Department Head

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A Department Head is in charge of a particular section of a starship/starbase and will often have several officers and enlisted personnel in that department.

For example, the Chief Engineer qualifies as a department head as the individual is in charge of the engineering compliment and possesses the responsibility to keep the ship in working order. A Warp Drive Specialist, or an individual responsible for the team maintaining the warp reactor does not qualify as a department head as they are merely part of the engineering department.

All Department Heads function as a supervisor, keeping all aspects of their department organized so that they will remain at top efficiency and effectiveness for all daily tasks and emergencies. Each Department Head will report directly to the Executive Officer, though they will follow all orders from the ship's or station's Commanding Officer.


All department heads are to ensure that there is plenty for every person in their department to have something to do. Normal responsibilities include:

  • Assigning Tasks to personnel
  • Provide professional advice and feedback to the XO and CO when the opportunity arises
  • Accept orders from the CO and XO and disseminate those orders and break down tasks among your team.
  • Support the Chain of Command at all times
  • Be an example of the behavior you expect from your team


While the Department Head is expected to execute orders from above, it is not expected for that individual to do the assignment by him/herself. On many occasions, it will have to be a team effort. When issuing orders, it is best to follow the 4 C's.

  • Concise - don't gibber or be confusing. Say what you need to say.
  • Confident - it is a military environment so it is fair to act as if your orders should be obeyed.
  • Calm - don't scream at another person's character unless it is actually required. It can be counterproductive
  • Clear - be clear as to what your orders are and what the task is you're delegating.

Also bear in mind that it is best to be respectful and polite at all times. Most Starfleet officers are expected to uphold all of the principles that have made the Federation a respectable organization. Humanity itself has advanced a long way, much further than the tormented Earth of the early 21st Century.


  • Department Briefings
  • Individual Assessment - One-on-One Meetings
  • Team Projects
  • Have Junior Officers perform crew exams
  • Assign research projects
  • Explore some sort of medical emergency or condition
  • Run Security Alert Drills
  • Run Simulation Drills in the Holodeck
  • Perform weapons tests
  • Perform Sensor Scans
  • Assign research projects
  • Analyze data as it's collected
  • Assign Repair Duties
  • Assign Maintenance Duties
  • Perform tests on ship's systems
  • Perform Combat Drills
  • Perform Patrol Missions
  • Work with Maintenance Teams on select fighters

OOC Information

Expected Behavior

At all times, remain an asset to the ship and the crew.

Just like your In-Character Duties, it is your responsibility to set the example for the other players in your department. Do not ask them to do things you are not willing to do, much less able to do. For example, don't ask them to post once a week when you post once a month. Make your players feel welcome and work to help them improve their characters. Keep your OOC arguments from becoming IC arguments.

Staying Busy

The best Department Heads are ones who provide work for their people. Do your best to create side-stories for members of your department who are not occupied with the present story.

If you don't have any players in your department, encourage other players to create NPCs in your department, or create NPCs of your own. There are always nameless crewmembers who you can delegate tasks to or have them assist with a project.

External Links & Credits

  • Information adapted from STF's Academy Textbook and other sources
  • Thanks to Camila who helped perform the initial legwork to found this article.
IMPORTANT ERRATA Command DepartmentCommand PositionsGeneral OrdersStarship Security ProceduresOperating ModesOrbitsBearings and NavigationDefensive ManeuversOffensive Maneuvers
NOTABLE LOCATIONS Main BridgeCaptain's Ready RoomObservation Lounge
Executive Officer's OfficeAuxiliary ControlAdministration
PERSONNEL FUNCTIONS Alert StatusCabin AssignmentsComputer Access LevelsDeck ListingDepartment HeadDuty RosterOperating ModesSecurity ClearancesStarfleet Rank GuideUniforms
DEPARTMENTS CommandFlight ControlIntelligenceOperationsEngineering