- "Starfleet" redirects here. You may also be looking for the United Earth Starfleet.
- For the mirror universe counterpart, see Imperial Starfleet and Starfleet (Galactic Commonwealth).
The Federation Starfleet, also known simply as Starfleet or Star Fleet, was the exploratory and defensive force of the United Federation of Planets. Starfleet's function was to explore unknown territory on the behalf of the Federation government, to defend the Federation and its allies from threats, to further Federation policies and interests throughout interstellar space, and, when applicable, to initiate first contact with newly-discovered worlds and to engage in diplomatic negotiations on the behalf of the Federation. As per its mandate of deep-space exploration, its personnel were frequently brought into contact with cultures and sentient species whose existences were unknown to the Federation. Starfleet officers therefore acted as official representatives of the Federation in these cases. Starfleet vessels were also frequently used to ferry ambassadors on diplomatic missions. (ST video game: Birth of the Federation; TOS novel: Final Frontier; TNG episode: "The Outcast"; ENT episode: "These Are the Voyages...")
The Federation Starfleet was chartered in 2161 with the founding of the Federation. A charter was written and an institution for the training of the Federation Starfleet officer corps, Starfleet Academy, was established. The Federation Starfleet was created from the space and science programs and militaries of the Federation's founding Member States, including the United Earth Starfleet (founded only about twenty to thirty years earlier), the Andorian Imperial Guard, and the Vulcan, Tellarite and Alpha Centauri military forces. Starfleet Headquarters, the primary hub of Starfleet Command, was built near the Presidio in San Francisco on Earth, as the United Earth Starfleet Command complex had been, as was the Academy. 
The senior-most officer of Starfleet was the Commander-in-Chief of the Federation Starfleet (C-in-C), who served as a military advisor to the Federation President and Council, and had operational authority over the whole of the Federation Starfleet. (ST - Destiny novel: Gods of Night)
The Chief of Staff for the Federation Starfleet ranked below the Commanding Officer, Starfleet Command, but did not report to that officer in all matters. Free Agents fell under this officer's authority. (FASA RPG module: Star Trek IV Sourcebook Update; TOS novel: Triangle)
The Federation Starfleet Liaison to the Office of the President was responsible for communicating and coordinating with the President of the United Federation of Planets, reporting to the President regarding the activities of Starfleet and the orders of the C-in-C, and relaying the President's orders back to Starfleet. (ST novel: Articles of the Federation)
A symbol of Starfleet is sometimes included in the uniform wear of Starfleet personnel, although some uniform designs forgo any Starfleet symbol badge with instead a marking depicting the individual assignment or mission of the wearer.
In the early days of the Federation, Earth Starfleet personnel wore uniforms with a patch Starfleet insignia on the right shoulder and an assignment patch on the opposite shoulder. (Star Trek: Enterprise)
By the 2230s, some Starfleet personnel wore a delta-shield shaped embroidery. The delta-shield shape had been devised based on Zefram Cochrane's graphed equation of warp fields, and had previously been used as a symbol by UESPA on the Friendship One space probe. Crew assigned to USS Kelvin wore an outline of that insignia on their uniforms. (ST novel: Federation, TOS episode: "Charlie X",TOS movie, novelization & comic adaptation: Star Trek)
By the uniform designs of the 2240s, Starfleet personnel wore assignment insignia based on their vessel assignments. Some such mission patch designs included the delta shield, and Starfleet also adopted a more stylized version of the insignia, elongated and presented sideways as it had been on the Earth Starfleet's patch, in the pennant designation of fleet vessels. This version was also used in some vessels' assignment patches. (Star Trek: The Original Series; Crew; ENT episodes: "In a Mirror, Darkly", "These Are the Voyages...")
In the 2270s, Starfleet Command adopted the mission patch of the USS Enterprise as the insignia for its own assignment patch and as the symbol of Starfleet on vessel pennants. Individual mission patches fell into disuse a few years later, with all personnel adopting the delta shield as their badge of uniform. (TOS reference: Mr. Scott's Guide to the Enterprise, TOS movie, novelization & comic adaptations: The Motion Picture, The Wrath of Khan)
The badge would be utilized as a communicator badge in the 24th century, and redesigned as the various communicators used in the 2350s, 2370s and eventually, the 2380s. (Star Trek: The Next Generation; TNG episodes: "Yesterday's Enterprise", "Family"; TNG movie, novelization & comic adaptation: Generations; Star Trek: Countdown; ST video game: Star Trek Online)
Fleets and unitsEdit
|Incarnations of Starfleet|
|United Nations Starfleet • United Earth Starfleet • Terran Imperial Starfleet • Federation Starfleet • Federation Galfleet • Mega-Federation Universal Fleet|