Star Fleet was the space navy of the United Federation of Planets, charged with the responsibility for exploration of new territory, policing of Federation law within the UFP, and defense of the Federation from outside hostile forces. Star Fleet had a military structure and used military terminology, but it was not simply a military organization; the role of Star Fleet involved duties beyond that of a military arm of government.
Following the incorporation of the United Federation of Planets by Earth, Alpha Centauri, Vulcan, Andoria, and Tellar Prime on Reference Stardate 0/8706.06 (12 August 2161),[Notes 1] Starfleet Command was scheduled to be organized within three years in order to provide a unified military force for exploration and common defense.
Starfleet Command was formally established to replace the spacegoing forces of all member planets, with all ships redesignated as "United Space Ships" (U.S.S.). To discourage the possible misuse of military forces anywhere in space, General Order Number One, aka the Prime Directive, was adopted as the most important regulation in Star Fleet. To provide Starfleet Command with military intelligence-gathering capabilities, Starfleet Intelligence was created. Its Operating Forces Subdivision initially consisted of Sectors 1 through 4, and the Technical Services Subdivision contained Orion Activities Units as well as supporting branches.
- While Star Trek: Spaceflight Chronology and Star Trek: The Role Playing Game gave the date of the founding of the Federation as 6 June 2087 (predating the Romulan War by several years, which occurred decades earlier in that chronology), this was contradicted on screen in Star Trek: Generations, in which a newspaper article in Picard's family scrapbook explicitly states that the founding of the Federation occurred on 12 August 2161, following the end of the Romulan War. While the FASA Reference Stardate has been retained, the Earth calendar date has been adjusted to reflect the information seen on screen.
- Wheeler, Wm. John with McLimore, Guy W. Jr., Poehlein, Greg K., and Tepool, David F. "Cadet's Orientation Sourcebook." Star Trek: The Role Playing Game, Book 2004A. FASA Corporation, 1983.
- Berman, Rick & Braga, Brannon (Executive Producers) & Black, Chris (Co-Executive Producer). "Azati Prime." Star Trek: Enterprise, Season 3, Episode 18. Directed by Allan Kroeker. Story by Rick Berman & Brannon Braga and Manny Coto. Teleplay by Manny Coto. Paramount Pictures Corporation, 3 March 2004.
- Berman, Rick (Producer). Star Trek: Generations. Directed by David Carson. Story by Rick Berman & Ronald D. Moore & Brannon Braga. Screenplay by Ronald D. Moore & Brannon Braga. Paramount Pictures Corporation, 18 November 1994.
- Goldstein, Stan and Goldstein, Fred with Sternbach, Rick. Star Trek: Spaceflight Chronology. Pocket Books, 1980.
- Theisen, John A.. "The Romulan War." Star Trek: The Role Playing Game, Supplement 2221A. FASA Corporation. 1986.
- Theisen, John A. "Star Fleet Intelligence Manual: Agent's Orientation Sourcebook." Star Trek: The Role Playing Game, Supplement 2014B. FASA Corporation. 1987.