So You Wanna Be a Captain?

Over the last month, we’ve received quite a few inquiries about being a sim Commanding Officer (CO) in Independence Fleet. So, what are we looking for in sim COs? Before I answer, I’d like to tell the story of two:

Jimmy Rogers

Hall of Famer Jimmy Rogers joined his first sim in December 2010: the USS Liberty, which we were just relaunching. It all clicked. He ran away with the MVP award that month, and became CO of the Liberty on January 1, 2011 after only a single month of simming. Yes, you read that right: one month of simming.

The rest, as they say, is history! Rogers commanded the Liberty for 19 months, winning 2.33 Genesis awards, capturing 3 posting titles, and leading the ship to an incredible 315-post month in September 2011, which is still tied for 9th all-time. Beyond the numbers, he led amazing stories and mentored dozens of role players.

Aurther Winters

Aurther Winters began simming in 2003 after seeing an ad on a college message board. As James Sullivan, he slowly rose from Ensign to Commander on the USS Dragon in a Hall of Fame career that ended with seven monthly awards, still good for a tie at 11th place all-time. Then life happened and he drifted away from simming.

He returned to role playing on the USS Chuck Norris in 2012 as Aurther Winters. Winters picked up his 10th monthly award in August–one of only four people in IDF history to hit double digits. As with Sullivan before, Winter rose through the engineering ranks to eventually become XO of the Chuck Norris under two different Captains. He was the type of XO who just made the Captain’s job easy. Winters became CO of the Chuck Norris this month.

That’s right–James Sullivan/Aurther Winter simmed for the first time about 17 years before he became a CO, while Jimmy Rogers simmed for one month before becoming a CO. Both are in the Hall of Fame, and both are incredible Captains. Every career is different, and every route to CO is different.

Show Me the Money!

One of the most basic principles of good wring is show, don’t tell. Let the reader experience the story through thoughts, actions, feelings, dialog, etc. instead of saying what happened. The same with being a sim CO: Telling us you want to be a CO is great, but you know what’s even better? Showing us you want to be a CO! How do you do that? Like this:

  • Post! Quality & Quantity
  • Get others involved in the story
  • Recruit new players
  • Mentor younger players
  • Help solve and de-escalate disputes
  • Engage at the fleet level on Discord, Facebook, and Twitter
  • To sum it up: Lead by example!

Do you have what it takes to be a sim CO in IDF? Show us! Make the ship you’re already on great. Make your crew great. Make your Captain look great! It’s not necessarily easy, but then again command isn’t for everyone.

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!