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:
James “Rook” Mirtoh
Stay tuned for more exciting IDF news and blog posts!
It is my great privilege to formally induct the newest members of the Independence Fleet Hall of Fame. For those who attended our 20th Anniversary Webcast yesterday, you got a sneak peak at the class of 2021. Induction into our Hall of Fame is the highest honor within this fleet. The criteria, requirements, and process can be found in the Hall of Fame Charter (pdf).
The following individuals are hereby inducted into the Independence Fleet Hall of Fame:
Inducted by Election:
Admiral Joseph “Stealth” Carroll
of the USS Washington
One of the most colorful characters in fleet history, Joseph “Stealth” Carroll has done it all. He joined the USS Washington during the fleet’s first month, then rose through the ranks and earned his first command on the USS Liberty, winning a posting title in his first month. He also served in numerous Admiralty roles up through 2020, most notably Fleet Inspector General. A contributor at every level, Carroll’s loyalty is unmatched.
Captain Wesley Chase
of the USS Avalon
A longtime Captain during IDF’s late renaissance period, Wesley Chase led many original adventures on his two commands, the USS Avalon and USS Archimedes, including during a three month stint as Commanding Officer of both. He knew how to push the boundaries while staying true to the best ideals of both Trek and simming. Chase tallied two posting titles and 2.33 Genesis awards.
Vice Admiral Caroline Marion
no sim selection
A member of the Admiralty through much of IDF’s history, from the late early years up through 2020, Caroline Marion is best known as the genius behind the fleet logos developed circa 2004-06. Building on earlier fleet emblems, the graphics received rave reviews from players and were highly influential on subsequent club artwork. Indeed, the theme and feel from Marion’s work remains today.
Fleet Admiral James D. West
of the USS Sunfire
One of the club’s three founders and instrumental throughout its history, James D. West has left an incalculable mark. He coined the Independence Fleet name, created the first bell & wings logo, and served as the first, third & sixth fleet Commanding Officer. He additionally created four sims and returned in 2020 when the fleet was teetering on collapse. Without West’s many contributions, we wouldn’t be celebrating today.
Fleet Admiral AJ Wheeler
no sim selection
The third and final individual to achieve the Fleet Admiral rank, AJ Wheeler was also the longest serving fleet Commanding Officer, a position held for more than nine years. While the fleet saw many ups and downs during Wheeler’s tenure, it was noted for its extreme growth and many contributions to the greater simming universe, including hosting and sponsoring major community events.
Inducted by the Veterans Committee:
Commander George Ruiken
of the USS Sunfire
A champion simmer from IDF’s late early period, George Ruiken was a go-to player who know how to push the plot forward and make it entertaining for all. He quickly rose through the ranks to Commander, and is still in the top 20 all-time with 6 total awards, including 2 MVPs and 2 Funniest Posts. Ruiken’s posts were always imaginative and provided many opportunities for others to get involved.
Congratulations to all six of our 2021 inductees! Well done, and thank you for providing an example for us still role playing to follow. You will forever be remembered for your extraordinary contributions to Independence Fleet. There are now 33 total members of this most exclusive club.
In a stunning coincidence, the three sims represented this year are the USS Sunfire (x2), USS Avalon, and USS Washington–identical to our original fleet line-up on July 4th, 2001.
Speaking of that, stay tuned for more news regarding our 20th anniversary today…
We’re less than two months away from our 20th Anniversary this summer on July 4th. As part of the ongoing celebrations this year, we held a 20th Anniversary Trivia Day this past Saturday. In addition to giving away six “fantastic” prizes to our winners, we were able to cap the evening off with a Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan watch party. For those who were unable to attend, here’s the summary:
Description (estimated retail value)
Independence Fleet mug ($15)
Micro Machines Star Trek Generations set ($16)
A Happy Birthday message from John de Lancie ($150)
Star Trek TOS VHS signed by IDF co-founder James D. West ($0.99)
Star Trek TNG Badge & Lapel set ($17)
Spock Vehicle Decal ($25)
Aurther Winters won Star Trek: TOS Season 1 and selected the IDF mug
Galaxis won Star Trek: Deep Space Nine and selected the John de Lancie birthday message
Aurther Winters won Star Trek Round Robin and selected the Badge & Lapel set
LuckyFan won Doctor Who and stole the Badge & Lapel set; Aurther Winters selected the signed VHS tape
NisaMage won Supernatural and selected the Spock Vehicle decal
NisaMage won Star Wars Original Trilogy and selected the Micro Machines set
Beyond the prizes above, we will also be sending a small token to each person who correctly answered at least one question at any point during the day. Finally, we thank our event hosts for helping make it a truly special occasion: Shran dh’Klar, Trident, Angelus, Emmalyn Marcus, and yours truly.
All-in-all, it was a fantastic experience. Thank you again to all who were able to take part.
9/9/2022 CORRECTION: Aurther Winters actually stole the mug from himself, and then selected the Badge & Lapel set.
In honor of our club’s 20th anniversary later this summer, we’re hosting a day of trivia in our fleet Discord’s general discussion chat room on May 8th. All are invited to partake: current members, former members, and non-members.
We have six one-hour sessions on a variety of Star Trek and science fiction topics planned. Feel free to pop in and out for the ones that most interest you.
