- "My people taught me a man does not own land. He doesn't own anything but the courage and loyalty in his heart. That's where my power comes from."
- —Chakotay, 2372[src]
Chakotay was a Human Starfleet officer and Maquis leader in the 24th century. Chakotay served as first officer of the Federation starship USS Voyager during that vessel's harrowing seven-year journey in the Delta Quadrant. Upon Voyager's return, Chakotay later served as its captain, leading the allied fleet against the Borg Collective at the Azure Nebula during the Borg Invasion of 2381.
Chakotay was born on Trebus in 2329, the son of a man named Kolopak and a woman named Tananka. By the age of 6, Chakotay wanted to go against his family traditions and be a paleontologist. (VOY novel: Pathways; VOY episode: "One Small Step"; VOY novel: Old Wounds)
Young Chakotay also had an independent nature, and often went exploring on Trebus. In 2341, Chakotay raided a junkyard on the planet and became trapped in the wreckage of an old shuttle pod; fortunately, he was later rescued. (VOY episode & novelization: Equinox, Part I)
Despite his independent nature, in 2344 and 2345, Chakotay accompanied his father to Central America on Earth to visit the homelands of their ancestors. During his time there Chakotay learned of the Sky Spirits and began to respect his cultural heritage. (VOY novel: Pathways; VOY episode: "Tattoo")
In 2345, 15-year-old Chakotay was seriously considering entering Starfleet, and often spent time around the Starfleet personnel on the planet, led by Captain Demora Sulu. Sulu sponsored Chakotay's applications into the Academy, but Chakotay had to lie to his father and state that Captain Sulu was a man in order to protect his feelings. (VOY - Tales from the Captain's Table short story: "Seduced")
- The novel Pathways suggest that Chakotay's entrance into the Academy was sponsored by Hiromi Sulu, grandson of Hikaru Sulu, while other sources suggest that it was Hikaru himself that sponsored him, or even Hikaru's daughter Demora Sulu. 
Service in StarfleetEdit
Thanks to the sponsorship of Captain Sulu, Chakotay entered Starfleet Academy in late 2347. During his first few weeks at the Academy he became friends with Svetlana "Sveta" Korepanova from Ekaterinburg, Russia. He also became unlikely friends with his late-assigned roommate, an unflappably cheerful Bolian named Chert.
At the end of his first year at the Academy, Chakotay considered leaving, and returned to Trebus to undergo his first vision quest using the akoonah. As a result of his vision quest he decided to continue his Academy education.
During his first year at the Academy, Chakotay underwent intensive pilot training in North America. Shortly after, Chakotay underwent training on Venus, and later underwent training for a semester in the asteroid belt located between Mars and Jupiter. (VOY episodes: "Future's End, Part II", "Blink of an Eye")
Also during his time at the Academy, Chakotay became a proficient light-heavyweight boxer, and scored a record of 23 wins and only one loss, which was to a Nausicaan. (VOY episodes: "The Fight", "Tsunkatse")
- The Chakotay article at Startrek.com gives 2344-2348 as the years of his attendance at Starfleet Academy.
Chakotay graduated from the Academy in 2351. By 2353 he served aboard the USS Vico, as an aide to Captain Roger Hackney and held the rank of lieutenant. It was aboard the Vico that Chakotay had his first encounter with a Cardassian warship that had violated the Federation border. (VOY novel: Pathways)
At some point, Chakotay began serving on the USS Heritage. A female officer named Grant was the first officer. During this time, Chakotay and Grant began a romantic relationship, one which Grant noted in Chakotay's Starfleet file. In 2375, the crew of the USS Voyager held a "roast" of Chakotay for his birthday. Parts of his Starfleet record were read aloud, including Grant's note about their relationship. (VOY short story: "Isabo's Shirt")
In 2362, Chakotay transferred to the USS Gage. He stayed aboard the Gage for four years of conflict with the Cardassians. Following the end of the Federation-Cardassian War, Chakotay was granted an extended leave on Trebus.
