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2020 Hall of Fame Inductees

Today, on our club’s 19th anniversary, it is my great privilege to formally introduce the Independence Fleet Hall of Fame Class of 2020. Induction into our Hall of Fame is the highest honor within this fleet. The requirements and process can be found in the Hall of Fame Charter (pdf).

The newest members of the Independence Fleet Hall of Fame are hereby announced:

Inducted by Election:

Commander Chameleon “Cam” Circuit

of the USS Washington

One of the most unqiue characters in IDF’s history, no one ever forgot Cam Circuit. His interactions with other crewmembers on the USS Washington ranged from deeply meaningful to downright hilarious. He knew how to make the most of every situation and how to bring out the best in people. Circuit won the Rookie of the Month Award and later captured Most Improved and the now defunct Outstanding Simmer Award.

Lt. Cmdr. Laria Jorel

of the USS Sunfire

One of the leaders on the most successful ship of her era, Laria Jorel helped take the USS Sunfire to new heights. Conquering both quality and quantity, the Sunfire became well known beyond IDF with the entire community. To this day, Jorel still ranks fifth all-time with 8.83 total awards, which includes 3.33 Best Posts and 2 MVPs. Jorel was a master of involving others and taking the story in unexpected directions.

Captain Ena Robi

of the USS Constellation

One of the leading Captains of IDF’s renaissance era, Ena Robi’s USS Constellation crew told some of the most interesting and compelling stories of all-time. Forging their own path forward, they seemlessly integrated the Star Trek universe into their own unique lore. She also totaled 5.5 awards, including 2.5 Genesis Awards. Making this even more impressive, Robi took command in only her third month of simming.

Captain Jimmy Rogers

of the USS Liberty

A Captain with unlimited hosting talent, Jimmy Rogers led the USS Liberty to become one of the top sims of the day. His crewmembers regularly won awards and the Liberty captured three posting titles, including a monster 315-post month that still stands in the top 10 all-time. Rogers won the MVP Award in his first month of simming, took command in his second month, and then later captured 2.33 Genesis Awards.

Admiral Landon Wakeland

of the USS Pioneer

A selfless leader on all fronts, Landon Wakeland improved IDF in nearly every way possible. He enhanced our social media footprint, improved relations with other fleets, and most importantly, launched 10 new sims and welcomed another outside sim into the fleet. He was the force that made IDF go during his era. Best of all, Wakeland was able to implement these changes while still keeping everyone happy.

Inducted by the Veterans Committee:

Captain Gorath

of the USS Raptor

Serving as an Executive Officer for two new sims, Gorath eventually got his shot at command with the USS Raptor. He didn’t disappoint as he won the fleet posting title in his first month. He was a natural leader who kept everyone moving forward whether he was an XO or Captain. Unfortunately, the records of his later exploits remain lost to history. Gorath totaled 5.5 awards, including two Recruitment Awards.

Commander James Sullivan

of the USS Dragon

One of the top simmers of his era, James Sullivan helped make a name for the USS Dragon. A natural Executive Officer, he expertly managed his crew while still implementing the Captain’s vision. He kept everyone engaged by using creative plot twists to provide ways for others to participate and write. Winters is still tied for 11th all-time with seven total awards, including three Most Posts.


Congratulations to all seven inductees! Well done! You will now forever be remembered for your extraordinary contributions to Independence Fleet. Thank you for continuing to provide an example to follow for all of us still role playing today. There are now 27 members of this most exclusive club.

On an administrative note, we have discovered documents indicating that 2012 inductee Airika Calhoun’s final/highest rank was not Lieutenant, but Commander. As such, the record has been updated to reflect her rank as Commander. Commander Calhoun hails from the USS Excalibur.

I can only begin to imagine the day when many of our current simmers receive this same honor. Until, let’s role play and have fun!

Two More Distinguished Service Medals

Tomorrow is obviously a big day. Not only is it our 19-year anniversary, but we’ll also officially enshrine our 2020 Hall of Fame Class. However, before we get to that, I think we need to honor two extraordinary individuals who helped get us where we are today.

Awarded to Fleet Admiral AJ Wheeler for his service as Commander-in-Chief from 2010 to 2020. Fleet Admiral Wheeler led this fleet for more than nine years, a record by far for the position. Wheeler guided the club with passion and saw many ups and downs during his time. He was a steadying force throughout and remains one of the all-time greats.

Awarded to Fleet Admiral James D. West for his service as Commander-in-Chief in 2020. Fleet Admiral West wasted no time in saving the fleet from almost certain demise and energetically led the fleet back to again being one of the leaders of the community. A hero from both our beginnings and today, he is the very embodiment of Independence Fleet.

