Riker, William T. (Jonathan Frakes). Executive officer of the Starships Enterprise -D and Enterprise -E under the command of Captain Jean-Luc Picard. (“Encounter at Farpoint” [TNG], Star Trek: First Contact). Starfleet serial number SC 231-427. (“Gambit, Part I” [TNG]). William Thomas Riker was born in Valdez, Alaska, on Earth in 2335. Riker’s mother died when he was only two years old, and he was raised by his father, Kyle Riker. The elder Riker abandoned his son at age 15, an act that William held against his father until 2365 when, at age 30, William was reunited with Kyle aboard the Enterprise -D. (“The Icarus Factor” [TNG]). William graduated from Starfleet Academy in 2357, and was ranked eighth in his class at graduation. As of 2369, he had been decorated five times. (“Chain of Command, Part I” [TNG]). Riker’s ancestors included Colonel Thaddius Riker, also known as “Old Iron Boots Riker,” who fought in Earth’s American civil war. (“Death Wish” [VGR]). Riker’s first assignment after graduating from the academy was as helm officer aboard the U.S.S. Pegasus, a ship that disappeared in 2358 under mysterious circumstances. Years later, it was revealed that Pegasus Captain Erik Pressman had been illegally testing a Federation cloaking device in violation of the Treaty of Algeron. The crew of the Pegasus mutinied to try to prevent Pressman from testing the device. Riker fought to defend his captain, and Riker and Pressman were the only two to escape when the ship apparently exploded. Afterwards, Pressman suppressed all records of the incident. (“The Pegasus” [TNG]). Early in his Starfleet career, Riker was stationed on planet Betazed (“Ménage r Troi” [TNG]), where he became romantically involved with psychology student Deanna Troi. Riker, then a lieutenant, chose to make his Starfleet career his priority over his relationship with Deanna, and accepted a posting to the U.S.S. Potemkin. While aboard the Potemkin, Riker led a rescue mission to planet Nervala IV and was subsequently promoted to lieutenant commander and commended for “exceptional valor” during the rescue. It was not realized until years later that a transporter malfunction during the final beam-out caused an identical copy of Riker to be created on the planet’s surface. (“Second Chances” [TNG]). SEE: Riker, Thomas. William Riker was later promoted to executive officer aboard the U.S.S. Hood, where he served under the command of Captain Robert DeSoto. Riker joined the Enterprise -D at planet Deneb IV, having transferred from the Hood. (“Encounter at Farpoint, Parts I and II” [TNG]). Riker accepted the Enterprise -D posting, despite the fact that he’d been offered command of the U.S.S. Drake. (“The Arsenal of Freedom” [TNG]). One of Riker’s greatest personal tests came in 2364 when the entity Q offered him a gift of supernatural powers, an offer that Riker was able to refuse. (“Hide and Q” [TNG]). Riker became the first Federation Starfleet officer to serve aboard a Klingon vessel when he participated in an Officer Exchange Program in 2365, serving as first officer aboard the Klingon ship Pagh. (“A Matter of Honor” [TNG]). Riker was offered command of the U.S.S. Aries in 2365, but he declined the appointment, preferring to remain on the Enterprise -D. (“The Icarus Factor” [TNG]). Riker suffered a near brush with death while on a survey mission to planet Surata IV, where contact with an indigenous plant-form caused him to lose consciousness for several hours. (“Shades of Gray” [TNG]). Riker was charged with murder in the 2366 death of Dr. Nel Apgar at planet Tanuga IV after Apgar’s research station exploded. He was acquitted after a holodeck re-creation of the events leading to the death demonstrated that Apgar had been responsible for the explosion. (“A Matter of Perspective” [TNG]). In late 2366, Riker refused a third opportunity to command a starship, when he was offered the U.S.S. Melbourne during the Borg incursion that year. (“The Best of Both Worlds, Part I” [TNG]). Shortly thereafter, Riker was granted a temporary field promotion to captain, and given command of the Enterprise –D following the capture of Captain Picard by the Borg. The Melbourne was later destroyed by the Borg in the battle of Wolf 359. (“The Best of Both Worlds, Part II” [TNG]). Riker did, however, have ambitions of becoming a starship commander. After the loss of the Enterprise -D in 2371, Riker expressed regret that he would not have the opportunity of someday commanding that great ship. (Star Trek Generations). (In an alternate quantum reality, Picard was lost to the Borg in 2366. In that reality, Riker was promoted to captain following Picard’s loss.) (“Parallels” [TNG]). Riker’s approach to command was frequently unconventional. Prior to his service aboard the Enterprise -D, Riker had been a lieutenant aboard the Starship Potemkin. During a crisis aboard that ship, Riker positioned the Potemkin over a planet’s magnetic pole, thus confusing his opponent’s sensors. Indeed, Data once observed that Riker relied upon traditional problem-solving techniques less than one-quarter of the time. (“Peak Performance” [TNG]). As a boy, Riker was responsible for cooking for himself and his father. As Enterprise –D Executive Officer, Riker regarded cooking as a hobby. (“Time Squared” [TNG]). One of Riker’s passions was for old Earth jazz music, and he was a pretty fair trombone player. (“11001001” [TNG]). SEE: Number One. William Riker was first seen in “Encounter at Farpoint” (TNG). Addendum: Executive officer of the Starships Enterprise-D and -E under the command of Captain Jean-Luc Picard. In 2375, Will Riker and Deanna Troi, possibly influenced by the rejuvenating effects of the Ba’ku planet, renewed their romantic relationship. She preferred him clean-shaven, so he shaved off his beard for her. During the mission to the Ba’ku planet, Riker successfully defeated two Son’a vessels by executing a risky plan that he later termed the Riker Maneuver. To carry out his tactic, Riker used the Enterprise -E’s manual steering column to pilot the ship during a major systems outage. (Star Trek: Insurrection).