In March that year, Chakotay decided to resign his commission, so upon his return to Earth he handed his resignation into Admiral Nimembeh at Starfleet Headquarters. He returned home to Trebus. (VOY episode: "In the Flesh")
- Since a canon source (VOY episode: "In the Flesh") establishes that Chakotay left Starfleet on March 3, 2368, it is unclear how he became involved with the Maquis. In the novel Pathways he leaves Starfleet after the Demilitarized Zone was formally established, but that did not take place until 2370. However, given the unsettled border situation (especially from a civilian standpoint, considering some settled worlds had been conceded to the Cardassians) in the years before the formal establishment of the DMZ, it's likely the beginnings of the Maquis were forming even then. Even so, precisely what Chakotay was doing between 2368 and 2370 is still unspecified. Thus, the events of Pathways are presented below as taking place in 2370, but an altered version of them could have happened earlier than that. It is also implied in the Star Trek: The Next Generation Companion that Chakotay was one of the teachers of the Advanced Tactical Training at Starfleet Academy, that his sympathies were towards the Maquis, and that he resigned to join them.
In early 2370, Chakotay visited his old Academy friend Sveta on Bajor. Sveta informed Chakotay that there was a new resistance group against the Federation-Cardassian Treaty of 2370 called the Maquis. Sveta requested that Chakotay join this group and help defend his colony and others that found themselves in the Demilitarized Zone, and subject to Cardassian rule. He supported the group, but needed time to consider his options.
A few weeks later, Chakotay's life was changed forever when his village on Trebus was destroyed by a Cardassian thermalite weapon. He joined the Maquis, and was placed in command of a ship dubbed the Liberty. One of his first contacts in the Maquis is a Bajoran woman named Seska, who Chakotay became very close to. A few weeks later, Chakotay rescued B'Elanna Torres from a Bolian freighter that had been attacked by Gul Tancret and the Cardassians. After saving her, Chakotay took her to Riva Prime and Torres joined the Maquis and became the chief engineer aboard the Liberty. (VOY book Pathways, VOY episode: "In the Flesh")
Around stardate 47582, Chakotay and Torres encountered the Cardassian prototype weapon, Dreadnought in the Badlands. While the self-guided weapon was meant to destroy a Maquis weapons base, Torres reprogrammed the torpedo to attack a Cardassian planet. (VOY episode: "Dreadnought")
A few weeks later, the Liberty was destroyed, but all crewmembers managed to survive. Shortly after, his team managed to salvage an old fighter from a Federation surplus depot and they name the ship Geronimo. The Geronimo herself was lost in 2371, after she was destroyed by Tharia ch'Ren, a former crewmember who had seized control of the third Malkus Artifact. Thankfully, Chakotay and his crew were rescued by Cal Hudson. (VOY - The Brave and the Bold, Book Two novella: The Third Artifact)
Following this event, Chakotay was given command of the Peregrine-class fighter Spartacus. In early 2371, the Spartacus discovered the plague-ridden planet Helena in the Demilitarized Zone. Chakotay's crew, along with Lieutenant Thomas Riker, succeeded in defeating the disease, and the mixed-race inhabitants of the planet. (TNG - Double Helix novel: Quarantine)
A few weeks later, Chakotay assumed command of a Ju'day-class fighter, the Val Jean. He was to lead a large Maquis task force from the base on the Terikof belt to attacked the Cardassian Montee Fass shipyards in the Oliv system. However, plasma storm activity in the Badlands forced the attack to be called off, but instead they launched an attack on Opek Nor and succeeded in destroying the station.
The Val Jean was pursued by the Galor-class vessel Vetar, under the command of Gul Aman Evek, into the Badlands, where she was disabled in the plasma storms. Captain Chakotay didn't get to savor his victory, as shortly after his vessel was hit by a displacement wave created by the Caretaker, to carry them off to the Delta Quadrant. (VOY - The Brave and the Bold, Book Two novella: The Third Artifact; VOY episode: "Caretaker")
Aboard the USS VoyagerEdit
In the Delta QuadrantEdit
Shortly after their arrival in the Delta Quadrant, Chakotay and his crew were transported to the Caretaker's Array, and examined for the viability to act as the Caretaker's successor. Three weeks later, the USS Voyager was transported to the quadrant and was similarly examined. For the sake of finding a way to return to the Alpha Quadrant, Chakotay teamed up with Captain Kathryn Janeway. In the battle with the Kazon around the Array, Chakotay sacrificed the Val Jean to destroy the lead Kazon ship, and he and his crew beamed over to Voyager. When Captain Janeway decided to destroy the Array to save the Ocampa, Chakotay supported her decision and the former Maquis joined Janeway's crew with Chakotay serving as her first officer. (VOY episode: "Caretaker").
