It’s hard to believe that this is our first sim change of command since February, which I think is a real testament to the stability of our fleet. My, have we come a long way since our early days of the 2000s! Anyway, one official change to announce:
Captain Kaylia Strenvale relieved Captain Sandy “Ghost” Shannon as Commanding Officer of the USS Liberty on November 1st. A very special thank you to Captain Shannon for her outstanding leadership commanding the USS Liberty since June 2021. You might remember that she also commanded the USS Sunfire in May 2021 and was more than a good sport about the Sunfire-Liberty sim swap. Best of luck with your future simming, Captain Shannon; and welcome to the team, Captain Strenvale!
It’s going to be near impossible to top last year’s Day of Trivia, Webcast, and special edition Message & Almanac. And that’s for good reason: 20th anniversaries are a big deal in role playing! But 21st birthdays are important too. Indeed, if Independence Fleet (IDF) was a humanoid (living in the United States), the 21st would be even more important. I’m quickly getting off track…
What did we decide to do? For our 21 years together, here are 21 facts about IDF, Star Trek and/or other topics that might change your perception of time. Modeled after two articles from Buzzfeed (here and here), we hope you enjoy the list.
But before we do that, here is a special message for this year’s anniversary:
IDF’s launch (July 4, 2001) was closer to the release of Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan (June 4, 1982) than it is to today: 19 years, 1 month vs. 21 years.
Ditto for the North America release of the Nintendo Entertainment System (October 18, 1985): 15 years, 8 months, 16 days.
And for the release of Windows 1.0 (November 20, 1985): 15 years, 7 months, 14 days.
And also for the release of the world’s very first website (December 20, 1990): 10 years, 6 months, 14 days.
The time from IDF’s launch on Angelfire to the registry of its first URL (July 4, 2001 – February 26, 2005) was longer than the entire run of Star Trek: The Original Series (September 8, 1966 – June 3, 1969): 3 years, 7 months, 22 days vs. 2 years, 8 months, 26 days.
The time from the registry of IDF’s first URL to officially moving to its current URL (February 26, 2005 – February 29, 2020) was longer than the entire run of the TNG/DSN/VOY television series era from the premiere of Star Trek: The Next Generation to the finale of Star Trek: Voyager (September 8, 1987 – May 23, 2001): 15 years, 3 days vs. 13 years, 7 months, 25 days.
The time from moving to IDF’s current URL to today (2 years, 4 months, 5 days) is shorter than all but three periods between Star Trek movies: The Wrath of Khan to The Search for Spock (1 year, 11 months, 28 days), Generations to First Contact (2 years, 4 days), and First Contact to Insurrection (2 years, 19 days).
However, it’s longer than the time from Utopia Fleet’s founding (April 7, 1999) to IDF’s founding: 2 years, 2 months, 27 days.
Utopia Fleet’s founding was closer to the North America release of the Atari 2600 (September 11, 1977) than it is to today: 21 years, 6 months, 27 days vs. 23 years, 2 months, 27 days.
Ditto for the release of the original Star Wars movie (May 25, 1977): 21 years, 10 months, 13 days.
The time from the launch of the original USS Sunfire NCC-3935 (February 16, 2000) to IDF’s launch was longer than the entire run of Star Trek: The Animated Series (September 8, 1973 – October 12, 1974): 1 year, 4 months, 18 days vs. 1 year, 1 month, 4 days
The launch of the award-winning USS Sunfire NCC-3001-D (October 10, 2010) was closer to IDF’s founding than it is to today: 9 years, 3 months, 6 days vs. 11 years, 8 months, 24 days.
The launch of the USS Chuck Norris NCC-4005 (January 2, 2012) was closer to the first Chuck Norris facts appearing on the Internet (sometime in early 2005) than it is to today: ~7 years vs. 10 years, 6 months, 2 days.
IDF is older than the iPod (October 23, 2001),
Facebook (February 4, 2004),
YouTube (February 14, 2005),
the Microsoft Xbox (November 15, 2001),
commercially available Blu-ray Discs (June 20, 2006),
and NBA All-Star LaMelo Ball (August 22, 2001).
