The flagship of the Federation during TNG was the Enterprise-D and apparently only the best of the best served there. For example, Riker is repeatedly commended about his abilities:

From the TNG episode "Chain of Command I":

JELLICO: He [Riker] was your first officer for five years.

PICARD: One of the finest officers that I have ever served with.

JELLICO: Of course he is, Jean-Luc. I'm sure it'll all work out.

while in the TNG episode "Chain of Command II" it is stated:

LAFORGE: You're going to need one heck of a pilot to pull that off.

JELLICO: Is that you?

LAFORGE: I could do it, but truthfully, the man you want is Commander Riker. He's the best there is.

Also, not everyone is suited to serve in the flagship, as stated in "Hollow Pursuits":

PICARD: I'm not accustomed to seeing an unsatisfactory rating for one of my crew.

RIKER: I guess the issue is whether Mister Barclay is Enterprise material.

My question is: since the flagship gets the best of the best, besides bragging rights and prestige, do the crew serving there get any extra privileges?

A possible perk is having holodecks, as apparently few ships have them. Are there any more compared to serving in a regular ship?

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    You get to nearly get killed. A lot. Girls dig that
    – Valorum
    Commented Mar 2, 2019 at 18:32
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    "SONYA: Oh, I do tend to have a bit of a motor mouth, especially when I'm excited. And you don't know how exciting it is to get this assignment. Everyone in class, I mean everyone, wants the Enterprise. I mean, it would have been all right to spend some time on Reiner Six doing phase work with anti-matter. That's my specialty." - chakoteya.net/NextGen/142.htm
    – Valorum
    Commented Mar 2, 2019 at 18:41
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    While I cannot point to any one episode at the moment, the term 'carreer path' rings a few bells. Anyone 'moving on' would likely have their choice of assignments and may even be actively 'head hunted' as opposed to being arbitrarily assigned to more mundane tasks during a rotation cycle.
    – user62584
    Commented Mar 2, 2019 at 19:11
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    One of the things about Star Trek is that prestige and self-betterment was its own reward. As to the holodeck aspect: IIRC the Galaxy-Class was one of the first to have that technology inherently (older models may have been retrofitted afterward, though I've seen no evidence of this personally). Commented Mar 2, 2019 at 19:28
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    Honestly seems like the Enterprise WAS the perk rather than the other way around. Picard specifically chose a number of officers (Riker, LaForge, etc), As Valorum noted, Gomez said everyone wanted the Enterprise.Even Captain DeSoto on the Hood indicated a bit of jealousy regarding the difference in the missions of the two ships.
    – geewhiz
    Commented Mar 23, 2019 at 14:20

1 Answer 1


My question is: since the flagship gets the best of the best, besides bragging rights and prestige, do the crew serving there get any extra privileges?

Not really. The prestige is what you're there for, for the most part. The crew are the same as any other crew, and the ships are more or less the same thing as ships of the line.

The flagship doesn't tend to be all that special compared to other ships of the line. It's the experimental testbed/newer ships that get the fancier equipment, with Una remarking that Discovery was where Starfleet was spending much of its money (can't seem to find a source for it).

By comparison, the constitution-class Enterprise was a flagship under Captain Pike, but wasn't quite as fancy, for better and worse,

Basically, no. You just get bragging rights (and to be caught up in the trouble of the week) for later, and a bit of Starfleet fame, if Lower Decks is to be believed.

Only notable crewmembers, or the crews of notable ships are invited to the Command Conference, and the resulting "epic afterpaty". the USS Cerritos is a California-class workhorse starship, they aren't allowed in.

Their captain was only granted special invitation for prior actions that granted her fame.

  • 3
    Hi, welcome to SF&F. What you say makes a lot of sense, but this would be a better answer if you could back it up with quotes from official sources (not just the shows, but official books like the Star Fleet Technical Manual would work too).
    – DavidW
    Commented Aug 7, 2023 at 19:16
  • @DavidW Good to know, thanks. I couldn't find a clip of the quote source, so I've tried to tack on some additional supporting information. I hope that is good enough.
    – techno156
    Commented Aug 7, 2023 at 19:33

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