Our 21st Birthday

It’s going to be near impossible to top last year’s Day of Trivia, Webcast, and special edition Message & Almanac. And that’s for good reason: 20th anniversaries are a big deal in role playing! But 21st birthdays are important too. Indeed, if Independence Fleet (IDF) was a humanoid (living in the United States), the 21st would be even more important. I’m quickly getting off track…

What did we decide to do? For our 21 years together, here are 21 facts about IDF, Star Trek and/or other topics that might change your perception of time. Modeled after two articles from Buzzfeed (here and here), we hope you enjoy the list.

But before we do that, here is a special message for this year’s anniversary:

  1. IDF’s launch (July 4, 2001) was closer to the release of Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan (June 4, 1982) than it is to today: 19 years, 1 month vs. 21 years.
  2. Ditto for the North America release of the Nintendo Entertainment System (October 18, 1985): 15 years, 8 months, 16 days.
  3. And for the release of Windows 1.0 (November 20, 1985): 15 years, 7 months, 14 days.
  4. And also for the release of the world’s very first website (December 20, 1990): 10 years, 6 months, 14 days.
  5. The time from IDF’s launch on Angelfire to the registry of its first URL (July 4, 2001 – February 26, 2005) was longer than the entire run of Star Trek: The Original Series (September 8, 1966 – June 3, 1969): 3 years, 7 months, 22 days vs. 2 years, 8 months, 26 days.
  6. The time from the registry of IDF’s first URL to officially moving to its current URL (February 26, 2005 – February 29, 2020) was longer than the entire run of the TNG/DSN/VOY television series era from the premiere of Star Trek: The Next Generation to the finale of Star Trek: Voyager (September 8, 1987 – May 23, 2001): 15 years, 3 days vs. 13 years, 7 months, 25 days.
  7. The time from moving to IDF’s current URL to today (2 years, 4 months, 5 days) is shorter than all but three periods between Star Trek movies: The Wrath of Khan to The Search for Spock (1 year, 11 months, 28 days), Generations to First Contact (2 years, 4 days), and First Contact to Insurrection (2 years, 19 days).
  8. However, it’s longer than the time from Utopia Fleet’s founding (April 7, 1999) to IDF’s founding: 2 years, 2 months, 27 days.
  9. Utopia Fleet’s founding was closer to the North America release of the Atari 2600 (September 11, 1977) than it is to today: 21 years, 6 months, 27 days vs. 23 years, 2 months, 27 days.
  10. Ditto for the release of the original Star Wars movie (May 25, 1977): 21 years, 10 months, 13 days.
  11. The time from the launch of the original USS Sunfire NCC-3935 (February 16, 2000) to IDF’s launch was longer than the entire run of Star Trek: The Animated Series (September 8, 1973 – October 12, 1974): 1 year, 4 months, 18 days vs. 1 year, 1 month, 4 days
  12. The launch of the award-winning USS Sunfire NCC-3001-D (October 10, 2010) was closer to IDF’s founding than it is to today: 9 years, 3 months, 6 days vs. 11 years, 8 months, 24 days.
  13. The launch of the USS Chuck Norris NCC-4005 (January 2, 2012) was closer to the first Chuck Norris facts appearing on the Internet (sometime in early 2005) than it is to today: ~7 years vs. 10 years, 6 months, 2 days.
  14. IDF is older than the iPod (October 23, 2001),
  15. Facebook (February 4, 2004),
  16. YouTube (February 14, 2005),
  17. the Microsoft Xbox (November 15, 2001),
  18. commercially available Blu-ray Discs (June 20, 2006),
  19. and NBA All-Star LaMelo Ball (August 22, 2001).
  20. At IDF’s launch, Tom Brady had zero Super Bowl rings. In fact, he had only completed 1 NFL pass.
  21. The time from IDF’s launch to today is longer than the time from The Original Series finale to The Next Generation premiere (June 3, 1969 – September 28, 1987): 21 years vs. 18 years, 3 months, 25 days.