Initially, Chakotay had a difficult job of trying to merge his former crew to the crew of Voyager. In the first weeks, B'Elanna Torres and Joe Carey were competing for the chief engineer's job, which at one point came to punches. The situation was resolved and Torres became chief engineer. Several of his former crew had immense problems assimilating, and upon Chakotay's suggestion, they underwent a crash course in Academy training from Lieutenant Tuvok. (VOY episodes: "Parallax", "Learning Curve")
Return to EarthEdit
After returning to Earth, Captain Janeway was promoted to Vice admiral and Chakotay was then promoted to the rank of Captain, and given command of Voyager. Tom Paris, who was also promoted two steps in rank, was Chakotay's choice to become Voyager's first officer. He was, however, overruled by Starfleet and Commander Andrew Ellis was assigned to be first officer. When Ellis was revealed to be a renegade changeling, Paris was transferred to the position of first officer.
In June 2379, Chakotay met Admiral Janeway for dinner. The two talked about work and also possible romances before finally admitting to still having a romantic interest in each other, which developed into a romantic liaison. Janeway and Chakotay agreed to meet each other in Venice the following year, following Voyager's return from the Yaris Nebula.
In June 2380, Chakotay kept the date and waited for Janeway in Venice, only to be met there by her former fiancé, Mark Johnson, who broke the news of her death. Following this revelation concerns about Chakotay's mental and emotional state were raised by Voyager's crew, culminating in an incident in August when Chakotay gave an order to destroy an Orion ship, which, although not an illegal order, was widely regarded as a merciless one, and one which was out of character. (VOY novel: Full Circle)
Borg Invasion of 2381Edit
Voyager was one of the vessels dispatched to the Azure Nebula to provide reinforcements to the USS Aventine and USS Enterprise-E during the Borg Invasion of 2381. When both vessels traversed a subspace tunnel, Chakotay was left in command of the fleet, coordinating the efforts of several allied vessels in opening other tunnels. He had just received word of the discovery of the proper frequency to open the other tunnels when aperture twenty-six opened, allowing seven thousand Borg cubes through. The Borg fleet overran the allied forces, and Voyager emitted a distress call to Earth. (ST - Destiny novel: Mere Mortals)
When the Borg fleet emerged from the subspace corridors in the Azure Nebula, Chakotay was frozen in shock on the bridge, traumatised by the sight of thousands of Borg cubes approaching the fleet. Following the destruction of the allied fleet at the apex to the corridors, Chakotay entered a comatose state on the bridge, remaining unresponsive to all external stimulus, forcing Tom Paris to take command of the repair efforts. (VOY novel: Full Circle)
Following the Azure Nebula incident, Chakotay requested an open-ended leave of absence from Starfleet, which was granted. During this time Voyager was refitted with a slipstream drive and assigned to the Project Full Circle fleet, which was preparing to return to the Delta Quadrant. Chakotay was recalled to duty after nine weeks. Concerned about Chakotay's command ability, Admirals Kenneth Montgomery and Willem Batiste ordered him to undergo a psychological evaluation and, aware of the difficulties between them, assigned counselor Hugh Cambridge to perform the evaluation. During the course of the conversation Chakotay and Cambridge developed a deep mutual respect for each other and Cambridge not only recommended that Chakotay remain as captain of Voyager, but that his remaining in post was essential for the success of the mission. His decision, however, was overturned by Montgomery and Batiste, who assigned Afsarah Eden as commanding officer in his place. Devastated by the decision, and increasingly concerned about the physical and mental health of Seven of Nine, Chakotay resigned from Starfleet. (VOY novel: Full Circle)
The next time Chakotay visited Seven, he found her in a conscious but vacant and unresponsive state. He enlisted the help of Icheb and Sveta to undertake a vision quest, through which he was able to reach her. He then accompanied her to rendezvous with the Project Full Circle fleet. He was met with suspicion by Admiral Batiste and Captain Eden and, when evidence of sabotage was discovered aboard Voyager, initial evidence pointed to Chakotay. It was soon discovered, however, that Admiral Batiste himself was the saboteur and a member of Species 8472. Negotiations between Chakotay, Eden and the Species 8472 operative known as Valerie Archer allowed Batiste to return to fluidic space.