Admiralty Restructuring

With Fleet Admiral West’s retirement and my move into the role of Commander-in-Chief, I’ll need to make a few shifts of fleet leadership. The following changes are to take effect immediately:

  • I have reluctantly accepted Rear-Admiral Sadie Stanton’s resignation as Director of Art due to her real life time constraints. We thank Rear-Admiral Stanton from the bottom of our hearts for the outstanding work she’s done to give IDF a unique look to fill our niche within the community. She was recently awarded the Distinguished Service Medal for her service.
  • Vice-Admiral Ken Gillis is hereby promoted to Admiral and will take on an updated title: Chief of Technology. This new rank and role reflect technology’s ever-growing importance in fleet operations. Tech is the backbone of our fleet, and it’s all been Admiral Gillis. He was also awarded the Distinguished Service Medal last month.
  • The Chief of Fleet Operations position that I vacated will remain unfilled. Since our fleet is still small, all sims will continue to report directly to me. Rear-Admiral Bolak and Rear-Admiral James “Rook” Mirtoh will also continue to report to me.
  • IDF has traditionally not had an official Executive Officer (XO) position. Instead, usually a Deputy Commander-in-Chief or Chief of Fleet Operations fills the role as a de-facto fleet XO. Given the rise of technology’s importance as outlined earlier, Admiral Gillis will fill this position in his Chief of Technology role.
  • Captain Abe Polto officially assumed command of the USS Eminence on July 1st after Captain Caymen Greener’s resignation. We thank Captain Greener for helping us create this wonderful game and look forward to the new adventures Captain Polto will lead.
  • Starbase Mikia has left the fleet. Their final post was on May 1st.

In administrivia news, as of August 1st, all prior fleet bans and censures will be officially overturned. The third and ninth censures are hereby overturned immediately. While such lists served their purpose in the past, they are simply no longer needed today. Individual sim membership will be left to the sim COs.

P.S.–Still the old signature, I know.

Adm McMahon P.S. — What old signature?

The Good Ole Days: Right Now

I often think back to my original time in IDF, the fleet’s classical era in the 2000s. I remember them as the good ole’ days. The same for the renaissance period of the early 2010s. In reality, I was only a member of the fleet for about two and a half years during my first stint, and then I was Chief of Fleet Operations for less than a year and a half 2010-12. They both were fleeting moments, but I recall them much differently. No pun intended.

To quote Andy Bernard from the finale episode of The Office: “I wish there was a way to know you’re in the good old days before you’ve actually left them.”

So it is with IDF: These are the good ole’ days! Over the last few months, we’ve rebuilt our community, reestablished our Star Trek lore, and even played the old Super Space Command 3000 joke again. What a time it is! We’re right in the middle of the good ole’ days and our best years are yet to come. Cherish the moments we have now to write Trek with our fellow crewmembers. The future is limited only by our own imaginations.

On that note, I would like to bid a happy retirement to Fleet Admiral James D. West. Without him, there would be no IDF: He was one of our three founders and has been instrumental in leading our rebuild this year. To me, he’s been a mentor, a rival, a friend, and much more. To everyone else, he’s one of the all-time greats, not just within IDF, but for the entire simming and online role playing community.

In that light, I accept the authority and responsibility as Independence Fleet’s Commander-in-Chief and General Executive Director. As my first official act, I hereby permanently retire the Fleet Admiral rank. No one else can ever fill West’s shoes, so no one else will ever wear his rank either. Furthermore, Fleet Admiral West will always be the most senior historical member of this club.

Farewell, Fleet Admiral!

P.S.–Yes, I do need a new signature block.

James D. West Signing Off

Click here for a pdf copy of Fleet Admiral West’s message.

My fellow colleagues and simmers:

I am sure no one thought this day would come so soon. Even I am in disbelief that it is already here. But after conferring with members of the Admiralty and others in our simming community, it is with a heavy heart that I announce my retirement as Fleet Admiral/CinC of Independence Fleet, effective 0000 hours EST USA, Wednesday July 1st 2020.

It’s been an amazing journey since July 4th, 2001. I remember starting IDF with three ships and a handful of very dedicated simmers, most of which originated (like myself) from an older, defunct simming fleet. We made it work. And today it has grown into one of the premier online role playing communities on the web.

This wouldn’t have been possible without the tireless hard work and dedication by the Admiralty and Captains, as well as the simmers themselves who really make this happen. Without the talented writers in this group, there would be no community.

After my retirement I can think of no better officer than Charles Star to lead this fleet into the future as Commander-in-Chief. I have known Charles for over 20 years. We served on an old incarnation of the USS Sunfire; he as CMO and me as XO. This friendship would lead us to where we all are now.

Admiral Star has made this fleet his life’s work. When the rest of us had real-life issues keeping us from the simming world, Charles pressed on. He was there during all the difficult times and kept pressing forward, never losing sight of the future for our fleet.