And for a bonus, something to look forward to next year: On our 22nd Anniversary, we will be further removed from the premiere of the 2009 Star Trek film (May 8, 2009) than IDF’s launch was from the premiere of The Next Generation (September 28, 1987): 14 years, 1 month, 26 days vs. 13 years, 9 months, 6 days.

Until then, let’s keep role playing!

Oh, I almost forgot: We have another video message for this year:

And in case you missed it, here’s a recap of our 21st Anniversary Webcast that was held on Saturday.

Monthly Awards: February 2022

With month two of 2022 in the books, let’s present our February awards:

Best Post (Single Author)

Lieutenant Aiko Kato
Flight Control Officer
USS Washington

For “Alpha Shift”

I love this post! It’s simple, just a crewmember getting ready for her shift, but the detail about sharing a bunk and all that goes into getting ready for a shift on the bridge is compelling. Well done!


Best Post (Joint Post)

Capt. Shran dh’Klar & Lt. Deanna Celes & Cmdr. Samantha Howard & Lt. Shoniara T’ghann Dex & Lt. Callie Raven-Grayson & Lt. Seth Travis & Petty Officer 1st Class Amethyst Reece
CO / OO / CMO / ACMO / CC / CDO / CA
USS Washington

For “The Stuff of Dreams”

This was a really tough choice as there were three absolutely outstanding nominations. However, this one rose to the top due to its unique writing style of switching back and forth between Dex’s dream and the happenings in Sickbay. The incredible descriptive detail of Dex’s visions made me feel like I was actually there.


Funniest Post

Lieutenant Aurora Vali & Lieutenant Niali Korial
Chief Counselor / Chief Medical Officer
USS Sunfire

For “Apologies”

Awkward, right down to the OOC argument at the end!


Genesis

Captain Dick Sprague
Commanding Officer
USS Albion

For “The Good Ole’ Boys”

This one could have been nominated for funniest post! However, it lays out the mission parameters just fine and really gets the crew going. Well done!


MVP

Lieutenant Rania Bhatti
Chief Counselor
USS Wayfarer

Since coming aboard Lt Bhatti has consistent produced top notch quality writing in all of her posts. Her creativity has been a boon of inspiration for the rest of the crew as well.


Most Posts

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

For writing 11 posts.


Most Improved

Lieutenant Callie Raven-Grayson
Chief Counselor
USS Washington

The Washington’s Counselor has done remarkable work for her own character development as well as creating opportunities for her crewmates.


Rookie of the Month

2nd Lieutenant Emily Janeway
Marine
USS Albion

The Albion’s newest Marine hit the ground running in her first ever month of simming with 3 posts, each one better than the one before, she’s really getting the swing of things.


Recruitment

None this month.


Thanks again for the great simming last month!

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 epitomeĀ 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

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!

Monthly Awards: September 2021

Congratulations to all of our award winners for September:

Best Post (Single Author)

Commander Savar cha’Salik hei-Surak Talek-sen-deen
Executive Officer
USS Sunfire

For “Through The Looking Glass”

Some feel a vision from the prophets is a tired old hat, but this was nicely written an left me wanting more. Great work!

Best Post (Joint Post)

Cmdr. Samantha Howard & Cmdr. Jonathan Grayson & Lt. Aiko Kato & Ens. James Phoenix
CMO / XO / FCO / TO
USS Washington

For “To Go Forth….Again”

Good writing from a team that is used to working together getting it done. Not all Trek posts need action sequences to be good, and this one hits the mark with the threat of violence without actually getting into it. Had me on the edge of my seat!


Funniest Post

Commander Jackson Andrews
Executive Officer
USS Albion

For “Back on the Command Track, Well Sorta Pt.1”

Lol, he was made a Yeoman? So awesome.


Genesis

Lieutenant JG Djon Zyngh & Captain Aurther Winters
CSO / CO
USS Chuck Norris

For “Death’s Triangle”

Nice intro and good tags all around on this one. Well done!


