need an interesting backstory given that Cardassians were (almost to the end of the war) a major adversary to the Federation. It’d take some tricky political maneuvering to allow a Cardassian into the Academy right after the war.


I’d say “why not?”

Certainly, those Cardassians that did not move off-world or engage in anti-Federation terrorism in the immediate aftermath of the treaty would have been offered citizenship quite quickly. Even if not, as Saru shows, Starfleet does not require recruits to come from actual member worlds.

There’s a potential internment issue once the Dominion War begins (cf Japanese Americans in the Second World War and German citizens in the UK in the first), and there would probably be some trust issues, but Starfleet has a history of recruiting potential “enemy aliens” - Worf is an obvious example, and the Abrams movies have an Orion cadet amongst others.

If nothing else, the cadet in question probably graduated at the top of their class - they’d have a lot more to prove than their peers!

I like this is as a background and may steal it at some point :smile:

To answer the question in the topic: Probably not. As of today, you do not change your nationality when moving in another country. There is evidence in TNG 7x20 “Journey’s End” that the Cardassians at least occasionally required to change their citizenship/affiliation. But I don’t see why the Federation would rquire something similar. So this does not help you with your problem, much.


We know from DS9 2x05 “Cardassians” that orphaned childs of Cardassian descendance (especially war orphans) are often left behind by the Cardassians. Thus, your Cardassian officer could simply be an orphan of one of the Cardassian’s many wars (either with the Federation or with others) who grew up in a Federation member world and eventually joined Starfleet. Thus, a backstory similar to Worf’s would not be too far fetched, in my opinion.

Thus, contrary to @Modiphius-Jim, I’d say you could have a Cardassian officer prior to 2376. It will be an interesting story when you play during the war. :slight_smile:

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As I see it:

Federation citizenship is bestowed upon any persons whose parents (biological, or by adoption) are Federation citizens, or who are born upon a world which is a member state of the Federation. Starfleet officers are conferred Federation citizenship as well, if they do not already possess it.

Colony worlds become a bit of a weird grey area; often, they are established by Federation citizens, but the worlds themselves are not inherently member worlds until such a time as they apply for membership (though, worlds colonised by Federation citizens tend to be fairly easily accepted as member worlds when they’re ready).

So, the inhabitants of colonies on the Cardassian side of the DMZ are commonly Federation citizens by birth, even though the worlds are no longer in “Federation Space” (a fairly nebulous concept). Cardassian colonies on the Federation side are not considered Federation colonies (unless they ask to be and are accepted), and their inhabitants are not Federation citizens. They’re independent worlds that just happen to be surrounded by Federation space.


I think I may be better off going with a war orphan, most likely from the Federation-Cardassian War (running 2347-2367), that was left behind and later adopted by Federation Citizens. If born around 2350 or so, it should allow for an officer of the the proper age by 2375.


I do not know what the cannon answer is, but if it is something you need to happen so your players can enjoy the game, then yes they are Federation citizens. Think of it as an alternate timeline.

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There is always the way which allowed Worf and Nog (and perhaps even Data) to apply to Starfleet Academy: Having a Starfleet officer as a sponsor.


In my timeline, the UFP is heavily involved in the Cardassian reconstruction, similar to the role the US played in Japan post WW2. Eventually, both Bajor and Cardassia join the Federation together. Cardassians join Starfleet in large numbers, excelling in science, tactical and leadership positions.

That’s great, but it doesn’t sound like something that happened until well after 2375.

We do know that the treaty between the Cardassians and Federation in late TNG/early DS9 had colonies being ceded on both sides: some Federation citizens ended up on the Cardassian side (whom we saw) and some Cardassians ended up on the Federation side (whom we didn’t see). I could see one of those colonists getting a better look at Federation society and deciding it’s a better way (DS9 also shows us there were pro-democratic reformers within the Cardassian Union).

That treaty was signed in 2370, so if the character joined right then, they would graduate the Academy in 2374. But if you have them as an enlisted, you could probably put it as early as 2371 or '72.

I was thinking that way too, but I’m also weighing the opinion that others have voiced that those colonists did not become Federation citizens when those worlds changed hands but were instead ‘resident aliens’ or handled in a manner similar to the way Native Americans on reservations were treated by the United States prior to 1924. If that’s the case, then those Cardassians would have needed sponsorship from a command level Starfleet officer to get into the academy.

One of the other players pointed out that if the character were a Bajoran/Cardassian hybrid child from a Bajoran comfort woman, then the ‘sympathy vote’ for hardship would make it fairly easy to accept that the character got a sponsorship into Starfleet. With a full-blooded Cardassian, it feels somewhat less plausible.

And I think that we are overlooking the possibility that while the Cardassians on the Federation ceded worlds might want to become Federation citizens (because it’s not fascism), the Union would most certainly have 1. tried to convince them to move or even forcibly remove their people back to Cardassia before the “enemy” showed up, and 2. They would have certainly planted Obsidian Order agents into the population, hoping that they could get citizenship.

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In human society, people have moved around and emigrated for no “big reason” other than just “looking for a different life somewhere else.” You don’t need the ceded worlds to “justify” immigrants.

I’m sure that there are a lot of Cardassian Federation members for no other reason than “they just moved here and eventually became citizens.”

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I think it’s worth noting that when Starfleet initally came in they where going to just forcably resettle the colonists. the colonists protested and the enterprise crew basicly took their side. In the cardassian union however it would have played out very differantly. the cardassian military would have shown up, ordered the colonists onto the ships and anyone who so much as objected would likely have been shot

I agree that most Cardassians–including civilians–would have followed orders and left when told to do so. However, we know that some remained behind on worlds claimed by the Federation and were mentioned along with the former-Federation colonists that formed the Maquis. I don’t believe much more was ever said about them though.