After Seven of Nine is de-borg-ified and joins the Voyager crew she wears a skin-tight catsuit, seemingly 24 hours a day. I have always just assumed the reason she didn't get a Starfleet uniform was simply because she wasn't officially a member of Starfleet. But, since a significant number of the Voyager crew was made up of Maquis members who all got Starfleet ranks and uniforms I'm not sure why this wasn't possible for Seven.

I assume the out-of-universe reason is, well... ratings! But has there been any in-universe explanation for Seven not getting a Starfleet uniform or rank?

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    I was actually wondering why Deanna Troi rarely wears her uniform in TNG. I suspect the in- and out-of-universe answers to that question are much the same as this one.
    – Ixrec
    Sep 17, 2016 at 20:50
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    Why didn't Deanna Troi wear a uniform at the start?. Seems being a councillor had a lot to do with it in-universe... out-of-universe was probably the same as Seven though :-)
    – Cai
    Sep 17, 2016 at 21:00
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    Ratings were indeed a key concern when casting (and costuming) Jeri Ryan; memory-alpha.wikia.com/wiki/…
    – Valorum
    Sep 17, 2016 at 21:40
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    For Troi, maybe as the ship's counsellor she decided not to wear the uniform in order to seem more approachable, so that as a patient you would see her in a more casual, friendly light than as (in most crewmembers' cases) a superior officer to whom they'd be addressing.
    – n_b
    Sep 18, 2016 at 4:14
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    @iMerchant - Nine of Nine could could easily be a burly male Hirogen :-) memory-alpha.wikia.com/wiki/P'Chan
    – Valorum
    Sep 18, 2016 at 13:04

5 Answers 5


Seven is not given a Starfleet uniform because she is not Starfleet. She's not given a Starfleet rank because she had no Starfleet training. This is normal.

With the exception of the Maquis this is how Voyager handles all other non-Starfleet crew members such as Neelix and Kes. It's also consistent with how other non-Starfleet crew are handled in other series. The Maquis were a special case. Asking why the Maquis, and others, were given uniforms and ranks sheds light on why Seven, and others, were not.

On the Enterprise D Acting Ensign Wesley Crusher didn't get to wear a uniform. He was only granted this privilege after receiving a field promotion to Ensign. In Ménage à Troi he missed his transport to the Academy and Picard felt he should not wait any longer. (Thanks @Ghanima)

Wesley Crusher

Janeway decided it was paramount that the two crews integrate to better live together on Voyager in the coming years. This was made easier because many were ex-Starfleet (Chakotay) or had some Starfleet training (B'Elanna). Janeway granted them provisional ranks which is why they have different insignia from regular Starfleet. They were given Starfleet uniforms, underwent Starfleet training, and were expected to act as Starfleet crew.


Tom Paris was pointed out by @Durakken in the comments. He's an ex-Starfleet, ex-Maquis criminal invited to Voyager by Janeway as a "Starfleet observer". Which appears to grant him the right to wear a uniform as he's wearing it before they head to the Delta Quadrant, but with no rank insignia. From the start Janeway is trying to bring Tom back into the fold. Upon losing their pilot, she reinstates Tom's former Starfleet rank of Lieutenant Junior Grade. Since he wasn't part of Chakotay's crew, and shows no attachment to the Maquis, he's treated as Starfleet to better integrate him into the crew.

What if Seven had rank? Now she's subordinate to people, people she might feel are inferior, something she does not deal well with. Worse, others would be subordinate to her; she is a terrible leader and would irritate those people. By leaving her outside the rank system Janeway cleverly reduces both problems: Seven only has the authority Janeway grants her, plus Seven's own personality, and anyone who has an issue with Seven can go to a senior officer to work it out.

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    If I remember correctly only 4 Maquis crew were given training in "Learning Curve" (I don't remember any talk of any more being given training?), but yeh you're right, the Maquis were the exception, not Seven or anyone else.
    – Cai
    Sep 18, 2016 at 7:38
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    @Cai The four Marquis in Learning Curve were Academy wash-outs who were more of a drain on Voyager's resources than anything else. The training regiment they received was meant to whip them into a more productive state. This was based on their personality rather than their prior experience or training.
    – steenbergh
    Sep 18, 2016 at 7:47
  • An addition to this is "why was Tom Paris wearing a starfleet uniform" He was a criminal who got released into janeway's custody, but wasn't a part of the crew. It makes as much sense as why were Voyager's Senior Staff 1 captain, 1 LtC, 2 Maquis, a criminal, and an Ensign.
    – Durakken
    Sep 18, 2016 at 17:17
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    Even on the Enterprise D Acting Ensign Wesley Crusher didn't get to wear a uniform until he completed Starfleet Academy. is not right. He got a field promotion to full ensign w/o completing the Acadamy, fled the captains ready room and returned to bridge in full uniform (Ménage à Troi).
    – Ghanima
    Sep 18, 2016 at 18:33
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    @Durakken " It makes as much sense as why were Voyager's Senior Staff 1 captain, 1 LtC, 2 Maquis, a criminal, and an Ensign." You forgot the holographic computer program.
    – Kalamane
    Oct 7, 2016 at 14:45

Seven of Nine is a civilian, rather than a member of Starfleet. Like the other civilian waifs and strays that the ship picks up on their adventures, she gets to wear whatever the heck she likes. Apparently skin-tight catsuits are her preferred outfit.

