Officer Exchange Program

The setting has shown Klingons and Benzites operating as exchange officers in Starfleet. In the case of Kurn, such an officer continued to wear his uniform of (and presumably hold the rank of) his service of origin. Riker did the same when operating as a Klingon officer. OTOH, Mendon appeared to have taken on a Starfleet rank and uniform during his time in the program.

In a future (post-Dominion War) setting, it might be possible to have exchange officers from the Bajoran Militia (before they actually join the Federation) and/or Cardassian Union. Depending upon whether they actually have an organized service, maybe Ferengi exchange officers might be an option too.

Should such characters continue to use their foreign ranks, weapons, and uniforms (some of which are armored) or would Starfleet provide them with an equivalent provisional rank and appropriate gear?

If an exchange officer (or another experienced foreign officer) were to leave their service of origin and seek to join Starfleer, would they have to go through something like the Academy, or would they gey a direct commission (similar to Kira joining Starfleet)?

Well, first off, I wouldn’t think there would be an official ruling for such an occasion, so it comes down to just our opinions on the matter.
Given that, should such an exchange occur, I think that the officer would be provided a uniform for their use should they so desire, but if they prefer to wear their “home colors” it would be allowed (maybe just in the Federation). Some races would feel extremely uncomfortable out of their racial regalia like, say, the Klingons, in particular. Some garments also provide environmental protections as well like, say, the Klingons, who come from a hot, humid world and would also feel naked without their armor. Then there are the aliens who are radically different from the “common” species norm.

I feel going through the Academy would be a prerequisite to being officially accepted into the Federation though I’m sure certain, if not all, of the classes could be challenged.
In the field pretty much anything goes, as with Kira, but they would be awaiting confirmation from Starfleet to make it official.

There! My two pieces of gold pressed latinum!

Were there any novels or comics that offer any more details on exchange officers? I’m sure they might name a few, but I’m wondering if any actually give details to the process.

I think there are two kinds of officer exchange programs. With the Klingons or any other foreign military, you just switch posts. Riker goes to a Klingon ship, and a Kurn goes to a Starfleet ship. All officers involved keep their ranks and military affiliation but have to adjust to the new command structure.

The second kind is when a prospective Federation member sends members of their species to Starfleet. Mordock was the first Benzite in Starfleet and regularly entered Starfleet Academy (just like Worf), and Mendon basically switched from whatever military the Benzites have to Starfleet.

Mendon likely did not graduate Starfleet Academy and I think he just switched over. This is likely done because when the Benzites join the Federation, their military is absorbed into Starfleet anyways. So the officer exchange program offers him a head start.