Jessie Gender - Kobayashi Maru: Lessons from Starfleet's Greatest Test

Jessie Gender – Kobayashi Maru: Lessons from Starfleet’s Greatest Test

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The Kobayashi Maru. Starfleet’s greatest test. A test to find out who represents the very best of the Federation.

The Kobayashi Maru is one of the most treasured parts of Star Trek’s history, but what are the values that the Kobayashi Maru is meant to teach… And what can we, and more importantly, our leaders today take away from that fabled test…

And what does the Kobayashi Maru teach us about humanity…

The Kobayashi Maru

The scenario was an infamous no-win scenario that was part of the curriculum for command-track cadets at Starfleet Academy in the 23rd century. It was primarily used to assess a cadet’s discipline, character and command capabilities when facing an impossible situation, as there is no (legitimate) strategy that will result in a successful outcome.

The test primarily consisted of the cadet placed in command of a starship. The ship would soon receive a distress signal from the Kobayashi Maru, a civilian freighter within the Klingon Neutral Zone that had been heavily disabled. Being the only ship in range, the cadet usually either chose to withdraw from the rescue mission or enter the neutral zone and rescue the vessel at the risk of violating the treaties. The ship would then be confronted by Klingon K’t’inga-class battlecruisers, which typically engaged in a firefight.

It was considered an absolute no-win scenario because it was virtually impossible for the cadet to simultaneously save the Kobayashi Maru, avoid a fight with the Klingons and escape from the neutral zone with the starship intact. A cadet’s choice of how to handle the rescue operation gave great insight into his or her command decision-making.


Join me as I delve deep into this topic and be sure to drop your comments below to tell me what you think…

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