this article was thought of and created by StarSword
(covers information from several alternate timelines)
The Starfleet General Orders and Regulations provided a series of rules and guidelines by which Starfleet personnel were expected to comport themselves. These protocols covered most situations ranging from diplomacy to expected conduct in battle all the way down to how reports were to be filed.
General Order 1: The Prime Directive
- "No starship may interfere with the normal development of any alien life or society."
The Prime Directive, also known as the Non-Interference Directive, required Starfleet to respect the right of intelligent life to develop on its own, unless the likely harm resultant from not acting outweighed the harm from acting, or unless the situation directly affected Federation security. This was intended as a guideline rather than an unbreakable rule and warp-capable cultures were typically not subject to this directive under 23rd century judicial interpretation. By the mid-24th century the idea of the Prime Directive as a guideline had become perverted into an unflinching dogmatic adherence to the idea that any interference at all, even occasionally with other warp-capable cultures, was a violation. This interpretation had fallen out of favor by century's end.
General Order 24
GO24 was an order delivered to a starship or fleet, requiring the systematic destruction of all life and habitation on a given planet, by means of orbital bombardment. It could be given only by Starfleet Command with direct authentication from the President of the United Federation of Planets, or by subsequent officials in the presidential line of succession in the event that the President was dead or incapacitated.
In 2267 Captain James T. Kirk invoked GO24 towards Eminiar VII as part of an ultimatum to prevent the execution of his crew as part of the Eminiar-Vendikar War. As this was a bluff he neglected to mention that he did not actually have the authority to invoke it without Command approval. (TOS: "A Taste of Armageddon")
- "Before engaging alien species in battle, any and all attempts to make first contact and achieve nonmilitary resolution must be made."
In 2373 Captain Kathryn Janeway directly violated this regulation by not attempting to make peaceful contact with the Undine before engaging them in battle. This was among the charges brought against her during her 2409 court-martial.
Starfleet units are required to respond to all distress calls from parties not currently at war with the United Federation of Planets, and render assistance at the discretion of the commanding officer.
The commanding officer of a Starfleet unit is required to remove themselves from command, or be removed, if their current mission leaves them emotionally compromised and unable to make rational decisions.
In year 2258 of the alternate reality, Ambassador Spock suggested to Cadet James T. Kirk that he provoke Commander Spock, then-acting captain of the USS Enterprise, and force him to remove himself from command under this regulation. (Star Trek)
In year 2410 of the prime universe, Commander Tesjha Phohl, first officer of the USS Bajor, threatened to invoke this regulation on her CO, Captain Kanril Eleya, if she attempted to leave the bridge while the ship was in danger, after Kanril's on-again-off-again boyfriend, Commander Reshek Gaarra, was badly injured at the start of the crisis. Kanril stayed and Phohl withdrew the threat. (B&S: "Reality Is Fluid, Part II")
Starfleet personnel may not transmit classified data to, or provide any strategic or tactical assistance to, parties currently engaged in war against the United Federation of Planets. To knowingly do so is considered treason against the Federation, and penalties upon conviction by the Starfleet Judge Advocate General's Corps are as follows:
- summary dishonorable discharge from Starfleet;
- life in prison without possibility of parole.
A Starfleet commanding officer who attempts this crime is required to be immediately removed from command by any Starfleet member present, by any means necessary, and incarcerated in the nearest holding facility available until trial. To fail to do so is to be considered an accessory to their CO's act of treason, and penalties upon conviction are as follows:
- summary dishonorable discharge from Starfleet;
- up to 50 years in prison.
In late 2373 and early 2374 Captain Kathryn Janeway violated this regulation by allying with the Borg Collective against the Undine. After this was discovered by the crew of the USS Thy'lek Shran in 2409, she was dishonorably discharged and remanded to Facility 4028 for the remainder of her lifetime. All members of the USS Voyager command crew on the date in question were indicted as accessories for failing to remove Janeway from command. How Janeway escaped punishment for so long was still under investigation by early 2410, and commentators predicted that "many heads will roll before this is over."
This regulation covers fraternization between Starfleet members. Starfleet members may not engage in business or romantic relationships with superiors in their direct chain of command, inasmuch as this may be harmful to discipline and/or the functioning of the organization. Clause Beta prohibits officer/enlisted relationships, Clause Gamma covers relationships between one officer and another subordinate officer, and Clause Theta prohibits a commanding officer or other unit head from being in a relationship with any other member of their unit.
Anti-fraternization policies are common to nearly all codes of military law, but Starfleet's is notably looser than usual due to the dual nature of the service as both a military service and an exploratory and diplomatic service. Because Federation starships are often out for months or even years at a time between ports, it is practically inevitable for such relationships to form, and so R-1138 has been interpreted rather loosely by the Starfleet Judge Advocate General's Corps with the emphasis being on preventing only relationships verifiably harmful to the organization rather than any relationship at all. Overly familiar platonic relationships are also banned, but are generally overlooked for much the same reason. The regulation does not prohibit relationships between Starfleet personnel in different departments or specialties within the same unit, even in cases of rank difference, as the participants are not in the same direct chain of command.
In 2409 Captain Kanril Eleya, CO of the USS Bajor, became embroiled in a sexual relationship with her new operations officer, Lieutenant Commander Reshek Gaarra. They knew this violated R-1138θ and were also informed of this by Commander Tesjha Phohl, Kanril's XO. Phohl followed the above interpretation and told them she would only report the violation if their relationship threatened the Bajor. Ensign Kaitlyn McMillan and Lieutenant (jg) K'lak were also in violation of R-1138γ around the same time, but they convinced Kanril to overlook it on grounds that, as McMillan served as spotter to K'lak during away missions, their relationship actually improved ship functioning. (B&S: "The Cardassian and the Trill")