Early Life (2352-2370)
Altmann was born in mid-2352 in Brooklyn, a borough of the City of New York. His father, James Marshall, was a Starfleet officer who was killed during a skirmish with Cardassian forces a month before his birth, while his mother, Sarah Altmann, was a renowned ceramicist, making pottery displayed in many galleries not only in New York but across the Federation. Altmann’s parents were also themselves only children, and his father’s parents were already dead, so he grew up with a very close-knit group of just his mother and her parents in New York.
Determined to make sure that Altmann’s childhood made the most out of their life in New York, his mother took him to museums, festivals, and the theater every weekend as soon as he was old enough to appreciate it. A favorite spot in the city was Central Park, an oasis of green among towering skyscrapers and arcologies. Altmann was a talented student, especially when it came to subjects like art, music, and history. On his sixteenth birthday, his mother gave him an archive of his father’s logs, which included several messages that he recorded for him before he was born.
There were glowing accounts of how much his father loved serving in the fleet, along with stories of fantastic adventures. Going through these files and learning about his father made him want to join Starfleet, a decision that put him at odds with his mother for the very first time. In the end, though, Altmann understood why she wouldn’t wish for him to suffer the same fate as his father, but he wanted to see what it was about the organization that had made his father love it so much.
Starfleet Academy and the Dominion War (2370-2376)
As the child of a Starfleet officer killed in the line of duty, Altmann was fast-tracked to the final part of the Starfleet Academy Entrance Examination, which he passed on his second attempt at age 18. Aptitude scores revealed that his verbal and emotional reasoning were much stronger than his quantitative reasoning, which made him a good candidate for diplomacy or social sciences. He wasn’t entirely sure what he wanted to study during his first year, but after participating in a support group for other children of deceased Starfleet officers, he knew that counseling was where he wanted to be.
One of the most difficult parts of adapting to life at the Academy was no longer seeing his mother every day, as she had always been a rock for him. She, however, understood the need for him to leave the nest and forbade him from beaming back to the city except on scheduled academy holidays. Eventually, he began to appreciate and enjoy the independence he had there.
When Altmann graduated in 2374, the Dominion War had reached its apex. While he still had two more years until he would be qualified as a full counselor, Altmann was placed on Starbase 375 to complete his training. As one of the starbases closest to the action, Altmann cut his teeth as a counselor helping officers with PTSD and other psychological wounds caused by war. The work was very difficult, but he found it very satisfying to help people on their journeys to healing.
Early Career (2376-2381)
Once he had finished his training, Altmann was promoted to Lieutenant Junior Grade and took his first assignment on a starship as the counselor aboard the USS Sagan, a Nova-class surveyor. There, he gained valuable experience not just as a counselor but learning how to integrate into the senior staff of a starship’s crew. Following two years there, he was promoted to full Lieutenant and made counselor aboard a much larger ship, the California-class USS Healdsburg, which was largely assigned to engineering projects in the former Demilitarized Zone along the Cardassian border.
Romulan Resettlement Program (2381-2386)
After Admiral Picard’s rescue mission to Romulus was authorized in 2381, Altmann was tapped to join the relief effort as part of a team of counselors who would help refugees integrate into new colonies. Given his experience dealing with PTSD and loss, Altmann was considered to be an especially strong candidate for this work. He left the Healdsburg in 2381 and spent the next five years moving between colonies, starships, and transports, traveling with groups of refugees and staying with them for several months before going with another group across the border. His role was both to help refugees deal with the move but also to develop psychological profiles on them so that the teams that would be staying more permanently at the destination colony would have a baseline to start from.
The Romulan psyche was admittedly a challenge for Altmann, as displays of vulnerability or weakness were very difficult to elicit without also eliciting anger. This was Altmann’s first experience dealing so closely with an alien culture, but by using his inexperience as a way in, he could turn earnest conversations about Romulan culture into revelations for his clients about what they were afraid of losing.
While the effort was halted in 2385 following the destruction of Utopia Planitia, Altmann’s team was allowed to continue for one more year, handling the final evacuations and getting them as settled as they could on their destination worlds. Not being able to finish the evacuations was one of Altmann’s greatest regrets about his service, and he was shocked that the Federation Council would demonstrate such cowardice.
USS Pioneer (2386-2390)
With his team dissolved, Altmann was posted to the Intrepid-class USS Pioneer in 2386. A much more prestigious posting than either of his prior two ships, Altmann was involved in several first contact missions during the ship’s four-year mission in the Alpha Quadrant. As he was so used to moving between assignments and the Pioneer already had an established crew, it took him a while to integrate into a team again, but he found sympathetic voices there—everyone on the Pioneer could sense the council’s desire to retreat behind the Federation’s borders, so they were hoping their mission of exploration would be allowed to continue. Altmann took the bridge officer’s examination in 2390 and was promoted to Commander just as the Pioneer returned to spacedock to be refit.
USS Sarek (2390-2399)
Altmann joined the USS Sarek in 2390 as Chief Counselor. While an older Ambassador-class starship, the Sarek was considered one of the Federation’s most important diplomatic vessels, thanks to both its enhanced facilities and its reputation. The Sarek was sent to the highest-profile negotiations with its large teams of diplomatic specialists, protocol officers, and social scientists, and it nearly always succeeded in its goals. As a counselor, Altmann was often called upon to provide psychological insight during negotiations, and after a few years aboard the ship, he often took the lead in diplomatic talks. This assignment allowed him to expand his portfolio beyond just counseling his fellow officers to also include substantial diplomatic experience.
USS Europa (2399-Present)
After nine years aboard the Sarek, Altmann transferred to the USS Apollo when, like the Pioneer, the Sarek was was laid up for a mid-life refit.
Character Service Record
|2370 - 2371||Counseling Student||Starfleet Academy||
Cadet Freshman Grade
|2371 - 2372||Counseling Student||Starfleet Academy||
Cadet Sophomore Grade
|2372 - 2373||Counseling Student||Starfleet Academy||
Cadet Junior Grade
|2373 - 2374||Counseling Student||Starfleet Academy||
Cadet Senior Grade
|2374 - 2376||Trainee Counselor||Starbase 375||
|2376 - 2378||Chief Counselor||USS Sagan||
Lieutenant Junior Grade
|2378 - 2381||Chief Counselor||USS Healdsburg||
|2381 - 2382||Counselor||Romulan Relocation Project||
|2382 - 2386||Counselor||Romulan Relocation Project||
|2386 - 2390||Chief Counselor||USS Pioneer||
|2390 - 2399||Chief Counselor||USS Sarek||
|2399 - Present||Chief Counselor||USS Europa||
Thoughtful and reserved, Samuel Altmann is an experienced Starfleet counselor. He graduated from Starfleet Academy as an Ensign during the Dominion War, and so his services have been rendered during some of the most difficult and traumatic times of the late 24th century: the Dominion War, the attack on Mars, and the destruction of Romulus. During his later career, he also gained significant experience in diplomacy, serving as Chief Counselor aboard the USS Sarek, one of Starfleet's most important diplomatic vessels.