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Awards Time: 2022

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:

The Special Commendation Medal is awarded for achievement above and beyond the call of duty at the crewmember level.

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.

The Command Excellence Medal is awarded for achievement above and beyond the call of duty at the sim Commanding Officer level.

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).

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 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.

Monthly Awards: January 2022

I apologize for the delay on getting the January awards out. I promise it was Admiral Star’s fault! Regardless, here are your January winners.

Admiral Star edit: Unfortunately, that’s true.

Best Post (Single Author)

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

For “Can you see me daddy?”

Wow! A fantastic piece of writing! It kept me super engaged and was emotionally fulfilling to boot. Well done!


Best Post (Joint Post)

Captain Akeno Misaki & Lieutenant Ileah & Lieutenant Raelyn Mckenzie & Lieutenant JG Torvin Anor
CO / Yeoman / CSTO / CEO
USS Wayfarer

For “Junior Emerges”

A very nice post with tense writing with a pleasing cliffhanger. Well done again!


Funniest Post

Ensign Laurel Zatara
Chief Flight Control Officer
USS Albion

For “Get out of there! Get out!”

Not a laugh out loud post, but funny given the context.


Genesis

Captain Shran dh’Klar
Commanding Officer
USS Washington

For “A Needed Rest”

You don’t see a lot of detailed posts like this kicking off shore leave. I like it!


MVP

Ensign Laurel Zatara
Chief Flight Control Officer
USS Albion

Ens. Zatara joined during January and immediately finished second on the ship in posting. Even better than that, her posts were always excellent, driving the plot forward while giving other players a chance to get in on the action, and best of all, they were usually pretty funny–which is par for the course on the Albion.


Most Posts

Lieutenant Shoniara T’ghann Dex
Assistant Chief Medical Officer
USS Washington

For writing 25 posts.


Most Improved

Lieutenant JG Torvin Anor
Chief Engineering Officer
USS Wayfarer

Lt. jg. Torvin joined the Wayfarer as an engineering officer and was initially mainly in the background. However, after the recent mission he really stepped up and into place of a CEO both in and out of character. He is a pleasure to write with.


Rookie of the Month

None this month.


Recruitment

None this month.


Thanks for a great start to 2022. Keep the excellent posting coming!

Tuesday, February 22, 2022

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
  • The USS Chuck Norris launched on 1/2/12
  • IDF’s new website launched on 2/29/20 (who doesn’t like a Leap Day?)

Some of our current games were launched on dates to honor prior games

  • The USS Sunfire in July 2020 to honor IDF’s 7/4/2001
  • The USS Liberty in August 2020 to honor the original USS Liberty’s 8/1/2001
  • The USS Albion on 2/16/2021 to honor the original Utopia Fleet USS Sunfire’s 2/16/2000

February Command Updates

Two changes of command to report:

  • Captain Emmalyn Marcus has resigned as Commanding Officer of the USS Montana and will be replaced by Captain Jackson Adams. We thank Captain Marcus for all of the hard work and great simming since April 2021.
  • As a result, Captain Adams’s other character, Captain John Wells, will be resigning as Commanding Officer of the USS Eminence and will be replaced by Captain Alex Shepard. We thank Captain Wells for all the hard work and great simming since June 2021.

Captain Adams and Captain Shepard will both assume command on February 1st. Congratulations and best of luck, Captains!

My Favorite Trek: Dean House

In our continued series of My Favorite Trek, I have had the delight of interviewing Dean House of the USS Sunfire. Let’s have a look at the starship Sunfire’s Chief Tactical Officer, currently Acting Executive Officer.

