It’s been more than a year since the last major awards were presented. Here is our fourth Special Commendation Medal, which is awarded for achievement above and beyond the call of duty at the crewmember level.
Special Commendation Medal
Awarded to Lieutenant Commander Shoniara T’ghann-Travis (previously known as Shoniara T’ghann Dex before her marriage in-story) of the USS Washington for sustained superior role playing. Using her encyclopedic knowledge of Trek, she effortlessly writes detailed posts and collaborates with others to tell truly immersive stories within the canon. In the nearly two years since her first post on August 19, 2021, she has tallied 9.33 total awards, good for 13th place all-time, which includes one MVP and five Most Posts.
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!
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
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.
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 Kaylen 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.
It’s finally here: The 20th anniversary of the founding of this great club. Who knew back on July 4, 2001 that this group, launched with humble beginnings on Angelfire and YahooGroups, would not only still be around today, but standing among the titans of simming?
Independence Fleet has seen good times, bad times, and everything in between. Throughout it all, we’ve endured to create some of the best Star Trek role playing the Internet has ever witnessed. With that in mind, we have an important message from a very special guest:
Whether you’ve been a member for one day or all 20 years, this legacy belongs to you! On behalf of the entire IDF Admiralty, we hope you thoroughly enjoy today’s message, almanac, and everything this fleet offers.
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.
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:
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.
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 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.
At 11:59 PM tonight, the USS Sanctuary will officially transfer from Independence Fleet to UCIP. The Sanctuary has been a mainstay in IDF since she launched back in October 2012. According to available records as of March 1st, the Sanctuary had seen 1,718 total posts and 17 monthly posting titles. Wow!
Perhaps even more impressive is that Commanding Officer Steven Mayta Death is not only the longest currently-tenured CO in IDF, but he is also first all-time in IDF history with 89 completed command-months, all with the Sanctuary. His alter ego, Steven Mayta Cha’Dich adds five more (one with the Sanctuary and five with Starbase Prime). What a record!
But Steven’s and the Sanctuary’s run doesn’t end here. Steven actually began his career back in UCIP, and he’s simply going home. Here’s to all the adventures he and his crew are going to continue to have for years to come!