(written from a Production point of view)
The Star Fleet Uniform Recognition Manual is an unlicensed Star Trek reference book, as such neither recognized as official nor canonical by the franchise, that was written and illustrated by Shane Johnson and originally published by The Noron Group in 1985.
The main focus of the work primarily concentrated on uniforms and clothing only, it became in retrospect a companion volume to one of his later works, Mr. Scott's Guide to the Enterprise published in 1987 and with some – though not all – of the contents ported over to that work; Johnson could not incorporate all the uniforms and clothing details into the "General Information" section of the later Mr. Scott's Guide to the Enterprise, which was an officially licensed reference book.
The book is divided into five chapters, all of which have their own headings.
Federation Color CodesEdit
The first chapter, called "Federation Color Codes," is just that – a table of Federation color codes which adds eight colors to the list of thirty-two that Franz Joseph's design company provided in the Star Fleet Technical Manual. This "chapter" also includes tables of Star Fleet section colors past and present, and it also gives a key to the symbols that Johnson uses in the book.
Insignia And RankEdit
The second chapter, titled "Insignia And Rank," is a series of drawings, some of which also include text; they depict how starship assignment and service grades were previously indicated as well as how they have since been indicated.
The third chapter is titled "Uniforms (Obsolete)" and depicts the uniforms and other gear worn at the approximate time of TOS, which is incorrectly given as the early 2200s.
The fourth chapter is titled "Uniforms (Current)," and it primarily depicts the uniforms that were introduced in Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan. This particular uniform design is often called the "monster maroon" uniform because of the difficulty fans often have in assembling it for personal wearing.
One uniform which is described and depicted in this chapter, but was not shown in any Star Trek motion picture, is the "Diplomatic Dress Uniform." The references Johnson employed in drawing it and listing its details are not known. Paramount Pictures is not known to have provided any photographs of this uniform for reference works; thus it is not considered an officially recognized Starfleet uniform.
The fifth and final chapter, titled "Intelligence Report," shows Klingon uniforms past and present, as well as how the appearances of the Klingons have changed since they were first shown, and it concludes with an illustration of how the outfit Ricardo Montalban wore as Khan Noonien Singh might have looked when it was intact. According to Johnson, this outfit was actually the remains of a life support suit designed specifically for use with the DY series of sleeper ships.
- In essence also being one, Johnson's book very much resembled in design the earlier, 1980 fan publication USS Enterprise Officer's Manual, which was co-written and illustrated by later Star Trek alumnus Doug Drexler, especially where the "Insignia And Rank" chapter was concerned.
- The Star Fleet Uniform Recognition Manual is not considered official Star Trek canon material, even though it does contain design details of the so-called "monster maroon" uniforms of Robert Fletcher's design that had not been officially referred to in any canon sources. It uses a timeline Paramount Pictures officially considers faulty, ascribing the time when the various ship badges became obsolete to the early decades of the 23rd century, which James T. Kirk's reference to the year 2283 in Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan contradicts.
- Published by the Arlington, Texas-based The Noron Group, the book was a follow-up of Johnson's equally unlicensed June 1984 Weapons and Field Equipment Technical Reference Manual fan publication, released by the same publisher and which likewise resembled Drexler's Manual. Aside from those featured in Star Trek, which takes up about half the book, attention is also given to the handheld equipment featured in the Star Wars, Battlestar Galactica, and Space 1999 franchises.