For the mirror universe counterpart see MACO (mirror).
For the alternate mirror universe counterpart see MACO (AMU).
"Military Assault Command…"
"Captain Archer said he wanted the best.
"
Hoshi Sato and Joss Hayes, 2153

The United Earth Military Assault Command Organization (commonly abbreviated as MACO, MACO Corps and alternately called Military Assault Command Operations) was a military organization. The MACO motto was Semper Invictus, Latin for "forever invincible". (ENT - The Romulan War novel: Beneath the Raptor's Wing, STO novel: The Needs of the Many; ST reference: Star Trek Encyclopedia)

The MACOs (pronounced "MAY-ko") were not originally associated with Starfleet. As of 2153, MACO weapons and technology were three years more advanced than those of United Earth Starfleet.

The military official that oversaw MACO was a High General. MACO posts included Atlanta, Georgia and the Janus loop. Training posts included the old United States Army Station at West Point in New York, and others in Chicago, San Francisco, London, Paris, Berlin, Moscow, Beijing, Tokyo, and ShiKahr on Vulcan. (Star Trek: Enterprise)

Following the Romulan War and the founding of the United Federation of Planets, most of MACO was absorbed into the Federation Starfleet as Starfleet Security, with the rest becoming the Starfleet Marine Corps. Some MACO officers joined Starfleet, such as Major Balthazar M. Edison, who became captain of the USS Franklin. (ENT - Rise of the Federation novel: A Choice of Futures, TOS movie: Star Trek Beyond)

Known as Starfleet Military Assault Command Operations (commonly abreviated as SMACO or MACO, MACO Corps and alternately called Starfleet Military Assault Command Organization) during the time of the Federation in the 24th century. In 2375, following the end of the Dominion War, MACO was integrated into Starfleet, and its members were reassigned to the operations division of Starfleet. However, they retained their operating ranks and some independence from Starfleet. (Star Trek: Intrepid)

History[edit | edit source]

The Military Assault Command Operations was founded in 2133, as a military alliance by the European Hegemony and several western nations, including the United States and Canada. It later transitioned as the primary ground force of United Earth.

In 2151 through 2160, MACO was commanded by High General George Casey. (Star Trek: Enterprise)

A detachment of troops commanded by Major Joss Hayes was assigned by High General Casey to the starship Enterprise for its mission into the Delphic Expanse in 2153, upon request by Captain Jonathan Archer. They saw their first action six weeks into the mission; in September, Hayes and a six-man team rescued Archer, Commander Tucker, and Kessick from the clutches of a trellium mining planet. (ENT episode & novelization: The Expanse)

Since the Earth Starfleet was not a military organization, MACO troops were used to fulfill any military functions needed aboard Earth Starfleet vessels. MACOs fought in the Undine War in the 25th century. (STO novel: The Needs of the Many)

There were MACO posts in the city of Atlanta and the Janus loop. One of their training posts was at West Point in New York. (ENT episodes: "The Xindi", "Hatchery", "The Council")

In 2155, during the Earth-Romulan War, the Military Assault Command Operations were heavily involved in the ground scale engagements against the Romulans. They were known to have suffered losses at Deneva and Berengaria VII by sneak attacks from the Romulan Star Empire. Due to Starfleet's limited number of ships, there were fears on how to get MACO troopers to the front lines without adequate ship support. (ENT- The Romulan War novel: Beneath the Raptor's Wing)

Following the Romulan War and the founding of the United Federation of Planets, most of MACO was absorbed into the Federation Starfleet as Starfleet Security, with the rest becoming the Starfleet Marine Corps. Some MACO officers joined Starfleet, such as Major Balthazar M. Edison, who became captain of the USS Franklin. (ENT- Rise of the Federation novel: A Choice of Futures, TOS movie: Star Trek Beyond)

The MACO insignia in an alternate timeline

In 2375, following the end of the Dominion War, MACO was integrated into Starfleet, and its members were reassigned to the operations division of Starfleet. However, they retained their operating ranks and some independence from Starfleet. Some Starfleet ships had MACO squads on board such as the USS Gemini-A, a Excelsior-class starship, the USS Gemini-B, a Ambassador-class starship, commanded by Major George Travis and the USS Intrepid, a Galaxy-class starship and the USS Intrepid-A, a Sovereign-class starship, commanded by Major/Corporal Sascha Money. MACOs have consistently demonstrated a level of competance in small-unit-tactics, close-quarters-combat, and even hand-to-hand combat that put Starfleet Security from any era to shame. (Star Trek: Intrepid)

MACO patches[edit | edit source]

MACO personnel[edit | edit source]

Uniforms and equipment[edit | edit source]

MACO personnel alongside Starfleet officers

The MACO uniforms and equipment were worn by United Earth military personnel in the 22nd century and later in the 24th century by MACO officers of the Federation. (Star Trek: Enterprise, Star Trek: Intrepid)

Equipment and uniform[edit | edit source]

22nd century[edit | edit source]

Standard weaponry for MACO personnel in the 22nd century was a stun baton, stun grenades, phase pistol, and a phase rifle. The stun grenades worked similarly to "flashbang" grenades. The rifle, in sniper mode, bore a strong resemblance to the Federation sniper rifle of the time. MACO mission patches were a shark, a reference to the mako species.