Name: Dean House (aka Angelus)
Rank: Commander
Sim: USS Sunfire
Position: Chief Tactical Officer
Other Characters: N/A

Favorite Star Trek episode? “Lower Decks” Star Trek: The Next Generation. Season 7, Episode 15
Why? It’s something that always hit just right. We always know, any of the shows have the main characters and most of the time show cases them. Even though there’s always extras. However, that episode was something that was needed. While the ending was definitely sad. The writing as excellent. Show casing what the ones that actually keep things going do. Their internal struggles, their insecurities. What they want to strive to be. It was a hard choice between this one or “Yesterday’s Enterprise,” but “Lower Decks” wins hands down.
Favorite Star Trek series? Star Trek: The Next Generation.
Why? While I was introduced to TOS in syndicate by my mother, and grandmother. TNG was really more of what I came into when I was a little older and it definitely helped me to work through awkwardness in middle school. Associating more with Wesley Crusher than the other characters. Or maybe Data a little. I’m aware that he gets a bad rap but that’s not really the characters fault really.
Favorite Star Trek film? Star Trek V: The Final Frontier
Why? There’s a lot of controversy over this one. It doesn’t have the greatest writing. The directing was okay. Nothing to write home about. The best thing about it I look at is its underlying message trying to be relayed. Or at least in my opinion. It’s not about Sybok trying to find Sha’kar’ri(or God.) I mean yes, that’s part of the plot. I always have believed it’s all about family. The relationships, the turmoil that they’ve all endured. Life, death, life. How through no matter what, they are always a family and always will be. Family isn’t about blood. Even when Bones always gets mad at Spock and says “You green blooded…in human…(enter explicative here.) We don’t choose our family; we are brought together. That’s the real premise of the movie. In my opinion.
Favorite Star Trek Captain? Always and will always be Kirk.

  • What year did you start simming? 1995.
  • What sim was it? USS Cortez, Email based in UCIP.
  • What keeps you simming today? Stories, the people, the relationships formed between strangers with a common love for a genre. Seeing what else people come up with.
  • Favorite non-simming hobby? [I]Have to go with Video Games. Though I’d love to get back into modeling (plastic ships and the like.)
  • Favorite non-Trek series? Supernatural.
  • Favorite non-Trek film? I have to go with Evolution (2001, David Duchovny) because it was the last movie that I got to go to an actual theatre to with my grandmother and she absolutely loved it, and so do I.
  • Favorite book (fiction or non)? Both fiction and non-fiction.
  • Favorite video game? [The] Final Fantasy Series and Resident Evil Series
  • Favorite musician or band? Non-committal.
  • Favorite superhero? Superman.
  • If you could have any superpower, what would it be? Telepathy.
  • Favorite sport? [I’m] not big into sports, but I guess….Hockey.
  • Favorite team? The Dallas Cowboys.
  • Favorite food? My Deanwiches.
  • Coke or Pepsi? Pepsi.
  • Lennon or McCartney? [I] Don’t particularly care either way
  • Favorite James Bond actor? Sir Sean Connery.
  • Star Trek or Star Wars? Both, for different reasons. Star Trek has more of the base of equality and what this world, universe should be. While Star Wars has lightsabers and I love flying and space combat (lol).

Rank the Trek TV shows from best to worst. TNG / TOS / ENT / DSN / VOY / PIC / DSC
Rank the Trek movies from best to worst. TFF / TWOK / TVH / TUC / TSFS / FC / G / N / I / TMP / ST (2009) / ID / B
Was this too many questions? No.

Thank you very much for this wonderful opportunity to get to know you better. We now have a nice insight into the sort of Star Trek that you like. Good luck and safe voyages with the USS Sunfire.

Monthly Awards: December 2021

Happy new year! As we close out 2021, I think of all the many great things that happened in this fleet over the last 12 months. There’s not enough room here for it all! But we do have room for our final batch of 2021 award winners…

Best Post (Single Author)

Lieutenant Aiko Kato
Flight Control Officer
USS Washington

For “Puzzle Pieces”

Lt. Kato wins for an incredible third month in a row with an excellent character introspective that distills information into direction for the rest of the crew. Well done!

Best Post (Joint Post)

 Lt. Callie Raven-Grayson & Cmdr. Jonathan Grayson & Lt. Shoniara T’ghann Dex
CC / XO / ACMO
USS Washington

For “Late night visitor”

A gripping read with Callie under mind control, but trying desperately to break free. Excellent!


Funniest Post

 Commander Samantha Howard & Lieutenant Shoniara T’ghann Dex
CMO / ACMO
USS Washington

For “The Morning After the Night Before”

Oh boy, things got complicated!


