Remembering Star Trek’s Military Moments

Today is Memorial Day, which is the day the US sets aside to reflect on the sacrifices of those who wore the uniform to protect their nation. Although at its heart Star Trek has been a show about exploration, it also has many elements of the military and so on this Memorial Day we reflect on Star Trek and the military.


To celebrate the fun that Star Trek brings to those who do a very serious duty, here is a list of some of the best military themed moments in Star Trek history.

Air Force Captain John Christopher visits the USS Enterprise NCC-1701
Tomorrow is Yesterday" (TOS)

Uhura and Chekov visit the USS Enterprise CVN-65
Trek IV: The Voyage Home

Roga Danar and his fellow ‘prisoner’ soldiers
…an allegory to Vietnam Vets re-integrating into society
"The Hunted" (TNG)

US Army Air Corps Nurse Faith Garland helps Quark and family
"Little Green Men" (DS9)

Janeway resets the Nakan War Monument
…so people will never forget
"Memorial" (VOY)

Major Hayes and the MACOs join crew of Enterprise NX-01
Full military characters join the crew, they showed bravery and sacrifice
Xindi arc (ENT)

Trek and the military
Star Trek
has many connections to the real military. Despite the insistence that Starfleet is not a military organization, much of the language of Star Trek is from the Navy. This is by no accident as many of those involved with Star Trek from the beginning were veterans, including Gene Roddenberry, Mark Lenard, DeForest Kelley, Leonard Nimoy, Robert Justman, Matt Jeffries, Harlan Ellison, and James Doohan.

Many of those in the military are fans of Star Trek, as shown by the close relationship between the actors of Star Trek Enterprise and the real U.S.S. Enterprise. Sailors of the Year were given walk on roles in the "First Flight" episode, and the US Navy presented an American Flag to the cast and crew, as a symbol of "gratitude for all the support and encouragement the cast, crew, and actors of Enterprise have given the Sailors of the aircraft carrier."  In 1995, a U.S. Navy press release described how "Hundreds of "Star Trek" fans, along with many of the actors and film makers who brought the show to life, visited Sailors aboard USS Enterprise (CVN 65) as part of a "Star Trek" convention held Oct. 28 to 30 in Norfolk."

Star Trek videos made for the military

Scott Bakula welcomes home CVN 65 USS Enterprise

Star Trek TNG Air Force PSAs about education


The staff sends it best wishes and appreciation to the men and women who serve their nation. Fans wishing to show support for the military can visit the USO website

Of course, Memorial Day is an American Holiday so in advance we wish those men and women around the world our best wishes on Remembrance Sunday, Anzac Day, Armistice Day and all your days of remembrance.

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Nuclear Wessel!!!

A very worthy tribute indeed and as an Australian it was nice to see Anzac Day mentioned which is as significant a date to all Australians as Memorial Day is to all Americans!

I loved the “Tomorrow is Yesterday” (TOS),,
Ive always thought it was one of the better ,,”Back in Time” Trek storys.

20th Century earth must of been a cool place,,their always going back there,!

and hey,, a big Gratz to N.A.S.A ,,, cheers to all the people who helped get the Phoenix Lander to Mars today !

I didnt know those guys had any military service,,I knew of James Doohan of course.

Does anyone out there have any info on that ?

Im interested in knowing abit more,,

:o )

Dear SirMartman,

This is the information utilized for the article

US Marines
Gene L. Coon

US Army
Leonard Nimoy
DeForest Kelley
Mark Lenard
Harlan Ellison
Gene Roddenberry
Matt Jeffries

US Navy
Robert Justman

James Doohan was in the Canadian Army. It is his WW II service that lead to him losing his finger, something that was not shows often to the fans during Star Trek, yet is obvious in Star Trek V: The Final Frontier. I remember him telling the story about this at a convention. It was amazing and he was a real hero during D Day and WWII.

In his biography, William Shatner tells the story of how a veteran told him how he and his fellow POWs would imagine stories from Star Trek to endure. It shows how the reel helps the real.

Most of the biographies of the Star Trek cast and crew discuss their experiences with the military.

Is that a Nakan War Memorial on the horizon or are you just happy to see me?

I have experienced many real ife events in the US Navy that reminded me of Star Trek. While I was Tactical Action Officer on watch on the USS Howard we tested a new computer system where we turned over control of the ship to a computer to hunt a find a submarine during a battle problem. Many of us on watch were ST fans so we called it the M5. The whole watch was filled with references to Ultimate Computer. I called myself “Capt Dunsel” and we teased the lead engineer by calling him Dr Daystrom. Luckily the computer program did not work well…there are somethings men must do to remain men..I knew that if the computer program went crazy all I would have to do is talk to it to make it feel remorse, or there is always the old compute pi to the last digit trick! r/ LCDR Chandler Archibald,US Navy

Being in the navy my self we would all sit in our berthing space and watch star trek and the next generation. I was on board the U.S.S INGERSOLL a spruince class destroyer from dec 89 to sept 93 and in those years a lot of us loved star trek and watchd it all the time. We would have our families send us new epsiodes of tng so we could keep up and it was on the ingersoll we saw the best of both worlds and we went crazy having to wait for the second part. We would pretend to be drones and saying to each other that resestence is futile when it came to getting up at 430 a,m. So to all of those who have served and who are serving we all salute you and wish you warp speed in getting home safe. May all who serve in the military live long and prosper.

