I asked a question here and it got me thinking. Are Starfleet officers not prohibited from doing "crazy" stuff when they feel like it?

There is the Starfteet general orders but I wasn't able to find something that fit the situation from my previous question. ( I might be blind though ).

  • What's your definition of 'crazy'? Do you mean anything that the General Orders doesn't have a rule for? memory-alpha.wikia.com/wiki/…
    – Longshanks
    Commented Sep 5, 2016 at 7:36
  • @Alistair86 something where an officer tampers with governing body of a member planet, does sabotage, steals, modifies a technology on account of personal views of beliefs etc.
    – Cherubel
    Commented Sep 5, 2016 at 9:04
  • 5
    So... Illegal activity... Well, there would be Federation law...
    – HorusKol
    Commented Sep 5, 2016 at 9:47
  • Yeah, an officer not upholding the principals of the Federation would be removed from active duty pretty quickly I'd imagine - trying to tamper with the governing body of a planet might be hard for an officer to do without attracting attention.
    – Longshanks
    Commented Sep 5, 2016 at 10:22
  • Sure - the Prime Direct.....oh....um....hmmm
    – NKCampbell
    Commented Sep 6, 2016 at 20:46

2 Answers 2


Starfleet officers are expected to uphold Starfleet's General Orders (those that cover the actions of officers when conducting their duties).

JANEWAY: The one that's made of binding principles. We have our own set of rules, which includes the Prime Directive. How many times have we been in the position of refusing to interfere when some kind of disaster threatened an alien culture. It's all very well to say we do it on the basis of an enlightened principle, but how does that feel to the aliens? I'm sure many of them think the Prime Directive is a lousy idea.

PARIS: Even we think so sometimes.

Starfleet officers are expected to adhere to (and uphold) Federation Law

NOG: As a Starfleet cadet, it's my duty to report any violation of Federation law to my superiors immediately. But then again, I haven't been sworn in yet. I'll take ten percent.

DS9: Little Green Men

Starfleet officers are expected to comport themselves with the highest standards of decency and probity at all times, in a manner that befits a gentleman

JANEWAY: Lieutenant Thomas Eugene Paris. You are guilty of insubordination, unauthorised use of a spacecraft, reckless endangerment, and conduct unbecoming an officer. Do you have anything to say?

Voy: 30 Days


DATA: Perhaps it is best that I do not remember. I trust I did nothing unbecoming to a Starfleet officer?

TNG: The Schizoid Man

Given that Starfleet is largely based on a mixture of US and UK Naval traditions, I think we can be reasonably sure that the concept of CUBO is very much similar.

  1. Every Person subject to this Act who shall be guilty of any profane Oath, Cursing, Execration, Drunkenness, Uncleanness, or other scandalous Action in derogation of God's Honour and Corruption of good Manners, shall be dismissed from Her Majesty's Service with Disgrace, or suffer such other Punishment as is herein-after mentioned.

  2. Every Officer subject to this Act who shall be guilty of Cruelty, or of any scandalous or fraudulent Conduct, shall be dismissed with Disgrace from Her Majesty's Service; and every Officer subject to this Act who shall be guilty of any other Conduct unbecoming the Character of an Officer shall be dismissed, with or without Disgrace, from Her Majesty's Service.

The Roayl Naval Discipline Act, 1861


Conduct violative of this article is action or behavior in an official capacity which, in dishonoring or disgracing the person as an officer, seriously compromises the officer’s character as a gentleman, or action or behavior in an unofficial or private capacity which, in dishonoring or disgracing the officer personally, seriously compromises the person’s standing as an officer. There are certain moral attributes common to the ideal officer and the perfect gentleman, a lack of which is indicated by acts of dishonesty, unfair dealing, indecency, indecorum, lawlessness, injustice, or cruelty.

US Uniform Code of Military Justice - Article 133


All Starfleet Officers are bound by the Prime Directive, also known as the Non-Interference Directive. This, as well as the other General Orders, prevents them from doing things such as interfere with the ongoing politics of another race unless said race is also a member of the Federation, attack a ship unprovoked or generally do anything that isn't explore, discover and observe. Any officer that breaks these directives without a supremely good reason is stripped of their rank, relieved from duty and probably discharged.

There are, of course, exceptions to the Prime Directive from time to time, but as mentioned, the excuse given to the Federation has to be a very good one for them to accept it.

  • Prime directive is there to be violated up the wazoo by Kirk, Picard, Janeway and any other Starfleet captain whenever they feel the need to do so! Cant even count how many times these guys violated it in total. What we have proof is that Picard did it at least 12 times on screen. so meh. scifi.stackexchange.com/questions/79770/…
    – Cherubel
    Commented Sep 6, 2016 at 5:55
  • There is a code of conduct that prevents me from driving the wrong way down the road/shooting someone/stealing money, but it doesn't stop someone from doing it if they really want to.
    – Longshanks
    Commented Sep 6, 2016 at 10:28
  • That's civilian law, not military law. Military law is enforced by all personnel. On a starship, if the Captain says, "I feel like bombing this planet from orbit, charge weapons.", their number one can say "Captain, you're nuts, I'm relieving you of command as per [insert directive]. We aren't bombing this planet." The captain is then detained by the crew and the planet is not bombed. Personally, I think it would make a lot more sense if every ship computer had protocols preventing it from breaking the general orders, but that would require the Federation to do something sensible. Commented Sep 7, 2016 at 8:48

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