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.

Monthly Awards: August 2020

We had a lot of great contributors in August, including some fantastic award winners below. However, there’s one thing missing: No Recruitment award. If you’re doing any work to recruit players to your game or the fleet, please make sure your CO is aware so they can nominate you for an award.

Best Post

Cmdr. Samantha Howard & Cmdr. Jonathan Grayson & Lt. Lisa Olsson
CMO/XO/CSTO
USS Washington

For “Bound but not broken PT 2”
Great conversation flow, and the element of danger is palpable.


Funniest Post

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

For “The Rocketman”
Hilarious dialog about a shuttle named Debbie.


Genesis

Capt. Michael Meezo
Commanding Officer
USS Wayfarer

For “Enter Lord Chaos”
An interesting antagonist escaping from prison, a good start to any mission!


MVP

Cmdr. Jonathan Grayson
Executive Officer
USS Washington

Grayson does it again: Leading by example and filling in while the Captain had IRL items to deal with; A true example of what a team player XO looks like.


Most Posts

Cmdr. Aurther Winters
Executive Officer
USS Chuck Norris

For writing 25 posts.


Most Improved

Lt.jg. John Wyatt
Intelligence Officer
USS Chuck Norris

Wyatt upped his game from a rookie to a full-fledged contributor in story development. He also doubled his post total from 6 to 12.


Rookie of the Month

Lt. Lisa Olsson
Chief Security/Tactical Officer
USS Washington

The new Security & Tactical Officer wrote some solid posts and really picked up the pace at the end of the month. 


Recruitment

None this month! Get to recruiting!


Keep writing and keep role playing! The IDF tradition continues…

The Simming Endeavor: The Sequel?

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.

EpisodeAir Date
USS Endeavor role playN/A
Episode 1 (Introduction)September 8, 2019
Episode 2 (Abdication)September 15, 2019
Episode 3 (Déjè vu)September 22, 2019
Episode 4 (Humor)September 29, 2019
Episode 5 (Others)October 6, 2019
Episode 6 (Change)October 13, 2019
Episode 7 (Switch)October 20, 2019
Episode 8 (Action)October 27, 2019
Episode 9 (Return)November 3, 2019
Episode 10 (Random)November 10, 2019
Episode 11 (Decision)November 17, 2019
Episode 12 (Finale)November 24, 2019

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.

Good luck, simmers!

Monthly Awards: July 2020

Another month, more stories! Congratulations to all who won July awards below.

Best Post

Lt. Cmdr. Estella Stratton & Cmdr. Jonathan Grayson
Chief Counselor/Executive Officer
USS Washington

For “Inner Strength”
Romance and really really good character development. Best post material all the way.


Funniest Post

Sunak
Chief Diplomatic Officer
USS Ganymede

For “The Illusion of Diplomacy”
Junior officers reacting to a hologram of a Vulcan diplomatic officer – hilariarious and well deserving of funniest post this month!


Genesis

Captain Shran dh’Klar
Commanding Officer
USS Washington

For “The Dark Unknown”
Quick and to the point: mission begin.


MVP

Lt. Mackenzie Graham
Chief Medical Officer
USS Ganymede

Mackenzie has been one of the ship’s most prolific writers, and has driven multiple large joint posts to get the crew involved.


Most Posts

Lt. Andew Archer & Lt. Cmdr. T’Brei Sheridan
Chief Science Officer/Chief Medical Officer
USS Sunfire

For writing 12 posts each.


Most Improved

Lt. Cmdr. Estella Stratton
Chief Counselor
USS Washington

The Counselor continues to improve with excellent work in her posts that are always top notch.


Rookie of the Month

Lt. Michael Stonebridge
Chief Intelligence Officer
USS Washington

The new Intel Officer has come in with guns blazing and really pushing everyone to be better. 


Recruitment

Ens. Joshua “Josh” Anderson
Assistance Chief Operations Officer
USS Chuck Norris

Anderson recruited multiple new members to the fleet to various sims over the month.


Happy simming!

Monthly Awards: June 2020

When it comes to awards, it’s certainly tough to follow the Hall of Fame. However, we’re still going to try. The show must go on! Here are your June 2020 award winners:

Best Post

Ensign Balen Pibb
Assistant Chief Security/Tactical Officer
USS Chuck Norris

For “Tantrums about”
A funny little interaction that moves the plot forward more than meets the eye.


Funniest Post

Lt. Mackenzie Graham & Lt. Donovan Steele
Chief Medical Officer/Chief Operations Officer
USS Ganymede

For “Steele a moment”
Crewmembers meeting each other for the first time. Sometimes it’s big, sometimes it’s not.


Genesis

Capt. Shran dh’Klar & Lt. L’Rissa & Lt. Deanna Celes
Commanding Officer/Flight Control Officer/Operations Officer
USS Washington

For “Curiosity Has Risks”
It may be simple, but I’m sure of one thing: This is going to be a great mission.


