- "Admiral, this is an almost totally new Enterprise. You don't know her a tenth as well as I do!"
"That's why you're staying aboard."
- —Willard Decker and James T. Kirk, 2270s[src]
Willard Decker (known familiarly as Will), was a Human Starfleet officer. He was the son of Starfleet Commodore Matthew Decker and his wife Jane. (TOS comic: "Who's Who in Star Trek, Issue 1", TOS episode: "The Doomsday Machine")
Decker was known for being a romanticist but still "well-disciplined" and "well-groomed'. He liked to write poetry. At Starfleet Academy, he has relationships with several female cadets. (TOS comic: "Who's Who in Star Trek, Issue 1")
Early in his career, Lieutenant Commander Decker was stationed on Delta IV, serving under Commander Spock, where he had a romantic relationship with the Deltan Ilia; the couple met due to his ballads and poems. (FASA RPG module: Star Trek IV Sourcebook Update) The relationship came to an end when Decker departed Delta IV without saying goodbye. (TOS movie: Star Trek: The Motion Picture)
- The timeline in Star Trek IV Sourcebook Update gives Decker's posting to Delta IV as 2267 when he held the rank of lieutenant commander.
As of 2266, Decker held the rank of commander, and was stationed to Starbase 6, where he served as adjunct to Admiral Borck. Following this assignment, he was offered the first officer position of a starship. (TOS - The Brave and the Bold, Book One novella: The First Artifact)
- The novel states only that Decker's transfer was expected in the near future; however, given what's known of Decker's career path, it's probably safe to assume this offered assignment did in fact happen as planned. The script "In Thy Image", which later became the story for The Motion Picture, states that Will was first officer of the USS Boston.
Decker did worry, and became depressed, over being the son of "the 'mad Commodore'" and how that would affect his career. He worked with the crew of the Enterprise to free the Talosian people from a Klingon invasion, ending the depression and starting a friendship between Kirk and Decker. TOS comic: "Who's Who in Star Trek, Issue 1"
Following the end of the USS Enterprise's historic five-year mission in 2270, Decker, then a Captain, was given command of the ship. The ship was decommissioned for the upcoming refit and Decker commanded it on an intergalactic tour until the start of the refit. He also oversaw the eighteen-month refit. (TOS comic: "The Final Voyage"; FASA RPG module: Star Trek IV Sourcebook Update, TOS comic: "Who's Who in Star Trek, Issue 1") During the refit, Decker personally recruited his entire crew, making the crew the most diverse of species ever seen aboard a starship up until that point. While doing so, Decker personally recruited Nyota Uhura to help him with recruiting many of the nonhuman members of the crew. According to Hikaru Sulu, Decker was even considering making Uhura his executive officer. (TOS novel: Ex Machina)
As the Enterprise neared the completion of her overhaul in 2273, the entity V'Ger was approaching Earth. The then Admiral James T. Kirk returned to the Enterprise and took command of the ship, temporarily demoting Decker to commander and first officer. Decker resented Kirk using the emergency to retake the Enterprise and didn't believe Kirk, unfamiliar with the vastly redesigned Enterprise, was the right man to be in charge.
Decker's suspicions turned out to be true at first when the Enterprise accidentally entered a wormhole at warp speed and was almost destroyed when Kirk ordered use of the phasers (now with power channeled from the warp engines) to escape. Fortunately Decker was able to prevent this and Enterprise escaped using photon torpedoes.
This voyage of the Enterprise also saw Decker reunited with Ilia. Unfortunately it was all too short a reunion, as shortly after Ilia was digitized by V'Ger. V'Ger later replaced Ilia with its own probe in her form. The Ilia probe not only mimicked her appearance but also had Ilia's memories. Decker's previous relationship with Ilia was subsequently key to understanding V'Ger and establishing first contact. Two of his best audio/visual re-association techniques (with help from Doctors Leonard McCoy and Christine Chapel) were playing a game she almost always won on the recreation deck. The other was an ornamental headpiece Ilia wore when they first met on Delta.
As V'Ger approached Earth it demanded to meet its creator or destroy the planet. Decker and the probe Ilia joined an away team to the heart of V'Ger where they discovered its true origins: an old Earth space probe, Voyager VI. V'Ger was hoping to evolve by merging with its creator. Having lost his love and his ship, Decker volunteered and joined with V'Ger becoming a glowing entity: a new non-corporeal lifeform. Following the incident Kirk officially listed Decker as "missing in action". (TOS movie: Star Trek: The Motion Picture)
Later, in a conversation with Sulu, Uhura described Decker as a "real renaissance man and a man of great imagination." She said Decker, while having big ideas and working hard to make them become real, never lost sight of the people who worked under him. Uhura said that Decker was the kind of commander who really would bond with his crew and treat them like family. Uhura believed Decker would have been a very good captain, if fate hadn't taken him elsewhere. (TOS novel: Ex Machina)
Decker's Service RecordEdit
|location||assignment||dates||rank or rate||assignment insignia||rank insignia|
|Delta IV||prior to 2266||lieutenant commander|
|Starbase 6||adjunct to Admiral Borck||2266||commander|
|USS Enterprise||commanding officer||2270-2273||captain|
|executive officer||2273||commander (temporary grade reduction)|
|Starbase 6 personnel|
|Baines • Benthoven • Borck • Willard Decker • Enwright|
|USS Enterprise (NCC-1701) senior staff|
|commanding officers||C. Rasmussen • R. April • Pike • D. Vlasidovich • J.T. Kirk • Zarlo • Styles • Decker • Spock||first officers||G.S. Kirk • Shundresh • Simon • Number One • Spock • Sonak • Decker • Sulu|| |
|second officers||Mohindas • Spock • G. Mitchell • Scott||chief medical officers||S. April • Boyce • McCoy|
|chief engineers||Brownell • Kursley • Fourrier • Pitcairn • Grace • Barry • Burnstein • Scott||security chiefs||Tuval • Hardin • Giotto • Tomson • Chekov • Matlock • Richardson|
|science officers||Allinsky • Davies • Spock • Sonak • Decker||communications officers||Van Fleet • Dabisch • Garrison • Nano • Uhura|
|helmsmen||Florida • Ferrara • Mohindas • G. Mitchell • Sulu||navigators||Tyler • Kelso • Chekov • Ilia • DiFalco|
|see also: administrative personnel • communications personnel • engineering personnel • medical personnel • pilots & flight control personnel • security & tactical personnel • sciences personnel • unnamed|