So You Wanna Be a Captain?

Over the last month, we’ve received quite a few inquiries about being a sim Commanding Officer (CO) in Independence Fleet. So, what are we looking for in sim COs? Before I answer, I’d like to tell the story of two:

Jimmy Rogers

Hall of Famer Jimmy Rogers joined his first sim in December 2010: the USS Liberty, which we were just relaunching. It all clicked. He ran away with the MVP award that month, and became CO of the Liberty on January 1, 2011 after only a single month of simming. Yes, you read that right: one month of simming.

The rest, as they say, is history! Rogers commanded the Liberty for 19 months, winning 2.33 Genesis awards, capturing 3 posting titles, and leading the ship to an incredible 315-post month in September 2011, which is still tied for 9th all-time. Beyond the numbers, he led amazing stories and mentored dozens of role players.

Aurther Winters

Aurther Winters began simming in 2003 after seeing an ad on a college message board. As James Sullivan, he slowly rose from Ensign to Commander on the USS Dragon in a Hall of Fame career that ended with seven monthly awards, still good for a tie at 11th place all-time. Then life happened and he drifted away from simming.

He returned to role playing on the USS Chuck Norris in 2012 as Aurther Winters. Winters picked up his 10th monthly award in August–one of only four people in IDF history to hit double digits. As with Sullivan before, Winter rose through the engineering ranks to eventually become XO of the Chuck Norris under two different Captains. He was the type of XO who just made the Captain’s job easy. Winters became CO of the Chuck Norris this month.

That’s right–James Sullivan/Aurther Winter simmed for the first time about 17 years before he became a CO, while Jimmy Rogers simmed for one month before becoming a CO. Both are in the Hall of Fame, and both are incredible Captains. Every career is different, and every route to CO is different.

Show Me the Money!

One of the most basic principles of good wring is show, don’t tell. Let the reader experience the story through thoughts, actions, feelings, dialog, etc. instead of saying what happened. The same with being a sim CO: Telling us you want to be a CO is great, but you know what’s even better? Showing us you want to be a CO! How do you do that? Like this:

  • Post! Quality & Quantity
  • Get others involved in the story
  • Recruit new players
  • Mentor younger players
  • Help solve and de-escalate disputes
  • Engage at the fleet level on Discord, Facebook, and Twitter
  • To sum it up: Lead by example!

Do you have what it takes to be a sim CO in IDF? Show us! Make the ship you’re already on great. Make your crew great. Make your Captain look great! It’s not necessarily easy, but then again command isn’t for everyone.

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