Schedule of Events
Star Trek: TOS Season 1
Star Trek: Deep Space Nine
Star Trek Round-Robin
Star Wars Original Trilogy
Yes, prizes! We have six fantastic prizes to distribute to the six trivia winners. Here’s how it’ll work: The winner of the first event will get to pick one of the six prizes below. The next winner can then choose to take one of the remaining five prizes or to steal the first prize selected. Same thing for the next winner, all the way down to the final winner, who will have their pick of the entire lot. Anytime someone has their prize stolen, they have to take one of the unselected prizes–no back-to-back steals. You might recognize these rules as similar to a white elephant gift routine. And you’re right!
Independence Fleet mug
Micro Machines Star Trek Generations set
A Happy Birthday message from John de Lancie to you or a friend Must be used within 1 year
Star Trek TOS S1E17: The Squire of Gothos VHS tape signed by IDF co-founder James D. West Not guaranteed to work
Star Trek TNG Badge & Lapel set
Spock Vehicle Decal
Finally, please also join us after trivia at 8 pm Eastern in Discord for a watch party of Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan.
Last year on Ongoing Worlds, we hosted a role playing game show called The Simming Endeavor. The concept was simple: Bring 13 different role players together into a single game, allow them to compete each week to write the best post on a particular topic, and then have them vote each other out until there’s only one left. As host, it was tons of fun–some of my best all-time memories of role playing.
Our very own Bolak (aka Largehobbit) was one of the contestants. I’ll save you the spoiler and not tell you how he did! James “Rook” Mirtoh and James D. West both served as special guests (episodes 3 and 8, respectively). And finally, our former Director of Art, Sadie Stanton (aka Bella), created all the graphics for the show.
The purpose of this post isn’t to shameless promote our prior work. Well, at least not entirely. One of last year’s contestants, Messenger of Heaven, is looking to host and produce a second season of the show this fall. If you’re interested in serving as a contestant, please contact me on discord or through email. Believe me, it will be a unique experience you can’t recreate elsewhere.
Or if you just want to read the episodes, we’ve posted links below. We recommend starting with episode 1, obviously.
In unrelated IDF news, Captain Aurther Winters has relieved Captain Grover vonMcCormick as Commanding Officer of the USS Chuck Norris, and Captain Dick Sprague has relieved Captain Michael Meezo as Commanding Officer of the USS Wayfarer. Both turnovers are dated to September 1st.
The original USS Sunfire (NCC-3935) was launched in old Utopia Fleet on February 16, 2000 under the command of Commodore Jay “Robbie” Robertson. However, Robertson retired a few months later and James D. West took over. West then commanded two more versions of the Sunfire (NCC-3935-A and NCC-3001) in Utopia Fleet and as an independent sim before Independence Fleet came to be on July 4, 2001. Indeed, the crew of Sunfire was split into three to serve as the backbone for IDF’s original sims: the USS Sunfire (NCC-3001-A), USS Avalon (NCC-3002), and USS Washington (NCC-11988).
In the many years since, we’ve seen three more versions of the Sunfire (NCC-3001-B/C/D). She was awarded the 2010 Simming Prize and took home awards in both the 2011 and 2012 Tournament of Simulations. The Sunny is also where Sunfire script and the concept of open role playing developed. Dozens of future Captains began their careers there. In short, if someone were to make a list of the top five or ten sims in the history of role playing, the Sunfire would have to be on it.
That’s right, she’s back. Captain Thomas Devoe leads his crew in this continuing adventure. Join the sim where legends are born.
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.
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.
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.
Thank you for that introduction, Fleet Admiral West. I can’t express how excited I am for the days ahead, especially as we get closer to some big fleet milestones. Yes, our best days are ahead. To help us get there, we’ve put together a highly talented and absolutely fantastic staff. Without further ado, here they are:
Vice Admiral Ken Gillis Director of Technology Responsible for IT architecture & infrastructure
Ken Gillis has long been a technical leader and trailblazer within the role playing community. In the early years, he led RolePlayerUSA, which provided hosting services to many of the top clubs. He even served as Simming League President in 2002 and later won the Squiddie Award in 2015.
Rear Admiral Sadie Stanton Director of Art Responsible for graphics & design
Sadie Stanton is a veteran role player who has served in a number of fleets during her career. Her artistic talent rarely goes unnoticed as her outstanding work adorns the sites of several groups. Most recently, she provided all of the graphics for and co-hosted The Simming Endeavor game show.
Rear Admiral Bolak Director of Media Responsible for media content & engagement
Bolak, new to simming in 2016, wasted no time in making an impact. He has been a player and leader in many games across multiple genres on the Ongoing Worlds platform. Known for his quick wit and imaginative stories, he finished as runner-up on the 2019 Simming Endeavor game show.
Rear Admiral James “Rook” Mirtoh Director of Personnel Responsible for awards & recognition
Rook Mirtoh hails from Independence Fleet’s early days, having joined in the first year. He has served in many capacities and made numerous contributions since. Known as one of the most talented role players ever, he is the only fleet member to have individually won all five of the fleet’s original awards.
As always, the IDF Admiralty exists to support you, the role players. Our goal is simple: create and maintain the best simming environment possible. If there’s ever something we can do better, please don’t hesitate to let us know. Here’s to IDF!