The standard combat uniform worn by MACO personnel was a two piece uniform with matching undergarment, gloves and boots. The overall color of the combat uniform and boots was gray with white, black, and brown camouflage effects. The belt, gloves and undergarments were a brown color.This uniform was worn in and out of combat.

In the mirror universe, a skull appeared on MACO service patches. Both Malcolm Reed and Travis Mayweather served as MACOs in the mirror universe. Their motto was "Ever Invincible."

25th century[edit | edit source]

Memories of the Dominion War and renewed conflicts with the Klingons, caused MACO commanding officers to realize that specialized combat equipment was needed to supplement the elite training of their soldiers. As such, polyalloy weave combat armor was developed to protect the troops while the Type 3 compression phaser rifle provided the firepower needed in combat.

With revision 120.2C to the Starfleet Uniform Code, a new uniform (commonly referred to as the "Odyssey") was adopted by Starfleet. MACO personnel wore the standard uniforms, but with a department color of deep blue.

Combat uniform[edit | edit source]

The standard combat uniform worn by MACO personnel was a two piece uniform with matching undergarment, gloves and boots. The overall color of the combat uniform and boots was gray with white, black, and brown camouflage effects. The belt, gloves and undergarments were a brown color. This uniform was worn in and out of combat. The MACOs still used this combat uniform in the 24th century. (Star Trek: Enterprise, Star Trek: Intrepid)

Environment suit[edit | edit source]

The MACO environmental suit

MACO issued its own environmental suits, distinct from the ones used by contemporary Starfleet personnel. MACO EV suits had a silver color, with support systems located in a backpack. The helmet featured two lights in a more central position than on the Starfleet suits. The MACOs still used this environmental suit in the 24th century. (Star Trek: Enterprise, Star Trek: Intrepid)

Arms and equipment[edit | edit source]

MACO soldiers were often outfitted with a diverse set of accessories and weapons. The former included canteens. (Star Trek: Enterprise, Star Trek: Intrepid)

Arms[edit | edit source]

A sniper particle rifle with scope and extended barrel

Backpack[edit | edit source]

A hard-shell backpack, of a similar design as used by Starfleet, was used to carry additional equipment or armament. (Star Trek: Enterprise, Star Trek: Intrepid)

Equipment belt[edit | edit source]

The equipment belt, with a pistol holster and pistol charges on the left, and scanner and stun baton on the right side

An equipment belt was normally worn, carrying the stun baton, two stun grenades, the holstered phase pistol, three phase pistol charges, and a hand scanner. (Star Trek: Enterprise)

By the 24th century, the equipment belt carried the stun baton, two stun grenades, the holstered phaser pistol, three phaser pistol charges, and a tricorder. (Star Trek: Intrepid)

MACO ranks[edit | edit source]

The rank system used by the United Earth MACO military force of 22nd century, and the Terran Empire in the mirror universe, were based on traditional army and naval ranks from Earth's past. In this case, the precedent for MACO ranks was most likely the Marine Corps, since Starfleet itself is based on a naval motif.

General[edit | edit source]

The flag officer rank of general was used by General Casey, commanding officer of the MACOs who were assigned to the Enterprise (NX-01). This rank was approximately equivalent to an Starfleet admiral. (ENT episode: "The Expanse")

It was not revealed if the MACO infrastructure used any separate grades of general rank, and no general's rank insignia was ever made for the series. Based on the rank insignia that was shown, a "general" would be one, two, three, or four stars.|The insignia for general was on display in a diagram of MACO rank and insignia, in the Star Trek Encyclopedia. There were four stars. Furthermore, the diagram had insignias for brigadier general, major general, and lieutenant general.

Major[edit | edit source]

MACO major patch

The rank of major was used by MACO field officers commanding larger groups of soldiers on special assignments. The insignia was a gold oak leaf on a blue shoulder patch. The oak leaf insignia appears to have been carried over from the US insignia for major.

Major Joss Hayes commanded the MACOs aboard Enterprise. Traditionally, a major was equivalent of a naval lieutenant commander. However, Starfleet had no such rank at the time. Though Hayes may have technically outranked Lieutenant Malcolm Reed, the MACO team was still subordinate to the ship's chief of security.

In the mirror universe, Major Malcolm Reed was the chief of security aboard the ISS Enterprise.

From the fact that Hayes named a corporal as his successor in Countdown, it could be assumed that he was the only MACO officer aboard Enterprise. A variant of the major insignia was on display in a diagram of MACO rank and insignia in the Encyclopedia (4th ed., vol. 2, p. 9). This variant had the six-leaf cluster being of an uniform color, yellow.