Following her report to Admiral Montgomery, Captain Eden was reassigned as commander of the Full Circle Fleet. She also informed Chakotay that his resignation had not, in fact, been accepted by Starfleet and invited him to resume his duties - once again as captain of Voyager - which he accepted. (VOY novel: Unworthy)
Project Full CircleEdit
During Voyager's mission to the Delta Quadrant as part of Project Full Circle, the female Q that rescued Admiral Janeway's consciousness facilitated her return by prolonging the moment between death and a higher level of being. With the help of both Q's son as well as Kes, Janeway was able to recollect her scattered atoms and reintegrate them. Q then returned her to where she was needed most at that time: aboard the USS Achilles to battle against the Omega Continuum that was threatening to end the universe several trillion years before its time.
Upon her return, she and Captain Chakotay resumed their romantic relationship, indicating that they wished to continue it for as long as possible. Janeway also rejoined Starfleet as the admiral in charge of the Full Circle fleet. (VOY novel: The Eternal Tide)
A few months later, Chakotay ordered the fleet to a system in which Harry Kim had mentioned a distress call had been detected. Though the distress call was by no means recent, Kim had always wanted to check it out, but was unable to on Voyager's original journey. In an effort to prove to Starfleet Command the Full Circle mission still had value, Chakotay decided to investigate it in the hope something of value could come of it. Upon arriving, the entire area of space was cloaked, but it was later dropped when the indigenous entities present in that part of space had scanned the databanks of Voyager and Demeter. They allowed both ships inside and Kim got to work on finding out what the distress call had been indicating. Soon after, they found it. The sole surviving planet in the region consisted of many species of animals which didn't belong on the planet and could not be supported by the its ecosystem. The planet known as the Ark Planet, didn't have much time before it couldn't support the life at all. The entities had been requesting help, because they too were aware of the problem. Kim later learned he could communicate with the entities, running the idea that they could be given instructions on how to fix the planet by Chakotay. Realizing it wasn't much, but it wouldn't hurt to help, he approved the request. Weeks later, Kim was successful and the planet was restored. Along the way though, the hull fragment of a very old ship was detected. Upon further examination of it, they found inscribed on the piece of hull, "Confederacy of the Worlds of the First Quadrant." Having found a new civilization to make contact with, Chakotay figured he could now salvage the mission. Before leaving however, the entities known as proctors sent a message to both crews, providing images of things the Confederacy had done. Among the things they did were to conquer planets and strip mine their resources, resulting in the destruction of all those encountered. It was also revealed the proctors had been created by the Confederacy to capture subjects from other races and to strip mine planetary resources.
As they considered whether or not to meet the new civilization, an armada of fourteen ships dropped out of warp outside the system. Upon scanning them, it was revealed the armada was made up of Voyager's former enemies. Seeing they had no choice, both ships made their way into a "stream" that would bring both ships immediately to core worlds of the Confederation. Having detected them and seeing the proctors take a liking to them, the Confederacy defended both ships until they could get into the stream. Upon arriving in the system, a diplomatic team from the Confederacy was sent to meet Voyager. Later on, Chakotay would deliver the report on his findings to Vice Admiral Janeway and Captain Regina Farkas of the newly restored USS Vesta. Janeway had passed the report about the Confederacy onto Starfleet and they ordered relations to be established. After the meeting, Janeway requested that Chakotay stay behind so they could talk. The reunion consisted of Chakotay's refusal and inability to order B'Elanna back to Earth, as he was worried Miral Paris would be taken from her custody and Janeway inexplicably refused to send the Doctor back to the Beta Quadrant to help newly returned Axum. In the end, Chakotay had mentioned to Janeway that quarters were available on Voyager, but Janeway divulged her orders which prevented her from having quarters anywhere but on the Vesta. Word of their relationship had traveled and Montgomery had ordered such as a result of their relationship being simple fraternization so that it was therefore not in the best interest of the fleet and against regulations. Unknown to Chakotay however, Montgomery mentioned to Janeway the relationship wasn't being treated as her peers' relationships were because she and Chakotay were not married. Starfleet didn't consider it an official relationship and therefore weren't going to assess if it affected the ship or fleet in any way. Until they either called off the relationship or got married, Janeway would not be allowed to have quarters on Voyager. (VOY novel: Protectors)
In a 2385 interview with Jake Sisko, Annika Hansen said that Captain Chakotay was one of the people who inspired her to join Starfleet because of their "honor and competence." When asked whether she maintained contact with him, Hansen responded that she did not understand the question's relevance.
