From rank titles to Starfleet operations to ships named Enterprise, Star Trek has been heavily inspired by Naval traditions. In celebration of this November as National Aircraft Carrier Month, we gathered together some of Trek’s finest in a tribute to the US Navy and the men and women who serve and to make sure that history never forgets the name Enterprise.
With a new real life aircraft carrier named USS Enterprise and a new Star Trek television series both in the pipeline, Trek and the Navy are both continuing its celebration of Naval traditions and visions for the future. What better time than now, during National Aircraft Carrier Month, to reflect on the role the Navy and its traditions have had on our favorite franchise.
Rod Roddenberry (son of Gene Roddenberry and Executive Producer of Star Trek: Discovery), Ronald D. Moore (writer/director The Next Generation and Deep Space Nine), Tim Russ (Tuvok from Voyager), and Scott Bakula (Captain Archer of the Enterprise NX-01 in Star Trek: Enterprise) each gave their unique perspectives on how the Navy has shaped Star Trek and the hope that one day, maybe one day soon, we will break our Earthly bonds and expand our exploration into the solar system and beyond.
History will never forget the name Enterprise
Stretching all the way back to 1775, before the United States was even a country, there have been eight US Naval ships named Enterprise. The ninth, the Gerald R. Ford-class aircraft carrier USS Enterprise (CVN-80), was announced in 2012 and is scheduled to start its oceanic voyage in 2025.
The British Navy had ships named HMS Enterprise as early as 1705, which can be seen in the opening credits of Star Trek: Enterprise.
The name itself has a long and storied tradition, but other naval cues have found their way into Trek lore. Other Starfleet ships (and space stations) have been named for naval vessels as recently as Star Trek Beyond‘s Starbase Yorktown. And, of course, the structure of Starfleet, right down to rank titles and procedures, are based on those of the United States Navy.
The Battlestar Galactica reboot, which was created writer/producer Trek vet Ronald D. Moore, looked to naval aviation in great detail to model the flight and operations of the show’s Viper spacecraft.
The fictional USS Discovery, scheduled to make its on screen debut in May of 2017 in Star Trek: Discovery, has namesakes in both the British and Canadian Navies and will no doubt continue to celebrate Star Trek’s naval heritage.
On this November 2016, we at TrekMovie want to wish the US Navy and the men and women who serve this country a very happy National Aircraft Carrier Month. Live long and prosper.
The finest nuclear wessels.
Star trek enterprises are peace ships, the us navy ships are warships. I wont celebrate the month of mourder machines.
Learn to spell, hippie
Funniest response I have read in some time. You missed the whole point of the article, didn’t you? And news flash; Star trek is SCIENCE FICTION.
Just bear in mind Cerri….. These are the same ships that protect your freedom to abstain from said celebration…..
How about celebrating the humanitarian disaster relief that’s part of their mission?
It’s thanks to those “murder machines” that there is peace in the world.
And were you dozing during all the battle scenes in Star Trek?
The fictional Enterprises were also used in wars, but at least it wasn’t their only purpose and when they killed people, it normally was, because they didn’t have any other choice.
I can’t say the same about real aircraft carriers. Their planes had brought death from the sky to tons of innocent humans. At most you can argue, that here and there they were a necessary evil, but is that enough to celebrate these war machines? I don’t think so.
It is really kind of sad, that countries still feel the need to spend billions on a warship. This says a lot about the world we are living in. A united, peaceful Earth like in Star Trek seems far, far away.
That was a joke, right?
They’re also rescue, recovery and humanitarian vessels. Witness the USS Ronald Reagan following the Fukushima incident.
Don’t get me wrong, I fully respect your opinion, however I do take exception to your use of the term murder. Granted, war is murder, sheer bloody murder, however the Carrier is a machine for, how should I put it, giving the adversary a challenging look in the hopes that they’ll back off and not provoke an incident.
Remember also the peacekeeping roles that these carriers (not just USN, but RN and the French Navy as well) in enforcing no-fly zones and rescuing migrants in the Mediterranean.
If you’re going to disrespect the US Navy, at least have the decency to do it while using proper grammar and spelling.
P.S. The Starships in Star Trek killed people too. So don’t kid yourself.
