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Master or shipmaster was an Earth naval term for the commanding officer of a vessel. It denoted that status in officers who did not (necessarily) hold the rank of captain. In the 23rd century, a master's license was required in order to operate a space vessel. (TOS: "Mudd's Women")

According to the Treaty of Armens, which was enacted in 2255, it was stipulated that the master of a Starfleet vessel could implement a request for assistance from a third party during negotiations with the Sheliak Corporate. (TNG: "The Ensigns of Command")

Harcourt Fenton Mudd had a master's ticket allowing him to command a merchant Class J cargo ship. The license was revoked on stardate 1116.4, forcing Mudd to impersonate Captain Leo Walsh, a master in good standing before his untimely demise. (TOS: "Mudd's Women")

When USS Enterprise Captain James T. Kirk was officiating the (ultimately interrupted) wedding of Angela Martine and Robert Tomlinson, a speech he gave at the ceremony began, "Since the days of the first wooden vessels, all shipmasters have had one happy privilege... that of uniting two people in the bonds of matrimony." (TOS: "Balance of Terror")

In the Kobayashi Maru scenario, Kojiro Vance was listed as the master of the Kobayashi Maru. (Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan)

Starfleet captain Hikaru Sulu referred to himself as "master of this vessel" in his log entries on the USS Excelsior. (Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country)

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