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Profile Overview

John Rutledge

Human Male

Character Information

Rank & Address

Captain Rutledge


Commanding Officer
USS Blythe




John Marshall Rutledge


Charleston, South Carolina, United States


Captain John Marshall Rutledge is the current Commanding Officer of the USS Blythe, a California-class vessel assigned to Task Force 86, his first command as an O-6. Older than most California-class COs, Rutledge first initially enlisted in Starfleet, served as a noncommissioned officer, before attending Starfleet Academy and earning his commission, earning the well-received title, ‘mustang’.


Rutledge is a taller, larger man, with wide shoulders and large upper body. He stands just around 6’0″, with a wider build and a strong but average figure. By Starfleet standards, he borders on the line of ‘unkept’ from time to time, his hair often unruly and his beard loosely trimmed. He is very proud of his uniform, however, and displays his ranks pips closer to the front of his collar than most, while keeping it well kept.


Defined as neither talkative nor meek, Rutledge keeps to himself more than most line officers of his grade. His demeanor can shift greatly depending on the situation, but he talks with a loud and commanding voice, and is not afraid to let one knows how he feels. His dry sense of humor and quick wit is one that keeps him popular among his officers and crew, which he takes great pride in. He’s described by other officers, however, as a warm and passionate man, whose devotion to Starfleet and the well-being of his crew absolutely paramount in his ideals. Rutledge holds his title of Captain very highly, in an almost sacred light, and believes serving as a commanding officer to be the greatest thing he’s ever done.


Early Life

John Marshall Rutledge was born in 2350 in Charleston, South Carolina, Earth to two parents Steven and Maria Rutledge. A descendant of US Supreme Court Justice and Founding Father John Rutledge, something he takes great pride in, his schoolmates coined the nickname ‘Judge’ for young John, a moniker he has adored since, despite never obtaining any degree in law. Neither of his parents served in Starfleet, but it was not uncommon in his extended family. Rather, his parents were Earth-based scientists, and he hardly left the system, his first interstellar trip occurring when he was 11 years old.

Young John was fascinated by space travel and the values of Starfleet, determined to serve the Federation as a member of Starfleet. Lacking the technical and mathematical skills required to attend Starfleet Academy, he opted for enlisting when he turned 18.

Starfleet Basic Training

Rutledge entered basic training with the intent of specializing in communications but was quickly deterred from that path by his fellow recruits at basic and chose to specialize in engineering upon graduating from basic training. He graduated top quarter in his class, leaving with the rank of Crewman Apprentice, with the rate of Engineering Crewman, in 2369.

Enlisted Years

Rutledge’s first assignment was aboard the USS Themistocles, a Centaur-class scout assigned to border defense and scouting roles prior to the Dominion war. This period saw a lot of growth for the young crewman, taking on a number of roles and tasks outside of his area of engineering expertise, gaining experience in tactical and navigation as well, during the outbreak of the Dominion War. He was aboard the Themistocles for four years, during that period he was very well received by his overseeing officers and left that assignment holding the rank of Petty Officer Second Class, in 2374.

His second enlisted assignment was aboard the USS Chesty Puller, an Excelsior-class heavy cruiser originally assigned to deep space exploration but routed for multiple combat missions during the war in which the Chesty Puller saw more than its fair share of action. Rutledge gained additional considerable experience in tactical on this posting, while also serving as a reserve security crewman. This posting was cut short but a recommendation to Starfleet Academy by the ship’s XO, and Rutledge departed at the close of the Dominion War, assigned to Earth as a cadet at Starfleet Academy. He left in 2376 at the rank of Petty Officer First Class.

Starfleet Academy

Rutledge started his tenure at Starfleet Academy in the latter half of 2376, eager to immerse himself in his studies, a bachelor’s degree education being something Rutledge was unfamiliar with. During his tenure, he was assigned to Cadet Squadron Nine, where he met some of his closest friends.

He was an active and social cadet, playing a number of intramural sports and joining a number of clubs, unbothered by the age difference between himself and most other human cadets, who they looked up to as a natural leader, and respected his prior service as an enlisted man.

Rutledge studied both Astronautical Tactics and History at the Academy, excelling in history and sociology based courses, stills struggling in mathematics despite his experience in engineering. Excelling in tactical operations and flight training, much due to his time in the fleet, he honed his focus on those two specialties. He graduated in 2380, and was commissioned as a command rate officer, hoping for a career in flight control.

USS Surveyor

Rutledge was assigned to the USS Surveyor, an Intrepid-class explorer assigned to the edge of the alpha quadrant for border security and scouting missions. Serving as a flight control officer, here he gained significant experience at the helm, and fell in love with the Intrepid-class starship, its maneuverability, size, and speed. He grew close with the crew on the Surveyor, connecting significantly with the enlisted personnel onboard, who he felt he had more in common with than the other junior officers, at least initially. The senior staff were impressed with Rutledge and his knowledge of flight control systems and was promoted to a Lieutenant Junior-Grade and assigned as Chief Flight Control Officer at request of the captain, his posting extended an additional two years. He served aboard the Surveyor from 2380 to 2385.

