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Officer uniforms in 2286

The Starfleet uniform of the late 2270s through the 2350s represented a radical change from older uniform designs. Around this period, Starfleet abandoned the practice of using individual insignia for each mission or starship. From this point on, all Starfleet personnel wore the "arrowhead" insignia previously used by the crew of the USS Franklin, the USS Kelvin, the USS Shenzhou, the USS Discovery, and the USS Enterprise. The uniforms of this period bore the new Starfleet insignia on a brass-colored pin worn on the breast; officers wore the insignia with a round-ended rectangular shield backing it. New rank insignia, with individual symbols for each rank, were also introduced, and were worn on the clasp and left wrist of the tunics.

This uniform style was phased out in the 2350s after undergoing several minor changes. It was Starfleet's longest tenured uniform design to date, having been used, with only minor variations, for approximately eighty years. (Star Trek: The Motion Picture; Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan; VOY: "Flashback"; TNG: "Cause and Effect", "Tapestry", "Yesterday's Enterprise", "Family", "Suddenly Human", "Dark Page")

Officer uniform

Late 2270s to 2290s

By 2278, the officer uniform sported black trousers and a double-breasted red jacket worn over a turtlenecked undershirt. The undershirt, along with stripes on the pants, shoulder, and left sleeve had distinctive division colors. The jacket closed by a clasp at the right shoulder and a sealing mechanism that ran along the black stripe. This allowed the wearer to have a more relaxed appearance and likely allowed more circulation of air. The interior of the flap was color coded to departments; white for command division, beige for all others. An optional skirt was available for female officers. (Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan; Star Trek III: The Search for Spock; Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home; Star Trek V: The Final Frontier; Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country; TNG: "Cause and Effect"; VOY: "Flashback")

2320s

Crewneck collars

By 2327, the ribbed collars of the division color undershirts were replaced by shorter "crewneck"-style collars. The division armband no longer carried gold trim along its edges; instead red was used as seen before on enlisted division armbands. (TNG: "Tapestry", "Dark Page")

2340s

By 2344, the belts and undershirts were no longer in use, and the uniform insignia doubled as a combadge. Captains could now wear pants trimmed with gold, previously reserved for flag officers only. The combadge was redesigned by 2348. (TNG: "Yesterday's Enterprise", "Family")

Flag officer uniform

Admirals wearing service ribbons

Flag officer uniforms were the same as the officers uniform, except that the pants stripe and tunic were trimmed in gold.

In the 2280s, flag officers who were part of the Federation Council wore stylized pins centered on the breast of their jacket, as did all delegates and visitors in the Council chamber. (Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home)

In the 2290s, flag officers wore service ribbons on the left breast of the jacket, below the Starfleet insignia. These ribbons varied in color and position, and likely indicated different commendations and awards received by the officers for their service in Starfleet. (Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan; Star Trek III: The Search for Spock; Star Trek V: The Final Frontier; Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country; Star Trek Generations)

With the exception of a very small number of episodes in Star Trek: The Original Series and Star Trek: The Animated Series, the uniforms seen in Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country are the only occurrence of Starfleet personnel outwardly displaying medals and awards on a Starfleet uniform. It is possible that these ribbons are worn during special occasions such as meetings and are some sort of equivalent of a dress uniform.

Excursion jacket

Admiral Kirk wearing his "excursion jacket"

Like the excursion jackets of 2150s and 2250s, Starfleet issued a version in the 2270s that sported a large ribbed collar and several external pockets. The rank insignia was worn above the right cuff, and a patch of Earth's solar system and departmental color stripe was attached to the left shoulder. This jacket was worn in combination with an excursion vest over the turtleneck undershirt during away missions, and was issued by Starfleet. (Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan; Star Trek III: The Search for Spock; Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country) Captain James T. Kirk had one in his closet aboard the USS Enterprise-A in 2293

According to Mr. Scott's Guide to the Enterprise, there was a matchbox-sized emergency transponder above the left breast under the Starfleet insignia.

