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USS Enterprise-D/E Senior Staff Overview

Captain Picard Commander Riker Lieutenant Commander Data Lieutenant Commander Worf Lieutenant Commander La Forge Commander Troi Commander Crusher

Name: Riker, William Thomas
Rank: Commander
Serial Number: SC 231-427
Born: 2335 Origin: Human
Academy Class: 2357
Last Post: USS Enterprise NCC-1701-D
Current Post: USS Enterprise NCC-1701-E
Achievements: Commendation for exceptional valor

Biography: Riker was born in Valdez, Alaska on Earth in 2335. He graduated from Starfleet Academy in 2357, ranking 8th in his class. His first assignment was the USS Pegasus as a helm officer. He, an Captain Pressman were the only two that escaped after the crew mutinied and the Pegasus disappeared. After the Pegasus, he was stationed on Betazed as a lieutenant. He was promoted to lieutenant commander after leading a rescue operation on the USS Potemkin. Riker's first position as executive officer was on the USS Hood under the command of Captain Robert DeSoto. In 2364, he was transferred to the Enterprise-D as first officer, and even declined command of the USS Drake. Riker was the first Starfleet officer to serve onboard a Klingon starship in 2365 when participated in an Officer Exchange Program. Later that year, he was again offered a promotion to captain to command the USS Aries. In late 2366, Riker turned down yet another command offer of the USS Melbourne. He was however given a field commission of captain when Captain Picard was assimilated and given command of the Enterprise. When the Enterprise was destroyed in 2371, Riker was transferred to the new Enterprise-E with the rest of the senior staff. In 2373, during the Borg incursion the Enterprise traveled back to 2063, he took part in Doctor Zefram Cochrane's first warp flight on the Phoenix. Riker took command of the Enterprise while Picard was on the Ba'ku planet. When trying to get out of the Briar Patch, the Enterprise was badly damaged in an attack by two Son'a warships. He was successful in defeating both ships and returned just in time to save Picard from the exploding Son'a collector.

Jonathan Frakes also played his transporter twin brother in the DS9 episode "Defiant," and made a guest appearance on Voyager. It took Frakes seven auditions before he was finally casted as Riker. In the early production stages of TNG, Riker was spelled 'Ryker' before being changed.