It’s More Like a Saga
Filled with triumph and tragedy, highs and lows, political intrigue and strife, perseverance, and overcoming the odds again and again to emerge stronger and better, the long history of STARFLEET is as exciting and engrossing as anything you’re likely to find in a television mini-series or New York Times bestseller.
The following archive pulls no punches and hides no skeletons. After 35 years, STARFLEET has seen both the best and worst of what Star Trek fans are capable of. This wasn’t an idyllic journey where only good things happened. Like most enduring organizations, STARFLEET has had to deal with adversity and conflict from outside and from within. But endure we have, struggling back from the abyss on multiple occasions. But at each crossroad, STARFLEET emerged stronger and, hopefully, wiser.
We invite you to relive our journey, our trek, with us. You’ll find that we aren’t perfect, but in our imperfection, STARFLEET shines as uniquely…human.
In The Beginning
The roots of STARFLEET begin in 1973 when John Bradbury and a group of TexasStar Trek fans formed the USS Enterprise. Under Bradbury’s leadership, the group did much the same as most current STARFLEET chapters. There were fundraisers, parties, and most importantly, an ambition to grow.
And grow they did! The group became so popular that members began to spread out across the state, and these other groups of fans wanted to start their own clubs based from the same central USS Enterprise. The command staff of the Enterprise met to discuss what the future held for the organization.
1974: STARFLEET Is Founded
On May 23, 1974, the first issue of the organization’s newsletter (then called STARFLEET Communications) announced that “The USS Enterprisehas been reorganized, effective Stardate 2538.0. It will henceforth be known as STARFLEET, due to directives determined during reorganization.”
This began the process of setting up the paramilitary structure of the organization. And though that system has evolved over the years, it has indeed proven to be an effective and fun way to make things work.
The first chapter of STARFLEET was commissioned as the USS Enterpriseunder the command of Captain Jay Wallace in Lufkin, Texas, which also became the location of STARFLEET Headquarters. Two more chapters were quickly commissioned: the USS Constellation in Memphis, TN, and the USS Constitutionin Coppel, TX.
As the organization began to grow by leaps and bounds, STARFLEET soon reached the end of their first year of operations. John Bradbury (holding the rank of Commodore) continued to command the organization and, at the end of the first year, proudly stated that STARFLEET was doing so well that Fleet Command had never had to dip into their own pocket books to cover operation costs and the treasury was well into the black. By the end of 1975, there were 14 chapters across the country.
STARFLEET was very alive and healthy!
Not to be forgotten, STARFLEET Communications continued to improve in volume and quality. The newsletter gave up to date information on the latest Star Trek happenings such as the new proposed television series (which later became Star Trek: the Motion Picture). There was also information on the happenings of the other chapters and the organization as a whole. Information on science fiction books and films also appeared periodically including the announcement of a little movie called Star Wars. There was some information on rank structure and vessel positions, and there were usually convention listings.
For the complete story of Starfleet please visit the Official home of Starfleet on web http://sfi.org