Well said Cerri
Perhaps you were unaware of the assistance the Ronald Reagan CVN-76 was called upon to help out the Japanese victims of the Fukushima disaster of 3/11/11. Or in 2010 to help out the victims of the Haitian earthquake. The list goes on and on….
Not to mention NCC-1701 was involved in countless battles of a warship type nature with many, many species.
Have you never seen “Balance of Terror”-which many rank as among the best of the TOS episodes.
In fact, it was 20 years ago to this day that ST: First Contact came out and the very first part of it saw the brand new spanking “E” at “BATTLE” with other Starfleet vessels against the Borg…….very much like a warship.
Yes they are weapons of war if need be- but they also have been used in humanitarian missions countless numbers of times. Perhaps before you post you might want to delve a little deeper into the history of both
the carriers and starfleet ships before you post.
Thanks to those carriers no country would dare to attack us! They wiped out Japan in ww2 & kept our freedom. Only a complete Jackass would think otherwise.
Cerri, that’s a rather ignorant statement considering the many times that Star Fleet ships have been engaged in combat operations in just about every series and movie. Imagine history if the U.S. Navy had not had aircraft carriers from WWII to present day. History proves that the carrier has not only provided both and offensive and defensive capability to the nation, but there are many times that carrier task forces have been involved in humanitarian missions to save lives. The U.S. Navy has saved many lives. Just what in the hell is a “mourder” machine? My appreciation to the U.S. Navy and this website for recognizing the importance of Naval Aviation and carrier operations.
Carrier Task Forces have provided for many humanitarian relief missions all over the world. Without the U.S. Navy and its carriers, our nation would have a difficult time defending our freedoms and those of our allies. The carrier has a long and distinguished service record in both peacetime and in conflict. It is unfair to label them as some thing bad when millions of dedicated men and women have served honorably on these great ships to protect and serve the nation.
Speak softly and carry a big stick.
I’d give real money if she’d shut up
*shrug* After serving in my Navy, seeing the world and how other nations typically ‘operate’… my reasons to care about the rest of the planet don’t even register on my GA*ometer anymore… (as for Murder Boat? or was that =Murder Board=? Cause going for that EP every year at Eval Time, always was murder come the ranking boards…)
Sounds like you need to find your safe space little snowflake.
Peace through superior personnel and firepower
With respect to everyonce opinion on the subject, Aircraft Carriers are more then just machines, it’s not just about the ships, it’s also about the men and women who serve onboard them, whatever views every one has on war, and i’m against war my self, but understand that some times it is needed, atleast respect the men and Women, who risk there lives to not just serve the US Nation, but also help protect many other countrys around the world…. and ignore my grammer, my english sucks…
Carriers help keep this country safe from any threat from hostiles .they are important .
The carriers are a important part of keeping our freedom for this country safe .
Saluting those who have served and will serve on the Navy’s finest aircraft carrier. The Big E will live again!
For a complete and systematic appreciation/mapping of Star Trek’s naval heritage please consider reading this article:
Rabitsch, S. (2016). “And yet, everything we do is usually based on the English”: Sailing the mare incognitum of Star Trek’s transatlantic double consciousness with Horatio Hornblower. Science Fiction Film & Television, 9.3, 439-472.
Also, soon to be out with McFarland (spring 2017): Rabitsch, S. (2017). STAR TREK’S SECRET BRITISH HISTORY: Setting sail in space with Horatio Hornblower, RN
you know if you build a police car. it will be put to service the community. but a air craft carrier? when has it been put to use other than a war? so is United States planning a war? or celebrating the “coming” war with this???? ya. sound like steve bannon’s national Marxist doctrine is set to spread it’s propaganda across America starting with the military.
Very often. I posted a link below which shows some of the non-combat uses to which our naval forces have been out. And a simple web search should provide a number of others.
Three years ago my wife and I drove our daughter from Florida to Norfolk to meet her husband coming ashore after a long deployment. He caught a ride from the Mediterranean on the Enterprise CVN65 on it’s final voyage home to be decommissioned. It was quite moving to be there. We will have to wait until 2025 for the new USS Enterprise (no, not bloody A) CVN80 to enter active service. And who knows? Maybe Captain James Kirk of the destroyer USS Zumwalt will get promoted to the big chair.