Where the Maquis are concerned, the situation is slightly different since they were transferring over from one ship (where they already had a rank and role) to another.

You may wish to note that Tuvok is most decidedly "anti" the idea of non-Starfleet members wearing Starfleet uniforms.

NEELIX: It's not impossible. Maybe. Perhaps not. But we'll find them. We'll need several containers of water to bring for barter. Do these, er, replicators make clothing as well?


NEELIX: Will it make me a uniform like yours?

TUVOK: No, it most certainly will not.

VOY: Caretaker

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    The funny thing about that Tuvok / Neelix interaction is that Neelix would technically outrank him in some respects because Neelix would be a "Captain" with regard to his ship. But more over Neelix, by the end of the series has more Starfleet training than many of the Maquis. I think it was more his dislike of Neelix and belief that he was a passenger rather than a member of the crew. Seven I think he'd have been open to have her wearing an uniform since he probably saw her as part of the crew.
    – Durakken
    Sep 17, 2016 at 21:43
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    @Durakken - During the "Omega Directive" crisis, Captain Janeway points out that Seven has the collective knowledge of dozens of Starfleet captains. That being said, her actions (in that episode and many others) clearly demonstrate a signal lack of judgment & willingness to follow orders that would be required in a Starfleet officer.
    – Valorum
    Sep 17, 2016 at 21:46
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    @Durakken - Seven would make a terrible officer. She totally lacks any sense of adventure and she's very very risk-averse.
    – Valorum
    Sep 17, 2016 at 22:04
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    @Valorum Since star trek protagonists only last for more than two episodes thanks to a massive plot shield, being risk more averse than other officers doesn't strike me as a terrible trait. Unless you expect starfleet officers to understand and exploit being favoured by fate. Sep 18, 2016 at 11:44
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    @Schwern - A designation is not a rank
    – Valorum
    Sep 18, 2016 at 12:55

Out-of-Universe: that suit was designed to be sexy. Jeri Ryan, the Seven actor, is a professional model. The suit that Paramount chose for her was a breast-enhancing corset suit to make her "borg perfection" obvious. As explained by director Jesús Salvador Trevino:

Ryan wore a silver jumpsuit for the first few episodes, which director Jesús Salvador Treviño said that during the filming of the episode "Day of Honor" caused problems as "almost any camera angle inevitably winds up emphasising her sexuality."

In-Universe: I think I recall Seven once saying she preferred that suit because it was made out of some sort of advanced fabric that offered superior thermal protection, fabric strength, etc. She liked it because it was more efficient, so to speak, than regular uniforms.

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    Could you add a citation or quote for either part? While people can search for it, it’ll be more convenient if it is all here.
    – Adamant
    Sep 18, 2016 at 4:55
  • What Adamant said. If this is so easy to find, instead of expecting everyone to go looking for information to back up your claims, provide a few links (and perhaps also relevant quotations from the linked pages) yourself.
    – user
    Sep 18, 2016 at 13:01
  • "Problems" - not according to the network Sep 18, 2016 at 18:32
  • I could be completely wrong, but I thought the in-universe reason was that the catsuit was a more fashionable version of the undersheath that Borg drones wear.
    – Omegacron
    Mar 21, 2019 at 11:53

Seven wasn't in starfleet that's a Technical explanation. The Maquis were exception given the size of their ranks, namely that several were former Starfleet officiers themselves so it made sense for Janeways sense of discipline and authority to have them in uniforms. Jeri Ryan was brought in just to attract more male viewers. To do that they gave her a Catwoman style uniform that accentuated her figure. one whose design was simple but also was an homage to her former borg heritage. In particular a segmented armored appearance, No exposure of human flesh except her head and hands, the piping and seams resembling the tubes and nodules in her body. enter image description here


Seven of Nine’s catsuits are medicinal in function.

The EMH Doctor constructed her catsuit to assist with the regeneration of her necrotizing skin, which was severely damaged by her Borg assimilation.

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    This sounds like it would be a great answer.... If you can offer a shred of evidence to back it up.
    – Valorum
    Feb 15, 2021 at 9:02
  • In The Gift, the EMH says of the suit, “Fashion, of course, is hardly my forte. Nevertheless, I’ve managed to balance functionality and aesthetics in a pleasing enough manner.” I’m sure there’s a later episode where he elaborates on the reason for why he designed the original suit, but I can’t find it.
    – Longshanks
    Feb 15, 2021 at 21:37

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