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.

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.

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

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: 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

Awards… For Monthly Awards!

Wow, what a 20th Anniversary Webcast! It was so awesome that I think we have a new tradition here in this fleet. Our very own Admiral Ken Gillis hosted the event, where he introduced the Hall of Fame class of 2021 and awarded prizes to three people from among our monthly award winners. If you missed it, you’ll have to wait until tomorrow to see the Hall of Fame inductees. However, I can give a quick recap of the prize drawing.

First, here are the prizes:

Next, the names of the monthly award winners were added to the big wheel. Players received a spot on the wheel for each award they won dating back to March 2020 (award fractions were rounded up):

The three winners were…

Captain Aurther Winters of the USS Chuck Norris

Lieutenant J’goss Yass G’odoss, also of the USS Chuck Norris

and Chief Petty Officer Remal Kajun of the USS Sunfire

Congratulations to all three! And thank you again to Ken for hosting and putting this on. Bravo!

Please stay tuned for more anniversary news tomorrow…

EDIT: Due to our current embargo on shipping goods to Canada, Aurther Winters will instead be getting a Tim Hortons gift card as a consolation. Also, Remal Kajun has offered to donate his prize. As such, we drew two more winners: Lieutenant Dean House of the USS Sunfire & Lt. Cmdr. T’Ponga Shemara of the USS Montana. Enjoy the prizes!

The Captain’s Chair: Emmalyn Marcus

Welcome to the Captain’s Chair, Captain Marcus. Please input your details into the data pad before we begin...

Name: Emmalyn Marcus

Rank: Captain

Position: Commanding Officer

Fleet Sim: USS Montana

Thank you, Captain. So let’s get started with your favorite Captain. Whose chair are you sitting in today?

Obviously James T. Kirk’s. I think that Kirk is the very embodiment of human nature.  He is compassionate towards others, something few humans have mastered.  Second, he’s reckless, but again that’s a human thing.

Very interesting. Does that make The Original Series your favourite or is there another?

Yes, that it is my all-time favorite.  However, I also love Star Trek Discovery as well. 

Do you have a favourite episode?

As of right now it’s Miri, s1e8, believe.

How about the movies, which is the best one?

Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home.  

And the worst?

Generations… Kirk falling off a rock, come on!

How’s your Captain’s chair by the way? Comfortable?

It’s great.  Very Comfy.

Good, good. How about the ship? Are we on the Montana or would you prefer another? You can have anything you like, we have a huge imaginary budget.

I enjoy it, lol.  Honestly I like the style of the ships from the 60’s. 

Absolutely! When did you start simming?

A little over a year ago. 

And what was your first sim?

USS Chuck Norris

What keeps you interested?

Complex plots.

What about real life? What else do you enjoy doing?

Being lazy, writing, video games. Oh, and being lazy.

I take it you’re a Montana fan given the ship we’re on. What else are you into besides that and Star Trek?

I love Sci-Fi. I also love U.S. history, specifically WW II. 

And at the Movies?

Back to the Future, Tron, Jurassic Park, Star Wars, anything with Tim Allen, James Bond movies, and the Mission Impossible series. 

Time for the quick fire round now before go to warp. Are you ready?

Always.

Favorite book? The Giver

Favorite video game? Super Mario Bros. 3

Favorite musician or band? David Bowie

Favorite superhero? Doctor Strange 

If you could have any super power, what would it be? Duh Magic.

Favorite sport? Basketball 

Favorite team? Utah Jazz

Favorite food? Sushi

Coke or Pepsi? Coke

Lennon or McCartney? Lennon

Star Trek or Star Wars? Trek, obviously.

Jordan or Lebron? Jordan

Excellent! Thank you for sitting in the Captain’s Chair. It’s been a pleasure to get to know a little more about you today. Emmalyn Marcus (aka John Wyatt of the USS Chuck Norris & Spivick of the USS Albion), everyone!

Monthly Awards: March 2021

Sorry for the delay, but your IDF March winners are below:

Best Post (Single Author)

Lt. Sheeraashaa Genno
Chief Security Tactical Officer
USS Albion

For “The Short Straw”

Interesting format, and an even more interesting mystery to solve! Well done!

Best Post (Joint Post)

Capt. Rhenora Kaylen & CPO Remal Kajun
CO / C
USS Liberty

For “Contemplation”

Nice work here. Great turns of phrase, good character development, and excellent dialog. Captains are humans too, after all.


Funniest Post

 Lt. Bonnie “Bon-Bon” Durnell & Lt. Anna These & CPO Sapphire
CSS / CMO / MaA
USS Liberty

For “I am Blue Sasha Fierce pt1”

You had me at backwards Klingon poetry…


Genesis

Capt. Aurther Winters
Commanding Officer
USS Chuck Norris

For “Truth and Consequences”

Great opening, and lots of directions to take this!


MVP

Lt.jg. Awal Kronnelti
Assistant Security/Tactical Officer
USS Chuck Norris

Lt.jg. Kronnelti was consistently excellent all month, coordinating joint posts, keeping the story moving, and leading the way in wrapping up our last mission. He nailed it!


Most Posts

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

For writing 23 posts.


Most Improved

Lt.jg. Djon Zyngh
Chief Science Officer
USS Chuck Norris

Coming off his rookie month, Lt.jg. Zyngh took his writing and role playing to the next level, showing improved coordination with others and introducing several curveballs in the plot.


Rookie of the Month

Lt.jg. Steven McCloud
Chief Medical Officer
USS Chuck Norris

Joining mid-month, Lt.jg. McCloud is already simming like a veteran… it’s as is he’s been role playing for years!


Recruitment

None this month!


In other news, Captain Emmalyn Marcus assumed command of the USS Montana from Captain RS Harrison on April 1st. A special thanks to Captain Harrison for helping us get this sim off the ground, and best of of luck to Captain Marcus as she guides the ship to new heights! Marcus was the Montana’s XO prior to becoming CO.