At IDF’s launch, Tom Brady had zero Super Bowl rings. In fact, he had only completed 1 NFL pass.
The time from IDF’s launch to today is longer than the time from The Original Series finale to The Next Generation premiere (June 3, 1969 – September 28, 1987): 21 years vs. 18 years, 3 months, 25 days.
And for a bonus, something to look forward to next year: On our 22nd Anniversary, we will be further removed from the premiere of the 2009 Star Trek film (May 8, 2009) than IDF’s launch was from the premiere of The Next Generation (September 28, 1987): 14 years, 1 month, 26 days vs. 13 years, 9 months, 6 days.
Until then, let’s keep role playing!
Oh, I almost forgot: We have another video message for this year:
One of my greatest privileges as Independence Fleet’s Commander-in-Chief is to announce the newest members of the Hall of Fame each July. These are the best of the best from throughout our history–those with exemplary service or extraordinary contributions to the fleet, according to the Hall of Fame Charter (pdf). For those who attended our 21st Anniversary Webcast on Saturday, you already know who is being inducted this year. For everyone else, it is now my great pleasure to formally introduce our Hall of Fame Class of 2022:
Inducted by Election:
Commander McGregor Blaine
of the USS Excalibur
A longtime member of the Excalibur, McGregor Blaine still managed to stand out despite being a part of arguably the greatest crew of all time. Finding his niche, he excelled in multiple areas, including writing, leadership, and recruiting. Blaine’s great breadth of contributions led to him earning five total awards, with all five being of different categories: Rookie of the Month, Recruitment, MVP, and two Post awards.
Commander Dusty Redroi
of the USS Excalibur
A member of the Excalibur, Dusty Redroi still managed to stand out despite being a part of arguably the greatest crew of all time. Making his mark with a rare combination of excellently crafted posts involving other characters and high quantity, he was instrumental to the sim’s long-term success. He won four awards over the course of his career, including Funniest Post and two Most Posts.
of the USS Washington
The personification of the team player, Zingela did all the little things to foster a cohesive and productive crew. He worked well with players of all types and styles that led to some truly great role playing. He worked his way up the chain, eventually commanding the Washington out of necessity rather than ambition. Zingela tallied five total awards, including three different Post awards and two MVPs.
Inducted by the Veterans Committee:
Admiral Savai N’gellin
of the USS Patriot
A longtime member of the Patriot, Savai N’gellin’s career spanned from IDF’s early period through the middle years. As a crewmember, he earned seven total awards, which still ranks within the top 20 all-time. N’gellin eventually joined the Admiralty and severed for several years, most notably as Director of Fleet Intelligence & Security, during some of the fleet’s most productive periods.
Captain K’lar Rasmehlier
of the USS Conqueror
A true shooting star, the late K’lar Rasmehlier commanded the Conqueror for only nine months. However, it was a nine months for the ages as he led his sim to win the fleet posting title in all nine months with consistently high numbers not seen before or since. In addition to the quantity, he led his crew on imaginative missions that allowed each player collaboratively fulfil their potential.
Congratulations to all five of our 2022 inductees! Well done, and thank you for providing a timeless example for us still role playing to follow. You will hereby forever be remembered for your extraordinary service to Independence Fleet. There are now 38 total members of this most exclusive club.
Harking back to our early history, four of the five inductees represent sims that aren’t currently in our line-up. The two from the Excalibur bring that early-era sim’s record total up to seven inductees. Incredibly, all seven simmed together on the same crew!
First, thank you to our very own Ken Gillis for hosting the anniversary webcast yesterday. An outstanding show, just like last year! He introduced our Hall of Fame class of 2022 and played two special videos. Unfortunately, those who missed it will have to wait until our official anniversary blog post tomorrow. However, we can now share who the winners of our annual prize drawing were. Here’s how it worked:
Everyone who won a monthly award over the last year had their name added to the big wheel. 1 award = 1 entry. All award fractions were rounded up. Then time to spin the wheel!
