Welcome to Starfleet Academy Logistics Office. I am Chief Petty Officer Jack North. Here you will be told all about Starfleet uniforms and equipment. It is my duty to instruct you about all the various items that will become your possessions during the deep-space missions that you will embark upon in due course.
Firstly I shall draw your attention to your cadet jumpsuit. This is to be your mainstay uniform for the next four years. The uniform is functional in it's appearance and construction. Cadets are referred to by class - a first year cadet is cadet 4th class, second year are cadet 3rd class and so-on until you reach cadet 1st class. The coloured band on your left sleeves indicate what division you belong to, white is for command, ochre is for engineering, grey is for science, green is for medical, blue is for special services, windsor green is for security, indigo is for security operations and flame red is for general academy staff and cadets. Although it is rare, occasionally cadets earn a commission - either temporary or permenant - in these rare cases you will be issued with standard Starfleet officer jacket with flame red undershirt and appropriate rank insignia. As with all Starfleet uniforms each one consists of smart homeostatic material, this will help you stay comfortably warm, without sweating too much in warm extremes or freezing in cold extremes. Your boots are standard issue Starfleet boots. You will be expected to keep these boots shiney enough to see your face in. The Academy code has always been "Shiney boots, shiney mind". And this is how it remains.
Author's notes: Windsor green undershirts were seen in TSFS for the scene where Kirk and his friends break McCoy from custody (Don't call me Tiny). Star Trek V saw the only appearance of the indigo (or in some shots a dark blue) undershirt and sleeve stripe of the 'troopers' or 'security division commandos' who helped Kirk and party to try rescue the Nimbus III hostages. These were no doubt a sub-group of security division in the same way we have Special Weapons And Tactics/SWAT teams in the police. For the operations they performed in Trek V, they would be similar to the Royal Marines of today's Royal Navy, boarding ships to detect smuggling. According to the notes by Robert Fletcher, designer of the Wrath of Khan uniforms: Usually only commanding officers and staff officers onship wear white shirts. Other officers in command of their divisions generally stick to shirts of their division color and display white slashes on their sleeves & straps. This raises a question as to why Spock and Scotty still wore command white undershirts on the Enterprise-A. Spock should have reverted to sciences grey undershirt and Scotty remain in engineering ochre.
The cadet jumpsuit was first seen in ST II: TWOK with flame red collar and cuffband with departmental coloured slash on the cuffband. The Interplay game 'Starfleet Academy' uses standard NCO coloured uniform with 'squeeks' on the collar to denote number of years service in Starfleet Academy. I take the Starfleet Academy uniforms to be incorrect, flame-red is established as the cadet colour. I use a modified Trek II cadet uniform as the 'correct' one - flame red with department coloured epaulettes. Officially there are no markings for cadet class on this uniform, there have been suggestions of 'squeaks' on the collar TNG style or on the sleeve, but this wouldn't look right IMHO. One of the cadets in Wrath of Khan has a Petty Officer rank insignia, referred to as cadet rank insignia in some shops. Fletchers notes have nothing on cadet ranks [although the actual rank insignia on the arm on the jumpsuit on the photo right is crewman, for the lowest enlisted rank of Crewman Trainee].
The Starfleet officer uniform is the standard starfleet dress uniform. The officer uniform consists of a department coloured undershirt, black trousers with department-coloured stripe down the sides, standard Starfleet issue boots, and the dress uniform jacket. A waistcoat is optional for an extra layer, the waistcoat may also be worn in place of the dress jacket in less formal environments. The dress uniform is also worn by Non-Commissioned Officers during dress uniform situations: promotions, parade and marriage to name but a few. The Non-Commissioned Officer dress uniform has the enlisted variant of the starfleet insignia on the jacket breast.
I'll take this moment to explain to all of you what minor features on the officer uniform can tell you about the wearer, besides the obvious shoulder and sleeve straps. Firstly, there is a coloured stripe that runs down the side of the trousers. This stripe is in the division colour of the wearer, except in the case of Command division, which has a red stripe down the side of the trousers. Now when the officer becomes a Commodore, the first flag officer stage, there is an additional half-size gold band that runs down the middle of the division-coloured trouser stripe. Fleet Admirals gain a second gold stripe in addition.
