One of the most commendable aspects of the Star Trek franchise is its message of inclusivity and tolerance. By featuring the men and women of Starfleet as they explore space, it showcases a multiracial organization that is made up of races and species from all parts of the universe. By including so many aliens in prominent positions aboard the Enterprise, it strengthens ties between cultures and obscures xenophobia.
Starfleet initially represented a United Earth but grew to represent the United Federation of Planets. Any member of the Federation may join Starfleet, and in some cases, even non-Federation races may join, provided they have a high ranking member of Starfleet vouch for them. Some of the bravest and most compassionate members of Starfleet have been aliens, so here are 10 of Starfleet’s best.
10 DEANNA TROI (BETAZOID)
Known for her empathy and compassion, Deanna Troi was an essential crew member aboard the USS Enterprise-D. A half-Betazoid, half-human operating as its ship’s counselor, her Betazoid abilities helped her in resolving conflicts among the crew, strengthening their morale, as well as in dealing with hostile alien races.
Because she was only half Betazoid, she could only read the emotions of other races, but she could read the thoughts of her own species (such as when her mother came on board). She could often tell if individuals were lying, which proved invaluable to members of the crew when placed in particularly ambiguous situations.
9 WORF (KLINGON)
The first Klingon to ever join Starfleet, Worf represented all the abundant opportunities different races could enjoy, even for those whose race had not yet joined the Federation. Worf was born of one of the Klingon Empire’s Great Houses, Martok. However, his family was killed by Romulan warships while living in the Khitomer colony.
He was adopted by the Rozhenkos when a chief petty officer aboard the USS Intrepid discovered him in the rubble of the attack. When he was a teenager, he stayed with cousins of the House of Mogh and underwent his Rite of Ascension to become a warrior. Not long after, he declared he would attend Starfleet Academy. He served as the chief of security aboard the USS Enterprise-D and proved a formidable adversary and dependable crew member.
8 JADZIA DAX (TRILL)
As a member of the Trill species, not only did Jadzia Dax have the memories of seven former hosts of the Dax symbiont, she also had all of their interests, skills, and personality traits. Trills don’t always co-exist with a symbiotic organism, but those on the planet Trill hope to one day undergo a synthesis of their bodies with the symbiont as it is a sign of prestige.
The former host, Curzon Dax, was a mentor to Benjamin Sisko, commander of space station Deep Space 9 where Jadzia would serve as a capable science officer. Curzon selected Jadzia, then a pupil of his, to undergo synthesis with the Dax symbiont inside him once his health began to fail. Sisko came to view the new Dax with the same fondness as his old friend.
7 NOG (FERENGI)
Ferengi are mostly known for their avarice and love of profit, their greed making them ill-suited for a life in Starfleet. One Ferengi named Nog wished to transcend the abhorrent traits of his species, selecting a career in Starfleet over going into some form of business. He became the first Ferengi to ever join Starfleet, despite Ferenginar not being a member of the Federation.
While on Deep Space 9, under the command of Captain Benjamin Sisko, he worked as a waiter at fellow Ferengi Quark's bar and was a close friend to Sisko’s son, Jake. Though Captain Sisko wasn’t pleased that his son was so close to a Ferengi, he would later be the one to personally support his application to Starfleet.
6 MR. SPOCK (VULCAN)
One of the most well-respected officers in all of Starfleet, as well as a distinguished ambassador for the Federation, Spock (whose Vulcan name is unpronounceable to humans) was known for his utilization of Vulcan logic and deductive reasoning during missions on the starship USS Enterprise. He was born to a Vulcan father and human mother and felt emotions deeply as a child prior to suppressing them.
He served as a science officer under Captain Christopher Pike until his promotion to fleet captain, at which time he served under Captain James T. Kirk as his First Officer, with whom he became very close. He would eventually serve as the commanding officer aboard the Enterprise when it was used as a training ship.
5 T'POL (VULCAN)
Prior to Mr. Spock, T’pol was the first Vulcan known to have served in Starfleet, under Captain Jonathan Archer aboard the Enterprise NX-01. Like all Vulcans, she was logical, reserved, and reclusive. Prior to her time on the Enterprise, she served the Vulcan High Command and had frequent dealings with the Klingon Empire as an emissary.
On the Enterprise, she was a sub-commander, providing star charts and assistance with interpreting the Klingon language. Some of the crew regarded her as an undercover agent feeding information to Vulcan High Command. Once her skills and linguistic knowledge proved to be useful and influential, she was finally accepted.
4 TUVOK (VULCAN)
Tuvok was the Chief of Security aboard Voyager, and one of Captain Janeway’s most trusted confidantes. Like all Vulcans, he had a reserved demeanor, and he took the responsibility of the ship’s security incredibly seriously. Voyager revealed that Tuvok was an undercover agent infiltrating the Maquis group on orders from the Federation.
While Tuvok was serving aboard Chakotay’s ship the Val Jean, the ship had to work together with Janeway’s crew aboard Voyager after the actions of the Caretaker. The two entities had to learn to work together after they were stuck in the Delta Quadrant for seven years trying to find ways to get home.
3 KIRA NERYS (BAJORAN)
Kira Nerys was the senior Bajoran Militia officer under Starfleet captain Benjamin Sisko, who was in command of the space station Deep Space Nine. She operated as the station’s executive officer and did her job with thoroughness and dedication, becoming a Bajoran who had survived under Cardassian occupation of Bajor.
Kira was raised in a labor camp, which hardened her mindset and made her somewhat closed off to people. Her abrasive personality hides a wounded heart, capable of great selflessness. She comes from a family of the Bajoran artisan caste, but Kira would not spend her days sculpting; she became part of the Shakaar resistance against the Cardassians in an attempt to rid her planet of their presence.
2 SARU (KELPIEN)
Like so many other alien members of Starfleet, Saru was the first of his race to enter service. A Kelpien from the planet Kaminar, he served aboard two Federation starships: the USS Shenzhou and the USS Discovery. He often took control of the Discovery for its captain, Gabriel Lorca, and would eventually permanently replace him when he took the starship into the mirror universe.
Like all Kelpiens, Saru was tall and amphibious looking. Empathy was said to be “hardwired” into Kelpien DNA, and Saru often spoke of his heightened sixth sense that registered danger, or “sensed death.” Saru was incredibly brave, and for his help in ending the Klingon/Federation War, he was awarded the Starfleet Medal of Honor.
1 SEVEN OF NINE (BORG)
Born Annika Hansen, the daughter of two human exobiologists Magnus and Erin, she was assimilated into the Borg collective when she was only six years old. She was liberated by the crew aboard the USS Voyager and made to be a member of their cohort. She was known as Seven of Nine due to her numerical Borg designation.
Due to being so long with the Borg, even though most of her implants were removed, she kept a few, and those assisted her with making faster calculations and requiring much less sleep than her fellow crew members, increasing her efficiency. She returned to the Alpha Quadrant with the ship and, according to the Voyager novels, led a think tank in Starfleet Academy and became a professor.