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In Coming of Age (STNG S1E19), we meet Mordock, who is then understood to be the first Benzite to be admitted to Starfleet Academy.

Mordock

Later, in A Matter of Honor (STNG S2E8), we meet Mendon. Mendon is a Benzite and a Starfleet Ensign who joins the Enterprise D as part of Starfleet's Officer Exchange program.

Mendon

As Benzites who come from the same geostructure, Mendon and Mordock look very alike. On first meeting Mendon, Wesley Crusher mistakes him for Mordock. It is in this scene the root of my question is presented.

As stated, Mordock is the first Benzite to enter Starfleet Academy. However, when mistaking Mendon for Mordock, Wesley comments that the Benzite could not have possibly graduated Starfleet Academy already.

Was Mendon ever actually a member of Starfleet during the events of A Matter of Honor, or simply an acting Ensign during his participation in the Officer Exchange Program? If the former, how did he become a member of Starfleet without going through the Academy?

  • I think you answered it already: or simply an acting Ensign during his participation in the Officer Exchange Program – Xantec Apr 7 '12 at 20:42
  • @Xantec Memory Alpha says e was a Starfleet Officer though. If I was clear as to which it were, I would not be asking this question. – Iszi Apr 7 '12 at 20:48
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From the Memory Alpha article on Mendon:

Mendon was a 24th century Benzite officer who, in 2365, participated in an Officer Exchange Program operated between his government and the United Federation of Planets.

Mendon specifically requested to be assigned to the USS Enterprise-D. He came aboard at Starbase 179 with the rank of ensign.

I would guess it's because his government was participating, that he was able to do the exchange as a Starfleet ensign. He may well have a rank higher than that within his own government.

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Mendon was never in Starfleet. He was given ensign as part of Starfleet's Officer Exchange program in the same way Kern (brother of Worf) was given the rank of first officer.

Mendon's lack of Starfleet training is demonstrated later when he fails to report discovering the bacteria growing on the Klingnon vessel Pagh, claiming he had not yet completed his "full analysis" as proper with Benzite regulations. If Mendon had attended Starfleet Academy he would have been more accustomed to Starfeet regulations and procedures.

  • The Star Trek Encyclopedia specifically states that he was a Starfleet Officer. – Valorum Jan 10 '15 at 0:36
  • I think the uniform is the root of the confusion. In the same episode, Riker didn't wear a Klingon uniform and, later, Kern didn't wear a starfleet uniform during his time on the Enterprise. If Mendon was on the ship as part of the exchange program and no Benzite was in Starfleet prior, how did he have a uniform (or rank)? – geewhiz Jan 31 '15 at 22:14

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