New Sim: USS Eclipse

Less than a month later and we already have another new sim joining us: the USS Eclipse officially launched on January 16, 2023. This is a brand new sim focusing on science and exploration that takes place in a post-Nemesis timeline. Take a look and consider joining today!

USS EclipseNCC-72382
Format: ProseEra: Post-Nemesis
Type: TraditionalClass: Nova
CO: Captain Aven LaCroixJoin!

Welcome to the fleet, Captain LaCroix and crew!

The Record Book Has Been Rewritten

With 2022 in the books, it’s high time we checked in with the latest version of the IDF Record Book over on our About page. As it turns out, we have a new all-time leader in monthly awards. Lieutenant Bonnie “Bon-Bon” Durnell of the USS Sunfire now has a grand total of 29.83 awards, passing the previous leader, Jenna Ramthorne (of a prior version of the Sunfire), who has 24.83. What’s even more incredible, is that both characters are played by the same person!

Best PostFunniest PostGenesisMVPMost PostsMost ImprovedRecruitmentTotal

Prolific across multiple award categories, the two stat lines seem to mirror each other. However, the difference is clearly Durnell’s five plus Funniest Post awards to Ramthorne’s zero. See what adding humor to your game can do! Congratulations to Lieutenant Durnell on this incredible accomplishment!

As it turns out, we have quite a few current or recent members who have moved up leader board since we brought the Awards back for March 2020:

Active Member — received an award within the last year or confirmed to currently be on a sim
Hall of Famer

All characters with five or more total monthly awards

In addition to all those who’ve won awards, I also want to thank each of our sim Commanding Officers for submitting nominations month-in and month-out and to Rear Admiral James “Rook” Mirtoh for running the program and selecting winners. Without their tireless efforts, the awards simply wouldn’t be possible.

I’ve long been of the opinion that the monthly awards are one of the absolute best features of this fleet, and they’re a key bonus that really distinguishes us from other groups out there. The numbers speak for themselves: Through the end of 2022, we have 969 total documented awards presented to 506 different individuals through 1,226 different award records. Each one is permanently part of our continuing history, starting all the way back with the five original awards presented for our very first month of July 2001 going up through today and beyond.

Now it’s time to add your legacy to the story…

Monthly Awards: December 2022

Welcome to 2023, folks! However, it’s time to honor the best of the end of 2022…

Best Post (Single Author)

Commander Samantha Howard
Chief Medical Officer
USS Washington

For “Introspection”

Wonderfully written reflection post.

Best Post (Joint Post)

Lt. Bonnie “Bon-Bon” Durnell & Lt. Thriss Kla’ren & Ens. Kitiuas Thenis & Lt. Thomas Hadleman & SCPO Ronson Mitchell
CSS / CEO / SO / CDO / Y
USS Sunfire

For “Jump Start”

One word: Raptors.

Funniest Post

Crewman Patin & Commander Dean House
Guest / Second Officer
USS Sunfire

For “Uber ride”

Two words: Great banter.


Capt. Akeno Misaki & Cmdr. Mashiro Munetani “Shiro” & Lt. Sidney Harper & Lt. Ileah & Lt. Avery Coyle & Lt. Raelyn Mckenzie & Lt. Rosaleen O’Donnell & Lt. Mark Johnson & Lt. JG Luna Eclipse of the House of Martok
CO / XO / MA / Y / CFCO / CSTO / COO / CMO / FCO
USS Wayfarer

For “Something’s Afoot (Part 1)”

Three words: Now that’s how you start a mission! Wait, I suppose that’s more than three words.


Ensign T’Plana-hath
Intelligence Officer
USS Washington

After winning Most Improved last month, the Washington’s Intelligence Officer takes home the MVP this time. Although newer to simming, she has expertly integrated herself into the veteran crew, frequently pushing through and collaborating with others on excellent posts.

Most Posts

Lt. Bonnie “Bon-Bon” Durnell & Cmdr. Savar cha’Salik hei-Surak Talek-sen-deen
Computer Systems Specialist / Executive Officer
USS Sunfire

For writing 9 posts.

Most Improved

Lieutenant Raelyn Mckenzie
Chief Security/Tactical Officer
USS Wayfarer

Lt. Mckenzie really stepped up her game in December, pushing forward some great ideas while showing both her writing ability and how to work well with the rest of the crew.

Rookie of the Month

None this month.