By 2401, Chakotay has reached the rank of admiral. He was one of a few Starfleet officers that asked the Federation Council to reconsider the decision not to get involved in the Klingon-Gorn War. He predicted a long war in the future and the Klingons were right about the Undine threat.
He participated in the 2404 opening of the Alpha Centauri system transwarp hub. Two years later, Chakotay was promoted to head of Starfleet Intelligence. He promised more accountability and to be open in the posting. One of his earliest briefings involved him admitting the belief that at least 30 Undine infiltrators were in high-level posts and Starfleet. (ST website: The Path to 2409)
In an alternate timeline in which the USS Voyager was forced to turn back from its journey home to Earth, Chakotay became a statesman in the Vostigye Union. He and Kathryn Janeway became lovers and would eventually have a child, Shannon Sekaya Janeway. (Star Trek: Myriad Universes novel: Places of Exile)
In an alternate timeline created by Wesley Crusher in which the Maquis never existed, Chakotay did not resign his Starfleet commission and was serving as the first officer of the USS Lakota under Captain Erika Benteen in 2373. (TNG short story: "Gods, Fate, and Fractals")
In another alternate timeline, Chakotay became the captain of Voyager after Janeway was killed in a Krenim attack in 2373. He was still in command of the ship in 2379. (VOY episode: "Before and After")
Starfleet service recordEdit
|location||assignment||dates||rank or rate||assignment insignia||rank insignia|
|Starfleet Academy||student officer||2347-2351||cadet|
|USS Vico||captain's aide||2350s||lieutenant|
|Extended leave of absence|
|USS Gettysburg||first officer||until 2368||lieutenant commander|
|Resigned, joins the Maquis||2368-2371||Rank and position revoked|
|USS Voyager||first officer||2371-2377||lieutenant commander (provisional)|
|commanding officer|| 2378-2381;|
|Commanding Officer, USS Voyager|
|Commanding Officer, USS Voyager|
|Val Jean personnel|
|Ayala • Kurt Bendera • Kendrick Biessman • Chakotay • Chell • Mitch Csatlos • Kenneth Dalby • Gerron Ral • Mariah Henley • Hogan • William Jarvin • Michael Jonas • Kenn Lathrop • Telsia Murphy • Jeffrey Nelson • Seska • Lon Suder • B'Elanna Torres • Trexis • Tuvok|
|USS Voyager senior staff personnel|
|commanding officer||Janeway • Chakotay • Eden • Tuvok||executive officer||Cavit • Chakotay • Ellis • Paris|
|second officer||Tuvok • Paris • Kim||chief engineer||Honigsberg • Torres • Vorik • Conlon|
|chief medical officer||Fitzgerald • The Doctor • Jarem Kaz • Sharak||counselor||Astall • Cambridge|
|operations manager||Kim • Campbell • Lasren||science officer||Wildman • Patel|
|security chief/tactical officer||Tuvok • Kim||flight controller||Stadi • Paris • Tare • Gwyn|
|see also: engineering personnel • medical personnel • operations personnel • pilots & flight control personnel • security & tactical personnel • sciences personnel • other personnel|
- Even though he is always referred to as a commander during his tenure as Voyager's first officer, Chakotay wore the provisional rank of lieutenant commander. (VOY episode: "Caretaker")