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Join Starfleet! Corrupt leaders, and no chance at promotion!

Enlisting in Starfleet (Star Trek’s exploro-military outfit) seems like an awful career move.

For one thing, you’re pretty much guaranteed to work the same job for the rest of your career. Thirty years later, Chekov’s still stuck at the conn. Uhura is still manning the phone lines. Scotty’s still buried in engineering somewhere. Among the show’s original crew members, only Sulu ever managed to escape Kirk’s orbit and snag his own ship. And things don’t get better for the Next Generation; for twenty-plus years, that crew toils away, trapped under Picard’s command.

And it’s not like Starfleet couldn’t use some better leaders. Their top brass is notoriously corrupt. Every admiral we meet eventually betrays the Federation. One conspires to start a war. Another steals his wife’s anti-aging medicine. One willfully ignores peace treaties. Still another presides over a witchhunt. Heck, the entire Starfleet Command gets taken over by mind-control crawdads at one point.

Starfleet’s like any other company, in the end. If you can’t stand the boss, steer clear.