Star Trek Live At The Oregon Symphony

Star Trek Live At The Oregon Symphony

On January 30th, 2015 in Portland, Oregon, Webmaster Matt went to see Star Trek (2009) with the Oregon Symphony playing the soundtrack live and it was fantastic! But did you know that Star Trek was based on the US Air Force? And that Gene Roddenberry was both a police officer and has flown combat missions?

Here is a short clip from the end of the show.


Gene Roddenberry Was A U.S. Combat Pilot

“In 1941, he joined the United States Army Air Corps, which in the same year became the United States Army Air Force. He began training at Goodfellow Field (now Goodfellow Air Force Base) in San Angelo, Texas with other Civilian Pilot Training alums and graduated as a second lieutenant in September 1942, Class G.[11] ”

“He flew combat missions in the Pacific Theatre with the “Bomber Barons” of the 394th Bomb Squadron, 5th Bombardment Group, of the Thirteenth Air Force and on August 2, 1943, Roddenberry was piloting a B-17E Flying Fortress named the “Yankee Doodle,” from Espiritu Santo, New Hebrides, when mechanical failure caused it to crash on take-off. In total, he flew eighty-nine missions for which he was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross and the Air Medal before being honorably discharged at the rank of captain in July 1945.” (Source: Wikipedia)

After his military service, he joined the Los Angeles Police Department (Feb. 1, 1949). He became a Police Officer in 1951 and made Sergeant in 1953. It is widely believed that his experience as a combat pilot and police officer molded his vision for the future where “The Federation of Planets” would be a combined exploration, military and police force and later doing diplomatic and scientific missions. He original sold the series as a “Wagon Train To The Stars.”

 Rank Structures In Star Trek Based On United States Navy

“According to Inside Star Trek: The Real Story, Roddenberry’s original idea for the organization of the USS Enterprise was that the ship would be based on a merchant marine type organization with a Captain and various mates overseeing a large crew. In the pilot episode “The Cage”, the only ranks spoken of were Captain, Lieutenant, Chief and Crewman. All officers wore a single rank stripe and, according to Roddenberry, everyone aboard the Enterprise was a qualified astronaut making rank titles a formality since all crewmembers basically had the same type of training.

When the second pilot was being developed (TOS: “Where No Man Has Gone Before”), Roddenberry shifted focus from a merchant marine vessel to a military ship very clearly modeled after the United States Navy. The ranks of Lieutenant Commander and Commander were both spoken of and the Captain (James T. Kirk) wore a “two stripe” insignia to differentiate him from the rest of the crew. When Star Trek: The Original Series came into full production, Ensign and Lieutenant Junior Grade were both either seen or discussed and the concept of staff versus line officers was introduced, most predominately in “Court Martial” where an officer of the Judge Advocate General Corps is seen and Starfleet is referred to as “the service”.” (source: Ex Astris Scientia)

Star Trek Cast Members With Military Service

Individual Star Trek role Branch of service Years of service Service number Final rank
Lurry US Army 1943 – 1945 39 708 296 Sergeant
US Army 1942 – 1943 39 531 145 Private First Class
L. Coon
Original Series Producer US Marine Corps 1942 – 19461950 – 1951 442994 Sergeant
Script Writer
City on the Edge of Forever”)
US Army 1957 – 1959 51 403 352 Private First Class
Hacom/ Yang
US Army 1942 – 1945 530425 Second Lieutenant
US Navy 1918 – 1919 150 83 54 Hospital ApprenticeFirst Class
Original Series Producer US Army Air CorpsUS Air Force Reserve 1941 – 19461946 – 1957 32001877673530 First Lieutenant
Bele US Army 1953 – 1955 52 314 745 Not recorded
US Navy 1942 – 1945 647 86 69 Petty Officer1st Class
US Army 1953 51 214 821 Private
US Navy 1945 – 1946 960 39 80 Seaman1st Class
US Navy 1944 – 1946 566 72 38 Seaman1st Class
Original Series Producer US Navy 1944 – 1946 881 57 18 Petty Officer3rd Class
Mullibok US Marine Corps 1942 – 1945 385253 Corporal
US ArmyAir Corps 1943 – 1946 39 563 856 Private First Class
US Army 1943 – 1946 36 858 836 Technical Sergeant
Script Writer (TOS:
Enemy Within”)
US Army 1944 – 1945 12 229 310 Private
Decius/ Stonn US Marine Corps 1947 – 1950 1060247 Private First Class
US Marine Corps 1964 – 1990 2030237 Sergeant Major
Spock US Army Reserve 1953 – 1955 11 229 770 Sergeant
US Army 1942 – 1946 32 698 169 Technician5th Grade
Series Creator US ArmyAir Corps 1942 – 1945 662606 Captain
Security Guard (TOS:
of the Dove”)
Stunt Double (TOS:
for Methuselah”)
US ArmyAir Corps 1943 – 1945 522005 First Lieutenant
US Army 1946 – 19481951 – 1953 16 231 53302 103 964 First Lieutenant
Rojan Naval Academy / Army Air Corps 1937 – 1940 (Navy) 139 89 54 Midshipman
Rogerson US Navy 1966 – 1986 Researching Commander
Reger US Army 1942 – 1946 32 792 652 Corporal
US Army 1943 – 1946 33 455 116 Technician5th Grade
Septimus/ Atoz US Army 1917 – 1919 2371377 Sergeant
W. Zautcke
US Marine Corps 1981 – 1985 None First Lieutenant
Air Force Reserve / Air National Guard 1958 – 1964 28248934 Airman 3rd Class


