SP 937-215

Based on the title (which is Picard's serial number, per "Chain of Command, Pt. I"[TNG6]), then Picard represents one of 676,000,000 (676 million) possible Starfleet officers.

(For those in Mississippi, you multiply the possible values of each digit to get the total . . . 26 x 26 x 10 x 10 x 10 x 10 x 10 x 10, in this case.)

This pattern for serial numbers was faithfully followed in TNG materials (even for fairly recent Starfleet folks), though there are possible discrepancies in Voyager. TOS serial numbers were different, and thus it is unclear when the new version began. Assuming this occurred circa 2300, and assuming no repeats, we would have 70 years in which to fit up to 676,000,000 people who received serial numbers. That's a maximum of 9,700,000 persons per year.

If we also assume a completely made-up average of 15 years of service from every person receiving a serial number, then Starfleet could have up to 144,000,000 people serving at any one time between 2300 and 2370.

Remember, however, that these are highest possible values . . . it is absurd to assume that the serial number system was set to die in 2370.

Perhaps more interesting/strange is the fact that both ENT-era and TOS-era serial numbers allowed for higher numbers.

1 comment:

  1. Remember though, that the letters(sp) may not be arbitrary, but have some meaning, so there are less series actually existing than possible.