Military Assault Command Operations (commonly abbreviated as MACO) was a United Earth military organization in service on Earth during the 2150s, prior to the founding of the Federation. The MACOs (pronounced “MAY-ko”) were not associated with the Starfleet.
The military official that oversaw the MACOs was General Casey. MACO posts included Atlanta, Georgia and the Janus loop. Training posts included West Point in New York. MACOs had similar weapons, training, and tactics to the special forces of a number of member nations of United Earth.
Equipment and uniform
Their weapons are a stun baton, stun grenade ,Phase pistol and a Phase rifle. The stun grenades are also very similar to “flash-bang” grenades. The rifle in sniper mode also bears a strong resemblance to the Federation sniper rifle. The Enterprise mission patch has a shark on it (almost certainly a reference to the mako species of shark.)
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 appears on the patch. Both Malcolm Reed and Travis Mayweather are MACOs in the mirror universe. Their motto is “Ever Invincible.”
MACOs after 2161
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 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).
It seems possible that Earth’s entire military structure was absorbed into the UFP Starfleet. However, it is equally as possible that MACOs continued as a separate organization from the Starfleet navy, and that Col. West held a dual commission in both organizations. The process of dissolving, absorbing, or continuing separate service organizations as a sovereign world joins the Federation is unclear; however it is known that at least one other Earth organization, UESPA, had continued as a separate agency, albeit one that was seemingly part of, or at least working closely with, the UFP Starfleet. The last known UESPA reference, on the USS Enterprise-B dedication plaque (also in 2293), means it is at least possible a pre-Federation agency could survive well over a century later.
It is also possible that West had the rank of vice admiral and the “billet” (military job) of colonel. (In the British army, a general in charge of a regiment can be called the Colonel of the Regiment.) As for the continued existence of the MACOs as part of the UFP Starfleet, the British Cavalry is part of the British Army, but it still uses its older traditional names for the ranks.
“Ground forces” were mentioned several times in latter season episodes of Star Trek: Deep Space Nine, another possible passing reference to MACOs.
24th century and beyond
Post-Dominion War analyses described Starfleet Security’s performance as front-line ground troops during the war as overall abysmal: They took roughly twice the casualties per capita of any other branch or even the Klingon Defense Force’s ground troops. In 2379 Fleet Admiral William Ross, Commander-in-Chief of Starfleet, ordered the MACOs reinstated as a sub-department of Starfleet Security to act as elite special forces. The enlisted rating of Special Warfare Operator was created solely for their use, and Klingon Defense Force and Bajoran Militia trainers were brought in to help develop the program. The first MACO units entered service in 2380, attached to broadly dispersed commands.
Though focused on Security enlisted personnel, MACO training was open to all individuals who met scoring requirements, and by the late 2390s possessing MACO qualification and training had a degree of prestige among Starfleet’s officer corps.
In 2385 MACO Unit 104 was involved in the USS Susquehanna’s successful boarding and capture of the ISS Decisive, taking only one lightly wounded casualty. This action cemented the new MACOs’ reputation, as previous similar actions by Starfleet Security had not been so successful.
MACO Training was moved from West Point, New York to the New Carrickfergus System in 2376. There the Starfleet Special Operations Command began training all five of the Special Operation components. (MACO, SEAL, RANGER, RECON and INTEL).
By 2409 many MACO units were assigned to Star Fleet Battle Group Omega on the Borg front in Gamma Orionis sector block.
The 28th MACO motto is: “Freedom’s Sword and Shield”
The 28th MACO was once known as the 28th Recon Detachment.