In the end, Star Trek may not have been completely based on the US Air Force, but we will never truly know.  It is known that Gene’s Combat Pilot training and missions were a large factor in his choices of space combat in Star Trek shows.  Also his knowledge of the US Military led to help with ship designs, ideas and naming conventions and the military structure of The Federation in the show.

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What Is USAF Weapons School


The USAF Weapons School is a unit of the United States Air Force, assigned to the 57th Wing. It is stationed at Nellis AFB, Nevada.


The mission of the USAF Weapons School is to teach graduate-level instructor courses, which provide advanced training in weapons and tactics employment to officers of the combat air forces. The USAF Weapons School is headquartered at Nellis Air Force Base in Nevadawith detachments at Dyess Air Force Base, Texas, Hurlburt Field, Florida, Little Rock Air Force Base, Arkansas, Whiteman Air Force Base,Missouri, Holloman Air Force Base, New Mexico, Fairchild Air Force Base, Washington, and Barksdale Air Force Base, Louisiana.

The Weapons School accomplishes its mission by providing graduate-level, instructor academic and flying courses to USAF Combat Air Forces (CAF). It conducts extensive technical off-station training and is a liaison with CAF units. It publishes the quarterly USAF Weapons Review with worldwide readership. All positions are selectively manned.

The Weapons School’s squadrons include the Weapons Instructor Courses for the following aircraft and systems: Air Battle Manager, A-10 Thunderbolt II, Lockheed AC-130, B-1 Lancer, B-2 Spirit, B-52 Stratofortress, C-17 Globemaster III, C-130 Hercules, EC-130H Compass Call, F-15C Eagle, F-15E Strike Eagle, F-16 Fighting Falcon, F-22A Raptor, Joint Terminal Attack Controller, Unmanned Aircraft Systems,HH-60 Pave Hawk, KC-135 Stratotanker, MC-130, RC-135 Rivet Joint, Intelligence, Space, ICBM, Cyber, and Support.



USAF Fighter Weapons School F-16 flying with a Constant Peg MiG-21over the Nevada desert, about 1986

The USAF Weapons School traces its roots to the Aircraft Gunnery School established in 1949 at Las Vegas Air Force Base (which became Nellis Air Force Base in 1950). This organization brought together a cadre of World War II combat veterans dedicated to teaching the next generation of pilots. The Gunnery School converted to combat crew training to meet the needs of the Korean War. In January 1954, the school assumed the mission of training fighter instructors, and took on the title, “USAF Fighter Weapons School.” Students at Nellis trained in F-51 Mustang. F-80 Shooting Star. F-84 Thunderjet and all versions of the F-100 Super Sabre aircraft during this period. By 1960. the F-100 and the F-105 Thunderchief were left as the two primary aircraft flown at the Weapons School.

Vietnam Era[edit]

In 1965, the Fighter Weapons School added the F-4 Phantom II to its courses. As the roles of fighter aircraft expanded during the Vietnam War, the Fighter Weapons School began to have an impact across the larger Air Force. Many of the air-to-ground and air-to-air innovations of this period can be traced to the Weapons School. Assigned aircraft continued to change in concert with Air Force inventories. The Weapons School deactivated the F-100 and F-105 courses, and added the F-111 and A-7D Corsair II.

Post-Vietnam War era[edit]

F-15 Division F-15C 82-0038

A-10 Division A-10A 79-0172

F-4 Division F-4D 66-8700

Aggressor Division F-5E 74-1572

F-16 Division F-16C 86-0251 in experimental “Aggressor” motif

The Aggressors, flying the T-38 Talon and F-5E Tiger II were stood-up as part of the Weapons School in the early 1970s to improve air-to-air skills by providing accurate threat replication for dissimilar air combat training. The A-7D tenure in the school was a brief 3 years as the squadron transitioned from A-7s to F-5 Aggressors in 1975. Fighter modernization brought both the A-10 Thunderbolt II and the F-15 Eagle into Weapons School operations in 1977.