MVP

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

What a player! From creating well crafted posts to encouraging engaging joint efforts, Durnell also acts as the Captain’s counsel to bounce suggestions and ideas off of.


Most Posts

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

For writing 15 posts.


Most Improved

Lieutenant Aiko Kato
Flight Control Officer
USS Washington

The Washington’s young pilot really worked to get involved with the crew and to become more integrated, creating some excellent contributions along the way.


Rookie of the Month

Lieutenant Trevor Andrews
Assistant Chief Engineering Officer
USS Eminence

Don’t let the rank fool you, Andrews arrived on the Eminence and hit the ground running. A great addition to the sim!


Recruitment

None this month. Get recruiting!


It’s been a while since we’ve had 5 sims represented within the awards in a single month, well done! Keep all the great posts coming, and maybe we’ll see a few more next month.

My Favorite Trek: Jackson Andrews

Let me welcome our newest guest on My Favorite Trek…

Character: Jackson Andrews

Rank: Commander

Sim: USS Albion

Position: Executive Officer

Other Characters: Ensign James Phoenix (USS Washington), Lieutenant Thriss Kla’ren (USS Sunfire), Lieutenant Raelyn Mckenzie (USS Wayfarer), Lieutenant JG Travis Ryson (USS Montana) & Ensign Jack Keegan (USS Chuck Norris)

Favorite Star Trek episode? This is a hard one, but I’d have to go with The Best of Both Worlds Parts One and Two.

Why? This is something I genuinely enjoy about many shows and Trek, but I really liked how it showed different possibilities of what could have happened. For example, the promotion of different officers, Picard’s possible fate, etc. I also like how it slightly segues into future TNG episodes.

Favorite Star Trek series? If the last question wasn’t clear, Star Trek: The Next Generation is by far one of my favorites. But I also enjoy most of the other shows that take place in the 24th century. Most notably: Star Trek DS9 and Voyager.

Why? I like how it shows how far the Trek Universe had advanced since The Original Series. It also vastly explored what Starfleet expanded to. Who wouldn’t like to explore the universe on a big Galaxy Class ship?

Favorite Star Trek film? Star Trek 4: The Voyage Home

Why? Multiple reasons, actually. It felt more laid-back than many other Trek films. It was cool seeing a legendary cast go back in time to the 80s, which was the present day when the film was released. Plus, Kirk and Spock’s “Colorful Metaphors” were enjoyable to watch too.

Favorite Star Trek Captain? Honestly, it’s a hard decision. But if I could give an answer at this moment in time, I’d have to say Janeway. Even if she broke the Prime Directive a few different times, she had to make tough calls for her crew. Not only that but she is a fellow coffee drinker. However, I am salty that she never promoted Harry Kim.

What year did you start simming? I started simming in 2020. I know that it’s far from as long as many of the others have been simming. However, before I was doing simming, I roleplayed constantly on various video games, and other forms of entertainment. I had been looking for a way to roleplay Trek when I came across the world of simming.

What sim was it? My first sim was one of IDF’s finest, the USS Washington.

What keeps you simming today? Today, what keeps me simming is the strive to know what happens next in the story, whether it’s small or large. So essentially, it’s the story that keeps me going.

Favorite non-simming hobby? I have many different hobbies outside of simming, especially, watching various shows, including Trek. However, I have a big passion for cars. I genuinely love the automotive world.

Favorite non-Trek series? Right now, it’s probably the new Magnum P.I series.

Favorite non-Trek film? This is a hard one, because I actually have two: Unstoppable and Need for Speed.

Favorite book (fiction or non)? I don’t necessarily have a favorite right now, but I have been reading the Star Trek novel, The Dark Veil. I also enjoy reading the Harry Potter Series.

Favorite video game? Honestly, while I have the games I constantly return to, like the Forza Games, I played and finished Star Wars: Jedi Fallen Order. It is by far one of the best story games I have played so far. That’s not to say that it will change. But hey, I’m a sucker for story games.

