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For the mirror universe counterpart, see Lance Cartwright (mirror).

Lance Cartwright was a human Starfleet officer in the late 23rd century. He served as Commanding Officer, Starfleet Command, and the Starfleet liaison to the Federation Diplomatic Corps.


Cartwright was born in Florida and grew up near the Kennedy Space Center, which inspired him to pursue a career in space exploration. For more than two years at Starfleet Academy, he held the middleweight sonic boxing title. Cadets called him "Storm" because they thought his forehead crested like a tidal wave when he frowned. He earned high honors during his cadet training cruise.

After graduating from the academy in 2242, he spent the next 13 years serving in the exploration and colonial operations divisions of Starfleet. In 2255, he was assigned to Starbase 15, and eight years later, in 2263, he transferred to the USS Kongo. (Stardate Magazine vol. 3, Issue 5: "UFP Personnel File: Star Trek IV Update")

In 2268, Cartwright held the rank of Rear Admiral, and was assigned as an administrator on Starbase 29. That year, he ordered Captain James T. Kirk to obtain a Romulan cloaking device. Even early on, Kirk always voiced his suspicions to Spock about the admiral having a secret agenda. This was later revealed to be a small part of a larger scheme planned by the rogue intelligence agency known as Section 31. (TOS episode: "The Enterprise Incident"; TOS novel: Cloak)

Two years later, in 2270, seemingly having accepted a reduction in Starfleet rank to captain, Cartwright took command of the USS Ark Royal. Responding to a distress call sent by Vulcan ambassador Sepel, the starship curtails a Klingon attack on planet Nidrus Gamma, chasing off a Klingon bird-of-prey and rescuing the ambassador's daughter, a young Valeris. (TOS novel: Cast No Shadow)

This would appear to slightly contradict Section 31: Cloak's information that Cartwright already held Rear Admiral rank some two years before he is next seen, when he holds the rank of Captain. This can possibly be reconciled by assuming that Cartwright accepted the same deal offered James T. Kirk just a few years later (during the events of The Motion Picture) — a temporary field rank of captain, enabling formal starship command, with reactivation to flag rank if deemed necessary by Starfleet Command. One source, Stardate Magazine vol. 3, Issue 5: "UFP Personnel File: Star Trek IV Update", reported that he commanded the USS Kongo from from 2269 - 2277, though later sources have cited four other Kongo COs serving during this time span.

In 2279, Cartwright had been promoted/rejoined the admiralty after commanding the Ark Royal, serving with Starfleet Security in San Francisco. (TOS novel: Living Memory)

In 2286, Cartwright succeeded Harold Morrow as Commander, Starfleet following the Genesis Incident. (TOS movie, novelization & comic adaptation: The Search for Spock) He oversaw Starfleet operations during the Cetacean Probe crisis on Earth. (TOS movie, novelization & comic adaptation: The Voyage Home)

In 2288, Cartwright then went to Starbase 79 to order the Enterprise-A to rendezvous with the USS Pacific to observe its weapon's test. Before the Enterprise-A left, Cartwright spoke with Kirk about his objections to using this Protomatter weapon. Cartwright assured Kirk that this protomatter was more stable than the protomatter used in Dr. Marcus's failed experiment. Cartwright saw the weapon as a peacemaker against all their enemies, known and unknown. Cartwright also saw the weapon as way to destroy the Klingon Empire to ensure peace for the galaxy. (TOS - Revisitations comic: "The Peacekeeper, Part 1")

By 2290, he served simultaneously as Chief of Starfleet Operations and the Starfleet liaison to the Federation Diplomatic Corps. (TLE novel: Excelsior: Forged in Fire)

In 2293, Cartwright strongly opposed the Federation's plans to negotiate a peace treaty with the Klingon Empire and became part of a conspiracy to prevent this. He was exposed by Captain Kirk and the crew of the USS Enterprise-A, and was arrested at Khitomer. (TOS movie, novelization & comic adaptation: The Undiscovered Country)

Following his arrest, Cartwright was convicted for his role in the conspiracy and was sent to prison. Cartwright died in 2298 from what appeared to be a respiratory infection. Starfleet Intelligence operative Darius Miller, however, harbored doubts that Cartwright died of natural causes, and that one or more of the man's many enemies may have had Cartwright eliminated. (TOS novel: Cast No Shadow)

Alternate timeline

In an alternate timeline created by the death of Spock in 2237, Cartwright was killed in the destruction of Starfleet Headquarters when the Cetacean Probe ravaged Earth in 2286. (TOS - Myriad Universes novel: The Chimes at Midnight)


Background information


Commanding Officers, Starfleet Command
Emblem of the United Federation of Planets Robert L. ComsolHeihachiro NoguraHarold MorrowLance CartwrightLeonard James Akaar Seal of the Federation Starfleet
Known members and associates of Section 31
primary universe Olivia AkomoCaliq AczuraJulian BashirGabrielle BurnhamMike BurnhamLance CartwrightColeKatrina CornwellControlDietzMatthew DoughertySarina DouglasFranklin DrakeEnderbyDarwyn FrielKamran GantPhilippa GeorgiouMatthew HarrisJedburghKarimBendes KettaractKen KitsomKo Ji-hoonJhun KulkarnoL'HaanPeter LawrenceLeeLelandEthan LockenRoberta LukeMerraErovan M'RillOlim ParraPatarTinh Hoc PhuongErik PressmanRamirezParvati RaoMalcolm ReedTomas RoederWilliam RossConnaught RossaSakonnaLuther SloanEric StillwellAubin TaborMalla TancredaKestellenar th'TeshinaalCharles Tucker IIIAsh TylerDavid WebbMarcus WilliamsVasily ZeitsevCortin Zweller Section 31 Starfleet black badge image. 31
Kelvin timeline Thomas HarewoodJohn HarrisonRobert AprilAlexander MarcusYuki Suluunnamed Section 31 personnel
USS Kongo (NCC-1710) personnel
Emblem of the United Federation of Planets. H. AaltonenL. CartwrightR. CecilN. ChandraM. EgdorJ.C. FredriksenM. GoldanskiiC. HuangP. Kosnettzh'NesierelD. StackE. SutherlandToroyan Seal of the Federation Starfleet.


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 1.5 1.6 Stardate Magazine vol. 3, Issue 5: "UFP Personnel File: Star Trek IV Update"
  2. 2.0 2.1 TOS novel: Cast No Shadow

External links