Admiral Star will make one hell of a Commander-in-Chief, and will assume command of Independence Fleet at 0001 hours EST USA, Wednesday July 1st 2020.

As for me, I will continue simming in a non-administrative capacity, as a low-key but active character on one of our great Sims. This is not a retirement from simming. It is a retirement of the Admiralty, and leaving that aspect of our community in Admiral Starts capable hands.

Again, what an amazing journey it’s been.

My best,

Fleet Admiral James D. West

Monthly Awards: May 2020

We had a slower month than normal for May. However, we’re not without awards! Congratulations to the winners!

Best Post

Lt. Cmdr. Finchley Kerr
Executive Officer
USS Eminence

For “Something old, something new…”
A perfect intro for a sim set in Star Trek: Picard. It hits all the right notes, setting up the adventure to come.


Funniest Post

Cmdr. Aurther Winters
Executive Officer
USS Chuck Norris

For “Down to the Surface”
A reality show camera crew on a starship?!? Only on the Chuck Norris.


MVP

Cmdr. Samantha Howard
Chief Medical Officer
USS Washington

Howard did it all during May. She pushed the story forward and helped mentor some of the newer crewmembers.


Most Posts

Cmdr. Samantha Howard
Chief Medical Officer
USS Washington

For writing 8 posts.


Most Improved

Ens. John Wyatt
Intelligence Officer
USS Chuck Norris

Wyatt continued his progression as a role player and showed excellent collaboration through 5 posts.


We didn’t have a Genesis, Rookie of the Month, or Recruitment award this month. I hope that changes for June!

Major Awards Have Returned

It’s been almost four months since I assumed command of Independence Fleet back in February. It’s high time that we recognized some of the people who have made our resurgence possible. I hereby issue the following six citations:

The Excellence in Service Medal is hereby renamed the Command Excellence Medal. It is to be awarded for achievement above and beyond the call of duty at the sim Commanding Officer level.

Command Excellence Medal

Awarded to Captain Shane Youngblood for commanding the USS Chuck Norris from 2014 to 2020. Captain Youngblood kept IDF alive when its website went offline by having the Chuck Norris continue simming over email. For that action, IDF will be forever grateful.

Awarded to Colonel Steven MayTa Death for commanding the USS Sanctuary from 2012 to 2020. At the time of his transfer to fellow simming club UCIP, he was first all time in IDF with 89 command months. His tenure included 1,631 total posts and 17 posting titles.

Awarded to Captain Shran dh’Klar for commanding the USS Washington. As previously announced, Captain dh’Klar is now our Commanding Officer elder statesman with the all time lead in command months (90) and posting titles (26). He continues to be guiding light and example for his sim.

The Distinguished Service Medal is awarded for achievement above and beyond the call of duty at the Admiralty level.

Distinguished Service Medal

Awarded to Rear Admiral Sadie Stanton for her service as Director of Art. Creating an entirely new graphical design and feel for the IDF website, her creative vision has been invaluable in our second renaissance.

Awarded to Vice Admiral Ken Gillis for his service as Director of Technology. He built the entire new IDF website in record time and continues to manage a first-rate, fast, and error-free IT system.

Awarded to Admiral Charles Star for his service as Chief of Fleet Operations. The glue who puts it all together, he assembled the greatest staff this fleet has ever seen and continues to lead both here and in the community at large.

Just like the Monthly Awards, the Major Awards are now back too. If there’s a theme here, it’s the three Captains who bridged the gap from the old website and leadership to the new and the three Admirals who made what we have now possible. Thanks to all and I hope you continue to serve the fleet for many years to come.

A Milestone of Milestones

A recent review of our records revealed something very interesting: Captain Shran dh’Klar of the USS Washington is currently in his 90th month of command in Independence Fleet. This breaks the previous tie of 89 months with Steven MayTa Death for the fleet’s all-time lead. You read that right–Captain dh’Klar is now the longest serving sim Commanding Officer in the history of Independence Fleet. A quick recap of his command career:

  • December 2010 – May 2012: USS Washington (18 months)
  • December 2012 – August 2013: USS Archimedes (9)
  • April 2015 – current: USS Washington (63)

Let’s put the 90 months into perspective: That’s 7.5 years of command! Wow! As of June 1st, that includes 1,320 total posts and a tie with Rhenora Kaylen for first place all-time with 26 monthly posting titles.*

I still remember when Captain dh’Klar first took command of the Washington. I had just returned to IDF as Chief of Fleet Operations and we were re-launching several historical sims. I really wanted him to be one of our Captains and offered him whichever command he wanted. I was very happy when he selected the Washington, which at the time was already one of our most storied games. Captain dh’Klar has since taken the Washington to even greater heights, creating a nearly unparalleled legacy.