Genesis

None this month.


MVP

Commander Jenna Ramthorne
Chief Flight Control Officer
USS Sunfire

Cmdr. Ramthorne returns to action! She’s a brilliant writer and an incredible asset to the ship and fleet, always willing to lend a hand or an ear to whoever needs it.


Most Posts

Lieutenant Shoniara T’ghann Dex
Assistant Chief Medical Officer
USS Washington

For writing 22 posts.


Most Improved

Lieutenant Brakon Ryal
Executive Officer
USS Eminence

Lt. Ryal really stepped up his game, driving the story forward and helping organize posts.


Rookie of the Month

Ensign Zack Ravencroft
Security Officer
USS Washington

The W’s new security officer jumped aboard with phasers blazing. He showed an ability to adapt quickly and push the story forward, all while developing his own character and working with others.


Recruitment

 Lt. Callie Raven-Grayson
Chief Counselor
USS Washington

For recruiting a new player who was immediately able to jump into the game and is already simming like a veteran. Recruitment is the key to success!


Congratulations to our December award winners. Here’s to many more great things in 2022!

My Favorite Trek: Heather Meadows

Not only is this the latest edition of My Favorite Trek, but it’s also announcement time: Commodore Heather Meadows hereby joins us today as our new Director of Media. Her main responsibilities will be My Favorite Trek interviews and other blog & media content. She has a long and distinguished simming career, frequently filling roles similar to this, that goes back two decades now. Without any further ado, let’s meet Commodore Heather Meadows…

Name: Heather Meadows
Rank: Commodore
Sim: N/A
Position: Director of Media
Other Characters: Lieutenant Tosh Tarkin of the USS Eminence

Favorite Star Trek episode? It is incredibly difficult to narrow Star Trek down to one favorite episode. However, I will go with “Measure of a Man” from Star Trek: The Next Generation’s second season.
Why? The writer of this episode is Melinda Snodgrass, an accomplished science fiction author, but has a background in law. She earned her Juris Doctor from University of Mexico School of Law. Snodgrass’ knowledge of law applied to the science fiction setting of Gene Rodenberry’s 24th century brings about a thorough discussion of morality, ethics, and what constitutes sentient life.
Favorite Star Trek series? Alas, a continuation of a predicament that places a fan in a tug-of-war within a wonderful franchise. Star Trek: The Next Generation has the best cast, but my personal favorite is Star Trek: Voyager.
Why? When measuring each series and comparing/contrasting them, Star Trek: Voyager edges out the others for me on a personal level because the premise was good, the pilot was interesting, and the first season was solid. Where other series needed time to grow and develop (surpassing Voyager even), Voyager as a series did not need to go through the same growing pains.
Favorite Star Trek film? This would be Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home for me.
Why? This is probably one of the more divisive films because of the plot and humor. I, however, greatly enjoy both the plot and the infusion of humor throughout the movie. The 1980s was a quirky time and having Kirk and the crew travel back to this period of time in Earth’s history worked out well because the actors were contemporary during the time. This made for sharper writing than having them sent back to say the 1880s. Environmental conversation is also something that is very important to me, and that is essentially at the core of this film.
Favorite Star Trek Captain? Most people have the ongoing battle of Kirk or Picard, but mine is actually a struggle between Picard or Janeway. Any given day, it could go either way for me, but I will go with Captain Kathryn Janeway. She adjusted to the situation that she found herself in, and part of that adjustment meant being more than just the Captain – Janeway had to become softer and more integrated with her crew, especially because there’s a huge difference between a Galaxy class starship and an Intrepid class.

