In Star Trek Discovery S1:E1 - The Vulcan Hello - with Captain Georgiou, we see Michael Burnham wearing a Star Trek insignia badge.

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Later in Star Trek Discovery S01:E07 - Magic to Make the Sanest Man Go Mad we see that Michael Burnham doesn't have an insignia badge - despite having a position in the science crew.

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My question is: Why does Michael Burnham not regain her insignia badge when she joins The Discovery?

  • In the latest episode, Burnham mentions that once the war ends, she goes back to jail. Her assignment on the DIscovery is a temporary distraction from her incarceration, she has not rejoined Starfleet.
    – Flater
    Nov 10, 2017 at 13:28

1 Answer 1


Because she has no military rank

One of the purposes of the badge is to present the holder's rank. Michael Burhnam has been stripped of rank at her court-martial, therefore, although not clearly stated anywhere, she is not eligible for having a badge.

Please note that these badges are not commbadges, known from TNG+ era. Commbadges may be required to be worn by everyone (including civilians and specialists without a Starfleet rank) onboard, as they work as a communication and user-location device. We clearly see that in ST:DIS the crew uses a TOS-era communicator devices, not the badges. We have not seen that the badges are used to locate the wearer either. Therefore, a DIS-era badge serves no practical purpose for someone without a rank.

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