None this month.

I hope everyone’s year is off to a great start. Keep up the great posting.

Welcome to the USS Churchill

We don’t often have outside sims join our fleet. However, I am very proud to announce that the USS Churchill joined us last month with their first official post as a member of IDF coming on December 23, 2022. Captain James Stewart is the Commanding Officer.

USS ChurchillNCC-86255
Format: ProseEra: Post-Dominion War
Type: TraditionalClass: Luna
CO: Captain James StewartJoin!

Welcome aboard, Captain Stewart and crew!

Congratulations to the USS Chuck Norris

Congratulations to our very own USS Chuck Norris on winning a Squiddie award back in November:

For its noteworthy contributions to the greater simming community. Unprecedented for an individual sim, the USS Chuck Norris hosted the 2012 Simulation Cup to keep the recently returned Tournament of Simulation from again becoming a relic of history, and to date it is still the only game to sponsor a tournament. Furthermore, when host club Independence Fleet’s website went offline in 2019, the Chuck Norris crew continued to sim over email until a new fleet website came online in early 2020. Without their action, their mother fleet like so many from the earlier eras would almost certainly belong to the ages today. In addition, they won the Creativity award in the 2014 Tournament of Simulations.

For those well versed in Independence Fleet history, you might know that January 2nd is an important day for the USS Chuck Norris. For those who don’t, we have a special guest who can fill you in:

Well done, and here’s to many more years for the longest continuously active sim in its present form in the current Independence Fleet line up.

Monthly Awards: November 2022

As 2022 winds down, it’s time to honor the best of last month:

Best Post (Single Author)

Lieutenant Bonnie “Bon-Bon” Durnell
Computer Systems Specialist
USS Sunfire

For “Night One.”

Who’d have ever thought one could feel lonely on a Starship?

Best Post (Joint Post)

Capt. Rhenora Kaylen & Lt. Sarah Wilson & Cmdr. Savar cha’Salik hei-Surak Talek-sen-deen & Cmdr. Dean House & Lt. JG Blake Leone & Lt. JG Aurora Vali & Lt. Alison Haldeman & CPO Remal Kajun
CO / MO / XO / 2O / C / CC / ACOO / CA
USS Sunfire

For “Camp pt 1”

Star Trek and Dinosaurs! I love it.

Funniest Post

Capt. Akeno Misaki & Cmdr. Mashiro Munetani “Shiro” & Lt. Ileah & Lt. Avery Coyle & Lt. Rosaleen O’Donnell & Lt. Raelyn Mckenzie & Lt. Mark Johnson & Lt. JG Luna Eclipse of the House of Martok
USS Wayfarer

For “Day One – Beach Games! (Part 2)”

Starfleet officer knocked out cold by a volleyball. That’s funny.


Captain Akeno Misaki
Commanding Officer
USS Wayfarer

For “Dinner Date”

Not the prototypical Genesis post, but it does a great job setting things up.


Commander Jonathan Grayson
Executive Officer
USS Washington

The Washington’s XO put forth another strong month both in and out of character, which is typical for him. However, this time he purposefully added surprises that continually popped up during the mission, adding another layer to the sim.

Most Posts

Lieutenant Bonnie “Bon-Bon” Durnell
Computer Systems Specialist
USS Sunfire

For writing 16 posts.

Most Improved

Ensign T’Plana-hath
Intelligence Officer
USS Washington

The Ensign finished second on the sim with posting, but also advanced the plot quite nicely a couple times while also further developing the character.

Rookie of the Month

None this month.


Lieutenant Avery Coyle
Chief Flight Control Officer
USS Wayfarer

For recruiting this newest member of the sim, Lieutenant Sidney Harper.

Thanks for another great year in IDF. Expect to see 2022’s final monthly awards post in early January.

Happy holidays and a happy new year to all!

The Importance of Fleet Management in Today’s Business World

A lot has been written recently about artificial chatbot ChatGPT. The New York Times describes it as a ‘Code Red’ For Google Search. Other sites talk about its ability to potentially disrupt Hollywood, how it can write essays, and that it can even negotiate your cable bill. More worryingly, in the hands of bad actors, it can be used to generate malicious code. Since it can seemingly do so much, what can it do for role playing? I decided to put it to the test with this request:

Write a blog post to appear on

Here’s what we got in response:

The Importance of Fleet Management in Today’s Business World

In today’s fast-paced business world, effective fleet management is crucial for the success of any organization that relies on vehicles to operate. Fleet management refers to the process of planning, coordinating, and controlling a company’s fleet of vehicles, including cars, trucks, vans, and other types of vehicles.

