Memory Alpha
Crewman insignia
First class. Second class. Third class.
Earth Starfleet (1st, 2nd, 3rd class)
2280s crewman.
Starfleet, 2270s-2350s
Provisional enlisted insignia.
Provisional crewman insignia worn by Maquis aboard USS Voyager

Crewman (also known as ables'man or able crewman) is an enlisted naval rate, a type of military rank used by the service organizations of different cultures. This title is the lowest enlisted rank, subordinate to a petty officer. In comparison to infantry ranking systems, this rank is approximately equivalent to the grade of private. In Klingonese, this rank is referred to as bekk.

In Starfleet, a "crewman" can refer to either a person who holds the actual rank or simply any person who is assigned to an organization or starship. The grade of crewman may further be divided into several "classes", such as "crewman first class", "crewman second class", etc. (TOS: „The Man Trap”)

Civilian merchant ships also used the rank of "able crewman." After his less-than-impressive dealings with the Nausicaans in 2151, First officer Matthew Ryan of the freighter Szablon:ECS was demoted to able crewman in order to have to earn back Captain Keene's trust. (ENT: „Fortunate Son”)

Crewman first class
  • In 2367, Simon Tarses identified himself as a crewman, first class. (TNG: „The Drumhead”)
Crewman second class
Crewman third class
  • Although this rank has never been mentioned, three grades of crewman insignia were in use in the Earth Starfleet. This lowest grade was never mentioned by name, but the insignia was worn by Daniels, Cunningham, and others.


Background information[]

Although Star Trek has often been ambivalent about enlisted ranks and insignia, there have been mentions of the term "crewman" since TOS: „The Man Trap”, although it is continuously impossible to tell who this rank was bestowed upon, since both crewman and ensigns (as well as chief petty officers) had no visible rank insignia.


Robert Fletcher's original costume notes

In the Star Trek movies, costume designers created insignia for chiefs and petty officers and even crewmen. In particular, Robert Fletcher's Star Trek II: Gniew Khana uniforms had an entire series of enlisted rank insignia. Some of these were reproduced (albeit incorrectly) in the Star Trek Encyclopedia. This is the origin of the "ables'man" term which has not been used elsewhere in Star Trek.

Fletcher's original costume notes actually referred to the rank of crewman as "able seaman", a term which has been used nowhere else in Star Trek with most sources referring to the pin designed by Fletcher simply as "crewman".

By TNG: „The Drumhead”, it was established in dialog that Simon Tarses was an enlisted crewman who had not gone to the Academy; he had a blank collar. This lack of rank insignia for crewmen and noncoms was used throughout Deep Space Nine and Voyager, although chief petty officers were assigned different insignia.

Several rank insignia were sold off on the It's A Wrap! sale and auction on eBay, including a crewman second class patch. [1]