  • What year did you start simming? I started simming in 2002 which does indeed feel like a million years ago because things were different back then.
  • What sim was it? It was Dowding Station, a space station sim and it was not part of a fleet. I actually spent about eight or nine years, strictly on the independent scene before setting foot in a fleet.
  • What keeps you simming today? I actually don’t write (simming) as much these days, but I do keep involved with the simming community. I stay involved because I like being a mentor and helping new COs (Game Managers) find their confidence and get into their groove.
  • Favorite non-simming hobby? I actually am a bit Neelix myself. I enjoy cooking and baking (hate the cleaning) and experimenting with recipes.
  • Favorite non-Trek series? That would probably be Buffy the Vampire Slayer because it’s a relatively timeless piece that has embedded itself into pop culture, and it is a series that any writer, director, or producer could learn a lot from.
  • Favorite non-Trek film? North by Northwest because I love James Bond, and though this is not a ‘Bond Film’ it still has the feel of one, and it is a well written film. It certainly is rightfully a classic.
  • Favorite book (fiction or non)? I’m going to give a quick shoutout to Nightshade, a Star Trek novel by Laurell K. Hamilton because Star Trek books do not get enough attention. However, because I am a literary geek, Frankenstein by Marry Shelly is my favorite book.
  • Favorite video game? I really don’t do gamming aside from auto racing games and such. Though I thoroughly enjoyed the Uncharted series and Star Wars: Jedi Fallen Order.
  • Favorite musician or band? The Cranberries (Yes, the band known for “Linger” and “Zombie”) as I loved the Singer (she passed away a few years ago) and the band had a lot of gems of songs that weren’t hits or singles.
  • Favorite superhero? Nightcrawler from the X-Men.
  • If you could have any super power, what would it be? I would take telepathy though it would literally be a headache. The ability to know what people are truly thinking is alluring as you’d get them in their truest form.
  • Favorite sport? I’m an auto racing and motorsports person. Be that Formula 1, IndyCar, or NASCAR.
  • Favorite team? Team Penske
  • Favorite food? Pretty much all of it though I am fond of Tacos, Pide, and Malai Kofta.
  • Coke or Pepsi? I reject your binary cola thinking and insert my own. Royal Crown (RC Cola). However, I am less of a ‘cola’ person and more of a: Moxie, Dr. Pepper, birch beer, root beer, sarsaparilla, and cream soda person.
  • Lennon or McCartney? Let’s just say I am not a Beatles person.
  • Jordan or LeBron? Basketball – Nope.
  • Star Trek or Star Wars? Star Trek because it was less action and more philosophical.

Rank the Trek TV shows from best to worst. VOY / TNG / DSN / ENT / TOS / PIC / DSC
Rank the Trek movies from best to worst. TVH / FC / TUC / TWOK / I / G / TSFS / N / TFF / ID / B / TMP / ST (2009)
Was this too many questions? Not at all. It was a nice opportunity for people to get dome insight into me from a Trek perspective. I welcome any questions they may have.

Let’s all give Commodore Meadows a warm welcome!

USS Chuck Norris: 10 Years

Ten years ago today, our very own USS Chuck Norris launched. That makes it the longest continuously running IDF sim in its current form: Despite two URLs and two Novas, it’s still Defiant class and NCC-4005. And as far as I know, no other ship in Star Trek simming has anything like the USS Chuck Norris facts!

Through four Captains (Dick Sprague, Shane Youngblood, Grover vonMcCormick & Aurther Winters), dozens of crewmembers, and many zany adventures, the Chuck has seen it all. Beyond the story, it’s also been quite the historical sim. It sponsored the 2012 Simulation Cup (aka Tournament of Simulations), the only game ever to do so. It later won its own award at the 2014 competition, the last IDF sim to win until the 2020 tournament.

Let’s also not forget perhaps the Chuck Norris’s biggest contribution: When IDF’s old website went offline in early 2019, the Chuck kept simming over email to keep our legacy alive. Without that effort, there would be no Independence Fleet today. Like so many other fleets, IDF would already belong to the ages.

But we are here today. So let’s all write a post in honor of the USS Chuck Norris!

USS Chuck NorrisNCC-4005
Format: Prose & ScriptEra: TNG/DSN/VOY
Type: OpenClass: Defiant
CO: Captain Aurther WintersJoin!

Monthly Awards: November 2021

On this Christmas Eve, in addition to presenting our November awards, we wish everyone a festivus holiday season and a happy new year!

Best Post (Single Author)

Lieutenant Aiko Kato
Flight Control Officer
USS Washington

For “Unintended Consequences Part 3”

Lt. Kato wins for the second month in a row with a cool post about what it’s like to have extra sensory perceptions. Well done!