One of the primary benefits of fleet management is cost savings. By properly maintaining and utilizing vehicles, companies can reduce the need for costly repairs and downtime. This can be achieved through regular maintenance, vehicle tracking, and the use of fuel-efficient vehicles.

In addition to cost savings, fleet management can also improve safety and compliance. By implementing safety protocols and tracking vehicle performance, companies can reduce the risk of accidents and ensure that their vehicles are operating in compliance with local and federal regulations.

Effective fleet management can also increase productivity and efficiency. By using real-time tracking and scheduling, companies can optimize routes and schedules, reducing the time and resources required to complete tasks.

There are many tools and technologies available to help companies manage their fleets effectively. Fleet management software can be used to track vehicle location and performance, schedule maintenance, and optimize routes. GPS tracking devices can be installed in vehicles to provide real-time location information and alert managers to any potential issues.

In summary, effective fleet management is essential for any organization that relies on vehicles to operate. By implementing cost-saving measures, improving safety and compliance, and increasing productivity and efficiency, companies can achieve significant benefits through proper fleet management.


Needless to say, I think it missed the mark! It might be due to the bot’s inability to actually visit our website. Next I asked: Can you write a scene for a new Star Trek movie?

Could this be a post? Maybe!

The scene opens on the bridge of the USS Enterprise, as the ship speeds through deep space on a mission to explore a mysterious new planet. Captain Kirk is standing at the helm, gazing out at the stars.

Suddenly, the ship is jolted by a violent explosion. The alarms start blaring and the lights flash red.

“Report!” Kirk shouts, as the crew rushes to their stations.

“We’ve been hit by an energy weapon, Captain,” says Spock, who is working at the science console. “It’s of a type we’ve never seen before.”

“Where did it come from?” Kirk demands.

“I’m not sure, sir,” Spock replies. “It seems to be coming from the planet we’re approaching.”

Kirk takes a deep breath and makes a quick decision. “Helm, take us into orbit. Mr. Sulu, arm the phasers. Mr. Chekov, scan for any other ships or weapons in the area.”

The Enterprise enters orbit around the planet and begins to scan for any signs of danger. As they search, they pick up faint readings of a highly advanced alien civilization.

Kirk looks over at Spock. “What do you make of it, Spock?”

Spock’s eyebrows lift in surprise. “It appears to be a civilization far more technologically advanced than anything we’ve ever encountered. But there are no signs of hostile intent.”

Kirk nods. “We’ll approach with caution. Mr. Sulu, set a course for the nearest city. Let’s see if we can make contact and learn more about these aliens.”

The Enterprise heads towards the city, and as they get closer, they are amazed by the towering spires and gleaming structures that stretch up into the sky. It is clear that this civilization is highly advanced and technologically sophisticated.

As they approach the city, a bright beam of light shoots out from the planet’s surface and envelops the Enterprise. Kirk and the crew brace themselves, but instead of an attack, they find themselves transported to the surface of the planet.

They are greeted by a group of friendly aliens, who introduce themselves as the Q’tahli. The Q’tahli welcome the Enterprise crew and invite them to explore their city and learn about their civilization.

Kirk and the crew are amazed by the Q’tahli’s advanced technology and benevolent nature. They spend several days learning about the Q’tahli and their way of life, and even manage to help resolve a minor crisis that had been plaguing the Q’tahli’s society.

As the Enterprise prepares to leave, Kirk thanks the Q’tahli for their hospitality and friendship. “We’ll be sure to visit again,” he says, as the Enterprise sets course for its next adventure.


While this was a fun little exercise, I think it’s safe to say that ChatGPT has a ways to go before it can start role playing! You can read more about the backstory of ChatGPT here. You can also see a similar article to this one over at Ongoing Worlds.

My Favorite Trek: Jackson Adams

Character Name: Jackson Adams

Rank: Captain

Sim: USS Montana 

Position: Commanding Officer 

Favorite Star Trek episode? 
This is a toss up between three shows. 
1) TOS: “Mirror, Mirror”
2) ENT: “Broken Bow”
3) DSC: “Such Sweet Sorrow”

In my opinion, all three of these episodes embodied the idealism that Gene Rodenberry desired to impart on Star Trek Fans (and really the world).   