Excursion Vest

Starfleet officers had the option of wearing a vest beneath their excursion jackets. Kirk is seen wearing one during his visit to the Genesis Planet. When Saavik returned to the same planet later aboard the USS Grissom, she wore a leather version of the excursion vest under her jacket. Another version of the vest was worn by Kirk in his vision of home within the Nexus, after he disappeared in 2293.

(Star Trek III: The Search for Spock; Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home; Star Trek Generations)

Bomber jacket

In keeping with the Starfleet practice of allowing officers of command rank to wear a less formal variant of the uniform, starting in the late 2270s officers were given the option of wearing a suede leather bomber jacket version of the uniform. This was worn over the department color turtle neck. (Star Trek III: The Search for Spock; Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home; Star Trek V: The Final Frontier)

Engineering attire

Engineer's vest

Captain Scott wearing an engineer's vest

Starfleet also allowed its engineers to wear a vest with pockets to hold various engineering instruments. It was worn over the standard undershirt. (Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home; Star Trek V: The Final Frontier; Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country; TNG: "Relics")

When Scotty wears his engineering vest, he pairs it with a command division white shirt, representing his position as department head. When wearing his standard duty jacket, his undershirt is engineering gold. In both cases though, he still has a gold division stripe on his pant legs.


Engineering suit

Engineering suits in use alongside other uniforms in 2293. The midshipman variant is on the left.

The engineering suit was a slightly modified version of the suit introduced earlier in the 2270s in order to protect engineering personnel while servicing the warp and impulse engines, as well as performing other tasks where they may be exposed to radiation. The suits were primarily white in color, featuring a black collarpiece. Changes to the suit from the previous version included the addition of a division stripe on the left sleeve, just below the elbow, and the relocation of the Starfleet insignia patch from the left forearm to the left shoulder. The color of both the shoulder tabs and the background of the insignia patch were changed to reflect the updated division colors. A variant worn by midshipmen featured a red collarpiece and division sleeve stripe.

Engineering suits with helmet

A variant of the engineering suit was created to allow extravehicular movement in the vacuum of space. This could be used to repair damage, or to complete maintenance on the outside of a ship or starbase. These suits were supplied with their own oxygen supply and artificial gravity units. This version of the suit lacked the large collarpiece of the standard engineering suit.

Protective suit

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A crew member in a protective suit


Utility uniform

An enlisted trainee and an enlisted crew member

Enlisted crew wore crimson and tan utility jumpsuits with black undershirts (red for trainees), with division color appearing on shoulder tabs and strap on the left sleeve. The rank insignia indicators were pinned directly to the left sleeve between the strap and elbow. Due to anatomical differences, crewmen such as Dax were allowed to go barefoot. (Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan; Star Trek III: The Search for Spock; Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home; Star Trek V: The Final Frontier; Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country; Star Trek Generations; VOY: "Flashback")

Medical attire

Type A

Dr. McCoy in his medical uniform

A holdover from the last uniform design, this white uniform was worn by medical staff. Consisting of a white wide collared shirt worn over the division undershirt, it was worn with white pants and boots. While still sporting the division color shoulder tabs where rank was displayed on the last version of the uniform, the only rank insignia was now displayed on the above the left cuff, where a division color strap was added. The left breast now sported a different medical symbol when compared to the previous version. (Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan)

The apocryphal Star Fleet Uniform Recognition Manual specified that the foot-gear worn with this attire consisted of "non-skid shoes." As no close-ups of Medical Division personnel's feet were ever shown, this has yet to be proven canonically.


Type B

Two nurses

This version was mostly similar to the type-A version, except for the lack of a collar on the shirt itself. (Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan)

Services uniform

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Waiters in Starfleet institutions and aboard ships were shown to wear uniforms with sky blue undershirts, identified in Fletcher's notes as the "Special Services Division".