Sergeant[edit | edit source]

The sergeant insignia consisted of three white chevrons on a blue shoulder patch.

Corporal[edit | edit source]

MACO corporal patch

The corporal insignia consisted of two white chevrons on a blue shoulder patch.

Several corporals were seen assigned to Enterprise, and also posted at other Starfleet assignments.

Private[edit | edit source]

The private insignia consisted of a single white chevron on a blue shoulder patch.

While the insignia was plainly seen, the term "private" was not used in any dialogue, the troopers in question were simply referred to as "MACOs."

Appendices[edit | edit source]

Background information[edit | edit source]

The MACOs appear to have followed the same basic rank system of Earth armies, with American-style insignia. The producers and writers of ENT apparently avoided the army ranks that sounded naval (lieutenant, captain, etc.) to avoid confusion.

Combat timeline[edit | edit source]

2153 (September)[edit | edit source]

  • Rescuing Captain Archer and Commander Tucker from a Trellium mining planet
  • Trying to fend off an Osaarian boarding party
  • Battling on the Loque'eque homeworld
  • Trying to fend off a Xindi-Reptilian boarding party
  • Providing escort for Enterprise officers on the Seleya

2153 (October)[edit | edit source]

  • Providing escort for Enterprise officers on the Xindi-Arboreal colony
  • Providing backup on a Human colony in the Expanse

2153 (November)[edit | edit source]

  • Taking back Enterprise from Triannon hijackers

2153 (December)[edit | edit source]

  • Guarding the prisoner Degra
  • Providing combat training for Enterprise officers
  • Containing a Sphere Builder test subject

2154 (January)[edit | edit source]

  • Assisting Captain Archer in a possible mutiny situation

2154 (February)[edit | edit source]

  • Raiding an Illyrian vessel
  • Providing escort for Enterprise officers inside a Delphic Expanse sphere
  • Recovering Ensign Hoshi Sato from a Reptilian vessel
  • Assisting in destroying the Xindi superweapon
  • Repelling a Sphere Builder boarding party
  • Accompanying Archer to a meeting with Vosk on 1944 Earth

2154 (May)[edit | edit source]

  • Escort and guard for the prisoner Arik Soong
  • Attempt to fend off an Augment boarding party
  • Attempting to take back Cold Station 12 from the Augments

2154 (November)[edit | edit source]

  • Escort and guard of Tellarite delegation
  • Boarding the Romulan drone-ship
  • Attempting to fend off a Klingon Augment boarding party

2154 (December)[edit | edit source]

2161 (October)[edit | edit source]

Background information[edit | edit source]

Mission patch[edit | edit source]

The MACO Enterprise mission patch depicted a mako shark. (Countdown text commentary, ENT Season 3 DVD) The mission patch was designed by Scenic Art Supervisor Michael Okuda. (Star Trek: Costumes: Five Decades of Fashion from the Final Frontier, p. 217)

The patch was later used during the production of Star Trek Beyond, modified to feature the name of the USS Franklin rather than Enterprise. The MACO patch was stenciled on the sides of PX70 motorcycles used in the film [1] and was printed onto T-shirts given to the cast and crew.

MACOs after 2161[edit | edit source]

There have been no references to any separate Earth military after the final MACO appearance in 2161. There has only been one explicit mention of a Human holding an army rank after this point in history, and the officer in question – Colonel Patrick West – was shown to be a member of Starfleet in 2293 wearing a vice admiral's rank (which would make him a lieutenant general in the army).

Star Trek Beyond co-writer Doug Jung once noted about the disbanding of MACO, "I thought it'd be kind of interesting [....] You can make some modern analogies in terms of like the CIA, which is – you're asking these people, you're training them their whole lives to see the world one way, and then you say, 'Oh, by the way, you're now obsolete, but we'd like you to do [this other thing].' It's tough."

Apocrypha[edit | edit source]

The novelization of The Expanse states that Captain Archer was initially uncomfortable with the notion of military personnel serving aboard Enterprise but reconciled himself to the idea, given that it seemed as if the MACOs would be beneficial to the search for the Xindi weapon. The same novelization also suggests that MACO be pronounced "Mah-co" rather than "May-co", despite the latter being the commonly used canon pronunciation.

In the Romulan War Pocket ENT novel Beneath the Raptor's Wing, the "O" in MACO stands for "organization" instead of "operations," making the MACOs' proper title Military Assault Command Organization.

According to the novel The Needs of the Many, MACOs continued to exist into the 25th century.

In Star Trek Online, the MACOs are an elite Starfleet force, using the standard Starfleet ranks, rather than the army/marine style. They have allied with the Klingon Honor Guard to form Task Force Omega, for the purpose of fighting the resurgent Borg Collective. Starfleet player characters can obtain specialized MACO armor and weaponry through the completion of Special Task Force missions against the Borg. It is widely considered to be some of the most powerful ground equipment available.

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