Favorite Star Trek series? 
This is also a toss up between The Original Series and Enterprise. 

The original series was Gene’s original vision, and I grew up watching them repeatedly. Today, I own a particular Blu-ray set that is just great. On the other hand, Enterprise took us to a place we never thought possible at the time: the beginnings of the Federation. Enterprise reminded us that the start of something grand, rather it be a country or an ideal, is not always clean. There are messes and growing pains.

Along this line of thinking, Captain Archer learned that not everything was clear cut and the world was not as he thought. We, as humans, tend to think we are usually correct, and this series reminds us that (at times) we must expand our thinking to grow and accept the changes around us. I am not good with change, but–as crazy as it seems—sometimes I think, “If Captain Archer could change, so can I.” That is the beauty of Star Trek; it challenges OUR outlooks on life and causes us, at times, to question it. This is what, in my opinion, Gene Roddenberry wanted for the fans of this beautiful show. 

Favorite Star Trek film? 
Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan

Put simply, I think Star Trek II challenged the world view on growing older and, of course, death. It reminds us, as Spock said in Star Trek VI, that everything changes and ends. While Star Trek found away to save Spock, Kirk had to deal with his own ideals on life, death, and even family. This movie was, in my humble opinion, Star Trek at its best. That is why this film will always live in my heart. 

Favorite Star Trek Captain? 
Again, a toss up between Captain Archer and Kirk. 

What year did you start simming? 
I have been simming off and on since about 1992. 

What sim was it? 
Starships of the Third Fleet. The people which ran that club have since passed on and, if I had it my way, I would purchase it from their son. There is a site for them now, and they even have some of the old missions posted but the club is mostly gone. It is sad because I had a lot of fun there. 

What keeps you simming today? 
I enjoy the vision of Star Trek and the ideal of escaping life in the real world, even for just a few minutes at a time, has an appeal to me. 

Favorite non-simming hobby? 
Running. I do a lot of this today and I seem to be increasing as time goes along. Staying health became a mission of mine about a year ago and I have lost a lot of weight. I plan to keep moving down that path. 

Favorite non-Trek series? 
There are really three of them: (1) Quantum Leap, (2) the Original Law and Order, and (3) Knight Rider. 

Favorite non-Trek film? 
The Beverly Hills Cop Series. I have owned those movies for years, and I even went to the expense of purchasing them in 4K this year. Not many non-science fiction shows are worth purchasing in 4K but these series of movies are beautiful in this new format. 

Favorite book (fiction or non)? 
Fiction: The Rise of the Federation Series (if you have not read them, you are truly missing out). 

Favorite video game? 
I do not have one as gamming is not really my thing. 

Favorite musician or band? 
80’s music. I was born in the 70s and raised in the 80s. To me, the 80’s was a special time that is forever gone. 

Favorite superhero? 

If you could have any super power, what would it be? 
The ability to read minds. I hate it when I walk up on people and they stop talking. I would love to saying something like, “Yeah, I agree with you about….”

Favorite sport? 
Football, although I have not kept up with it the last few years. 

Favorite team? 

Favorite food? 
Mexican Food. 

Coke or Pepsi? 
Of course, Diet Pepsi….

Lennon or McCartney? 

Favorite Bond actor? 
Roger Moore

Star Trek or Star Wars? 
Star Trek 

Rank the Trek TV shows from best to worst.

Rank the Trek movies from best to worst.
ST (2009)

Our 100th Blog Post!

What an exciting bit of Independence Fleet news that I get the opportunity to share with you all. This very post marks the 100th blog post since IDF launched the new website on February 29, 2020. That’s a lot of blogging and I am delighted that these 100 posts have been mostly celebratory and honoring our members.

Ironically, we also have 100 blog comments so far. It is always nice to receive comments from the IDF community. It makes every blog post all the more wonderful and though my work schedule the past few months derailed my involvement, I am glad to be part of the fleet in this capacity. I don’t know where we will be 100 more blog posts down the road, but it undoubtedly will be a great journey with you all.

Let’s have a look at some blog statistics:

Charles Star50
James “Rook” Mirtoh32
Ken Gillis5
James West4
Heather Meadows3

Stay tuned for more exciting IDF news and blog posts!

November Command Update

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!