(Star Trek III: The Search for Spock; Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country)

Security uniform

Type A

Security guard with armor (without helmet), in 2293

Security officers continued to wear the body armor introduced in the early-2270s. This armor was worn over a specialized uniform consisting of a red shirt, pants, and red and black boots. The red shirt was worn over the dark green security colored undershirt, and sported the colored strap near the left cuff. The pants had the standard division colored strip running down the sides, but were much tighter near the boots when compared to the standard black pants. (Star Trek III: The Search for Spock; Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home; Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country)

The security armor was apparently phased out sometime after 2293, which marked the last time they appeared on screen.


Type B

Security guard, 2285

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The spacedock prison guards wore blue-gray uniforms, white utility belts and white caps. (Star Trek III: The Search for Spock)

Field uniform

For field operations on a planetary surface, the USS Enterprise-A's strike team donned special field uniforms. Most field uniforms were tan in color, but Captain James T. Kirk's was charcoal gray. A ribbed shirt replaced the jacket worn over the department colored turtleneck. This shirt retained the department colored left sleeve strap, but lacked the right shoulder strap as both shoulders had a large area made of a different material. Officers wore their Starfleet insignia belts, while crewmen worn the uniform without one. The pants were the same color as the shirt with division colored piping running down the side. Unlike the standard uniform, the pants were not tucked into the boots. The uniform could also be equipped with a two-strapped backpack with optional utility belt combo. (Star Trek V: The Final Frontier)

Athletic attire

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Athletic attire in 2285

Saavik's athletic attire was a reuse of the belted uniforms worn by the Epsilon IX station crew in Star Trek: The Motion Picture.


Other uniform features

Officers serving as a captain's or admiral's yeoman would wear an honor "cord" on the left shoulder.

In 2285, on officer's uniforms, the cord itself was somewhat textured and worn with a red epaulet that the cord attached to, encircling the left shoulder. On the utility uniform, the cord was plainer and could be worn attached to a boatswain's whistle. (Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan; Star Trek III: The Search for Spock)

By 2287, the epaulet had been removed on officer uniforms, and the cord, which was the plainer version, was attached directly to left arm material at the shoulder, as well as at the belt after looping down to the waist. (Star Trek V: The Final Frontier)

Department colors

The colors were laid out in Fletcher's notes, pp. 1-5. Fletcher broke Security and Medical into their own divisions for the first time, and shuffled some specialties into different divisions (such as helm into Operations and both Navigation and Communications into Sciences). The purple undershirt seen with the field uniform was never fully explained, does not appear in Fletcher's original notes, and was only seen after he was replaced as Costume Designer. On-screen, Chekov used the term "Federation forces" to describe a group where some members wore purple, while Kirk used "Federation soldiers". Although both were engaged in deception at the time, Chekov was speaking in a more formal setting, so his term is used.

Cadets and trainees wore slashes on their flame red armbands signifying the department color they would be assigned to after graduation. For example, as a command division trainee, Lt. Saavik wore a command white slash.

In addition, command officers assigned to a different department had the personal option of adding a departmental-color slash to their white armbands and/or shoulder straps. Following her assignment to the USS Grissom, Lt. Saavik wore a science-gray slash on her command-white armband. Several of the command personnel in Starfleet Headquarters in Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home wore sciences and operations slashes.

Command-level officers such as department heads had the authority to wear either white slashes on their armbands, or white undershirts and jacket trim with slashes in their department color. Montgomery Scott, in particular, occasionally wore a white undershirt after being promoted to Captain of Engineering.

Rank insignia

With this revised uniform style came a revised rank insignia system, where each rank was represented by a different pin.

For non-commissioned officers, the insignia was worn on the left sleeve. For commissioned officers, it was worn on both the right shoulder-strap and on the left sleeve. Flag officers additionally wore a ribbon around the left cuff, with an embroidered band for each rank above commodore the officer held (i.e. one band for rear admiral, two bands for vice admiral, etc.). (Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan, et al.)