“Military moments”? – the mise en scène of entire franchise is military ferchrissakes –

Those were the draft days, though, so military service was a more common thing to see in a man’s background, wasn’t it?

I must point this out for the movie The Voyage Home, that carrier was not the U.S.S. Enterprise CVN-65. the real Enterprise was out to sea and at that time was stationed in Alameda. The carrier in the picture was the U.S.S. Ranger CV-61 stationed at North Island Coranado in San Diego dressed up to be the Enterprise.

I will have to say as an eight year U.S. Army vet, I found “The Hunted” to be one of the worst episodes in Trek history and patently offensive. The writer clearly had zero understanding of the Armed Services, was lazy and simply fell back on every tired cliche’ of the “crazed” Vietnam vet (e.g., the government turned them into killers, they can’t adjust to civilian life, etc.).

I served with dozens of Vietnam vets who were still in the Army nearly 20 years later… none of them were crazed or deranged or had problems adjusting to life after their service overseas. Before I joined the military my next door neighbor and neighbor directly across the street were both Vietnam vets, both of them were two of the kindest, caring people I’ve ever known, who also managed to raise well adjusted kids too.

At our local VFW MANY of the vets are from Vietnam, and they are simply a great bunch of guys…. and a couple of women too.


Thanks for your service, Yancy!

A memorial to all those who have died in Sci-Fi series:

The Crew of the Enterprise – C
Those involved in the Romulan Wars
Those involved in the Dominion Wars
-the Battle of Chin’Toka
All those on both Death Stars and the Super Star Destroyer Executor
Unfortunately NOT Jar Jar Binks
Qui Gon Jin
Obi Wan Kenobi
Other weird-named invididuals
Anakin Skywalker “died” to become Darth Vader, so says Kenobi
Again, not Jar Jar
Padme Amidala Skywalker
Admiral Kathryn Janeway (Engames)
The Enterprise – D
Many Gungans, but sadly… not Jar Jar
James T. Kirk
Tasha Yar (by a tar monster? wtf?)
Kahn Noonien Singh will be missed dearly
Red 6
Green Leader
Red Fox
Stormtrooper #87
Stormtrooper #94 (they were such a cute couple)
The Rancor
Jabba the Hutt
Klingon #9
Chancellor Gowron
Will someone kill him already?
Darth Maul (I liked his face)
Lt. Hawk
Almost R2-D2 on multiple occasions
Clone Trooper #1,771,561

Memorial Day is not a celebration of militarism. It is recognition for the victims of militarism. Hence the word “memorial”.


I read that in some fan-fiction, Jar-Jar was sent by the Empire to some horrible planet to work on for the rest of his life.
(And he may have been a bit annoying, but I don’t think he was that bad)

I don’t advocate torture under any conditions, but for Jar Jar. . . (Lucas pandering to five year olds–started with the Ewoks).

Hey James –

Actually it’s a recognition of fallen military combatants.

There is no official recognition of the civilians who die. You know, the ones that by far suffer the most casualties and death from war.

Thanks Redjac

As a U.S. Army vet and Legionnaire, I salute and remember all of those, of every branch, who came before, and followed after, but gave the ultimate sacrifice of themselves in the course of securing liberty for this nation.

Here’s to the wisdom won by soldiers, that it may one day lead us away from warfare.

#21 Well said.
#14, too!

“I salute and remember all of those, of every branch, who came before, and followed after, but gave the ultimate sacrifice of themselves in the course of securing liberty for this nation.”

I second that!

Somehow I can not picture Harlan Ellison in the Army. What a tour of duty that must’ve been.

#23, TYVM.

Yancy, Arch, Capt. Mike – here’s to the good folk that put on the uniform with us, and met The Good Lord still wearing it.

Ah, I forgot to mention this in 14:

My grandfather was in the Navy. It’s something that I hold dear to me, now that he’s gone. He served on a ship who’s name is familiar to us all. A ship that has served proudly throughout the ages, no matter the class or construction. A ship that will take us far beyond the stars, to strange new worlds, seeking out new life and new civilizations.

Take a guess…

The Enterprise.

My grandfather was a colonel under Patton in North Africa, my dad served in the Air Force in the early-mid 60s, my step dad served for 20 years, starting in Vietnam. So I am personally grateful those who have served to protect freedom and defeat tyranny worlwide. They deserve our highest respect and honor.

I like the “welcome hope” from one Enterprise crew to another found above. It was tasteful and to the point.

I also would like to salute the military men and women, current duty and past, for the work you do to ensure your nation’s freedoms. Thank You.
* * * * * * * * * * * * * *

Memorial Day (US) provides us a holiday to recall and acknowledge the sacrifice and passing of those we hold dear, especially in the armed services. While I doubt it was posted to mock the day and the people we remember, I find #14 post in poor taste.

In my opinion.

Maybe #14 is a bit in poor taste, but this is, after all, a Trek site, not the a memorial in D.C.