We desperately need some movie or series news around here…lol
Yeah it’s the peaceship that can implement General Order 24!
I’m glad to hear another Enterprise is joining our great Navy.
Something to consider… https://www.pomsmeetings.org/confpapers/025/025-1164.pdf
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
HMS Enterprise, the tenth ship to bear this name, is a multi-role survey vessel – hydrographic oceanographic (SVHO) of the Royal Navy. She has a sister ship, HMS Echo, and together they make up the Echo class of survey vessels.
I hate to prick the balloons of you Yankee Trek fans but Roddenberry wrote and said
that April/Pike/Kirk were based on Horatio Hornblower a fictional ROYAL NAVY Captain.
Starfleet as a mainly exploration entity is more based on the Royal Navy of the 17th to 19th Centuries. That’s why they have Commodores NOT this Rear Admiral Lower Half nonsense as written in fan publications, particularly rank insignia pages I see on the web.
There is much much more to go on, the information is out there, you staff at Trekmovie really are piss-poor journalists.
I read somewhere (I think it was in “The Making of Star Trek”) that Roddenberry had the concept of the 18th century Navy (and that would be British, French, and Dutch Navies)in mind, for his story. With giant global empires, they only had the water connection, for delivering news, mail, V.I.P.s, important supplies, exploring/surveying/assaying parties, etc… the warships also performed these services. They weren’t just out shooting broadsides 24/7. Master and Commander would make an excellent ST movie, capturing exactly what Roddenberry had in mind. The Name Enterprise, (along with Yorktown and Lexington; was there also a Hornet?) are obvious references to the early WWII U.S. Carriers in the Pacific Fleet at the start of WWII, a mainly Naval/island-hopping war in the Pacific Theater. The Enterprise CV-6 was the last Carrier in-Theater (others being sunk by IJN) before the Essex Class Carriers came on-line. The show was pitched in the early sixties with millions of vets in the audience who would be very familiar with these names.I guess it was thought it would lend “majesty and gravitas” to the starships on the T.V.screen. If names like Twinkie, Ho-Ho, and Ding-Dong were used…not so much.
How is November almost over and I’m just now hearing about this?!?!!? Facebook has definitely failed me by not letting me know about any of the posts our fine US Navy has made. My work has failed me by not even mentioning this. Embarrassing. Aircraft carriers are an amazing piece of machinery. They should have a whole month devoted to them.
Oh, and Go Navy, Beat Army. ;-)
I think it it’s across the bay, in Alameda.
Lol.. it seems I hit a nerve on some ppl. You guys talk about your country freedon, well, I am not from US, I dont live on US and I am not from a ally or enemey country of the US. Lucky for me, my country has freedom, but it does not need to invade other countris to maintain it. In fact, the time we loss our freedom was in the 70s when the US goverment impouse a disctatorship.
Carriers are tools, it can be use for defense, to help others, but your goberment also use them to destroy, to kill inocent people all over the world, and to impuse US doctrines, and US corporation doctrines.
Beacose I guess bombing Iraq helped your country freedom.. or Vietnam..
The last time my country invade another one was on the 19th century, and we are free.. yes, we are a 3erd world country, we bearly have an army, our navy is a joke, but I can go to sleep knowing that we didnt kill inocent children just beacose we needed oil.
Star Trek may have fallow a navy tradition, lucky for the show it didnt fallow the US goberment tradition.
And yes, my english is bad.. I learn it waching star trek, lol..
While I understand and respect your point of view in this matter, it is a point of view that is narrow in its scope. You are looking at things through the eyes of a (self-admitted) 3rd world country. Many of us have the advantage/disadvantage of seeing these events from a world view. There is so much more going on in the world than you could possibly realize. What you see on the news is not necessarily what is going on in the world. You only have a small glimpse. I, on the other hand, have seen what war can do, and it has, unfortunately, both positive and negative effects. While you claim we “kill and murder” innocent people, believe me when I tell you, it is not our aim, or our goal, to take the lives of the innocent. We are not the warmonger murderers you seem to think we are. Anyone who believes that does not fully understand the complexities of war. I served my country with distinction and pride, and while I find your comments both offensive and vulgar, I will respect your opinion. Star Trek “teaches” tolerance, and of in fact you fully grasped the concept of Star Trek, you would know that.
