Starfleet Military Reserves Uniform Board has gone over several submissions for a distictive appearence that sets it aside from its sister agency Starfleet Special Operations, and Starfleet Exploratory. The Special Operations branch has adopted this uniform to best conceal its members in the company of other Starfleet personnel.
The decision to abandon division colors was based on old military practices and doctrine concerning unit cohension, and corps d'esprit. Having simular appearances among the ranks has shown to amplify a sense of teamhood among the members. Division colors could create situations where one department behaviorally isolates itself from the others, or may feel less important than another department, which could result negatively on mission impact. Although all cadets, Officers, and NCOs receive basic and managerial training in Workforce Relationships, the simularity of uniform accessorizes that training, and can build unit confidence.
The Battle Utility Uniform (Starfleet Uniform Version F1), or fatigues, is overall black, with gray-blue shoulders. The overall design is based on the popular jumpsuit with the boot cuff bloused to afford quick access to the boots if needed. A low power forcefield grid is woven into the fabric to provide limited protection when a shield belt is worn. This system can reduce the damage index by 75% and handles discharge energy indices up to 900 per 1 second. This correlates with Setting 5 on standard issue Type I, II phasers. Other belts provide stations on which to secure Type II, IIB phasers, and the TT220 Tactical Tricorder I, or the MT594 Medical Tricorder IV.
Currently there are two types of BUUs. F1 Type I for starship use, and F1 Type II for Aero/Ground Forces. Type II incorporate cargo pockets and have electrodynamic chromomorphic camoflage (EDCC) fibers woven into them to create blended enviromental patterns. Power is supplied by a network of bio-electric inducers for the whole EDCC system. Enviromental patterns are aquired with a tricorder and transmited to the commbadge placard, whose proccessor manages the EDCC software. In the event that the commbadge is removed, a back-up EDCC processor is located on the forward waistband. The EDCC system is not a true cloaking system and simply is a camoflaging technique.
Designed for formal fuctions and ceremonies, the All-Ranks Dress Uniform takes from styles based on the standard Starfleet Uniform Version C1 (vC1), Version D3 (vD3), and the current standard Officer's Dress Uniform (ODU). The coat uses the broad lapel as seen on vC1 and the ODU, and the vertical rank epaulet simular to the vC1. Pips have been replaced by stacked bars for officers, and enlarged vertical insignia for enlisted. The overall style matches near to vD3, with the exception of pants blousing to retain a military appearance. [the Review Board is looking into whether or not the colors will mirror the BUU, or if division colors will be added, or if another distinguishing color scheme will be used.]
All rank insignia has been decided to be placed on a communication badge placard and will have the same appearance as those in Starfleet, with the exception of the Dress Uniform.
With the creation of a seperate Aero/Ground Forces branch, surveys showed that rank structure was not compatable to that of the normal Starfleet nominclature. "Ground pounders" felt that they were not to be called Petty Officers, and many, even those crewmembers aboard starships, felt that that term held derogatory connotations. For the purposes of the the SMRF and the SMRAGF the traditional title of Petty Officer was dropped in favor of the branch neutral title of Sergeant.
In keeping with tradition, corpsmen wanted a distictive rank pip and arrangment. Historic army ranks where chosen, and the pips altered to squares to deter confusion.
Author's notes: The Uniform designations I chose reflect the uniforms worn in the "Wrath of Khan" (vC1) and in "The Next Generation's" thrid season (vD3). The designations just make it sound more technical. Under such system, the ones used today on Deep Space 9 would be vE1.
Images ©1998 Paul Cargile