I did not mean for it to be in poor taste. My family has a history of military service. I myself am considering the Navy, just as my grandfather did when he served aboard the Enterprise (CV-6) during World War II. I admit, it was tactless, and for those I offended, I am sorry.

As many of you I serve in the US Navy and currently stationed at Camp Eggers, which is in Kabul, Afghanistan. In my 14 yrs. in the Navy I have found hundreds of TREK fans.

I feel honored so many people have taken the time to remember us. TREK also, in my opinion, has done a great job paying homage to the folks in the military.

On a related note, I like the NEXT GEN episode “The Hunted” very much, although it strikes a bit too close to home (IMHO). Question regarding this episode: Have any of you read Timothy Zahn’s short story “When Johnny Comes Marching Home?” This episode reminds me of Zahn’s tale.

As a combat veteran US Marine, Memorial Day is a day to reflect upon those who have fallen in service to the people of The United States of America. These days, American and British Marines and Soldiers face the constant danger of falling in service to their nations, yet they never stop volunteering. They do not protest, nor do they question their purpose. Memorial Day is but one of 365 days a year that every American citizen should pay their respects to those who do not return, or failed to return in the past. It seems that for some, this holiday has turned into an excuse to go to a waterpark or just to get drunk and barbecue on a Monday. For me, it is a day of reflection, personal rememberance, and pride in my fallen comrades and those of my father, my father’s father, and so on.

Semper Fidelis.

I wish to remember my father, a navy veteran, who died suddenly and unexpectedly in his sleep Memorial Day observed, Monday, May 26 2008. His 72 birthday would have been on June 10.

Joe Yakubaskas was the last of his kind, a man’s man of the old school. I suppose he knew his time was up because he seemed to tidy all the loose ends last week. My final memory of dad was how much joy he felt playing with his grandson Joey, named after him.

Dad never saw combat, although he was manning a canon (yes, the kind that goes Boom!) on USS Independence during the Missile Crisis. He and his shipmates saw the Russian trawler and submarine made famous in the movies and documentaries. They were prepared to “go nuclear” and annihilate the world if necessary. He thanked God it did not come to that. The civilians, including his financee (my mother) did not learn the truth for a very long while afterward.

Ironically, the last thing we know that Dad did was post to one of his favorite message boards, the KC BBQ board, on how he hoped everyone might bow their heads at 3PM local time in rememberance of them that died in service to their country. He was too humble to include himself in that group, of whom he stood in awe. (He often told of a Master Chief, survivor of three sinkings during WWII, who lived out his years in the Service. Whenever “Victory at Sea” would be played in the rec room, this grissled, sea-encrusted, tough-as-shoe-leather old Chief would break down and bawl like a baby.)

God bless my father and God bless those that never came home from their final battle.

Joe Jr – grateful son of a great man.

#33–Condolences for the loss of your father. Mine died just two days before—an Air Force vet from the Korean War era. Sadly, he died after a long fight in the hospital, but a good hard fight it was.

30. That One Guy – May 27, 2008
…and for those I offended, I am sorry.”

Apology accepted…. it’s time to move on.

I’m completing my 21st year in the Army National Guard. When deployed to Iraq in 2005 my wife would record episodes of “Enterprise” and burn them onto DVDs to mail to me.

There were quite a few ST fans deployed with me. Word would get out that I picked up a package from home and I would start getting knocks on the door later asking if I had any new ST episodes to share.

Episodes of “Lost” recorded by my wife were also in hot demand.

#36—I recall a deployment to Bosnia in the mid-90’s in which we also received recorded episodes of various tv shows. That is a big part of morale maintenance among our deployed forces. Unfortunately, I was a Marine serving aboard the USS Trenton, and alone in my Trek fandom. I settled for “Seinfeld” and “The X-Files”, among others.

James Doohan took about 8 machine-gun bullets on Juno Beach on D-Day. When he’d recovered from his injuries, he learned to fly and went on Air Observation sorties.
He tells the whole story in his book ‘Beam me up Scotty’

I have been in the Army since 1987. I got out for a few years but came back in Dec. 2003. During my tour of Iraq in 2005 I got to emailing with David Mack as I had rediscovered ST and fell in love with it again. During the year I got every season of every series on DVD, and just was and am crazy about DS9. But one of the nicest things anyone has done was when Mr. Mack named a charcter after me in hod DS9 novel “Warpath.” To this day my ST friends call me Sir, even though in real life I am an NCO. But back in Baghdad (I volunteered to come back and am doing two years here) I have all my Trek and…what a great escape.

Be safe everyone.

I’m a 20 year retired Navy vet, and while I wasn’t fortunate enough to serve on the USS Enterprise CVN-65, but I did serve on 3 other carriers,(USS Abraham Lincoln CVN-72, USS Eisenhower CVN-69, USS Forrestal CVA-59. I’m starting to miss it after 3 years of civilian life, ha ha. I also think there’s alot of similarities between today’s Navy and the fictional Starlfleet of the 23rd century. Someone mentioned TOS episode “Tommorrow is Yesterday” as being one of the better episodes-well I second that as one of my favorites!