Captain, thanks again for your service and we’re looking forward to the next 90 months!

* IDF does not have sim records from January 2004 to September 2010 and is missing posting totals for September – October 2018 and December 2018 to May 2019.

Monthly Awards: April 2020

Rook Mirtoh, your friendly neighborhood Director of Personnel here… What, I used the line last month? Then let’s just skip straight to the awards:

Best Post

Lt. Cmdr. Jhettao zh’Vrini
Chief Intelligence Officer
Starbase Mikia

For “Personal Log – 2410-05-09”
It’s not often that a personal log wins best post, but this one does it with the right mix of cheer & gloom!


Funniest Post

Cmdr. Aurther Winters
Executive Officer
USS Chuck Norris

For “Make it… more real!”
Very tongue in cheek, a serious officer dealing with an un-serious scenario. Winters is one of the best!


Genesis

Captain Grover vonMcCormick
Commanding Officer
USS Chuck Norris

For “From the Sidelines”
Funny, yet clear objectives that should get the crew going on a new mission. Well done!


MVP

Cmdr. Aurther Winters
Executive Officer
USS Chuck Norris

Winters does it again; leads the ship in total posts, helps integrate new crewmembers, mentors others, and keeps the storing going.


Most Posts

Cmdr. Aurther Winters
Executive Officer
USS Chuck Norris

For writing 8 posts.


Most Improved

Lt. Cmdr. Estella Stratton
Chief Counselor
USS Washington

The Counselor has delved deep into both character development and mission advancement this month, showing her versatility.


Rookie of the Month

Lt. Cassia Cavendish
Chief Flight Control Officer
USS Washington

She jumped in head first with an excellent introductory post and followed it up with several joint posts.


Recruitment

Cmdr. Jonathan Grayson
Executive Officer
USS Washington

Recruited the Washington’s stellar rookie and continues to work on recruiting for the ship.


Congratulations to all of our winners. Good luck to everyone for May and keep simming! That’s what I said last month too? I’m must be getting too old for this.

Star Trek Character Search

Hidden within this nonsense article are 25 names of popular Star Trek characters. Can you find them all?

Greyfriars Kirkyard in Edinburgh, Scotland is fabled to be the home of the scottish faeries. While some consider the legends to be part of ancient Scottish lore, others consider them to be the result of a drunken Scot typing nonsense to sell cheap local literature. Old Jimmy Price is recognised as the author of most contemporary prints and evidence of his historical research can be found in the old mans pocketbook which is on display in Edinburgh public library.

Old Jimmy Price made millions from his local tall tales and bought himself a Lamborghini with the profits from the first volume. The second edition was even more popular that the first allowing him to say “adieu Huracan” and “bonjour” to a brand new Porche 911. He would often be found sitting in one of his expensive cars tucking into a bag of ready salted McCoys.

Old Jimmy was also something of a politician and had the french consul under his influence due to an overhead Back handed jibe made by the frenchman at a local function. He used his influence to fund the opening of a zoo where he cared for a varied menagerie. It was during these years that he began his famous treaties on the natural sciences making ground breaking observations such as; 

When feeding platypi, cardboard containers are prefered due to the animals aversion to plastics. He discovered that feeding a penguin an icecube was an excellent way to facilitate egg production and through lengthy observations of his pet Kestral Jane, discovered the in workings of the birds mind through the application of Odorless Ordifal oil to the feeding trough. If you study the data it will show Orfidal is often prescribed to treat anxiety. Unfortunately his discoveries were cut short when one day his assistant gave Jane way too much of the oil and she sadly died.

Jimmy Price was indeed an accomplished man. A man’s man. He was an expert archer, a superb swordsman with an ability to strike right on time to deal the finishing blow. He was an expert fisherman and once caught a prize winning pike which he kept over his fireplace in pride of place next to his ancient scottish Blood axe. In his latter years he moved his field of interest into the sciences and discovered that the centroid or geometric center of a plane figure is the arithmetic mean position of all the points in the figure before concluding that a quark is a type of elementary particle and a fundamental constituent of matter. He was however until his dying day a terrible cook and could even  burn ham if not properly supervised.

Fame came at a price however and it took the form of his older brother George. Quite simply Jimmy made George ordinary and uninteresting by comparison. Turning up to his older brothers 60th birthday party Jimmy made the bash irrelevant as the friends and family ignored the birthday boy to flock around Jimmy to hear his latest tall tales of adventure and accomplishment. So incensed was George that he invited his brother on a trip and while traveling he attacked and killed the poor fellow placinging his body in a mechanical crusher to hide his crime.

Until this day the body of Jimmy Price has never been found, though rumours abound of his grizzly fate.

Happy Hunting!

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