USS Citadel

Contrary to Rutledge’s preference for small, more maneuverable vessels as a helmsman, his next posting was aboard the larger USS Citadel, a Galaxy-class explorer. Rutledge’s posting saw a different workload than on the smaller Surveyor, and the larger crew led to less time of Rutledge serving at the helm, adhering much more strictly to the department lead. Less time at the helm meant more time for other avenues, so he spent his available time reading and writing, studying technical manuals on the tactical systems of the Galaxy-class vessels, a keen observer of the quirks of the tactical systems while serving on the bridge. He served on a number of away teams, meeting alien races that he had never had before, and saw a number of small-arms engagements alongside his fellow officers.

On a more personal aside, Rutledge found himself immersed in old readings and writings of old Earth, particularly William Shakespeare, and founded a small acting troupe on board, scheduling monthly performances of various Shakespeare plays and scenes for his crew, much to their enjoyment. He further dove into Earth customs, learning how to read music, and also started a Glee club that met weekly, singing classic songs of the past, particularly old American arrangements.

Rutledge served on the Citadel for five years, from 2385 to 2390, during which time he was promoted to full Lieutenant.

USS Nautilus

Lieutenant Rutledge was then assigned to the USS Nautilus, a Ross-class vessel much akin to his previous Galaxy-class posting. With his experience on both tactical and flight control systems on a similar class, he proved to be a valuable officer to the already talented crew and was later assigned as Chief Flight Control Officer once more, and also allowed occasional postings at tactical per his request.

The Nautilus saw some action in the early 2390s against the Klingon splinter group Sovereignty of Kahless, fighting in two separate engagements in which Rutledge was active at both, serving at the helm during both. For this, he, along with his fellow bridge crew, received a commendation from the captain for the bravery in battle.

Words of his Shakesperean and musical programs spread to the Nautilus crew, and he was gently pressured by his comrades to resume his ‘duties as creative director’ aboard his new ship, so he obliged. The crew, like those aboard the Citadel, adored the shows and raised shipboard morale significantly.

During his posting, he was promoted to Lieutenant Commander, and was discharged from the Nautilus in 2395.

Starfleet Academy

Rutledge was assigned as a Flight School Instructor at Starfleet Academy, San Francisco in 2395. He found his tenure at Starfleet Academy to be a welcomed change of pace and connected with his students in a way he had not foreseen upon his arrival. During his tenure as professor, he chaperoned a number of training cruises, as well as assigned as senior advisor to his old Squadron, Cadet Squadron Nine. He departed Starfleet Academy after four years, in 2399, after a promotion to full Commander, at age 49. Leaving his posting at the Academy was much more difficult than Rutledge would have liked to admit, as he adored his posting there and found it be one of his favorites thus far. He still keeps in contact with his former cadets and follows their careers closely.

USS Heracles

After leaving Starfleet Academy, partly due in part to a recommendation by a Flag officer at the Academy, Rutledge was assigned as executive officer aboard the USS Heracles, an Echelon-class light cruiser with a crew of 400, serving under Captain Mateusz Wlodarczyk. He enjoyed the more Spartan-like attitude of the crew and layout of the ship and was impressed by her formidable armaments and engines. Rutledge’s experience at both flight control and tactical proved to be of great use to his captain, and the two spent a lot of time discussing aeronautical tactics and both historic and modern battle strategy.

The Heracles saw action against both the Breen and the Borg, in 2399, and 2401 respectively, and the ship was largely damaged by enemy weapons fire in 2401. She was assigned to space dock for repairs, her crew reassigned and dispersed throughout the fleet, what Commander Rutledge considered to be an unwelcome and jarring farewell to a crew he held in a very high regard.

USS Blythe

After his departure from the Heracles, Rutledge was assigned his first command in 2401, the USS Blythe, a California-class utility cruiser assigned to border operations for Task Force 86. He was promoted to Captain by Task Force leadership, with Commander William Zjune assigned as his executive officer.

Service Record

Date Position Posting Rank
2369 - 2374 Engineering Crewman USS Themistocles
Crewman Apprentice
2374 - 2376 Engineering/Tactical Crewman USS Chesty Puller
Petty Officer 2nd Class
2376 - 2377 Officer Cadet Starfleet Academy
Cadet Freshman Grade
2377 - 2378 Officer Cadet Starfleet Academy
Cadet Sophomore Grade
2378 - 2379 Officer Cadet Starfleet Academy
Cadet Junior Grade
2379 - 2380 Officer Cadet Starfleet Academy
Cadet Senior Grade
2380 - 2383 Flight Control Officer USS Surveryor
2383 - 2385 Chief Flight Control Officer USS Surveyor
Lieutenant Junior Grade
2385 - 2390 Flight Control Officer USS Citadel
2390 - 2392 Flight Control Officer USS Nautilus
2392 - 2395 Chief Flight Control Officer USS Nautilus
Lieutenant Commander
2395 - 2399 Flight Instructor Starfleet Academy
Lieutenant Commander
2399 - 2401 Executive Officer USS Heracles
2401 - Present Commanding Officer USS Blythe