You know what 3rd World Country actually means? Thouse are the countrys that are were not with US or the USSR during the Cold War.
Many ppl assosiates that to poor and undevelop country and belive me, mine is not rich but we are not undevelop: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Least_Developed_Countries
We are a South American country, but conrary to the imagine that some ppl have, SA is not a big jungle with drug lords evrywhere.
When I refer to Third World I said that we are neutral, we have exelent relations with US, Rusia, China, hell.. we get along with Israel and Palestine.
When you said I dont know the world, I can only lol.. I have travel to so many places, in and out my continet. 100% of my country has fiber optic and evreyone resives a free PC in the school, so we are pretty much connect with the world you know? We dont live in caves..
Now you said you serve your contry and I dont blame you, or any soldier, but the ones that makes the orders, for god sake, US invaded IRAQ thinking that they had nuclear weapons!! And Iraq is still suffering that!! And I wont defend Saddam, but invading clearly was not the solution! And I can said the same about Syria, Libya, and all thouse countys that has been invaded or affected by terrible US goberment intervations.
Well, US even created the Talibans!! And I have to celebrate the carriers that kills inocent ppl by “mistake” when they try to kill the Talibans?? I wont, sorry..
Thanks for your service, PTFPETE! I appreciate your sentiments here, too. LLAP.
I suggest you brush up on your own history before blasting the United States for what was perpetrated by your own countryman in your country in the 1970s.
You cannot intelligently argue that just because you had a despot does not mean that the United States installed him there.
As for the murder of innocents… I sleep quite well knowing that our military does their absolutely best job in trying to free others from tyranny. I know, because I served, that our military is not composed of the fringe elements that you and your state media so conveniently focus on and ignore everything else that my brothers and sisters in arms do on an ongoing basis. When PTFPETE said that you have a very narrow scope and vision of what goes on outside of Uruguay, he was right. You know what you’re told. The rest of us have seen what goes on in the dark places in the work. The rest of us know that those we fight against surround themselves with innocent women and children so that they can continue to drive public opinion against the US military and it’s allies.
But again, you’ll believe what you will believe. You will continue to think that you can have freedom without the need to protect that freedom. It is your right to remain ignorant. But if you’re going to enter a public forum and spew your ignorance, be prepared to get some negative feedback.
All the best from a US Military Veteran (or rather in your mind, murderer of innocents). I wish you peace.
The one thing that always got under my skin on ST: Enterprise was their lack of acknowledging the 200+ years of USS Enterprise naval vessels, all of which have served this nation well, and hopefully will continue to do so.
As to the comments below by Cerri and others, have you all forgotten how many battles and wars the starships in your sci-fi series have participated in, and how many lives were taken at their hands? And the make-believe weapons on your fairy-tale ships are far more deadly than anything in real life. So come back to reality. I’m thankful for these ships and all who serve on them and provide us the freedoms we have. If not for these ships in WWII, especially the Enterprise at Midway, our country could possibly be split between Japan and Germany. No sir(s)/maam(s), I’m thankful for these ships.
At the risk of being picky, thats “Royal Navy” not “British Navy”. I dunno. You yanks.. :-P
You know, for an iconic series who’s main characters are losely based upon Horatio Hornblower and his adventures in Her Majesty’s Royal Navy you’d think we’d get that right more often :D
Indeed. Plus “Number One” being a term used in the Royal Navy. That’s why I liked RDM’s BSG a lot. There was Royal as well as US Navy stuff. Hence “Action Stations” instead of “General Quarters” or “Red Alert”
Fortunately, they stopped short of having Galactica’s launch tubes have a ski jump at the end. ;)
National Aircraft Carrier Month is a thing?
To all the Navy vets (Her Majesty’s or otherwise) be they skimmers or tubers, but especially the skimmers and especially of the Nimitz Class: Thank you for your service. You’d be surprised how little that gets said.
Peace thru superior training and firepower