Jacket markings. All Flag Officers have a gold band that follows the black edging around the front flap from the mid-top point to the right bottom edge. The Starfleet Commander-in-Chief has two such gold stripes. Flag Officers also have a gold braid on the left sleeve above the division band and below the rank insignia. Commodores have a plain gold band with no lozenges, rear admirals and upwards have increasing number of lozenges added from one at Rear Admiral to four for Fleet Admiral.
Author's note: The Starfleet Commissioned Officer uniform is the one most associated with this era. We have only ever seen officers wear this uniform, suggesting they have a different uniform as their dress uniform, or that they have an additional uniform to dress down with. The bomber jacket has been described as the dressing down version of the officers uniform. The officers wear the jacket to stand out as officers. The Yeoman's uniform was only ever seen in ST V:TFF and was worn by Shatner's daughter, Melanie. In the contemporary armed services, yeoman are NCOs - which keeps with Rand's comment in 'Flashback' that she took 3 years to make ensign... The waistcoat was a feature first shown in ST II: TWOK in a plain wine red colour as another layer of uniform under the environmental jacket.The waistcoat has been thought of as a Captain's waistcoat, but a publicity shot from ST III: TSFS shows Saavik [aka Robin Curtis] wearing the waistcoat. The modified waistcoat, modelled by myself in the image, was seen only in ST: Generations. The waistcoat would normally not have any insignia on it as it would be worn under the dress jacket, but were the officer to wear just the waistcoat then the insignia would be transferred from the jacket to the waistcoat [just to let the universe know who they belonged to]. Cadet dress uniforms were seen in ST II:TWOK, and use the system of flame red with department coloured slashes on the sleeve cuff band and shoulder strap. The official uniform guide of J.E. Brooks (Paramount copyright 1986) notes with regards to the inner panel on the commissioned officer uniform jacket that: White is for the facing of jackets for command division. All others use a medium tan. What you can take from this, as noted in my notes above, is that the costume department forgot after Star Trek III that Spock should have reverted back to rank commander (can't have two captains serving on a ship) and that his undershirt, shoulder strap and left sleeve cuff would have also reverted to science grey. Captain Scott should have been the same case, although most often we saw Jimmy Doohan in engineering colours.
Next we have the less formal Starfleet 'Bomber Jacket'. The 'Bomber Jacket' is so-called as it resembles the jackets worn by humans in the 20th Century when flying their bomber aircraft.
The Bomber Jacket may be used in situations which do not demand the ultra-smart dress uniform situation. This jacket tends to be used during general starship operations and during off-duty periods. It also a very popular choice of uniform for the off-duty and shore leave situations as it is less 'stand-offish' than the dress uniform. This image shows the late-Captain Kirk in his 'Bomber Jacket' during his mission to Nimbus III on Stardate 8454. This image shows the more relaxed, informal image this jacket has as opposed to the dress uniform.
Author's note: the Bomber Jacket was introduced in ST III: TSFS. The jacket was worn both by Admiral Morrow and Scotty at various points. In ST V: TFF the uniform returned with Kirk wearing this uniform for his Enterprise stint from Earth to Nimbus III. This uniform is a much more relaxed uniform, and is much loved. Indeed, I consider this particular shot to be the best Captain Kirk shot in my possession. The only downside to this uniform is that Nick and I have reservations about the blatant use of contemporary press-studs in the uniform.
Away Teams have various uniforms to deal with the wide variety of climates encountered. Illustrated is the khaki version of the uniform for desert and other arid conditions. This Away Team uniform - and other variations such as the arctic version - is of slightly harder-wearing material than the dress uniform and is more suited to a survival situation than the formal dress uniform. This material, like all other Starfleet uniforms, is made of homeostatic materials that regulate the temperature of the uniform to keep the wearer comfortable even in extreme climates. The uniform consists of khaki coloured jumper, department coloured undershirt and khaki trousers. Starfleet unses Away Team boots for this uniform as a more rough-terrain option than unsing the standard issue Starfleet Boots (Although the standard issue boots are more than capable of coping with all terrains). There is also the away team jacket which can be worn with the class A undershirt. This uniform has been around since 2277 and has seen extensive use in climates as different as equitorial rainforests or tundra.