Crewman insignia
Able seaman
Petty officer second class insignia
Petty officer second class*
Petty officer first class insignia
Petty officer first class*
Chief petty officer insignia
Chief petty officer
Senior chief petty officer insignia
Senior chief petty officer
Master chief petty officer insignia
Master chief petty officer
Ensign insignia
Ensign
Lieutenant junior grade insignia
Lieutenant junior grade
Lieutenant insignia
Lieutenant
Lieutenant commander insignia
Lieutenant commander
Commander insignia
Commander
Captain insignia
Captain
Commodore insignia
Commodore sleeve stripe (past 2285)
Commodore
Rear admiral insignia
Rear admiral sleeve stripe (past 2285)
Rear admiral
Vice admiral insignia
Vice admiral sleeve stripe (past 2285)
Vice admiral
Admiral insignia
Admiral sleeve stripe (past 2285)
Admiral
Fleet admiral insignia
Fleet admiral sleeve stripe (past 2285)
Fleet admiral
 
This chart represents the rank insignia seen on screen throughout these uniforms' appearances. The specifics for each of these insignia were conceived and recorded in Robert Fletcher's Personal Notes (pp. 9-11), which did not include the pin design for a lieutenant commander.
Several of these insignia were sold through the It's A Wrap! sale and auction. [1] [2] [3] [4] The full set from the auction can be seen here.
Kirk's uniform in Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan featured a checkerboard stripe (pictured below) on the sleeve between the division stripe and rank insignia. The significance of this stripe was not explained and it was not seen in later films.

Commendation and service markers

Pips and squeaks

Like the navies of Earth during the 20th century, uniforms of this era bore commendation and service markers, used to denote time served in the fleet, as well as any earned commendations.

This was done using a series of circular service markers and oblong commendation markers – familiarly called "pips" and "squeaks" respectively – worn on the left sleeve division band. A pip symbolized five years of service, a pip with a delta symbolized ten years of service. A squeak symbolized a Starfleet commendation.

Service and commendation markers were gold for officers and silver for enlisted personnel, with arrangement at the individual's discretion.

By 2285, Kirk wore four squeaks, indicating four commendations, and three pips, indicating thirty years of service. (Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan, et al.)

This information originated from behind the scenes, such as the terminology and usage of "pips" and "squeaks", and were recorded in Robert Fletcher's Personal Notes (p. 11).


Appendices

Appearances

Background information

Robert Fletcher designed the uniforms seen throughout the movies, with later new designs provided by Nilo Rodis (which were further adapted into future versions on TNG by Robert Blackman).

In addition to lacking belts, "Yesterday's Enterprise" had crew neck undershirts (instead of the turtleneck-style) that were sometimes not visible over the collar of the uniform jacket. The shoulder strap and wristband still displayed the division color, however.

This uniform style was first seen in Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan. Its earliest chronological appearance is on the crew of the USS Bozeman in TNG: "Cause and Effect" (2278). Its latest chronological appearance is in the holographic message Jack Crusher recorded for his son Wesley in 2349 in "Family", where a TNG-style communication badge was used because the art department had no contemporary available. The previous uniform insignia was in fact used as a communications badge, however, as evidenced by Richard Castillo of the USS Enterprise-C, although since the "flip" communicators were still in use as of Star Trek V: The Final Frontier, it's likely that that insignia was later modified to be used as a communicator, and that it didn't always have that capability.

The shirts worn by the members of the Angosian Senate were the turtlenecked men's shirts from this era Starfleet officers' uniform. (Star Trek Encyclopedia (3rd ed., p. 14))

For more information on how the uniforms were created, see Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan.

Several costume elements, including belts, undershirts, and division strips were sold off on the It's A Wrap! sale and auction on eBay. [5] [6] [7] [8] [9] [10] [11] [12] [13] [14] [15] [16] [17] [18] Several parts and complete versions of the engineer's radiological suit were also sold off, [19] [20] [21] [22] [23] as well as a completely blank crewman jumpsuit, [24] a petty officer 1st class uniform including black Puma athletic shoes, [25] and a flag admiral skirt. [26]

External links

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