Favorite musician or band? Linkin Park is by far my favorite, but I also like Greenday, Foo Fighters, and pretty much anything that is rock, or alt rock.

Favorite superhero? Probably Spider-Man at the moment, because I can relate to him the most.

If you could have any super power, what would it be? Teleportation

Favorite sport? Anything to do with motorsports, mostly with cars.

Favorite team? McLaren F1

Favorite food? Philly Cheesesteak Sandwiches

Coke or Pepsi?  Pepsi

Lennon or McCartney? Lennon

Jordan or LeBron? Jordon

Star Trek or Star Wars? Star Trek

Rank the Trek TV shows from best to worst. DSN, TNG, VOY, ENT, PIC, DSC, TOS

Rank the Trek movies from best to worst. TVH, FC, TWOK, I, G, N, ST (2009), ID, TUC, B, TFF, TMP, TSFS

Was this too many questions? No.

Commander Jackson Andrews, and all his other characters, everyone!

20th Anniversary Message & Almanac

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:

In honor of this historic and momentous occasion, we hereby publish the Independence Fleet 20th Anniversary Almanac. It’s 20 pages of history, games, perspectives from the fleet, and more:

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.

Let’s continue to tell our story…

EDIT (July 14, 2021): Anniversary Almanac Answers

Monthly Awards: June 2021

I believe this is the earliest we’ve ever gotten the monthly awards out. Enjoy, but don’t expect it to ever happen again!

Best Post (Single Author)

Lieutenant Chester “Duo” Maxwell
Chief Security Officer
USS Sunfire

For “Old Wounds Pt.1”

An emotional and provocative post with great use of language to convey inner turmoil.

Best Post (Joint Post)

Capt. Rhenora Kaylen & Cmdr. Savar cha’Salik hei-Surak Talek-sen-deen & Lt. Cmdr. Sandra “Phantom” Risa & Lt. Dean House & Lt. Bonnie “Bon-Bon” Durnell & Lt. Chester “Duo” Maxwell & Lt. Thriss Kla’ren & Lt. Aurora Vali & Lt. JG Avarak
CO / XO / CFCO / CTO / CSS / CRO / CEO / CC / CSO
USS Sunfire

For “Into the Wormhole”

An exciting pass through the Bajoran wormhole. Nice use of the entire bridge crew: This is what writing Trek is supposed to look like!


Funniest Post

Ensign James Phoenix
Tactical Officer
USS Washington

For “Shattered Past”

Not your typical Funniest Post winner, but it gets the job done very well.


Genesis

Captain Rhenora Kaylen & Captain Sandy “Ghost” Shannon
Commanding Officer / Commanding Officer
USS Sunfire / USS Liberty

For “Genesis — Joint Mission” / “Genesis — Joint Mission”

An instant classic in IDF history, the Sunfire/Liberty crew swap begins.


MVP

Commander Jackson Andrews
Executive Officer
USS Albion

A prototypical XO, Andrews led his ship in posting and showed great leadership by nimbly playing off of the leads from other characters while simultaneously creating openings for others.


Most Posts

Lt. Chester “Duo” Maxwell
Chief Security Officer
USS Sunfire

For writing 13 posts.


Most Improved

Lt. Chester “Duo” Maxwell
Chief Security Officer
USS Sunfire

Returning to simming after a lengthy break, Maxwell rejoined the Sunfire and was a powerhouse all month. Initiating posts, working well with the existing crew, and being a general pleasure to role play with.


Rookie of the Month

Lieutenant JG Avarak
Chief Science Officer
USS Sunfire

Despite joining after the joint mission began, Avarak jumped straight into the fray, initiating several posts and participating in the ship-wide joints posts. A great first month!


Recruitment

No award this month. Get recruiting!


Another great month for our ships and the entire fleet. In other news, our 20th anniversary is just three days away! Also don’t forget to attend our special webcast on July 3rd. See you there!