Join us on July 2nd at 12:00 PM ET (-4) / 5:00 PM BST (+1) in the fleet watch party channel of our Discord server. We’ll be announcing the newest members of the Hall of Fame, drawing names from among our monthly award winners over the last year for some real-world prizes, and we may also have a surprise or two.
Wordle. I don’t need to say much more as you’ve almost certainly heard of it. You’ve probably even played it! But on the outside chance that you don’t know anything about it, I’ll quote from Wikipedia:
“Wordle is a web-based word game created and developed by Welsh software engineer Josh Wardle, and owned and published by The New York Times Company since 2022. Players have six attempts to guess a five-letter word, with feedback given for each guess in the form of colored tiles indicating when letters match or occupy the correct position.”
-Wikipedia entry for Wordle
I also happened to stumble upon this website that allows you to create your own Wordle games. So why not create a few for Independence Fleet? Well, here they are, 10 Wordles on words or topics related to Independence Fleet:
I’ve also created a similar article for the intersimming organization Ongoing Worlds if you’re interested. Warning: words #6 through #10 are the same on both lists. Regardless, enjoy! Or go create your own Wordle puzzles.
It’s been 20 months since we last presented individual major awards. In that time, our fleet has seen a lot of growth and set the bar high in a number of areas. It’s also been just over two years since we launched our new website and URL. Bottom line, it’s high time to recognize a few of the individuals who helped make all of this happen.
I’m also very proud to announce the creation of the Special Commendation Medal, which will be awarded for achievement above and beyond the call of duty at the crewmember level. With that in mind, I hereby issue the following seven citations:
Special Commendation Medal
Awarded to Lieutenant Aurora Vali of the USS Sunfire for outstanding role playing. She is the epitome of the quiet, reliable, and drama free achiever. A true team player, she is considerate of others, puts forth great ideas to the command, and introduces excellent plot twists for others to use–she does all the little things that others often don’t see.
Awarded to Lieutenant Bonnie “Bon-Bon” Durnell of the USS Sunfire for outstanding writing. A role playing force of nature, she’s already second all-time with 20.43 total awards and one of the greatest simmers in IDF’s history. Durnell continues to produce posts of such high quality that one could mistake them for production level Trek.
Awarded to Commander Jonathan Grayson of the USS Washington for outstanding role playing leadership. He’s been the Executive Officer of the Washington for several years now, understanding the nuances of the Captain’s guidance and balancing it with a great pulse on the crew. He’s an excellent mentor, coordinator, and writer to boot.
Command Excellence Medal
Awarded to Captain Dick Sprague for commanding 10 different IDF sims, including the USS Chuck Norris and USS Albion. Sprague not only holds the record for most commands, but also the most Genesis Awards (11). In addition, he ranks third all-time among sim COs for total posts (3,198). A thoroughly unconventional CO, his sims are always unique.
Awarded to Captain Rhenora Kaylan for commanding the USS Sunfire and USS Liberty. Arguably the greatest sim Commanding Officer in IDF history, her outstanding games have garnered community wide recognition, including the 2010 Simming Prize. Incredibly, she also ranks first all-time among COs in both total posts (8,195) and posting titles (39).
Distinguished Service Medal
Awarded to Rear Admiral James “Rook” Mirtoh for serving as Director of Personnel from February 2020 through today. He has efficiently ensured that IDF regularly recognizes its crewmembers for their excellence in role playing, a feature not seen in many other fleets. He is always fair and his efforts showcase the best IDF has to offer.
Awarded to Admiral Ken Gillis for serving as Chief of Technology and Fleet Executive Officer from July 2020 through today. Not only does he expertly manage the fleet’s entire technology stack, but his wisdom and guidance in other areas of fleet operations have proven invaluable. He is the best fleet XO in simming, hands down.
Much is being made about today. After all, it is 2-22-22. Or 22-2-22, depending on where you’re from. To top it all, it’s even a Tuesday! If you’ve been around IDF long enough, you know we also like neat dates. Here are just a few that come to mind:
The previous USS Sunfire launched on 10/10/10
The second USS Pioneer launched on 2/14/11 (Valentine’s Day): The original Pioneer was known as “The Love Boat” due to its relationship centered posts & stories