The 1980s ushered in a time of significant change for the Weapons School. In 1981, the school underwent a complete reorganization as the squadrons became divisions. The Aggressor squadrons transferred to the 57th Fighter Weapons Wing. The F-1ll Division became a geographically separated detachment of the Nellis-based Weapons School. The newly formed F-16 Fighting Falcon Division graduated its first students in 1982. In 1984 the Weapons School expanded its courses beyond the traditional fighter aircrew, adding a course to train weapons controllers in the F-15 Division. A passing of the torch to the current Weapons School occurred when the last F-4 class graduated in 1985, ending 20 years of F-4 weapons officer training. The Air Weapons Controller Division, later known as the Command and Control Operations (CCO) Division activated as a separate unit in 1987. The school gained a Fighter Intelligence Officers Course in 1988 which became the graduate patch-awarding Intelligence Division in 1990. The F-15E Strike EagleDivision became part of the school in 1991.

Modern Era[edit]

With the stand-up of Air Combat Command in 1992, the school embarked on a dramatic shift from its 43-year focus exclusively on fighter aviation, dropping the “fighter” from its title and becoming the “Air Force Weapons School.” The change was much more than symbolic with the activation of the B-52 and B-1 Divisions that year. Rescue helicopters joined the school with the HH-60 Division in 1995 while the F-111 retired. That year also saw the addition of RC-135 RIVET JOINT and EC-130 COMPASS CALL courses to the CCO Division. To increase the graduate-level understanding of space and air integration for operators, the school added the Space Division in 1996.

With a growing need for weapons officers skilled at integrating all aspects of air and space power, the Weapons School has continued to expand. 2000 saw the addition of the E-8 JSTARS to the CCO Division. Special Operations Forces (SOF) also became part of the Weapons School in 2000,developing courses for the MH-53 and AC-130. Stealth joined the school in 2002 with the addition of the F-117 and B-2 Divisions. SOF added an MC-130 course that year as well. In 2003, all of the Weapons School divisions were re-designated (or initially activated) as squadrons, and the Intelligence Sensor Weapons Instructor Course was added to provide graduate-level training in intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance integration. In 2006, the F-117 Weapons Instructor Course deactivated and the merger with the Mobility Weapons School added the C-130, KC-135, and C-17 Weapons Instructor Courses. In 2008, the F-22 joined the Weapons School and in 2009, the ICBM Weapons Instructor Course was added. Students of the ICBM and Space courses share a common Air Force Specialty code (AFSC) as well as a building on Nellis.

Today’s Weapons School encompasses 17 squadrons, teaching 22 combat specialties at 8 locations. Only 30% of today’s students come from the classic fighter specialties.

USAF Weapons School – McDonnell Douglas F-15C-34-MC Eagle 82-0038

USAF Weapons School - McDonnell Douglas F-15C-34-MC Eagle 82-0038


A-10A 79-0172 FWS Nellis AFB



F-4D 66-8700 FWS Nellis AFB



F-5E 74-1572 FWS Nellis AFB



F-16C 86-0251 FWS Nellis AFB




Top ten cool things about being in the US Air Force

Top ten cool things about being in the US Air Force

The US Air Force has a lot of advantages in logistics, worldwide coverage, speed, missions and role types and this creates a creative insight into what is cool about being in the United States Air Force!

10. If I want Chinese Food, I will fly to China!

Air Force Ranks

9. When the G-Forces pull back your face, you look and feel years younger!


8. One weekend a year, you get to take your jet home with you.

USAF Blue Falcon

7. You’re looking at a guy with one million frequent flier miles.

Air Force K-9

6. At 20,000 feet you see lots of clouds that look more like bunnies and stuff!


5. Always fun watching the new guy try to parallel park a C-130 Hercules.

Para Rescue


USAF Pararescue is the first of the line of arcade style games for the United States Air Force beginning with the men and women of the air forces!  In Pararescue airman leap from their incredible CV-22 Osprey into the rice paddies of southeast Asia! Pararescue!

4. Seasickness is for losers — airsickness is the way to go!



Don’t get caught! Ever! In the modern day it might be an Osprey that grabs you and takes you to safety. Now for a great military Osprey Game try your hand!


3. Free headsets on transcontinental flights.

USAF Athletics


2. Whenever people ask where I’ve been, I can tell them “The Wild Blue Yonder“!

Military WoopAss


1. Chicks dig planes!

Peace Through Superior Firepower

Meme War Friday at Vision-Strike-Wear

Meme War Friday at Vision-Strike-Wear

Meme War Friday at Vision-Strike-Wear

Meme War Friday at Vision-Strike-Wear where no holds barred, everyone can throw a throat punch and nothing is off limits. Meme War Friday at Vision-Strike-Wear is something anyone can share your funny military humor with all soldiers with a sense of humor



BDUs. Nice.




Hey now.

Drone pilots



That guy.


Range qualification


Can’t sit here.” – Airborne






Mmmm huh. I reckon I’d like some French fries and mash potatters.

Chow Hall





Um yeah!





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