MVP

Lt. Cmdr. Aliss Springs
Head Nurse
USS Eminence

Springs kept the story going and single-handedly saved this sim after both the CO and XO quit. She also recruited new players and now the game is humming along.


Most Posts

Commander Samantha Howard
Chief Medical Officer
USS Washington

For writing 7 posts.


Most Improved

Lt. Cmdr. Estella Stratton
Chief Counselor
USS Washington

Stratton took it upon herself to push hard into the mission, showcased leadership skills, and did some excellent writing.


Recruitment

Lt. Cmdr. Aliss Springs
Head Nurse
USS Eminence

As mentioned earlier, Arliss recruited several members to the Eminence and this game is doing some great things now.


Maybe we have a few future Hall of Famers in our list above. Only time will tell. I take that back, I think we do have some Hall of Famers here! Keep writing and keep having fun.

Monthly Awards: May 2020

We had a slower month than normal for May. However, we’re not without awards! Congratulations to the winners!

Best Post

Lt. Cmdr. Finchley Kerr
Executive Officer
USS Eminence

For “Something old, something new…”
A perfect intro for a sim set in Star Trek: Picard. It hits all the right notes, setting up the adventure to come.


Funniest Post

Cmdr. Aurther Winters
Executive Officer
USS Chuck Norris

For “Down to the Surface”
A reality show camera crew on a starship?!? Only on the Chuck Norris.


MVP

Cmdr. Samantha Howard
Chief Medical Officer
USS Washington

Howard did it all during May. She pushed the story forward and helped mentor some of the newer crewmembers.


Most Posts

Cmdr. Samantha Howard
Chief Medical Officer
USS Washington

For writing 8 posts.


Most Improved

Ens. John Wyatt
Intelligence Officer
USS Chuck Norris

Wyatt continued his progression as a role player and showed excellent collaboration through 5 posts.


We didn’t have a Genesis, Rookie of the Month, or Recruitment award this month. I hope that changes for June!

Major Awards Have Returned

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:

The Excellence in Service Medal is hereby renamed the Command Excellence Medal. It is to be awarded for achievement above and beyond the call of duty at the sim Commanding Officer level.

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.

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 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.

Monthly Awards: April 2020

Rook Mirtoh, your friendly neighborhood Director of Personnel here… What, I used the line last month? Then let’s just skip straight to the awards:

Best Post

Lt. Cmdr. Jhettao zh’Vrini
Chief Intelligence Officer
Starbase Mikia

For “Personal Log – 2410-05-09”
It’s not often that a personal log wins best post, but this one does it with the right mix of cheer & gloom!


Funniest Post

Cmdr. Aurther Winters
Executive Officer
USS Chuck Norris

For “Make it… more real!”
Very tongue in cheek, a serious officer dealing with an un-serious scenario. Winters is one of the best!


Genesis

Captain Grover vonMcCormick
Commanding Officer
USS Chuck Norris

For “From the Sidelines”
Funny, yet clear objectives that should get the crew going on a new mission. Well done!


MVP

Cmdr. Aurther Winters
Executive Officer
USS Chuck Norris

Winters does it again; leads the ship in total posts, helps integrate new crewmembers, mentors others, and keeps the storing going.


Most Posts

Cmdr. Aurther Winters
Executive Officer
USS Chuck Norris

For writing 8 posts.


Most Improved

Lt. Cmdr. Estella Stratton
Chief Counselor
USS Washington

The Counselor has delved deep into both character development and mission advancement this month, showing her versatility.


Rookie of the Month

Lt. Cassia Cavendish
Chief Flight Control Officer
USS Washington

She jumped in head first with an excellent introductory post and followed it up with several joint posts.


Recruitment

Cmdr. Jonathan Grayson
Executive Officer
USS Washington

Recruited the Washington’s stellar rookie and continues to work on recruiting for the ship.


Congratulations to all of our winners. Good luck to everyone for May and keep simming! That’s what I said last month too? I’m must be getting too old for this.

My Favorite Trek: Aurther Winters

It’s that time again as we reach out into the community and ask one of our esteemed members about their “Favorite Trek.” Aurther comes to us after a break from the simming world and we are overjoyed to have him back.

Aurther cut his teeth back in 2003 when he was recruited into his first Sim through a college message board. So started the adventures of James Sullivan on the USS Dragon in IDF. From lowly Ensign to Chief Engineer James rose through the ranks until that thing we call “a life” dragged him away.

But the call of Captain Youngblood of the USS Chuck Norris called him back again to engage in technobabble once more, a language in which Aurther is quite fluent. Alas life struck again and Aurther went of to live it for several years before recently stumbling on an invite to returned to his old stomping ground to Trek once more!

Now a proud father of a beautiful 8 week old daughter and a man with a little extra time on his hands (or perhaps better time management skills) he has returned to the Chuck Norris and Independence Fleet to which he has remained loyal all these years!

