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Memory Alpha

The Klingon Defense Force (sometimes referred to as the Imperial Klingon Defense Force, the Klingon Defense Forces, or the Klingon military) was the military branch of the Klingon Empire. It dates back at least to 2259. (TNG: "Sins of The Father"; DS9: "Sons of Mogh", "Soldiers of the Empire", "Favor the Bold"; SNW: "Subspace Rhapsody")


As of 2373, the headquarters of the Klingon Defense Forces were relocated to Ty'Gokor. The majority of Defense Force members were common warriors. In order to become an officer, a candidate was required to pass the entrance exam. The prospective officer then needed to be approved by an oversight council who could reject the application. Officers usually served on the Klingon Empire's ships and warriors were sent into battle, whether on planetary assaults or when boarding other vessels. (DS9: "Apocalypse Rising", "Once More Unto the Breach")

The system of hierarchy aboard ships within the Defense Forces was highly structured. According to one of their systems, one that operated successfully for centuries, the first officer of any Klingon vessel had the duty to assassinate his captain if and when the captain became weak or unable to perform. It was expected that his honorable retirement should be assisted by his "first". The second officer also shared similar duties with his "first". (TNG: "A Matter Of Honor"; DS9: "Soldiers of the Empire"). Commanding officers, in addition, held vast disciplinary discretion over subordinates, including summary executions for what other races might consider to be trivial infractions, barely worth a second look by other superior officers, such as hitting the wrong section of an enemy vessel with weapons. (Star Trek III: The Search for Spock)

The Defense Forces were capable of deploying a fleet of ships to devastate the surface of an entire planet. They did so on several occasions, including the successful destruction of the tribble homeworld in the late 23rd century. (DS9: "Trials and Tribble-ations")

It was against regulations to have alcohol on the bridge, although this likely referred to any duty station while working one's shift. (DS9: "Once More Unto the Breach")


Although never clearly stated on screen, Klingon Intelligence and the Yan-Isleth may also have been part of or associated with the Klingon Defense Force.

Military conflicts[]


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