Best Post (Joint Post)

Lt. Bonnie “Bon-Bon” Durnell & Capt. Rhenora Kaylen & Cmdr. Finchley Kerr & Cmdr. Savar cha’Salik hei-Surak Talek-sen-deen & Lt. Thriss Kla’ren & Lt. Dean House & Lt. Aurora Vali & Lt. JG Avarak & Harper McGinnis
CSS / CO / CSOO / XO / CEO / CTO / CC / CSO / Chef
USS Sunfire

For “Moving Out”

I’m a sucker for a well written bridge scene. This post does it right.


Funniest Post

Lieutenant Dean House
Chief Tactical Officer
USS Sunfire

For “Not Everything is Black and White”

Fun and heartwarming, with a little humor thrown in.


Genesis

 Captain Shran dh’Klar
Commanding Officer
USS Washington

For “Righting Wrongs”

Gets the story going and leaves many openings for other players to take the story in different directions, everything a Genesis post should be.


MVP

Lieutenant Callie Raven-Grayson
Chief Counselor
USS Washington

The Washington’s Counselor has really came into her own, crafting in-depth posts that moved the story, included much of the crew, and created lots of personal development for both herself and others.


Most Posts

Lieutenant Shoniara T’ghann Dex
Assistant Chief Medical Officer
USS Washington

For writing 13 posts.


Most Improved

Commander Finchley Kerr
Chief Strategic Operations Officer
USS Sunfire

Finchley stepped up big by driving the plot forward, offering many valuable suggestions, and creating opportunities to engage the rest of the crew.


Rookie of the Month

None this month.


Recruitment

None this month.


Congratulations to our award winners. I’ll see you again in 2022!

Monthly Awards: October 2021

Awards time, October style!

Best Post (Single Author)

Lieutenant Aiko Kato
Flight Control Officer
USS Washington

For “Through the Looking Glass of Time”

Very well written bit of backstory, with a great perspective established in the “Previously On” section.

Best Post (Joint Post)

Lt. Cmdr. Trevor Andrews & Capt. John Wells & Cmdr. Yadira Tristan House Kilrah & Lt. Cmdr. Timber Wolf & Lt. Nerex & Lt. JG Hank Solomon & MCPO Alake Van Der Luan
ACEO / CO / CEO / XO / FCC / CSO / MaA
USS Eminence

For “The Lionheart (Part One)”

It’s been a while since I’ve read a good old fashioned time travel post, and this one didn’t disappoint. Great character interactions, and the authors didn’t skip over the gravity of someone discovering they’re out of tine. Kudos also for the transporter room scene. Well done!


Funniest Post

Lt. Sheeraashaa Genno
Chief Security/Tactical Officer
USS Albion

For “Steady as She Goes”

LOL. I can almost hear the funny light music in the background on this one. Very Orville-esque. Love it!


Genesis

Captain Dick Sprague
Commanding Officer
USS Albion

For “Consult the Anomaly”

As is typical for the Albion, the odd title is indicative of the goofy mission to follow, with plenty of opportunities to be taken in many directions.


MVP

Lt. Bonnie “Bon-Bon” Durnell
Computer Systems Specialist
USS Sunfire

What more can I say about this powerhouse simmer? A rock-solid team-first player and sounding bound for the Captain, there’s nothing Durnell can’t and doesn’t do.


Most Posts

Lieutenant Callie Raven-Grayson
Chief Counselor
USS Washington

For writing 8 posts.


Most Improved

Harper McGinnis
Chef
USS Sunfire

The Sunfire’s new Chef joined in October, showed exceptional improvement over the course of the month, and blended in nicely with the experienced crew.


Rookie of the Month

Lieutenant Callie Raven-Grayson
Chief Counselor
USS Washington

The Washington’s new Counselor immediately brought excitement and creativity to the sim, and has been a joy to the rest of the crew.


Recruitment

Commander Jonathan Grayson
Executive Officer
USS Washington

For recruiting a new player who turned out to be a game changer.


Congratulations to everyone who took home hardware this month. I’ll see you in November!