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"Crewman, you are demonstrating rank insubordination."
"A crewman's right ends where the safety of the ship begins."

Crewman was an enlisted rank of often limited responsibility or entry level duties, used by service organizations in various cultures, including Starfleet. In Klingonese, this rank was comparable to the rank of bekk in the Klingon Defense Force. (DS9: "Sons and Daughters")

The term "crewman" or "crew person" was also used as a generic term (regardless of rank) to refer to any member of a crew, as was the case of Vina, an individual who was listed on the SS Columbia expedition as "an adult crewman" in 2236. (TOS: "The Cage") This was especially true of numerous Starfleet crewmen, who, regardless of rank, officers and enlisted personnel alike were referred to as "crewman". (TOS: "Catspaw"; VOY: "Equinox, Part II"; et al.) Captain James T. Kirk referred to Yeoman Teresa Ross as a "crewwoman" when discouraging Trelane's attentions towards her. (TOS: "The Squire of Gothos")

In both the 22nd century Earth Starfleet and the later 24th century Federation equivalent, the rank of crewman was further broken down into several classes: crewman, 1st class; crewman, 2nd class; and crewman, 3rd class. (ENT: "Shuttlepod One"; TNG: "The Drumhead") During the late 23rd century, a Starfleet crewman may have also been rated as an able seaman. (Star Trek II: The Wrath of KhanStar Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country)

Crewman, 2nd class, was the only class mentioned in dialogue in Star Trek: Enterprise, though insignia representing the three classes were seen on Cutler (1st class) and Michael Rostov (2nd class) in "Strange New World", and Daniels (3rd class) in "Cold Front".

In addition, the similar rating of able crewman was used during the 22nd century aboard Earth Cargo Service merchant ships, such as those operating under the Earth Cargo Authority. After his less-than-impressive dealings with the Nausicaans in 2151, First Officer Matthew Ryan of the freighter ECS Fortunate was demoted to able crewman in order to have to earn back Captain Keene's trust. (ENT: "Fortunate Son")

In 2151, Commander Trip Tucker threatened Lieutenant Malcolm Reed that he was going to "bust your ass back to crewman, second class for insubordination," though Reed countered "Be my guest. I could use a little less responsibility." (ENT: "Shuttlepod One")

Two years later, Captain Jonathan Archer gave Reed the same warning, heeding that "If I were the kind of captain you think I should be I'd bust your ass back to crewman," following Reed's critique of Archer's command style. (ENT: "Minefield")

When Q abducted Captain Jean-Luc Picard in 2365, and described his desire to join the crew of the USS Enterprise-D, he expressed being "Ready and willing. Able to serve…" Picard interrupted him, inquiring "What would you do? Would you start as an ordinary crewman?" (TNG: "Q Who")

After Chakotay and Seven of Nine became romantically involved in 2378, and Seven was injured, Chakotay offered to arrange for her to have extra time to rest, noting that he was in charge of the duty roster. Seven expressed that she felt "it would be inappropriate to allow our personal relationship to affect your command decisions," to which Chakotay agreed they should keep things professional, before asking for her report. Following her report, and in keeping it professional, he told her "That's good news, Crewman," to which she responded "Yes, sir." (VOY: "Endgame")

List of ranked crewman[]

See also


Background information[]

Gene Roddenberry pushed the assumption that "every man and woman aboard the USS Enterprise is the equivalent of a qualified astronaut, therefore an officer." (The Making of Star Trek, p. 209) Reiterating, this was most typically in Star Trek: The Original Series, where it was evident that a "crewman" was less of a reference to a rank than it was a general term for any member of the crew. One example appears in the episode "Catspaw", where Kirk noted Lieutenant Jackson as "Crewman Jackson" in his captain's log, and referred to the missing Lt. Sulu and lieutenant commander Scott as "my two missing crewmen" (vs. "officers").

Although Star Trek has often been ambivalent about enlisted ranks and insignia, the term "crewman" has been in use since "The Man Trap". Visually, any crewmember with the rank below lieutenant, most notably ensigns, wore no visible rank insignia, with the exceptions of CPO Garison and lieutenant junior grade Joe Tormolen. Though in the case of DS9: "Trials and Tribble-ations", Benjamin Sisko quickly identified Miles O'Brien, who wore no insignia on his sleeves, as an "ensign".

Robert Fletcher's enlisted rank pin chart

An able-seaman insignia on Fletcher's notes

The term "able-seaman" is first used in Robert Fletcher's personal costuming notes for the Star Trek films (p. 9, seen here) alongside a square-shaped insignia. Several of the square-shaped insignia were sold in the It's A Wrap! sale and auction. [1][2][3][4][5][6][7][8][9][10][11][12][13][14][15][16]

An Star Trek: The Magazine article on Starfleet rank insignia (2270s-2340s) oriented the insignia as a diamond, and identified it as an ables'man, among enlisted crewman insignia. (Star Trek: The Magazine Volume 2, Issue 10, p. 99)

In TNG: "The Drumhead", it was established in dialogue 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 Star Trek: Deep Space Nine and Star Trek: Voyager, although chief petty officers were occasionally assigned different insignia.

Several rank insignia were sold off on the It's A Wrap! sale and auction on eBay, including a Enterprise crewman second class patch. [17]

Finally, as ranks established in Star Trek were mostly based on the ranking systems of "real world" militaries, the following may also be true: The title of "crewman" was the lowest enlisted rank, subordinate to a petty officer. In comparison to infantry ranking systems, this rank was approximately equivalent to the grade of private.

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