In the opening scene of "Whom Gods Destroy", Captain Garth (posing as Dr. Cory) says to Kirk:

"Garth of Izar, a starship fleet captain."

Was this intended to be a real Starfleet title, or a production mistake (i.e. by a writer or actor) that has been later retconned into "canon"? The phrase "Starfleet ship captain" makes much more sense than "starship fleet captain".

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    @Valorum: Are you trying to make the point that it was intended as a real title? The fact that it has been later accepted as canon is irrelevant; the question asks if it was intentional at the time. If you have an answer, post an answer.
    – DrSheldon
    Jan 22, 2019 at 3:05
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    Memory Alpha is useful when it cites its sources, but as it stands this article tells us nothing we don't already know from the premise of the question: that at some point, characters were referred to as "fleet captains." Even the articles' editors don't know what the term actually means. Jan 22, 2019 at 3:46
  • @DrSheldon - I'm not trying to make any point at all. I just thought it might be useful to see what others have thought on the subject
    – Valorum
    Jan 22, 2019 at 7:40

1 Answer 1


I Iried to get to went to the site to search the Star Trek transcripts site but it wouldnn't come up.

So I went to Star trek transcripts http://www.chakoteya.net/StarTrek/episodes.htm1 and went to "The Menagerie Part 1".

MENDEZ: You ever met Chris Pike?

KIRK: When he was promoted to Fleet Captain.

So the teaser to "The Menagerie Part 1" says that Christopher Pike was promoted to Fleet Captain before that episode. That seems to be the only mention of fleet captain in the episode.

In "Whom Gods Destroy" there is this line:

CORY: Garth. Garth of Izar, a former Starship fleet Captain.


KIRK: No, sir. Captain Garth, Starship fleet Captain. That's an honourable title.

There has been a real naval rank of fleet captain as described by Wikipedia:


So I think that the use of the title "fleet Captain" was probably intentional in Star Trek.

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    This actually makes sense if you consider that the U.S.S. Enterprise was referred to as a Flagship a few times (and in TOS each fleet had their own emblem, before the Enterprise chevron was adopted Starfleet-wide) - Pike was promoted from Flag Captain (Captain of the Flagship) to Fleet Captain (coordinating the ships of the Admiral's fleet). With Starfleet operating across the quadrant, the Fleet Captain would need to be in a position to communicate, so moved to a base instead of being on the Flagship like an old Navy fleet who would all stay within visual range for reading flags. Jan 22, 2019 at 12:15
  • I always assumed “Fleet Captain” referred to a someone with the rank of captain but was not a starship captain - like they had a desk job involving Star Fleet’s starships somehow. So same rank, but different branch/department, like how Scotty was a “Captain of Engineering” in films and the TNG-era. Jan 27, 2019 at 0:53

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