Zen was born on his homeworld but spent a lot of time with his parents on Bajor as they assisted the Provisional Government with tactical work.
Growing up on a world that was poor especially during his teenaged years he realized how bad it was to live without. He swore that he would never live without again and joined the Academy against his parents wishes.
He spent only 3 years in the Academy as he pushed through everything with a manic way and didn’t allow himself to take breaks. He had doubled or tripled up at times to allow him to graduate a year early.
After Graduation Zen showed himself to be able to handle situations and was taken off of Earth to serve out a lot of his time as an Aide to one of the Admirals. An Admiral Frost wanted someone who could be an advisor. That is where Zen stayed until Frost passed away. In 2385 he left a place that he had called home for longer than anywhere else and moved himself to the Delta Quadrant
During his time he worked on Starbase 900 as a tactical advisor but also spent time as a member of Colonel Jagged Andersons retinue and advisor. When Anderson was promoted to the Task Force Commanding Officer role Zen was given a chance to prove himself as the CO of the USS Poseidon which had been the flagship of the MEB.
Zen is typical of his species with the facial scarring that makes them look to most unattractive. He is like many of his kind as well where he doesn't seem to have the interpersonal skills that are required for Command. He is a brilliant tactician who is blunt and doesn't mind offending those that command him.