Ladies and Gentlemen, I give you Aurther and his Favorite Trek :

Name: Aurther Winters

Rank: Commander

Sim: USS Chuck Norris

Position: Executive Officer

Favorite Star Trek episode? Darmok

Why? This was in the height of the TNG best writing and acting. The plot and the messages that came out of it were some of the best. The premise of being able to speak the same language but not the same language is a dynamic I don’t think is often explored enough.

Favorite Star Trek series? The Next Generation

Why? It expanded what was originally set out in TOS, but the stoy and acting was far superior. It also laid out the groundwork and subplots for would would come later in different series. Also I feel like there is nothing more iconic then then the Enterprise-D.

Favorite Star Trek film? First Contact

Why? As much as I love how Iconic the Enterprise-D was, when the Enterprise-E made the scene I was in love. As a fan of the ships on Star Trek this was one where there was just so many to see and like. This one also had a good fee call backs well also being interesting and showing us all where the line is. Here. No further! *Insert smashing glass scene*

Favorite Star Trek Captain? Captain Picard

What year did you start simming? 2004

What sim was it? USS Dragon

What keeps you simming today? Keeping the writing skills and imagination up, and love of Star Trek

Favorite non-simming hobby? Hockey

Favorite non-Trek series? The Orville

Favorite non-Trek film? Ghostbusters

Favorite book (fiction or non)? Redshirts

Favorite video game? Halo

Favorite musician or band? Greenday

Favorite superhero? Captain Canuck

If you could have any super power, what would it be? Don’t know if you would call it a superpower, but being able to understand and speak every language 

Favorite sport? Hockey

Favorite team? Colorado Avalanche

Favorite food? Tacos

Coke or Pepsi? Pepsi

Lennon or McCartney? Lennon

Jordan or LeBron? Jordan

Star Trek or Star Wars? Star Trek

Rank the Trek TV shows from best to worst.  The Next Generation (1987–1994) Original Series (1966–1969) Discovery (2017–present) Picard (2020–present) Orville (2017)   Enterprise (2001–2005)      Deep Space Nine (1993–1999)   Voyager (1995–2001)    

Rank the Trek movies from best to worst.   II: The Wrath of Khan (1982) VI: The Undiscovered Country (1991)    IV: The Voyage Home (1986) III: The Search for Spock (1984) The Motion Picture (1979) V: The Final Frontier (1989) First Contact (1996) Generations (1994) Nemesis (2002) Insurrection (1998) Star Trek (2009) Into Darkness (2013) Beyond (2016)

Was this too many questions? I mean by the end I thought you might have been asking for my shoe size, but I think this was a good amount.

Fantastic Aurther please take a bow and everyone else have a great Easter weekend!

Monthly Awards: March 2020

Rook Mirtoh, your friendly neighborhood Director of Personnel here. It’s been a number of years since I was last in the IDF Admiralty. So many that I’ve lost count! Regardless, I’m back and so is IDF. March was a great month with many great posts and performances. Alas, we don’t have enough awards to honor everyone who is doing excellent things with us today. However, we can honor these outstanding members of the fleet.

Best Post

Cmdr. Jonathan Grayson (XO)
& Lt. Cmdr. N’Sachzny P’Glosho (CSTO)
USS Washington

For “Meeting old friends?”
Beautifully written, an in depth look at the characters, history, and politics. Well done!


Funniest Post

Lt. Cmdr. V’Setħ Borġ
Chief Science Officer
USS Chuck Norris

For “Reporting at Starfleet for duty”
An officer with a last name Borg would invite all kinds of raised eyebrows!


Genesis

Capt. Dyllon McMahon
Commanding Officer
USS Ganymede

For “It’s Quiet Uptown”
A compelling scene of heroism and action to get the creative juices flowing for a new mission. Makes me want to write!


MVP

Cmdr. Aurther Winters
Executive Officer
USS Chuck Norris

For jumping right in on the new website in his old role as XO and posting a fleet-high of 6 posts, all helping set the tone for what’s coming. Already stepping up as a leader and getting new crew integrated.


Most Posts

Cmdr. Aurther Winters
Executive Officer
USS Chuck Norris

For writing 6 posts.


Most Improved

Lt. Cmdr. N’Sachzny P’Glosho
Chief Security/Tactical Officer
USS Washington

For excellent writing, inclusiveness, and her spirit of adventure.


Rookie of the Month

Lt. Mackenzie Graham
Chief Medical Officer
USS Ganymede

For the most activity and passion of the new crew. She has written several posts and spearheaded multiple joint posts.


Recruitment

Marine Capt Be’Lana Sok’Mat
Executive Officer
USS Sanctuary

For recruiting one new crewmember to the USS Sanctuary.


Congratulations to all of our winners. Good luck to everyone for April and keep simming!