Author's note: The homeostatic material mentioned as being standard for Starfleet uniforms I consider will be a normal aspect of everyday clothing in 300 years time. After all, clothing technology will progress as much as any other aspect. The Away team khaki uniforms were only seen in Star Trek V, the Field Jacket was seen in Star Treks II and III.
This is the starfleet standard jumpsuit. This jumpsuit is worn by enlisted crew and Non-Commissioned Officers - NCOs - such as myself. Due to the design of the starfleet jumpsuit, this is the uniform best suited for physical operations. The difference between the standard jumpsuit and the cadet jumpsuit is the presence of flame red collar and cuffs on cadet version of this uniform, which is black on the enlisted crew version.
The enlisted and cadet jumpsuits are the most consistent uniforms for the period 2278 - 2355, however they are also the uniforms which have the most continuity errors in the official Star Trek publications. In the Star Trek encyclopedia, a recurring error had the enlisted black collared jumpsuit labelled as a cadet uniform. This error actually led to the photo of Tom Hardy as Cadet Picard in Star Trek: Nemesis being shown wearing an enlisted uniform, NOT a cadet jumpsuit - additionally the Starfleet insignia was missing.
All ranks of enlisted crew have been shown in this jumpsuit, although one would imagine the dress uniform version would be similar to the officer jacket, but with the enlisted version of the Starfleet insignia on the left breast. The enlisted person shown (left) on the Enterprise-A bridge from Star Trek VI can plainly be seen to be a senior chief petty officer with an ochre sleeve band with a white slash. This individual is therefore a department head without being an officer. Something many seem to forget in Star Trek.
The yeoman is one of the specialised Non-commissioned Officers found on a starship or starbase. A yeoman can be told apart from other NCOs by the gold honour cord braid over the left shoulder, to which a bosuns whistle is attached on ceremonial occasions.
Author's Note: William Shatner's daughter was seen in Star Trek V dressed in an officers uniform as a yeoman, but the traditional role is for an NCO.
There are many other specialised uniforms in Starfleet. We will now cover these specialised uniforms in some detail here. Firstly there is the special services uniform which is worn by steward staff on a starship. These stewards are at the cutting edge of diplomatic functions and are an important part of the diplomatic process. A steward must exude professionalism and precision and this uniform allows them to do just that.
Other special services uniforms include chefs uniforms and cleansing unforms - grey versions of the engineering uniform [see next section]. Various sports gear is also included in this section, including anbo-jyutsu and Parrises Squares.
Engineering division features one of the largest varieties of uniform, from the Dress uniform to the white anti-radiation suit that is worn whilst on duty in Main Engineering. Other variations of this uniform include the orange Damage Control variant and the grey Cleansing/janatorial version.
Author's Notes: The Orange Damage Control uniform was only seen in the Starfleet Command scenes in ST: IV, the grey version was seen in the Academy corridor scenes with Kirk and Spock from ST: II.
Medical division has specialised uniforms including the standard lab white uniform and a medical version of the engineering uniform in green, used for biohazardous conditions.
Author's Note: we have seen no such biohazard suit, but logic says there must be a version out there. The medical uniform has been consistently seen from Star Trek I.
Update 2312 - stardate 13400. A new variant of the officers uniform is issued. This version does not have the quilted turtle neck undershirt. Instead of this the undershirt has a lower, plain collar and cuffs. This is almost flush with the collar of the jacket. The belt and other features of the jacket are retained. Author's Notes: This uniform change is the one which we see for the TNG episode 'tapestry', one of my favourite episodes. This uniform, for me, is a far better upgrade than the later E-C variant from 'Yesterday's Enterprise'. I think the studio hadn't the time or money to model a new undershirt for the latter episode, but for 'Tapestry' they created a whole new flush undershirt. Only the primary three departments of command, science and engineering are seen, suggesting perhaps a simplification of the departments had been undertaken. The 'Tapestry' uniform is more flattering, certainly for the females, as the belt allows some form in the jacket, whereas the later belt-less version sits straight on the body. With the quest for an image that is unique in the Trek timeline - new warp speed scale, new uniforms, new phasers etc - then this 'Tapestry' uniform was the logical choice for introduction coincidently the January after Tomed, as a result of the Starfleet Review for the Federation 150 celebrations. Images are below: